After a long gap, we are finally back with the Haikyu!! Manga. It’s pretty hard to write manga reviews because what you read and feel cannot be directly conveyed. The vision of the author is something I cherish. I like each and everyone to feel what I feel and embrace the feeling.
The Haikyu!! Manga has been that for me. We will be shifting our focus for some time from Karasuno to Nekoma. Karasuno and Nekoma are parallel to each other. While one team, considered as an offensive, go-getter team, the other is a defensive team, smart and calm.
Chapter 265: Meanwhile, the laziest cat
The Nekoma team discuss with each other situations in which their team has grown. Kenma has always considered himself to be an introvert and a guy who kept to himself. Kuro is the one who changed all that for him. He got him into the sport of volleyball and they have been inseparable ever since.
Kuro starts reminiscing about old stories. He remembers Kenma used to go to sleep after a really difficult practice session, or an intense match. He felt guilty that he dragged Kenma till the nationals but he feels something has changed inside him. The fact that he might be hooked on volleyball amazes him.
Kenma gets involved in the conversation. “I don’t have any big driving reason to continue… but I don’t have any reason to quit either,” said Kenma. He is a genius but was not motivated the first time we see him. He has crossed leaps and bounds and his goals are immeasurable. He also tells his teammates that he does not want to be a sweaty guy but wants to grind for levels if he can.
Kuro believes that Kenma considers Hinata as a final boss he has to face to clear the level. Kuro has high hopes for this fine battle. The day of the match begins. It’s Nekoma V Sarukawa Tech. Both of these teams mainly focus on defense. The coach of Sarukawa Tech is a former player of Nekoma and that gives them an advantage. He knows all their moves and what they might do.
A match in which both defenses are strong. Not one person is letting go. They’re upping the ante. Its a test of time and perseverance. The goal that Sarukawa is looking for is to take out the brain of the Nekoma formation.
Chapter 266: Cats Vs. Monkeys
The roots of Nekoma’s team formation is not so fine as it seems. Kenma and Tora’s relationship starts off to a rocky start. Their ideologies are so different, yet their goals are the same. Kenma as we all know is an introvert who has very little motivation to do anything. Tora is a hyperactive teenager who believes in guts and determination. He is similar to Tanaka from Karasuno.
In their first year, both of them go through different journeys. Kenma, even though he is lazy and not so motivated he is natural at volleyball. His setting is spot on and reaches the mark. Tora tries hard but is not able to rise to the occasion. It creates a rift between these two.
They develop and become good friends and rivals. Kenma changes a lot due to the influence of Tora and his determination. The team that Nekoma is against is trying hard to make Kenma move and run. They figure that if they tire them, there will be more openings in their defense. Even so, they strive to adjust according to the changing conditions of the game and rallies to defeat them.
Chapter 267: Trap
Nekoma is neck and neck with Sarukawa. Sarukawa has been trying to get Kenma tired and mess up their formation but Nekoma has been trying to acclimate themselves so that it won’t happen. Defying all odds, Kenma sets the ball, and it’s a smashhhh!!!!!
Suguru explains that it’s not an easy task to indirectly pressurize the setter. To do that the team would need a great defense themselves and perseverance. Sarukawa’s game plan is incorporated in such a way to do just that.
It becomes a very grueling battle for Nekoma. Their setter has been pushed to the limit but holds strong to receive balls. His sets are all over the place but Nekoma somehow tries to get the balls and scores. Both sides are standing tall, Kenma falls and Sarukawa has gained an advantage there.
Sarukawa’s coach being a pupil of coach Nekomata puts things into a disadvantageous perspective. He remembers the words by Coach Nekomata who said “volleyball is about constant perseverance and repetition.” You repeat the same attacks, blocks, and receives over and over and it puts indirect pressure on the team in front. This same idealogy has been used against him in the game.
Sarukawa believes that the momentum is in their hands, but Nekoma rallies with their lives on the line and scores. The score is even now but neither team loses confidence. The next rally is the most interesting. Nekoma botches a serve and it goes up next to the net. It lures the blockers like ‘moths to a flame’ and just when they notice Kenma sends the ball to the opposite side to finish it off with a smash. Everyone is shocked. The manipulation games by Nekoma is one to look out for. How long have they been doing it is the question.
Chapter 268: Kenma Kozume’s Stubbornness
Nekoma is far ahead of their observations. They knew from the beginning that Sarukawa has been trying to tire out Kenma. They devise a plan to counteract this. Ever since Set 1, it is a miracle that Nekoma has been manipulating the other team.
The author forms teams in such a way that the team itself possesses an individual personality. In the case of Karasuno, they are offensive and an all-out crazy team. In the case of Inarizaki, every one of them is a master at their craft. When it comes to Nekoma, they use more of their brain than brawns. They can afford to play mind games as well as defend and score all the time.
An on and off battle wages on between both teams. They want to end things quickly but that is not the case. Its a test of perseverance and the momentum will go to the team that will grab this rally. Nekoma is faced against a team consisting of the same ideologies. They are careful and execute simple plays to score points.
Kenma realizes that guts and determination may not be what it seems like. In video game terms, it is equivalent to physical and mental statistics being powered up to max. This analogy is what leads him to do the next set. He positions himself in such a way to do a perfect set and Nekom scores.
He always says that his team is good not because he is in it but for the fact that they are all in it together. That is what volleyball is all about.
Chapter 269: Monsters
Andddddd!!!!!!! Nekoma scores. They win this round and qualify for their next battle. Frivolous pleasantries are shared between the teammates. Kenma stepped up and helped his team win. He hilariously tells his team that he went to the distance so that he can avoid the 3rd set. It was a big no for him.
As he looks far into the distance, he tells himself that he did all this grinding to reach the main boss, Hinata, the main boss in his game of life. For the first time in his life, he wants to play a game that will be life or death.
Kuro is a good friend and he feels that if he plays like this, he can improve even more. He firmly believes that Hinata is the only one who can bring out the aggressive side in Kenma.
Set 2 of the Karasuno V Inarizaki match continues. The score is 14 – 7 and Nekoma has come to see their rivals play. Nishinoya is backed into a corner. He is being targetted by Atsumu Miya’s float servers. Inarizaki tries to target the Guardian angel of Karasuno to depreciate their morals. The Humiliation of getting picked on is being faced by Nishinoya. Will they succeed in destroying Nishinoya or will he rise to seize the day?
Until next time. See ya!!!!!