Whew, this episode was a lot. And here I thought they were just going to focus on Nishinoya like they did with Tanaka a few episodes back. But no, they cycled through several characters in this episode and I’m not sure if they got all of the development or splotlight they needed. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but there was a lot going on lol.
Let’s start off with Nishinoya. Now, this guy has proven from time and time again to be a very big MVP on the team. I mean, the guy literally picked up two consecutive attacks from Shiratorizawa in the span of a few seconds when no one else could move. THE GUY IS A MONSTER. So this was the first time where we’ve seen him actually hit such a low point in a game. He’s missed two serves sent straight at him in a row, which not only shakes him up, but the others as well as the show put it so eloquently: “There’s no way we can pick up balls that even our libero can’t get.” So without Nishinoya having their backs, who else will? While this may not be the first team they’ve gone against that used float serves, this is probably the only team that uses it consistently. He’s an ace when it comes to receiving powerful spikes and serves, but we’ve also seen that Nishinoya struggles against floaters. So it makes sense that he’d struggle against Atsumu who switches between several kinds of serves.
But with that said, there was a lot of pressure put on Nishinoya’s shoulders since if he can’t pick up the serves, nothing would start. And they were already MANY points behind already, so that’s a lot of pressure and stress thrusted upon this poor guy. And while you can do your best to try and shake yourself out of it, it’s easier said than done. So mad respect for Nishinoya being able to refocus and not get even more freaked out about what is happening. Unfortunately, unlike Tanaka, Nishinoya didn’t quite make the redemption he probably wanted as he only escaped Atsumu’s serves because he hit it out rather than giving a concrete receive. Which is unfortunate, but sometimes you don’t always get a redemption and that’s just how life goes. But maybe he’ll get a redemption later on, but I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation for it.
We move right along the line with Tsukishima vs Suna. I remember my friend complaining how they didn’t really focus on the way Suna moves a couple episodes ago so I’m sure they were relieved to see them address it here. It’s true that we haven’t really seen a spiker bend their body the way that Suna does and it’s quite amazing honestly. His range is greatly increased and is able to basically bend out of range of the blockers to get a hit in without sacrificing any power. That’s some flexibility. Unfortunately, do that flexibility, it’s difficult for Tsukishima to be able to block his hits since he can literally just bend out of the way no matter where he tries to block.
Also can we just talk about how the subs decided to translate Tsukki’s “Kimochi warui” to “jackass” even though it literally just translates to “bad feeling.” Which I felt was weird since it did not fit in the context of what was going on. If anything, a more accurate translation would have been “what a creep” rather than “jackass.” Even without really knowing what Tsukki said based on hearing, the subs just felt wrong. Though that’s probably because I’ve heard that phrase a lot and never was it ever translated like that, so it just felt off.
But just like with Nishinoya, there wasn’t any closure on this versus as I’m sure they’ll still be duking it out through out the match. I honestly hope that somehow, SOMEHOW Karasuno can take the second set as well just to kind of show off that they were able to beat the “Ultimate Challengers” in a clean sweep. And when Sugwara came in saying that they shouldn’t be thinking they should just let Inarizaki have the first set and they’ll win by taking the set 2-0, I was like: YEAH YOU TELL THEM SUGA. Show these people that you guys are the actual “Ultimate Challengers!” And while I have my doubts that they will pull it off, I still have hope because honestly that would be a cool little parallel with Nekoma and their match. Though I will admit it was hilarious when Inarizaki just glared at Suga and he just kind of stiffly walked away. And while Suga was able to snag a point off of Aran to try and wear him down, the guy proved to be a bit more resilient than Suga probably was hoping.
When Inarizaki brought in their pinch server, as soon as I saw what this guy was all about, I was like: This guy is totally a mirror of Yamaguchi. Especially since when he came into his first game, he hit the net on his serve and decided to just get his serve over rather than doing his best to make the most of being put into play. LITERALLY YAMAGUCHI. But after Karasuno scores a point on Inarizaki, I initially thought Inarizaki’s cheer squad was booing Hinata for scoring, but they were actually booing Riseki since he didn’t do anything as a pinch server. That was pretty rough… especially for both Yamaguchi and Kinoshita as they most likely felt that on a spiritual level since they basically did similar if not the same things Riseki pulled. And while what the captain said was harsh that they don’t need anyone to “just get the ball over,” it’s not wrong. A pinch server has to be someone who can score points, not just get the ball over because what is the point if that’s all they do? So I do hope that Riseki takes that to heart and will grow from that experience. Though it may take a while because OOF that was really rough.
This episode was basically the Battle of the Serves because literally so many different servers were showcased. From Atsumu, to Asahi, to Riseki, to Kageyama who just KILLED IT with his first two serves. It was an amazing play from him all four of his serves. And then the final serve to end the episode was freaking Otsumu hitting his serve way the crap out and came really close to hitting poor Yachi who was just innocently standing by the score board. I just broke down laughing for many different reasons. One because, it was WAY out. And two, poor Yachi probably almost had a heart attack. However, Inarizaki was shaken from all the plays that had been going on through out the episode and I did like that Karasuno basically was making a comeback after Suga lit a spark under them. The flow was very much in their favor. Unfortunately, a bad omen probably is coming into play because the freaking Inarizaki captain is coming into the game and even his team looks shook at the aspect of it. It was… unsettling how the music was ramping up showing him coming in and I am TERRIFIED at what this man can do. Especially since he did not look happy at what was going on with his team. I did find it weird that despite being captain, he wasn’t a starter, so I guess we’re all going to find out what he is capable of.