Spoilers ahead. As always. But if you haven’t watched this by now — shame on you!
Don’t read, go watch it now.
I miss this series, so when I found out they had two recap movies coming out covering the Seijoh and Shiratorizawa games, I was excited. The first movie of the two came out two days ago, and so far I have yet to find it anywhere. All of the sad.
I have never really been that big on sports anime, there have only been a few that I have managed to really get into. Haikyuu was the first. I watched the first episode on a whim, and was hooked.
While season one is mostly just a warm up, season two is where it was at for me, and Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa was just addictive. I can’t count how many times I have re-watched it since it was all over. I am actually hoping that there will be a season with the nationals and the eventual “Battle at the Garbage Dump” between Karasuno and Nekoma.
With season one starting off with Shoyo being enamored by the Little Giant and deciding to get into volleyball. I felt bad for him when he found out his school didn’t technically have a volleyball team, and then when he barely scraped a team together they get their asses handed to them by Kitagawa Daiichi and Tobio in the first round.
Though their reunion when they reached high school made me giggle. Their rivalry, hatred and then understanding of each other. If you have watched the first 2nd season OVA, you get to relive the comical moment when they knocked the toupee off of the vice principal. The whole incident still brings a tear to my eye because I laugh every time. And when Daichi gives them what for and kicks them out of the gym…Oh man… My face always hurts after watching Haikyuu, I just can’t keep the grin off my face.
The look on Sugas face when he closes the gym door when Shimizu enters. I get giggles just thinking about it.
Meeting the team was fun. Tsukishima got on my nerves a little with his attitude, and Yamaguchi is timid and kinda seems to hide behind Tsukishima… aside from his character development later on, there isn’t a lot to say about him (or Tsukki for that matter). Nishinoya was probably my favourite introduced character, the Guardian God. And then we have Asahi, the big wimpy goofball.
I could go on and on, just about the first season but I will try to not say too much. Though I will say that I was devastated when they lost to Seijoh (Aoba Johsai) at the Inter High matches. They tried so hard, and still got beaten.
I would just like to add a small note about the girls volleyball team too, you don’t really see them all that much but oh man. When their captain walks out of the room and then bursts into tears… my heart broke for her and I cried too, the poor thing.
Back to their loss to Seijoh though… It’s kind of surprising when an anime doesn’t end on a happy note, mostly when you aren’t expecting more than one season. So imagine my surprise, and delight, when I found out there would be a second season.
Season two was full of sports action and feels. The third years had to make a choice about whether or not they would continue their club activities or focus on their studies. Shimizu goes out to find a new manager for the team since she is also a third year, and so she would not be able to continue being their manager after that year.
And so we meet our manager-in-training. Yachi Hitoka. She is so funny, right off the bat. Thinking that she will get attacked just for being around Shimizu, and then when she runs into Coach Ukai… All the lols.
The beginning of season two has the guys having to pass some exams in order to go to the Tokyo away games, of which Shoyo and Tobio both fail one exam each. The OVA covers the boys trying to get special treatment from the vice principal (which does not go well, since they knock off his toupee again), and the test results and the make up tests they have to take, and then joins back up to the regular series with their arrival at the training camp.
We meet a new character, Haiba Lev (who also got his own OVA as an introduction to his character). The extremely tall half Russian, half Japanese first year that takes over the spot of season ones middle blocker Inuoka (much to Shoyos dismay at first).
If season one was essentially an introduction to the Karasuno team, season two is honing their abilities and making them stronger. Of course they are entering the Spring Tournament and after their loss at Inter High, they know and want to get stronger. They each hone new skills and abilities to reach their goal of making the Spring Tournament.
At the very beginning is yet another Shoyo/Tobio dispute. Shoyo realizes that he needs to improve, or their quick will be decimated. Oikawa already proved that it could be beaten, and while at the training camp… the other teams begin to get used to it and are able to block or counter them. And so poor Hitoka becomes stuck between them when they start arguing and fighting, she gets Tanaka to break them up, but still.. the damage has been done.
Shoyo goes to Coach Keishin Ukai to improve, and is in turn taken out to the former Coach Ukai (Keishins Grandfather). The scary coach of Karasuno that was said to have owned a fierce pack of crows and made it to nationals. Former Coach Ukai beats the snot out of his grandson Keishin, in typical comical anime fashion, and then helps Shoyo improve. (Keishin calling his grandfather a ‘shitty old man’ makes me laugh every time. Love it!)
Keishin realizes that for Shoyo to improve, so must Tobio and he races off to find and and so both boys begin training. One for basic skill, the other for a new and incredibly difficult technique.
During their training Shoyo and Tobio end up running into Shiratorizawas Ushijima Wakatoshi. The captain of the reigning champions of the prefecture. Shoyo and Tobio announce that they will beat Ushiwaka (as he is commonly referred as) and Shiratorizawa, and they will head to Nationals.
Then of course as well as all of their training, the Spring Tournament Prelims begin. They face off a couple of relatively unknown schools, of course moving on. Face off against two more schools that push them a little harder, but again… they prevail and make it through.
To another match against Seijoh.
(Poor Aone — LOVE HIM –. He so wanted to play against Shoyo, but Seijoh beat them…)
We get 6 episodes to cover their sets. We meet yet another new character, Kyotani… or Mad Dog-chan (as Oikawa calls him). A force to be reckoned with, but also unstable and uncontrollable at first. Its an exciting match for sure… it’s hard to explain exactly, but it was incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Of course it ends with a Karasuno victory. And the excitement from Karasuno High School and the team as they are now heading to the final match.
Which brings us to our 10 episode season three. Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa.
There isn’t a lot to say about the third season, while there a few flashback sections – and character introduction parts… it is mostly about the match. 5 sets, first to 3 sets wins.
Relatively fast paced, exciting and suspenseful. Tsukishima finally finds his love for volleyball, and begins to give it his all. Only to find that Ushiwaka is still extremely powerful and hard to beat. But as a team they overcome their obstacles and…
VICTORY! KARASUNO WIN! KARASUNO ARE GOING TO NATIONALS! YAY!!
To be honest… At first, I didn’t expect Karasuno to win. Of course, I wanted them to win.. but after their defeat in the first season I kind of wondered if that was how this was going to go as well. They make it all the way to the finals, only to be defeated. But they won. They’re going to the Spring Tournament.
Now we wait.
That there will be at least a fourth season (even if it’s the final season). And we get to see the Karasuno vs Nekoma match. No do overs. You lose, it’s over.
So here I am, looking forward to what I can only hope would be an even greater match that the Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa match.
Cats vs Crows: Battle at the Garbage Dump.