「月の出」 (Tsuki no Shutsu)

Tsukki’s Time to Shine (or not):

Let the Tsukki character development begin! The time has finally arrived… Tsukishima is in the spotlight! I’ve seen many complaints (if you could call them that) about Tsukishima this season, with fans saying that he’s the only character who isn’t getting personal development and doesn’t seem to care for the team. And that’s true; it’s become his defining trait throughout the series, with the first season only giving him the limelight in the earlier episodes and then a few killer moments in the Aobajousai match. Other than that, his character has remained the same throughout, and he’s never been pushed past his limits. As Coach Ukai points out in this episode, Tsukki never goes 100%. He’s got the height and the smarts to perfectly read his opponents moves, yet he doesn’t have the drive and determination within him to become one of the better players of the team – if he did put in that extra effort, then he could be the main force of defence that Karasuno desperately needs.

But with this episode, we’re starting to get more of Tsukki’s perspective. To him, this is just a club. The most striking moment is a simple one where his face is cut off from the shot, as he watches his teammates training into the late hours. He doesn’t see the gains from putting all his effort into it, and as is hinted by Tanaka’s sister and Tsukki’s own memories, there is much more to this than him being a stubborn pain in the ass. The details aren’t clear just yet, but we now know that his brother was on the team at the same time as the Small Giant, and for whatever reason he appeared to have an emotional breakdown, which Tsukishima witnessed. I’ve seen several anime-only viewers try to piece together the mystery and come up with what they think will be revealed, but no one has guessed it correctly just yet. It may seem to be an obvious parallel to what’s happening with Tsukishima and Hinata right now, but who knows…

Speaking of Tsukishima and Hinata, after this episode it’s made clear that these two are the opposite to one another. Their formations are usually set so that Tsukki stays at the front while Hinata is at the back, before he eventually steals the limelight. They are the sun and moon, their attitudes are completely opposite, and their priorities are very different. Tsukki may have the height and the tactics, but Hinata has the drive and the natural talent – he may not have the perfected skills or volleyball knowledge, but it’s his willingness to grow and get stronger that makes him a better player than Tsukishima. As Kuroo points out, Tsukishima should be the superior player between them, but since he feels no need to compete against the destined ace, there’s no competition to speak of.

The Team’s Evolution:

This training arc is all about the evolution of the team and the personal development of all its members (now that Tsukki is getting the focus). Each character feels like they’re learning something, practicing hard, or trying something new. Some of the highlights would be Suga messing up, Noya messing up, Asahi messing up, Kageyama messing up and… you get the point. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the this Japanese high school volleyball team. They’re all at the messy stage of development right now – not in sync with each other, but you can tell once they pass this hurdle, they will come out of it as a stronger team. They may have lost every single game on their first day of the training camp, and ran up and down that grassy hill at least fifty times, but it’s all working in their favour. As the episode progressed, they did start to score higher with each match; they’ve got a way to go, but this time around Haikyuu!! is taking a page out of Baby Step’s book and showing how important losing is in the grande scheme of things.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I’ve been anticipating this Tsukki focus since the second season was announced. Animated Yachi may have my heart, but at the end of the day, Tsukki is still probably my favourite overall character. This is the beginning of his character arc, after being the one member of the team content to stay in the shadows. We see a tiny, happy Tsukki in the preview… so where did it all go wrong? When did this become this? All I’ll say is that I cannot wait for the next episode to come around.



  1. FINALLY getting to the part where all the manga readers have been gleefully hinting about. I haven’t spoiled myself so far, so I am really looking forward to savoring it next week AT LAST. This episode went by in a flash. I like that Haikyuu is taking a step back from Hinata and Kageyama to focus on the rest of the team.

  2. Yes, Tsukki’s arc! Definitely one of my favourites. Although I’m also happy we got more Kuroo and Bokuto interactions, their chemistry is great. And we can’t forget Yamaguchi, too… Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m still a bit angry at the anime adaptation for omitting one panel (one panel! – the bottom left) from the manga in the first season. It would make a nice parallel with Tsukki telling Yamaguchi to leave him on the hill this episode.

    Oh, and with reference to last week discussion on muscles – Bokuto seems to be a bit slimmed down from the manga version, unfortunately.

    1. It does suck when some panels are omitted, since the first season was near enough a panel-for-panel adaptation, but I can’t complain to much. Still it would have been a nice addition, wouldn’t it?

      1. Well, I understand the reason for omitting panels, I just wish this one wasn’t, since I’m a sucker for parallels and symbolism. Tsukki and Yamaguchi’s development is not so obvious as the main duo’s so I feel such details matter more.
        And it’s hard not to expect 100% when the adaptation already nearly always manages to deliver. 🙂

  3. I’m probably one of the only people who think this, but Yamaguchi is my favorite character. He doesn’t get enough attention because the only notable things he has been known for so far have been being Tsukki’s yes-man sidekick and screwing up in his first and only game appearance. However, you also get those moments most would take for granted, like when he told Hinata and Kageyama that Yachi was in the advanced class.
    While most people see him as just another side character (no offense to those two second-years), I see him as someone who wants to be in the spotlight with the rest of the team but has resigned himself to the thought of never being in it. This makes him a great foil to Tsukishima, who could easily be a star player but chooses not to be.
    If you think Yamaguchi is just a useless background character, then just wait.

