Oh my. Three Kageyama-focused chapters in a row. Is it my birthday? (Well, yes, it was, but that’s beside the point.) Haikyuu chapter 389 once again delivers a chapter full of Kageyama goodness for those of us (like me) who were lamenting the lack of him since the beginning of this arc.
As much as I loved the little moments we saw while Hinata was in Brazil (like texting a picture of himself and Oikawa to Kageyama), it’s amazing to read Haikyuu chapter 389 and get to see Kageyama as a confident, mature individual who is absolutely at home in his own skin in a way that he was just starting to be at Karasuno. You had to know that Furudate was going to give Kageyama back his King of the Court title – that’s a throwback that had yet to return in this final match.
I had tears in my eyes reading the panels where Kageyama looked back on his past at Karasuno. He had a freedom there that he hadn’t had before, and he trusted others and was trusted in return. “All of you taught it to me, so I know it must be true.” Karasuno was the best thing that could have happened to Kageyama. He had all of this talent in middle school and no one to keep up with him, and then he got to Karasuno and suddenly here was a guy who could, and they were on a team full of people who didn’t want to lose to each other, and he was able to bloom.
There’s no telling that his middle school experience greatly affected his development, but there’s virtually no sign of that uncertainty left in him now. This boy has grown into the best version of himself, and I am beyond proud of my volleyball idiot.
Speaking of volleyball idiots, Hinata not realizing he had anything to do with the player Kageyama became is just…such a Hinata thing. Kageyama was the first real setter he ever had (pretty much the only one he had until now), and it never occurred to him that most setters just aren’t like that.
Something else that Haikyuu chapter 389 does is contrast Kageyama with Hinata – again. In this case, we’re seeing evidence of how Kageyama acts as a decoy for himself in the same way that Hinata does. We were starting to see this in the last chapter, but now it’s a little more evident. He’s probably been using the entire match to overwhelm his opponents with too much knowledge (Bokuto can’t keep up!). Tsukishima points out that Kageyama has been intentionally using the sides rather than going over the middle to spread out the Black Jackals’ blocking formation.
Can I just say that I love how into the match everyone is? I expected it from the Karasuno alums in the crowd because they’re personally acquainted with multiple players on each team. But I love watching, say, Koganegawa getting all hyped about a good spike.
What makes me sad is that in this chapter, thanks to a conversation between Kunimi and Kindaichi, we learn that Kageyama is going overseas next year, while Hinata only recently started playing in Japan. That means this amazing rivalry between Kageyama and Hinata has an end date that’s approaching much faster than I’m sure either of them would like. (Much like Haikyuu‘s end date is approaching more quickly than any of us would like.) It also means the only way they’ll play on the same team again is if they both make the national or Olympic team.
I still think the Olympics is the ultimate end goal of this series (although I’m not sure how the current situation will affect the trajectory of the manga, if at all), but the longer this match goes on, the more each chapter feels like the final one (especially because we skipped a lot of points in this chapter). If we do make it to the Olympics, we won’t get to see very much of it. I wish, for old times sake, we would be able to see at least a few scenes of Hinata and Kageyama back in action together.
As I mentioned earlier, I loved how it was obvious that Hinata kept in touch with Kageyama and the others while he was in Brazil, so I hope they’ll keep in contact while Kageyama is overseas.
Have you read Haikyuu chapter 389? 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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