I used the managers for my feature image. The ladies really haven’t been getting much screen time this season but I’m always happy to see them. So they get the top spot in my post.
I have been enjoying watching Hinata and Kageyama grow so much that I didn’t realize how much I was missing Karasuno. How could I forget something so basic. That’s skills folks. And it says something about Haikyuu!! that this season made me forget about the rest.
“Somehow seeing them argue puts me at ease”
I may have forgotten for a little while but the second the entire Karasuno team started piping up in that familiar gymnasium, it hit me. I missed these guys and I missed this place. In haven’t properly seen the whole team together since season 3. And handling a big cast is something that Haikyuu does exceptionally well so this was a welcome return to form.
And I can already see that they’ve really smoothed out Kageyama’s rough edges. He fits in with everyone else so much better and it’s nice to see. I felt like I was watching my friends goof off together after not seeing each other over summer vacation or something like that. It was a good feeling.
I really liked the fact that Karasuno’s team hasn’t just been standing around waiting for Hinata and Kageyama to come back. The episode made it clear that they’ve been working hard all this time and each of them have made progress in their own way.
Haikyuu to the top has been including some more experimental animation with exaggerated hyper deformed angles and rubber physics. This is a potentially controversial decision. I know that a lot of people don’t necessarily like this style of animation. It is generally considered less “pretty”. But I find it very interesting to look at and it’s a very good choice for Haikyuu. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, you could see it this episode when Hinata was practising with Kageyama and trying to put his weight on the ball of his feet when jumping.
I also enjoyed the running gag of Hinata being interrupted just before he could hit the ball. Haikyuu is not a comedy per see but it’s been good about injecting humour into most season and so far To The Top has a nice light hearted athmosphere that breaks up passion with levity and hasn’t dwelled on anything.
I should look up if the director has changed between seasons. The production and visuals really are much more playful then they have been in past years.
Weirdly, we haven’t had an actual volleyball game all season. It’s pretty sad when a classic sports anime forgets to include the sports. Not that I’m complaining, I’ve been having a great time.
I’ll come clean, I don’t remember the Date Tech team so much. I remember the name and a few of their players but I can’t quite place their pas games so I’m not sure what kind of emotional attachment I have to the team. For me, that’s a bit of a problem. I don’t care for watching sports enough to get wrapped up in a match if I don’t have some type of backstory. So I was torn. On the one had I do like the matches and I have managed to get into them enough to be cheering like crazy in my living room. On the other hand, we usually get a build up and introduction to the rival team and it seems I was suppose to remember them for past seasons. Ooops… They should bring back Nekoma. I miss those guys.
I had to dig through my memory a bit to remember the volleyball basics I picked up from pas seasons. Luckily, seems I’m not completely senile and I managed to get back in the swing of things pretty quickly. Blocking matches aren’t the ones I find most exciting though so that was a bit of a downer.
What was more interesting is how much the episode was insisting that the blockers were putting pressure on the Karasuno team. Not Hinata cause he’s sort of oblivious but everyone else. Mostly Tobio in fact. We had a lot of characters plainly state it, the visuals all metaphorically implied it, even Kageyama thought about it at some point. Yet he was having more fun than he has in a long time. That’s awesome.
Am I the only one who thinks smiling Kageyama is creepy…
If there’s one think the first half of this practice match thought me, or rather reminded me, it’s that Nishinoya is a really good player. I actually only learned what a libero was because of this character. That’s why I’m really really wondering what Kageyama is on about. For me, this is possibly the most effective cliffhanger of all the shows I’m watching this season (lots of cliffhangers this anime season). Now I really want to know what happens in that second half.
So yeah, I got into the game after all. It took a few minutes but now I’m all in!