    1. Nope, you’re not the only one. Yamaguchi ranked 7th in the second manga popularity poll, beating three Karasuno’s regulars and such fan-favourites as Kuroo, Kenma and Iwaizumi. That was in chapter 123, and I’m sure he’s even more popular now.
      Yamaguchi’s character arc is subtle, but I see it as one of the most realistic and relatable arcs in the story. I can’t help but cheer everytime he appears on the court.

      1. Very shortly? I don’t know…

        Show Spoiler ▼

  4. Ahh how I love to see Tsukki suffer… ahem but anyways I really think, watching this episode/reading the manga, that Tsukki’s arc was especially well-written and subtle compared to the dynamic overtones to Hinata and Kageyama’s backstories, and particularly since it’s so long (which I’m sure you know only reached its climax recently). Sure, I love their stories (and the stories of everyone else tbh), but Furudate did an excellent job fleshing out his motivation (or lack of) and, as Yamaguchi said , why he’s still playing volleyball despite outwardly appearing not to care about it at all. There’s only so much you can do with all the hyperactivity that defines the main duo and I think Tsukki, Yamaguchi, Asahi, Ennoshita etc. do a splendid job of depicting the different shades of anxiety, insecurity and desperation to prove themselves that teenagers so often experience.

    1. I agree that the Tsukki arcs is probably the best-written part of the series. I want to talk about it so bad… but I’ll wait until next week comes around before I explode and gush all over the floor.

  5. I see a lot of Kuroo/Bokuto/Tsukishima fanwork and I’ve always wondered where the heck those pairings came from, but today that question was answered (at least partially). And after seeing this episode I’ve come to really love their dynamic too. I don’t particularly care for Kuroo, and I still haven’t seen much of Bokuto, but their scenes with Tsukki were a highlight for me.
    I’m really looking forward to Tsukki’s character arc and the part Yamaguchi has to play in it. Both of them deserve more screentime and I’m glad they’re finally getting it.

  6. It’s hard for me to choose who should be Best Boy of the Year though I’m sorry to Samu that Tsukki isn’t in my Top 10 candidates for it. But I still believe Tsukki has an important role in the later episodes (just like what Coach Ukai said of him being essential in Karasuno’s defence system).

    Besides, it’s good to see him practice (though he’s provoked, he still give his all aaround 50%)with the Tokyo players (Kuroo, Bokuto & Akaashi, whose name is NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the KnB character).

    Richie Kim
  7. I am so happy that I have not been around the Haikyuu message boards to get a whiff any of what is to come cus I am anime- only watcher, but boy am I happy so far!
    Because I am a hyaku paasento Tsukki fan, I was watching him and wondering if he was gonna get some screen time and development when I saw everyone practising but him.
    Either way I CANNOT wait to get the full backstory and see baby Tsukki!

    I did not know the Tsukki fan base was so large, our camp has been pretty loud these past couple of weeks.

    1. Tsukki is definitely one of the more popular characters among manga fans, but then again I’d say each of them has their own fanbase. It helps that they’re all distinguishable and each provide something different for the team.

  8. Tsukki’s always been one of the more complex characters in the series, so I’m glad we’re getting to learn more about him now, and what makes him tick. Seems like his brother’s own experiences with the sport/his team had a huge effect on Tsukki’s feelings towards volleyball. Looking forward to getting more character growth from Tsukki. Next episode should be good!

    As far as this season is concerned, even if we’re not getting actual matches, it’s nice that we’re getting a lot of character development and evolution.

  9. I haven’t read the manga, so I’m really excited to see Yamaguchi and Tsukki get their much needed development and time to shine. Throughout watching Haikyuu, while I enjoy seeing Hinata and Kageyama pull of their flashy attacks and combos, I’ve always wanted to see the other characters get their moment, and I’m happy to see it happen soon.

    Personally, this season of Haikyuu has been really doing it for me. Great character and team development with struggles grounded in reality and the introduction of Yachi who has literally made the show two times more enjoyable with her presence, and to think we still haven’t reached the exciting real matches yet. Definitely my favorite show this season, with One Punch Man coming second.

  10. Hot daman!

    I just binge read from chapter 89 to 182 and I must say… Haikyuu is much better than KnB manga by spades, story wise. Though the art needs some improvement but heck.

    Karasuno is like a big dry sponge absorbing all the water splashed at them.

    And yep. Tsukki is such a key player of the team.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Now similar to Shokugeki no Soma… now I have to painfully wait week after week for the release.

    Damn! So much freaking hype for the next chapter.

    By the pacing of the anime, I don’t think we will be able to reach Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Seems like you had fun. I can’t say I’m surprised~ As for the pacing of the anime… Show Spoiler ▼

      1. It’ll probably be another year so so wait, just like we got between the first season ending and this second season starting. I’d predict we won’t get S3 until Summer 2017, but we’ll have to wait and see.


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