Haikyu!! Episode 8 Recap – “He Who Is Called ‘Ace’”

Nishinoya's reason“I’ll buy you two kinds of ice cream.”

Haikyu!! Episode 8 Recap – “He Who Is Called ‘Ace’”

We pick right up from the last minutes of Episode 7, as a mystery person perfectly received Kageyama’s practice serve. This is second year Yu Nishinoya, who is just as fiery as Tanaka said he would be. He’s also freaking hilarious. “I came to Karasuno because…I like the girl’s uniform. Intensely.” 😛 The other reason is because the team jacket is the color black. He is quite the noisy one, but I think he’s endearing already.

It’s not all good news though, as Nishinoya won’t come back to the team full time unless Asahi Azumane, the ace spiker, rejoins the team as well. Hinata approaches Nishinoya for tips on how to receive better, adding a “senpai” to his plea. Nishinoya’s response cracked me up: “I’ll buy you ice cream after practice because…I’m your senpai!!” With Hinata and him hitting it off so immediately, there’s room for some great comedy. Like when Hinata loves his “i’m a libero” speech; “I’ll buy you two kinds of ice cream. Soda ice and pear flavour.” XD

Advisor Takeda is back on the campaign trail for a coach. As such, he is at the convenience store begging the clerk Keishin Ukai, the grandson of the legendary coach Ukai. Coach Ukai led Karasuno to glory in the past, but has since retired. He was also the reason Kageyama came to Karasuno in the first place, only to find he wasn’t there anymore. Takeda wants the legendary name of Ukai attached to the team, so he can attract some schools to partake in practice matches. He also needs a coach that actually knows the layout of the game. Ukai flatly refuses, and Takeda relents, but not before inviting Ukai to see the team play.

Asahi struggles with his decision
Asahi struggles with his decision

Sugawara approaches Asahi in class, and asks him to come back to the team. He won’t have to bear the burden of being the ace all by himself this time, since they have Hinata and Kageyama now. Speak of the devil, the two first years have also come to speak to Asahi. Asahi thanks them and wishes them good luck, but he’s no ace and won’t be coming back. Suga thinks it’s because he doesn’t like playing volleyball anymore. This resulted from a particular match, as all of Asahi’s spikes were blocked. Asahi is also someone who shoulders the blame to an unhealthy amount. In Kageyama’s view it’s something more than that, but he can’t put his finger on it.

Takeda has some other news; they are going to the Golden Week training camp again this year, with the added bonus of a practice match against Nekoma High School. And yes there are cat puns. 😀 The game is significant because Ukai and Nekoma’s coach were massive rivals, and on another note, might entice Ukai Jr. to coach the team even more.

Kageyama and Hinata make a second attempt to sway Asahi. Asahi sadly confesses that he can no longer visualize spiking past the wall of defenders. Hinata gives another of his winning speeches, admitting that he himself has no great skill, but he has this great setter to aid him. Asahi may have been blocked many times, but he must have also gotten a lot of spikes, and that must have felt amazing. *intense stare* XD Kageyama adds a sentiment he himself only recently learned; you don’t win alone. Torn up on what decision to make, Asahi catches the two practicing, reminding him of the feeling of spiking a ball…

Oh the cat puns
Oh the cat puns

First off, I love how Haikyu!! doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are certainly serious moments sprinkled throughout, but they are well balanced with the comedic ones. I also like how they didn’t wrap up all those plot lines in this episode. Too often anime tries to rush through plot lines and as a result have noticeable pacing problems, ala Wizard Barristers or Galileo Galilei, or this season – Black Bullet. Haikyu!! continues to be an enjoyable surprise every week. 🙂

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