Anime Re-watch Review: Haikyuu!! S1|Episode 1

 

This is one kind of post I’ve been wanting to do on a blog for a long time.  What better anime to start off with than Haikyuu!! 

Since there’s about 3 weeks till Season 3 starts off, I may be bunching 2-3 episodes together per post everyday leading up to the Premiere on Friday, October 7.  However, I do expect a few setbacks so I may start writing about season 3 sometime after the first episode or 2. I’m hoping that bunching them in correlating pairs will help streamline this; considering I’m trying to get all 50 episodes in 3 weeks. This is a highly ambitious goal in terms of blogging, but I’ve convinced myself this should help me learn to post regularly if anything. Ideally I would’ve liked to do an episode a day.

Overall, Haikyuu!! Is currently one of my favorite anime’s. The fandom is strong. From the story, character developments, and the soundtrack – I haven’t been disappointed with this show.  Maybe I’m biased since I haven’t seen many sports anime’s but with Haikyuu I really love that there is more of an emphasis on the development of the team as a whole, and the indivudual players, versus a pin-point focus on the main character and their sole development. I could go on and on, but I’ll try to write more about it in each episode.

Alright, so here we go!

Season 1| Episode 1 – The End and The Beginning

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“A tall, tall wall looms in front of me. What’s the view on the other side? What does it look like? The view from the top…it’s a view I could never see on my own. But if i’m not doing it alone…”

This first episode kicks off with Hinata Shoyo biking through town and catching the national volleyball tournament; in which he finds inspiration through a player called the “Little Giant”. Hinata takes an interest in the sport; but to no avail there is no club at his school. He tries to start a volleyball team with his schoolmates; but they’re more interested in other sports.  Fastforward 3 years, and he’s finally playing in his first volleyball match ever in junior high.  Unforutately, his first match is against Kitagawa Daiichi, a powerhouse school that is nationally ranked, and their genius setter Kageyama Tobio, also known as “The King of the Court”. Hinata and Kageyama first encounter each other at the bathroom and already get into it with one another causing them both to get fired up for the match. Kageyama is recognized as a genius setter, but his desire to win and be the best causes him to have huge attitude problems as he expects everyone to be able to  keep up with him earning him his nickname “King of the Court.” Due to his harsh personality, cracks in his team are visibily starting to form. In the end Kageyama’s team wins the match, thus ending Hinata’s junior high volleyball career. The outcome causes a rivalry to be born as Hinata vows revenge against Kageyama as they head into High School. Little did they know, they’d end up as teammates at Karasuno High.


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What sticks out to me is the obvious introduction of our two characters Hinata and Kageyama. The difference in their talent is overwhelming; but their desire to stay on the court to play and win is the same.  This is specifically emphasized in the middle of their match when Hinata’s teammate asks him, “Why do you try so hard?” Hinata confused by this question says, “huh…but…we haven’t lost yet.” These very words garner a reaction from Kageyama, who is visibly upset that Hinata still believes he can win. Slowly, he realizes that what Hinata says is true; the game is far from over. This sets off an internal dialogue inside Kageyama’s and Hinata’s mind as they continue on in their match on what it means to stay on the court. Their thoughts echo back and forth as if they’re speaking to one another. However this just shows that they’re more similar than they realize; they have the same reasons to continue playing with intensity. The internal dialogue is as follows:  Kageyama, “That’s right. It’s simple. No matter how challenging the volley, there’s only one reason we chase the ball.”  Hinata: “The ball hasn’t hit the court yet.”  Kageyama: “There’s only one reason we continue fighting.” Hinata & Kageyama: “Because we haven’t lost yet. ”

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At the end of the match he recognizes that Hinata has all the attributes needed to be a strong player. However, Kageyama feeling overwhelmed by Hinata’s physical talent and obsession for victory believes that Hinata’s talent is a complete waste because he’s not properly developed and his talents aren’t being used to an advantage. He doesn’t hesitate and bluntly speaks his mind. Due to Kageyama’s lack of social skills and terrible attitude from being “king of the court” the intent of his words come off as condescending more than anything else. The reason I think he comes off as condescending is because there is a disconnect between Kageyama’s internal dialogue and what actually comes out of his mouth. He’s acknowledging Hinata’s talent; but instead of telling him that, he says he’s wasted 3 years. However, when Hinata comes back to Kageyama with a declaration of revenge; he tells him only the strongest stay on the court and if Hinata wants to be the last one standing he needs to become strong.  These are words of encouragement and I think Kageyama sees the potential in Hinata, which is why he accepts Hinata’s challenge.

Well, that’s all for this episode! I’d love to hear what you guys thought of the first episode!

Haikyuu!! is avaialable on crunchyroll.

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