Well, that was fun. No news there – Haikyuu is generally fun. But this was one of those carefree episodes that would come off as cloying or pandering in lesser hands, but Haikyuu manages to make work because this sort of things comes so naturally to it. Boys will be boys, girls will be girls (yes, we have those too) and even the enemy will be a bro. That’s the Ferrari-driving beagle in a nutshell.
One of the reasons this arc has worked for me is no doubt Bokuto, who’s now officially my favorite Haikyuu character. Yes Koutarou, you are the ace indeed – and Kimura Ryouhei’s delivery of the many moods of Koutarou-kun is truly one of the best supporting anime roles I’ve heard in many a season (Kimura just impresses me more and more with each passing season – he’s great). The obvious element here is that his Fukurodani teammates humor his dramatics and mood swings and cover for him when needed. What’s less obvious but no less true, though, is that they wouldn’t do that for him unless they loved him as a teammate. There’s no resentment here, which is pretty remarkable given Bokuto’s antics.
It’s nice that Karasuno’s progress doesn’t necessarily come down to wins and losses – and a good thing, since there were very few of the former in this arc. A 23-25 loss to Fukurodani is indeed a sign of progress and there’s no depression among the Crows over it. Of note is that Asahi abandoned his jump serve when serving at match point against – but in his favor, he at least acknowledged that he choked. Also, it was nice to see at least a hint that Suga is alive – he’s been depressingly ignored all season. I’m not sure what the endgame is for him to practice spiking when it’s clear he’ll never be an impact performer with that skill, but anything that at least gets him on the radar is a positive.
I enjoyed the boy-girl interplay at the meat dance after the final games (though that was the shameless factor cranked up to 11). She-nata’s fevered anxiety never fails to please, and her “Attack on Titan” fantasy with all those 180 cm carnivores about was pretty hilarious. We were also treated to a sampler platter of all the top aces in Japan awaiting the crows on their long flight, and a check-in with Tsukki and his brother to tie on a ribbon on that package. All good stuff, and the real games start next week it seems. Hopefully we’ll see Fukurodani again before too long.