2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu – Episode 4

Training camp! Training camp! We finally get to see the whole team together! I may not know most of their names, but at least we get to see the personality of the team flesh out! Yuni and Chika’s former teammate has officially decided to leave the team, which… is unfortunate. They could have pulled a redemption arc for Chika, but in hindsight that’s a drama that I’m okay on passing on because this series can’t go a single episode without drama. I don’t think we need to ask for more.

I’m kind of bummed that we didn’t get to spend more time with the other team members on the team. But I am happy that we got to see a little bit of all their personalities shine out! The rugby player, Okuma, seems like the will be a lot of fun, especially his dynamic with the vice-captain. And then there’s the character that reminds me of Prince from Kazetsuyo albeit much more expressive and athletic. I hope to get to know these two a lot better in upcoming episodes! I’m interested to know what all these characters can bring to the table. Will they fall down the path that both of Haijima’s teams have gone through? Or will they work through their differences and successfully make it to the spring tournament?

But speaking of previous teams, I’m glad that Chika was honest about wanting to do things differently than Middle School. It shows that whatever happened in the past does affect him and he wants to improve for the better. I wasn’t a fan of the dramatic build up to this realization, but I can forgive it because it didn’t seem to cause too much contention between characters. We could have easily fallen into another “You don’t want me on your team? Fine! I hate you too” type situations. Though, I do think it would have been a better idea to have Chika just outright say why Yuni wasn’t part of a majority of the practices… Chika, your word choice could use some work. But I’m happy that they were able to talk it out over the laundry because I don’t know if I could handle them being unhappy with each other after they had just made up over their last fight. Still, it makes me happy to see that Chika is interested in setting this team up for success. I’m glad he’s not an overly pompous player; he’s just someone who really, really  cares about volleyball. So, hearing him talk about how he’s helping the rest of the team build up, so all the stress is NOT put on Yuni this time, just made me smile 🙂

And speaking of smiles, when Yuni got his first shot? Good for him! It was a genuinely exciting moment especially with the way they animated the ball hitting the court. I’m proud of him and Chika for working together to successfully compete in the Fall Tournament. It’s a little disappointing that we don’t get to see them play full matches, but I think there’s still a long way to go before we will reach our destination and we only have 9 episodes left. I think I’m okay with not watching the full match – part of the reasons I’ve enjoyed watching matches in previous sports anime is because the opponent team gets fleshed out and sometimes the watcher wants to cheer for the opponent! But for this series, seeing as we still have to flesh out our own team, I’d much rather Seiin as a whole get developed rather than focusing on building up a rival. Granted there’s still the possibility for a narrative curveball, but at this point I will stop expecting to watch full matches.

And so, with a relatively happy episode we end on some really stressful drama and I have no idea what’s going on! Yori gets in a fight and Yuni considers breaking it up but! If he gets hurt that will hurt their chances at volleyball. But unfortunately, whatever is going on with Yori is also a very bad thing! Honestly, my biggest questions are “why is Yuni running?” and “where is he going”. I’m anticipating that something bad has happened and Yuni then has to decide about choosing Volleyball or something involving Yori. Though, with the way Yori spoke to Yuni about volleyball, I don’t see it as a “It’s me or him” type situation and I’m not too sure what the conflict would be. So, going into next week, I’m pretty interested to see what’s going on, but I do hope for more positive things to come to Yuni, Chika, and the rest of the Seiin team.


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