Anime Re-watch: Haikyuu! S1 | Ep. 2 & 3

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Sidenote: Please bear with me as I’m still experimenting with different formats and layouts/structure on how I want to do these reviews.  I’ll be skipping the synopsis in this post as an experiment. Here goes Day 2 of Haikyuu! Reviews! 

In both episodes we’re introduced to 6 more characters total. Each character has their own defining characteristics, and each one has something loveable about them (for the most part), so it’s only natural I’d want to talk about each of them first — but only talk about what’s in the related episode pertaining to them. I will probably add more to their character profiles as this goes on as I’d like to do a series of blogs that highlight specific characters.  After that I’ll focus on a couple of important scenes and break those down as well.

Season 1 | Episode 2
Karasuno High School Volleyball Club

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Sawamura Koushi, Setter. Mr. Nice Guy. He’s extremely kind and seems to be the sensitive type. Other than that, this episode doesn’t say much about him yet.

Sawamura Daichi, Team Captain. He seems to be the responsible natrual born leader and quite stern when he needs to be as he tries to reign in the unruly first years that cause problems right from the get go.

Tanaka Ryunosuke, Wing Spiker. The class clown.  A little crass and rough around the edges; but he’s like the cool older brother I’d like to have. He likes to put on a tough guy act to intimidate people.

Shimizu Kiyoko, Team Manager. We’re not told much about her aside that she’s beautiful and that Tanaka has a crush on her.

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This episode primarily focuses on these two as they learn more about one another and eventually try to understand one another; but thats easier said than done. Hinata and Kageyama run into each other at Karasuno again, and immediately start engaging in conversation. Kageyama remembers him, but doesn’t know his name. Hinata, annoyed, reminds Kageyama that he lost to him last year. Kageyama states again that he does remember him, and then switches into his internal dialogue where he remembers Hinata’s athletic abilities that impressed him so much, yet Hinata doesn’t really know how to use them to his advantage. But instead of saying that he says, “You were lousy.” I mentioned this in my last post, but Kageyama’s thoughts are disconnected from his speech. He probably doesn’t intentionally want to sound mean, it just kind of comes out that way. Kageyama’s obsession with volleyball has been the only thing that occupies his mind which in turn has made him unable to express what he’s really thinking. Bottom line: he’s socially awkward.

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Hinata seems to be more aware of Kageyama than Kageyama is of him; meaning that Hinata is trying to understand Kageyama and tries to work with him like the captain wants. But, because of Kageyama’s attitude they end up butting heads more than anything else; which causes them to get kicked out temporarily after an unfortunate event.

self-centeredOn top of that,  Kageyama is focused on trying to get into the club completely disregarding the lesson the captain is trying to teach him. He’s a self-centered player, even going as far as saying that if he had the choice, he would receive, pass and spike by himself, because there was no way he would rely on Hinata’s poor volleyball skills to win a game. There’s a moment in this episode where the two of them argue about which position is the coolest on the team: the Ace or the Setter. This is the first time we see Kageyama speak so passionately about volleyball and his position. Upon seeing that, Hinata comes to the understand why Kageyama freaks out when the captain threatens to take away the Setter position from him if they lose the 3-on-3 against the other first years. Kageyama still doesn’t believe he can rely on Hinata, so he says they have to work on Hinata’s receive. 

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In other words, Kageyama doesn’t trust Hinata. That’s just something Kageyama isn’t really geared to do. In the end he has no choice but to at least get Hinata to be of some use in the upcoming match and luckily Tanaka senpai decides to help them out with some secret practices. But they obviously need a lot more work than their technical skills.

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Season 1 | Episode 3
The Formidable Ally

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Tsukishima Kei, Middle Blocker. The Angsty teenager.  He clearly has an attitude problem and is incredibly sarcastic. He also comes off as the type that’s too cool for anything. He doesn’t like the type of people that are intense for no reason.

Yamaguchi Tadashi, Middle Blocker. Tsukishima’s best friend. He’s a lot friendlier than his counterpart, and often speaks on Tsukishima’s behalf. Other than that we don’t know much about him either.

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With the help of their Senapai’s, Tanaka and Sugawara, Hinata and Kageyama hold secret practices to help them prepare for their 3-on-3 that will determine whether they will be apart of the volleyball club. Sugawara steps in to help Hinata with his receives, but after seeing Kageyama set the ball for Tanaka, Hinata asks for a toss.  Kageyama bluntly says “No. I refuse.” Then demonstrates that Hinata still can’t receive the ball properly, pointing out that this is why he won’t be tossing balls to him. Hinata posits that if he were to get better at receives,  Kageyama send him the ball. Kageyama says, “I’ll toss to anyone who’s essential to winning. Right now, I don’t think you’re essential to winning” This is important to note because later on, when the two are prepping for the actual 3-on-3, Hinata shows significant improvement in his receives.  On top of Kageyama yelling at Hinata, that he’s reached his limit, Hinata refuses to give up proclaiming that the ball hasn’t dropped – Kageyama accidentally hits it too hard and as Hinata chases down the ball, Kageyama thinks to himself, “He has a different weapon, other than a gifted physique or superior athleticism. I can’t take it anymore. I want him to stop. And in the very moment I think that…one step” Hinata saves an impossible ball and sends it back to Kageyama. Kageyama instead of hitting the ball, sets the ball for Hinata to spike. This is a turning point in their partnership as now, Kageyama sees Hinata as essential to winning…a formidable ally.

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When encountering Tsukishima and Yamaguchi; Tsukishima does all the he can to push Kageyama’s buttons. Tsukishima taunts the pair; which causes Kageyama to retorting back, “whether you give it your all or not, bottom line is I will win.” The key phrase here being I will win.  Reiterating the fact that Kageyama is still a self-centered player. This is an important scene because later on, when Hinata does get to spike one of Kageyama’s tosses, Kageyama makes the declaration “We’re going to win tomorrow.” The progression of Kageyama’s character at this point is turning him away from his self-centered ways and beginning to trust again.

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Usually when Kageyama is upset with Hinata he doesn’t shy away from yelling at him; but when Tsukishima calls him out on this history behind the nickname “King of the Court” Kageyama almost completely blows a fuse, grabbing Tsukishima’s collar; but in a split second he instead walks away from the situation before it escalates even further. This causes Hinata to be confused as to why Kageyama’s not speaking up like he normally would. There are flashes of hints as to what caused Kageyama to act this way; something that’s affected him deeply. He can’t refute whatever Tsukishima says because he knows it to be true.

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Speaking of Tsukishima, his twisted behavior and apparent disdain towards Kageyama and Hinata appears to be baseless. Why does it matter to him that these two are passionate about the sport they love. Tsukishima says “Guys that are intense for no reason get on my nerves.” He even tells Hinata to calm down and that it’s “only a club activity”; which Hinata questions “what do you mean only?” Which can lead one to wonder why Tsukishima even does volleyball if he’s not even that serious about to to begin with.  Is he annoyed with Hinata and Kageyama because he lacks the passion they have about the sport?  Tsukishima is an enigma in this episode as he is the complete opposite of everyone else on the Karasuno Volleyball Team.  It’ll be interesting to watch him develop.

Well that’s all for this session. I’m slowly beginning to realize that writing about 2 episodes in such depth is going to be a killer on my schedule…but hey this is a learning experience!

 

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