Haikyu!!: Episode 7 – “Versus the Great King”

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: Kageyama was part of Kitagawa Daiichi’s team and was a self-centered setter, while Shoyo spent 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 Seven sees Oikawa, the captain of Aoba Johsai’s team, joining the game. It turns out he’d sprained his ankle and had to be out of regular practice. It also turns out Oikawa is the one who wanted to play against Kageyama in the first place. We learn from Kageyama that Oikawa had been his senpai in junior high. Kageyama says he’s a good player but has a bad attitude. Oikawa has to leave for a bit to warm up since he hasn’t played for a little bit.

We then jump into the middle of the third set, and Karasuno has 24 points; they are three points ahead of their opponent. It’s at this point that Oikawa finished his warmups and takes the court. Oikawa spent some of his warmup time watching the match, and he targets the weak area of Karasuno’s team when he serves. With this strategy, Aoba Johsai is able to score two more points. When it looks like Aoba Johsai will score again, they’re surprised when Shoyo is able to hit the ball back. Shoyo and Kageyama also end up working together to score the final point and win.

After the match, Kageyama and Kindaichi, his former teammate, have an exchange of words. At the end of their exchange, Kageyama says something that surprises Kindaichi. Later, as the Karasuno team is leaving, they have a run-in with Oikawa. He declares that Karasuno better make it to the Inter-High preliminaries and that his team will defeat Karasuno if they meet up.

The episode concludes the practice match with Aoba Johsai, and it was amazing to see Karasuno win by the skin of their teeth. But like Daichi says in the episode, they still have some weakness that they need to overcome. We learn that one of the team members hasn’t been there because he’d been suspended for one week and banned for a month from club activities. But the upperclassmen are excited for his return and they have good things to say about him. Kageyama and Shoyo meet this guy right at the end of Episode Seven. Hopefully we’ll learn more about this new character in Episode Eight.

We also learn that the advisor is trying to get someone else to work with the team who actually knows the sport. He says he’s made several calls but hasn’t heard back. A major hint is dropped during the episode as to who he’s trying to get, so it’ll be interesting to see if this person agrees to help out or not.

Even though I’m not a fan of volleyball, Haikyu!! continues to keep my interest. The characters keep me engaged in the series, especially as I start to learn more about them. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for the Karasuno team.

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