“The Iron Wall Can Be Rebuilt Again and Again”
Datekou vs Seijou:
This episode of Haikyuu!! was as straight forward as they come. The first half was dedicated to the Datekou vs Seijou quarterfinal match, and even though it didn’t last that long, it was still an entertaining (albeit predictable) game. While it seemed like to could have gone either way last week, when we jumped midway into the second set with Datekou’s new team struggling against the experienced Seijou, it was clear how this was going to go down.
The main focus was on the team’s new first year setter, Koganegawa Kanji. Like his teammates, he’s tall and wide and compliments that Iron Wall of Datekou. Pair that play style with the familiar chanting of “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s Go! Datekou!”, and it’s hard not to root for the underdogs. They made plenty of mistakes (which resulted in plenty of laughs), but Seijou are simply the stronger team, thanks to their third years sticking around for one final tournament. While Oikawa is definitely the conductor of the group – making sure that everyone does their best whilst providing a few slick dunks and a strong serve – it’s Iwazumi who stood out the most. And so he should, considering he’s the ace of a powerhouse team. I know plenty of manga fans love him, though I’ve never found much to gawk over. But I have to admit that him breaking through Datekou’s defence and winning the game was a pretty epic finish. Nice kill, Iwa-chan!
Preparing for the Rematch:
The B-part to this episode was all about setting up the destined rematch between Karasuno and Seijou, whilst wrapping up Datekou’s presence in this tournament and building them up for next year. The new team didn’t perform as well as they hoped, but I suspect when the next big tournament rolls around they’ll be much more polished and perhaps go further than ever before. The rivalry/friendship between Hinata and Aone is ever endearing, and I’d like to see them face each other once again. Hinata has improved since they last fought, but in a year’s time who knows who’ll come out on top.
Speaking of Karasuno, they didn’t do too much this time around. It was strange but also refreshing to see two other teams get the spotlight, but at the end of the day it all comes back to the crows. They watched the second set and now know what they’re up against. Memories of their last match with Seijou are still fresh on their minds, and each player has something to prove. This whole tournament has effectively been building up to this match, and I cannot wait to see it in animated form. As tense as everyone is, it’s going to be a blast. Also, I’ve got to say how adorable Yachi was when she was trying to comfort Yamaguchi before making herself nervous over what went wrong last time. With Yachi on their side, perhaps things will work in Karasuno’s favour. Yachi makes everything better, after all (fact).
Overview – What’s Next?:
This simply isn’t an episode that can be dissected and discussed on a deep thematic level. If you enjoy either Seijou or Datekou, you probably got fair enjoyment out of their quick match, but the good stuff lies in what’s to come, and the set up for that in the latter part of this episode has me majorly hyped. Karasuno vs Seijou is underway once again!