This episode sees a better balance between the first-years training camp and the training camp that Kageyama is at when compared to previous episodes.
At the first-years training camp, Tsukishima invites Hinata to participate in some blocking practice, since they’re not in the official training camp portion of the day. At first, it seems like Tsukishima may feel kind of sorry for Hinata, but we later hear in his thoughts that he wants to do this with Hinata so he can practice against Hinata’s spikes and technique. Admittedly, this is a selfish action, but it does have the benefit of allowing Hinata to participate in some form, even though it’s not in an official capacity.
As Hinata does his ball boy duties, he’s also observing the various participants as they go through their practices and drills. We see him picking up on things about the various players as he does this. I honestly believe that Hinata is starting to gain some better knowledge and detail about volleyball and the various players that he could be up against in the future.
There’s a really tall guy who’s still relatively new to volleyball at the first-years training camp, and he’s struggling to some degree. At one point, he even comments that he wished that Hinata had been invited instead of him. I love how Hinata reacted, and how Hinata was encouraging this guy. During a two-on-two practice drill, Hinata yells out to this guy to “take it easy,” and how the coaches realize that this is sound advice for someone who has been flailing on the court during the chaos of the drill. Hinata’s positivity and encouragement for someone he really didn’t know was awesome to see.
At Kageyama’s training camp, we start getting to know a character named Sakusa. It turns out he comes across as kind of intimidating, but he’s also a major germophobe (which is best shown by his constantly wearing a medical mask over his nose and mouth). We also get to see at least one of the practices that this camp is having, and how Kageyama is adapting to practicing with spikers other than Hinata.
While we didn’t get to see any of the other Karasuno players in this episode, I don’t think that adding any scenes of them would have enhanced this episode any. It was definitely a wise choice to focus on the two training camps. However, while we saw a little more of Kageyama’s camp this time around, I hope we’ll get opportunities to see more of what’s happening at his training camp over the next couple of episodes.
OK, was it just me, or did some of the animation in this episode feel a little “off” somehow? There were some shots in here that just didn’t seem to quite be up to Haikyu!!‘s usual standards.
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