Haikyuu!!: Episode 11

決断 – Decision

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It was the usual combination of humour, drama and volleyball action, but with an added touch of horror in this week’s episode of Haikyuu!!.

There’s a stranger among us. Training camp, staying in school grounds, being out and about late at night, wandering the corridor in the dark, talk of seeing a never before seen child.. don’t such traits always add up to some eerie/creepy thing or another? Granted, this wasn’t exactly horror per se, but you’ve got to love Haikyuu!!’s take on it. And that dark corridor scene did have its fair share of spookiness. Of course, this is still Haikyuu!! we are talking about and as such I could not take the fear factor seriously. Hinata’s petrified expression already had me in stitches, simply because you could just tell that the writers were obviously pulling a fast one. However, even with that knowledge, I still burst out laughing when the ‘big revelation’ came (yeah..that child turned out to be Noya). Gosh, I absolutely love how this show brings in the humour and I honestly cannot get enough of it.

Torn. On to more serious matters.. Coach Ukai is still having difficulty deciding on the starting players – torn between Suga, who is in his third (and final) year and has experience playing with the others; and Kageyama, who is simply pure volleyball talent, it is a really tough choice for him to make. Part of the difficulty lies in Ukai himself having experienced the emptiness and disappointment of having a first-year be picked over him when he was in his last year of high school. Regardless though, I rather respect him, because while he has been in Suga’s shoes, his resolve as the team’s coach simply would not let his emotions get the better of him. Even more impressive was Suga, who told Ukai to pick Kageyama if that meant that the team would have a higher chance of winning. Oh Irino Miyu, I love your gentle voice!!

Crow meets Cat. This week we were briefly introduced to the team and its ‘star player’, setter Kozume (Kaji Yuuki). First introduced with a kitten (it had me smiling, him being from Nekoma and neko being Japanese for cat and all), he was the first of the Nekoma volleyball team that our adorable little Hinata met. Their first encounter was quite interesting, because Hinata was his usual yap-yap-yapping self, unaware of Kozume’s Nekoma identity, while his identity as a Karasuno volleyball player was blatantly staring Kozume in the face. Kozume appears somewhat bored and uninspired, which makes him all the more intriguing since it is apparent that he is the backbone of Nekoma. The disparity between what we actually saw and what we were told by whom I presume to be Nekoma’s captain, Kuroo (Nakamura Yuuichi), makes for a very curious me and I can’t help but wonder what Kozume’s backstory is. Although we were told nothing, I really do hope that Haikyuu!! shows some mercy and gives us a little more insight into the mystery that is Kozume.

Oh that combination. I refer to the seiyuus whose names were mentioned in the earlier paragraph: Nakamura Yuuichi and Kaji Yuuki. That’s right, it’s that combination again. These two have been in a number of shows together – Fairy Tail (Grey and Lyon), Durarara (Kadota and Walker), K (Kamamoto and Tatara), to name a few. To say I did not go a little bit kya kya upon hearing them speak would be a lie. I do love the chemistry between these two seiyuus, especially what they did with their respective characters in Fairy Tail – note the many LOL moments that their interactions presented. While I am definitely not looking for any lovelove scenes between the two, especially not in Haikyuu!!, I am hoping that their characters will get lots of screen time and interaction in the next couple of episodes, because Nakamura’s and Kaji-kun’s pairing is one that I am rather fond of ^^

Okay, so the training camp didn’t quite go as expected.. I was hoping for a whole lot more torturous training, run-till-you-throw-up intensity and profuse blood, sweat and tears. But what Haikyuu!! gave us was an overnight stay, a couple of canteen scenes and futons. Not the usual training camp that I have grown to be accustomed to. Still, a good episode as always. And so all decked out in their new jerseys, it’s Karasuno v Nekoma next week~

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