Room To Grow
I was very late jumping on the Haikyu bandwagon. Largely because I just refused to watch sports anime of any kind for a very long time. Once I caved on that, the title that came up over and over again in my recommendations was Haikyu. And so I started season one. Three seasons on we’re now seeing the release of season four and I was definitely ready and actually super excited. However, season 4 faces a different kind of challenge as I’ve never watched Haikyu weekly. Last time I watched in batches of episodes so I didn’t need to wait for things to get to a point as I could just keep watching. So I guess we’ll see whether season 4 manages to be as exciting as the last three and whether or not I can handle watching weekly or whether I give up, wait for the season to finish and binge it.
The difference became quite apparent by the end of this episode. There’s a lot of set-up and reintroductions to characters as they get their heights measured and do some basic physical tests and then the supervisor drops the bomb that Kageyama has been invited to a national youth volleyball camp and Tsukishima is invited to a regional camp. It’s all really fun hanging out with the characters and seeing the rivalry between Hinata and Kageyama as well as the bonds these characters have forged, but it isn’t really moving things forward so much as re-establishing the cast (as you probably should after a gap between seasons when there’s a large cast). That outside of Hinata making a really obnoxious choice before the end of the episode is really all that happens and I’m sure it will all lead to fun later but it is set-up.
Of course, it was really fun to be back with this team. The usual bickering and silly antics were in full play and it was nice to see them all still really excited about the nationals. So there’s very little to complain about there. Also, visually it still looks fine transitioning to actually good when characters start moving. Hinata’s jump was beautifully animated and the wing motif is back which was welcome to see.
But the episode in itself leaves you with little to talk about, unless you would like to me to gush about Tsukishima. I could do that because his reaction to Hinata’s idiocy in the second half of the episode was golden. Of course, we could look ahead and start wondering if splitting up the core group in these early episodes and sending them off to training camps is a great move. Haikyu is more fun when the team are together and they literally just split two of the four first years we’ve really been following off to play with other players at training camps. While I’m sure it is a great growth opportunity did I come back to Haikyu to not spend time with the gang from Karasuno High School? Then again, I have no idea how many episodes this will go for and how they’ll bring it together so no complaints at this point.
Time will tell whether this is a good decision or not but Haikyu has definitely earned some trust having delivered three very solid seasons of entertainment. While I may end up putting this cour on hold and binge it before the second cour comes out depending on how it goes watching weekly, I will watch this season through. So how excited are you about the return of Haikyu!!
Thanks for reading
100 Word Anime.
Here’s the discussion around anime volleyball with my coverage of Haikyu!! Season 4.
Images from: Haikyu!! To The Top. Dir. Masako Satou. Production I.G. 2020.