Getting to nationals is just the beginning.
So far Hyaiku!! – To the Top has surpassed expectations. The storytelling has been superb and the characters have gone through development to reach the point they are currently at. In particular Hinata and Kageyama have had their own experiences that have further defined them before they reached nationals. And it’s not just the players who have experienced growth, Karasuno as a whole has grown to reach this point. The right elements to build the team have all culminated to reaching this point, the national stage.
Taking a step back the most recent experiences of Hinata and Kageyama deserve revisiting. Both had unique experiences that bolstered their individual growth. As core members of the team it’s critical that these first year players continue to grow.
The first several episodes focused on Hinata when he sneaks into Tsukishima’s training camp. We got to see what Hinata looked like alone and away from his team. We get to see the answer to the question of what would have happened to Hinata had he been on any other volleyball team. Though perhaps harshly criticized as only being a ball boy Hinata decides that he will do anything to become better. He accepts being a ball boy showing his willingness to become stronger, even if it comes at the cost of his pride. Hinata’s tenacity teaches him more about the game’s fundamentals.
There was also focus on Kageyama who got to go to an exclusive national elite training camp. At the camp Kageyama is able to excel with his skill set and we get introduced to new characters, who (not spoilers) are also going to the national tournament. Kageyama also gets shown through others that he is just a plain goody two shoes. After asking more about what that statement meant, Kageyama learns that he isn’t exerting his personality on the volleyball floor. Kageyama is trying to please others around him, especially at Karasuno, his new team. Kageyama’s experiences at his previous team shaped him into being more passive. He finally starts to exert himself and his strength just before nationals.
At nationals we got to see the team rally together on stage. The team fortunately was able to sweep their first opponents. The team did have to adjust to the new stage and arena. The national venue for the volleyball tournament is much larger than their individual local schools’ gym. It feels like a lot of things are coming together for an epic tournament. The only question left to answer is how far can Karasuno go? How far can the crows fly?
Let’s not forget about other amazing individuals at the tournament! We had some focus on Bokuto who after some convincing was able to bring his best to the volleyball tournament. Also we get to see another small volleyball player, who is just as small as Hinata. This small volleyball player, Hoshiumi, doesn’t let his small size stop him from outperforming others. There is going to be an eventual conflict between Hoshiumi and Hinata, I can feel it.
Looking forward to more from Haikyu!! So far this season has exceeded expectations and I continue to expect that as it continues.
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