Haikyuu!! Season 2 – 24

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -21 Haikyuu 2 - 24 -41 Haikyuu 2 - 24 -51

That was a Haikyuu fan’s Haikyuu ep if ever there was one.

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -1The theme of late seems to be very much series delivering what was expected in an entertaining way.  Suspense and surprises are wonderful things, but this anime season is certainly proving they aren’t vital to a series’ success.  That plays to Haikyuu’s strengths, because this is a show that generally stays true to it’s relentless momentum pushing it down a predictable path.  This season pretty much had to end with Karasuno beating Seijoh by every law of shounen, and it did – but the volume was certainly turned up to 11.

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -2It’s episodes like this one where Haikyuu!! earns those exclamation points, and it threw everything into the blender for sure.  A left-handed spike by Kyotani, a ridonkulous mega-set by Oikawa, last-minute substitutions left and right, more dives than a World Cup football match.  You know what you’re going to get here, but Haikyuu!! has another gear in reserve for episodes like this – the animation gets even crisper, the music more insistent, the spectacular feats of athleticism more Shounen Jump-like.  It delivers an adrenaline rush like few series before it.

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -3I would still contend that Oikawa is the best player on the court in this match, and despite heroics from others on both teams it’s he who most imposes his will on the game – that full-width desperation set (which even included pointing out his target), his fearsome serves, his leadership.  That’s ironic given his constant mantra that it’s the “six good players” that matter, not individual brilliance – though there’s no denying his teammates are very good.  This game is basically a coin-flip in the end – the two teams are as evenly matched as it’s possible to me.  Remember, despite all the talk about their growth the Baby Crows came within a point of beating Aoba Johsai the last time they played.

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -4That said, those hatchlings certainly have improved.  Shouyou is showing far more versatility and focus, Kageyama continues to develop audacious nerve (nice dump) and spare parts like Tadashi have become useful pieces.  Speaking of audacious, to take out two players – including the libero – on match point against was certainly ballsy by Ukai.  But in my limited volleyball awareness, I still haven’t quite figured out why Suga almost never plays.  Karasuno just seems more versatile and dangerous when he’s on the court – he’s a good server, he causes the opponent to hesitate about where the set is coming from, and he’s bitchin’ at blocking spikes with his face.  With a setter as athletic and tall as Kageyama, I don’t know why Sugawara as an option is almost always ignored.

Haikyuu 2 - 24 -5In case you missed it, there was an announcement this week that a third season of Haikyuu!! would begin airing this Fall.  My friends who’ve read the manga seemed to think there wouldn’t be enough source material for another two-cour season quite this soon, so it’ll be interesting to see how the anime deals with pacing and original material.  I’m assuming this season’s finale isn’t going to dive into the final match against Shiratorizawa, but rather be an epilogue for Seijoh – they, not Shiratorizawa, were the white whale of this arc after all.

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13 comments

  1. This is a spectacular action episode that did a brilliant adaptation of the manga chapters making up this episode. I think that calling the action efforts, “the spectacular feats of athleticism more Shounen Jump-like”, is doing this episode and the work put-in by both the mangaka and the anime production people a major disservice. The athletic feats shown in this episode are all grounded in reality and that both teams were pulling out all the stops.

    I do agree that the best player on the court is still Oikawa. He is a monster. Both sides have improved from their previous match in the inter-high preliminaries but it looked like more Karasuno members upped their game compared with Seijoh who had mainly a substantially improved Oikawa to lean on. It was a toss-up but Karasuno made it count this time.

    With regards to whether Season 3 will have enough manga chapters for a 2-cour season, my estimate is that there is barely just enough by the start of Season 3 broadcast. It would have used up all the printed manga chapters when it starts. By the end of a 2-cour Season 3, it would have about 25-ish manga chapters as a buffer. Depending on how long the mangaka wants to continue with his manga, there would be an opportunity to have a Season 4 end at the same time as the manga, or have a consistent 1-year gap between end of one season and the start of the next for an on-going manga and anime adaptation. Each 2-cour season of Haikyuu!! uses up about 75 manga chapters. Do the math and you can see the path.

  2. I, for some time now, have passionately wanted the last episode of this season to be Karasuno getting absolutely obliterated by Shiratorizawa, just to show that even for a team that’s gone so far, Aoba Johsai isn’t anything spectacular when it comes to National level volleyball, whereas Shiratorizawa and Ushiwaka are. Admittedly, that’s not exactly concordant with Nekoma and company, and their relative skill level, but I still feel like it would have been quite the way to end an enjoyable season.

    Fall is soon! Will you continue blogging Haikyuu!!, Enzo?

  3. I don’t see why I wouldn’t, sure.

  4. Y

    Wonderful pacing and animation, as was expected. But what personally got me was the bitter irony of how Karasuno’s last match point was scored; do you remember what Oikawa advised the Crows the first time they played in Season 1, after their practice match? Receives. Work on your receives, you’re not pulling them off properly. Receives were the one thing Tooru perceived as Karasuno’s greatest weakness back then, and thus he stressed their importance. Yet in this match — which we know will be the 3rd years’ last — it was due to Tooru’s own failure to receive Hinata’s spike that Karasuno won. That must’ve felt like a real bite in the arse.

  5. e

    Can you feel the Refreshing? ;D
    Holy fudge this was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also SUGAHaaaaaaaah Babyyyy
    P.S.: in terms of shiny memorable moments I think out of the cast mains Noya got the short end of the stick in this match. I dare guess some exuberant libero spotlight is in order next Fall >D.

