This episode’s star is Kita, our calm and collected Inarizaki captain, and It opens with a comment from his grandmother: Gods are everywhere and they are always watching. This reminded me of an article I’ve read on Marie Kondo and her ‘de-cluttering’ having roots in Shinto beliefs/practices. Here’s a quote that I felt was related:

“Kami are Shinto spirits present everywhere — in humans, in nature, even in inanimate objects. At an early age, I understood this to mean that all creations were miracles of a sort. I could consider a spatula used to cook my eggs with the wonder and mindful appreciation you’d afford a sculpture; someone had to invent it, many human hands and earthly resources helped get it to me, and now I use it every day. According to Shinto animism, some inanimate objects could gain a soul after 100 years of service ―a concept know as tsukumogami ― so it felt natural to acknowledge them, to express my gratitude for them.”

Much like how being a morally good person is not exactly tied to being religious, Kita keeping up with the routine that has never betrayed him is not necessarily him being devoted to Gods, but more of what felt right and comfortable for him. It was such a heart-warming moment he spent with his grandmother basking under sunlight, cleaning in unison. Because of his precision and unwavering routine his teammates view him as ‘robotic’, but they also know that they can rely on Kita exactly because of how unchanging he is. It might be easy to take his behavior as kindness, but Kita only have remarks. And a bag full of good food that will help you get over your cold. He functions as the ‘kami’ in Inarizaki team, always watching and not missing anything happening both on and out of the court.

Kita says getting nervous doesn’t make any sense, however, it’s not an easy task to internalize such ideas! I remember getting the same advice; although some people perform better under stress and other worse, in the end that effect is not drastic. You just can’t fight like a lvl 9000 warrior when you’re lvl 100. This, logically makes a lot of sense. But I feel like it’s only people like Kita can realize that kind of ideal. Again, similar to Sarukawa’s strategy, he chooses the long journey and gets to be the captain of an accomplished team like Inarizaki. It was an emotional scene to watch him hugging the jersey!

Let’s keep in mind that this is Haikyu; characters have emotional moments left and right, and Kita is not the only one. Nishinoya has been going through hard time himself and Asahi keeps contemplating how he should encourage his friend and comes up with a declaration that it’s okay to go through a slump, he’ll be there to score to cover the points they lose. It also wouldn’t be Kageyama if he didn’t ruin the moment with bad timing.

These episodes we see a lot of tension between Suna and Tsukishima over the net, with occasional Kageyama. Suna has the air of a person who’s fun to be around, but at the same time you feel like watching your back because he might be planning your social media downfall with an uncool snap for the whole school to see. He seems to enjoy railing people up mentally, that’s what he tries to do with Tsukishima. I guess when you’re at a better-than-most level of playing, you start thinking about these during matches. The episode ends on the note of him, challenging Tsukishima and Kageyama to do better. Well, at least he thinks about that and continues to glare their way and have them jump at his fake cross hits.

One thing I wanted to add is that these scenes where Suguru was explaining the way both teams have been playing and the imagery reminded me of Final Haikyuu Quest! And I love how Tsukishima is not feeling any of it at the back.

Final Haikyuu Quest was a mock poster Furudate Haruichi made like the other movie posters he did. I can’t exactly remember where it stemmed from, but in the manga Ennoshita has some side stories where he’s a director and he has other characters acting in his movies. Hence the parody movie posters. Later on the light novel author of Haikyuu wrote a story on this quest theme and FHQ even got itself a 3DS game! You can watch the playthrough here.

This is all for this week! Hope you’re having an OK time with your life and things are not too hard on you. Thank you for taking the time to read, see you around ~

He really tried to one-up Kita so many times xD
A reminder not to trust people with pretty faces

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