Hyakuzawa Yuudai, Hinata Shouyou + Chapter 217

yo okay, i’m feeling pretty emotional about hyakuzawa (and his interactions with hinata) right now so i couldn’t not say anything.

okay, any character who feels so obviously insecure like that, to the point of sitting alone on the ground looking sad, is going to have a hold on my heart. hyakuzawa is the most inexperienced player at the camp, and i’d bet he’s aware that some of the other boys there don’t really want to play with him. on top of this, he must be painfully aware that there are a lot of players at this camp who not only attend powerhouse schools, but are regulars - in short, he knows that he is surrounded by extreme talent, and it serves to make his insecurities about his playing even stronger, as he has some of the best players in his year to compare them to. the 2-on-2 matches have become a source of misery for him, he dreads them and wants them to end as quickly as possible, because these in particular really drive home how far behind he is in comparison to the others. 

now of course, this isn’t really his fault, he’s only just started playing and his teammates likely relied purely on his height, if their match with karasuno is anything to go by. it’s completely understandable that he isn’t on the same level as the others, but it’s also understandable (and heartbreaking) that he is so upset by this. no one wants to spend a week in intense training with people when you know your skills are far behind everyone else’s. 

so then what happens?

well, in comes hinata.

holy shit, i love hinata shouyou.

not only does he immediately validate hyakuzawa by making it clear that he thinks hyakuzawa belongs at the camp, he then proceeds to be the most vocal and enthusiastic supporter anyone could ask for. of course, this is hinata’s nature! he’s a lovely ray of sunshine who lights up everyone’s lives, but it’s important to remember that hyakuzawa doesn’t know this, so it probably makes hinata’s words even more important and special to him. hinata’s vocabulary choices aside, it’s clear how surprised and relatively moved hyakuzawa is by hinata’s praises. they aren’t overly complicated, hinata tells it like it is, but these earnest compliments reach hyakuzawa. i’d put money on it being the first time anyone has ever complimented him like that, especially considering he’s still at a low skill level.

so, imagine being at a training camp full of elite first-years, feeling like you’re still in middle school in comparison, and then having a virtual stranger go wild praising your abilities and potential, completely validating your presence when you felt like you didn’t deserve to be there? hinata did something truly fantastic this chapter and i love him for it. because he’s right! it’s not hyakuzawa’s fault he started volleyball so late, and his potential is phenomenal! with his height, and the right training, hyakuzawa could be an utterly formidable opponent, and he deserved to know that he belonged just as much as everyone else did. major shoutout to hinata for being so utterly sweet and telling hyakuzawa, else he could easily have wallowed in his insecurities for the rest of the camp.

and on the topic of hinata: i am so insanely proud of him. he has grown so much at this camp, even without playing all that much! he’s learning so many things from looking at the games and training from off the court, and it’s blatantly obvious in this chapter that it’s paying off. he’s thinking of game strategies and watching the other players closer than ever - things he didn’t really do all that much before. when hyakuzawa rembered hinata’s in depth explanation about a possible play and how it could affect the rhythm of a game, i could have cried. hinata has come so far, you guys. he’s improving so much and i just know he’ll be fantastic at nationals, even better than he already was. he took a situation that wasn’t really in his favour and made it work out insanely well for him. hinata is an inspiration, honestly, he makes friends so easily and helps others (just to simply “beat them at their best”?? such a simple, endearing motive. also he’s way too attractive in that panel), and he’s never once been bitter even when he had every right to be. like hyakuzawa said, no one knows better than hinata that he deserved to be at that camp. but he’s never been cold towards any of the other boys there. hinata is just such a wonderful, warm person, and i’m so proud of how far he’s come.

How Did Zimbabwe End Up with Just $217 in the Bank?

Last week, the Zimbabwean government announced that after paying public workers’ salaries, its bank balance is sitting at a pitiful $217. TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. I once found $200 on the floor of a gas station. If I’d known that made me richer than a country, I wouldn’t have been so bummed out about having to spend it all on tax debts.

The information came from Finance Minister Tendai Biti who—as far as politicians in Zimbabwe go—is about as honest as it gets. Biti is the Secretary General of the MDC party—the good guys who’ve spent their entire existence being hurled off the edges of cliffs and dangled from helicopters by Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. Back in 2008, their party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, made a deal with the devil and agreed to share power with Mugabe. As Zimbabwe’s new Finance Minister, poor Biti was dropped right in the steaming pile of shit that continues to double as the country’s bank vault.