Alright, we’re thankfully back to the normal Production IG erm… production. Thank goodness because that animation was super distracting. ANYWAYS…
Whoa, I got SEVERELY confused when this episode started, thinking I was watching the wrong episode since it started off focusing on a Tanaka flashback when last episode ended with Yamaguchi. A little nitpick would have been to set up the flashback a little later in the episode, maybe after Yamaguchi serves or something so it didn’t feel like I was left on a stranded island or something that made the pacing of the two episodes feel weird.
I was hoping Yamaguchi would get Karasuno the game, but alas, it wasn’t his episode. I was pleasantly surprised to find this episode very Tanaka-centric as we haven’t heard too much from him in the “To the Top” season besides his friendship with the tall girl, WHICH I WILL ADDRESS LATER. We definitely got a deeper look into Tanaka’s character this episode, fleshing him out a bit more and learning more about what goes on in his head. Despite being known for his mental fortitude, this episode really challenged Tanaka, showing that even he has some really rough days.
Also disrespect on Tanaka will not be tolerated. So many characters were underestimating the poor guy, aiming their attacks at him and just not taking him seriously, which must have stung. Not to mention, he hasn’t really too much this game to really help the team. He’s maybe scored one point, but hasn’t stood out or done much as he typically does. And while Nishinoya was just doing his job, but the timing of his receive couldn’t have been any worse for Tanaka mentally. Everything started to pile up as he was constantly being blocked and hitting shots out. But the nail on the coffin had to be when despite being scared of not being able to score, even reminiscing back to when he didn’t call for a spike out of fear, he still called for it, only to be ignored. It was hard because what Tsukishima did wasn’t technically wrong, but it definitely did a number to Tanaka’s confidence.
I felt a lot for Tanaka here. Compared to the crazy talented guys on his team, Tanaka is viewed and even views himself as average. I feel that. I often compare myself to the crazy talented people in my field and feel like I just don’t have as much to offer as they can. And it can be frustrating when you’re trying so hard, but nothing just seems to be going right or you feel like you can’t live up to anything. However, mad respect to Tanaka to push through all the hurdles and doubt, feeling like he doesn’t have time to be looking down even when he has times when negativity grabs onto him. To keep trying until you get it is such a powerful action. Persevere through the hard times, until you get your chance. And the set winning point from Tanaka couldn’t have been any more satisfying as EVERYONE was cheering for him by that point. As they should.
Tanaka is such a great supporting character, figuratively and literally. While we personally didn’t get to watch him grow and develop since joining the team, it was still nice to see a bit of his journey. How he gained respect for the third years and realizing that his concept of strength was incomplete. He’s also just been a strong support for those around him whether it being an accompanying blocker or someone to lift spirits. It’s especially evident in how he was able to help get Kanoka to where she is now and be happy with how she is. Which makes me especially sad that the ship between them sunk before it even began… UGHHHHHHH… They were so cute too…
While it was an amazing Tanaka episode, there were a some other charming moments through out the episode. Such as Bokuto just empathizing so hard with Tanaka, even fainting when Tsukishima didn’t set the ball to him. But to be honest, Bokuto probably represented all of the viewers with all of his reactions. Also, when Kageyama ran under the net to get the ball, I literally said: Is that even allowed???? Thankfully I was answered fairly quickly. Thank you Mika for literally asking the same question as me, lol.
Also can we just talk about how the first words Tanaka spoke to Kiyoko was “marry me?” Why…?
I didn’t get to talk about him in the last episode because I was… distracted, but I am liking Atsumu more than I expected. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like him, but he’s just such a big loser and such an annoying brother, it’s fantastic. He honestly gives me Kise vibes from Kuroko no Basket, so that just makes me like him even more. I also laughed a lot harder than I should have when he screamed as he missed his toss to Osumu. Who is this dorky idiot and how did he become the number 1 setter lol.
Looks like next episode will be Nekoma focused, which I’m excited for since the break in the set between Karasuno and Inarizaki gives us a small lull in the action, giving us some time to take a look at the other games.