Haikyu!!: Episode 10 – “Yearning”

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 10 continues the match between Karasuno’s team and the Karasuno Neighborhood Association team. As Ukai watches, he sees that the Karasuno team’s receiving needs a lot of work. However, he gets a surprise when he sees Kageyama and Shoyo’s quick attack in action.

When they rotate and Shoyo finds himself across the net from Asahi, and Shoyo is awestruck about being up against the ace. Unfortunately, he becomes so lost in his own thoughts that he doesn’t see the ball coming his way until it hits him in the face and knocks him over. Kageyama gives Shoyo a about lecture wanting to be the ace and how Shoyo’s position in the team is just as important as anyone else’s.

When the match continues, Kageyama tells the other team that he’ll be tossing to Shoyo and to please block him with everything they’ve got.  Shoyo gets upset, but Kageyama tells him that while Shoyo may be lousy overall, he’s invincible as long as Kageyama is there.

The match ends in this episode, and Nishinoya and Asahi officially rejoin the team…

This episode put a lot of focus on setting up the team dynamics and for Kageyama and Shoyo to start having an even better understanding of each other and how they work together. I’ve really enjoyed seeing Kageyama evolve from being the guy who wasn’t a team player to one who will more readily work with others and try to help others through dispensing helpful advice. At this point, Shoyo and Kageyama have become quite a duo, and I would now have a hard time seeing one of the characters and not seeing the other for some reason. They seem to be becoming friends, whether they truly realize they are or not.

Ukai is also able to see both the team’s strong points and its weaknesses. Ukai tells them that they are weak at receiving, and that they’ll start training rigorously the next day. From what I saw for the preview for Episode 11, it looks like the training camp during Golden Week will be starting.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens during the training camp, as well as the match with Nekoma High School that will be taking place at the end of that week.

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