Haikyu!! To The Top Episode 14 : Rhythm – The Strongest Challengers
It’s is an exciting week for the animeverse and, I welcome you all to an exciting anime review. The wait is finally over. Haikyu To The Top Cour 2 has finally arrived, the anticipation is brewing.
Being an avid manga reader, I have to save ever since reading about this match, I’ve been ecstatic about the anime. How will they amaze us with the animation and Yuki Hayashi Senpai’s music in the background?
Those answers have been delivered and, we’re off to a great start.
A small recap. Inarizaki V Karasuno is the penultimate starting leg to this fantastic tournament. Atsumu Miya amazes everyone with his finesse and crazy serve. The double wielding abilities that help him in serving the ball have Karasuno up against the corner.
Worry not because our boy Hinata is up for the challenge. He gets ecstatic just like us and jumps as high as he can but forgets to hit the ball. It’s an embarrassing moment, but at the same time, we all felt what he felt. 😀
Atsumu and Tanaka have the same reaction to it and, I love every single part of this coincidence.
The new opening is really good and it will grow on you after 2-3 listenings.
This episode was all about laying the groundwork for this match. The rhythm of the game keeps changing and on the problematic end is Karasuno. Whenever they serve, the crowd boos and hisses at them, and the beat they use is to put them off their rhythm and make them miss their shots. It’s quite an effective way of throwing off your opponent and, Inarizaki is cautious of that.
After a long time, our freak duo gives us back the magic. Hinata runs up first into the middle and does a slide hit. The freak duo is back and, that’s what we’re here for. Hoshuimi’s expression is the funniest. He didn’t expect someone like him in this tournament. Bokuto is proud of his pupil and, the game is on!!!
The first hit is always a killer.
The episode is rightly named rhythm. The whole premise of this episode relies on the rhythm. One-half step or beat missed can spell doom for either team when playing. Inarizaki does not just consist of the team on the court, but they also consist of their cheer squad exerting pressure on the opponent team. In a way, Inarizaki is broadening its reach to bring the game in their grasp.
Inarazaki team’s servers have different rhythms. Rintaro Suna serves at the exact moment as they blow the whistle startling the opponent team while Osamu waits until the end of the 8 seconds after the whistle to throw Karasuno off their rhythm. This way, they create gaps in the defense and disrupt the balance. It doesn’t look like much in the beginning, but slowly and steadily, they are paving a path to deceit.
Saeiko Tanaka, the savior of rhythm, has arrived. Ever since reading the manga, this is one scene I have been waiting to see animated. Her entrance, along with her group was a game-changer for Karasuno. Flutes and Teiko drums provided the team with a steady rhythm to match that of Inarizaki’s. She wouldn’t let the same mistake that happened during the Interhigh final.
Daisho Suguru is the captain of the Nohebi Academy Volleyball team. For those of you who don’t know him, I suggest you watch him in the Haikyu Ova Riku vs. Kuu. His match with Nekoma was a deciding factor for their arrival in the nationals.
Haruichi Furudate is a skilled author. He inculcates volleyball terms and rules into the story in a smooth narrative way. Suguru and his girlfriend are the ones who will narrate all that we need to know in the match and all the upcoming matches. This method of commentary is what makes Haikyu’s flow going and make it worthwhile to watch and read.
As Hinata goes in for the service, to neutralize the effects of Inarizaki’s drumbeat, Karasuno’s cheer squad plays a soothing drum beat to help him out. It’s all just as I imagined. Perfection!!!
Hinata uses his intuitive skills to position himself in the right place where the block has an opening. He goes to receive the ball, but it misses his hand and hits his leg and is still in play. He gets a bit embarrassed, but he tries to rectify his mistake and plays decoy, to pave a path for Captain Sawamura to spike the ball into Inarizaki’s court.
It doesn’t waiver Inarizaki from their path not even a little. Inarizaki is a well-rounded team. They have players who play to perfection. Atsumu Miya was a setter who was called to the Japan Junior camp along with Kageyama. Every stance he takes before a set, and his double wielding of serves are something close to a miracle. Even Kagayama himself acknowledges this skill. The final blow to destroy Karasuno’s morale is being devised by Atsumu and Osamu Miya.
Atsumu serves, Nishinoya lifts the ball, but it’s short and, Azumane can’t properly hit the ball. Inarizaki’s libero grabs the ball and, Atsumu Miya does something crazy. This scene sends literal chills down my spine. He sets the ball exactly the same way as Kageyama sets to Hinata. The weirdo-quick set is no more ‘special.’ Atsumu and Osamu Miya have synced and concocted something sinister to defeat Karasuno.
How will Karasuno respond?
Will their morale be destroyed or, will they step up to the challenge and take away this advantage from Inarizaki?
Until next time. See ya!