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HAIKYU‼ TO THE TOP Episode #13 Anime Review

6 min read
Haikyu!! is on break until the summer season. Bummer! The long wait begins.
© 2018 H. Furudate / Shueisha, ”HAIKYU!!” Project, MBS

“The Second Day”

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)
Kanoka’s teammate wants to know why she’s so into Tanaka? Well, clearly he’s a stud but that’s just my opinion. Kanoka reveals that they were neighbors up until fourth grade when she moved away. At the time, she would always be made fun of because of her height. But you know what? Tanaka wouldn’t let anyone make fun of her! Tanaka was shorter than her when they were kids and he always admired how cool she looked. He wanted Kanoka to have more confidence in herself and introduced her to volleyball. As we already know, being tall is a plus in this sport. And the rest, as they say, is history. Tanaka helped her build confidence. That’s adorable. Elsewhere, Tanaka is still shocked at the fact that he has a chance! Yes, yes he does. Don’t waste it!

But that’s enough about Tanaka’s romantic life, for now. Karasuno has to focus on their game tomorrow and it’s not going to be an easy one. They have to face the second-place team from this year’s Inter-High, Inarizaki High School. They’re also a heavy favorite to win the nationals. They’ve got a lot of awesome players on their team including their top scorer, Ojiro Aran, the middle blocker, Suna Rintaro, and the best high school setter in Japan, Miya Atsumu. Kageyama knows firsthand just how good of a setter Miya is. His spikes are easy to hit and they’re consistent and don’t waver. Not only that, but he’s really good at serving as well. He dual-wields between spike serves and jump floaters. Again, it’s not going to be easy taking down Inarizaki. Karasuno just won a game but everyone looks extremely nervous at the moment. Well, everyone except Hinata and Kageyama. They already think that they’re going to win the game and make it to the finals! You’ve gotta love their confidence.

Tanaka is feeling a bit tense and decides to take a walk outside. Guess who bumps into? Yup, Kanoka! They sit down and start talking about how their families are doing. It’s nighttime and they’re sitting under some sparkly lights, it’s the perfect romantic mood! In fact, it seems like Kanoka is about to confess to Tanaka! He starts blushing like crazy and nervously blurts out that his heart is already set on someone else!?!?!? Dangit, Tanaka. That’s not what you’re supposed to say! This was your chance. Randomly, some handsome fella shows up and gives Kanoka a gift. Okay, this just got complicated. Did Tanaka misunderstand everything? He apologizes and runs away. Poor Tanaka. The guy turns out to be her cousin. Tanaka had nothing to worry about. Then again, this is anime. I can’t say for certain that there isn’t any romance involved between the two, haha. But it doesn’t look like it so he really had nothing to worry about. Kanoka starts crying and tells her cousin that she might’ve just had her heart broken. D’awww. But you know what? That’s okay. She didn’t come here to fall in love. She came here to win every game! Well, she recovered quickly.

The next day, the team heads to the gym for some practice before the big game. It’s revealed that Miya has a twin!?!? Even if you manage to contain Miya, his twin brother Osamu will pick up the slack. The Miya Brothers are also considered the best twins in the high school volleyball scene. This match just got even more interesting. Outside, Kanoka is getting a pep talk from her friend. She tells her not to give up on Tanaka! Just keep pushing. This reminds Kanoka of her early days playing volleyball. She wanted to be good but didn’t know how. Tanaka told her to just keep trying until she got good! That’s some good advice. Also, she bumps into Tanaka! He apologizes for the weird things he said yesterday and hopes that she can just forget about it. She also apologizes for her cousin interrupting them last night. Tanaka realizes that he was the one misunderstanding! Kanoka tells him that she’s gotten better and that he should watch her. She runs off and Tanaka proclaims that he’s going to get a whole lot better, too!

Miya greets Kageyama while he’s practicing. He hopes that Karasuno will play well out there because he hates people who suck. Hilariously, he glares at Hinata and crew while saying that. Kageyama apologizes for them sucking, especially Hinata, haha. While he does suck, Kageyama makes it clear that Hinata isn’t weak. They’ll be okay! Alright, it’s time for the match to finally start. Karasuno versus Inarizaki, let’s go! By the way, Inarizaki’s fans are pretty intense and loud. They also have a marching band playing for them in the crowd. That’s a top-ranked school for you! Also, Miya has tons of female admirers. Why wouldn’t he? Miya gets to be the first one to serve in the game. The crowd goes crazy until he signals for them to be absolutely quiet. When he serves, two girls continue cheering for him and he looks at them with absolute disgust. He doesn’t like it when people make noise while he’s serving! Regardless, he managed to get on ace on his very first serve. The Karasuno players couldn’t even react to it! Luckily for them, Miya messes up his next serve and it goes out. Karasuno gets the ball.

Asahi is up to serve and the crowd starts booing loudly. Well, that’s rude. But that’s just how Inarizaki fans are. They go super quiet when their team is serving and get really loud when the other team is. It seems the crowd got to Asahi because he messes up his serve and hits the net. He shouldn’t feel too bad though as the next guy also messes up his serve! This is certainly an interesting way for the game to begin. Eventually, things settle down and there’s this one moment where Hinata jumps really high and leaves the Inarizaki players speechless. However, he forgets to hit the ball and the other team gets a point, haha. This annoys the Miya Brothers. Is Hinata really experimenting while playing against THEM? How dare he!? The episode ends with a nice image of the Karasuno players staring down the Miya Brothers.

In Summary:
Tanaka really did have a chance! It’s a shame that he messed it up. But it seems like he’ll get a chance to redeem himself, someday. Again, I’m surprised this romance got so much attention. I didn’t mind it at all though. However, this does make me wish that the Karasuno girls’ volleyball team was shown more love. Heck, they’re supposed to be really good! I want to see their matches! In fact, why isn’t there a Haikyu!! spin-off manga about them!? I think a lot of people would love to see that! Anyway, Karasuno versus Inarizaki is underway. The hype is real! I can’t wait to see all the crazy plays these teams are going to pull off…in about three months. Yup, Haikyu!! is on break until the summer season. Bummer! The long wait begins.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll, VRV

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