  6. e

    Ack I triggered the text eating tag again and two middle paragraphs are now gone. Joy.
    Tweaked text paste follows:
    Holy fudge this was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also SUGAHaaaaaaaah Babyyyy And the animation. And the extra little detail like Oikawa’s foot slipping as he rushed back inside court after his set&fall. And that glorious camera work especially in the second half. HNNNG it was like seeing every moment through the all-encompassing all-angles-you-could-possibly-conceive Eyes of God. Holy sh*t. GYAAAAAAA OMG OMG I have rewatched it three times and I am still fanning myself *artgasm*
    —-
    Ok, on a slightly calmer note. I agree with bith Leongsh and Yana about the what and hows of this victory. The movement themselves were not that impossibly Jump-like, but they were presented in the best and most exciting possile way ( the camera could reach anywhere man. Anywhere. And even more perspective&storyboarding virtuosity than in the OP. Oh glorious day. OH GLORIOUS DAY *___* ). It was also pure poetic justice at work for Tohru to miss that final spike. And yeah I think we can all agree he is a monster player.
    I also wonder why they don’t use Sugoiwara more often. Their game does seem more effective and puzzling for their opponents when he plays and it’s even remarked onscreen this week XD. May this mean we can hope for extra Suga goodness next season?
    P.S.: in terms of shiny memorable moments I think out of the cast mains Noya got the short end of the stick in this match. I dare guess some exuberant libero spotlight is in order next Fall 😀

  7. l

    you and I both wonder why suga doesn’t play more often, especially when kageyama is in the front line. that would push daichi out of the front line rotation where he’s useless as an outside hitter anyway… ryu’s older sister didn’t try to inject some rotation lingo by calling it a 6-2 but i doubt casual fans got the reference.

  8. R

    In case I didn’t declare properly, I love Haikyuu. Somehow though season 2 felt like a tad bit flat all along, and I couldn’t figure out why. It was till Yamaguchi stepped on court that I knew. I missed the focus on characters’ thoughts and emotions in team sports — the thoughts and emotions of winners, losers, coaches, spectators, players on court and players on benches — and season 1 brought those out a lot more through its genuinely written characters than what I could get from this season. However, when Yamaguchi was subbed in, everything was brought back — or this is just how I felt. This week, when Suga was brought in, I couldn’t help but let those tears roll down my cheeks — Suga could finally be on court and fight with his fellow third-years, and he did it at the most critical moment of the season. This all reminded me of the love that I have for Haikyuu…the focus of the meaning of team to a player and how that accentuates the bond and trust amongst the players in a team. If it ever plays out in anime form, the departure of the third-years will be one big teary moment for me.

    This is one great episode — absolutely one that a Haikyuu fan has been waiting for. A couple of thoughts came to mind:
    1) I love watching how Karasuno fought and how each player went beyond his limit and gave more than 100%. Be it Suga’s forehead receive, Tanaka’s deep dive or Asahi’s off-court strike, everyone was connected to keep pushing. Of course, the same went with Seijou, and that made this episode feel so intense.

    2) It’s deja vu…at the very last spike in season 1, Kagayama swapped place with Hinata and moved to mid-court for setting the ball, Hinata jumped and spiked against 3 Seijou blockers…they lost. This time around, the same happened, but they won.

    With only one episode left, I know I’m going to miss these goofy yet fun high-schoolers. Hurray to season 3, if only Fall can come sooner…

  9. K

    Suga seems to have more of an effect when he’s on the court. Most of time Kageyama’s presence seems strongest when he’s working with Hinata. Suga has more of a team effect. He has better grasp of the personalities of the team and gets everyone involved more often. I’m glad he got to play in a crucial part of the game, but I would like to see him get more play time.

    I felt bad for Oikawa, you see how hard he works and how much resentment he still has for Kageyama’s natural talent. Its a very related conflict, you can work as hard as you can, but sometimes those with natural gifts will have that extra edge, and its frustrating. He’s no doubt the best player on the court, but Kageyama can just do things that he can’t.

    I’m going to miss this show for the next few months, but what a match to go out on.

  10. J

    I didn’t want this match to end, not only because I desperately wanted both teams to be victorious (impossible though my wish may be), but also because it was an exhilarating, entertaining, and squeal-inducing match to watch by its action alone. The creators did a great job immersing me into the game. This was a flawless episode of Haikyuu!! I’m still hyped up on adrenaline.

  11. N

    What a rush that was. And the animation. I must have watched every move thee times.

  12. I like how even Oikawa calls Sugawara Mr Refreshing, that’s exactly how I feel whenever he plays on court.

  13. H

    Ukai didn’t necessarily bring Noya out of the game, it just happens that his time to leave the court coincided with the final rally. That’s actually one of the reasons Suga was brought into the court. It was discussed in an earlier episode, but when Tsukishima is the one to serve is their weakest in both defense and offense. To make up for this during crucial moments in the game, Suga was brought in. The third years are all good at receiving as it was said by Takeda. As for the reason why Suga rarely enters the game, it’s because Karasuno relies a lot on the unpredictability of Kageyama and Hinata’s combo, which they’ll lose if they let Suga be their regular setter. Of course placing Suga and Kageyama on the court at the same time allowed for a more diverse and versatile repertoire of attacks, but that would mean removing at least one wing spiker or a middle blocker; and let’s be honest if they have to remove one it’d be Tsukki since they need the other upperclassmens better receiving abilities. Unfortunately that lowers the defense of the team. TL;DR: having suga at the court is awesome and exciting, but it isn’t sustainable. Each player has a role to play and holes to fill, its jsut a matter of what the priority is.

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