THIS CHAPTER ALMOST KILLED ME WITH FEELS. SERIOUSLY.
First, we continue from the last chapter when Yamaguchi comes in to serve. He points out how Kageyama — someone who has intense serves and frequently gets service aces — still hasn’t gotten a service ace yet. He looks so determined, nonetheless.
That fact Kuroo tells Tsukki to which Tsukki answers with how Yamaguchi is a man who walks ahead of Tsukki. Kuroo’s reaction to it is the same as mine when I first read it. This whole chapter shows how it’s like that. It has a lot of Tsukishima-Yamaguchi developments that I didn’t expect I would get so even now I’m still so emotional about this.
So, Nekoma gets ready to receive Yamaguchi’s serve. Yaku looks so adorable as he wants the ball to go to him! Then, Yamaguchi serves and Taketora tries to receive it, but fails! So, we have the first service ace of the game!
Just look at people’s surprised looks! Hinata’s and Kinoshita’s looks are particularly amusing! And I like that drummer guy’s look, too! It’s also amusing to see Akane’s look of frustration as she compliments his serve. Akane knows Nekoma and she acknowledges him for getting a service ace against their team, a team good at receiving/connecting. Meanwhile, Yaku looks like he wants to receive the serve next. Tora is naturally frustrated while Kai naturally consoles him.
I love these two panels! Tsukki’s and Kuroo’s reactions look amusing. Kageyama is so fired up! I bet he would be. His serves kept being received previously. And Asahi is just there looking so adorably amused because of Kageyama.
With Nekoma behind 3 points, coach calls for time-out and we get this loveable panel of our three loyal Karasuno supporters. It’s cute how Akiteru recalled a young Yamaguchi looking for Tsukki as he notes how he’s all grown up now. (I need more stories about young Tsukishima and Yamaguchi!) Meanwhile, there’s Shimada looking so proud of his disciple and sounding as if he raised him up. (But he did raise him up to be a good pinch server!)
Game resumes with Karasuno of course wanting to get one more service ace. Yaku thinks they aren’t getting one again from them. The serve goes toward Kai and Taketora’s direction and it’s Kai who got to send it back to Kenma. Yamaguchi thinks they haven’t broken their formation, but amazingly, the following page has Tsukki reassuring that it’s enough.
We see in the panel that Karasuno is waiting to see where the ball will go. The panel highlighted Kuroo and Fukunaga. With only those two options available, of course, it will be easier for Karasuno’s brain to figure out where the ball is going. This is proved by the panel of Kenma looking frustrated as he knew Tsukki caught them.
We get flashbacks of the scene two chapters ago when Kuroo was riling him up and of that time when Tsukki blocked for Bokuto for the first time. THEN WE GET THIS WONDERFUL SCENE.
TSUKKI STUFFED IT. It may not be Kuroo as I hoped (but there are still chances for it in the future) but it’s a good block. What reach! Sawamura even looks surprised because of it! And I love how Hinata looks, too!
If Kageyama and Hinata are the demon and club demon, then Tsukishima and Yamaguchi are the sword and shield and I love it! I knew that when the time comes that Karasuno will be able to do a serve and block, Yamaguchi will be the one involved in it because of that attention given to him when Coach Ukai explained it that time when they first saw it during the Ubugawa-Shinzen practice game while in the training camp. (Furudate-sensei has this knack of dropping hints here and there and it’s fun to look out for them!)
My reaction was the same as the three older Karasuno guys when I first read the chapter! I love how they showed Lev and Shibayama, too! Lev also trains a lot under Kuroo’s direction and he learned a lot about blocking with Tsukki. Together, Lev and Shibayama have to learn about teamwork, too! (This someone on Tumblr pointed out.) And I also love how Ogano is so amused that he claps his hands.
And I lovelovelove that panel of Bokuto and Akaashi! Bokuto is so proud of Tsukki! (I have a feeling that Kuroo will be so proud of Tsukki, too, if he’ll manage to successfully block Bokuto, though.) He even goes far to claim Tsukki! And it’s amusing how Akaashi plainly corrects him.
Then we get Fukunaga and his jokes/puns that makes the umpire confused. How is he so adorable?
Kenma looks so funny with that look and it’s funnier that Yaku kicks Kuroo as he blames him for the success of Tsukki’s block. Well, they know that they are the third gym buddies who practiced spiking and blocking together. Kuroo is also generous in giving advices. In a way, he’s really part of the reason why Tsukki grew, but Kuroo still gives the credit to Tsukki’s ability. From the very start, Kuroo already acknowledged Tsukki’s capabilites and potential.
Following this is the page of Tsukki’s perspective of the things that happened between him and Yamaguchi. It all started with Tsukki’s “how lame” line to Yamaguchi’s bullies. When they were young, Tsukki coolly left Yamaguchi after saving him from the bullies. As they grew, Yamaguchi starts catching up to him. Then, they got to stand side by side around the time of Spring. Soon after, Yamaguchi finally surpasses him after giving his best to be an asset of the team. And we get that infamous flashback of their memorable “pride” scene! Still gives me goosebumps whenever I remember it!
And we get a scene even much better that the one in that “pride” scene. Tsukki and Yamaguchi having high fives! And Tsukki is even smiling! THIS IS A REALLY BEAUTIFUL, MOVING SCENE! It speaks a lot about their friendship!
I know that there are some people who think that Yamaguchi’s just being all clingy or that Tsukki’s so cold that their friendship is nonexistent, but this chapter brings us their friendship on Tsukki’s perspective. They trust each other and it’s so beautiful.
We get to see most of the Karasuno guys’ reactions and the most memorable and amusing one to me is Kageyama who looks so salty. It’s funny how he’s looking like all the while on this chapter.
After that, Kuroo asks Tsukki how volleyball has been for him lately. Kuroo looks so good as he smiles genuinely. I love how he sincerely cares for Tsukki. But Kuroo is a good friend despite his tendencies to provoke people. He is a good friend/person for Kenma, Bokuto, Daishou, and others. Tsukki isn’t an exception. Anyway, before, Bokuto asked him and Tsukki said that it was just normal to which Bokuto said that that may be because he sucked at it. But now it’s different.
I mentioned on my post about the previous chapter that I want Tsukki to thank Kuroo for what he taught him and I got that thanks! It may not be a blatant thank you for it, but it’s a thanks that Tsukki is able to have fun “once in a blue moon”. But it’s indirectly related to his learnings (there are the panels of third gym scenes!!! And that panel of Bokuto and Akaashi!) so it still counts and I’m so happy! And I love how Tsukki got that last panel. So beautiful close-up!
Auricchi made some prediction the other time and I thought I’d put some predictions on my Haikyuu chapter posts.
With the chapter ending like that, I think it’s more difficult to predict what could happen the following chapter. I’m quite sure that the focus will be shifted to other players. But first, it will probably start with Yamaguchi serving for the third time. I’m guessing that we’ll see some more of Fukunaga the following chapter? Or perhaps Lev? I need more of that tall dork.