Haikyuu Chapter 381 Manga Review: “Friend and Foe in the Same Boat”

Haikyuu chapter 381
Oh, it’s on, now.

Every week I say something like, “I don’t expect to review Haikyuu!! weekly,” and then the next week I make a liar out of myself. So here I am, again, making a liar out of myself. But as I was reading Haikyuu chapter 381, a familiar character showed up that I have been waiting to see, and I knew I was going to review this week’s manga chapter.

Haikyuu chapter 381 has finally re-introduced a character I have been anxious to see again. No, it’s not Nishinoya (seriously, where is he???), but it’s the next best thing.

When I first started watching the anime, I wrote up a post on why I was so obsessed with it, and I mentioned that my favorite relationships were the setter/spiker ones. That is true of virtually every team that has been introduced, but one of my absolute favorite dynamics has been that of Bokuto and Akaashi. Fukurodani’s chapters during the Nationals arc only further intensified this, and I knew that with Hinata on the same team as Bokuto, it was only a matter of time before Akaashi popped up.

Haikyuu chapter 381
Well, hello there, Akaashi with glasses.

That he is in the company of Hinata’s idol, Udai “The Little Giant” Tenma, is just pure fan service. But this is the kind of fan service I can absolutely get behind.

And before I get away from the subject, Bokuto’s line after Hinata’s spike is something that Akaashi said about Hinata and Kageyama during the Inarizaki match in chapter 250. Nice to know they still share the same brain.

Oh, and also there’s a match going on or something? Sorry, I was too busy focusing on Akaashi in glasses to notice.

One thing that Haikyuu chapter 381 has done is make me weep for the perfection that was Hinata and Kageyama’s coordination. Because this week, it seems like Atsumu is a better partner for Hinata. I don’t like thinking that, but I feel very betrayed by this whole chapter. Although, I guess it would be difficult for Hinata to defeat Kageyama if his natural state is to be paired with him. They’re destined to be on opposite sides of the court.

Haikyuu chapter 381
I never thought I’d like seeing another setter with Hinata but COME ON, BOY, GET IT.

The fact that Atsumu can replicate Kageyama’s pinpoint tossing abilities is nothing new – we saw this during Karasuno’s match against Inarizaki. But it’s really interesting to see that Kageyama is not the only setter who can keep up with Hinata, but Hinata might very well be the only player who hit those tosses. (These chapters seem perfectly timed with where we are in the anime at the moment, especially after Kageyama’s faux pas in the most recent episode.)

But of course it’s Kageyama who is able to receive it. Who else would have that same level of familiarity with the freak quick?

“You dare use MY move against me? I’ll show you.”

Scenes like this also emphasize that these are not the same players we remember. Everyone, not just Hinata, has been honing and improving their skills over the past several years. They’re not in high school anymore.

I’m still concerned about this breakneck pace that we seem to be on, but the flashback between the Miya brothers proves that Furudate still cares about the side characters and their development. I anticipate a lot of flashbacks as the match continues, because there is still a lot we (or maybe just I) need to know about those missing years of the time skip.

The flashbacks also bring back moments that, at the time, didn’t seem like much, but in retrospect seem like some pretty epic foreshadowing.

Also, despite my fears that this may be the final match of the manga (hard not to worry about with chapters called “The Final Boss”), I think things like showing the national team coach watching this game do give little hints that we may get to the Olympics. I’ve mentioned before that I think this is a goal of Furudate, especially considering the 2020 Olympics are in Tokyo.

Have you read Haikyuu chapter 381? 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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