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HAIKYU‼ TO THE TOP Episode #07 Anime Review

6 min read
Teamwork, baby! Get ready for the new King of the Court. All in all, great character development for Kageyama.
© 2018 H. Furudate / Shueisha, ”HAIKYU!!” Project, MBS

“Return”

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)
At the end of the last episode, Kageyama told Nishinoya that he was in the way. We know that he isn’t good with words and Nishinoya didn’t respond well to it. Why did he tell him to move? Kageyama explains that he was blocking the back row attacker’s approach. Nishinoya immediately calms down and acknowledges his blunder. Well, that went better than expected! It always helps to explain what you mean, you know? Tanaka comments that he should have worded what he said differently. Kageyama asks him how so? This ticks Tanaka off and he has to be held back! Again, Kageyama isn’t the best with words. But his team does recognize that it’s incredible that he’s able to notice what’s going on around him on the court. Yachi remarks that he looks scarier than usual. She’s not wrong. There were a lot of Kageyama angry faces in this episode.

As the match continues, Kageyama seems to get even more irritated. Date Tech’s blocking is on point today. It hasn’t been easy getting over their wall. Tsukki manages to get a kill but just barely. Kageyama knows his pass was good but wasn’t happy with how that play turned out. He stares at Tsukki who responds by saying that he got the kill. What more does he want from him? If he has something to say, say it. Kageyama remains silent and focuses on the game. Hinata comments from the sidelines that Kageyama is definitely not good with words but it’s weird for him to not say anything. A bunch of seniors from Date Tech come by to cheer for their juniors. They’re a rowdy bunch but it seems like Date Tech is having a lot of fun. The mood on the Karasuno side is totally the opposite. Kageyama’s grumpy face says it all. Tsukki ends up missing a block and Kageyama chews him out for not jumping again. He’s well aware of his mistake and doesn’t appreciate Kageyama talking to him like that. Thus, he responds by asking if the grumpy King missed his nap? Oh, snap! Naturally, this ticks Kageyama off. They’re both separated before a fight breaks loose. Also, Coach Ukai seems to be having a blast watching all of this transpire!

Asahi misses the chance to score and feels really bad about it. He tells Kageyama that it’s his fault and that his toss was good. Kageyama responds by yelling that he should have made the damn point. Woah, calm down! Everyone is shocked by his outburst. Karasuno loses the first set which causes Kageyama to lose his cool. He starts yelling at the team and states that he knows his tosses are good. He demands that they score more often! Tsukki smirks and remarks that it’s the return of the King. Never change, Tsukki. This causes Kageyama to have a flashback about what happened with his junior high team. He’s about to apologize when Hinata chimes in with some words of wisdom. What’s wrong with him being the King? Is it because he’s too bossy? Heck, it doesn’t matter! If he doesn’t like what Kageyama says, he just won’t listen to him! Simple as that, haha. Everyone agrees with that. Hinata is great. He also says that maybe Kageyama can try being a cooler King. Coach Ukai adds that nothing beats a set that’s easy for the spiker to hit and that you find it out through communication. It doesn’t mean that you can’t fight though! Everyone tries to cheer him up. Asashi apologizes in advance for probably getting caught by Date Tech’s blocks. Tanaka proclaims that he’s going to keep trying for the super sharp cut shot. Kageyama can’t make any promises!

Coach Ukai knows Kageyama has extraordinary talent and it may be difficult for the others to nitpick when it comes to him. Well, maybe not for Hinata. He notices that Kageyama hasn’t been attacking the middle much in this game and tells him to start doing it. Kageyama tries to experiment with his toss but it doesn’t match up with Tsukki. This leads them to butting heads, again. On the next play, Tsukki actually jumps for his toss! Kageyama has decided to force them to hit from a higher contact point. He smirks and remarks that Tsukki can fly after all. I actually marked out for that! Hinata reminds him that the setter is the most dominant role. It’s the coolest! Of course, that’s something Kageyama said himself and he’s not going to let him forget it! He can try to be a Goody Two-Shoes but deep down inside, he’s a King. Hinata places a towel on Kageyama’s head and proclaims him to be the new King of the Court! I also marked out for this. Kageyama throws the towel back at Hinata’s face but he has the biggest smile on his face! He addresses the team and admits that he doesn’t know others feel. He also isn’t good with words which everyone knows already. But he’ll try to be the best setter he can be. Everyone already thinks he is!

Things go a bit better in the second set. They’re matching up better at least. And hey, everyone is being honest with each other! Kageyama points out that Tanaka is getting sloppy and suggests subbing him out. He refuses and Kageyama accepts that he’ll just have to throw less passes his way, haha. Hinata even points out a bad toss by Kageyama! Isn’t it great when you can be honest with each other? That’s great and all, but they’re still having trouble against Date Tech’s blocking. Coach Ukai remarks that they may end up becoming their most troublesome opponent next year. How will they deal with Date Tech’s wall?

In Summary:
All those angry Kageyama faces, am I right? Kageyama was definitely the main focus of this episode. As I stated last week, his attitude changed ever since getting back from the All-Japan training camp. He played with the best players Japan has to offer and wanted to help Karasuno play at that level. While his heart was in the right place, he wasn’t able to convey his feelings through words very well. When he was referred to as the King, it was clear that he hadn’t been able to move on from what happened in junior high. But you know what? He’s not the same as he was back then. He realizes now that he may be wrong at times and accepts it. His Karasuno teammates will gladly tell him how they feel! Especially Hinata, haha. They’ll also accept his criticism. Together, they’ll keep evolving and reach new heights. Teamwork, baby! Get ready for the new King of the Court. All in all, great character development for Kageyama.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll, VRV

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