Haikyuu!! – 09

Haikyuu - 09 -3 Haikyuu - 09 -16 Haikyuu - 09 -29

Straightforward to a fault…

So it looks as if my instincts as of last week were right, and the crisis involving Asahi was exactly as it appeared to be.  That’s probably for the best, as Haikyuu just doesn’t seem to be cut out for manufactured drama.  To be honest the whole scenario comes off as kind of a non-event given the grandiose emotion everyone attached to it, but that’s probably better than the series trying to be something it’s not.  I just kind if hope the camera doesn’t fixate so unyielding on Asahi’s navel-gazing from now on, or the teary-eyed reactions of his once and future teammates.  He had a bad day – all athletes have them.  He needed to get over it, so he did.  Today is the first day of the rest of our lives…

As is so often the case, I find the most interesting element here to be Sugawara, even if he’s not superficially at the center of the conflict.  He too is suffering from a crisis of confidence, but what makes his angle more interesting than Asahi’s is that his response is more interesting than Asahi’s.  Rather than silently creep away and say he’s no longer in the club, Sugawara wears an ever-ready smile, acts as a universal facilitator and immerses himself in a sort of self-perpetuating cycle of self-deprecation.  He blames himself for Asahi’s problem, and he takes cover in Kageyama’s greater raw ability.  But ultimately he has to discover the competitive side of himself that hates stepping aside for a first-year, or he has no call to proclaim himself a serious athlete.

The chain of events that transpires in this episode does seem to lead to some interesting conflicts down the road.  Takeda-sensei manages to talk Ukai the younger into coming back long enough to prep his team for their upcoming match against Nekoma, a great rival from his playing days (I rather liked Ukai’s rationale for not wanting to coach – his memories in that gym were of another time, and there was no going back to it).  He tries to get his neighborhood association team to play a pickup game so he can assess what he has with the kids, but only four guys show up – which conveniently means he has to add some players from the school team. Ignorant of the delicacy of the situation he badgers first Nishinoya and then Asahi into playing, and when he says “I still need a setter” it’s Sugawara who steps up – not in deference to Kageyama for a change, but because he wants one more chance to send tosses to Asahi.

In addition to the guys who we haven’t seen play at all yet (like Yamaguchi) there’s clearly a numbers issue here, and that’s just for starters.  Sugawara and Asahi seem to be a matched set just like Kageyama and Hinata, and Nishinoya seems intent on following Asahi wherever that takes him (even if as a Libero he really has no competition for his spot).  As much fun as Haikyuu is it can be a little too nice at times – I think a little healthy conflict is good for it in dramatic terms, and there could be an interesting one brewing for playing time on the Karasuno team.  I don’t know volleyball that well but I know two-setter formations are not at all uncommon, and there’s always room for another attacker/blocker – but I don’t see things working out that neatly here.

Haikyuu - 09 -6 Haikyuu - 09 -7 Haikyuu - 09 -8
Haikyuu - 09 -9 Haikyuu - 09 -10 Haikyuu - 09 -11
Haikyuu - 09 -12 Haikyuu - 09 -13 Haikyuu - 09 -14
Haikyuu - 09 -15 Haikyuu - 09 -17 Haikyuu - 09 -18
Haikyuu - 09 -19 Haikyuu - 09 -20 Haikyuu - 09 -21
Haikyuu - 09 -22 Haikyuu - 09 -23 Haikyuu - 09 -24
Haikyuu - 09 -25 Haikyuu - 09 -26 Haikyuu - 09 -27
Haikyuu - 09 -28 Haikyuu - 09 -30 Haikyuu - 09 -31
Haikyuu - 09 -32 Haikyuu - 09 -33 Haikyuu - 09 -34


  1. N

    The best part of this show for me is the senpais casually interacting with each other

  2. B

    I think there's a similarity between Sugawara and Asahi here. Both were dealing with depression and self-loathing prior to this episode. Asahi wears his emotions on his sleeve and correspondingly dealt with in a more obvious way. Sugawara dealt with in a way that befits his quieter- but slightly braver personality- hide his feeling, try to stay strong and let his emotions fester. Thankfully, they both got out of their respective funks before things got out of hand. (You don't seem very fond of outward displays of certain emotions like self-pity and self-loathing, Enzo. I noticed it when reading your reviews on NagiAsu. Personally, I'm fine with it as long as it dealt with in the end- such things happen, after all.) I still think you're kind of understating the impact the match had on Asahi, but you seem to be a much more experienced (and a tad more cynical) sportsman than I- so different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    And after seeing praise several shows for their unabashed sincerity, I never thought I'd see the day where you'd be worrying about a series being too honest…


  3. Yes, clearly this aversion is why I love AnoHana and Eva so much…

    I'm not worried about it or knocking Haikyuu for it. I just find stuff like Asahi's situation a little flat from a narrative standpoint. Maybe if we'd gotten a little more background on him but honestly, it never felt like we were given a reason to care all that much.

