Haikyuu!!: To the Top ep2 – The Ball Boy

One random tidbit about me and Haikyuu is that throughout the seasons, it’s possibly the show that most consistently has my favourite OPs and EDs. I guess me and Yuki Hayashi have similar tastes. Also, if you have a second, go read his wiki page (it’s the link I included), how he got into music composition and arrangement is awesome.

This week, Hinata went to the training exchange where he wasn’t allowed to play and just watched then his teachers and Senpai scolded him for acting so impulsively, then he went back to the training exchange and watched some more. That’s it. That’s what happened. Opps….ummm.. spoilers…

Also, in case that previous paragraph didn’t properly communicate it. This week’s episode of Haikyuu To The Top was amazing. Well it was as good as last week so yeah…amazing!

I’ve always really liked how Haikyuu is a large cast that manages to give development and a personal voice to so many characters. But it all started with Hinata.

Hinata is a pretty straightforward protagonist. He’s determined, good natured but a bit careless and he loves volleyball. He wants to be the best and he wants his team to win but mostly so that he can play more. It’s sort of boilerplate sports anime stuff and we still like him because he fits in well with everyone else and the friendships in the team create good foils to make his personality more interesting.

Right from the first episode, To The Top flipped the script. They isolated Hinata exactly as he was at the very beginning of the series and brought him back to his roots. Alone, mostly ignored and with no one to play volleyball with.

In this way we can really see what his character evolution has been. In the last few season’s we’ve strayed away from him a little and he’s been mostly presented in the context of his connection to Kageyama. So how far has little Hinata come?

His come a very long way!

This is not the same Shoyo we knew. I mean it is, he’s determined, good natured but a bit careless and he loves volleyball. But he’s so much more. He’s anxious about his abilities and his place on a team. He’s not sure about his growth potential as everyone seems to be surpassing him despite all that effort. Hinata’s identity has been tied up in volleyball for a long time. It’s his obsession and his only hobby. He has defined himself by it and without it, what would he be. It’s a frightening though, one that the happy go lucky pest of season1 could never have imagined.

Past Hinata would have railed and whined that he wanted to play in the training matches, he would have tirelessly harassed everyone or just gone and trained 3 times as hard on his own! This Hinata seeks out the advice of his teachers and seniors. He feels bad for causing trouble and is self-conscious.

After all this time, he’s finally grown a little timid and insecure. Gone is that orange hurricane that could tear through anything and grabbed random strangers off the street to play with him so he could sign up for a tournament.

And he might be the strongest he’s ever been. The best piece of advice he was given this episode is “don’t underestimate what it takes to be a ball boy”.  Coach Ukai told him that and was by far the kindest of his seniors.

And by the way, the coach has also done a lot of growing up. Perhaps because his grandfather is at the hospital or maybe time just caught up with him. In any case, he’s been caring a lot more about his players beyond the volleyball court and it was really great to see.

Anyways, that ball boy line seems a little silly. It’s easy to dismiss. I’m sure most players would have.

But Hinata didn’t. He kept going over it in his head until he found what he needed. A purpose and a goal. What was he doing. Simple answers are usually best and I trust Hinata to come up with the simple answers.

As an aside, I’m enjoying the more adventurous visual direction. There’s a lot more playing with perspectives and deforming characters so far and I think it creates a very interesting effect that makes the entire show seem more dynamic.

I know were just 2 episodes in but I can’t help getting excited! Are you guys enjoying Haikyuu as well?

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    Strong and well-managed character development is one of the great joys of a well-told story!

  2. Dawnstorm says:

    Haikyu just doesn’t get old. Separating HInata from his setter is definitely a good way to keep things fresh.

    • Irina says:

      It’s a soft resetting of the character forcing him to go back to something more fundamental and I am loving how they are handling it

  3. Inskidee says:

    This is a really random, unrelated comment but I literally love everyone’s hair in this anime. Including bowl cut guy. How does Haikyu! Mange to make bowl cuts look so cool? It’s very pleasing seeing every character I turn to with killer hair and just an amazing design in general. Just…Mwah!

    All cool Hinata hair aside, I am also thoroughly enjoying the turn Hinata has made / been making since episode 1. I feel like there’s so much ways for him to go despite his straightforwardness. The possibilities seem limitless.

    • Irina says:

      You know, now that you mention is, that is one hella cool looking bowl haircut… Sheesh….anime is really trying to gaslight me with hair. First trying to convince me mullets are attractive now bowl cuts are cool….

Leave me a comment and make my day!

%d bloggers like this: