Season 4 of Haikyuu went out with a bang. The teaser at the end of the final episode got me to jump out of my seat and curse the producers for making Haikyu!! a seasonal anime.
Goddamnit! I wanted the ‘Battle At The Garbage Dump’ right there and then! With no news about season 5, I gave in and read the manga.
Little Hinata and Karasuno have come such a long way since the first episode / chapter. It seems that all the back-breaking training and finally defeating the indomitable Ushiwaka, winning Spring Nationals would be Karasuno’s big payoff.
But things don’t always go as you want, do they? Furudate sensei had different plans and took me on a yet another rollercoaster of feelings.
Karasuno does not win the Spring Nationals. After defeating Inarizaki, they defeat Nekoma to reach quarterfinals where they lost against Kamomedai High in chapter 367. Ichibayashi High won the Spring Nationals after defeating Fukurodani and Kamomedai.
The Battle at the Garbage Dump: Karasuno vs Nekoma
Karasuno went into the match aggressive as ever despite knowing they had never taken a set against Nekoma. Such a Karasuno thing to do…
As the first set kicked off, Nekoma realized Karasuno wasn’t the same team they’d played during their October practice. In less than a year, the crows had grown stronger by facing giants like Shiratorizawa and Inarizaki.
Though Kenama and Nekoma were all set to stop Karasuno’s offense, beginning with Hinata.
Nekoma matched Karasuno’s tenacity right from the get-go. Their ever-adapting defense kept the ball moving throughout the first set by digging every other spike. They effectively shut down Hinata very early.
Karasuno stuck close to Nekoma in points, but Kenma baited Karasuno into a reach-over foul, winning the set point and the set soon after with a genius play that left Karasuno staring at a campfire ball.
As the rallies stretched on, the crows began feeling the first signs of exhaustion in the second set but stayed aggressive, resolutely holding onto their lead.
Hinata managed to pull off a quick or two using the momentum of his bump to slide into the quick.
Yet, Kenma’s razor-sharp intuition predicted Hinata wouldn’t have the time for a full jump and continued to completely shut down Hinata using commit blocks and blocking his path by forcing Nishinoya to bump serves.
Without the time and space for a full approach, Kageyama’s idea to play a ‘four set’ opened up a path for Hinata to imitate Hoshiumi’s jump and spike the ball from above the block. Hinata’s new jump changed the tides of the game, and Karasuno promptly took the second set.
Neither side yielded an inch during the final set. Crucial digs from both liberos kept the ball moving but eventually, Karasuno widened the point gap– holding onto the lead with sheer aggressiveness to match Nekoma’s ever-adapting defense.
The game finally reached its conclusion abruptly, with the sweaty ball accidentally slipping from Kenma’s hands.
Little Giant vs Little Giant: Karasuno vs Kamomedai
Karasuno was defeated by Kamomedai and knocked out of the Spring Nationals. They were overwhelmed by Kamomedai’s ever-adapting defense in the first set but managed to take the second.
The crows met Kamomedai’s pace every step of the way but conceded the third set once Hinata and Tsukishima had to be subbed out.
Kamomedai quickly proved the reason for their reputation in the first set by getting a block point off Karasuno in the second rally. Hirugami and Hakuba, accompanied by read blocking, formed the core of Kamomedai’s defensive wall.
Kamomedai were quick to get over the surprise of Hinata and Kageyama’s quick and wasted no time adapting their blocking strategy according to each of Karasuno’s rotations.
Using a shift block to stuff Asahi and a stack block to pick on the outside hitters, Kamomedai stifled Karasuno’s offense with ease and took the first set by a five-point margin.
Both teams changed up their rotations going into the second set, going on the offensive. Karasuno sacrificed their best defensive rotation to give Hinata a chance to crack open Kamomedai’s defensive wall.
Nevertheless, they had to deal with Kamomedai’s three nastiest servers Hoshiumi, Hirugami, and Suwa, consecutively.
Kamomedai’s serve and block strategy stuffed Asahi repeatedly, testing his mental strength. But Karasuno’s ace stepped up– going for a feint and ending another long rally with a waterfall ball.
Karasuno’s lead didn’t last long with Hoshiumi still on the court, but Hinata was quick to change the flow of the game.
Hinata showed the most tactical thinking we’ve ever seen from him– he was careful with his jumps and run-ups even late in the game, which helped Karasuno take set two after Tsukishima dodged Hoshiumi’s spike, sending the ball out of bounds and winning Karasuno the point.
Kamomedai’s mental strength forged into them by their coach stood out the most during set three and helped them widen the point gap very early on.
Hinata’s high jump helped close the gap eventually and helped Karasuno get into a rhythm, with Hinata playing his part as the perfect decoy.
Unfortunately, Hinata had to be substituted after coming down with a fever, followed shortly by Tsukishima from a leg cramp. The substitutions were a heavy blow to Karasuno’s offense and defense.
Karasuno managed to stick close, but Kamomedai’s fresh substitutions towards the end bolstered their offense and defense and helped them advance to the semifinals.
Was Karasuno’s Win Against Inarizaki Justified?
Honestly, I didn’t wanna talk about this, but I read a lot of people calling Karasuno’s win against Inarizaki justified. Obviously, I completely disagree with them.
No matter how much you Ushiwaka-fans want this to be a David and Goliath story, it isn’t With Shiratorizawa knocked out in the qualifiers, Inarizaki High were the favorites to win the tournament.
Karasuno might’ve started out as the underdogs, but their tenacity and overall strength as a team saw them overcome Inarizaki in the end. The win over Inarizaki was, without a doubt, well deserved. Karasuno was the stronger team in the end after adapting to each of Inarizaki’s playmakers.
Karasuno had worked hard for the win. Inarizaki does have its share of interesting players like the Miya Twins, Aran, Suna, and Kita. But besides these eye-catching players, the team was nothing to ride home about. Their plays were centered around borrowed inspiration from Kita, Miya’s skills and Aran’s spikes.
Karasuno struggled to deal with one challenging element after another– be it Atsumu’s serves and adaptability, Aran’s raw power, or Suna’s contortionist spikes.
The entire team worked together to slow down Aran by aiming serves at him, Tsukishima struggled to deal with Suna, Tanaka learned perseverance and fortitude after getting blocked repeatedly, Kageyama dealt with the Miya Twins’ crazy stunts, and of course, how can we forget the climax of the match, Hinata’s momentous receive.
Coming back to the main topic, I think seasons 5 cour 1 and cour 2 will likely cover the matches against Nekoma, Kamomedai, and the rest of the Nationals
So far, every season of Haikyuu has covered one major match each season. The matches against Nekoma and Kamomedai are about as long as any of the other significant games so far, filled with backstories, stunning visuals, mid-match introspection, and a good deal of drama and feels. It isn’t a stretch to assume they will each get their own season.
Where to Watch Haikyuu!!
Haikyu!! is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Its publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump began in February 2012 with 42 collected tankōbon volumes released.
Hinata Shoyo is a highly passionate boy who wishes to follow the steps of his idol, ‘The Little Giant’ in the field of volleyball. Hinata’s resolve is unbreakable as he faces gruesome defeat at the hands of the ‘King of the Court,’ a genius prodigy setter Kageyama Tobio in middle school. Hinata’s dreams take fruit as he enters high school.
He joins the declining volleyball team of Karasuno High and is appalled to find the very same Kageyama as his teammate. The story follows the revival of Karasuno High and the unity they maintain to pave their way for nationals.