Haikyuu!! Season 2 – 09

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Five Hinatas?  Talk about a genki overdose.

There are episodes of Haikyuu that, while perfectly entertaining and well-executed, are pretty tough to blog about.  And this was one of those episodes.  I’ve noted this before  – and not only about Haikyuu – that sometimes a show does such a good job of speaking for itself that it doesn’t require much analysis or interpretation.  That’s not a bad thing by any means, nor is pointing it out a criticism.

The thing about Haikyuu is, it doesn’t generally try too hard to hide what it’s on about.  It does dig pretty deeply into the strategy and tactics of volleyball at times, certainly.  But the characters (even the socially awkward Kageyama and the stone-faced Tsukishima) aren’t much for artifice – they are who they are, and the story boils down to watching them try and become the best version of that person they can.  Not a bad metaphor for adolescence or a coming-of-age story at all, but pretty self-explanatory with an ep like this one.

So what did we get here, then?  An awful lot of the characters (including Yachi) being charming in that effortless Haikyuu face-pulling way. A little more ordinance between Hinata and Kageyama, coming when Hinata hits too close to home in calling out Kageyama for backing off on the new tosses they’ve been working on in the middle of a match.  Some interesting volleyball minutiae, like the introduction of the “rebound” – intentionally hitting (softly) into the wall to try and elicit another bite of the apple.  And of course, the meat dance.  Never forget the meat dance.

What we also got was the rare episode where the minor characters outshone the major ones.  The best scene of the episode for me, in fact, was the 3-on-3 match featuring the comically mismatched heights on opposite sides of the net.  I liked seeing those characters get some development, and I think Bokuto (the ace from Fukurodani) especially shines.  It doesn’t hurt that Kimura Ryouhei is such a stellar seiyuu and gives every scene with Bokuto a huge spark, but he’s a fun character – a snarky guy who’s free with surprisingly astute advice for his kouhai, even the ones on rival teams.

I think a lot of what Bokuto told Hinata, especially, is going to prove very useful (“super awesome”?) very soon – because Karasuno is playing Fukurodani next week in what seems as if it may be the finale of the training camp arc.  Karasuno is a whopping 3-61, worst in the camp by an overwhelming margin (their penalties have probably consumed more energy than their matches) but the won-loss record is obviously not a crucial point here.  That last game is going to be the chance for all the Crows to show off their development in this arc (those that were lucky enough to get any, at least) – and afterwards, for Hinata to show off his appetite at the barbecue.  And who knows, maybe for another meat dance.

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7 comments

  1. Y

    I really liked Yachi's narration in this episode, both at the beginning when she was writing to her mum, and towards the end when she overturned the "King" metaphor in Hinata's favour. And of course then there was the meat dance; I was almost too embarrassed to continue watching after their little "performance" xD They're all such nice kids.

  2. F

    The meat dance was magical.

  3. e

    I'm a shallow bitch hence my fav part of the episode was the barbecue food porn + Niku Niku Dance. Made me drool and LOL in the tenebrious shadows of deep night. As per immortal wisdom of a certain Binan Koukou Magical Boy, baka power is da power.
    I agree the secondary characters have a lot of good moments in this arc lately. They really shine as mentors. Why basically everyone must be so lovable. Gah <3 !
    Yamaguchi The Squire sleeps like an anime girl. Sort of adorbs ( and freckled! <3 ) but the bait smell albeit sneaky was strong.
    3-61. And we haven't been shown any of those 3 victories have we? Karma points. Totally. They avalanche-lose now but they're going to avalanche-win (giant killing? little giant murder?) later. Beware ye non-mentors enemy teams especially, beware. As of now I wonder if they'll manage to win or nail one quick next week :,D.

  4. C

    61 LOSSES?! Please, they better start winning soon or my heart will die.

    I also can't stand how irritable Kageyama becomes when they lose. I think I even like Tsukki more than him now, and that's saying something.

  5. Y

    He's going through an important period of change, so extra stress is normal. But then again, old habits die hard, I guess; especially when the person in question is a painfully ambitious and emotionally vulnerable dumbass 😀

  6. m

    No mention of Kuroo's self "I've always been a nice person" (cues glowing aura)?! That was a highlight and I bet Kuroo organized the matchup to fulfil his ego of forming the elite blocking team XD
    This is my favourite arc so far and it's easy to see why. I think the greatest charm of Haikyuu is how every character is generally well-meaning and likeable. It makes it hard to root for one team.

  7. J

    I think that the fact there aren't any "mustache twisting" or over-the-top "bad guys" in this show makes it more true to life. Even what I would consider the major antagonist of the series, the Shiratorizawa ace, is simply a stoic athlete who is heads and shoulders above every one else when it comes to volleyball ability, and is on the best team.

    As a former athlete in high school and college, the VAST majority of guys (because that's who I competed against) on other teams were pretty cool. Was there a healthy rivalry in the pool? (I was a swimmer, btw) Absolutely. I wanted to crush them every event. But outside the lane-lines, it was pretty akin to the camaraderie shown on this show.

    That's one of the reasons I adore this show so much. The athletes try their best, one and all.

    Plus, it's HILARIOUS!

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