Haikyuu!! Season 2 – 16

Haikyuu 2 - 16 -12 Haikyuu 2 - 16 -24 Haikyuu 2 - 16 -27

Queue up the next sacrificial lamb.

Haikyuu 2 - 16 -1That lamb is Wakunan, who present a different sort of challenge at least in that rather than flat-out bombast, their M.O. is defense and calm.  We haven’t seen Karsuno play too many clubs like that – apart from the ones that regularly beat them of course (and I’m not too sure I agree with Ukai’s assessment of Seijoh as being that kind of team).

Haikyuu 2 - 16 -2While this wasn’t necessarily the most exciting episode of the series what with much of it being focused on ushering out one designated opponent and ushering in the next, we have entered a rather interesting point of the series in the sense that other teams are finally starting to catch on to Hinata.  Up to now he’s been a gimmick player to the extent that he succeeds based on the fact that what he’s doing is so different than anything these schoolboy opponents have seen.  What will happen when they gameplan for him?

Haikyuu 2 - 16 -3The answer, of course, is that he’ll evolve.  This is a shounen after all, and in sports success doesn’t motivate change the way failure does.  We’re seeing some interesting tacks from Wakunan and their inspirational captain Nakashima Takeru (Atsushi Abe).  First, they’re effectively playing a man-to-man against him, with the rest of the team in a zone (in the first match we saw Johzenji not attempt to block him at all, but simply receive his less-than-overpowering spikes).  As challenges go these seem pretty manageable, because Shouyou is basically getting what he wanted all along – respect.  He’s a bulldog – he’ll be just fine.

Perhaps of greatest import is than Captain Boring Daichi seems to have been injured just as the Crows are getting ready to close out the first set of a fairly evenly-matched struggle.  I’m not enough of a volleyball expert to know who’s likely to replace him – as vice-captain Suga would provide leadership, but he’s a setter and I’ve yet to see Ukai use a two-setter lineup.  I’m not even sure if there any named wing spikers on the bench – maybe Kinoshita?  Of course Daichi could pull a Furuya and come right back and play anyway, but I guess we’ll find out next week.

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18 comments

  1. S

    No Furuya bullshit, please. I liked he idea with Suga, he’s got the goods and the experience to pull through here…. I think. Daichi has been boring, I won’t argue that, but he’s been a constant throughout there series and I’ve really come to like him in the end.

    Really loving the site updates so far, btw!

  2. g

    A neat detail is that Nakashima Takeru and his family show in Furudate-sensei’s manga for the second time but this time Takeru is a central figure here. They are from the his first serialised manga in WSJ Kiben Gakuha, Yotsuya Senpai no Kaidan (unfortunately, it was cancelled – or fortunately because there wouldn’t be Haikyuu other way but he has a knack for horror), where his one of sisters was a co-protagonist with her scary English teacher (seriously, you wouldn’t believe he’s a good guy).

    And about episode I’ve felt for the second time the anime didn’t really show energy of matches in this season like it was showed in the manga and how they did it in the first season, especially with Johzenji High, which was in manga super exciting. I really don’t know what happened.

  3. R

    I agree with you that the energy and exhilarating experience is somehow lacking in the second season as compared to the first. I don’t know what it is that has caused that. It could be that the first season has set such a high bar to beat or the second season has a lot more teams and players to be introduced. Having said that, I’m still enjoy this show immensely.

  4. G

    Definitely a flatter episode since the focus is mainly on Daichi and it wasn’t so evenly spread out among characters. Though, when you see the character designs for Wakunan, you would be expecting a little of a bore (tbh). But, it was cool seeing the different techniques at play here.
    And I agree with the above comment that the official matches felt a little less exciting overall in season 2. The animation was pretty normal, for their high standards so I guess they are saving the budget for future match-ups.

  5. R

    I actually like Team Wakunan — they may not be as flashy, but they are smart and solid. Takeru’s wipe is something that I have been wanting to see in the show — am happy to see it here finally, and perhaps one day Hinata will be able to do the same. I also don’t find Daichi boring at all — he serves as the foundation of the team well, and his leadership quality has been highlighted since the first season.

    An injury of a key player in a game — especially the captain — hasn’t been played out in the show yet, so I’m glad to see this included as part of the story — not that I’m glad to see Daichi getting injured — and I can’t wait to see if this will demoralize Karasuno or push the team to play at a higher level.

    As for who will play Daichi’s sub, think that lots of Suga fans would vote for him. Judging from the preview, I think Ennoshita may have a chance — he’s one of the calm ones and has been playing the “Daichi” role in front of Noya and Tanaka. Or both Suga and Ennoshita may rotate, but both of them can’t receive as well as Daichi… Oh well, I guess I will have to wait for next week to find out.

  6. Hey – Kageyama got injured just last week! How else was Suga going to get off the milk carton?

  7. R

    Yes, but that wasn’t a major injury and he came back too fast — not enough for our Suga to play longer actually. Daichi’s injury seems like a major one — he seems to be unconscious — that he probably won’t be able to stand on the court for the day and that can spur fear to the rest of the players.

  8. I agree on your points, and I’ll cross my fingers!

    Except Daichi’s injury seems to be worse than missing the game, let’s just wish he doesn’t miss the next games and ty for being another one that doesn’t find Daichi boring, that still hurts me when they say that! The last episode was one where they showed that team what they called ‘boring’ can do, so how can we call him boring, betrayal!

  9. Daichi, the captain, may be boring, especially in comparison with the overexcited and headcases in the team but he’s the steadying influence and foundation of the team to ensure that they don’t lose it in the head and keeps them in-line. His strength is defensive and receiving. He’s the best at it after Nishinoya, their prodigy libero. He’s good enough at receives that Oikawa acknowledges it (in last season). This test that Karasuno now faces is how will they play now without that foundation they have taken for granted. Answers to that question and more in next episode.

  10. EHHHHH how could you call Daichi boring? Whenever there are playful bunch, stupid bunch, brainless bunch, over-excited bunch, there always has to be this foundation that pulls through, that’s Daichi! that’s not boring, that’s as serios as it gets!! (besides that hurts me personally lol /just becoz im a project leader and my role is to be serios doesn’t mean I’m boring!!) How could you all dare call him boring!! that smile is not boring! /angry *raises fist*

  11. even more, the moment the leader starts to join the excietement of the team, the worst happens lol this episode Is so realistic if you’ve ever been a captain before, /angry

  12. I don’t deny the need for guys like Daichi in any team, sports or otherwise. Salt o’ the Earth. I’ve just never found him very interesting as a character. And when you’re talking about a TV show, that kinda matters.

    But it’s not like I hate him or anything – he’s fine.

  13. l

    Daichi isn’t an outside hitter (OH). He’s a defensive specialist (DS) that subs out when he rotates to the front line. If you were to sub someone in his place, my guess would be the float serve guy who might also be secretly working on his passing.

  14. g

    Daichi is called wing spikier and he isn’t subbed out when he rotates to the front. There were definitely scenes, when he was in a block squad. The hell, the scenes were even in this episode (first block-out of Takeru, he participated in the block with Hinata and Tanaka)! It seems in Japanese volleyball there isn’t defensive specialist role, (at least on the high school level). And Yamaguchi is middle blocker.

  15. g

    Oh, ok… I looked more into this so called defensive specialist and there’s no such a thing in European volleyball (maybe in some countries on leagues matches level, but not in my country for sure), it has to be American (USA) thing.

  16. All I know is I hope it’s Suga, just because TBH these last few eps have been dragging a bit for me and it would be nice to have a real rooting interest.

  17. But why do you like Sugawara so much Enzo?

    To me, from the point of view of “character”, he is even more boring than Daichi. Just another nice guy.

    Also, from the point of view of “plot”, he doesn’t have any real role anymore. He lost his place against Kageyama, this is his last tournament, and doesn’t seem to have any real chances of being a regular again.

    I’m just curious what makes you root for him.

  18. Because he’s not boring. Because unlike Daichi, he has a real character arc and conflict. I find the fact that he constantly takes the “team first” approach to the point where it seems like he doesn’t care about playing, but it’s obviously a cover for his own insecurity and he really wants to play.

    I wonder if this is what that spiking practice foreshadowing was building up too…

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