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HAIKYU‼ TO THE TOP Episode #05 Anime Review

6 min read
I enjoyed the training arc but I'm so ready to see an actual match.
© 2018 H. Furudate / Shueisha, ”HAIKYU!!” Project, MBS

“Hunger”

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)
Kageyama can’t stop thinking about being called a Goody Two-Shoes by Atsumu. What did he mean by that? Memories of his time as the tyrant king flash through his mind. He doesn’t want to be that guy again! The coaches start discussing Kageyama’s time in middle school when he was referred to as a genius. One of the coaches believes that a genius is the furthest away from being perfect and that’s what makes them interesting! He may be right. Over at
Shiratorizawa, the two-on-two practices seem to be going well. With only two people on the court, there’s no one to cover for your mistakes. It’s a great learning experience. Hinata is watching intently as always. He even correctly guesses what some of the players are going to do. He’s been learning a lot as the ball boy in this training camp! He also enjoys seeing Tsukki get yelled at it, haha. It’s not something he gets to see every day. Hyakuzawa is playing much better thanks to Hinata’s advice. Tsukki pulls off a nice pass to Goshiki in practice and Hinata praises him. Although, his face seems to tell a different story. He admits that he was hyped but then felt frustrated. Hey, at least he’s honest.

Coach Saito isn’t feeling well. He ate some bad oysters it seems. Thus, they’re going to have a joint practice match against the Shiratorizawa third-years and alumni. It’s the last day of the training camp, better make this game count! Not surprisingly, the third-years and alumni win the game. Afterward, Hinata asks Ushiwaka for advice. Goshiki also wants to ask him for advice but is too intimidated. Shirabu takes a jab at him and tells him that he’s definitely one step behind Hinata in that regard. This gives Goshiki the push that he needed to go ask Ushiwaka for advice! Back to the All-Japan training camp, Kageyama seems to be having the time of his life. He’s smiling so gosh darn much! It’s clear that he’s enjoying himself. Everyone at the training camp is so good and he feels like he’s rising to their level. One of the coaches comments that they don’t know how the players will utilize what they’ve learned at this training camp. Even though it may be cliche, taking their time is always important.

The boys at Karasuno haven’t been slacking either! They’re still working hard on improving their serves. The Spring Tournament is less than a month away. Ikeda has arranged for a practice match. That’s good as Ukai wants to have as many matches possible with the strongest opponents before the tournament. Tomorrow the missing members will be back! At the All-Japan training camp, Atsumu asks Kageyama if he had fun playing as a spiker? He admits that he did enjoy it. Atsumu suggests that Kageyama should become a spiker. Why? Because he looks so tense when setting. On the other hand, he had so much fun as a spiker. While that may be true, Kageyama is a setter and he plans to continue being one. Kageyama takes this opportunity to ask why he called him a Goody Two-Shoes? It’s actually what it sounds like. Atsumu thinks he’s a serious, honest, and all-around good kid. And that marks the end of the All-Japan training camp! Kageyama bids farewell to everyone but he’ll see them again soon at the Spring Tournament. Time to go back home! It’s a shame that Kageyama forgot which way the station was, haha. It’s a good thing someone showed him the way.

Hinata and Tsukki are done with their training camp as well. Hinata is pumped that he’s finally going to be able to play volleyball tomorrow! Tsukki is less enthusiastic about it. He’d rather take a break. As they’re walking, Hinata is approached by Kindaichi. He wants to know how Kageyama is doing and Hinata tells him he’s fine. Kindaichi still can’t let go of what happened between them in middle school. Hinata asks him straight up if he’s worried about no one hitting Kageyama’s sets? It’s not a big deal. It’s normal to fight and not back down! He’s right, you know? This puts Kindaichi at ease a little bit. Coach Washijō and the other teachers are having dinner at the usual spot. They praise Hinata for being so enthusiastic even though he was just a ball boy. He definitely influenced the other boys at the training camp. Coach Washijō comments that he has a powerful, driving hunger for height. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, that hunger is always there. That hunger drives those who lack height. The waitress stops by and gives them their order of oysters. Uh oh, somebody is going to get sick again!

It’s the next day and Hinata gets to school early. So does Kageyama! They lock eyes…and immediately race each other to the clubroom! I’ve missed this. Of course, neither of them have the keys. Hinata pulls out a volleyball from his bag and suggests tossing it around a bit. He tells Kageyama that he’s been a ball boy for the past five days. He also tells him about the awesome players he met at the training camp. Kageyama remarks he also met some great players and that there was even a Little Giant there. This naturally catches Hinata’s interest. Kageyama admits that he was one of the best players out of the amazing bunch at the All-Japan training camp. He also adds that he’s 100 times better than Hinata. Hey, that seemed unnecessary! But you know what? Kageyama looks Hinata in the eyes and tells him that he can fly higher. That would have been the perfect way to end the episode! Instead, the episode ends with the reveal that Karasuno is going to have a practice match with Date Tech!

In Summary:
The training camps are finally over. Both Hinata and Kageyama gained a lot from their experiences. Even though he was just a ball boy, Hinata improved his ability to read the court. You’re bound to pick something up when watching good players practice! All that running around as a ball boy probably helped his stamina, too. Remember, volleyball is as much a mental game as it is a physical game. I guess you can say that about all sports though. It was nice seeing Kageyama having so much fun during his training camp. Being able to hang with some of Japan’s best players will certainly boost his confidence. I absolutely marked out when he told Hinata that he can fly higher at the end of the episode. I can’t wait to witness this duo in action again! I enjoyed the training arc but I’m so ready to see an actual match. That’s why I’m understandably hyped for the Karasuno versus Date Tech practice match! I’m looking forward to it.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll, VRV

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