Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 10 – “Battle Lines”

The first half of this episode focuses on getting to the stadium and gearing up for the start of Karasuno’s first match. At the bus station, there’s a bag mix-up for Hinata (a kid with the same bag accidentally grabs Hinata’s). When Hinata gets to the stadium, he discovers he has the wrong bag, and is missing his shoes and his phone. Yamaguchi calls Hinata’s phone and talks to the kid and his mother. The mother agrees to meet at he gym they had just been at to make the exchange, and Kiyoko says she’ll go there and back.

On Kiyoko’s trip there and back, we get a little more backstory on her and how she become Karasuno’s manager. Not only that, we learn that the team hadn’t had a manager for a while when she came in, so she had to learn a lot on her own. This really explains why Kiyoko was so insistent on finding someone she could train before she graduated. I really like how this season of Haikyu!! has been giving the girls a chance to shine, especially Kiyoko.

The second half finally see Karasuno beginning their first match, and they are up against Tsubakihara Academy. Before the match starts, Coach Ukai comments that this court is much different from what the team is used to, and it’s going to take them a bit to adjust to it. No truer words had ever been spoken, because we see this happening during their first set. The one who has the most work to adjust is Kageyama, and we see him make several mistakes due to misjudging distances. Over the course of the match that we see in this episode, he works at adjusting, and finally getting it right on with the very last play we see in the episode. I really liked how the animation is done in a couple of the shots as we see Kageyama puzzling out how to adjust his plays to his new surroundings.

Yamaguchi also gets to shine during this part of the episode as well. I’m sure that what he accomplishes helps to build up his self-confidence, especially after how he had been feeling down about himself earlier in the season.

So far, I don’t really have a strong impression of Tsubakihara Academy’s team. There’s one guy who seems to be the nervous type that can be persuaded to calm down through having silver linings pointed out to him. Outside of that, no one else has really made much of an impression yet. I also can’t recall any of their names. Hopefully by the end of the next episode, this team will make a stronger impression.

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