The entirety of this episode takes place during the practice match between Karasuno and Date Tech. In particular, a lot of focus is placed on Kageyama. During the episode, he starts reverting back to his “king of the court” personality from junior high, but the Karasuno team puts him in his place… but in a much nicer way than his teammates on his junior high team did.
Kageyama is also trying to push his teammates to do more than they have before. For example, he wants Tsukishima to jump higher for serves. The changes to Kageyama’s sets and throws is throwing his team off a little, but he does have good intentions. Kageyama may not be the best at expressing himself with either his words or his tone, but he does have ideas that his teammates need to consider.
Kageyama and Tsukishima also have some rather tense interactions. Tsukishima had a great line about the “King” being upset and needing a nap. There was also some other ribbing and interactions between these two characters, and it’s all part of the interactions we’ve come to expect out of these two characters.
Date Tech is definitely noticing that Karasuno isn’t playing as well as they had before, but I don’t think they’ve picked up on what Kageyama is doing. And while we see some interactions between the members of Date Tech, the emphasis of the episode was definitely on Karasuno’s team. It’s been great to see all these interactions between our protagonists, because I admit that I missed it while some of the characters were separated off into training camps.
The practice match isn’t over by the end of this episode, so it’s going to go for at least one more episode. It’s going to be interesting to see how much longer the anime is going to depict the time before Karasuno heads off to the spring tournament. With some of the footage that we see in the opening, I expect they’ll be heading to the big tournament by the end of this cour.
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