I have mixed feelings about Haikyuu!! 19 (I still love the series to bits) but it’s match against Aoba Johsai which also marks the beginning of the end of season 1. Assuming there would be 25 episodes, then there’s only 6 episodes left. We’re in this together, everyone, we can do this.
Episode starts with Oikawa Tooru‘s (aka the captain of Aoba Johsai, also the setter and the series’ pretty guy) flagship skill, his powerful jump serve. Karasuno team points out how his serve has not only power but also nasty control. And yet, they still don’t know what kind of a setter Oikawa is. “Setters are like orchestra conductors. Even if you have the same song and orchestra, if the conductor is different, the sound is different.”
Kageyama explains that Oikawa and Aoba Johsai’s #4 Iwaizumi are friends since middle school that’s why they’re highly syncronized. Whereas the rest of the team looks distressed, Hinata and Nishinoya exclaim how they can’t wait to play them. I feel obliged to explain that Kageyama is a bit pressured in this match because he’s Oikawa’s junior in middle school. Oikawa taught him how to do jump serve but on the other hand, Oikawa admits that Kageyama’s a better setter than him. So yeah. Complicated feels as always. Karasuno come back to school and get told that local TV is airing Interhigh preliminaries. And I think it’s been only mentioned once but this series’ arc opponent for now is Shiratorizawa Academy, that has the ace player Ushijima Wakatoshi. This information might be important so please remember this, write it on post-it and stamp it on your refrigerator door or something.
Then they move on to the segment about the block where Karasuno played at but of course Aoba Johsai is the one being highlighted. And after 349380 times, about his dashing looks and popularity. Karasuno is introduced as a team who beat Date Kogyo, who’s expected to be tournament’s top eight. Instead of showing Karasuno, TV crew interviewed Oikawa about Karasuno and he answered he hoped they’ll go for broke. Oh man, one scary thing about Oikawa is his dripping sarcasm okay. Pissed off, the team go off to gym to have a meeting.
Coach Ukai talks about they managed to catch Dateko off guard with their quick strike because it’s the first time it was used against them. They played Aoba Johsai before so their opponent might have been used to their attack. And with Oikawa’s unavoidably controlling serves, they’ve got a lot to do. Ukai also ensures them that even though they think Aoba Johsai is strong, that’s what they originally thought about Dateko too but they won. After the meeting, Kageyama’s still gloomy but then Hinata’s like “We’ll beat the Great King (what Hinata calls Oikawa) and be on TV so practice looking good!” I love Hinata, such a sunshine. Oikawa’s dripping sarcasm continues when Iwaizumi tells him to not stay up late to watch the recording of Karasuno against Dateko match.
It’s the match day! Both teams doing warmups on place (with some tiny bits like their supporters appearing). Please ignore Oikawa’s throwing insults at Iwaizumi but yes you may stomp on his face later. When the match’s about to start, Kageyama remembers how Oikawa won the best setter award back in middle school (tiny younger Kageyama squee). All the longing stares. Oikawa finally approaches Kageyama to tell him he’s going to take him down. When Kageyama’s about to reply, Hinata butts in. Ah my favorite duo. Both teams do their cheer and for Aoba Johsai, it’s enough of Oikawa muttering one line.
They start with Oikawa’s setter dump and it takes the entire team by surprise. Oikawa even tells Karasuno he’ll be doing it again. Aoba Johsai receives Hinata’s quick strike and Oikawa jumps, making everyone think he’s going to do dump again but then he quickly switches to toss to Iwaizumi, scoring another point. Have a scene of fangirls crying (usually I’d be like that but not for Oikawa okay). Karasuno’s captain, Daichi reminds Hinata and Tanaka that their own setter is equally skilled. Noya receives the serve and Kageyama’s about to toss, but unknown whether it’s to Hinata, Tanaka or their ace that stays in the back, Asahi… turns out Kageyama does a dump instead.
Kageyama says the same exact thing as Oikawa said to him earlier. “I’ll be doing the same thing again. Pay attention!” Kageyama really hates losing, doesn’t he (as pointed by my bb Tsukishima). It pisses Oikawa off (yes).
I usually have 10+ pictures in Haikyuu!! entry but this episode is just a warmup beginning of the match. Things will get harsh from now on. PS: I caught up with the manga, I mean I already did weeks ago but I avoided Aoba Johsai match like a plague because I wanted to be surprised when I watch but turned out I wasn’t patient enough to be tortured for 6+ weeks? So. See you in next review!