「勝者と敗者」 (Shousha to Haisha)
“Winners and Losers”

The thrill of victory and the anguish of defeat was the theme this week in Haikyuu, with the latter being exemplified by both Ikejiri and Yui. With Ikejiri in particular, this wraps up his subplot with Sawamura as well, and in a way that proved to be more meaningful than I anticipated. The scene where Ikejiri broke the fourth wall and said that if this were a piece of fiction, Karasuno would would go on and win the nationals and that he and everyone else were nothing but extras spoke volumes to me, simply because we all know that’s where the story is headed–regardless of whether Karasuno actually wins the nationals in the end. However, on route to that destination, Haikyuu (via Ikejiri) reminds us of Karasuno’s struggles in the past and that for every match where a team moves on to the next round, there’s a team that doesn’t.

This is yet another example of how well the story is depicted in Haikyuu. The characters are relatable and the heartfelt circumstances all feel very familiar to us–even when it comes to the “extras” whose names we don’t even know. While it’s always good to have a focused point of view from our main and secondary characters, this series’ tendency to take a step back and provide us with a wider perspective on how many others are going through the exact same thing makes me appreciate everything that’s going on that much more. And when it comes to a sports anime, being able to take the spectacle and the emotions all in only helps to enhance the viewing experience and make it more enjoyable.

In terms of some specific developments, it looks like Hinata and Kageyama have already starting clicking on their “normal” open-eyed quick attacks. Like the members of Aoba Jousai (a.k.a. Seijou) pointed out, it’s still a bit sloppy, which is what I was anticipating going into Karasuno’s next match against Datekou. As a team, they will undoubtedly have to try and perfect Hinata’s attack during the match to force Datekou to prioritize it as a threat and not be able to set up a three-man block time and time again. This would in turn open up hitting lanes for Karasuno’s outside hitters, most notable Asahi, who doesn’t look the least bit discouraged as he’s about to try and conquer his past demons against the Datekou’s Aone Takanobu, the backbone of their opponents seemingly impenetrable block. To that end, we should probably expect the pointers that Sugawara gave to both Kageyama and Hinata to play a pivotal role, much like Nishinoya’s charismatic one-liner did at the end of the episode.

 

On a volleyball note, it looks like Karasuno (and their opponents Tokonami) don’t even play a proper five-man serve receive, which suggests to me that serve receive formations have been completely overlooked by the author of this series (at least for now anyway) . Hopefully the series will correct this down the road when the team focuses on improving their serve receive.

 

Preview

25 Comments

  1. Going from Diamond no Ace to this show is not good for my heart. Especially when I have to deal with nearly crying over the enemy losing =/.

    I think anyone who’s played sports can relate to this pain pretty easily. Some people think it’s weird to see folks cry over these kinds of loses but you’ll never quite understand the pain until you have that crushing experience yourself.

    leatherhead333
    1. Both are excellent sports anime. Along with Baby Steps and Abarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou, these are the four best anime related to sports in the last season and this, even though the last one is basically a comedy.

      Matroid
  2. El momento en que muestran varias escenas de personajes perdiendo, se sintio…nose…tan cercano x.x haikyuu,me encanta! demasiado que duele ;-; XD espero ansiosamente el proximo episodio!!! <3

    Nicole
    1. Igualmente tia! Este serie me tiene enganchado totalmente! Yo jugue volley en secundaria y mi cole tenia un equipo masculino y femenino y el dolor de perder, de cualquier de los dos equipos, se sentia. Haikyuu me hace sentir los emociones de mis anos en secundaria. INcredible!

      Miaminights
    2. No jugué este deporte pero jugué Basquet y fut, y sé cómo se siente perder así y ganar también, mis equipos eran muy unidos y tengo muy bonitos recuerdos con eso, amo que este anime pueda trasmitir esa clase de sentimientos por los que muchos hemos pasado. 🙂

      Pimpolla
  3. All the Bromotions. What really captivated me about this series, especially in the first few episodes, is how well the series transitioned between backstory and forestory, comedy and seriousness, volleyball and character developments, etc. The list goes on. It felt a little choppy last episode, but this episode it comes right back at full strength with all the emotions and smooth transitions I’ve come to expect from this series.

    I thought it was great how they combined Ikejiri and Yui’s dialogue to expand on the sense of loss. I’ve definitely felt that way as seasons have come to an end; it’s funny how you realize after the season’s over that you wanted to practice harder.

    Another interesting contrast was how Ikejiri and his team turned into what Karasuno once was, the underdog. Looking from his side of the court to Karasuno’s was reminiscent of Hinata looking at Kitagawa (Kageyama’s team) side of the court. Following on this point, I think that was the major significance of Hinata looking back at Ikejiri, he was once that guy, the one who lost in the first round and had to go home despite wanting to play more… Volleyball.

    Rigelin
    1. While it’s not unheard of, making a Libero the captain does have some limitations. Namely, he would only be on the court for half of every rotation and would have to rally the team from the bench for the other half.

      1. Well, Nishinoya currently subs in for both Hinata and Tsukishima, so he’s only off court when one or the other is serving. Even if he was side-lined for half of the rotation, however, I don’t think rallying the troops would be too difficult for energetic team member #1, lol.

        randomly
  4. This episode was so deep, especially that first half! It really hits you, remembering the times you’ve lost in a match. They did so well in that part!!
    The cast, the story, the entire series–everything is so lovable!!

