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HAIKYU‼ TO THE TOP Episode #03 Anime Review

5 min read
See? I told you our boy Hinata would work his way back up again!
© 2018 H. Furudate / Shueisha, ”HAIKYU!!” Project, MBS


What They Say:
The Karasuno High School Volleyball Club finally won their way into the nationals after an intense battle for the Miyagi Prefecture Spring Tournament qualifiers. As they were preparing for the nationals, Kageyama is invited to go to All-Japan Youth Training Camp. At the same time, Tsukishima is invited to go to a special rookie select training camp for first-years in Miyagi Prefecture. Hinata feels panic that he’s being left behind as one of the first-years and then decides to show up at the Miyagi Prefecture rookie select training camp anyway… As they prepare for the nationals, Hinata, Kageyama and the rest of the Karasuno High School Volleyball team get ready to face some new challenges!!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hinata sure did have a crappy time in the last episode. Will things get better for him? Let’s find out! He knows he won’t be allowed to practice with the others. That’s why he’s going to put his all into being the best darn ball boy he can! Although, he forgot about the jerseys in the washing machine. Oopsies. That doesn’t count! While he’s hanging the jerseys to dry, he pays close attention to everyone returning spikes. He admits that he braces for impact and becomes stiff when one is heading his way. All the good players know where they’re going by reading the spiker’s movements. If only he could do that!

Hinata continues to watch everyone practice and notices someone hop before they return a serve. He recalls a particular day with his friend Tama-yan when he was younger. He was helping him with tennis practice but he wasn’t much help. Hinata had trouble returning the ball because he put his guard up when it got close and stopped moving. Tama-yan advises him to take his feet off the ground, the split step. By picking up both feet from the ground, you reset your form and use the impact to propel yourself forward into your first step. Hinata puts that advice to the test and manages to correctly guess and catch Ushiwaka’s serve! Oh, snap! He holds the ball in his hand with a look of accomplishment. Also, his nose is bleeding because the ball did hit him in the face a bit. But that’s okay, that was still badass! Way to go, Hinata. He keeps watching their practice and realizes there are many ways to receive. He’s only been looking at the ball this whole time but there’s so much information out on the court.

Practice is over for the day and everyone heads back to rest and get a bite to eat. Coach Washijō reminds Hinata that those who weren’t invited don’t get any food or lodging. Come on, throw him a bone! He’s as strict as always. Tendō whispers to Ushiwaka that they have plenty of room at their camp. He responds by stating that Hinata came here uninvited to create a chance for himself. Let him figure it out. Harsh but fair. A few of the players want to keep practicing and Hinata enthusiastically volunteers to pick up the balls for them, haha. He runs up to Goshiki and asks him to practice with them. He wants to see his super cool line-shots up close! This catches Goshiki off guard because it’s been so long since he’s been praised! He’s usually surrounded by cold upperclassmen. He bashfully agrees to practice with them. Hinata is hoping to work on his timing. At first, it doesn’t go too well. But little by little, he starts improving. That’s how you do it! From baby steps to giant strides. I hope someone gets that reference.

Over at Karasuno, the team is having a practice match against Tokonami High School. If you recall, the coach made them practice on their serves. How was their serving in this practice game? Well, not good. They made a lot of mistakes and it’s clear they still have some work to do. As punishment, the Karasuno boys are forced to do a lap of diving drills. Asahi hilariously remarks that he still gets the urge to do these ever since getting used to losing at the Tokyo training camp. Back at Shiratorizawa, Hinata’s movements have improved! Being the ball boy is paying off! Tendō remarks that Hinata is a monster child. In fact, so is Kageyama. Ushiwaka agrees. Speaking of Kageyama, how’s he doing? He’s having a lot of fun playing against top-notch players at the All-Japan training camp! It does seem he’s getting his butt whooped though.

Anyway, back to Hinata! He manages to perfectly read a spike and catches the ball. He’s very proud of himself and even gets a thumbs up! However, he doesn’t pay attention to the next spike and gets nailed in the groin by the ball. Ouch, even I felt that one! Also, I died of laughter. I couldn’t stop laughing for a few minutes. While writing this review, I replayed that scene a few times and I’ve laughed every single time. It was just that funny, haha. The way Hinata fell over was hilarious. Everyone’s reactions were priceless. Poor Hinata though. Walk it off, champ! The episode ends with Tsukishima wanting to talk to him. What does he want to talk about!?

In Summary:
See? I told you our boy Hinata would work his way back up again. He wasn’t going to let everyone crapping on him keep him down! But it’s true what his coach told him, don’t underestimate being a ball boy. I think Hinata understands what he meant now. It’s great seeing him improve little by little. In the end, hard work does pay off. And lastly, I’m still laughing at Hinata getting nailed in the groin by the ball, haha. That scene was too funny.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll, VRV

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