Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 20 – “Leader”

The episode begins with Inarizaki High swapping in their team captain, Shinsuke Kita. It turns out the guy is actually quite talented, he usually isn’t on the court. Because of this, Karasuno never saw him in any of the videos they watched… which makes him an unknown quantity. However, we see that Kita’s mere presence on the court whips his team into shape.

We quickly get a couple of flashbacks that show the audience the type of person he is. He has a blunt way of speaking, and analyzes situations with a cold logic. Even with this, though, it’s shown that he does care about his teammates. The scene of him scolding Atsumu for trying to practice while being sick with a cold is a great example of his care. In the flashbacks, it’s made clear that his teammates see him as being like a robot, but are quite surprised when he sheds tears of joy when he’s chosen as the team captain.

But seeing these flashbacks and how they introduced and flesh out Kita’s character, it makes it clear to the audience that he’s going to be an important character. The series isn’t going to waste time focusing almost half of an episode on flashbacks to develop a random or minor character.

After the flashbacks, we see that the team had their reasons for bringing Kita out onto the court. Thanks to him, Inarizaki manages to break through and win the second set. There’s concern over how Karasuno is going to handle this, especially with them losing by eight or nine points… especially since the set didn’t end on a more positive note for Karasuno. Fortunately, we see that while the team members have some regrets over how the set went, they don’t feel like they’re down for the count.

The third set is just getting going at the end of the episode, and it’s pointed out that Karasuno has made an important change to their rotation lineup in order to better handle the Miya twins’ weird quick. The audience is just starting to see the effects of this change when the episode ends.

I’m happy to say that after the terrible animation that permeated last week’s episode, this week only had maybe two or three shots where a character looked off-model. Which I’m very happy about, especially since this episode spent a lot of time on Kita’s backstory. It almost makes me wonder if the animators were cutting corners last episode so they could get it done a little faster, so they could focus more of their time on this one. But it’s a shame that last week’s episode was so off-model, because it seemed like it would have been an exciting one to watch if the bad animation hadn’t distracted from the action.

Kita definitely added a new dimension to the second set, and it’s going to be interesting to watch how Karasuno’s teamwork and plays evolve because of the introduction of this unknown variable into the other team.

At this point, it appears we’re down to the final five episodes of this season. Will all the remaining episodes be focused on this final set? Or perhaps four of them will be on this match, with the final episode focusing on the aftermath? Just as long as the set remains exciting and doesn’t feel like it’s being stretched out, I think it’ll be OK.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 19 – “The Ultimate Challengers”

This episode returns to the set between Karasuno and Inarizaki High, where the score is sitting at 14-7 (with Inarizaki in the lead).

Before I go into what actually happens in the episode, I’m going to spend a little bit of time talking about the animation quality. I’ve seen it noted by other anibloggers that they had noticed the quality of Haikyu!!‘s animation declining. While I had noticed this phenomenon in the occasional shot this season, it was a very different story for this episode. Before reaching the halfway point, there were basically entire scenes where the characters looked completely off-model. Unfortunately, this bad animation was really distracting me from the actual story. And it didn’t help when we saw flashbacks of scenes from previous seasons, because it only helped to accentuate just how bad and off-model the animation in this episode was.

So, there’s a set going on. I remember that Nishinoya was being targeted by Inarizaki, in the hopes of wearing down Karasuno’s morale. Basically, the idea being that if the libero, who serves as the defender, can’t return the ball, that it’ll shake the confidence of the other members of Karasuno’s team. I thought it was kind of interesting to see this concept being used again, especially right after the episode where Kenma was being targeted by his team’s opponents. Fortunately, Nishinoya overcomes the pressure of being targeted, and thus allows Karasuno to continue.

At one point, Sugawara is brought in as a substitute, and he gives this rousing little speech… but right afterward, he looks a little downcast before heading to his spot. Unfortunately, the impact of this scene is blunted by the fact that Sugawara looks very off-model. The off-model animation definitely hindered the impact that some of the scenes in this episode should have had.

