Haikyuu!! – 10

Haikyuu - 10 -8 Haikyuu - 10 -18 Haikyuu - 10 -35

This ep was as if Haikyuu was shotuing “Don’t forget about me!”, and ignoring it would be like kicking a puppy.

The sports anime field is a pretty crowded space right now, which is obviously a very good thing.  But it does mean Haikyuu had sort of slipped behind the pack for the moment – not so much because it’s taken any backward steps, but because shows like Yowapeda, Ping Pong and Baby Steps keep striding forward.  In that context I was very happy to see that this episode was without question my favorite since the near-perfect premiere – absolutely first-rate from top to bottom.

Superficially, I suppose one might contend that this ep was like the last two centered on Asahi – a lot of drama built around something I felt didn’t really merit quite so much.  But I think the drama was more contained here, and the centerpiece of it – Hinata dealing with the very real feelings of inadequacy he experiences as a chibisuke in a tall man’s sport – is both much more elemental to Haikyuu’s story and more relatable.  I also find the notion of a first-year being thrown off his game the way Hinata was and recovering quickly easier to take than a third-year becoming so mopey that he leaves the team altogether over what I consider to be a less compelling issue.

There was a lot else to like about this episode as well.  The games were arguably the most interesting we’ve seen since the series began, and the heavier material was cut through with substantially more comedy than has been the case in the last couple of eps.  I think I like Haikyuu better when the entire team or most of it is together, because there’s a certain “dorkiness squared” dynamic that’s really amplified in those situations.  And Ukai-san is a nice addition to that, somebody who brings both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective to this little group.

Of course, as the coach, it’s Ukai-san who’s going to have some very difficult decisions to make (he acknowledges this himself to Shota-sensei) and that’s where the honest-to-goodness drama in Haikyuu seems likely to spring from.  He’s suitably impressed by the eerie synchronicity between Kageyama’s tosses and Hinata’s hand, and readily acknowledges Kageyama (“His heart shrank three sizes that day”) as a volleyball genius.  But it’s no coincidence that he follows this up with “How cruel”, because right now, Hinata’s success is inseparable from Kageyama.  Kageyama himself says this in calling Hinata out for spacing in the middle of the game because he was daydreaming about a giant like Asahi – “With me, you’re invincible!”  But what happens if Kageyama isn’t the setter – can Hinata really be a starting-caliber player without his partner?

Ultimately much comes down to the decision of Sugawara vs. Kageyama, unless Ukai decides to play them both (which would certainly not be unheard of).  And Sugawara suddenly seems less willing to gracefully surrender his position – which, of course, is exactly how it should be.  Of course Hinata is going to be involved in some way sooner or later – he is the main character after all.  And there’s a reason for that because again, his story is deeply relatable – a little guy with a big heart trying to overcome his own physical limitations and become a star.  But if there weren’t roadblocks along the way – even in the form of his own teammates – well, it really wouldn’t be a sports anime then, would it?

Haikyuu - 10 -6 Haikyuu - 10 -7 Haikyuu - 10 -9
Haikyuu - 10 -10 Haikyuu - 10 -11 Haikyuu - 10 -12
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Haikyuu - 10 -16 Haikyuu - 10 -17 Haikyuu - 10 -19
Haikyuu - 10 -20 Haikyuu - 10 -21 Haikyuu - 10 -22
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Haikyuu - 10 -26 Haikyuu - 10 -27 Haikyuu - 10 -28
Haikyuu - 10 -29 Haikyuu - 10 -30 Haikyuu - 10 -31
Haikyuu - 10 -32 Haikyuu - 10 -33 Haikyuu - 10 -34
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14 comments

  1. t

    my favorite episode so far as well.
    there is a great mix of characters and emotions stirring up, and this ep was special because it demonstrated everything very clearly and lovely, starting from the characters past emotions till now. and yeah, we can see that the team is connecting. all issues starting to get solved and how lovely it is when your teammates push the others. be it Kageyama who pushed Hinata or Suga and Asahi with Nishinoya. and it affected all other members.

