I apologize for 1) posting this entry so late; and 2) posting a late entry. I had eventful days off of the Eid holiday so I pretended I didn’t know anything about anime. That was a lie though, I actually made time to watch Haikyuu!! 17.
Episode starts with the fragile hearted and still moping Azumane Asahi until he gets reminded that we have our chibi cutie but dependable Nishinoya. We’re entering the beginning of the stage of match against Date Kogyo the “Iron Wall” (I’m just grateful they didn’t go with something more philosophical like “Shield of Aegis“). We also have our dependable commentators aka Aoba Jousai. The inner cheer from their pretty manager Shimizu marks the start.
Kageyama proves his credibility and tosses to Hinata right away. We get to see how Dateko lives up to their name by how their eyebrowless middle blocker moves very fast. I have admiration for jump serve so whenever Kageyama serves, it gets me excited. Even though he carelessly aims to the libero and the eyebrowless–hey his name is Aone spikes to Noya, which he saves gracefully. Azumane spikes but oh no he gets blocked. Noya apologizes but Azumane promises he’ll score next time.
If Aone were in Kuroko’s Basketball, maybe he’s supposed to be in zone right now because his eyes keep flashing… okay, not funny. Dateko has amazing defense that some times Karasuno gets to score due to mistakes, this alerts this tough match. Aone is actually able to read the opponent’s movements while blocking so he proves to be a tough opponent. Worry not, Kageyama hints they still have something up their sleeves. And he’s being extra gentle about it /clutches at my poor heart.
I haven’t recovered from gentle Kageyama that they decide to bring up their practice match against Nekoma (I must have made myself clear in previous entries that my favoritism shows and yes Nekoma’s fantastic captain Kuroo is my Haikyuu!! favorite). They talk about how Hinata kept getting blocked by Inuoka because he’s used to Hinata’s movements and that Nekoma had Kozume Kenma, a very smart player who reads their opponents.
I’m sorry to have distracted you with my unimportant musing. Let’s get back on track. Woah Dateko’s #6 uses jump serve, must remember his name. But we get to see the most important attack in Haikyuu!! that’s combination of Kageyama’s accurate toss and Hinata’s super extra ultra quick spike. I live for this. There’s also a glimpse of our pretty guy Oikawa how’s forever in love-hate relationship with Kageyama’s skills. Everyone begins to question who Karasuno’s #10 is, these people must have not read Haikyuu!! that they don’t know who the protagonist is. Oh wait.
I also want to highlight how happy I am to hear Tsukishima‘s voice again, he hasn’t been heard in last 2 episodes (his voice actor, Uchiyama Kouki is such a cutie and I also have soft spot for him so this is important). I’m so pleased to hear his small banter with Kageyama even though he’s still a jerk. Tsukishima gets to score (yay) but Dateko quickly makes a comeback (boo). I kind of wish Tsukishima’s pride as a middle blocker gets hurt right there because his motivation needs to be polished. Karasuno might be ahead of points but their points difference is so tight it’s kind of nerving.
Dateko’s coach comments on how Kageyama’s freak tosses were there since junior school and no one was able to toss it until Hinata came /sings. As soon as Hinata is the Vanguard, so is Aone. Kageyama made a super awesome toss to be spiked by equally awesome Hinata. Dateko calls for a timeout because “Karasuno’s #10″ is hard to handle. Everyone also begins to think that “Karasuno’s #10″ is the only difficult one. It’s actually only a plan made by coach Ukai to make Hinata shines as bright as possible he blinds the blockers.
Dateko’s captain reminds everyone that they shouldn’t feel discouraged by Hinata because they’ve grinded all spikers to dust, even Karasuno’s ace. One time Aone manages to block Hinata, he just… yells. I’m sorry I just think it’s funny okay.
After this… it’s very rare that I get rendered this speechless that I don’t want to spoil anyone but this gotta be the touching scene in the episode, if not of a few. Just, watch it yourself okay. No words from me can compare with the beauty.
Karasuno had three people jumble in the front as decoys so Kageyama can toss to Azumane in the back, who surprisingly sees the view of unguarded area, making him able to spike unblocked. Everyone’s so happy for Azumane, everyone wants Azumane to resolve his doubt as an ace “who wasn’t able to score”. Hinata also resolves how being “a decoy” feels as great as scoring.
THE ACTUAL BATTLE BEGINS! Sadly episode has to continue to next week. Boo.
Lastly, I’d like to address the issue of how I call the characters. I usually go with how other characters generally call the others, e.g in Haikyuu!! because most people call each other with last names, I always address everyone in Haikyuu!! with last names; or in Free! I address everyone with first names because you don’t hear even Rei call Rin with “Matsuoka”, right? So that’s that. But some characters just decide to confuse me, like most 3rd years and Noya calling Azumane “Asahi” or Kuroo and Hinata made me think Kenma is a last name. It might not be a big deal but I love consistency in reading so I shall apply it to my writing as well. So please don’t be confused if some characters are addressed differently, there’s always Wikipedia to help you.
See you in next review!