We then see Karasuno targeting Aran from Inarizaki High. I also remember another member of this team being substituted in, but he didn’t perform to expectations and was actually booed by his own team’s cheering section. I got to say, I think the members of their cheering section are a bunch of jerks (between this and some actions they’ve taken previously to try to distract Karasuno)… but, their band does play a catchy song. Sadly, that piece of music and the off-model animation are probably the most memorable aspects of this episode. Which I find to be quite sad, because at this point in the series, these episodes should be making a stronger impact on the audience than this.

This set between Karasuno and Inarizaki High is still ongoing at the end of this episode, and I believe Inarizaki is still ahead, even though Karasuno has started to narrow the gap. But like I said earlier, the off-model animation was so glaringly obvious through so much of this episode that it served to distract me and it degraded the overall quality of the episode.

And from the brief clips we get in the next episode preview, it appears that the animation quality is going to continue to look off-model. I know that the second half of the Haikyu!!: To the Top anime was delayed for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re getting this of animation quality after that three-month delay? I can only hope and pray that maybe this episode has the worst of the off-model animation, because I don’t want to believe that it could get even worse with subsequent episodes. That’s probably wishful thinking on my part, though.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 18 – “Trap”

This episode continues the set between Nekoma and Sarukawa Tech. This episode sees Sarukawa Tech still trying to wear down Kenma and break his spirit. Even though he’s looking visibly tired and worn out, Kenma still forces himself to keep going. At one point, the poor guy’s so tired that he trips on his own feet. I felt so bad for Kenma, and seeing how visibly tired he was kind of made me feel tired, too.

But… it turns out that not everything is as it seems. Sarukawa Tech thinks they’re calling the shots on the court, but it turns out that Nekoma has a plan (suggested by Kenma, surprisingly), that makes it where Nekoma is actually calling the shots. I loved seeing the shock and surprise among Sarukawa Tech’s players when they realized that the situation wasn’t what it seemed.

When this realization is made, though, the set becomes even more intense. At this point, a lot of the set sees the teams at deuce, with neither team making enough ground to break the deuce. But in the end, Kenma pulls something off that turns the tide in Nekoma’s favor.

There’s a great scene near the end of the episode after the set, and we get to see Kenma actually releasing the frustration and anger that had built up during the set. If I was being targeted by the other team and getting worn out, I feel like I probably might have lashed out the same way. The reactions of Kenma’s teammates were wonderful to see. And Kenma’s musings right at the end using his video game analogy of “leveling up” was nice, too.

I also liked how the end of this episode served as a transition. Right at the end, after Nekoma has had a chance to recover from their own match, they go to watch Karasuno, who is still in the middle of their own set.

It was great to see Nekoma in action again, and to see that they will be continuing in the competition. But I’m also ready to return to Karasuno’s set and find out what’s going to happen to our protagonists.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

VIZ Media Announces January 2021 Manga Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga releases for January 2021.

Shonen Jump

Moriarty the Patriot Volume 2
Storyboards by Ryosuke Takeuchi
Art by Hikaru Miyoshi
Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

After successfully establishing a foothold in Durham and cleansing the city of some of its corruption, William James Moriarty sets his sights on London. To make headway there, he needs the aid of his brother Albert. But while on his way to London, Moriarty is kidnapped by a gang of criminals. He needs Albert sooner than he thought, but will Albert be able to save him in time?

Platinum End Volume 12
Story by Tsugumi Ohba
Art by Takeshi Obata

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

Just when it looked like the god candidates might come to an agreement, one of them is suddenly assassinated. Now Professor Yoneda seems to be in control of the entire god selection process. Will the remaining candidates yield to Yoneda’s desire to rid humanity of fake gods, or does Mirai have a different plan in mind?

The Promised Neverland Volume 18
Story by Kaiu Shirai
Art by Posuka Demizu

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Emma and Ray race to the queen’s chamber to stop Norman’s plan, but are they already too late? What has propelled Norman to take such a brutal path, and is it something that will forever change his relationship with his closest friends?

Haikyu!! Volume 42
Story and Art by Haruichi Furudate

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Hinata is removed from the game with a fever, leaving Karasuno to battle it out against Kamomedai in the final set without their biggest scorer. Anguished that he can’t be there, Hinata watches the rest of the game via broadcast. What does he see from outside of the court? Find out as the Spring Tournament arc comes to an end.

