Ahh, this took so long for me to write because I was busy with a lot of other things and I got sidetracked with some Marvel films. And I was struck by a terrible situation that almost once in a month I experience. Later this day, the spoilers will most probably be out, but I don’t want to not post anything about this chapter because I want to let out my feels before the new chapter comes up. Anyway, here are my thoughts for the latest chapter entitled — as translated by MS — “Demon Crow”.
The chapter starts with these three guys — Ogano, Goura, and Chigaya — on their way to see Nekoma and Karasuno’s match. It’s good to finally see them again! Though we actually got to see Chigaya with Kageyama during the training camps arc. But I was wondering when we’ll ever get to see them again. I also wanted to know more about the other Shinzen and Ubugawa players! Even if they played a lot of times before, we couldn’t know much about them except for each school’s specialties — synchronized attacks and powerful serves. I’d love to see more of their reactions as they watch Karasuno doing the synchronized attacks with Kageyama and Asahi delivering powerful serves. I just remembered a while ago that Tanaka was practicing jump serves, too, so I wonder if he’ll finally try some during this match?
And we get a review of that time when the crows got their first point! Look at Nishinoya being so adorable! And Tanaka being his usual hyper self. And that small fist gesture by proud Kageyama! And Hinata’s being such a sunshine boy! Ahh, I’m so happy for them! But this is just the start and we know that we’re bound to months of both pain and happiness.
I love these guys’ reactions! Especially dear Bokuto and Akaashi! Those are looks of pride! Well, of course, Bokuto considers Hinata as his disciple. But Akaashi was able to practice a lot with Hinata during their 3rd gym shenanigans, too. I think these expressions echo what Goura said earlier — that to see them play (of course, Nekoma, too), and very well at that, is something to be proud of. I bet there’s this kind of satisfying feeling seeing Karasuno’s plays because they saw them while they were more unpolished.
I love the cats’ reactions here! Inuoka and Shibayama are almost always in sync and they’re showing looks of amazement mixed with frustration here. I bet their energies are going up. I’m really hoping to see them play in this match. Anyhow, of course, there’s Kuroo’s amused reaction, too! And Lev’s frustrated look while looking at the grinning Hinata. Ahh, I really love their rivalry!
Then, we get to see some Arisa/Alisa and Akane moments as Alisa expresses her wonder of what Hinata and Kageyama did. Akane, who’s clearly well-informed about volleyball, answered that it’s the minus tempo attack. And Alisa just so adorably misinterprets Akane’s reaction to it. Hahaha! Anyway, it’ll be interesting to know Akane’s insights about the game since she knows a lot about the sport.
The scene shifts to Genta and Hiromi noting about how Taketora was able to receive Tanaka’s inner cross even if it’s the first time, but they also noted about how Kai was able to receive Kageyama’s serve. Honestly, in Nekoma, Kai has the Daichi vibe. He’s the most level-headed out of the three Nekoma third years, too.
Genta thinks it was a fluke, but then Kageyama serves again and Kai receives the ball again. And it looks like he does it so smoothly! I’m so excited to see Nekoma prove people wrong! I wonder if Genta and Hiromi will be torn as to who they think will win around the end of the game?
Anyway, back to the court. After Kai received the ball, Kenma tosses it to Lev who spiked it above the blocks. And we see that this time, it’s Lev who’s grinning wide while Hinata’s looking frustrated. As usual, on the other hand, it’s Kageyama who’s looking at Kenma while Kenma avoids looking at him. Ahh, their rivalries are so exciting to see!
Then, Takinoue notes that Nekoma no longer does dedicated shift. It’s a tactic they came up with when they first played against them, where the blockers go to right as they believed that Hinata always goes to the place where there are no blockers. With that kind of blocking, they could be sure that Hinata would go to the left side and they would be able to get ready for receiving it.
We get a flashback of Nekoma watching Karasuno play to be able to come up with countermeasures. Kenma says that Hinata is the “latest version of Shouyou” and I think it’s cute how he considers him very much like a game. Back when they defeated Sarukawa Tech, he also thought that he wanted to give it a go with the strong boss fight, then there’s a panel of Hinata as he played against Inarizaki as the scene shifted to their game again. That’s actually one of my reasons for believing that Nekoma will lose. Kenma thought of it as the “strong boss fight”. It sounds like a final fight to me.
Anyhow, Kuroo notes Hinata using the existence of minus tempo as a decoy. The times when Hinata does the “blend and distract” tactic comes to mind. Yaku asks to check if it was October when they last had a practice match against them and if that means they further evolved after that. In a span of two months, a lot of things happened which greatly improved Karasuno’s plays and it’s amazing and terrifying at the same time!
Shibayama, then, remembered Coach Nekomata’s demon and iron club remark before. How Kageyama was the core of their attacks and it works mainly because of how he directs them. But Coach Nekomata also said that they could evolve further, with both of them being “demon and demon”. Things started to evolve into that, I think, when Kageyama and Hinata started their new quick, where Hinata gets to decide where to aim or how he wants to attack. Hinata continues to hunger for improvement, too!
The flashback cuts and we see Lev going for a serve. The change on his looks — from looking cool to being funny — is so quick it amuses me. Hahaha!
Being almost at the same level as Hinata in serving, the ball got net in, but Hinata is able to save it! Hinata steps a bit too far ahead, but we can expect to see him still make such mistakes because he just started seriously studying how to receive. It’s only been a few weeks after the training camp and receives get better with practice. Give Hinata some more month and I think he’ll be better and better!
Anyway, Kageyama tosses the ball to Daichi and Lev receives it, though not so well as Yaku is obviously pissed at how lame it was. Being Lev’s personal mentor at receives, it’s just reasonable for Yaku to feel such way. Honestly, though, I think I’d want to see Lev receiving balls well, even just for the sake of Yaku.
Hinata looks so adorable waiting for the ball! It may be difficult to think that he’s the “demon crow” the title refers to. Anyway, Kuroo spikes the ball and Kageyama receives it.
That creates an opportunity for Noya to do a jump toss. LOOK AT HIM BEING SO COOL AND SO ADORABLE! He’s getting better each time and it’s just amazing! And I love how Kageyama looks on the above panels, too. He looks so calm and it speaks of his trust with Noya’s ability. Anyway, Noya tosses it to Asahi and he got a blockout. Against Kuroo and Kai at that! Ahh, it’s so nice to see his spikes getting even more powerful!
Yaku, then, shifts with Lev and WE GET THIS WONDERFUL SCENE! THIS FRIENDSHIP. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE HOW THEY ARE ON FIRST NAME BASIS! I feel like they are exchanging mails much like Kenma and Hinata. PLEASE GIVE ME MORE OF THESE INTERACTIONS, FURUDATE-SENSEI.
Coach Nekomata notes how terrifying it is that not a year has passed yet since they first played against each other and they already got to improve that much. Now, they are about to do things to counter the crows. (How I love the panel above! Inarizaki got something like that on one of the chapters during their match, too!) I think we can anticipate Nekoma doing some wonderful plays the next chapter. Ahh, it’s only been three scores yet there’s so much to take note of already! And there are no Tsukki moments yet, so I’m hoping that next chapter we’ll get to see him!