Karasuno Vs. Inarizaki | Development as Preparation

(edited 051320) TO THE PEOPLE DISCOVERING THIS POST’S EXISTENCE AS WE WAIT FOR THE 2ND COUR OF HAIKYUU SEASON FOUR:

I wrote this post more than two years ago. The Shonen JUMP and MangaPlus applications were not available yet then. BUT they are now. That’s why I’ll be changing all of the screenshots I used here (and all my other HQ posts). Please, please let us help Furudate-sensei (as well as the other JUMP authors) by reading the official chapters on these official applications. The first and last three chapters are free! (There are even series on MangaPlus which have ALL their chapters free!) You can also subscribe to the Shonen JUMP app and it will only cost you 1.99USD!!! See, that’s 2$ for all the JUMP titles available. You’ll be enjoying them and you’ll also be able to help the creators. Also, please, DO NOT SUPPORT LEAKS! They are already giving us free access to the latest chapters. Let us respect sensei.

You can download the Shonen JUMP app here while MangaPlus app here. Yes, they aren’t perfect apps, but at least they are official and they are helping the creators of the series we love. Please, let’s support them. That’s all. Thank you.


Haikyuu!!‘s 290th chapter marks the much-awaited end of the Karasuno-Inarizaki game. The match is covered from chapters 249-264 then the second half of chapter 269 till the latest chapter 290. 265 to first half of 269 covered some backstories as well as the game of Nekoma versus Sarukawa Tech.

I have a lot of feels for the game and characters (I even created a long reaction post for the latter half) and I’m still not over it ending. Funny how I was already eager for it to end since I didn’t know just how much tension my heart could take. I was itching to know how it would end. I was sure Karasuno would win because the Battle at the Garbage Dump needs to happen considering the narrative. Grandpa Ukai’s health sounds like it isn’t getting any better and the Karasuno third years just have to play that game. Now that the game has finally come, I am full of mixed feelings.

Inarizaki is a formidable team which deserves being one of the favorites in the Nationals scene. Each of their regulars are skilled, with Atsumu being the cream of the crop. Osamu doesn’t really fall that much behind of his twin when it comes to skills, though. (But Atsumu’s setting skills and ability to do both spike serve and jump floater are really something that sets him apart from his older twin.) Akagi is as much a skilled a libero as Noya is, Suna has quite a terrifying blocking skills along with Oomimi, while Ojiro and Ginjima are remarkable spikers.

Tsubakihara, Karasuno’s opponents during the first round, was also good and they got to show some of their progress. However, Inarizaki is on a different caliber. It’s Inarizaki’s third consecutive year of appearing for Spring High tournament. It has the guys who played against Itachiyama. Even if they lost to them, the fact that they’re the last Inter-high’s runner-up is still amazing! With these players, our beloved Karasuno were pushed to their limits in order to show each of their improvements. We can say that this match just has to happen because we need to see the guys polish more of their skills before actually facing Nekoma, their much-anticipated rivals.

Here’s a review of some of the things that happened with most of the Karasuno members who played during this intense game.


Yamaguchi Tadashi

This game challenged Yamaguchi because his ‘reset’ cue was blocked by some flags. But, of course, Shimada won’t let him fail, so he came to his rescue, running a lot of stairs to get to the side where Yamaguchi could see him, and gave him something new to look at.

Yamaguchi was able to calm down and serve well. It’s just a short participation, but I’m guessing that next time, he will be able to calm himself down. So excited to see how he’ll be able to contribute for the next game!


Kinoshita Hisashi

I think I already mentioned this before in one of my posts, but I’m going to say it again — I was sad that Kinoshita didn’t get to play before the Nationals, though he just started getting more screen time in the short time they were preparing for Nationals. He just wasn’t ready yet before that.

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Next time, possibly during the game with Nekoma, I bet he will be able to do an underarm serve!

Anyway, Kinoshita got to pinch serve twice. The first time, he was nervous at first, but Coach Ukai managed to calm him down by calling his full name and age as well as reciting the opponents’ names and ages, reminding him that they’re still in high school, too. He wasn’t able to score, though.

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The second time, he was only able to serve once even with the amount of concentration he had beforehand. It was heartbreaking to see his frustration. He just wants to contribute to the team, especially that it might have been the third years’ last game.

This is an important experience for Kinoshita. I’m sure he’s even more determined to do well the next time he’s put on court, especially now that they have advanced. I’m looking forward to him raking up points for Karasuno! It wasn’t easy for Yamaguchi at first, either. He failed during their first final game with Seijoh and he also turned tail during their game with Wakunan, but those became valuable experiences for Yamaguchi to finally deliver an impressive performance during their second final game with Seijoh. I’m sure it’ll be the same for Kinoshita, too!


Nishinoya Yuu

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More than intense serves, even those which came from Ushiwaka who’s a lefty, Nishinoya is known to have more troubles receiving jump floater serves. It just so happens that Atsumu, a dual-wielder, made use of this weakness during the second set.

Noya struggled a lot because of Atsumu’s jump floater serves. At times he is able to receive them, but they’re done too poorly for his liking. It’s amazing how Noya was able to admit to the team that he actually felt fear during Atsumu’s service. But, of course, Noya doesn’t give up. The words of wisdom from his grandpa is worth remembering! It’s all a waste if you let everything end without even trying.

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This game also made me appreciate Noya’s friendship with Kinoshita. Along with Yamaguchi, Kinoshita practiced a lot of serves to send to Noya’s direction. They practiced a lot that Kinoshita knows why Noya did the finger push-ups, that is to keep everything as “ordinary” as possible, even despite the pinch they were in.

Of course, Noya is able to cope and to eventually receive it well. He really looks beautiful the receives he does especially when they’re spot on. I’m looking forward to him keeping the ball up for their game against Nekoma. The cats are good at connecting and it’s going to be crucial for the crows, too! I’m just not sure if there’s someone who specializes in jump floater serves in Nekoma, so I’m not sure if we’ll get to see him save more of those kind of balls from early on their game. Anyhow, I hope to see a lot of him and Yaku!


Sawamura Daichi

Daichi continues to amaze with his receives. He kept a lot of balls in play and it’s really reassuring to know that he’s there to cover lots of holes others can’t cover.

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The flashiest move he’s done here is the back attack. Even if he isn’t used to it, he successfully scored with it! That’s our reliable captain! And speaking of captains, I really liked how Furudate-sensei made a contrast between the way Daichi and Kita lead their respective teams.

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Ah! Yes, I almost forgot. Even if Daichi’s back attack seems to be the flashiest, this panel above stands out above them all. This is during that last rally. Once again, as in that time during the game against Shiratorizawa, Daichi followed up to Tsukishima to save the ball. And he did it!

I’m sure we’ll get more of those receives during their game against Nekoma because, again, as we know, Nekoma makes solid receives which enables them to keep the ball in play. I’d love to see how he and Kuroo differ in their way of leading their teams.


Azumane Asahi

There are three things about Asahi this game that amazed me. First, he was able to get service aces! He doesn’t hesitate giving his all even if at times his serves get caught up in the net. He still tries it the next time. He is now able to do more powerful serves!

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Second, he did not hesitate to get that set Kageyama did from when he ran after the ball which almost got out of the court.

Third, he was able to pull of that beautiful spike. He failed at first, but he still did it again and succeeded, albeit it’s still imperfect, as Futakuchi assumed.

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It’s so amusing seeing Futakuchi react like that. Asahi is no longer the guy they crushed before. He’s a steadily improving as days go by and I’m so excited to see the time he finally perfects the move. I’d like to see him use it against Bokuto and the rest of Fukurodani because of how Bokuto reacted seeing Asahi do that spike.

But, of course, he’s still got more to learn.

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I’m pretty sure that this panel above is some kind of foreshadowing to what he’ll be able to pull off in the future. I wonder if he’ll be able to hit above the block Kuroo and Lev could possibly do?

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I also wonder how his difference with Tora when it comes to ability as an ace will be shown. Tora has always been an interesting ace to me because while he’s the ace, he can be a bit not that focused on. I like how he believes that an ace should be able to defend properly, too. Not that Asahi is bad with receives or blocks, but it’s just interesting to see how they’ll differ or resemble each other as aces.


Tanaka Ryuunosuke

Tanaka had a lot of struggles especially with scoring during the earlier part of the game. He couldn’t score well as he kept being blocked, so the ball didn’t come to him so much. It was heartbreaking to see him bearing the frustration, but it’s also amazing how he’s able to keep smiling and cheering his teammates on. Such a terrifying mental strength!

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And yes, Hinata is able to cheer him up at least with his compliment. And we know it’s a heartfelt message. He gradually recovered thereafter.

He was able to do a “super inner cross”, which resembles that cross Bokuto does. Because of this, Oomimi thought that Tanaka is a “watered-down version of Bokuto”, but, of course, Tanaka’s going to prove that he’s not, even if he didn’t know Oomimi thought of that. It was moving to see him be able to do a beautiful straight spike after all those crosses! Truly, he’s crossed another hurdle.

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Tanaka showed how even if there are times when he thinks he is only mediocre, he still has the mental strength to stay and function well, still doing his best for the team. Perhaps we’ll get to see more of Tanaka admiring Asahi in the next game. After all, I believe that he’s going to be the next ace. Asahi’s setting quite a high standard now.

Oh, and, of course, I’d love to see his interactions with Tora on court! I bet they’ll both be on high spirits!


Tsukishima Kei

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Tsukki is being his usual self — alert, observant, and calm. With the Miya twins doing minus tempo attacks much like Kageyama and Hinata’s, we get to see Tsukki successfully blocking them. And I bet it’s so satisfying for him because we all know just how much it irritates him to have Hinata suddenly flurrying in his sight.

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But he also faced troubles because of Suna, who apparently ‘manipulates blockers’ to move in the way he wants. Suna has a wide range of cover and is able to change the direction of his spike at will.

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He didn’t really get to shut him down completely, but he still didn’t let him have his way. In return, we get to see just how much he trusts Hinata. Tsukki knows just how much Hinata worked hard to gain the skills he has now. Even back during their training camp with Hinata as the ball boy, Tsukki asked Hinata to accompany him to practice, implying Tsukki’s belief that Hinata is able to gain something from the camp even with his situation then.

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Of course, it’s also touching to see how Hinata respects and acknowledges Tsukki’s blocking ability, too! Though they may not always get along well, they are still able to know just how much the other improves.

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Oh, and here’s another one that happened with Tsukki. Everyone are desperate for a point. Tsukki, who neither do a spike serve nor a jump floater but always do normal serves, smirked before he served and aimed it in a way that will just barely make it. Of course, it’s a kind of serve that messes with the formation of the opponents. We frequently see Suga doing those. It’s amusing to see the opponents become agitated because for them, Tsukki just serves just to make the ball enter the opponent’s court. It’ll be interesting to see him do more of those.

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One more thing: I lovelovelove the panel above. It shows how Tsukki’s exerting his effort for the game. We could see in the chapters of the last set how he’s really exhausted yet he still tries. And it reminds me of how Kenma tries so hard for the team, too.

By the way, because of Tsukki’s abilities, he got to be compared to robots and machines by Daishou and Suna. I think that’s just how amazing his rationality is. In Nekoma, Kenma is his counterpart. It’s going to be interesting to see how it could be a battle of wits between them. Moreover, I’m excited to see more of his and Kuroo’s interactions! Tsukki learned a lot from Kuroo’s blocking, so it’d be nice to see him actually be successful in blocking Kuroo, too.

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Kageyama Tobio

We know that he’s changed since the national youth training camp and in this game, Kageyama shows how he’s even more aggressive, competitive, and skilled, especially in setting. A lot of their rallies showcased how he’s able to compete with Atsumu. But, of course, Kageyama also got to do some awesome spin rebound, setter dump, and a lot of intense serves which turned to be service aces.

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I think the first amazing thing he did is setting up a ball which looked like it was for Hinata, but it’s truly for Daichi. The other one which amazed me is him going after a ball which didn’t enter the Inarizaki court and then him being able to set it in a way that Asahi was able to spike well.

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When they changed rotation, Coach Ukai made it so that not only Tsukishima was able to match-up with Suna and Atsumu at most, but also that Kageyama would be the same with Aran. And he managed to block him on his own!

I especially loved the chapter, “Birth of the Quiet King. The time of his tyranny is a thing of the past. He struggled to change his way of dealing with the spikers. This chapter, though, showed how Kageyama finally has a clear vision and mission as to what kind of setter he wants to be.

As Kageyama tried to get out of the image of a dictator, he used to ask the spikers what kind of set-ups they like. He, then, follows what they say. It’s not bad to be considerate of them. I initially thought that that’s the best kind of setter one could have. Until Atsumu called him “goody-two-shoes”. It’s not until this chapter that I think I understood what he meant by that. Kageyama was considerate, sure, and it even made him look cooperative. While accommodating the spikers like that, however, the tendency for the improvement of the other members become slim as they’ll only learn to adapt to that way of playing. They might not reach their full potential as they couldn’t explore other possibilities because they are being spoon-fed. Kageyama was a “goody-two-shoes” because he somehow avoided tension which may be given through the set-ups that could challenge the spikers to aim for better performances.

Of course, Kageyama learned a lot after that. And it brought us to the aforementioned chapter. Now, he wants to be able to deliver set-ups, not too short or too long but just perfect for any kind of attack, which will be able to help the spikers improve, too, as they are given more choices. The spikers hold the initiative of attack, whether it’s about their run-ups or the attacks they do mid-air. The best that the setter could do is to provide the best support he can — a set-up which will be able to give them most chances of winning.

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The first time Kageyama showed how he’s not going to simply accommodate them anymore was during their practice game with Date Tech after the training camps. He set a high set to Tsukishima who, Kageyama heard from Hinata, was able to spike from higher points, thanks to Koganegawa.

Then, this game, he gave a challenge to Tanaka. Even if Tanaka actually went his way to ask for Kageyama to stop setting balls to him, Kageyama flat out refused, telling him that his spikes are essential. This says a lot about his continuous changes and development as a setter. What didn’t change is his desire to win.

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Regardless of whoever their opponents are, however, Kageyama’s ultimate rival will always be our little sunshine boy Hinata. The series starts with their rivalry and it continues even now with them being on the same team. We often see them competing even on the littlest of things.

Hinata always pushes Kageyama on his limit. As Oikawa and Atsumu both expressed, Hinata has Kageyama wrapped around his little finger. The orange-haired boy believes that Kageyama can do the things he need to do and this always challenges Kageyama especially at times when he’s wavering or exhausted. Of course, Kageyama won’t let Hinata win.

It’s been so long since Karasuno had a game with Nekoma and I’m so stoked to see how this new Kageyama will fare for the match!


Hinata Shouyou

And, of course, we have this little ball of sunshine who showed the most improvement out of them all. He started just jumping to spike, believing that the ball will come to him. Then, he eventually learned to choose where to direct his spikes as he learned to do it with open eyes. After that, he learned how to do faints and rebounds. Now, in this game, he proved how he is not only important for just the offence anymore, but also for the defence. His performance here is the culmination of all that he acquired from being a ball boy during the training camp.

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Hinata, you dork

The first amazing and amusing thing he did was to jump at a higher apex than before, likely influenced by him seeing how Hoshiumi did it. He failed to spike the ball, however. There’s not another instance where his jump was noted to give the same vibes as that, so I’m assuming it didn’t have a repeat, so I’m looking forward to him being able to pull it off successfully during their game with Nekoma.

Second, he was entrusted the task of commit blocking Osamu and it’s cool how he remembered part of their match with Seijoh because the kind of block Hinata hates is apparently not Inuoka’s or Lev’s or even Date Tech’s, but Matsukawa’s.

Third is his receives. At first, he failed to receive it properly as the ball just bounced on his feet. But he was at the right position. His honor was restored after Noya complimented him. Anyway, after that, at the time people didn’t expect it, he was able to receive the ball properly, surprising a lot of people.

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Yes, Lev. You gotta level up with your receives, too!

It’s touching to see how his short but productive time as a ball boy paid off. He’s starting to stand on his own. Before, he’s just always a set with Kageyama since all that he’s competent to do are spikes. Scoring. Kageyama is still well-known alone, though, because of his genius skills. Now, Hinata is having more weapons.

We always know Hinata as an energetic guy who is always ready to jump the gun. Tsukki even frequently tells him to relax. But during that game, when it was nearing its end, when the players are all on edge to score, Hinata, who just wanted to spike before, received and passed a high ball, enabling the team to breathe and relax. That was his advice to struggling Hyakuzawa during training camp and he himself applied it, too.

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Then, came the end of the game when Hinata and Kageyama blocked the attack of Miya twins. It was their minus tempo attack that the twins modified and imitated. They use it a lot of times so they also understand its weaknesses and strengths. They knew, so even with the high tension, when the twins once again executed that move, the freak duo wasn’t fazed.

Moreover: “This timing, this place, this angle. Dead on.” These are the thoughts of the Miya twins (Atsumu, I guess?) when they did their last move. It harks back to that time when they lost to Seijoh. Those are the very words they thought, too. This is why Hinata and Kageyama being able to kill that ball is meaningful.

Now, I’m so excited for Hinata to show more of what he can do. Though I don’t want Nekoma to lose, I still want to see Kenma’s frustrated reaction once they lose to them. It’s going to be fun seeing Hinata and Lev’s rivalry as well!


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Silent cats as they finally confirm that their first official game against Karasuno is happening

SO, FINALLY, ONE OF THE OFFICIAL MATCHES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR — THE BATTLE AT THE GARBAGE DUMP — IS HAPPENING!

I know that the game against Inarizaki will wrap up next chapter and that there may be still be some chill chapters before it starts, but I just can’t calm myself down whenever I think about it! I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings because I lovelovelove both of these teams and I just know that I’ll be overcome with feels the entire time reading their game!

