OP: 「Hikari Are」 (ヒカリアレ) by BURNOUT SYNDROMES
「ごあいさつ」 (Go Aisatsu)
It’s a strange feeling to have Haikyuu!! back so soon. I’m not complaining, but this seems to mark a change in how future seasons are going to be adapted; there’s no guarantee we’ll get the traditional 25 episode ever again, but if the shifting episode count lends to the content getting adapted then what’s the point of moaning? The second season may not have sold as exceptionally as the first, but it’s still one of the best-selling of the year, so you can expect Haikyuu!!’s anime to continue for as long as the manga goes on and there’s profit to be made. It’s a blessing to have it back, as it’s my personal favourite sports anime and I know plenty of others who share that sentiment.
As someone who has been reading for manga weekly for years now, I should preface this by saying I’m biased with this upcoming match. Basically, I love it. I think it’s the best content Haikyuu!! has provided thus far, and without giving much away it is just… everything you could hope from a high-energy sports title. Everything we’ve seen from the past two seasons indicates that we’re going to get a high quality third season that may exceed already high expectations. This Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa match has been hinted at and hyped up for so long, and now they’re finally meeting on the court to put their worth to the test. Going into it, Karasuno seem like fish out of water, while Shiratorizawa are seasoned pros among the best across the country. It almost seems unbelievable that Karasuno would ever stand a chance again them, but this extra long match promises to be packed with even more surprises than we’ve seen thus far. And if you think you can predict how it’s going to play out, just remember the brutal ending to the first season. With the 10 episodes of this season focused entirely on this match, you can imagine how it’s going to paced – don’t expect training arcs or downtime this season, because that’s not we’re getting. This will be balls-to-the-walls volleyball action, and it’s sure to be brilliant.
There’s not much point in giving a general synopsis, as this episode spoke for itself: Karasuno and Shiratorizawa are preparing for their match, and we’ve got plenty of side characters returning to how their support. Tsukki’s brother is ever amusing, Hinata’s old classmates have shown their growth and provide a nice contrast from the first episode, and the comedy was just as funny as I remember. Whether it be Tanaka and Noya being as dumb as ever with their ridiculous fantasies, or the sheer contrast of the two teams, there were plenty of hearty laughs before we dive into this destined face-off.
I also really dig the new OP and ED. The opening’s crisp animation and winter backgrounds are different from what we’ve had before, and the ending takes inspiration from a similarly styled colour spread from the manga. I appreciate these sort of callbacks, and with the abundance of style it’s delivered with, there’s no fault to be found. This production is as strong as ever – almost movie quality at some points – and I predict there won’t be any episodes that will suffer from poor budget distribution. We’ve got nine more episodes, the match is only just beginning, and what a match it promises to be. Unfortunately, I can’t promise that this season of Haikyuu!! will be blogged on a weekly basis. I’m confident that it could be the best season yet, but I’d rather focus on other potential hits this season – of which there are many to choose from. I could gush each and every week, but the upcoming content of this season will be especially hard to keep tight-lipped.
ED: 「マシ・マシ」 (Mashi Mashi) by NICO Touches the Walls