Haikyuu is back! And while I am sad about the art-style and animation change, I’m still happy we get more Haikyuu because while Kuroko holds a very special place in my heart, I admit that Haikyuu has to be one of the best sports anime out there. This was a very interesting episode, especially with how abrupt last part of the season cut out so we are flung right back in where we left off with Karasuno going up against Inarizaki.

I had such a fun time watching this episode, especially since I honestly had a lot of trouble finishing the episode because of how much I was laughing almost the entire time. The humor was just popping off every other moment through out the episode and I constantly had to pause it so many times because I was losing it. Especially when Hoshiumi just looked so OFFENDED that there was another player that was similar to him because he thought he was the only one. And I absolutely lost it when he was wondering what kind of serve Hinata would do, hyping up expectations only for him to serve normally. The comedic timing was just too good, especially with how disappointed Hoshiumi must have felt in that moment. Also poor Hinata on some of his embarrassing mishaps. HE’S TRYING HIS BEST, LEAVE HIM ALONE.

Watching this episode, I realized that Inarizaki aren’t particularly overwhelmingly powerful as opposed to Shiratorizawa, they’re just tricky just like their school’s namesake. I honestly love the visual representations of each team, Inarizaki especially. Since it shows them guarding a temple gate like foxes would. Everything about this team is just fox-like down to their playing style. Their play style is meant to throw the opposing team off their tempo and plays around with psychological warfare in a sense. It all comes down to timing as they do things on a different tempo from normal such as setting on the first touch and serving right at the whistle. And you can tell that their tactics are throwing off Karasuno big time.

Though the biggest thing that’s throwing them off is Inarizaki’s cheering squad. And oh my gosh, they are INFURIATING. In the last episode of last season when they started booing Asahi as he attempted to serve, that made me downright livid. Sure, they’re not cheating like the Snake team in the Land vs Air ovas, but oh my gosh it feels so rude and obnoxious. That method feels so cheap and I agree with Shimada that it makes the team feel like upstarts trying to make a name for themselves. I don’t know much about volleyball, but I don’t think this is the way to do that. And when the booing started being ineffective because Karasuno is just full of weirdos, bless Tsukishima and his snarkiness (never change, Tsukishima), they attempted a different tactic. Instead, they created a rhythm meant to throw Karasuno servers off. I can imagine how hard and awkward it must be for the servers to try and serve under a rhythm that they themselves didn’t set up not to mention difficult to ignore. When serving, they’re going up against not just the team, but their entire cheering squad. While not technically against the rules, it just feels so slimy and underhanded. Just SHUT UP and let the boys serve!

When Tanaka was preparing to serve, I got really nervous for him. Considering we have yet to see him make a successful jump serve and the obnoxious noises Inarizaki’s cheer squad was making, I had a bad feeling and I was not proven wrong, sadly. I was excited to see Tanaka start working on jump serves last season, even if it was just a small thing in the whole scheme of things, since I felt like it matched his style. So I do hope that he’s able to get the hang of it by some point during nationals.

But man, I’d be lying if I didn’t start screaming when Saeko came in with her taiko drums. Saeko has arrived and brought in the big guns to fight. SHOVE OFF INARIZAKI CHEER SQUAD. I’m so glad she came with her own cheering squad to help give the guys a little push of encouragement and drown out Inarizaki’s cheer squad’s rhythm. Considering what happened with Shiratorizawa, Saeko didn’t want her cheers to be drowned out again. It definitely felt like Karasuno was the away team but with their own cheer squad, they were put on even playing fields. And it just warmed my heart to see Hinata feel as if he could hit the best serve in the world because of them.

Atsumu is a very interesting character. From how he acted in the previous season, he seemed calm and collected while being mildly stuck up. I didn’t expect for him to act silly and giddy. Not only that, the guy is number one high school server in Japan and of course this guy is going to have a lot of different techniques up his sleeve. We’ve already experienced Oikawa as a powerful force to be reckoned with as a setter, so to go against someone who is supposedly even better than him is nearly unheard of. Though from what we saw of his abilities, it’s no wonder he is considered the number one setter. But I think the most shocking upset in the game so far was how he was able to essentially emulate and pull off a super quick that we’ve seen only Kageyama and Hinata pull off thus for. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from this guy, BUT IT WASN’T THAT. Even Kageyama was just filled with foreboding just before they pulled it off. How are they even going to counter that???

What a way to start off the new season. This episode wasted no time getting us back into the action. Though it did feel like it was a match between the two cheering squads rather than the teams. Inarizaki is a very unique and interesting team, but their cheering squad needs to be purged. There were a lot of familiar faces hanging around commenting about the different techniques and play styles (as sports anime does) and I was honestly surprised to see snake guy make a come back with his girlfriend. He’s like one of the only commentators there that doesn’t even know or have anything to do with Karasuno. Well, directly I suppose.

I’m strictly an anime only up until after Nationals and have been trying to keep myself spoiler free. Sadly, I saw a spoiler of what becomes of Nationals and I was pretty upset to be spoiled before I could see it for myself. The one time I don’t go hunting for spoilers, I end up getting burned. Anyways, I feel like I enjoy sports anime more in animation form rather than manga form since we get to see the movement and action. So I’m excited to see how this season plays out.

Also, can we just take a moment and admire the ending? I absolutely LOVE how they showed clips from the episode and showed it like it was being broadcasted for the other characters to watch. (Shout out to my son, Goshiki!) It feels like we’re watching the matches with them and it’s amazing. It’s also a great way to see the different characters and teams that aren’t participating in Nationals, allowing them to still feel relevant despite them most likely not making an actual appearance this season. I’m also getting some Karasuno vs Nekoma vibes that may or may not be coming soon as the ending may be hinting that the Battle at the Garbage Dump is the next match after Inarizaki.

I’m not sure if I’ll be covering this series or not, but we’ll see if it fits into my schedule well or not.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: Most likely


A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime