All the team is back together again in “Enhancements”! Now the new season of Haikyuu!! can really begin. With a practice match with rival Dateko looming, now is the time when we’ll see whether our first years can apply what they learned in their training camps to an actual game.
“Enhancements” starts exactly where last week’s episode left off, with Kageyama telling Hinata he can jump higher. It isn’t until later that he really explains what he was talking about, showing Hinata that if he concentrates his weight on the balls of his feet, he can push off from the ground with more power. Until now, he’s needed to zoom around the court, going wherever there is an opening and acting as a decoy. He isn’t actually focusing on the jump itself.
They’re interrupted before we can see what Hinata’s jump is like with those modifications, but it’s just enough of a tease to get you excited for when it actually happens.
What that scene also did was show how much Hinata has influenced Kageyama. You normally see it the other way, but talking via sound effect is definitely a Hinata trait, even if he’s bad at it.
We can see that training camp has definitely made an impact Kageyama and Hinata. More than one person noticed that Hinata has gotten even more intense, paying attention to the smaller aspects of the game that he didn’t necessary catch before. There’s a shot of him doing the split-step when Kageyama goes to serve, so we’ve already seen glimpses of his improvement at receiving.
And it’s obvious that Kageyama is still thinking about Atsumu calling him a “goody two-shoes”. That may or may not affect his playing. Considering he had the audacity to call Nishinoya out for getting in the way of Asahi’s back-attack, thereby lowering the number of successful attacks they could launch, I’m sure he is still focused on what was said.
But we also get to see how the other Karasuno players have fared with their practicing. Kinoshita has become better at jump floaters, serving something that even Nishinoya couldn’t receive. This has, in turn, fired up Yamaguchi, who sees his place on the team slipping away.
It’s really great to be back with the entire team. As much as I loved getting to watch Hinata and Kageyama improve on their own, nothing beats the dynamic when the entire team is together. The show becomes 100 times funnier when the boys are together and able to bounce off each other. Sawamura hanging off the window to yell at Hinata and Kageyama to go home was hilarious.
And, of course, “Enhancements” has the much-hyped return of Dateko, in the form of a practice match. Despite Aoba Josai being Karasuno’s “fated rivals”, Dateko has long been a thorn in their side as well. Remember, it was the match against Dateko that made Asahi originally quit volleyball entirely.
(And even though he was confident to Nishinoya, it’s funny to see that he and Suga are still intimidated just a bit.)
Dateko, meanwhile, is fired up because they haven’t managed to get Karasuno back for beating them in the summer tournament. And they’ve gotten even better at blocking, so Karasuno is being challenged right out of the gate at seeing how well their improvements will do in a match.
In the manga, they went to Dateko for the match. I wonder why they made the chance to having the match at Karasuno instead.
“Enhancements” also has brought in the team introductions before a match, including the players’ years, heights, and positions. This is something that the manga has before every game but has not yet featured in the anime. It’s just one more example of how the new animation style is manga-inspired.
Also, I am super-duper shallow for this, but…Iwaizumi!
Have you seen “Enhancements”? What did you think?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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