Haikyuu!!: To the Top ep.21 – Lucky Number 7

This evening has been a rollercoaster of anime and Haikyuu was at the finishing line. First I watched the latest episode of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III. If you’ve read my review with Crow, you know it was not a big hit for me. So not the best anime start to my weekend.

But then I watched Fire Force and this season is on fire. I don’t even know how to feel about that pun. In any case, the episode more than made up for last week and also managed to get me hyped for the last stretch of the season. I went into Haikyuu not knowing what to expect.

I should have learned to stop expecting when it comes to Haikyuu. It’s a show that got me fascinated about a high school volleyball team. Obviously, Haikyuu does not care about my expectations!

Fear is a Waste of Time

This week’s Haikyuu To the Top was neatly divided into two halves. More so than usual! It really emotionally contrasted both teams. And we started off with Karasuno.

So far, in match 3, Karasuno is leading. That’s not always a good sign as an early lead is very often reversed in the end game. But still, the players seem good. Tsuki regained his control and reminded both the opponents and us that he is not to be trifled with. If Sports anime had an anti hero it would be Tsuki. Or Kageyama. What’s the name for a protagonist that’s actually kind of evil? That’s Tsuki.

Asashi scored two points. In fact, he’s been scoring pretty consistently this season. For a supposedly lame Ace, he’s sure making his presence known. You might think that Kinoshita didn’t do all that great but volleyball is a team sport you see. It’s not always about what you do yourself.

I was pretty ready to kick a twin’s rear end for targeting Noya. It started to look like it was getting to him. And a demure Noya is just not right!. And then we got an unexpected treat. OMG it’s baby Noya.

So exactly when did Noya start to bleach a streak in his bangs. And I refuse to believe it’s natural. I rather live in a world where Noya started to mess with his hair at home when he was 4 years old.

The entire flashback was sort of odd. You could be fooled into thinking that it was just pure fanservice. Not the sexy kind obviously. What does little Noya not wanting to eat vegetables or being scared of falling off a bike have to do with anything. And on top of that, it was aimless and self-defeating. He did fall off the bike and he hated the vegetables. So why tell us about it. Well because that’s Noya.

So what if you hate the vegetables, it’s just vegetables and now you now. And falling off the bike won’t kill you. Most of the time. And you might discover a great view. Noya’s mind doesn’t work like most people’s. It’s not so much that he’s playing 3d chess, it’s more that he’s wandered away from the chessboard and is eating a popsicle now. You’re not gonna beat a guy like that at mind games. So when he realized Atsumu was really strong he wasn’t afraid, he just got help. From number 7.

Samu & Tsumu

That first part was great. How do you top that? Little Noya out of nowhere. Well, Inarizaki took Karasumo’s one tiny volleyball player and raised me two instead. Two really similar looking ones!

I have always liked the Miya twins. Like I like most Haikyu opponents. They were entertaining and felt really developed and fleshed out despite having relatively little actual screen time. But it’s not like they were that special. Haikyuu is a cornucopia of amazing characters. The competition is fierce. And I already had decided captain Kita was my favourite. Crying robots get me every time.

But nooooo. Haikyuu had to drop another perfectly based background story and make both twins just so tangible and relatable. In perfect Haikyuu fashion there is no drama, no contrived or unbelievable circumstances and no twists. But there were surprises.

For instance, I had not realized that Osamu was the nice one. He seemed the less annoying one but I hadn’t realized that under all of Atsumu’s goofiness was an uncomfortable intensity and an unforgiving streak. It was also fun to see that Atsumu was actually the more excitable and outgoing one when they were kids. He remains the one that cares more about other people, Who knew.

But really, either twin only shines the brightest in the presence of the other. They are a great pair and I want to see at least one episode where they just hang out for a little while and probably get into a fight.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The thought of having two flashbacks to see important characters as children didn’t even cross my mind as an option. Had I known, I would have definitely chosen it. And that’s sort of what Haikyuu does in general. It stays perfectly within the confines of its own fiction but comes up with logical storylines that somehow just work.

I think I have spoken once or twice about the various team mottos in Haikyuu. Karasuno remains my favourite. Fly is both perfect in context and in simplicity. But I also adore Inarizaki’s We Don’t Need Memories. It’s so harsh and yet confident. It’s incredibly intimidating. Much better than Nekoma’s Connect. Poor Nekoma, that’s the lamest motto. In fact, it’s so lame it’s almost sort of endearing.

When Karasuno wins they’ll be up against Nekoma. That should be quite a match. What, you think there’s no guarantee they’ll win? You’re wrong. Hinata is back on the court and much worse for Inarizaki: Kageyama just got excited by the game. Never a good sign for the opponent!

Irina

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

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2 Responses

  1. Dawnstorm says:

    What an adorable episode, with all those backstories. I had fun.

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