Haikyuu!!: To the Top ep.25 – Pride and Deception

The fat lady has sung, all’s well that ends well and all good things… In case you didn’t pick up on it, I found Haikyuu!! To The Top to be an exceptional season of anime. In fact, after going back to older episodes, I will even go as far as to say that I prefer the art style now. Oh, someone is not going to be amused by that…

But it’s not quite over for us, dear friends. Almost, but not yet. First, we have to parse through this last episode. So for the last time this season, please do join me as I get incoherently excited about high school volleyball.

I didn’t really know what to expect. I was hoping for a random filler episode. Maybe something like Nishinoya has to go buy new shows, something like that. That’s not what we got.

In many respects, this last episode of To The Top was simply a retrospective of the season. it would be accurate to say that. And it would completely miss the best part. The first five minutes or so were dedicated to a glamour reprise of Karasuno’s win. Complete with rather heartwarming audience reactions. It really took the time and let us bask in the glory. Slowly panning over the joy-filled faces of the winners and the stunned disappointment of the losers. I actually really needed that to cap off my week.

But then it went on. It showed us the utter exhaustion on both sides. Karasuno too tired to even change their clothes, let alone celebrate in any raucous way. Inarizaki trying to somehow reconcile the feelings of pride in having played an excellent game with really no mistakes, and yet still having lost. As Kita said, the results are really just a by-product, yet it still turned out this way. It was n many respects, a very respectable defeat. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

Then the episode widened the scope a bit. It showed us the other teams, the family members, the audience. It reminded us that this is just one match, there is still a whole tournament to go!

An average three-round volleyball match lasts about 60 minutes. A bit more with the breaks in between. As in each game is on average 20 minutes. Haikyuu just took 3 months to get through that. O.K. that’s not entirely fair. I think there were about 14 episodes from the time they got to the tournament for the first game until now. So like 322 minutes about? I know that some people really hate it when sports anime stretch out matches to ridiculous lengths. To those people say:

Watch Haikyuu anyways. It’s a solid show!

I still got some of that Slice of Life randomness I was hoping for. It was really funny watching the boys watch themselves on TV. And tease other. It was endearing yet a little melancholy listening to the third years be proud of their juniors and jus a bit jealous. I enjoyed the bath scenes that were so wonderfully wholesome and of course, I loved catching up with Nekoma!

I believe those last few minutes and the closing credits, gave us a taste of what next season is going to be all about. Not only is it Nekoma vs Karasuno, the fated rivals, but it’s specifically all about Shoyo and Kenma. And boy am I psyched about that. Shoyo and Kenma are such fantastic character foils for each other. Some of the best out there. And I also just like Kenma a lot so I’m happy to be seeing as much as possible of him.

It’s going to be a lot more difficult for me to root for one team. Especially as Nekoma are going in as the underdog! Maybe it’ll take 50 episodes to get THAT match done with. I hope so! Then again, I was kind of happy hearing that Haikyuu was wrapping up. I like stories that end. It gives me a sense of closure. I’m still totally going to read all the manga!

Irina

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

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4 Responses

  1. Luke Raymaker says:

    Hey, FYI the link to your S4E24 article is broken for me. I was most looking forward to reading that one, too! Anyway, what I could read I very much enjoyed. I consume any and all Haikyuu content in my path. Thanks for distracting me all morning.

  2. Dawnstorm says:

    Kenma might be my favourite Haikyuu character, though that’s really hard to say since they’re all so great.

    As for the art style, they were showing flashback shots near the end, and that’s when I realised that I do prefer the old style. It’s not noticable, though, for me just by watching the show. I needed the direct comparison to figure that out.

    Do we know that Nekoma fangirl (or relation) near the end of the show? I can’t remember ever seeing her, but it’s been quite some time and I forget easily.

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