Haikyu!! Episode 9 Recap – “A Toss to the Ace”
We pick up right after the end of last week’s episode, with Azumane espying Kageyama and Hinata practice. Sawamura catches him in the act, and lets him in on on the knowledge of the practice match against Nekoma. The rivalry between Nekoma and Karasuno was at it’s peak when Azumane was on the team. Azumane is wary of coming back though, especially of losing face in front of Sugawara and Nishinoya. Sawamura gives him a message: he doesn’t care about Azumane’s past, if he still likes volleyball that should be reason enough to come back.
At the convenience store, Keishin Ukai is still being pestered by Takeda to coach the team. Ukai still plays on an local team, but he doesn’t want to ruin the nostalgia of the good times he had with the Karasuno team by coaching them. His mind is quickly changed though, when Takeda lets slip that their next practice match is against Nekoma. Instantly he has memories of playing them, and a rivalry with their team setter. “Hey – you trying to seduce me?” he demands of Takeda XD. I love this show’s sense of humour. He’s definitely interested in coaching them now.
At practice, Tanaka asks Nishinoya was his training consisted of during his month long suspension. It was focused mainly on block-follow, saving a ball that hit off a spike block. This will come back later in the episode. Ukai’s first act as coach is to set up a quick practice match with members of his local Association team.
Since some of the Association’s members couldn’t make it on such short notice, Nishinoya is picked to be the libero on the local team. His heart’s not in it though, because his ace Azumane is – just arriving to practice! The ace is set, but they’ll need to fill the spot of setter as well. Sugawara takes the spot, he’s ready to throw to Asahi again. This is a good confidence booster for both Suga and Azumane, as they both like being on the court again.
We flashback to the match where Azumane had every single one of his spikes blocked. Nishinoya and Azumane both blamed themselves for the losses, and then had a fight over the fact that they shouldn’t blame themselves. Total bromance vibes here. Nishinoya blames himself for missing the follow blocks, and Azumane for not scoring any spikes. This escalated into Nishinoya shouting at him in the school hallway, telling the Dean to shut up in the process, and to top it off knocking over a plant. So that’s how he got the suspension! It’s ok though guys, as Azumane tells Nishinoya that he wants to spike again. Spat resolved, bromance is back on.
Azumane’s ready to spike it – but he’s blocked on the first try. Nishinoya dives to save it – and does with one hand. Cue the flurry of reaction shots! As Suga lays up the toss, Azumane realises he’s not the only one on court. Spiking isn’t just up to him, but it’s also his time to be the ace. He smacks it right through the blocks! This was melodrama at it’s finest, including a ball that takes 2 minutes to fall from the air.
This show is SO OVER THE TOP, even all caps can’t explain it sometimes. But it’s endearing in it’s 110% percent drama, and the humour of the characters is spot on. I can’t even imagine how silly it’s going to get in official matches, but I can’t say I’m not looking forward to it. 🙂