“It sends chills down my spine”: Hinata’s First Line in Haikyu Has a Deeper Meaning Than Fans Realize

Hinata's first line in Haikyu!! might just be more than a simple dialogue.

Hinata in Haikyu


  • Haikyu!! has a global following, and it all began with the first sentence spoken by the series' protagonist, Hinata Shoyo.
  • Hinata Shoyo comments about how much he enjoys the smell of air salonpas as he enters the gymnasium for his first-ever volleyball match in the opening chapter.
  • In an interview, Haruichi Furudate disclosed that the initial line of Hinata had a deeper significance than what many may not be aware of.
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The latest addition to Haruichi Furudate’s magnum opus, Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle anime movie is soon going to hit theaters all over the world and hopefully break records just like it did during its initial release in Japan. Haikyu!! has a global audience, and it all started with the first line by the protagonist of the series, Hinata Shoyo.

Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate
Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate

In the first chapter, when Hinata Shoyo enters his first-ever volleyball match in the gymnasium, he talks about how much he loves the smell of air salonpas that is present in the entire gymnasium. For those who don’t know, air salonpas are painkiller sprays that athletes use to spray on a sprained injury.

Furudate, in one of his interviews, revealed that the first line of Hinata has a deeper meaning than fans realize. It has a direct connection to the excitement Hinata feels as he is about to achieve one of his biggest milestones, but it also has a connection to Furudate’s childhood.


Haruichi Furudate Lived His Childhood Through Haikyu!!

In 2014, Furudate was featured in Da Vinci Magazine, where he was asked about the various aspects of the series. This interview was later translated and shared by @rainofashe on Tumblr. During the interview, Furudate revealed that he also liked volleyball very much and would play the game in both high school and middle school.

Furudate stated:

“For both middle school and high school tournaments, the preliminaries are usually held in the gymnasium of a school, but sometimes they’ll be held at a bigger venue like the city gymnasium. When I was in high school, when we got to play in newer, bigger and cleaner venues like the city gymnasium, we would all get excited. And that gymnasium would always smell like Air Salonpas.”


Furudate revealed that the bigger matches would get them excited, as they used to take place in city gymnasiums. The gymnasiums that featured the high school and middle school volleyball matches always had the smell of air salonpas.


Haikyu!! Creator Explains the Meaning Behind Hinata’s First Line

Furudate, while talking about Hinata’s dialogue, revealed the real meaning behind Hinata’s line about liking the smell of air salonpas. As mentioned above, whenever Furudate played volleyball matches in the gymnasium, he would smell air salonpas. Therefore, he directly correlated Hinata’s excitement for his first match with the smell of air salonpas that is constantly present in the volleyball gymnasium.

Hinata's First Line in Haikyu!!
Hinata’s First Line in Haikyu!!

Furudate stated:

“So in my head, “a match -> the smell of Air Salonpas -> get even more excited” is the sort of correlation chart I have, so this line came really naturally to me. Even now, when I smell Air Salonpas, it sends chills down my spine. It’s a smell I really like. The newest version of Air Salonpas has a milder smell, so I’m a little disappointed.” 

Although Haikyu!! is based around the sport of volleyball, it sheds light on a lot more things. The series talks about the value of teamwork, friendship, hard work, resilience, etc.


It is because of these aspects of the series that it is considered one of, if not the best, sports anime series of all time, and fans are ready to see a lot of excitement and volleyball in the upcoming Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle releasing on May 31, 2024.

You can watch Haikyu!! on Crunchyroll.


Written by Tarun Kohli

Articles Published: 1172

Konichiwa! With a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a 2-year experience in Digital media writing, I am on my way to becoming one of the biggest anime content writers in my country. My passion for writing and Anime has helped me connect with Fandomwire, and share my love and experience with the world.