Once I became obsessed with Haikyuu, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait until season 4 came out to find out what happened to my favorite volleyball boys. So I started reading the manga. The current nationals arc – particularly Karasuno vs Inarizaki – has me wondering just how far the Crows will go this year.
Haikyuu, though it spends a little time with all of the characters (even the opposing teams), is primarily a story about Hinata and Kageyama, their rivalry and partnership. While reading the nationals arc and seeing the struggles in the Karasuno vs Inarizaki match, I find myself thinking about what the most plausible outcome is for Karasuno. Even though I would love to see them go far, I just don’t know if it’s realistic considering the team’s current skill level. Getting to nationals at all is a huge achievement for the team when you factor in their past, and as Hinata and Kageyama are both first years, there is ample time for the two of them to win nationals. So I’m very curious as to which route Furudate Haruichi intends to go.
I feel like everything hinges on this current match of Karasuno vs Inarizaki. There is a lot going on during this match; firstly, Karasuno is up against a perennial powerhouse full of skilled players — they placed second during the Interhigh. Secondly, we have the rivalry going on between Kageyama and Miya Atsumu, who met at the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp. Thirdly, this is the first time that Karasuno has dealt with underhanded tactics off the court. As of right now, each team has won one set, so this next set of chapters is pivotal. It could go either way.
On the one hand, it would be completely believable if Karasuno were to lose this match versus Inarizaki. They haven’t been on a national stage in five years, and while they were able to best Aoba Josai and Shiratorizawa, they’re far from being the best team in Japan. Reaching the second round at nationals is a respectable achievement, especially for the third years, who thought they would never get there at all. I could see Furudate having them lose here, and then get better each year until Hinata and Kageyama are third years, and they win it all. It’s obviously the more realistic approach here.
However, I don’t think they’ll lose to Inarizaki. I think Furudate has been hinting at a few things for the third set that have yet to come to fruition, and I’m hoping that, should all these things come together, it will result in Karasuno pulling off a win. We’re seriously overdue for some Nishinoya backstory and redemption after his issues with receiving jump float serves in the second set, and I get the feeling that Hinata is due for a big moment, as well. I’ve been waiting for them to put Sugawara in the match for about two months, and Yamaguchi and Kinnoshita both deserve another shot at pinch serving. On the Inarizaki side, I’m fairly convinced that eventually Atsumu will go too far in his desire to beat Kageyama and forget that he’s playing an entire team.
Not to mention, there has been massive setup for the Battle at the Garbage Dump. It’s been mentioned every time the teams have met, particularly by Kuroo and Sawamura, who are both third years. There’s been some speculation that the match wouldn’t happen at this nationals in order to make it all the more important next year, when Kenma is a third year. But I think Furudate implied that it would happen by having it occur so early in nationals — both teams only have to make it through the first two rounds to meet up. Ukai specifically brings it up, and the recent Nekoma chapters had a very final feel to them. Nekoma has done their part; now it’s Karasuno’s turn, and I think they’ll follow through.
The question becomes, if Karasuno is able to best Inarizaki and make it to the long-awaited and much-anticipated Battle at the Garbage Dump, will they be able to pull off a win against Nekoma? The continued presence of Bokuto and Akaashi has me wondering if Karasuno is eventually fated to face the Owls as well as the Cats. This indicates that Karasuno, who has never been able to defeat Nekoma, may actually be able to best their rivals.
But that’s far off in the future, and there is still one set to go in the Karasuno vs Inarizaki match. Based on hints that have been set up for a while, I do think that Karasuno gets the upset here. Atsumu has seemed to look down on Karasuno and Kageyama in the past, and I think it would be poetic justic for them to beat him because of his arrogance.
What do you guys think? Will Karasuno win against Inarizaki? How far will they make it in their first nationals?
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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