Haikyuu!!: Episode 13

好敵手 – Rival

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Another weekly dose of Haikyuu!! adorable goodness to brighten up my Sunday ^^

The friendly match comes to an end and our Karasuno boys suffered a crushing defeat against Nekoma – three matches played, all three matches lost. Like what the Nekoma coach said, “the team that drops the ball loses”. It really is not how powerful the spike is or how quick the attack can be. It is about connecting – connection with the players; connecting with the ball. The connection is key and as long as the team sustains the connection, the team does not lose.

Certainly, our Karasuno boys suffered an astounding defeat. But as with all setbacks, there is always a silver lining. We see them befriending their rivals after the friendly, in the same Karasuno fashion that always results in hilarity. Tanaka and his counterpart, Taketora, are now such good friends, both having bonded over their infatuation with Kiyoko; Hinata and his fellow first-year counterpart, Inuoka, were bouncing and flailing ever so adorably while singing praises of each other; both team’s liberos acknowledged each other’s abilities. On the other hand, Kageyama clearly scared Kenma off with his intensity. Lol, it was such an amusing scene. Poor Kageyama wanted to make friends but clearly doesn’t know how. Awww~got to hand it to Ishikawa Kaito for putting his fierce on while still being able to sound shy at the same time. I loved his exasperated-bordering-on-murderous voice during the next episode preview heh.

Making friends is nice and all, but that is not the only good thing about friendlies. With each match played, the team learns more about their strengths as well as their weaknesses. This friendly for Karasuno was no different. Admittedly, losing never feels good. However, this is a friendly after all and the results, while important, are not the most important thing. Instead, it is how to approach a loss (or even a win for that matter) that is the crux. Karasuno was clearly overwhelmed by what a team Nekoma is. However, this is how they learn. They learn to work as a team; they learn to hone their strengths; they learn to improve on their weaknesses; they learn more about themselves as well as one another.

In fact, not only was this loss a good wake up call for the team, but it also serves to fuel the fire within the each and every member (nobody was as worked up as former-temporary-now-permanent-Coach Ukai. He was positively seething with venom from the defeat and Nekoma coach’s provocations. So much so that he has pretty much declared himself Karasuno’s official coach). Nobody likes losing, and with this defeat, they will be inspired to practise practise and practise even more to ensure their victory. As the Inter-high preliminaries approach, it will be interesting to see how the members, especially our delightful freak toss&spike duo, overcome their newfound obstacle.

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