Haikyuu!!: Episode 22

進化 – Evolution

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Goodness does Kageyama have one creepy smile.

We just have to get one point back and it will be fine. That is one advice that hardly everyone will be able to heed, especially during a high-strung match. And yet, it is the advice that matters. In a relatively even match, if the opponent scores one point, you score another, and that is how the match continues all the way till one of the teams scores the match point. Do not let nerves get to you, do not let your opponents psych you out, do not psych yourself out – so many things are at play during a game, not just the match itself. Let the minor things get to you, and it will affect the major plays. When that happens and you can’t break away from the stress, thereby letting it affect your performance, that is when it could cost you the game.

To play, to be in a match, gives any enthusiastic/passionate player such a great amount of satisfaction, so much so that being on the playing ground and giving it your all is what you want to do so that you can continue playing. But in volleyball, you don’t just think about how you can continue playing. Instead, you think about how the TEAM can continue playing. And to that effect, you play so that everyone is able to play to his or her best abilities. We saw previously how setters are like conductors; they direct the players on the court. In this episode, Kageyama showed us just how much he has grown – from being an oppressive king/hard-headed setter, to actually adjusting to his teammate’s preferences so as to create some semblance of togetherness. We saw Karasuno really working together in this second set to take Aoba Johsai down. Not only was Kageyama adjusting to his teammate’s playing styles, he was also trying to be encouraging outside of their plays – by complimenting and acknowledging his teammates when any of them managed to score a point. Kageyama might have forced the compliments out, but the fact that he was trying just goes to show how he is not the dictator he once used to be.

I guess, this in turn goes to show how, in the face of stiff competition, one is able to find ways to get better to defeat the opponent. And that, in my opinion, is the beauty of sports. It is fun, it is exciting, it is breath taking. Kageyama is evolving in this game with his former teammates, and we also saw a flashback on how Oikawa improved AFTER he thought that Kageyama might steal his starting position. These two push each other to such further heights and in doing so, they push their own respective teammates to greater heights. And this is why this Karasuno v Aoba Johsai match is such an exciting and delightful match to watch.

Before concluding this post, I just have to say oh Iwa-chan, I thought I heard an Arakita when you spoke! Took me a long time to realise, but it is indeed Yoshino Hiroyuki voicing Iwa-chan. I attribute it to the fact that he had simply been overshadowed by the prowess that is Namikawa Daisuke.

So anyway, with just three episodes of Haikyuu!! to go, we are on to the final set. And I just KNOW it is going to be nothing short of exhilirating. Excites~


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