Haikyuu Chapter 390 Manga Review: “The Greatest Contender Part 2”
Haikyuu chapter 390 slides a little to the left. So much of the focus these past few months has been on Hinata, with the last few weeks giving us some much-needed Kageyama development. This week, however, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the other team members, Atsumu.
Atsumu is, arguably, The Worst™, but there’s no denying that Karasuno’s match against Inarizaki was fundamentally important for both Hinata and Kageyama. However, despite being hyped up as the number one setter, Kageyama was never truly afraid of or intimidated by Atsumu. In Haikyuu chapter 390, Atsumu is demanding that Kageyama notice him.
Up until now, Kageyama has been concentrating on Hinata. It’s completely understandable; Hinata is his perfect partner, he hasn’t played in Japan for years, and this is their first time on opposite sides of the court since middle school. Plus, Hinata has made a huge splash in his return match, so it stands to reason that all eyes would be on him. But here Atsumu comes behind him, reminding Kageyama that there are other players on the Jackals to worry about.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Haikyuu!! is amazing at making you care about its secondary characters. Hinata and Kageyama are the mains, and to a lesser extent the rest of Karasuno, but this is a series that has done its level best to give the opponents their own motivations and arcs. A lot of my favorite characters are from other teams.
Now, I never particularly cared for Atsumu, although he’s a very complicated, interesting character, and I have enjoyed seeing him post-time skip. That said, it’s important to flesh out the rest of the team, and Atsumu was one of those key characters that had a lot of impact, so I’m glad to see that he’s getting a chance to shine.
One thing that bothers me about this sudden emergence of Atsumu’s serve fakeout is the fact that Atsumu is an established player already. Sakusa and Hinata are the only new players on the Black Jackals, so Atsumu has been around for a while. Was he keeping this “special move” in his back pocket for just such an occasion, or is this just a case of everyone acting surprised because the audience is supposed to be surprised?
Of course, jump serves and jump floats are completely different, and learning how to hit one using the motions of the other would have taken time to develop. Atsumu was known for his serves even in high school, but that it was so easy to determine which was coming – in a way that Sawamura and Tanaka can remember even six years later – seemed to be a major weakness. It’s not surprising that he figured out a way to counter that, but I am a little surprised it took so long.
“Yesterday’s gone. So what’re we gonna do today?”
With the focus on Atsumu in Haikyuu chapter 390, I have a feeling that this third set is going to go for the Black Jackals. Professional matches are five sets, and I waffle back and forth on who I suspect the ultimate victor will be. My sincere honest hope is that the Black Jackals win; it would make the most narrative sense for Hinata to win, given all of his struggles and the fact that he’s the primary protagonist.
Have you read Haikyuu chapter 390? 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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