  4. R

    Then you're commenting on the review of the 9th episodes why….?

    It's fine if you don't like the series, but why jump into a group of fans enjoying the show to try and make things negative….???

  5. L

    I've been here for a little while now, but this is my first time commenting^_^

    I wouldn't necessarily say Haikyuu at this point is straightforward to a fault because that's how the author is intentionally creating the story. If one goes into the story looking for boats of subtlety, their expectations are bound to be crushed. The general story just gives off a warm and "fun" feeling. As a manga reader I'd say that Haikyuu does a great job at being consistently entertaining. The games are really great to watch and fairly complex and intense in play while the character interactions never seem to get old. There are a few moments with very strong emotion, and while it is straightforward emotions most of the time, I think it's fine because you really do experience the intended emotions, particularly because of just how much Karasuno does grow on you as a team. Later on, the individual character development really does show, and you really get to slowly see them grow significantly as a team. The author is really talented at using each individual device, making the anime funny but not awkward and inspirational but not too preachy, and emotional but not gut-wrenchingly so. While some people think that Asahi's reason for quitting is inconsequential, as someone who's played a lot of sports myself, I think the portrayal is very heartfelt, because many people can underestimate the toll single losses and heavy responsibility can have on a player.
    "The greatest enemy in sports is yourself"

    Also as a sports anime fan, I really find Haikyuu to be a fresh change of pace. While some of the other currently airing anime(they are great as well) currently contain more subtlety(ping pong in particular), I think that Haikyuu still has it's own little place in the lineup as a straightforward(for the most part), genuine and fun anime.

    Can't wait to see the rest of the anime, it really is going to be great~
    I suggest simply not thinking too much while watching Haikyuu, for it is the kind of anime where you have to climb on and just enjoy the ride
    there will lots of great moments to come~

  6. R

    I'll take straight for words to a fault. Personally I don't think there are enough shows these days with no pretense and just good fun and a lot of heart, so Im not going to grow bored of Haikyuu anytime soon.

    That being said, apparently my brain had a deep moment and I mixed up the order of events in my head. For whatever reason I thought the training camp was before the neighborhood association match. Doi.

    That being said, one more week to go till my second favorite team! And second favorite match.

  7. H

    I really liked how Ukai just dragged the characters back in the game, their tender feelings on the subject be damned since that was what they really needed, and I really do hope the show focuses less on the drama next week.

  8. m

    Yeah the whole issue with Asahi quitting and the subsequent loss of the libero was way too overdramatic. I know personally I would've wanted that kind of player to stay gone. He has no heart, and thus has no place taking the spot of someone else who wants to work hard to be there, despite not being as physically gifted (Hinata comes to mind, though he has his own physical gifts). It's frustrating to watch an arc based off of something that makes me hate a character so much, when you're clearly meant to root for him. Hopefully, like you said, this fades away and becomes a non issue because I can't respect anyone who has such a pathetic attitude.

    I like the upcoming game with the old rivals though. That should bring some good storylines for down the road, and once the team comes together they can finally get into serious games. A poor choice for why the team was missing people, but it's something that can be easily forgotten.

  9. R

    What Haikyuu has been telling us is teamwork — the power and the bond of a strong teamwork.

    I'm moved this week. As cliche as it is, and for how ridiculously long time freezes for letting the characters deliver the lines, I'm moved, and I'm moved by the bond shared by Daichi, Suga, Tanaka, Noya, and Asahi. It's the same feeling I had when Team Mizusawa won the team tournament. Perhaps I'm not overly focused on Asahi but the team, and perhaps I unconsciously inject my own experience when watching this episode, I just don't care but have got myself engrossed in all the emotions expressed by the characters. The look on Daichi's face, the tears that Tanaka can't hold back, and Suga's inner voice have completely got me, and the drumming up of the BGM doesn't help.

    Yes — I like that Suga finally lets out what has been bothering him. The defeat also has taken a toll on him, and he, too, is suffering. By the way, Irino Miyu totally shines this week. I'm actually impressed by Daichi. He's like a father to the team — a kind and gentle father who cares for and knows everyone of his family so well. He will knock some sense into Asahi but stay back from Suga, watching him on the sidelines as he works himself out of the slump and singing praises when Suga does something great… I'd want a captain like him.

    Some random thoughts…
    – I love all of Noya's t-shirts…they all have meanings, and I love the calligraphy.
    – Ukai-kun is so fun…he's like Tanaka, a super likeable and fun character.

    Now that the team is complete, it's time to show us your power, Karasuno Volleyball Team.

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