The first half of the episode sees Karasuno making some surprise plays against Inarizaki, but there’s also an important section that focuses on Nishinoya and Kinoshita. Kinoshita is given a chance to go out on the court and serve, but unfortunately, Inarizaki scores easily with that serve. Poor Kinoshita feels like such a loser, especially when he compares himself to the other players, even the other usual benchwarmers. He feels like everyone else has done something epic during nationals, but that he hasn’t. But even though I hardly know Kinoshita, I did feel bad for him as he was leaving the court. The depiction of his disappointment resonated with me. A little later, though, Kinoshita calls out something helpful to Nishinoya, which helps him make the right play to score against Inarizaki and stop Atsumu Miya’s serves from coming. Nishinoya acknowledges this, and I thought this was great. While Kinoshita himself didn’t make the play, he was able to indirectly affect the set by his actions.
As part of this, we get a little bit of character development for Nishinoya. He talks about when he was younger and how he used to be scared of a lot of things, and how his grandfather taught him not to be afraid. We get some flashback scenes of when Nishinoya was a little kid, and he was so adorable. Awww! But, after seeing these flashbacks, I better understand why Nishinoya is so intense. Let’s just say that his grandpa had a major role in shaping him into the character he is now.
The second half primarily focuses on Aran having a flashback on how he met the Miya twins and his observations of the two of them and the development of their personalities in volleyball over the years. While we had seen some competitiveness against each other in some previous flashbacks, these ones really showed just how truly competitive these twins are against each other. For these two to actually work as well together as they do on the court is actually quite amazing.
Near the end of the episode, though, I did notice a continuity error. In the last play, we see several members of Karasuno rushing toward the net as Kageyama is about to set the ball, and Hinata is clearly shown running toward the net. I realized that this was re-used footage, but I hadn’t realized the continuity error this created until we see Yamaguchi leaving the court… and he’s being replaced by Hinata. Whoops! Hinata couldn’t have been on and off the court at the same time. Whoever decided to reuse that shot from earlier in the episode hadn’t thought about this, apparently. Perhaps they were cutting it too close to the deadline and threw that in to save time, but this glaring continuity error made the end of the episode a little messy. Outside of this continuity error, though, the rest of the episode was actually rather well done.
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