The Formidable Ally
It’s always nice to see shows with this as their primary strength, but Haikyuu is a prime example of a show which shines on the execution front. This could well be just harping on my words from the previous two weeks, but I.G is such a solid studio and Haikyuu puts that all to the forefront. I’d be lyin’ if I wasn’t curious as to how other sports shows currently running would look like under I.G (krhm Baby Steps), but honestly, out of those shows, Haikyuu might just be the best fit for them. What we have going on here simply works so well.
And they really get those eyes lookin’ as pretty as humanely possible. Megane-man is sharp.
But really, what we have here is an episode full of preparing for the first year game, and really getting the first step into Hinata and Kageyama’s budding relationship. And this goes just about how one could imagine it would go, but once again done with enough flair and thought that it’s… well, not like seeing it for the first time, but giving the old approach a good spit shine. Part of this really might come from the duo itself, the two of whom occupy fairly recognizable positions, but quickly find their own little hole in it all. Hinata is undoubtedly the plucky unskilled individual, who nonetheless possesses both the ability and drive to fly where he wants to. This is done with a real straightforwardness that generally works in sports series, but the added clarity that comes through in his middle school years and moments like his interactions with Sugawara really help sell the little guy. The importance of him having teammates in all his time of not having a true one, yet what he gets here is not only the kid he sees at being the best for their age level, but also refuses to even accept what Hinata has on offer. Once again, not necessarily a special or unique character, but the importance here is how it’s laid out.
Then we have Kageyama, who really is proving to be a butt, and not just an occasional butt. But that’s more than obviously taking a similar approach Hinata’s middle school years are taking, wherein his attitude is both born from that time and is gearing up for a change from that time. The difference here of course is that while with Hinata we know pretty much exactly what went on during his earlier years, Kageyama we have some idea but certainly not the full picture. Suguwara gives his piece on how Kageyama feeling a little more mellowed out now (to which he gets a rightfully incredulous response), but when you figure in the rest of what goes on in the episode, it really does show that Kageyama is likely to have been knocked down a peg or two, so his attitude would had to have changed. Not only is he resentful of his old court nickname, but with the appearance of the other two new first years, lackey Yamaguchi and Meganeman Tsookie…
I… I’m not using that. Tsukki. Going with the manga translation on this one.
Tsukki here, clearly overly antagonistic to Kageyama, pretty much reveals that one day people stopped putting up with Kageyama’s stink. Which is honestly not hard to believe. People have a breaking point, and when somebody is constantly pushing that limit, it’s almost totally natural that Kageyama would soon run out of people to bark at. Not only would this sour his old nickname, but it puts reality right in front of him. He still hasn’t changed particularly drastically, but with being in a lower position than he used to be, it’s clear that his attitude would forcibly be different than before. Speaking of attitude, Tsukki really has some himself. Yamaguchi doesn’t get much of anything here, but Tsukki is a total butt. All we really get from him is that he’s going mock friendly all the way and that he really isn’t a fan of kids who do the whole effort thing. Another point for doing things in a fairly standard way, yet still a point for doing it well, at least for now. That said, an attitude I can get behind is Sugawara who really is playing the nice guy, and is the kind of student that’s easy to look up to when you need some help. Of course, we get one tidbit from here that’s likely to come back later, namely his position, but let’s leave that for when it becomes relevant.
Also. Is it just me, or is the music pretty pleasant for this show? The montage music in particular hits a really nice sweet spot, and I’m not necessarily even all that into montage music in the first place. Not bad, not bad at all…