Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
For now, at least, its over.
The Karasuno high boys have overcome what is arguably their most tuff opponents to date, and despite growing tremendously as a team over the last three seasons, it took everyone’s combined effort to even stand a chance against Inarizaki and the Miyon twins. It was an emotional turbulent season filled with second hand embarrassment, hard works, and most deservedly, triumph. Thought its fifth season has yet to be confirmed by Production I.G., it seems fairly like that the series will get another season. Until that time comes, though, here are my thoughts on “Haikyuu: To the Top.
Hinata’s Endless Determination
It would not be “Haikyuu” without our loveable orange haired protagonist Hinata Shouyou. While Hinata does not feel much different from other shounen/sports anime protagonists, His determination does feel a bit more infectious for a sport like volleyball, where movement, accuracy, and game awareness can make much more of a difference in terms of who wins and loses.
Hinata starts the season with pretty much no skill other than jumping and spiking. However, even as he is left behind by Kageyama and Tsukishima, he is still determined to catch up. How does he accomplish this? Well, he…sneaks into the training camp that Tsukishima was invited to and tries to stay there… and then begs the coach to let him stay…yeah it gets pretty cringe.
Still, as cringe inducing as the first quarter of the show was, it helped to identify just how serious Hinata was about improving his play, and solidify him as a main character worth rooting for.
One of the most interesting parts of the final match between Karasuno and Inarizaki was the amount of time that was spent on the players during the match, and how that time is used to reveal their insecurities with how they have been playing.
Tanaka, for example, spends a good portion of the match doubting his own spiking abilities because of how good there defense is. It is not until Kageyama calms him down that he is able to focus on game proper, and through that focus get some amazing points. The same can be said for Tsukishima and his defense. Being one of the tallest guys on the team, he is expected to be a good blocker, but his confidence does not rebound until Hinata eggs him on.
These are just examples though, as nearly every member of the team gets at least a moment or two that touches on their feelings during the match. Even a few members of Inarizaki get highlighted.
Kageayama’s time at the national volleyball meet also did a lot for setting up the story as well as events in the next season. As he arrives at the training center, he immediately meets Atsumu of the Miya twins, and from there, the series does a great job highlighting and foreshadowing there rivalry as setters.
It also helps that their personalities are pretty much total opposites. Both are certainly prideful of their setting skills, but whereas Kageyama tends to be more reserved focusing on matching his partner’s capabilities, Atsumu likes to show off, trying to create what he thinks is the “perfect set” every time. Atsumu’s personality is, of course, off-putting to Kageyama, but also to the other people around him.
Another figure who appears during this meet is the mysteriously vertical Hoshiumi, whose stature certainly matches Hinata’s, but definitely not his jumping ability. In fact, while Kageyama and Atsumu are playing a practice set, both stop to admire his raw height.
While Hoshiumi’s team has yet to face off against Karasuno, it will likely be an explosive match with him and Hinata at the center, pitting the two shortest members of each team against in each other in a battle to see who can get the most air.
This season of “Haikyuu” was undoubtedly the most dramatic and dynamic yet, with a final arc that put most of the one’s before it to shame. There was tension, endurance, rivalry, and pretty much anything a person would want in a good sports story. There is definitely more excitement to come, but it is hard to see how it will compare with what was undoubtedly the show’s high-point, even despite some lackluster animation because of COVID rushing. For those who are already “Haikyuu” fans and have yet to watch this season, well, what are you waiting for?
How do you guys feel about “Haikyuu: To the Top?” Let me know in the comments below.
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