Haikyuu Episodes 48 + 49

Review Episode 48:

The team are all ready to go into the third set and we’re still moving those shining moments around the players from both teams, even spending some time getting backstory on player 16 from Aoba. Tsukishima is also getting his fair share of time to shine even though he kind of got a few good moments in the previous episodes.

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That said, about mid-way through we finally get Kageyama realising they need to use Hinata better and the focus switches to these two for the first time really in this match. As much as I’m not a big fan of Hinata, it seems weird he’s been so quiet for the past couple of episodes so I’m guessing this is going somewhere but I’ll have to wait and see where. My only other thought is that this game seems to be lasting forever (not in a bad way but it has been quite a number of episodes now).

Review Episode 49:

There are parallels and then there are parallels and this episode takes it to the extreme in the set’s final moments yet I guess it was kind of needed is Kageyama and Hinata were ever going to get over their previous loss. While there’s definitely a refocus of Hinata, the other characters aren’t forgotten and the whole team work very hard for every point they get (as do the opponents).

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This was a fairly thrilling conclusion to this game and then I had to remind myself this wasn’t meant to be the last game in the tournament but how do you top that?


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Haikyuu Episode 46 + 47

Review Episode 46:

While the first set may have been satisfying but not thrilling, the writers shake things up again with the new player on the Aoba side. He’s a wild card for both Karasuno and the audience and his playing style is kind of intense (if a little erratic).

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It kind of looks like this second set is lost, but who knows. This show has managed to surprise me with an outcome more than once so anything could happen in the next episode. My only concern is that Hinata seems to have just vanished into the team at this point doing little to stand out and that’s probably the first time this whole show where I can honestly say I don’t remember what Hinata did during an entire episode.

Review Episode 47:

Second set was a loss but I don’t think anyone cares. Go Yamaguchi. Seriously a great character moment.

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Hinata has kind of become a cheerleader for the time being and still isn’t doing much but Yamaguchi more than made up for it. And now of course we’re heading straight into a third set so I guess we’re meant to feel really tense. Mostly I just kind of enjoyed watching and I don’t really have a lot of care about who is going to win (horrible I know). Let’s see what happens next.


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Haikyuu Episodes 44 + 45

Review Episode 44:

There’s really not much to this episode. Aoba plays Date and while its interesting enough mostly we’re just waiting to see who wins so we know who Karasuno are going to be playing next.

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After the Iron Wall goes down we see just how concerned some of the first years are about matching up against Aoba again. It’s kind of nerve destroying watching the characters deal with their anxiety but eventually they are ready for the game and move out and that’s where the episode ends. There’s a lot of tension in this episode, though mostly from the anticipation of what is coming rather than what is happening. On that note, next episode.

Review Episode 45:

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It’s good to see that nothing has changed between these two. Seriously, they can be incredibly childish at times. Still, they were off to a good start even if I had to question whether Hinata and Kageyama are on the same team.

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That final point though really does shake things up going into the next episode. Anyway, the game itself was close and unresolved but to be honest not that thrilling. However, what it lacked in thrills it made up for in satisfaction. Seeing everything come together was really nice and while it didn’t make for the most exciting of games it definitely made you feel happy for the characters.


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Haikyuu Episodes 42 + 43

Review Episode 42:

Well Daichi was down and pretty much out for the count. Admittedly he woke up pretty fast but the knocked out tooth and bleeding from the mouth does not bode well.

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So they replaced him with Ennoshita. And at first I had to wonder who on earth that was. Haikyuu once again anticipated the lack this and gave us a contextualised set of flashbacks of scenes we’d seen with this character and as each one came up I realised that we really had seen him a lot off the court. Just to consolidate that though, we then got an all new scene in flashback form just so we know that he’s also got issues, just like everyone else on the team.

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The set finishes with Yamaguchi getting one serve over the net before chickening out and hitting a normal serve. He’s a little bit shattered by his own lameness. I really kind of hope Daichi is okay and I’m wondering if this game is going to stretch to 3 sets given they are 4 down in the second. Okay, onto the next one because no way can I leave it there.

A few reviews ago I said I was getting a little fatigued with this series. I take it back.

Review Episode 43:

Game done. Everyone worked together and they all got a little bit better just in time and now they get to keep going in the match. At this point in time this show isn’t getting any points for twists or surprises but it is managing to be highly entertaining as it goes through its formula approach to a tournament.

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Definitely the best part of the episode were the interactions within the team. Though I wonder who is going to cheer up Yamaguchi?

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And is it wrong that I kind of want Date to win their match because I’d rather watch them play against Hinata than the other team, but I kind of suspect Date is about to lose. Poor guys, getting thrown under a bus for plot convenience. Well it hasn’t happened yet but that’s kind of how I see it playing out.


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Haikyuu Episodes 40 + 41

Review Episode 40:

The tournament starts and for once Hinata doesn’t seem like a complete nervous wreck. After a slow start, Karasuno seemed to get used to their opponents and took the first set.

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Admittedly, Kageyama took a ball to the face and both Kageyama and Hinata ended up sitting out the end of that set. The episode ends after a time-out from the other team and it looks like their opponent is ready to fight back so looking forward to next episode. Mostly this was a lot of fun as it kind of validated that everyone on the team has improved and that they are working really well as a team.

And I mentioned the new song last review (or whenever) but I really like this opening. The previous one was really take it or leave it, but this one actually gets me pretty excited for the episode.

Review Episode 41:

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Well that was going really well until the end. Ouch.

