Haikyuu!! Season 2 – 23

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The crux of what Haikyuu’s first two seasons are was summed up by Shota-sensei in this episode – Aoba Johsai really is the arch-enemy.  When you stop and consider it, both of the first two seasons will end with the Seijoh matchup, and that could hardly be more definitive proof.  But that almost makes it narratively impossible for Karasuno to lose this match – if they do, it asks the unfortunate question of what the point of the whole second season was.

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That leads to the inescapable conclusion that this season is going to end very strangely one way or the other – either with an inexplicable result or at a highly unusual spot.  There was mention of a “big announcement” (I love how manga have big announcements for big announcements) next week, and since there’s not enough source material for a third season yet I wonder if we’re going to see (as opposed to an anime-original or live-action movie) the Shiratorizawa match depicted in movie form.

As for Seijoh, Haikyuu is making up for lost time with a pretty engaging match here – though as is often the case with this show, there’s not a whole lot left open to interpretation.  Mad Dog-chan continues to be the driving force for a lot of the drama – he’s the boom-or-bust element in Aoba Johsai’s lineup, and his mood swings seem to carry a lot of weight with the team.  To be honest I kind of wonder why their coach is taking the gamble of relying on him when Karasuno is a team he’s already beaten in competition (and many times in practice), as enticing as Kentarou’s skill set is.

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The Crows are managing to stay level with Seijoh despite a pretty minimal output from Shouyou, with Tsukishima stepping up into a pivotal role (especially on the mental side of the match).  So far Ukai (unlike his counterpart) has played it absolutely straight – no substitutions, no shifts in strategy – though I more or less expect to see Tadashi get another crack at the designated server role before things are finished.  But next week is the penultimate episode, and we’re getting into main character territory – and no one has more to prove by climbing this mountain than Shouyou and Kageyama.  Their time to shine is coming, and I expect it to start as soon as next week.

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8 comments

  1. e

    Well… would you rather have small announcements for big announcements? No way! 😀
    Good exciting episode, the convenient impromptu flashback was neither too long nor to short to. Tsukki’s cool head among team mates on-field who are mainly on the red side of the oni spectum was defnitely an asset in this part of the match. That said… Tanaka love! It’s been a while since we got his stripperific eyecatch too I believe XD
    Oikawa is still majestic and we got a glimpse of future-Oikawa possibly (the sideline kohai-mad Dog confrontation), plus future-Daichi showing his insight chops on the Crows’ side. Rather enjoyable fleshing out of the non-mains while still keeping the tension high. That said, the more Sugawara screen time they manage to inject the more I crave it :,D. I would love to see a two-setter action encore and I am fairly certain there will be some along the road but I am afraid there is not enough time left for it before this match – and season – ends. MC shine time takes priority after all, as you said. In any case it will be lovingly animated. Talking of which… I really really like the current OP sequence. Dat draftmanship (delicious and extreme angles anatomical impeccable foreshortening ! ) coreography and the dynamic but clear camera work. Hnnng.

  2. C

    I hope you’re not implying that you like staring at the crotch and thighs of 15 year old boys! You baka hentai.

    Lol, just kidding. I actually really like the current opening but I feel it doesn’t get any love.

  3. I must say that OP – and Haikyuu – are more transparent about who their target audience is than just about any other sports anime in this class.

  4. g

    Well, actually they look more delicious in the manga. They don’t look KnB-esque, they’re too slender as volleyball players but there’s much more muscle definition than in the anime, even for a smaller player like Hinata or Noya. It’s the one thing I don’t like about the anime – everybody looks like wet noodles.

  5. e

    Guys guys… if you ever tried drawing the human body you might recall that getting both the single shapes and perspective right can be pretty hard and even simple poses can be challenging without some kind of live figure drawing training, never mind also picking unusual angles and animating them in a realistic manner (as in respecting not only proportions but muscle contraptions and joint angles while allowing for stretch and squash animation adjustments for the sake of better expression of movements ).
    Regardless of target audience fanservice the staff working on Haikyuu know their artistic anatomy. Honestly I can’t think of another series both this competent and consistent in recent times in any demographic.
    DISCLOSURE: for all that matters I am a fine art draftsman and I love drawing nudes – and the human body in general -. Of either sex. Beauty goes beyond gender, uhuh. I do have a soft spot for skillfully rendered legs. Joints. Necks. Hands. Bone structure. Hence I tend to immediately notice if something is off art-wise in those areas. Haikyuu? Borderline flawless.
    If we are talking fanservice when it comes to men’s depictions I like my sirs on the mature to positively to vintage side actually. Hence Baby Crows per se do not really rock my gondola, but I would figurately drool on whoever is key-animating them? :p Ditto on Daya’s first ever episode. I still remember Eijun’s hand porn. The emotions conveyed through his straining hand tendons, oh man :,).

  6. C

    I agree 99.9% with what you’re saying, but isn’t Tsukki’s neck a little toooo long sometimes?

  7. e

    *grins* 1) it enhances his aloof personality 2) tall people’s neck can look longer than average in proportion 3) puberty can work funny like that, some body parts developing earlier than others.

  8. A

    Hey Enzo, noticed you said what would the point be of the second season if they lost this match. Playing devils advocate wouldn’t the point be, that in sports like life, no matter how much you improve or get better you may still lose? Maybe you’ll compete with someone/another team that will continually best you?

    For me the point is that there are no guarantees in life but nonetheless you have to always give your best because moving forward and improving are wonderful achievements in themselves regardless of the outcome (win, lose or draw).

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