We’ve been waiting almost four years for this new season and after watching episode 1 – Introductions, I can honestly say it was worth the wait! The series is back and in full form, the cast is back and everyone gets their fair share of screentime. I missed my Haikyu!! boys so it was nice to kind of get reacquainted with everyone. The first half of the episode was just so nostalgic, everything was just so spot on, from Kageyama and Hinata having one of their usual pissing contests right off the bat to the third years just being so over the younger team member’s shenanigans to Tsukki being so smug about surpassing 190 cm. All my old Haikyu!! just came flooding back full force and this is just the first episode!
There were some changes, like the animation style is much more in line with that of the manga, but for all the hype it was getting leading up to the premiere, I honestly didn’t notice it all that much. These are still the same characters that they were in previous seasons, and it really isn’t that drastic of a change, though Asahi is lookin’ extra yummy in the new style… he can still get it!! I also noticed that the chemistry between Karasuno seems a bit more tight knit than it was before they beat Shiratorizawa. Before that match everyone kind of felt like they were doing their own thing—you had the third year trio as their own unit, Kags and Hinata as the Baka Duo, Tsukki and Yams just doing their own thing—Noya was the only character you saw actively interacting with everyone, but in this episode you see a lot more commingling. In the earlier seasons it was easy to forget Yamaguchi was even a part of the team, but in “Introductions” he is right there front and center with the rest of the team. We even get more integration of the other second year characters which was nice since they’re usually overshadowed by Noya and Tanaka.
The episode picks up a little after season 3 with Karasuno fresh off their victory over Shiratorizawa. There were even a few scenes from the end of season 3 which was welcome given the almost 4 year gap between seasons. Season 3 ended with the news that Kageyama had been invited to participate in All-Japan youth training camp, but then season 4 hits us with the news that Tsukishima was also invited to participate in another training camp at Shiratorizawa for promising rookies in Miyagi. I have not read the manga this far yet, so I was fully expecting for Hinata to be the person they invited, and I felt a small pang in my chest when he was once again being left behind. Don’t get me wrong I love Tsukki and I am happy for my salty bae, but HINATA HAS WORKED SO HARD TO GET TO THIS POINT!! No matter how hard he works he always seems to be one step behind everyone else… and then… that fool legit gate crashed Tsukki’s training camp!
Bruh, the second hand embarrassment I felt when Hinata showed up uninvited to that training camp… and Tsukki’s reaction… ABSOLUTE PERFECTION! I could not stop laughing at how ridiculous the whole situation was. Like HINATA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING BOY?! GO HOME NOW! But, I totally get how this is supposed to help develop him as a player for when Karasuno goes to Nationals… but, my GOD this was by far the most idiodic thing he has ever done (and I love him more for it). He has a hard road ahead of him, since Coach Washijo don’t play and Hinata is the exact opposite of everything he prizes in his best players (ie. height and talent). I can’t wait to see how this all plays out over the season, right now Hinata has been relying on Kageyama and the rest of his team and this is the first time he is having to rough it on his own without Kags.
Meanwhile, Kags is at the All-Japan youth training camp getting his bearings surrounded by so much raw talent. He’s being his usual adorkable self and I am definitely geeked to see him finally playing with players on a higher tier that we’re used to. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Karasuno boys, but Kags outclasses most of them so it’s gonna be nice to see him being challenged for once! There are some big new faces that folks that have been following the manga are already well acquainted with and I welcome these knew rivals, because if there is one thing Haikyu!! has always done well it’s rival characters!
This was a strong start for the series, especially since it’s been almost four years since Haikyu!! Karasuno High School VS Shiratorizawa Academy aired. I had really high hopes for it’s return and the very first episode out the gate was well worth the wait! The new opening “Phoenix” by Burnout Syndrome is a bop, and the ending theme “Kessen Spirit” from CHiCO with Honeyworks is one of my new favs from the series. I am so hype for Haikyu!! To The Top and I’ll definitely be tuning in each week for new episodes!!
Crunchyroll also dropped the Land vs Sky OVAs yesterday too and if you’ve been itching to see the boys from Nekoma and Fukurodani again, you def wanna check those out!!
Thank you for reading and Supporting Blerdy Otome! If you like what you see be sure to drop a like or a comment to let me know your thoughts on episode 1 of Haikyu!! To The Top!!
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