“Declaration of War”

「宣戦布告」 (Sensen Fukoku)

Karasuno’s Victory – Onto the Finals:

It’s funny comparing this finale to what we got last season. While before Karasuno had experienced devistating loss, here most of the episode is one giant celebration. As a Haikyuu!! fan, I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to this season. I loved seeing everyone’s adorable faces sleeping on the bus (I too would be exhausted after the two games they played back-to-back), and the back and forth it allowed between Hinata and Kageyama (“My drool isn’t gross!”). But the most rewarding scene had to be when they returned to the school to see their teachers and classmates cheering them on. Finally, after years of defeat, Karasuno are making themselves a reputable name again.

Interestingly enough, most of the second half of this episode was anime original, which I was expecting. There was a particular sequence that was cut out (which may be saved for the premiere of the third season – I hope they don’t cut it out altogether!) in favour of a more fitting ending. They expanded the scenes with Hinata, Kageyama, and Yachi, which was the best three to get that extra focus. I would include Tsukki in the mix, but these three are definitely the “main characters” of the series. Hinata has developed tremendously over this past season, Kageyama has surpassed the king who feared and overpowered him, and Yachi has just been a darling. Can you remember a time where Yachi didn’t exist? Her arc in the opening episodes of the season was among my favourite of the whole series – her relationship with her mother gave us something genuine and rare – and she has been the best new addition to the cast. I look forward to the time where she can take over Kiyoko for good. I think she’ll do a fantastic job.

Seijou’s Defeat – Oikawa’s Pride:

The parts of this episode that were in the manga was the aftermath to the match. In classic Haikyuu!! fashion, Seijou’s tears came like waterfalls, except for Oikawa. It’s a shame that this is his last professional high school match, because he’s such a brilliant character. He’s entertaining enough with his charming ways, but there’s a real fire in him that comes out from time to time. His history with Ushijima makes their encounter the most powerful scene of the episode, where he promises that his volleyball career is far from over and that Ushijima should never forget his worthless pride. It’s one of my favourite moments from the manga – and while it was well adapted here, it’s a scenes that works better in print, with strong panels and aggressive artwork. Unsurprisingly, however, Ushijima sees his team as the strongest – and he’s probably right, as they’ve remained at the top of their game for three years now – which makes the prospect of them facing off against Karasuno even more exciting.

Overview – Final Impressions:

And just like that, it’s over. It only feels like a few weeks ago when I was hyped to watch the first episode of Haikyuu!!’s second season. Some people complained that the training arc went on for too long, but I wholeheartedly disagree. If it didn’t exist, or if it was even half the length it ended up, Karasuno’s improvements and victories wouldn’t have felt earned. Haikyuu!! manages to stay away from the typical overpowered Weekly Shonen Jump tropes that permeate their sports series, and that became even more evident after seeing them grow and improve as players, facing off against some of the strongest teams across the country.

My favourite arcs of this season would have to be Tsukki’s backstory, Yachi’s introduction, Ennoshita’s flashback and stepping in as the captain, and of course, Karasuno’s match against Seijou. I’ve already touched on why I loved Yachi’s arc, but Tsukishima’s flashback was the moment I (and many other) manga fans were anticipating, and it totally delivered. It was devistating but believable, and set Tsukki on a proper journey – to find out what it means to love volleyball, and to one day have that “moment”. Ennoshita’s story turned out way better than I remember it in the manga (though I remember liking it a lot back then), while the final match was just adrenaline pumping goodness to the max. There were so many times where I pushed away my chair and just screamed at the screen with coiled fists. Honestly, I can’t think of any other anime that gets my blood pumping to that degree.

But for as amazing as this past match has been, let me tell you that what awaits us is even better. We don’t know how long the third season is going to be (though I’d hazard a guess and go with 1-cour), but its working title is basically “Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa” which should give you an idea of what to expect. The Haikyuu!! anime has always delivered with its volleyball matches, so I cannot wait to see what Production I.G do with this one. It’s easily the most grand, epic, heart thumping, and gripping match of the entire series. I wouldn’t want anyone to be spoiled for the details, but ask any manga fan just how good (and exhausting) it was to read week-by-week, and you will realise the best has yet to come.

Get. Hyped.

Full-length images: 22.



  1. I can’t begin to give enough praise to Production IG for doing such a fantastic job with Haikyuu. After 2 2-cour seasons some attrition would be expected, if not outright forgivable, but week after week the Haikyuu anime has delivered the quality, the laughs, the tension… No small part of that it thanks to the source material, of course, but I really appreciate what Production IG has done here to let this series flourish as it has.

    Now, with that said… SEASON 3 HYPE!!!

    1. Agreed with all that you said. This is truly the adaptation every manga deserves but so few get. We Haikyuu!! fans have no right to complain (and thankfully there aren’t many).

