Haikyuu!!: To the Top ep.22 – Blind Faith

This week’s episode of Haikyuu!! To The Top was titled “Pitons”. This confused me a lot. Mostly because I was sure that piton was only a French word, and a slang one at that. You see, what piton actually means is those metal spike things use in climbing to secure the rope to the cliff face. It’s in fact the same word in French and in English.

However, in the somewhat bastardized version of French we speak in these here parts, piton means button. The kind you press down, the kind that holds your shirt closed. So I was really wondering what that title had to do with anything. I actually still am. They should have called the episode hunger! It would have been a much better title and a direct fit for the content that would have bookended the episode. Look at me giving title advice, how far we’ve come.

I knew that Inarizaki was a strong team. Obviously, at this point, they all are. But I hadn’t realized that they were ranked second in the nation. That’s like really strong. It’s impressive that Karasuno even made it this far. They’ve only been playing together since the beginning of the year and they started at the bottom. This is amazing progress when you think about it but the chances of Karasuno winning the nationals are rather slim. I mean, logically thinking.

And you can tell how strong a team they are. Sure the twins are flashy and take a lot of the attention away from the res. But this team is full of really strong members. Objectively, every one of Inarizaki’s players is individually stronger than any one of Karasuno’s. With the possible exception of Kageyama and he gets in his own way.

So the only chance my boys have at this point is to work as a team. And that’s not exactly their strong suit. They don’t even like each other that much. And like I said, they haven’t been together that long. They’ve completely changed their play style and regiment. Even their coach is brand new. The odds are just not there.

Let me get on my soapbox for a minute again. Because I’m stilled a little miffed about getting a constant deluge of Pinterest comments about how horrible the art is this season and how the show is unwatchable because of it. How is any of this horrible art? Not even touching on the arresting animation upgrade the season has had, the art itself is often awesome.

Throughout the season we’ve seen characters cry, or light up with glee or almost melt from exhaustion. There has been so much variety and detail. Fine, it’s a personal choice. But I like the art. I liked the previous season’s art as well. It’s just a bit more striking now and I think that’s a good thing.

Getting back to the actual episode. Despite the overwhelming power and talent, they are up against, Karasuno is putting up a pretty good fight. They did win a match. Even though it’s starting to look like that may have done them a bit of a disservice. And they can still get some amazing plays! Too bad they can’t actually score though.

Hakyuu did a great job getting me invested. When Hinata made that receive I actually forgot I was watching an anime for a second there. I was just so amazed that a person could do that and so proud. Like it wasn’t a drawing that can literally do anything. But that’s the magic of a great series.

But even after that, it seems no one really thinks Karasuno has a chance. Their fans are worried. They are two points behind and they lost the last match by like 9 points while winning the first in overtime by the minimum two. I would be worried as well.

While Inarizaki doesn’t seem too worried at all. I guess they think they’ve seen all of Karasuno’s tricks by now. And despite it all, they are still leading. The thing is that they’re both right and wrong.

They have seen all of Karasuno’s tricks, kinda. They certainly have a good handle of the capabilities and specialties of each player. They can sort of predict how any one of them will react. Playing against them for so long is a lot like practicing together. They can almost read them as they would a teammate.

But there are things you can’t quite see. For one, even Shoyo’s teammates have no clue what he’ll do next so that’s always going to be a wild card. For two, some of Karasuno’s best tricks are off the court. And for three, Inarizaki hasn’t seen what we’ve seen!

They haven’t watched Hinata grow and mature over the season more than he ever has before. They haven’t seen Kageyama let go of his hang-ups and allow himself to be as good as he can be. They weren’t there when the entire team worked their behinds off to get to where they are today. But I was.

I know it’s a long shot and realistically we should be happy with how far Karasuno has come already. But I’ve been watching this team all season, and I have faith!

Irina

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

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4 Responses

  1. Dawnstorm says:

    This episode reminded me again why I like Hinata so much as a protagonist. When everyone was down because they lost despite awesome play, he was excited about having pulled off a great move instead, which in turn improved morale. Winning is important, but it just isn’t everything. I just love the attitude. I also think that you’re more likely to win if you focus on playing as well as you can than if you focus on winning.

    I find sports anime a little hard to comment on, and it’s not really my main genre either, but I do enjoy them, and Haikyuu just stands out. I don’t really get why people are complaining about this season’s look either, but then I’m not very good at noticing this sort of thing. They do look a little different, but I like the look about the same as the old one.

    For what it’s worth, a random anime generator told me to watch Hikaru no Go, so I do. Not sure if I’ll make it through all 70+ episodes in one go, but I’m enjoying it so far. (I was also a little surprised at how often I had to reroll to get a show I haven’t seen, tried or have no interest in at all. Oh, and it had to be available, too.)

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