After a serious drought of Kageyama goodness in recent chapters, last week’s chapter, “The Greatest Opponent” delivered in a big way. Haikyuu chapter 388, “The Greatest Opponent, Part 2”, continues to give us some quality Kageyama, this time showing him in his prime as a player.
As much as I loved last week’s chapter, with all the lovely flashbacks of baby Kageyama (even as it crushed my soul and made me cry), Haikyuu Chapter 38 is definitely my favorite version of him. He’s calm, cool, collected, and competitive as hell. It’s really refreshing to see that he both has and hasn’t changed; it also makes my heart sing that Hinata is still able to draw out his competitive side.
Have I mentioned before how much I love their relationship?
Let me interject something on that topic right now: when Takeda brings up Kageyama doing the freak quick with Hoshiumi, Ukai says that they probably don’t want to do it. Now, realistically, I know that it’s because Hoshiumi is a totally different player than Hinata, and he and Kageyama have a different dynamic. But a small piece of me couldn’t help but think that Kageyama doesn’t want to do the freak quick with anyone but Hinata.
I feel that we haven’t gotten to see much of Kageyama’s playing since the match started, focusing on the game overall but mostly how Hinata has developed since high school. This chapter, however, highlights Kageyama’s talent and skill as a setter, as well as his overall power as a player. A one-handed set (reminiscent of Oikawa!) and a fake set? I got chills.
The parallels between him and Hinata are insane in this chapter. Hinata, leveraging his reputation as a decoy and the skills he learned playing beach volleyball, deliberately baits his opponents by putting himself in their line of sight as a fakeout. Kageyama, as a well-known professional player, relies on the expectation of his previous plays and then does something unexpected. (His dumps were always a thing of beauty.)
Mostly I just love that Kageyama is so quick and analytical on the court but off the court doesn’t seem to have two brain cells to rub together.
Haikyuu chapter 388 also emphasizes just how annoyed he is at Hinata’s growing skill, which is a nice added bonus to seeing him in action. Since Kageyama is a professional, and arguably the person who knows Hinata’s abilities the best, I like seeing what he thinks about his development. Yes, I appreciate the commentary from all the assembled alumni in the stands, but I’ve been waiting to hear Kageyama’s thoughts on how Hinata has improved.
And you have to love Kageyama’s glare while he’s thinking, “Stupid sand.” It reminds me of people commenting on his super intense face while it turns out he was thinking about checking out t-shirts in the most recent episode of the anime.
One thing about this chapter is that the pacing makes it obvious what a high level these guys are playing at. Obviously this is a pro game, and enough of the spectators have made statements to that fact, but for some reason it just seemed so intense in this chapter.
Little things like Bokuto getting a hand under the ball after his spike was blocked remind you of these players skill. In a high school match, they might have missed that ball and it would have ended the rally.
But what really hammers that point home is that double-page spread of the synchronized attack. Everyone is a monster, indeed.
I’m almost positive that this match is going to go to five sets. I really hope it does, because aside from the fact that I never want this game to end, there are months and years still missing that I want to see in some form.
Have you read Haikyuu chapter 388? 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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