My Hero Academia Volume 26
Story and Art by Kohei Horikoshi

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Hawks and the Safety Commission have managed to get their hands on some top secret information. A big villain attack is coming, and the heroes must do all they can to prepare. As part of these preparations, Eraser Head and Present Mic pay a visit to the prison, while Midoriya, Bakugo and Todoroki begin training under Endeavor in order to become fighters who can stand on their own. But in the meantime, the boys will have to survive a dinner party at the Todoroki household.

Black Clover Volume 24
Story and Art by Yūki Tabata

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

In order to protect themselves against the ruthless Spade Kingdom, Asta and his fellow magic knights have spent six months training under the watchful eye of the princess of the Heart Kingdom. But will their efforts be enough when the war between the countries finally breaks out?

Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Story and Art by Gege Akutami

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Yuta Okkotsu is a nervous high school student who is suffering from a serious problem… his childhood friend Rika has turned into a curse and won’t leave him alone. Since Rika is no ordinary curse, his plight gets noticed by Satoru Gojo, a teacher at Jujutsu High, a school where exorcists are taught to combat curses. Gojo convinces him to enroll, but can Yuta learn enough in time to confront the curse that haunts him?

Shojo Beat

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 11
Story and Art by Sorata Akiduki

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Yuzuri, Suzu and Kirito travel all the way from Lilias to visit Shirayuki and friends, resulting in a delightful reunion—until things take a turn. Meanwhile, Izana pressures Zen to hold a banquet to seek out potential brides, but Zen has another idea in mind.

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 6
Story and Art by Maki Enjoji

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

Nanase became a nurse to chase after Dr. Kairi Tendo. Now the two are finally starting to act like lovers. They’re busy enjoying blissful days until Kairi’s older sister Ryuko goes missing.

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 10
Story and Art by Mika Yamamori

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Suzume has moved to Tokyo and is living with her uncle. Mamura’s sudden confession of love leaves Suzume’s head spinning. After spending the entire night agonizing over how to respond to him, she finally decides to give Mamura a chance. But soon after she makes her choice, Mr. Shishio throws her a curveball.

Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 6
Story and Art by Io Sakisaka

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Love and friendship have become quite complicated for these four friends. Even though their feelings are mutual, Akari and Kazuomi can’t get their timing right. Rio realizes he likes Yuna, but he suspects his friend Agatsuma likes her too.

Takane & Hana Volume 16
Story and Art by Yuki Shiwasu

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Hiromi idolizes his older cousin Takane and will do anything to protect him—including running away from home. Takane’s got enough problems dealing with work exhaustion and Hiromi’s father itching to take him down, but maybe he’ll be able to find Hiromi with Hana’s help.

Prince Freya Volume 4
Story and Art by Keiko Ishihara

On Sale Date: January 5, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

The unexpected arrival of horned warriors at Fort Leren is all that saves the Tyrish troops from the Sigurdian seige. But the Kelds have no interest in joining forces with Tyr—they only intervened to cause pain to their old foe. While it is a disappointing decision, it opens Freya’s eyes to other paths of resistance. Tyr might have no allies, but Sigurd has many enemies.

VIZ Media

Persona 5 Volume 5
Story and Art by Hisato Murasaki
Based on the video game by Atlus

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Shujin Academy student council president Makoto Nijima is starting to suspect that Akira and his friends may be more than just school students. Meanwhile, a criminal organization operating in Shibuya has started to target high school students in a new, devious scam. Will the Phantom Thieves be able to prove they’re the good guys, all while keeping their identities a secret?

Yo-Kai Watch Volume 16
Story and Art by Noriyuki Konishi

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA $9.99

Nate returns with a totally different Yo-kai Watch and the amazing Yo-kai Keystones. Get ready to meet a whole bunch of bizarre new Yo-kai.

Pokemon: Sun & Moon Volume 9
Story by Hidenori Kusaka
Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA $4.99

Sun and Moon are stranded in Ultra Space, home of the Ultra Beasts. Worse, they’ve lost Legendary Pokemon Lunala. Who can they trust in this alternate dimension? Things look dark for everyone—especially in Ultra Megalopolis, the city that has lost its light.

