Haikyu!!: Episode 4 – “The View From the Summit”

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.

Episode Four focuses on the Saturday volleyball match between the two groups of first-years and their older team member. Tanaka plays with Shoyo and Kageyama, while Daichi plays with Tsukishima and Yamaguchi.

At the beginning of the match, Shoyo can’t spike the ball past Tsukishima. Tsukishima uses this as an opportunity to ridicule both Shoyo and Kageyama. He says Shoyo will never be able to amount to much in volleyball because of his short stature, and rubs it in to Kageyama how his teammates had abandoned him during an important match in junior high because he was being too controlling and too concerned about himself. Kageyama’s memories of that match play an important role during the course of this episode.

Without realizing it, Kageyama and Shoyo are able to pull off a fast attack; unfortunately, the ball ends up going out. Even though it may have gone out, everyone else in the room is surprised at what they pulled off. Even Shoyo didn’t realize what he did, since he had not formally learned what a fast attack is and how to do it.

As the match continues, Kageyama and Shoyo are able to pull off a couple of fast attacks after several misses. By the end of the episode, Kageyama and Shoyo’s team isn’t quite as behind as they had been earlier on. Unfortunately, the match doesn’t end in this episode, so you have to watch Episode Five in order to find out what happens next.

The match is finally underway, and it basically started out as I expected. I figured out that Kageyama and Shoyo would have to find a way to overcome their shortcomings for the match, but I hadn’t predicted how exactly that would happen.

Wow, Tsukishima continues to act like a total jerk. I’m actually surprised Daichi let him talk like he did during the match. Whenever Tanaka would try to protest, Daichi would tell him not to. But I was disappointed that Daichi didn’t say a word to Tsukishima about his behavior. These four first-years are supposed to be on the same team, so I honestly think that Daichi should be actively discouraging that kind of behavior on the court.

I wasn’t surprised when the end of the episode came and the match hadn’t concluded. Since I’ve been watching Yowamushi Pedal, I’ve come to expect that kind of storytelling from a shonen sports series.

I’m looking forward to watching Episode Five and seeing what will happen next.

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