YOOOOOOOO!!! THAT FREAKING ENDING WAS AMAZING HOLY CRAP. Haikyuu bringing back the hype after a long time coming development and I am HERE FOR IT. I apologize for my excitement, but the ending moment was just PHENOMENAL. But phew, let’s compose ourselves and go in order.
I’m glad that the pinch server we saw a couple episodes back finally realized what he needed to do to remain on the court with the rest. Kind of like what Yachi’s mother told her back in season 2 that “joining passionate people when you aren’t going to give it your all is the rudest thing you could do.” Inarizaki is full of amazing players and the fact he didn’t give it everything he had felt like such an insult to what they were aiming for. Inarizaki is here to WIN nationals, not just come in at 2nd or 3rd or anything like that. Their school motto of not needing the memories finally makes sense as they don’t want to be bogged down by what happened in the past or else they wouldn’t be able to move forward. Honestly, that kind of thinking is rather inspiring. And I think the coach was very wise in telling Riseki to not think about what happened in the past, but “challenge yourself today.”
This episode made it really hard for me to not root for Inarizaki. But honestly, Haikyuu has been doing that for nearly all of the teams shown so I shouldn’t be surprised by this. However, I still think it’s amazing that haikyuu can even flesh out the different teams like this and not just make them out to be only a hurdle for the main team to overcome. They’re also striving for victory just the same as our guys. And while I don’t particularly care much for Riseki, he did an amazing job with his serves and being the one to help turn the tides in Inarizaki’s favor and catch up to Karasuno’s lead.
Also, a bit off topic but I couldn’t help but notice and laugh at the fact they accidentally switched two of the characters’ lines. Whoops lol.
Unfortunately for Karasuno, the tide had changed in favor of Inarizaki as they were shutting down each attack one by one. And with the team constantly trying new things during the match, things were bound to get rough. Especially when Osamu was able to pull of a minus tempo quick with Atsumu. These twins continue to prove again and again that they are a terrifying duo. But they’re still dummies because they immediately start arguing afterwards lol.
Karasuno must been feeling a lot of pressure from having the tables turn on them so sharply, enough to get them into a panic. It just seemed like no matter what they tried to do, they couldn’t get back onto their feet. Even the Inarizaki cheer squad’s cheers, that they were ignoring pretty well were starting to get under their skin again. It just felt like they kept making one mistake after another, which I’m sure must have felt so frustrating. Especially when the blockers fell hook line and sinker by Osamu’s insanely fast and abrupt change from a spike to a set over to Aran.
But when all hope seemed lost, FREAKING HINATA COMES IN WITH THE MOST SATISFYING SAVE EVER. After several failed attempts of catching a spike, Hinata, the ultimate ballboy finally pulled through. Everyone from the camp was watching and even they must have realized that everything Hinata was building up during that camp became worthwhile in that one save. I just had to applaud and yell “YEAHHHHHH!!!” for that because this had to be the first time that Hinata didn’t flail around or get hit in the face while receiving. I felt so PROUD of Hinata in this moment because literally everything he did in the first half of To the Top FINALLY paid off. And it just felt like he became a new player in that moment because he went from having to rely solely on Kageyama to be “useful” to being able to make crucial plays all by himself. Not to mention he freaking saved ANOTHER ball without crashing or slipping. He caught the ball with such intent and grace. Ugh… it was beautiful.
And while it was rough seeing that in the end, Karasuno wasn’t able to score that point, it still felt so liberating to see Hinata with all of those intended saves. I’m so glad that Hinata’s positivity about getting those hits up without his typical frantic attempts was able to lift the spirits of his teammates. Hinata was so proud of himself and it was infectious. It seemed like he was paying more attention to his newfound efforts rather than the slip up, which was probably the saving grace in that game for them. Because if he hadn’t, the team more than likely would have succumbed to defeat. And now with the help of Hinata’s optimism and craving to do more, the rest of the team is fired up once more and I’m sure will be able to put up a better fight against Inarizaki now.
But man, so many things that were portrayed in earlier seasons of Haikyuu resurfacing just felt like everything is tied together so strongly. With Hinata overcoming his exhaustion to be able to spike Kageyama’s first set to him. I was even reminded of Iwaizumi’s comment back in season 2 on how much he only cared about spikes because they were fun as a kid but is glad he was able to learn the satisfaction of receiving the opponents spikes, which sums up Hinata pretty good from how he was in season 1 to now. Hinata is slowly learning more and more of what it takes to be a great player all on his own and he’s hungry to learn more and seeing his journey has been such a great ride. Especially when we get moments like this.
I’m eager to see Karasuno back on their feet and more determined than ever to defeat Inarizaki, because we know our boys are going to fall here.