Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou – 04

I can kind of understand why Samu-kun isn’t covering this season of Haikyuu!! over at RC, despite the fact that it’s one of his favorite shows ever.  He’s covering a bunch of other stuff, for starters, but the fact is that at least for me, after three seasons worth of material Haikyuu is kind of tough to write about.  It’s not the easiest series to cover to begin with, because it’s so direct and eloquent in what it’s trying to say – and it’s so consistent that it’s not as though there’s been an enormous change over the run of the anime.  Add to that the fact that competition-driven episodes of sports anime are generally tougher to write about than the ones in-between (we all see what’s happening on-screen) and the “Shiratorizawa” season is a significant blogging challenge.

Fortunately, Haikyuu always manages to fit some character development into its game arcs, and it always delivers on the action.  It’s a bit of a hard-sell for me to believe that Karasuno could be this competitive with a superpower like Shiratorizawa this soon, but you wouldn’t have much of a season if they weren’t.  And as Tsukishima’s brother Akiteru pointed out this week, the Crows were pretty much done if they didn’t take the second set.  And we still have eight episodes to go…

So far, it would be fair to say that Tsukishima is the one that’s been most critical in slowing down the Shiratorizawa attack.  He’s gotten inside the head of their setter and Tendou, and he’s managed to disrupt a couple of Ushijima’s spikes just enough to slightly pierce his bubble of invincibility.  It’s Tsukki who provides the counterpoint to Shiratori’s combination of raw, straight-ahead power and instinctive reaction – he overthinks everything.  In a way you’d imagine Tsukishima’s analytical approach would have its worst matchup against a team like Shiratori, and it is difficult, no question.  But he’s actually thinking about their game more than Shiratorizawa itself is, and even they have patterns that start to become visible if you look hard enough.

If you switch on your suspension of disbelief gene, the slight hint of panic that Tsukki notes in the opponent’s game is clearly their Achilles heel.  Shirabu doesn’t seem to be an exceptional setter in general – Shiratori’s style doesn’t lend itself to creativity from that role.  The question now, I suppose, is whether a team that’s so good that it’s won all its matches without having to make any adjustments can actually make adjustments. And, of course, whether their curmudgeonly old coach can do anything besides stand on the sidelines snarling at them.

 

 

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11 comments

  1. I initially thought this was a slightly lower budgeted Haikyuu episode, but then the Tsukki moment happened and damn those shots look great.

  2. M

    very good ep. nicely done…

  3. It’s not the easiest series to cover to begin with, because it’s so direct and eloquent in what it’s trying to say

    Then the anime is doing what it needs to do and doing it very well. It is also doing it consistently in showing the action and parts that build up the tension and gives due reward. There’s nothing really to dislike about it. All the more to celebrate the show and praise it for the fantastic production and direction resulting in an exceptional adaptation.

  4. e

    *starry eyed fistpump* I love it. I love it. I loooove it. Bless the lucky alignment of Sun Moon stars and galaxies that brought us this adaptation but it keeps delivering. And is that Oikawa in the preview? Ayeeeeee <3 Namikawa-san my ears are ready <3
    P.S.: the great passage of Yachi showing her love for words. YESSS.
    Fangirl out see you next week XD.

  5. s

    Not since HxH have I rewound a scene as many times as I did with THAT BLOCK.

  6. T

    As much as I like this season of Haikyuu, I have got to say my favorite sports anime of the season has got to be Ace of Diamond: World Series Edition. The suspense is good for my soul, bad for my heart

  7. Is that a reference to the Cubs and Indians? Because I can’t find any reference to any “World Series” edition of DnA…

    The World Series is bad for my heart, my soul, my everything. It sucks.

  8. F

    Well, the endgame of this second set was spectacular and intense so I can let it slide that the build-up in the previous episodes was kind of avarage. Now I’m also partly convinced that the remaining three (?) sets can deliver good dramatic twists and turns without being too unrealistic.

  9. T

    OK, ya got me.
    However, I don’t know if its my sense of history or some warped form of masochism, but I really want the World Series to go to game 7

  10. Well yeah, so do I – now!

  11. ….What kind of world do I live in exactly? If you’ve told me 2 seasons ago that I’d come to actually LOVE the character that is Tuskishima, I’d tell you you’re trippin’.
    But, now I do, and he’s just really that amazing.
    His character development was gonna come sooner or later, and I believe now proved to be the best time for it honestly. And I really don’t care if it came at the expense of Karasuno taking a set too soon, because that block, that strategizing, and that development, were so worth it.

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