The View From The Summit
Being completely straightforward, trusting in the other 100%… Yes, I’m using stuff from the episode to describe how the anime is handling the manga. But don’t worry. Just close your eyes and pretend I’m saying something else this time.
“The [volleyball] player is not a soloist, but a member of an orchestra. When a player begins to think, “I’m special”, [that player] is finished.” There’s always something cool about quotes. They bring a certain feel of legitimacy to whatever they’re applied to (plus they’re just nice). Naturally, this is why quotes can be abused with dubious sources and misleading usage, but that’s besides the point here. It’s an appropriate quote for the series as well as the episode, and it’s from a big shot, the biggest shot, in the volleyball world. That’s pretty legit. Particularly for a show where they just did something that’s definitely not really possible at all. But when that’s as far as Haikyuu ever climbs up the mountain of ridiculousness, and the blind strike being somewhat tame when it comes to sports manga like this, it’s really not hard pill to swallow.
Ah, on the quote anyway, it’s pretty clear that it’s talkin’ about Kageyama, and what pretty obviously went down in his middle school years. Hinata had his obvious lack of proper teammates for his middle school year, whereas Kageyama drove them all away on his own. His nickname “King of the Court”, given to him by his teammates, makes as much sense as you’d expect it to. Kageyama is the uncaring ruler who demanded more and more from his underlings, pushing them faster and harder with every game. They suffered this attitude on and on until they could no longer take any more of his royal nonsense and abandoned the kingdom. That, and they benched the shocked king. This issue here obviously is that Kageyama really wasn’t quite as ruthless as he seemed. His desire for better results comes from the same place Hinata’s desire to play, to stay on the court and surpass the wall of the other team. Naturally, this doesn’t excuse Kageyama’s behavior, but it shows plainly enough with his thought process and the following shorter and blunter commands that he had entirely lost his perspective on his own situation and couldn’t communicate what he wanted. If we’re to take the orchestra quote, then the setter would likely take the place of the conductor. And this conductor had little idea of what his orchestra was even doing or capable of.
Here’s where I like what the episode did with angry little setter though. It showed him taking two steps to correcting the problem. Kageyama’s entire situation here was caused by some arrogance and general lack of understanding of his fellow players. Having gone through the sudden trauma of his support crumbling beneath him, he’s trying to take an active step to change the situation and his own actions. This sort of option became visible to him thanks to Hinata and his acceptance of Kageyama, so with that, he’s awkwardly attempting to move from his angry shouts to somewhat less angry encouragement. He’s not going to let lack of communication skills ruin his chance to play on the court this time, and that’s all fine and good. That’s step one.
Step two comes in that, while Kageyama is taking the independent step of trying to cooperate, that’s not enough here. This is what Sugu-senpai points out, as a setter himself. Good on him too, considering he very much confirms that he sees Kageyama as a threat to his position on the court, but he tries his hardest to get across what he feels Kageyama is doing wrong here. He may be reaching out to Hinata, but his methods are still very much the same. He now sees the orchestra, an ability he’s naturally talented at, but he doesn’t conduct anything suitable for their sets of skills. He continues to try his old strategy of brute forcing it, but that’s where step two comes in. He has to actively take into account what his orchestra can do, and guide them to play something to their strengths. It’s a simple two steps of progress Kageyama makes here, but it’s one of those things that Haikyuu manage to pull off with excellent accuracy.
Naturally, we need the other side of the equation here, that being Hinata who will jump at any toss sent his way. And as forthright as possible, he trusts the the throw given to him, as long as he can do what he’s wanted to do for so long. Hit the ball, stay on the court, and see the view from the top of the summit. I swear, Tte eyes closing thing here must exist nearly 100% due to the sort of set-up he’s gotten to seeing the view from the summit. We’ve gotten him wanting to see the other side of the wall and reach higher, we’ve gotten him admiring the view from an actual summit, and now that he finally has a chance to see that view on his precious volleyball court, he conveniently enough has his eyes closed so that he can take that slow glimpse after he sends his spike over. It really probably ain’t the actual reason the eyes closing bit exists, but way to take advantage of that sort of set-up.
So yeah. This episode? Continues the good stuff once more. I’m wanting to get to stuff on the cast at large, but the snippets we gets are working nicely even now. Suga-senpai had his sweet moment, and Tsukki is being the jerk Kageyama could only aspire to be in his middle school days. But this was mostly Kageyama and Hinata here, which is totally fine since that’s what we’re going for here. Putting this two on an actual functioning team for the first time. But it’s really gonna start being fun when we get that team dynamic going. Bringing back the quote again, it’s an apt set of words for pretty much most team sports. But this would seem most so with volleyball. Cooperation is a constant key, with passing and tossing to each other an absolutely vital and never ending element. Cogs out of place quickly spell doom, and the music you play is gonna suck hardcore. What I’m saying here is that these cogs being shaped to fit together is gonna be fuuun.