  5. I get the feeling the author prefers writing from the underdogs perspective. I agree that it was very good despite the shift in focus to Ikejiri and the girls’ team. The way they framed that one long play, with the perspective constantly switching between teams.. Wow. Absolutely fantastic.

    Also minor question: How accurately have volleyball tactics been portrayed so far? I’m no scholar of the sport so it looks pretty spot-on to me, but I wouldn’t know any better. I get that Karasunos’ defence is pretty scattershot, but since that seems like a genuine plot point I expect it will be addressed later on.

    whemleh
    1. In terms of volleyball accuracy, some stuff’s been pretty good, but there are some scenes that make me wonder if it’s the original author that’s made a mistake or if it’s Production I.G’s adaptation that’s made a mistake. The serve receive formation I mentioned in the post is one thing, but shots like the one below where Kageyama is facing the right side of the court and back-setting to the left (i.e. power) side to Azumane isn’t right.
      https://randomc.net/image/Haikyuu/Haikyuu%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

      The same goes for the play below where he sets to Sawamura on the right side (i.e. offside) hit.
      https://randomc.net/image/Haikyuu/Haikyuu%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2013.jpg

      Unless it’s a broken scramble play (which these were not), Kageyama should always be facing the left side of the court to set. In the second case, he should be back-setting to both Hinata and Sawamura. Hinata is faking a 6-2 quick set (i.e. just behind the setter)–just like in an earlier play seen below–and Sawamura is hitting from the right side.
      https://randomc.net/image/Haikyuu/Haikyuu%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2010.jpg

      In volleyball, a setter will always try to take a set in the same position (i.e. the 6 position along the net if the net is divided into 7 evenly spaced “zones”) because they don’t want the opponent to know how they’re going to set until the very last moment. If the play leading up to the ball landing in his hands is always the same, the setter can be really deceptive with how he’s going to set. Kageyama has shown that he’s really good at reading his blockers and being deceptive with his sets, so there’s no reason why he would be setting from all over the court.

      There are probably other inaccuracies, but these are just a couple that come to mind in this episode.

      1. Maybe Kageyama is in those weird positions because they can’t pass. The passes are high enough that his quickness gets him to the spot, but (as I type this…) yeah, he’s turned the wrong direction at the very least. Who know’s? Maybe the P.I.G. Is reading from a flipped, westernized copy of the manga and everyone is left-handed.

        It’s jarring to see in one shot Kageyama standing forward when receiving serves when he should be hiding closer to the net.

        Bakapooru
      2. I LOVE THIS. I was the manager of the boys’ volleyball team in high school, and while I like to think of myself as knowledgable about the sport because I used to keep track of stats, attend practices and score-keep, I TOTALLY missed the fact that Kageyama was facing the wrong direction on his sets. Most likely this was just an artistic decision, but if the author is purposely facing Kageyama this way sometimes, my guess would also be that he’s compensating for the team’s lousy passing skills. It’s not too uncommon to see shoddy JV teams with setters chasing lousy passes all over the court, after all.

        randomly
      3. Went to have a quick check with the manga. The first shot is not in the manga as the match was given very few pages. The second shot is in as it is the final point. It is drawn as shown with Kageyama facing right. I do not think that it is a mistake. Considering that the team’s receives are generally not that good, the pass towards the net may have necessitated Kageyama to face right as there’s no one on the left and easier to face and set the side that has 2 players available to spike. Flipping forward a few chapters of action sees the side he is facing restored to facing left to set.

        leongsh
      4. That’s really helpful explanation! I have hardly played volleyball in my life, and don’t understand the rules at all. I appreciate that someone knowledgeable can put things into perspective.

        Matroid
    2. The setter on my team in highschool never had a set facing position. He could set a ball facing right, left, at and angle. /shrug

      But isnt that the point of having Shoyo as the “fake” position in the middle? To throw off the blockers and set the ace in a position to take advantage of the quick set? Maybe im not reading the comments correctly. But after a serve I recall shuffling multimple positions in front 3 and back.

      Miaminights
  6. Awesome effort on the speed to get this up quick. As for the volleyball note… the beauty of multipoint substitutions should be played out later on… specially with ace serving already highlight in this episode and the last.

    What will be interesting is how the story will turn up better teamwork or skilled teamplay to counter the teams current skillset.

    I love the action animation on this sport anime… really worth a thumbs up on that part. Pity the girls team lost maybe we’ll see them mingling now as part of the bench…. the crossover between 2 storylines was a very nice touch… this is sizing up to be my favourite even though SAO II is out….

    Ronin
  7. I played Volley in Highschool and traveled across central america for tourneys and this aniem just hits such a heavy note with me. Losing in Tourneys in Salvador, Costa Rica and the such was CRUSHING. I can feel every characters pain and jubilation. The feeling that you CAN win even against a better opponent just stikes such a deep cord with me.

    Ther are some oddities in the positioning and rotation pre and post serve but hell the personal touch of each player/team is so close to accurate (clearly I dont know what the defeated opponents felt)it really takes me back and connects me with the characters. This show is truly touching well on the emotions felt during a tournament but also pointing out the complexity of team volley.

    Damn I love this anime!

    Miaminights

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