They are playing a challenging team that actually thinks and plans, but they haven’t let them get them down, but that final ball of the episode…

Once again Haikyuu shows off how good it is at building excitement in the game. It gets you into the players’ heads and makes you care about an opponent you’ve usually only just met. In minutes you are caught up in the excitement and waiting for each point. The exchanges between characters inbetween plays keep it from becoming just another round of watching a ball bounce over a net. This episode was great fun. You know, until they inujured the captain.


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Haikyuu Episodes 38 + 39

Review Episode 38:

So 2 metre tall guy was a threat for all of four points and then Karasuno pretty much employed all the skills we’ve been watching them develop and took them out. It wasn’t really much of a match in the end except it did confirm that they had improved, could deal with new threats, and Kageyama and Hinata finally got their quick together in a game. It was also good to see them using their heads for a bit.

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Apparently having won the prelims they now go to the next stage in a month (I think this was September and the next bit was happening in October) so I wonder if we’re skipping to that or if we are in for more training and prep. Please not another round of exams.

Review Episode 39:

Oh, new opening. Nice.

Otherwise, training and prep (and turns out the next stage was just under two months away). Kageyama does some really poor snooping and gets all fired up (or freaked out) depending out how you view it.

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And Tsukishima finally gets serious in general and seeks help from his brother and the coach to improve his blocking. It doesn’t soften his sarcasm a bit but its nice to see him wanting to contribute even if it was only because Hinata more or less told him he couldn’t do something. Sometimes Tsukishima is a little bit childish. You forget that because everyone else is childish most of the time so it kind of catches you off guard.

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Anyway, not a lot happened but by the end of the episode we’re ready to start the next round of matches so on we go.


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Haikyuu Episodes 36 + 37

Review Episode 36:

Okay, finally we finish the training camp and we get to the much anticipated BBQ. They didn’t end up winning their last game but they learned and we got some interesting reflections and conversations following the game as various pairs and groups got stuck into yet more training.

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Then we see the prep for the tournament and end as the prelims are about to begin. This episode is kind of a needed bridge in the story and they do put some effort into the characters considering from an action point of view little is happening, but it isn’t terribly exciting in and of itself. Still, I am kind of excited to see the prelims.

Review Episode 37:

I liked the introduction to this episode where another team is sussing out Karasuno and ends up wondering how they nearly beat the team in the previous tournament. You have to admit, when they aren’t on the court, they are fairly unimpressive looking.

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Still, they wipe out team number one and then effectively freak themselves out checking out the next team they will have to play.

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And the episode ends. Once again, Haikyuu proves it is at its best when they take to the court as this episode was significantly more exciting than most of the training camp even if the game was over quickly.


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Haikyuu Episodes 34 + 35

Review Episode 34:

Kageyama and Hinata still aren’t getting their attack working properly and early in the episode this is a source of tension before once again they both reflect, train harder, and get enthused. I do have to say that this pattern is becoming just a little predictable (not that we’ve seen them succeed yet but I’m guessing that’s coming).

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All the players are a bit worn out but the inspiration of a barbecue is enough to get them all ready for the final game of the training camp.

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While this episode works and is kind of needed as part of the ongoing progression, it was kind of just there. Nothing really stood out or was overly interesting about it. Onwards to the next one.

Review Episode 35:

There’s quite a lot of celebrations going on this episode, at least early on, as both teams show what they are capable of.

However, things go downhill for the opponent with their ace having a little bit of an emotional crisis as we near the end of the game.

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This actually was a fairly satisfying episode to watch given all of the training is starting to come together. They aren’t perfect and there are still small missteps, but you can see that everything is starting to come together (pre-Hand Shakers I might have said things were starting to mesh). However, I think I’m starting to get fatigued with this show. I’m not much for sport in the first place and its all starting to feel samey even though it is nice seeing the players hard work rewarded. I’m not thinking of dropping this but I’m definitely starting to enjoy it that little bit less.


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Haikyuu Episodes 32 + 33

Review Episode 32:

To continue with the egg anology from earlier, I think the team has turned into scrambled eggs rather than an omelet. There’s a lot of focus on their evolution but they’ve yet to actually get it together as a team.

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Though, this episode also sees Tsukishima get a lot of focus, mostly because he’s about the only one on the team not expending large amounts of energy running around and trying to collapse from exhaustion. I get from a team point of view Tsukishima’s attitude might be frustrating but to be honest he seems like the only sensible person on the team. He plays, he trains, he rests. Just because he isn’t killing himself doesn’t seem like reason enough to get annoyed at him (though then you have to compare him to the rest of the team dynamic).

Review Episode 33:

The focus on Tsukishima continues as we get angsty backstory. I don’t know why every character with an attitude problem has some terrible childhood realisation or disappointment (some people just have bad personalities, but apparently that isn’t possible in anime).

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Anyway, props to Yamaguchi this episode for finally just confronting Tsukishima rather than letting the problem for the team linger. They still aren’t winning anything but they are getting closer.


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Haikyuu Episodes 30 + 31

Review Episode 30:

Hinata’s lost the plot a little bit this episode. Admittedly, his frustration is understandable but his approach is really wrong and all its done by the end of the episode is pretty much upset everyone on the team. Of course, I’m guessing the phrase ‘you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs’ is applicable in this situation and this is the egg breaking phase. And as the other team members say, it isn’t the first time Hinata and Kageyama have fought so let’s just assume they’ll get over it and move on to the next episode.

Review Episode 31:

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Well here’s an anomaly. The team spend most of this episode fragmented though all independently working toward the same goal. While training montages are great and the individual achievements of players were great to see, I have to wonder what the team’s cohesion is going to be like when they take the court again given we essentially haven’t seen them together since the fight. I still can’t really believe Kageyama asked for advice and I’m kind of impressed he listened to it, but we still haven’t seen him and Hinata on the court together to see if any progress has been made.


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