Haikyuu!! S2 21 – 22

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When your cut-eye game is so strong your entire face phases through the net to express your disdain

I figure it makes a whole lot of sense to just combine two episodes of the same match into one post. I didn’t have much to say about episode 21 by itself except for maybe just typing out the various assortment of excited gasps and noises I made while watching it. Now that I have more to go on, I can form an actual post with content other than just pointing out how cool Haikyuu!! is.

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Metanorn: your number one source of Oikawa’s mocking facial expressions that make you wanna punch him

Did I mention Haikyuu!! is a really cool show though? I don’t think I emphasize it enough.

Anyways, this match against Aoba Johsai is everything I was hoping for. It’s one of the most exciting matches for the show to date! With the other one being…well, the first Aoba Johsai match. But even though the opponents have the same name, they are not the same people. After training hard, they’re much stronger competitors than before. They’re also not the same people in the literal sense, as they have the addition of a new powerhouse player: the Mad Dog.

The Mad Dog is an interesting wrench to throw in the mix because he kind of goes against my personal impression of Aoba Johsai. I see them as a team that stays cool, even in the heat of the moment. Oikawa is a prime example of this mindset. He’s always been a setter that exudes a sense of control and complete dominance on the court. He acts flighty, but he is actually a keen player who knows exactly what to do at a precise moment to bring out the best in a player. Those fine touches are what he uses as his ultimate weapon to bring his team to the top. With the Mad Dog, Oikawa is basically just throwing caution to the win and hoping that this wildcard will work out. There’s not an ounce of finesse in the Mad Dog’s body (and if there is, it’s buried underneath all the seething rage). So that shakes things up as a new weapon that dangerous to both Karasuno and Aoba Johsai. Oikawa even admits that this whole thing is a huge gamble, and it shows that absolutely no one on the team can predict what he’s going to do next.

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Even the ref knows you gon get rekt

Even then, Oikawa manages to adopt control in one way or another. He can’t completely control the Mad Dog, but he does what he can to channel all that raw power in the most effective way possible. Oikawa is able to account for his recklessness – for example, making him a very convincing decoy. It completely changes up the way we’ve seen Aoba Johsai play up until now, and it’s really giving Karasuno a run for their money.

Interestingly enough though, the match has a lot of contrasting up and downs in terms of tense moments. There are a lot of mistakes being made that are causing balls to fly out of bounds or pitifully fall flat against the net. Both teams have incredible talents, but they’re still young and haven’t quite honed them yet. It’s a nice touch that shows us how they have room to grow for future matches (sports anime never end yo). It also means that at any one given time, I have no idea whether a decisive point is going to be scored or not. It’s nerve-wracking! The Mad Dog is the best example of this, as he runs in for the most phenomenal spike at the beginning of episode 21….and flubs it so badly that Karasuno wins the entire set because of his mistake. That adds a healthy dose of realism, knowing that any player is prone to making errors when nerves are taken into the equation.

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The first set was crazy enough, but the second set had me almost in tears. I think this was largely because episode 21 focused on Aoba Johsai, who are important characters but aren’t as dear to my heart as Karasuno. Episode 22 gave Freckles the redemption he’s been waiting for since season 1. Yes, this cowardly side character who has been flailing around desperately for so long actually had a critical moment all to himself.

It was phenomenal.

First of all, I can’t believe they built him up so well given his limited screentime. They really took their time with his development, showing us his behind-the-scenes progress season by season. As one of my favourite characters, I’ve been waiting for all of his hard work to finally pay off. No one deserved this more than him, so watching his score that first point from his serve – an ace no less – was invigorating.

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Feeling the One Piece vibes with those horse-sized teeth

I wanted to scream with the rest of Karasuno. It’s funny because Karasuno earns some scoffs for being so damn excited for just one point (and not even a critical, winning point). But we, the viewers, know why this is such a monumental event for Karasuno and Freckles. This was not just the result of all his hard work, but the aftermath of clawing his way back up after utter defeat. Seeing the shy, nervous Freckles go into badass mode made me swell with pride at how far he’s come. Even better, his streak lasted for quite a while. I expected maybe 2 or 3 points at most, but he just kept going. His final promise/threat to Hinata that he’d score 10 points in a row one day was incredible. If season 1 Freckles said that, I’d say he was just acting extremely out of character.

Aoba Johsai has come a long way, but so has Karasuno. Everyone is growing in leaps and bounds, and they’ve refined their teamwork so acutely that any hurdle seems possible for them to overcome. This makes me want to go back and watch the first few episodes again just to remind myself how far they’ve come. Hmm, maybe I will. Now, if you’ll excuse me…

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These are my kind of cheerleaders



A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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