The latest episode of Haikyu!! marks the return to the match between Karasuno and Inarizaki, and serves up yet another 24 minute banger of a showing. Albeit unexpected, it was unbelievably exciting to get to see the Nekoma boys again after such a long time. But don’t get me wrong, it’s been a long and agonizing wait to get back to the match at hand.
Recently, episodes have been focusing in on specific characters, such as Tanaka’s awe inspiring comeback in episode 16 and the centricity of Kenma throughout the entirety of the Nekoma cutaway. This episode started in a similar way, with Nishinoya facing repeated direct attacks for probably the first time in his career, mainly at the hands of Atsumu.
However in true Guardian Deity fashion, he manages to regain composure in a matter of moments merely by refocusing through a quick set of fingertip pushups. Sorry to all the Nishinoya stans out there, but the spotlight will not shine solely on him this episode! He’s just too powerful, it would somehow be beneath him.
Despite this feint, what we end up getting is a masterclass in teamwork as the boys attempt to overcome a massive 19-9 deficit. From this point on, truly everyone can be seen doing what is needed in order to mount such a comeback. Daichi is calling out strategies, Tanaka making effort plays, Kageyama crushing serves, and even Suga comes in to rouse the troops. They’re doing it all, and I have a feeling nothing less is required if they aim to make any progress in the tournament.
One of the other key takeaways from this episode was getting to witness the other side of the massive coin that is the Inarizaki bleacher section. For every moment of perfectly synced support, the occasional incredibly harsh and pointed remark is also prone to be directed at any given player of theirs’ should they happen to slip up. And, even more upsettingly, it appears that sometimes even the players echo these sentiments to each other as well.
Although by the end of the episode it appears that Karasuno has completely regained momentum and taken control of the flow of the game, I would be very surprised if Inarizaki didn’t have something left up their sleeve. After all, who the hell is this guy?
Will the boys be able to complete the comeback and shut out Inarizaki in a decisive 2-0 fashion, or will this ominous guy with the M-shaped hairline slam the door shut, forcing a sweaty game three? Find out next week, and then meet me back here to talk it out!
Editor-In-Chief at fucanime.com | Co-Owner of FIGHTBOI Brand and all its subsidiaries. Former esports writer, and a voracious weeb.