Haikyuu Chapter 384 Manga Review: “The Greatest Decoy, Part 2”
It’s not my birthday, and it’s not Christmas, but it sure felt that way, because we got a double dose of Haikyuu!! today! Haikyuu chapter 384 is our second chapter this week, but that has to tide us over for two and a half weeks. Thankfully, this chapter was everything, and I will be riding this high until March 8.
When I say that Haikyuu chapter 384 was everything, I am completely serious. While I haven’t been with this series since the beginning, I’ve been a fan for three years, following the manga week to week and repeatedly binging the anime. I have been longing for this moment, when Hinata’s volleyball prowess steps up to the next level.
Hinata has always been athletically gifted. His speed and flexibility is what caught Kageyama’s attention in that first middle school match. But he never really had the skill to go along with it. He got better during his first year at Karasuno (a plot arc you can easily reference as you watch this season of the anime), but undoubtedly his training in Brazil has propelled him even higher.
What is really amazing about “The Greatest Decoy, Part 2” is that the focus is on Hinata’s receiving, which has always been the weakest part of his game. This boy has lived up to the ninja nickname that he got in Brazil. He’s everywhere and nowhere, faking out the opponent with his super awesome ninja skills.
I love that Kageyama is so surprised by Hinata’s skills. He’s surprising the other Adlers because he’s an unknown quantity, but Kageyama has direct knowledge of Hinata’s previous level, so seeing his amazement is great. I also love the former Karasuno members sitting in the audience trying to figure out what the players are going to do. That Sawamura caught on to what Hinata was doing shows that he still has a strategic mind.
This really brings new meaning to Hinata’s role as decoy. In high school, his job was to draw attention to himself so that the other team would forget about Karasuno’s other spikers. But now he draws attention to himself to fake out the other team and mislead them about his intentions. I love it.
Amazingly, there were no new cameos in this chapter (which is kind of sad, because we are still waiting for some people NISHINOYA to show up NISHINOYA), but getting commentary from those already in the stands is pretty great. (Tsukishima thinking through Romero’s spike as though he were in the game brought a tear to my eye. He’s come a long way!)
Plus, it’s nice to stop with the repeated fan service and focus on the match. We’ve been waiting to see the results of Hinata’s Brazil training, and here it finally is. And it’s incredible!
And how can I not talk about what is probably the greatest moment of Haikyuu chapter 384, when Romero recognizes Hinata?! I thought Hinata was known only in the Rio beach volleyball community, but to find out that he’s so famous in Brazil that Romero has heard of him makes me giddy.
Plus, I appreciate Furudate bringing us full circle by having Romero’s son inspired to play volleyball because he saw Hinata on TV.
I actually really love this scene. Romero is so excited; it’s adorable. I can’t tell whether he’s meant to be speaking English or Portuguese, but I wish his teammates could understand him! I want to see people’s reactions when they realize that Hinata is famous in another country.
Of course, Kageyama busting out with the same language is just the icing on the cake. It’s too bad he only caught the word “ninja”, but he is able to correctly surmise to what Romero was referring when it comes to Hinata’s playing.
And it makes sense that Hinata never told Kageyama he’d gotten a nickname; though they obviously kept in touch while Hinata was in Brazil, he’s never been one to reveal a lot of personal information. Remember, his middle school friends didn’t even know that he and Kageyama wound up on the same team in high school until they showed up to the Shiratorizawa match.
There are a lot of little moments in this chapter that show the depth and development of the other characters as well. For example, germophobe Sakusa avoids high fives from both Hinata and Bokuto. He also smirks at Atsumu, a callback to the previous chapter, when he was thrilled at possibly getting the first service ace for the game. I’m also loving Romero as a character; he seems very cheerful and friendly.
Basically, Haikyuu chapter 384 is fantastic. I’ve been giddy over this arc since all of our favorites started making appearances, but I feel like this chapter has felt the most like old school Haikyuu!! since the time skip. Between the focus on the match and the camaraderie between the players, this was just an all around great chapter.
Have you read “The Greatest Decoy, Part 2”? 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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