This episode picks up exactly where the end of the previous cour had left off. Karasuno is up against Inarizaki High. It’s quickly established that Miya Atsumu from Inarizaki is a powerful server, and some of the moves that he and his team pull off throw Karasuno off a little bit. But what became quickly irritating is how Inarizaki’s cheering section is purposefully doing things like using their drum and people clapping to set a rhythm that throws off Karasuno’s setters. It’s almost as if they can’t entirely trust their team to do well without their help or something.
But during the episode, we get to see Kageyama and Hinata’s quick slide throw Inarizaki off right at first, and Saeko (Ryu’s sister) shows up late with some other people who play taiko drums. Their goal isn’t to drown out Inarizaki’s cheering section, but to throw off what they’re doing in order to help Karasuno concentrate better.
Overall, it’s an interesting match that shapes up during this episode, but something happens right at the end concerning Miya and his twin brother that adds a new monkeywrench to this match between Karasuno and Inarizaki. It appears this may take the edge and advantage away from Kageyama and Hinata’s quick attack. Can Karasuno find a way to overcome this?
By the end of this episode, the first set between these two teams is nowhere near ending. At one point, the scoreboard showed 7-4, so there’s still a ways to go before getting the first of the two sets decided. But now that we’re further along in the Nationals, the stakes are going to be higher. And with those higher stakes, it means that more time is going to be devoted to each match. At this point, I have no idea if 12 episodes is going to be enough to get the story through Nationals, or if we can expect another season at some point. I’m curious to see what kind of a ride the second half of Haikyu!! To the Top ends up taking the viewer.