Since early on in the manga (and about halfway through the first season of the anime), Haikyuu has been hyping up a long-awaited official battle between Karasuno and Nekoma. With Karasuno headed to nationals, what are the chances for the Battle at the Garbage Dump?
Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers up through chapter 293 of the manga. Any anime only people may not want to read any further.
What are the chances for the Battle at the Garbage Dump? Well, they’re pretty darn good, I’d say. After what seemed like forever, Karasuno finally won its match against Inarizaki in crow-like spectacular fashion. That victory means that the next match they play is against arch-rival Nekoma. Chapter 293 of the manga, which released this week, features the start of the match as well as a flashback with Coaches Ukai and Nekomata, showing how the rivalry started all those years ago.
Let’s take a look at Karasuno’s chances and speculate on possible outcomes for this match. The Battle at the Garbage Dump is a long time coming, both in the manga and in the characters’ lives. These two teams have only ever played each other in practice matches and never had a legitimate game, so the hype is unreal. I’m not sure how they intend to break up future seasons (whenever they condescend to announce them – STILL WAITING), but I can honestly see the Karasuno/Nekoma match being one entire season, in the same vein as the Shiratorizawa match.
When you look at the stats, the odds are not in Karasuno’s favor. Between the original practice matches and the multiple training camps, Karasuno has never won a match against Nekoma. Ukai has said in the past that Karasuno has problems with teams like Nekoma (Aoba Josai, Wakunan) that are adaptive and intelligent.
But Nekoma and Karasuno haven’t played since before the Interhigh, and now Karasuno has beaten top-ranked teams like Shiratorizawa and Inarizaki. Their play style has evolved, the individual players have grown, and they’re more of a complete team than they were at the beginning.
So in that case, which team do you see coming out on top? Chapter 292 of the manga hinted at several death knells, but for both teams. The conversation between Karasuno’s third years indicate that we could be seeing something great from them; indeed, though the younger players have had some amazing moments at nationals, Sawamura and Azumane have mostly been the same. And the momentum has swung in Karasuno’s favor, with them gaining a lot of new fans after their match against Inarizaki.
On the other hand, Hinata seems entirely focused on beating Kenma, not Nekoma, and in the past, we’ve seen that players with such a singular focus tend to lose those important games.
I think that it was very important to get to the Battle at the Garbage Dump; it was built up so much that it was impossible for this to not be a thing. Some people thought that they wouldn’t get there this early, setting the battle up for when Kenma is a third year. But I think it was just as important to the third years as it was to the coaches, and that’s why we’re getting it now. Yes, we’re going to get the Battle at the Garbage Dump, but I suspect that Karasuno will lose. I have two separate but related theories: 1) that Karasuno will lose to Nekoma this year but beat them next year, so Hinata can beat Kenma before he graduates, and 2) that Nekoma will win so that they can face Fukurodani (and possibly win against them).
What do you guys think? Do you think that Nekoma will win like always? Or do you think Karasuno is due for a victory? Do you suspect that either team will survive in the tournament long enough to face Bokuto and the rest of Fukurodani?
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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