I want Karasuno to win, but I don’t want Nekoma to lose, too. Either way, I’m sure I’m going to cry knowing that it’ll be the last game for certain third years. (At least an earlier goodbye.) That’s either Kuroo, Yaku and Kai or Daichi, Suga, and Asahi.

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Hoshiumi and his teammate, Sakusa and Komori, and Kiryu

I’m also looking forward to the people who’ll watch the Karasuno-Nekoma game! During the game against Inarizaki, we got to see a lot of characters including Coach Hibarida, Coach Anabara, the top players Kiryu and Sakusa, who-may-be-more-of-the-Little-Giant-than-Wakunan’s-Takeru Hoshiumi Kourai, and more. I’m pretty sure Grandpa Ukai will be able to watch the Battle at the Garbage Dump despite his health condition because he’s been waiting for that game. He has to see that no matter what.

In any case, there’s a lot to look forward to! Maybe even if their game will take longer than this previous one, I wouldn’t mind. I have loved Nekoma for a long time, after all. I want to get to know them more!

AAAAHHHH I JUST CAN’T WAIT FOR IT! PATIENCE, SELF, PATIENCE!

9 thoughts on “Karasuno Vs. Inarizaki | Development as Preparation

  1. Cactus Matt says:

    Your enthusiasm for the manga actually makes me want to watch Season 2 of Haikyuu!! even though I told myself I probably wouldn’t bother. Great post! I’ve thought about reviewing manga myself, how do you get the pictures? Are they screenshots from a digital copy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ameithyst says:

      Aww, didn’t you like the first season? And thank you so much for reading! Yes, they’re screenshots, but of scanlations. You see, I don’t really have the luxury to spend money for manga (but I’m planning on purchasing some just to help the publication), so I can only rely on those kind-hearted souls who share their scanlations.

      I’d love to see you review manga series! It’s so fun to read your anime reviews and I’m sure it’ll be the same with manga series! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cactus Matt says:

        I actually did like it quite a bit, however it’s not really the kind of show I like to watch (call me shallow but I prefer shows that have mostly if not entirely female casts). I just don’t know if I could sit through another 25+ episodes of boys playing sport, even if it was pretty entertaining and the characters are fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ameithyst says:

        Ah, it’s not really being shallow. It’s just that we’ve all got different preferences and that’s okay. I think I’m quite your opposite in that many of the shows I watch have a lot of male characters. I prefer reverse harem after all. Hahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Auri says:

    Mei-san!!!!
    You are a savior!
    I was so sad that no one was reading the new chapters yet and then you came with this beautiful post!
    Mei-san!!!!!!!!

    Oh gosh, yes, everything you said was on point and I second, third and fourth them, yes!

    I wanted to add something but it’d be like repeating what you said so I’ll just leave it at Battle at the Garbage Dump!!!

    But honestly, even Inarizakari was such a cool team. Kita-sama especially (captain san?) and my gosh the twins!

    I don’t know how I forgot to comment on the Up to Date post but God Damn! I LOVE HAIKYUU!!!!

    That block though! I love how both of them reacted!
    Oh lord!
    I’m pumped up again, ahhhhh, this is too good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ameithyst says:

      Aww you’re making me blush, Auricchi! I think the manga readers in the aniblogging community here on WP are not that many as compared to those on Tumblr. (There are a lot of fun posts there everytime the manga updates.)
      It’s really great to have you here, Auricchi! Someone who reads manga, too! 😀

      Let’s brace ourselves for the next chapters!!!

      That’s so true! I loooooved Kita so much! He’s so precious! And of course the twins! Aaaahhh! I really hope we’ll see them watch the next game!

      Yeeees! I got goosebumps while reading that chapter! I’ve been waiting for the end and it’s too good!

      Like

  3. wanwu spirit library says:

    Hi, I’m mainly a spirituality blog but holy fricking flying hell i am so astounded that someone blogs about EACH CHAPTER OF HAIKYUUU @SDGkBADFKBASIDFBIFWEIFBWIEFbiewnj. THIS SERIES IS MY LIFE BLOOD. I LOOK FORWARD and ascend to nirvana every thurs/friday when new chapters are posted and I feel like I’ve downed a few energy drinks with each chapter and panel that i read!!!! UGH WHAT THE CRAP. YOU’RE MAKING ME WANT TO WRITE IN DEPTH ANALYSISES THAT I HAVE IN NO WAY OF EXPLAINING PROPERLY IN MY SITE AESTHETIC OTHER THAN MY CHILDREN ARE PERFECT. I commend you. cheers cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SPORTISLIFE says:

    Hey, the anime is finally at this point where the battle with the inarizaki will start, are you gone view it? What do you think?

    Like

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