May Contain Spoilers
I may have to revise my opinion that volleyball is akin to watching paint dry. This was a fun volume, full of action and athletic drama. Kageyama is learning the value of teamwork, and Hinata is having a blast finally being on the playing court. There are two games featured in this volume, one between the Kurosuno team, and a practice match against a Aoba Johsai, a competitive volleyball school.
Getting the action kicked off, Kageyama and Hinata prove that they will make one heck of a duo once they get some mileage under their belts. In the 3 on 3 against the other 1st years, they struggle at first to find a rhythm that fits in with their playing styles, but once they find it, watch out! This was an exciting game! Capitalizing on Hinata’s speed and mad jumping skills, Kageyama finally has a teammate capable of hitting his sets. Even though he has to pull back on his own abilities, Kageyama, still stinging from the rejection of his middle school team, is conscious of the need to work with Hinata’s skills. While they still egg each other on, they are slowly wising up to the idea of working together to meet their goal of making the team and being allowed to practice with the other players.
After the match, they move on to a practice match again Aoba Johsai. This was another exciting smash fest. Hinata, despite his raw talent, is lacking experience, as well as practical knowledge of the game. It turns out that team’s advisor is also lacking in that arena, and he is desperately trying to coax a coach out of retirement to work with the team. Now that Kurosuno has a range of talent, it’s time for the administration to do something to help these guys out when they start playing tougher opponents.
The match with Aoba Johsai featured a lot of angst for Kageyama. His old middle school teammates are on the team, and they taunt him, trying to get him to lose his cool. It’s not Kageyama they needed to be going after, however, since Hinata once again suffers from pre-game anxiety. Poor guy! All of that running to the bathroom must have been wearying.
The thing I love most about sports and fighting manga is the ability of the creator to make the impossible seem, not only plausible, but probable and expected. Hinata and Kageyama make some crazy plays, and every single one felt real. Jump 6 feet into the air? No big deal. Block a ball traveling at 100 miles an hour? No big deal. Set the ball so Hinata hits it perfectly with his eyes closed? No. Big. Deal!
I enjoyed the second volume more than the first, and I am really looking forward to the next one.
Grade: 4.25 stars
Review copy borrowed from my local library
About the book:
After proving themselves to be the ultimate combination in their practice match against Kei Tsukishima, Kageyama and Hinata are finally allowed to join the club! Hinata’s true power—to perfectly time his spikes with his eyes closed—is awakened, and nothing can seem to stop this crazy setter-spiker duo. Now their skills are about to be put to the test at a practice game against one of Kageyama’s former teammates from middle school, Tohru Oikawa.