I always tend to watch Haikyuu towards the end of the day, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. There’s an effortless quality both to the production and the experience of watching it – not only is it a great show to watch when you’re a little burned out, but it also brings the day to a close on an upbeat note. Of course on the part of the anime staff, pulling this off is nowhere as easy as they make it look.
If it sounds like I’m filling time a bit, it’s because this is another of those Haikyuu eps that I discussed last week, one which speaks for itself in such a straightforward way that it doesn’t leave much left for me. Fortunately we have Bokuto to talk about. This series actually has a problem that’s a good one to have – it has so many likeable and distinct characters that it’s a struggle to get them all meaningful screen time, never mind real development. But Bokuto is such a live wire that he takes full advantage of every moment he gets. Takeda-sensei nails it here – Bokuto is one of those guys that just makes everything more fun for everybody involved.
What Bokuto also did, of course, is give Shouyo (and Tsukki too) some meaningful advice between the lines, which as predicted (not that it was hard) came home to roost in a big way this week in the final practice match. First was the feint, which while a part of every good spiker’s repertoire wasn’t part of Hinata’s – indeed, seemed somehow antithetical to his personality. Where Bokuto made the sale was in making Hinata believe that executing a feint could be just as much fun as a spike – indeed, for a vertically challenged boy looking down at three prone defenders might be even more fun.
Yes, the cogs are indeed slotting into place. The freak(ier) quick, the feint, the combined attack, the libero toss – it’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of bits stolen from other teams and the just plain bizarre, but then that’s Karasuno. As they level up other, more experience teams are going to adapt to meet the challenge – and I would imagine that’s going to be especially true for the teams from which the Crows have copped their ideas. It works pretty well in this case – well enough to shove Bokuto into emo mode and give Karasuno a late lead against Fukurodani.
I’m not sure who’s going to win this game, and in the end I don’t think it’s hugely important. But even as things start to come together for Hinata and Kageyama, I wonder if their increasing synchronicity isn’t going to cause some problems of its own. Isn’t it an issue for a volleyball team when its setter so obviously favors one spiker – much less when they’re first-years and the third-year ace is still around? And isn’t it a potential flashpoint (indeed, we’ve seen a few sparks already) for both the seniors and the other first-years that these two freshmen are hogging the spotlight as much as they are? Egos are a part of sports, and not placated by arguments like the protagonist’s privilege…