Haikyu!!: Episode 3 – “The Formidable Ally”

Haikyu!! focuses on two first-year high school volleyball players named Shoyo Hinata and Kageyama Tobio. The previous year they had competed against each other in a junior high tournament, and Shoyo decides to become Kageyama’s rival. The two boys come from very different volleyball backgrounds: while Kageyama was part of Kitagawa Daiichi’s team and is a self-centered setter, while Shoyo spend most of junior high practicing being a spiker by himself because his school didn’t have a team until his last year. On the first day of high school, Shoyo and Kageyama are surprised to see that they’re both at Karasuno High School.

At the beginning of Episode Three, we see Kageyama and Shoyo training together with Tanaka observing, but things aren’t going well. Suga, another member of the team, joins them because he’d figured out Tanaka was up to something; he helps Tanaka to work with the first-years. When Shoyo asks for Kageyama to send him tosses, Kageyama’s response is that he’ll toss to anyone who’s essential to winning, and right now, he doesn’t think Shoyo is essential to winning.

During lunch, Suga works with Shoyo outside, and is being helpful by giving pointers and talking with Shoyo about why he’s playing volleyball. Kageyama happens to be nearby and overhears the conversation.

While the players are at their regular practice inside the gym, Kageyama and Shoyo find somewhere outside to practice, and they’re out there for quite a while. After the regular practice is over, Kageyama and Shoyo are approached by Tsukishima Kei and Yamaguchi Tadashi, the other two first-years who are joining the team. A bit of a confrontation takes place between the four first-years.

Kageyama and Shoyo are having their final practice before Saturday’s match, and Shoyo has improved considerably. Kageyama decides to toss to Shoyo, and he’s able to spike it. Episode Three ends right before the beginning of Saturday’s match.

I guess I was wrong at the end of my writeup for Episode Two when I thought Episode Three would focus on the match. I forgot to take into consideration that a shonen sports anime like this would have an episode that would focus on getting ready for the match,

This episode showed that Shoyo made some progress in his abilities by the end of it, and that Kageyama is starting to give Shoyo a little more respect than he had previously. While Kageyama’s opinion may not have changed greatly, it was enough that he considers Shoyo to potentially be essential to winning.

We also got to meet the other two first-years in Episode Three. At this point, I’m not entirely sure what to think of them. They really seemed to give off this “I don’t care” vibe when it comes to the match, and Tsukishima seems to enjoy pushing Kageyama’s buttons and acting rather condescending to Shoyo. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a better sense of what these two new characters are like during the match in Episode Four.

Even though I may not be a volleyball fan, Haikyu!! has been able to keep my interest in the characters and the story. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen as the series progresses.

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