Haikyuu S4 E22 was packed with hyper engaging moments second by second from characters on both sides of the net while bringing us closer to actually feeling the stakes of the game as it changes tide point by point.
Let’s break it down.
We don’t need the memories
“We don’t need the memories” is the Inarizaki Volleyball team’s motto. Even though we saw this banner ever since the Karasuno v Inarizaki match began, we got to know the true spirit behind it only in Haikyuu S4 E22.
Inzarizaki coach’s advice to returning substitute Heisuke teased us into the scene.
“If we keep holding on to yesterday, what are we going to be tomorrow?”Inarizaki Coach
It became evident how extremely the Inarizaki players focused on the present during Miya Atsumu’s monologue.
After being playful and proud throughout the match, when it came to their title as 2nd best volleyball team in Japan which they got last year, he intentionally forgets it, even though it’s an accolade one can usually brag about for years.
“Who the hell cares about being ranked 2nd in Japan? 2nd…or was it 3rd? It doesn’t really matter, really. That was yesterday. ”Miya Atsumu
Miya Osamu’s monologue that followed Atsumu’s echoed the same sentiment.
“Yesterday’s already gone. Plenty of yesterdays have already been converted into muscle. What are we going to do today?”Miya Osamu
While the Inarizaki team was getting themselves in tune with the final moments of the match, on the other side of the net, Hinata was forging his own skillset, point after point.
The process which started with the gutsy decision to sneak into Shiratorizawa’s training camp and being a ball boy, to intentionally reaping its benefits and implementing them in a real match, climaxed in Hinata perfectly receiving Ojiro Aran’s powerful spike.
The long build-up to this moment over the course of many episodes and across seasons in this way makes the scene very satisfying.
The animators delivered the moment perfectly in a way that would surprise, shock, and engage any anime-only viewer.
I for instance had goosebumps when the shot was zoomed in on Hinata’s eyes. It was the perfect tease before the actual revelation. I should especially mention, I was already aware of this scene due to a spoiler, and it still managed to make me react so.
There was some noticeable theatrics in this episode as well.
The most memorable one is the national selector’s reaction after witnessing Hinata’s receive.
The monologue delivered by the national selector, first in a silent setting and then in a slowly progressing inspirational music is enough to overwhelm anyone who hasn’t recovered from the incident by then.
Apart from that melodic moment, right when Hinata received Ojiro Aran’s spike, the anime director decided to stop time and show everyone’s reaction; a kind of theatrics very common in anime as the visuals are not restricted by the laws of physics.
What surprised me was shots of the Shiratorizawa squad, Aoba Johsai squad, and Hyakusawa watching the match. All of these shots are directly included in the outro.
It was thrilling to realize that the directors somehow connected the outro to the actual visuals of the story and did it so subtly.
As the season finale becomes closer, the predictability of a particular chain of events has also gone down.
Case in point, Inarizaki got their 18th point in the same volley that Hinata received Aran’s spike.
Normally, a positive play like that will be followed up with a kill. But in this episode, not only did Inarizaki manage to receive Karasuno’s spike, but they were also able to significantly bring down Karasuno’s spirits as well.
This de-spiriting comes immediately after the inspirational sight of Hinata’s receive and two consecutive impressive exchanges over the net.
Through this, the story sends us through an emotional rollercoaster using just one match point.
In terms of quality, Haikyuu S2 E22 definitely surpassed E21, which was more focused on making us familiar with the characters than engaging us in the events of the match.
As we near the season finale we can expect more highly engaging scenes as we saw in Haikyuu S4 E22.
Here’s to hoping for an entertaining final few episodes of an incredible season.
Thank you for reading this review.
I hope to see you at the next one as well.
Bye for now.