Haikyuu S4 E18 finally showed us the tournament draft for the third day and it sent a shock through me.
It’s kind of a bummer as well because now we can more or less predict what happens to the Karasuno v Inarizaki match.
The only hope of not losing suspense is Haikyuu’s thin plot armor which was evident in the season 1 finale.
As I predicted in my previous episode’s review, the title of Haikyuu S4 E18 refers not to Sarukawa’s trap on Kenma, but rather the counter-trap.
What was surprising was Kenma’s want to execute a plan on his own expense.
As Haikyuu has shown repeatedly, Kenma’s character takes the most efficient path available, not the bravest. His approach in this episode was different in that respect.
This episode was all about Kenma pushing through his limits. The build up, using his fights with the gutsy Yamamoto in the last episode, smoothly merged into this episode’s narration.
We saw his persistence in the previous episode through the Early Riser incident and his will to seal the set solidified it in this episode. Even if it meant he would end up flat on his face exhausted, which he did.
Kenma lashing out in embarrassment admitting he finally tried hard at something makes it even more evident that his character just went through a change in attitude.
It is frightening to think that next time Karasuno goes up against Nekoma, they will have to deal with a new Kenma who is not only a genius at strategy anymore but is also a freshly motivated one.
The Promise of Hope
There were two instances in Haikyuu S4 E18 which sent a jolt of excitement through me.
The first was when Sarukawa realized they were being played back by Kenma.
The second was the tournament draw revealing Nekoma and Karasuno’s paths drawn to the same slot on Day 3.
It suggests that 4 seasons of waiting is almost over.
That the dream of having a Battle at the Garbage Dump is halfway complete.
The same dream which escaped them for a generation is only 2 sets away in Karasuno’s hands.
Will the Old Contenders pull through against the Ultimate Challengers? Can the Freak Duo out-do the Mia Twins? How will Saeko’s Taiko Group hold off Inarizaki’s orchestra?
We have no choice but to wait another week, for an episode filled with great hope, from the sports anime that keeps on giving.
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