Haikyu!! Episode 14 Recap – “Formidable Opponents”
What happens this episode:
The Inter-High Preliminaries are approaching fast and Karasuno is deep into intense training, as are the other teams. Their first opponent in the tournament is Okonami, where an old junior high classmate of Sawamura’s named Ikejiri is a member. During a team huddle Ukai runs down the top 4 teams in the tournament. Another team outside the top four to look out for is Dateko High, which could be their next opponent should they beat Okonami. Aoba Johsai and the formidable setter Oikawa are in their block as well.
The rest of the episode is bits of character development for the members of Karasuno’s team and training. We get a quick flashback to Sawamura’s friendship with Ikejiri, as well as an present day interaction with Michimiya, the captain of the girls Karasuno Volleyball team. In both, Sawamura repeats his mantra of “never think that you can’t win.”
Meanwhile the rest of the team are all thinking about other things. Kageyama gets pissed about Oikawa. Nishinoya wonders if Asahi will crumble against Dateko again. Dateko was the team that blocked every single one of Asahi’s spikes. Sugawara and Hinata are both practicing the signals for his shots (that we saw him working on during the training camp episode). Likewise, Ukai is thinking about some new plays. Tanaka is fantasizing about the girls watching him play XD. Yamaguchi visits Shimada at the mart to ask him if he can teach him a jump float serve. And don’t forget the sports montage to show time passing!! As the episode ends it’s the morning of the inter high prelims…
Despite the overused element of the sports montage this was a good set up episode. It had more of the little character moments that I have come to enjoy of this show, and as always the comedy was spot on. It’s a little bit like Space Brothers in the way that it takes the time to focus on smaller characters, but not at the expense of its main character. It feels more complete because of that, and I can really invest in the fate of this volleyball team. As for their fate in the Inter High’s, I’m not going to make any predictions. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.