Splatoon Volume 11
Story and Art by Sankichi Hinodeya

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA $9.99

The final match of the Ranked Battle Cup begins. Find out what happens when Team Blueperor steps inside the arena against their greatest opponents, the fierce X-Blood.

VIZ Signature

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Volume 6
Story and Art by Yuji Kaku

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $12.99

The conflict between the ruthless bandit Aza Chobe and Gabimaru the Hollow explodes into an all-out battle. Chobe, already a formidable foe, has found new levels of strength thanks to the influence of tao. Can Gabimaru’s skills prevent his death at the hands of this monstrous enemy, or will the pintsize ninja finally lose?

BEASTARS Volume 10
Story and Art by Paru Itagaki

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Red deer Louis learns he has more in common with lion Ibuki, his biggest supporter in the Shishi-gumi gang, than he thinks. While the blood feud between gray wolf Legoshi and brown bear Riz escalates, puma Tao and anteater Kibi attempt a reconciliation. Giant panda Gohin continues his work attempting to cure carnivores of their meat addiction. And surprising secrets about Legoshi’s family and past are revealed.

Asadora! Volume 1
Story and Art by Naoki Urasawa

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $14.99

When Asa’s mother goes into labor yet again, Asa runs off to find a doctor. But no one bats an eye when she doesn’t return—not even as a storm approaches Nagoya. Forgotten yet again, Asa runs into a burglar and tries to stop him on her own, a decision that leads to an unlikely alliance.

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction Volume 9
Story and Art by Inio Asano

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $14.99

Oda and Futaba are lurking in Oran’s memories from an alternative timeline where she and Kadode simultaneously save the earth and ruin their lives. When the worst happens, Oran takes a desperate leap into another timeline. But things don’t seem to be going very well in that timeline either. Good thing there are endless timelines, right, Isobeyan?

Children of the Whales Volume 16
Story and Art by Abi Umeda

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Orca is known as the God of Death, a cold and emotionless soldier who has no qualms about using his little sister as a pawn in his game against the empire. But now Chakuro has seen into the very heart of the pain that motivates Orca’s bloody quest. Can a shared history of loss bridge the differences between them? Or is the pull of death too strong for even love to overcome?

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Volume 15
Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki
Concept by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino

On Sale Date: January 19, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $14.99

The battle for the Nanyang Alliance’s Taal volcano base is over. Sojo Levan Fu and his followers managed to evacuate the newly manufactured Psycho Zakus into orbit. But this victory came at a heavy price. During a ferocious rearguard action, Io—consumed by his bloodlust—accidentally killed someone dear to both he and Daryl. Enraged, Daryl destroyed the Spartan. In the aftermath of the battle, what’s left of the Spartan’s crew regroups to lick their wounds. Io lies in the infirmary, broken by what he’s done. But the war is not finished with Io Fleming, and will leave him with nothing when it’s over. Until then, he has only one job to do…

Shonen Sunday

Fly Me to the Moon Volume 3
Story and Art by Kenjiro Hata

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Nasa has been introduced to Tsukasa’s family… sort of. Now it’s time for Tsukasa to meet her in-laws. Nasa is determined to do whatever it takes to make a long bus ride romantic, while Tsukasa is just happy to check out food courts along the way. Little do they know that Chitose and her maids are on their tail, bent on turning their quickie honeymoon into a quickie divorce.

RIN-NE Volume 37
Story and Art by Rumiko Takahashi

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

The disembodied spirit of Ayame Sakaki’s crush on Jumonji is becoming increasingly bold. Ayame resolves to get this stroppy spirit under control once and for all, but the spirit predicts her plans and asks Rinne to sever the spiritual chain connecting her to Ayame.

Case Closed Volume 77
Story and Art by Gosho Aoyama

On Sale Date: January 12, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

When a tabloid publisher is murdered, the hardest part of the case may be finding someone who didn’t want him dead. A cold case heats up when a new victim is found with the character for “death” written nearby. And when the Junior Detective League stumbles on a crime while camping, Anita risks exposing her secret identity.

As he solves these cases, Conan keeps running into three suspicious characters—overly friendly neighbor Subaru Okiya, eager young private eye Toru Amuro, and teen detective Masumi Sera. Which of them is the man (or woman) in black code-named Bourbon?

