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 15 sees the various teams competing in the Inter-High preliminaries converging onto the Sendai City Gymansium, where the matches are taking place. When the Karasuno team arrives, they hear people talking about their team as a whole, rumors about Asahi, and comments about Kageyama.
Ikejiri from Tokonami, who knew Daichi back in junior high, has a reunion with his former classmate. It’s an awkward reunion, though, since they’ll be playing against each other in the first match.
We also see that Aoba Johsai is going to be watching the match to see how Karasuno plays. They’re shocked to see that not only are there two players they didn’t play against in the practice match (Asahi and Nishinoya), but there’s also a new coach for the team as well.
The majority of this episode focuses on the teams as they started getting psyched up for the Inter-High, as well as some interactions between members of the teams. Overall, I think these scenes helped to lighten the mood a little before moving on to the beginning of the first match.
The match between Karasuno and Tokonami is just getting underway as the episode is ending, but Karasuno catches Tokonami by surprise and manages to score three points…
Overall, this episode served the purpose of getting the characters to the Inter-High and setting the stage for the preliminaries. The interactions between the various teams tended to be light-hearted in nature, although there were one or two that could be seen as being more serious; the one that was the most serious was the reunion between Ikejiri and Daichi. While they were trying to be friendly with each other, you could also see that both of them were resolved that their respective team would win.
It was also interesting to see a couple of scenes of Karasuno’s girls’ volleyball team at their Inter-High, and how Daichi’s friend Yui channels him as she tries to give her team a pep talk. While we saw Yui talking to Daichi in Episode 14 about her team, I really didn’t expect to actually ever see her team appear in the series. And from the preview, it looks like the girls’ team may make an appearance in it as well.
So far, it looks like Karasuno is off to a good start against Tokonami. I’m interested in watching the next episode to see if Karasuno will continue to do as well as they did in Episode 15, or if Tokonami will recover from their initial shock and be able to turn this into a closer set than it currently is.
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