  2. I love Ushiwaka’s voice, especially when he says “Hinata Shoyo”.

    This season made me break my rule about reading the manga of a current anime after Kageyama and Hinata’s fight. I regret nothing. I know what it comes, I know the results and yes, it can be exhausting, but is so epic and rewarding, I can’t wait to see them fight the unstoppable force that Ushijima and Shiratorizawa are.

    We got so much this season, my favorites: Yachi, Bokuto, Johzenji, Yamaguchi and Tsuki’s developement, Ennoshita as future Captain, and finally Seijoh, the best kind of rival a growing team needs.

  3. I am so hyped right now. Bring on season 3!!
    Also thank you very much for your coverage of this series, Samu. Here’s to looking forward for more when S3 comes along. I’m happy to know that there are many people who enjoy what this show has to offer, and we all get to share in the excitement and joy of it.

    1. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my reviews. This has basically just been an oppertunity for me, as a massive fan, to gush over all the great things the series does. It’s been fun!

  4. A great ending to a stellar season!

    That meeting between Oikawa and Ushijima… They might not have been visible, but the sparks were there! Ushijima is also pretty conceited, though I suppose it is earned (but really, “the team I’m in is the strongest team”? That’s almost as bad as “I’m strong!!!” from Yowamushi Pedal lol)

    On a nitpicky side of things, there were a couple things that felt off. Most of all, that news flash on their match’s ending was… Really weird due to the shots used (Reusing visuals, I know, but it hurt my immersion). I also felt the whole school staying to cheer for the valleyball team felt a bit excessive, but it felt so good it didn’t matter.

    1. Karasuno was on the news alright but still Show Spoiler ▼

  5. Gah, I couldn’t help but feeling bad for all the Seijou players, specially Oikawa, but after his conversation with Ushijima and DAT face he made, I knew he would be alright xD The episode kind of flew by (as all of them do) and when they encountered Ushijima at the end and got all pumped up, gosh, I thought ‘oh man, we gotta wait 6 months to see this’ and I felt so sad ;_; but yeah, there’s nothing we can do about it, so I’ll just have to re-watch the whole series again and again while I wait impatiently XD

  6. *insert excessive praise for Production I.G. and how they have handled the whole season BRILLIANTLY*
    and now, I’d just like to say I’ve been enjoying your weekly analysis/review for every episode. among my friends, I’m the only one watching Haikyuu, so the camaraderie here (from the original post and the comments below) has been enjoyable. I look forward to your reviews about season 3 in six months’ time. *cries at the length of time we have to wait*

  7. Can’t wait for the next season! Haikyuu, along with Hajime no Ippo, are my favorite sports anime. The sheer exhilaration i feel watching each point, set back, step forward is so unbelievably rewarding. Cheers to the source material and Production IG.

    1. Hajime no Ippo is great, I’d recommend it to any sports anime fan who has yet to watch it. It’s a classic. And agreed about Haikyuu!! being my favourite sports anime (unless it wasn’t obvious already…)

  8. New season will be great. Can’t wait to see the rest of Shiratorizawa. And a certain character returning in glasses…

    Thank you for blogging this series, Samu! I remember you choosing Yowapeda GR as the best sports series last year, is there a chance you’ll be blogging the third season of bikes when it finally airs?

    1. I can’t confirm anything yet, but probably not. I did think it was the best sports anime last year, but I don’t have as much affection for it as I do for Haikyuu!! or other anime airing later on. You’ve always got Enzo’s blog for YowaPeda coverage though!

      1. Samu great work on the summary and love reading you post.

        Episode 24 by far beat all sport animes ever seen out of the water. I loved Big Windup and Giant Killer but this one episode was the pinnacle the drive the end the start lol. I couldn’t care what happened at the end lol.

        Now Season three is coming Oct this year so I hope that they can do what they did again. The pause, start and dramatic music gave it a world cup feeling.

        BTW are you looking forward to Days the Soccer anime. I don’t know when it is out but from the trailer it looks like another real life anime compared the godly powers of the Knight of the Area or Wild Striker.

      2. Thanks! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my coverage.

        I’m looking forward to Days as well! But also All Out!!, and Battery, and Yowapeda S3, and Haikyuu!! S3. There’s so many sports anime coming out this year. It’s like 2014 all over again (but possibly better?)

  9. This season was fantastic!! Next season may even better!! Props to Samu on delivering fantastic coverage each and every week!!

    However one minor point: if Oikawa doesn’t show up in any future story threads, it would be a crying shame. He’s too much of an entertaining and well – developed character to simply leave, heck he’s pretty much the driving force (along with his team) for 2 full seasons for Karasuno to get to where they are now!!!


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