Man, that was certainly a lot. It feels like they crammed a lot into this episode, but I could be wrong since I never read the manga. But it’s nice to see different characters share the spotlight in this episode and it isn’t fully constrained to just one individual. However, there was a lot of emphasis on Kageyama in this episode and it definitely makes sense considering how there have been a lot of battles between the setters in this match.

Tsukishima really needs to work on his stamina because he’s losing steam fast as they near the end of the final set. We’ve always known that Tsukishima never really put his all into stamina training and just has a lot less energy than the others in general. Not to mention if Kageyama has him jumping higher than usual a lot to spike, he loses energy a lot faster so this was bound to happen sooner or later. Hopefully he can keep it up until the end because right now is when it counts since their time in Nationals is hanging in the balance in this game. I feel like this minor stumble was a foreshadowing or build up to what happens later in the game as they emphasized earlier last season that Kageyama needed to pay more attention to the condition of the players and make adjustments accordingly. So he kind of screwed up a little with Tsukishima, but he makes up for it with Tanaka.

My boy Kita makes another appearance onto the court and he’s just as great as always. However, they show a bit of comparison between him and Daichi this time around. And while are very similar in being sort of the backbones of their teams and making sure they set them straight when things are getting out of hand with the younger players. And while I’m not sure if it’s that big of a deal, Daichi is different to Kita in regards that he isn’t just set in being his team’s support, he also wants to be an attacking force as well while Kita is fully committed to defense and mental stability. Kita kind of reminds me of Kuroko in a way where he’s not supposed to take the spotlight and acts more of a supporting shadow to the team’s “light.” Seeing my two boys go head to head with their ideals was very interesting, even if the deeper meaning was lost to me. Though it felt very symbolic for Daichi’s hit to go past Kita’s black and hitting their team’s motto in the back, something that Kita didn’t necessarily believe in. Almost as if forcing Kita to look back at those words differently.

I’m actually a little surprised the spotlight went back to Tanaka since he had such a prominent one in episode 3. However, Haikyuu proves that a character never stops getting development and this was a nice example of such. I was pretty curious as to what Tanaka said to Kageyama last episode. I expected Tanaka to tell Kageyama to stop setting to him since his attacks were all getting shut out but instead just told him to not give him as many for a while until he can get his rhythm back. And while the “goody two-shoes” Kageyama would have listened to him, the new Kageyama bluntly told him no. Unlike with Tsukishima, Kageyama took Tanaka’s condition into consideration and surmised that the team needed his attacks now more than ever, putting absolute trust and faith into Tanaka’s abilities. And man, the fact that Tanaka nailed that incredibly sharp line shot was absolutely amazing, especially since he tried that same thing in the 3rd ep but failed at the time, putting them at deuce with Inarizaki. It was also really sweet to see his sister tearing up over that massive accomplishment.

I couldn’t but think about what Bokuto talked about in (… second season I think?) where his crosshots were just constantly being blocked so he worked really hard on his straight line shots until he was able to use it as a weapon. And honestly, the fact that the Inarizaki blocker compared him to Bokuto just made this feel like Tanaka is slowly becoming another Bokuto with all of his powerful shots. And it was satisfying to see Tanaka take the leap of faith and make it safe on the other side so to speak, much to Kageyama’s delight as he was able to help pull that out of him.

Kageyama has definitely changed a lot as a setter and seems to slowly becoming a setter that is a mix between Atsumu and Oikawa, just like the crow that he is and taking things he can get to survive. And from the looks of it, he’s bound to do even more growing since he seems… frustrated over something? I don’t know, Kageyama has always been a little difficult to read. But SOMETHING is up with that face he made at the end there. Whether it’s a good or bad thing will probably be revealed in the next episode. However it’s very clear it has something to do with how Hinata won’t complain about the sloppy set ups he does. But I’m not entirely sure why that is. It could be stemming from their rivalry, but I could be wrong.

But man, I really liked Kita’s long winded comment on how the “geniuses” are generally not people who are just born with talent, they work and polish it with everything they got. As we’ve seen in the flashback, Atsumu worked HARD to get to where he is and he got results. Same goes to Kageyama in a different way. If he had not worked on himself or his different forms of “weapons,” he might not have been able to come as far as he is now. He and Atsumu may have started at different points, but it doesn’t change the fact that they both worked hard to be at the level they are. And while yes, it is disheartening to see people just straight up better than you, but if you see them as someone who didn’t work to get to where they are, it’s insulting because you’re not willing to look past their results and see all the blood sweat and tears they poured into getting to where they are. Which is quite powerful. Thanks again for your words of wisdom, Kita.

There were a lot of impressive plays and fun moments in this episode such as with Asahi making that awesome line shot in his serve. Even some of the older members in the Inarizaki’s cheer squad complimented his serve much to the Inarizaki’s coach’s exasperation, which was hilarious lol. Also HAH to Oikawa and rightfully being called weird by that small child he ran past. Serves him right lol. It was also very touching to see the other teams like Aoba Josai and Shiratorizawa rooting for Karasuno since they were the ones that took their chances to go to nationals.

And while I noticed there was a lot of still and split screen shots in this episode, it was still a fun and touching episode to watch. Especially when it showed that so many of Karasuno’s players have grown so much from when we first met them and I look forward to seeing them continue growing. But this season is coming to a close soon and while it’s very obvious that Karasuno will beat Inarizaki, I’m still hyped to see just how they’ll do it.


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