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 17 – “Cats vs. Monkeys”

With this episode, the focus shifts from Karasuno’s set to a set that’s being played by Nekoma. Where we come in, Nekoma is ahead by two points. Sarukawa Tech is their competitor. It’s interesting to note that the coach is Sarukawa Tech is a former student of Nekoma’s coach, so the other team has an advantage of having a coach who intimately knows the coaching style of the other team. In the end, it’s going to come down to which coach will win: the teacher or the student.

A lot of this episode actually focuses on backstory for Kenma, especially after he joins Nekoma. It was just so strange to see him with completely black hair, especially since we get a lot of backstory of him in this episode. A big focus of the backstory is on how Kenma doesn’t like running around and working up a sweat, but still has a fierce determination to win. This creates tension between himself and his new teammate, Yamamoto (aka Tora). This builds into them finally becoming teammates that work together. I don’t think you can call them friends, but they at least know how to work together.

One of my favorite parts of the flashback was the first time we see Kenma running laps with the team. We see he’s not as fast as the others and tires easily, but he uses his imagination to pretend that he’s in a videogame world in order to help keep him going. I thought this was creative on Kenma’s part, and it was an amusing scene to watch. Another favorite scene is when Yamamoto and Kenma get into a verbal altercation, and one of their teammates throws water on them from a water bucket and references the character of Mr. Freeze. It’s even more amusing when nobody else on the team seems to understand the reference.

The big reason we get a focus on Kenma, though, is because the coach of Sarukawa Tech sees that Kenma isn’t someone his team can wear down mentally. However, the coach can tell that he can be worn down physically. We already see that Sarukawa Tech is making plays that force Kenma to run around a lot, and he’s already running out of breath. At the end of the episode, we see the players of Sarukawa Tech are psyched up to deal a final blow to Kenma. Since this is how the episode ends, and from what’s seen in the preview, the next episode will continue this set between Nekoma and Sarukawa Tech. I have a hunch that Kenma is going to find a way to surprise their opponents and help Nekoma win the set. I have no idea how he’ll do it, but I just have that feeling that Kenma isn’t going to react as they expect… especially since acting unexpectedly is one of Kenma’s character traits.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 16 – “Broken Heart”

This episode, we get to focus on Tanaka. We intercut flashbacks of Tanaka with what’s going on in the current set against Inarizaki High. And Tanaka plays an important role during this last portion of the set. Unfortunately, for most of the episode, Tanaka isn’t making any impressive moves to stand out, and in fact, is making mistakes. Over the course of the episode, we see how these misses are adding up and stressing him out. And because of how he’s been performing up to this point, he’s getting marked as the one to target by their competitor. But I appreciated seeing Tanaka actually thinking about what’s happening to him and how average he is. We normally don’t get into Tanaka’s psyche like this, so I thought this made for a great character episode.

During the set, the first flashback we get of Tanaka is when he first joins Karasuno. It was weird seeing him as a blond and acting all rough and gloomy like a delinquent. But then, Shimizu appears… and it’s love at first sight on his part. He actually asks her to marry him. LOL! Shimizu just kind of stops for a moment, then simply says, “No.” I loved how nonplussed she was by this happening.

We get other flashbacks where Tanaka is still got the delinquent vibe going on, but we get to see how getting to know Daichi, Asahi, and Sugawara causes him to change. The last flashback lets the audience see Sugawara’s reaction the first time he sees Tanaka after he’s shaved his head. That was the interactions and banter that we know from the series.

We also get to see Tanaka’s female childhood friend watching him play and her reactions, especially after the end of the set. She comments on how straightforward Tanaka is, and then adds something to the effect of, “I really did get my heart broken.” But, considering how this episode shows how Tanaka keeps trying to go after what’s unattainable or what’s not easy to attain, it makes sense that she would come to that conclusion. But I think it’s too bad for Tanaka that he wouldn’t consider this girl, because from what I’ve seen, I think she’d be good for him because she understands him. Oh well. His loss.

