Haikyuu!!: Episode 06

面白いチーム – An Interesting Team

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“っぽいじゃなくて、チームだ– It’s not LIKE a team, it IS a team”. A very interesting team indeed. This was the best episode yet! Doubt I’ve ever been more appreciative watching a team sport series than I am watching Haikyuu!! every week. As Tanaka said, everybody on this side of the net is your ally. Certainly, that is what a team is. Teammates are there for one another. And we definitely saw Karasuno’s team spirit shining through this week.

This week’s episode featured the friendly match against Aoba Johsai High. As with all rivalry, friendly or not, there will always be the pre-match psychological warfare. And Haikyuu!! definitely did not miss out on showing viewers this common practice. A few minutes in, we saw Tanaka and Tsukki intimidating two of the Aoba boys after overhearing them talk smack about their Karasuno team. For all the bickering that the Karasuno boys have been delivering the past few episodes, it is nice to see them finally uniting against the opponent. Not only was it such an amusing scene, with Tanaka’s scary face showing itself yet again, but I was also very much enjoying Uchiyama Kouki delivering what’s got to be the most condescending tone I have had the pleasure of hearing in awhile.

Although the match was supposed to be the main feature this episode, we essentially spent half the time witnessing Hinata deal with his nerves. And in spite of that, none of this episode was wasted. None at all. Waiting for Hinata to get over his nerves did not feel long drawn, even though this running gag lasted almost an entire episode (starting from the previous week). I guess the writers managed to drag it out but not make it feel at all draggy because the episode was still peppered with light gags and jokes that were timed to perfection.

Additionally, the detailing that goes into presenting these gags is really impressive. I mention this with the Hinata-serving-into-Kageyama’s-head scene in mind. That scene was funny in itself, with Tanaka and Tsukki giggling at Kageyama, riling him up even more. For me though, what made that scene even more enjoyable was not Kageyama’s crazy & demented face, but the play on the sweat drops on Hinata’s face. I was so tickled by how they surfaced then seemed to evaporate, only to appear again, as if in tune with Hinata’s anxiety. Exaggerated, yes. But also extremely funny.

Another thing about that scene which was enjoyable, was the way the writers decided on the factor to finally snap Hinata out of his nervousness. It wasn’t a sudden epiphany that he had (as is usually common with such sports series). No, he was scared out of his state of anxiety. Kageyama essentially told him that since he had already done the scariest thing he could do (i.e. hit Kageyama), he had nothing else to fear. Lol well done Kageyama, way to fight fire with fire. And it worked, because finally, at 15:20, we saw it – the freak toss & spike. They sure kept us waiting long enough!

Two games in, and it is one win & one loss for the team. There’s one more game to determine who wins the match. And although Karasuno ended on a positive note, they can’t celebrate just yet. Because as Kageyama told us, they were not using their main setter. That’s right, it was a kya kya entrance for Aoba’s main setter, Oikawa (voiced by the equally kya-inducing Namikawa Daisuke). While I am excited to see how the match will turn out, I am also equally excited to hear Namikawa, because I think his gentle baka-ouji voice sounds very much like Irino Miyu’s. Although, I doubt he is going to use his gentle voice. Whichever register Namikawa uses though (and he has got SUCH a wide range – from the sweet Kazehaya in Kimi ni Todoke to the rough voiced dragon lord in Kamisama Hijimemashite), I am sure it’s going to be a real treat hearing him. As always, can’t wait for next week~


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