Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 11 – "A Chance to Connect"

The episode backtracked long enough to show the quick that Kageyama and Hinat pulled off right at the end of the previous episode. I may have forgotten to mention this last week, but I really liked how the animation in here was done in a way to illustrate Kageyama’s thinking as he finally adjusts to the size and layout of the court.

After this, the momentum of the set starts moving in Karasuno’s direction. During this set, a pinch setter for Tsubakihara Academy is introduced. The poor kid looks like he’s so nervous that he’s about to throw up. He surprises Karasuno by trying to do an underhand serve. Unfortunately, he messes up and it beans the back of the head of one of his teammates instead. And poor Hinata. He’s trying to use his instincts to go after the ball, but misjudges. However, the misjudges allow him to body slam the ball for someone else to hit over the net. Hinata gets made fun of a little bit over this, but he later proves that he’s a good attacker. But after a well-fought set, Karasuno comes out on top.

We actually get to see the entirety of the second set during this episode. The nervous pinch setter comes out again during this set and uses his underhanded serve… and he’s successful with it. It throws off Karasuno so much, that it almost looks like the momentum will swing back to Tsubakihara Academy’s favor. The last play of the second set is very intense, and it’s hard to tell which way it’s going to go. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say that Sugawara was pretty awesome during that last play.

In this episode, we also get to see a couple of the third-years’ former teammates watching them at nationals. We get to see brief flashbacks of when they were on the team with Sugawara, Daichi, and Asahi. It’s been nice throughout the series getting to see glimpses of when the current third-years were starting out on the team as first-years.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next for Karasuno High School’s team.

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 came to 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.

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 5 – “Hunger”

This episode sees the two training camps wrapping up. But the more important things seem to happen right near the end of Kageyama’s camp. We see Kageyama playing as a spiker and actually doing quite well at it. One of the other guys at his camp thinks he would be a better spiker than a setter. Kageyama disagrees, of course, but he was doing great at it. And after being with and playing with such high caliber players during this camp, how will Kageyama adjust to returning to his own team? And how could this potentially affect Kageyama and Hinata? But, then again, Hinata was observing and picking up on things while serving as a ball boy at the first-year camp. Perhaps both characters can bring something new and different to their combo.

We also get a brief scene of the rest of the Karasuno team practicing. Yamaguchi is still working on his serve, but he sees that someone else on the team (who isn’t one of the main leads) is improving their float serve. It looks like Yamaguchi’s got some more work ahead of him in order to improve his technique.

Near the end of the episode, we see Kageyama and Hinata fired up and returning to Karasuno to practice. It was great to see their banter and their rivalry. I’ve missed this over the past few episodes.

It’s also revealed at the end of the episode that Karasuno has a practice match lined up with Date Tech. And from the preview, it looks like this will be taking place in the next episode.

It was stressed several times during this episode that the Spring Tournament is coming up in less than a month. So I’m curious to see whether the Spring Tournament will begin before the end of this cour, or if this is how the second cour will start.

With some of the characters off on their own, it changed the feel and dynamics of Haikyu!! somewhat. But hopefully with everyone from Karasuno being back together, the feel of the series will be heading back more toward what viewers are familiar with.

Haikyu!! To The Top: Episode 4 – “Take It Easy”

This episode sees a better balance between the first-years training camp and the training camp that Kageyama is at when compared to previous episodes.

At the first-years training camp, Tsukishima invites Hinata to participate in some blocking practice, since they’re not in the official training camp portion of the day. At first, it seems like Tsukishima may feel kind of sorry for Hinata, but we later hear in his thoughts that he wants to do this with Hinata so he can practice against Hinata’s spikes and technique. Admittedly, this is a selfish action, but it does have the benefit of allowing Hinata to participate in some form, even though it’s not in an official capacity.

As Hinata does his ball boy duties, he’s also observing the various participants as they go through their practices and drills. We see him picking up on things about the various players as he does this. I honestly believe that Hinata is starting to gain some better knowledge and detail about volleyball and the various players that he could be up against in the future.

There’s a really tall guy who’s still relatively new to volleyball at the first-years training camp, and he’s struggling to some degree. At one point, he even comments that he wished that Hinata had been invited instead of him. I love how Hinata reacted, and how Hinata was encouraging his guy. During a two-on-two practice drill, Hinata yells out to this guy to “take it easy,” and how the coaches realize that this is sound advice for someone who has been flailing on the court during the chaos of the drill. Hinata’s positivity and encouragement for someone he really didn’t know was awesome to see.

At Kageyama’s training camp, we start getting to know a character named Sakusa. It turns out he comes across as kind of intimidating, but he’s also a major germophobe (which is best shown by his constantly wearing a medical mask over his nose and mouth). We also get to see at least one of the practices that this camp is having, and how Kageyama is adapting to practicing with spikers other than Hinata.

While we didn’t get to see any of the other Karasuno players in this episode, I don’t think that adding any scenes of them would have enhanced this episode any. It was definitely a wise choice to focus on the two training camps. However, while we saw a little more of Kageyama’s camp this time around, I hope we’ll get opportunities to see more of what’s happening at his training camp over the next couple of episodes.

OK, was it just me, or did some of the animation in this episode feel a little “off” somehow? There were some shots in here that just didn’t seem to quite be up to Haikyu!‘s usual standards.