The first set finally comes to an end at the end of this episode. However, from the preview for the next episode, it looks like we’ll be shifting out focus away from Karasuno for at least one episode. Instead, it looks like we’ll be seeing a set between Nekoma and their challenger. This should be interesting.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 15 – “Found”

The episode picks up right where Episode 14 ended, with the Miya brothers surprising Karasuno with their own version of the quick attack. Although this caught them off-guard and may have rattled them a little bit, Coach Ukai found ways for Karasuno to continue surprising Inarizaki High.

Before talking more about the match, I wanted to mention a standout scene from early in the episode. After Osamu and Atsumu surprised everyone with their quick attack, one of their teammates comments how they must be able to trust each other because they’re twins. We then see Osamu thinking about how trust really doesn’t play into it, because of the things Atsumu does (not listening to Osamu and taking Osamu’s things without asking and not giving them back). This was amusing, yet felt like a natural way for two brothers to interact with each other.

Back to the actual match itself. Tsukishima manages to surprise everyone both with an offensive and a defensive move during the match, which help to score points. Hinata and Yamaguchi manage to pull off a couple of surprises as well that help Karasuno score points. With these various surprises, Karasuno manages to close up the point gap with Inarizaki High.

By the end of the episode, we still haven’t quite finished the first set between Karasuno and Inarizaki High. With the final score, it looks like the winner of the first set will likely be decided by the end of it. Watching the opening credits this week, I really get the impression that the battle between Karasuno and Inarizaki High will take almost the entire season or all of the entire season. As the pacing has gone right now, there have been no skips ahead in time when it comes to the set. We’re definitely watching this set in real time, much like with did with Shiratorizawa. Which makes me think we’re going to be getting a total of three sets between these two schools in order to determine the winner. That’s just a guess, though, since I haven’t read the manga. And please, no one tell me whether or not I’m right, because I don’t want the spoilers.

But this episode definitely contained some great moments, such as the awkward interaction between Kageyama and Tsukishima after Tsukushima pulls off one of his surprises in the match. Hinata had some great moments in this episode as well. And I think these moments are going to be important to help keep the flow of the story interesting to watch, especially if I’m correct in assuming the whole season is going to be focusing on the matches between these two teams. It’s nice to see that Karasuno can still pull out some surprises, but I’m wondering how much longer they’ll be able to keep this up. They’ve had to pull a few out already just in this episode alone. I’m looking forward to seeing how this battle between these two schools progresses, as well as what kind of character moments we’ll get along the way. Haikyu!!‘s strength comes in its combination of exciting volleyball matches and character development moments that punctuate the matches that are being played.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Haikyu!! To the Top: Episode 14 – “Rhythm”

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.

Additional posts about Haikyu!! To The Top:

Top 20 Selling Manga in the United States in August 2020

NPD BookScan has published their list of the Top 20 selling manga for August 2020:

  1. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  2. My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 15 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  4. My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 7 by Akira Himekawa
  6. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  7. Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate
  8. Venus in the Blind Spot Hardcover by Junji Ito
  9. My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  10. One Piece Volume 94 by Eiichiro Oda
  11. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 2 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  12. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
  13. Uzumaki Hardcover by Junji Ito
  14. Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 8 by Tomohito Oda
  15. My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  16. My Hero Academia Volume 23 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  17. My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kōhei Horikoshi
  18. The Promised Neverland Volume 16 by Kaiu Shirai
  19. Given Volume 3 by Natsuki Kizu
  20. My Hero Academia Volume 21 by Kōhei Horikoshi

Source: The Fandom Post

My Hero Academia Is at #5 on the NPD BookScan Adult Graphics Novel List for August 2020

10 manga volumes appeared on NPD BookScan’s Top 20 adult graphic novels list for August 2020:

  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#5)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#6)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 15 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#7)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#8)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 7 by Akira Himekawa (#10)
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge (#12)
  • Haikyu!! Volume 1 by Haruichi Furudate (#13)
  • Venus in the Blind Spot Hardcover by Junji Ito (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#19)
  • One Piece Volume 94 by Eiichiro Oda (#20)

The BookScan rankings collect data sales from more than 16,000 locations including Barnes & Noble and other book chains, independent bookshops, and online purchases — but not sales at comic book stores, Walmart.com, and some other venues.

Source: ANN