Now that I’ve made it through the two OVA episodes, I could finally watch the first episode of Haikyu!! To The Top. Early on in the episode, it takes the last little scene from the end of season three and expands things out a little by showing the guys on the team getting measurements done for the pamphlet for the forthcoming spring tournament. We get an amusing scene of Hinata comparing heights and figuring out how much everyone has grown.
Right at the end of season three, we learned that Kageyama had been invited to train at the Japan All-Youth training camp, where 15 and 16 year old players are invited to participate. These players are the potential candidates to be selected as representatives for Japan on the world stage in two years’ time. Kageyama accepts the invitation, and has Daichi’s blessing. Hinata is frustrated that he wasn’t invited.
But the club’s advisor also has other news: Tsukishima has been invited to participate in a special training camp that’s only offered to first years who have been invited. Tsukishima really doesn’t want to do it, but Daichi and the club advisor insist that he do it. Hinata is frustrated yet again that he wasn’t asked to participate.
So, Hinata does something impulsive and stupid: he goes to the first years training camp uninvited. After some talk with Hinata’s advisor, it is decided that Hinata can stay… but only if he’s a ball boy.
We also see Kageyama arrive at his training camp, and we are introduced to a new character from another school. Kageyama seems to have some respect for this guy, so we’ll see what their interactions end up looking like during their time at this training camp.
The biggest thing for me, though, was getting used to the new voice actor for the younger Ukai. Unfortunately, the original voice actor passed away back in 2016, so recasting this role was mandatory. The new voice actor is trying his best, but it’s going to take some getting used to hearing this new voice from this character.
Overall, this episode is getting the audience back into the groove of the Haikyu!! franchise. For the most part, it’s setting up what the story will likely be focusing on this season, as well as starting the process of introducing new characters. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens during these two training camps, and what the Karasuno players will bring back with them in the way of skills when they return to their team.