Haikyu!! Anime to Get a Fourth Season

The “Haikyu!! no Hi Zenjitsu-Sai” event announced that the fourth season of the Haikyu!! television anime will premiere in January 2020.

The event also announced that Kazuyuki Okitsu will play Suguru Daishō.

Production I.G’s first television anime adaptation of Furudate’s volleyball manga premiered in April 2014. The second season of the anime premiered in October 2015, and the third season premiered in October 2016. Crunchyroll streamed all three seasons as they aired in Japan, and Sentai Filmworks has licensed all three seasons. Sentai Filmworks released the anime’s first season on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2015, then again in November 2017 with an English dub. The company released the second season on home video on January 16, 2018.

It was also announced that production on a new Haikyu!! original video anime (OVA) project has been green-lit. The project will cover the Tokyo Qualifiers in two episodes, “Riku VS Kū” (Land Vs. Sky) and “Ball no Michi” (The Path of the Ball). It will feature the volleyball teams from Nekoma High School, Fukurōdani Academy, Nohebi Academy, and Itachiyama Academy as they battle for three Tokyo spots in the Nationals.

Source: ANN
Source: ANN

Section23 Films Announces November 2019 Releases

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its November 2019 slate of releases featuring the third season of Haikyu!! from Sentai Filmworks, which will be available on DVD & BD on November 26, 2019 with a Limited Edition Premium Box Set later this year.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming November 2019

Title: MY TEEN ROMANTIC COMEDY ~ SNAFU
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 675 min.
Street Date: 11/5/2019
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: When Hachiman Hikigaya, who has no friends and believes that anyone who likes high school is either deluded or a liar, is coerced into joining the “Services Club” run by Yukino Yukinoshita, who’s smart, attractive and considers everyone to be her complete inferior, it’s a catastrophe just waiting to happen. But it’s not until the THIRD ingredient… Yui Yuigahama, who’s cute, bright, cheerful, and needs help baking cookies… is added to the combustible mix that the sparks really start to fly. Is this a recipe for romance or a prelude to a nuclear meltdown? Get ready for rom-com gone totally wrong as the barrage a trois of the Service Club is unleashed on an unsuspecting student body in My Teen Romantic Comedy ~ SNAFU and My Teen Romantic Comedy ~ SNAFU Too.

Title: NATSU NO ARASHI
Published by: Maiden Japan
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 11/12/2019
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes when you meet someone, you just know they’re going to be interesting, but when 13-year-old Yasaka Hajime meets an older girl while staying at his grandfather’s house for summer vacation, he has no idea how much she’s about to change his life. To begin with, while Arashi may only look a few years older than Yasaka, she’s actually closer in age to his granddad. How is that possible? It seems that Arashi’s not exactly human anymore, and besides being a ghost from 1945, she has an important mission that revolves around her ability to travel in time. Since Arashi can only travel temporally if she’s accompanied by a living being from her current present, guess who’s about to become her partner in paradoxity? It’s time for everything to go a little crazy in Natsu no Arashi.

Title: HIDAMARI SKETCH PICTURE PERFECT COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1450 min.
Street Date: 11/19/2019
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Yuno has dreamed of attending Yamabuki Arts High School for years, but while it’s an incredible opportunity, it also means moving away from her home and family. Fortunately, her new neighbors at the eclectic Hidamari (Sunshine) Apartments, most of whom are fellow students, will be there to help her through the transition. Soon Yuno’s not only no longer feeling homesick, but she’s gained a second family in second-year students Hiro and Sae, who do their best to play the role of older sisters, and her hyperactive new best friend and classmate Miyako. Add in a cosplay-obsessed homeroom teacher, her rather masculine landlady and all of the other odd denizens who inhabit Yuno’s new world and there’s always something fun and interesting going when new friends get creative in Hidamari Sketch Picture Perfect Collection.

Title: HAIKYU!! SEASON 3
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 250 min.
Street Date: 11/26/2019
Format: BD, DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98, $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The Miyagi Prefecture Representative for the Spring High School National Volleyball Championship continues as the Karasuno team advances to take on the undefeated prefecture champions, Shiratorizawa Academy High School. This is the strongest opponent Karasuno has ever faced, and the deck is stacked against them with an extra ace in the form Wakatoshi Ushijima, a powerful wing spiker who’s already played with the National Team. If they want to win, Hinata, Kageyama and the rest of the Crows will have to learn an entirely new playing style in order to counter Ushijima and his seemingly unstoppable spike… and that’s just the first lesson the Shiratorizawa veterans have in store for the Crows. The game is on as the players hit the court in the third pulse-pounding season of Haikyu!!

Haikyu!! to Get New Spin-off Manga on Shonen Jump+ App

Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ website and app is listing that it will launch a spin-off of Haruichi Furudate’s Haikyu!! manga on May 13, 2019. Kyōhei Miyajima is drawing the manga, titled Haikyubu!!. The manga is a “high-tension club activities comedy” series that focuses on rival schools.

Furudate launched the main manga in 2011 in Weekly Shonen Jump. VIZ Media is publishing the manga digitally and in print, and is also publishing the manga simultaneously with its Japanese release digitally.

Source: ANN