I feel bad for delaying this review for so long, but I’ve recently been in K Project mood thanks to Missing Kings movie (I don’t feel bad for pimping another anime in different anime entry, sue me). But here it goes, my favorite volleyball anime Haikyuu!! 22. Also, this is the only episode I actually feel sorry for Oikawa so it’s worthwhile.
Picking up from previous episode where Kageyama is back in action on the court, replacing (angel) Sugawara. Gloomy Kageyama feels like he at least has to match up with sunshine Suga so he attempts a smile. Everyone thinks it’s a scheming face, even Hinata retreats a little back further. The scene is cute, but we’re getting back on business with our favorite combi.
Kageyama’s first serve on the court hits service ace right on Aoba Johsai‘s libero. Tanaka asks for a high-five (I don’t even know why I’m noting this, but it’s funny okay). Earlier, Oikawa discovered some signals used by Hinata and Kageyama but this time they don’t do any, much to Seijoh’s side dismay. Sugawara comments on how Kageyama’s playing like he’s fish in a water and Tsukishima and Yamaguchi just out of nowhere think about Tobiuo (= flying fish, Kageyama’s full name is Kageyama Tobio).
After few points, Sugawara notes how when Kageyama’s around, Hinata’s the best (because of attacks combination). But it also works on Hinata, how when he’s around, Kageyama’s the best. It’s Tsukishima’s turn on the court and even Coach Ukai thinks about how Kageyama doesn’t get along well with Tsukishima lol. Even Oikawa realizes this, commenting on how Kageyama has the hardest time accommodating Tsukishima. I’m really enjoying these minutes of Kageyama vs Tsukishima, I’m having the best moment.
Even though Kageyama tries to read Tsukishima’s expressions, he can come up with nothing but being pissed off seeing his face. As expected, they’re having hard time on the court because Tsukishima seems to be unable to hit Kageyama’s tosses with all his might. Karasuno calls for a timeout. Kageyama counters Tsukishima, asking how should they do it so Tsukishima replies with how he has his own way to do things, that Kageyama’s not the only one thinking about which course of attack would be the best because generally Kageyama’s the only one deciding the spikes.
Kageyama agrees to go with Tsukishima’s way, putting everyone into a shock because he’s not usually agreeable. Tsukishima ends up doing a lot of feints but even though Karasuno scores one point, Aoba Johsai keeps getting back another point after. So at one deciding rally, Kageyama’s doing his best accommodating Tsukishima’s spike and somehow Tsukishima’s hard spike gets through.
Just when Karasuno’s at set point, Iwaizumi scores a point and unfortunately brings the serve turn to Oikawa. It terrifies everyone so much it gets a commercial break after this. Aah flashback, the mandatory element. It’s flashback of Oikawa and Iwaizumi during middle school. Iwaizumi narrates how despite Oikawa’s build, talent and development, he’s still unable to climb over the wall that was Shiratorizawa‘s Ushijima Wakatoshi, the best player in the perfecture.
Whenever Kitagawa Daichi (Oikawa’s junior high) fought Shiratorizawa, they never won even a set. Up until third year of junior high. And then, Kageyama appeared, that time it was clear that Kageyama’s a natural genius and already few levels ahead of others. Sensing a threat to setter position, Oikawa practiced even harder. At one practice match, Oikawa panicked and messed up and ended up being replaced by Kageyama. One evening, Oikawa practiced till late and suddenly he’s approached by Kageyama, asking him to teach him how to serve. Piled up with stress and insecurities, Oikawa almost snapped if not for Iwaizumi preventing it.
Oikawa reasoned because he can’t even win against Shiratorizawa. Iwaizumi headbutted him, saying he didn’t fight alone. Iwaizumi lectured that it’s teamwork that’s most important that maybe six people in a team could beat Ushiwaka. The next day, thanks to Iwachan, Oikawa seemed to regain his composure. For some minutes back then I totally felt sorry for Oikawa until he did this when Kageyama asked him to teach him how to serve again.
At the last junior high tournament, they won first set against Shiratorizawa, but ended up being in second place. Oikawa won the Best Setter award (totally thought he’d have winning speech and all). Oikawa and Iwaizumi swore that when they got into high school, someday they’d definitely beat Shiratorizawa. Oikawa also threatened Kageyama, no matter where he’d be going, Oikawa would crush him.
Okay guys we’re back in present now. Oikawa hits the powerful serve but Nishinoya continues being amazing as usual, saves it. It goes right to the setter, Tsukishima predicts it’ll go to the center spiker (can we talk about how amazing Tsukishima’s voice when he analyzes and is in pitch) but Kageyama pulls at his shirt and correctly predicts it’ll go to Iwaizumi instead. The spike hits Tsukishima’s block and Karasuno wins a set (screams).
Oikawa concludes that Karasuno’s right now is making comprehensive decisions and able to read the methodical thinking. That Kageyama’s trying to peel off his “dictator king” title and becoming a “decent king” instead (don’t look at me, I’m only borrowing this whole king term ok). Oikawa’s pissed off and fired up at the same time, intending to take the final set.
See you in next entry!