This final part of the set was INSANE. And I have to hand it to the creator for making all of the matches feel unique and never feels too repetitive. Each match has a different meaning, style and way to end it so none of the matches ever feel stale. If that isn’t an accomplishment, I don’t know what is. And even though we knew Karasuno was going to win, it still didn’t make the final points of the set feel any less exciting.
So the face in the previous episode was basically Kageyama being competitive with Hinata since Hinata was able to score with a sloppy set up and he didn’t want to be outshone by him. Made all the more hilarious when he made such an awesome set to Hinata in such a short amount of time and distance and just looked down on him while mentally proclaiming he won. Good grief these losers lol.
However, it seems like the competition between Kageyama and Hinata wasn’t the only rivalry to cause motivation. Tsukishima seems frustrated that he can’t quite keep up with them, salty over the fact he doesn’t have their stamina. However, despite his salt, Tsukishima showed SO MUCH GROWTH on his part in this episode. While a part of him did want glory for stopping Suna’s contorted spike, he knew he couldn’t and trusted Hinata to be there to stop it for him. He and Hinata have also become a rather great pair on the court as well, even if Tsukishima would never admit it. Both respect the others’ abilities and trust each other to do their respective jobs. UGH, I’m starting to brotp them if they keep up stuff like this.
Tsukishima gave it his absolute all in the final part of the set, a complete 180 to how he played in the first season. He pushed himself to his limits, even throwing himself into Daichi to get a one touch even when he felt his legs couldn’t keep up. He even followed Inarizaki’s banner by “challenging himself today” and serving not just to get it over like usual, he took a risk by serving it to the very front of Inarizaki’s side. Not to mention he actually dove for the ball, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do before. And if it weren’t for that little touch, Daichi probably wouldn’t have made it to clear it over the net. I feel so proud of Tsukishima and how far he’s come from the passionless snark bucket he was in seasons 1 and 2. His development has to be one of the best in this series.
Things got pretty dicey when Karasuno just started picking up the pace to try and not leave room for Inarizaki to retaliate. I absolutely loved the way they showed their line of sight narrowing by darkening the sides of the screen. And the faster they went, the darker the screen got. It almost became unbearable to watch anymore because even I was starting to feel anxious, but our one and only sunshine burst through the darkness. It just… hit so hard because Hinata was just continued showing the things he learned at the camp. Especially the thing he helped teach Hyakuzawa by setting high to help slow down the pace, allowing all the players to relax a bit and breathe. It just shows that his time was not wasted at that camp and he was able to grow into a player that isn’t just solely focused on spiking and I couldn’t be prouder. I know I’m a broken record, but Hinata has grown SO MUCH as a player and isn’t just a mere decoy anymore.
I also have to give a quick shout out to the Inarizaki libero. I haven’t mentioned him at all, but I need to give credit where credit is due because this boy has caught so many of Karasuno’s crazy attacks. I may not know his name, but he’s honestly pretty amazing through the entire match.
After Hinata having dealt the final points in both Aoba Josai and Shiratorizawa, I was curious if this match would end in a similar way. However, to my surprise, the match ended with a DENIED block by both Kageyama and Hinata against Atsumu and Osamu’s freak quick. Just from how they built up the quick, I knew SOMEONE was going stop it, but I wasn’t sure how considering the only one who had been able to block it before was still running up to the net. My mouth literally dropped when the freak duo blocked it together because that was the last thing I was expecting but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t satisfying. It just felt so right for these two to be the ones to shut down the freak quick since they were the ones who nailed it first. Sorry Miya twins, but that was copyright infringement right there.
But man, Tsukishima’s final words gave me chills by saying that the quick isn’t invincible and no one knows that better than Kageyama and Hinata considering what happened in their first official match against Aoba Josai. Which honestly felt like a reference to that match since they ended it with a block against the freak quick. Man, Haikyuu’s storytelling is just too good. I always find myself impressed with how they tie in past situations with the present. It just goes to show, you do need SOME memories to make something more meaningful today.
This was such a great match. I absolutely loved all the twists and turns it gave us and I actually do feel bad for Inarizaki, especially Kita since this was his last match in high school. I’m probably in the minority but I honestly didn’t feel bad for Aoba Josai or Shiratorizawa when they lost. I felt more like they were finally taken down a peg after acting so high and mighty. So this is the first time I felt sympathy for the majority of the team. Though I guess those feelings of being taken down a peg or two was directed more towards their freaking cheer squad. Can’t wait to see their full reaction next episode, heh. I can’t believe next episode is the last one of the season and I suspect we’re going to have to wait a while for the next. I’m going to miss this series because this season was just a RIDE.