    I like Kageyama facial expressions.you can see how the duo of him with Hinata always developing and helping each other. it was Hinata who relieved Kageyama back there when his others (both Tsukishima and old teammates) called him "king" and everything. and now Kageyama is helping Hinata.
    I still think Kageyama is angry at times and hates to lose, he'll do whatever it takes. and it's not necessary like he has changed dramatically since middle-school. but now he has real trustworthy teammates, not just folks who impressed by his talent. sure, he has changed and learned a lot, but that's what he needed in middle-school. something that couldn't be achieved..due to circumstances…that's happen.

    there is still a long way to go. there is always a place for improvement, be it experience or practice whether you are 1st, 2nd or 3rd year (or even the grown up folks) . but seeing the guys playing together, laughing, competing (even if it's against each other)..pure fun of sports anime that focus not only on the sports element but also about enjoying it, keep learning and practicing, never give up and other sportsmanship values.

  2. N

    It's a first for me, but this season I'm having some shows getting in the way of my enjoying other shows. In particular, I discovered that I shouldn't watch Baby Steps or YowaPeda after watching Ping Pong, because it puts me in a dark and cynical mood where I don't feel like cheering for the likes of Onoda-kun and Ei-chan, rather I feel like shaking them awake from their foolish hopeful dreams and make them face cold, unforgiving reality. I even considered putting off watching Baby Steps until Ping Pong finishes, but luckily I found that Haikyuu balances things out for me. With its double exclamation marks and top notch animation, my mind just clicks back to it's normal pre-Ping Pong state.

  3. Yeah, that sounds about right…

  4. l

    The team is coming together. The first part is about done. The next part is finding out what they really need to do and where they really stand. Thus, enter Nekoma. That training game will probably start after the next episode.

    No mention of the different ED sequence for this episode? Towards the end of it, they started showing Tokyo station and the Nekoma team making their way within to take the train to go north (where Karasuno is).

  5. TBH I didn't notice – I rarely watch OP and ED sequences all the way through in the middle of a cour, even if I'm listening to the song.

  6. w

    Did you at least listen to the preview? Funniest part of the episode by far…

  7. Sure, I always watch previews, even when I shouldn't.

  8. I

    This show might not have the pros like the other shows, but i will say I think the sports scenes are the most enjoyable in this show. I rewinded the part where Hinata got hit in the head with the volleyball like 15 times.

  9. R

    I know exactly how you feel XD I was waiting for that scene to be animated and probably rewatched it at least 5 times, laughing the whole way.

  10. H

    "I think I like Haikyuu better when the entire team or most of it is together, because there's a certain "dorkiness squared" dynamic that's really amplified in those situations. " Agreed, I just love the little humor in the show from the characters interacting with each other, i like it a lot better than the volleyball actually since it's starting to feel very, as you put it before, Weekly Shonen Jump-ish

  11. m

    I don't think the actual volleyball is WSJish at all. The animation is making it flashier with the wind and stuff, but that's more for effect than being superpowered. No one has any trick shots or moves (aside from Kageyama's insane accuracy, which at least is within the relm of actual physics) and if they spice up the animation a bit for effect, I personally don't mind. I do think the fact that they haven't played a true match yet makes the volleyball itself less interesting, but it seems that there's many MC so they needed time to set up all of their introductions and backstories.

  12. I can do without Hinata closing his eyes, which is by far the most WSJ moment for me. But apart from that I think they're keeping it real enough. And the animation and choreography for the game sequences is fantastic.

  13. m

    I think Asahi's backstory was a little annoying, well not annoying but I guess I'd call it overdramatic. Not unrealistic really, but I don't respect players who quit on their team after having a bad game, or someone who would quit bc they quit. It's pathetic. That being said I don't think it was something that would ruin the show, or even cause me to hate Nishi (he's too funny) and Asahi forever. Once he got back in the groove and the team got together the show really picked up. I think the best part is knowing they haven't had a real match yet. Evem the upcoming one against the old rivals is just practice. If it's this easy to root for the crows now, I think it'll get much better when they have real competitions. I'm curious as to why they haven't played a real game yet, or even approached the topic. I think it's because they have important third year characters, and they might not fall into the typical "MC loses as a freshman early, gets close as a sophomore, and finally wins as a senior" sports anime path since it's a lot more team oriented than I thought it was going to be. I thought it would be all about Hinata personally, but it seems like he's not the MC in the traditional sense.

  14. j

    There's something about the sensitivity of these characters that kind of piss me off.
    The first time is alright, but I'll be disappointed if the show plays on hinata's insecurities too much. In fact, is this show about sports or insecurity? because I feel like that's where a lot of the main focus is directed towards.

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