There’s so much hype this chapter mainly because of three characters — Kageyama, Tanaka, and Oikawa. Well, considering the fandom, it’s to be expected.
The chapter starts with Inarizaki-Karasuno in a match point, 24-22.
Everyone, even these other rivals are on the edge because of the score. One mistake from Karasuno, the game will be over. Ojiro’s the one to serve and Asahi receives it, at the expense of breaking their formation. Kageyama covers it and sends the ball to Tanaka who hits a cross, only to be blocked by Omimi.
Just look at their reactions. Surprised. Most probably also terrified. That ball, if not saved, will be the last of them for their Nationals. I can only imagine what Saeko would feel if that ball, spiked by his younger brother, had been the end of their game. It would surely hurt.
But, of course, we have Noya who quickly manages to follow up and send the ball to Kageyama who, then, sets the ball to Hinata. Ojiro is able to get the ball. Atsumu skillfully set the ball to Gin.
Good thing Noya is there to save the ball again. Both Gin and Atsumu shows frustrated looks. They really want to end the rally soon. Of course, it would be Inarizaki’s win if Karasuno would not be able to save the ball.
Then, the flashback of when Tanaka asked Kageyama to temporarily stop setting to him — to which Kageyama refused — comes.
Recognition. Kageyama acknowledges Tanaka’s importance even during that time. A lot of times, Tanaka got his attacks caught in the blocks and only a few of them got in. This is something Tanaka needs to know and understand this time. Even if Tanaka thinks himself ordinary and mediocre, the truth that Karasuno needs him stands.
Just look at Tanaka’s face! He is glad. He is relieved. He is happy to hear those words from Kageyama. Moreover, he knows that Kageyama didn’t say those words just to flatter him. Their setter just said what is on his mind.
Kageyama has a grasp of the situation of the match as well as the kind of performances his teammates have. He knows what Tanaka’s condition is. He knows that despite Tanaka’s various spikes that didn’t go over the other side, Tanaka is able to hold himself fairly well. He acknowledges Tanaka’s crosses.
You know, I got teary-eyed reading this. Before, Kageyama used to decide which kind of spike is the best for which situation. That even caused him and Tsukki to have a clash because Tsukki also thinks of what is best for the situation so he just wanted Kageyama to toss consistently.
But now here he is.
He will do the best set-up he can, trusting the spikers to do their best. Kageyama will no longer be that “goody-two-shoes” who asks for the spikers’ preferred set-ups and follows them. He will deliver the best set up, giving the spikers the best options to fight. He will push them to do plays that they are actually capable of, helping them to improve in the process.
Here is a panel that proves that Tanaka’s attacks are essential. Because of Tanaka’s super inner cross, they got a chance to attack in a way that can surprise their opponents.
After knowing he is trusted, that their setter believes in him, there’s just no way that Tanaka will not respond to it accordingly.
After all those super inner crosses, he delivers this hair-raising straight which made the score 24-23!
The crowd were amazed. Daichi and Hinata were surprised as well. Those who are on the bench looks so proud of him, especially the 2nd years! The opponent coaches are surprised, too! And look at teary-eyed Saeko. (Same, Saeko. Same.) Tanaka got to overcome a hurdle and big sister’s just got to be proud of him.
Atsumu is astounded. Back in the national training camp, Kageyama set according to the spikers’ preferences. But he will no longer accommodate them. Kageyama now is determined to give the best set that will drive the spikers to explore their capabilities. He will strive to make them achieve more, as a while back he started doing with Tsukki, to whom he has been tossing sets which are higher than before.
Anyway, presenting the reason why a lot of the people have been raving about the latest chapter even when only the raws are out.
I remember some people looking for him among the people on the auditorium (I think?) where the Seijoh players are watching. Someone made speculations that he was with Iwaizumi at the front, but he was never seen until now. (Only Kindaichi, Kunimi, Yahaba, and Kyoutani are frequently shown reacting to the game.) Apparently, he’s really not watching with them. He’s out training.
Of course I’m also one of those who are happy to see this guy! Even if he is who he is, I still love this dude. I love that look on the panel above because it shows how serious he is. He is probably thinking about how frustrating it is that his kouhai has done it yet again, raising to new heights.
And so, he stops watching and runs. He knows he’s got to train even more in response to the frightening pace of improvement Kageyama shows. He’s determined not to lose again. There’s no way he’s letting that happen again.
And the game continues. Kageyama is serving. Ends the chapter which is entitled, “Birth of the Quiet King”.
I’m excited to see what Kageyama has to show us now that he’s undergoing serious changes. I’m excited to see how Hinata will respond to these. I’m excited to see what Hinata will do again. I wonder if he will finally be able to do that amazing jump again? He got to do that at the start, but he failed to spike the ball because he forgot it. He had various attempts to receive which failed at the start, too, until he got that incredible receive a few chapters back. I have hopes!
This game is getting longer now. I really thought it would end this chapter, but it only covers one rally for a point. Just… wow. I’m enjoying it, but I’m also eager to end the game now because I’m too excited for the Battle at the Garbage Dump! Please give a satisfying conclusion to this, Furudate-sensei!