Ok this is less analysis than helpless flailing but SPOILERS for HQ Ch 224 are involved
DO YOU KNOW HOW HAPPY I AM RIGHT NOW?
Look, I’ll be super honest, I saw a lot of posts after last week’s chapter about how worried people were about Kageyama going back to his “old ways”. And I was REALLY truly nervous about posting my thoughts about Ch 223 when asked but I also really wanted to say how I felt about Kageyama and how far he’s come and how I didn’t think it was possible for him to regress back and just
Are you kidding me Furudate? Do they even know what a great writer they are (they probably do). But what a beautiful, unrelentingly uplifting story they have crafted, in this manga about a bunch of kids who play volleyball.
Even in that one moment when Kageyama snaps a little bit, he does not regress. He just is TRYING so HARD to be what everyone needs him to be (kind of the direct opposite of how he was in middle school, where he wanted everyone ELSE to be what he needed them to be), that it’s killing him when it still isn’t good enough, when mistakes happen, when he sees “that could have been better”.
But the INSTANT after he snaps, what does he do? He remembers that this is not who he wants to be anymore.
(Notice the “Keep up with me”)
I don’t think anything has ever broken my heart more than his absolute fear in the moment right after he shouts, fear that he’s done something irrevocable, that he’s broken the trust and bond he has worked so hard to build all these months, the bond he was never able to have with his teammates in middle school. And right when he’s probably about to lose it completely (tellingly, he doesn’t snap at Tsukki calling him a king, he starts trying to apologize) what fucking happens?
Hinata Shouyou is there, just like he always, always will be.
And the rest of Karasuno steps up so. Fucking. Hard in this scene. Kageyama has had to do a lot of growing, for sure. Some of it, he did on his own, immediately after he realized how bad he fucked up in middle school. But a lot of his issues in middle school, I think, are inherent to his personality. They even say that nothing he’d said in the Date Tech game so far was wrong - he just has a manner of speaking that is heavily abrasive, and doesn’t understand the nuances between saying something and saying it in a socially acceptable way.
And you can’t really unlearn personality flaws in a bubble. You need other people to teach you where you’re going wrong and how to interact in a more acceptable manner, and that is what Karasuno has been essentially dedicated to doing for him right from the start, because not only are these kids his teammates, but they are also his friends. And that means they are there for him, even when he’s being difficult, or demanding, or not very nice, because they understand he’s not a mean person. He’s just Kageyama. He needs a little more help than most.
Karasuno gets that he is far above the skill of the rest. They get that it’s frustrating for him, having to come down to other people’s level (this is so true of anyone who is really gifted in a particular area). So that’s why they don’t try to make him. They know he is doing his best, and they’re going to do theirs, and they’ll make it work that way - they understand it may be frustrating, but Kageyama, in turn, understands that he can’t expect everyone to always keep up with him. He can’t get angry about that now, because he knows it’s simply not always going to be possible. I think his anger is directed inward, more than anything else. I think he’s got it in his head that he needs to make up for the shortcomings of his teammates. But that’s just not how a team functions. Everyone supports everyone else. And he’s learning that, with Karasuno.
I love what Suga says in this chapter. That Kageyama, now, is open to the possibility that he might be wrong. And you can see that change in the way he interacts with all his teammates, how even as he’s trying to make them better, he’s still learning from them. And he is always and ever aware of that line he crossed in middle school, that chasm he could never seal up - and he will never go there again.
I also really loved that the goody two shoes line from Miya really came back around in this chapter - Kageyama still wants to be the best, and most supportive setter for his teammates - but that doesn’t mean giving them the exact toss they want if he feels they can jump higher, play harder, go bigger. It’s all about finding a balance, and I think he has found his now (or has at least come very, very close).
And a final thought….. Hinata. Of course, Hinata.
Hinata Shouyou, reminding Kageyama of his own egotistical words, his own pride - and telling Kageyama to own up to it, to be the fucking champion he is meant to be. To stand on the court and rule it. Hinata Shouyou, openly embracing Kageyama’s nature, king or not.
To take that hurtful, toxic nickname - that Kageyama has truly suffered under the weight of, but that Hinata has always thought is badass - to yank it back from the recesses of Kageyama’s fears and reclaim it and crown him a king again.
Because that’s what Hinata believes his friend is, and he sees nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with that.
How alive am I after this?
I’m so fucking alive I’ve ascended into Haikyuu fucking heaven, to live at the right hand of Furudate-sensei, in all of their wonder and glory.
Bless them, bless this chapter, bless this fucking ship.
Something amazing and extraordinary has just happened.
I’m exploding with joy; Kageyama is a new person now.
First of all, he realized his mistake. And when I say “mistake”, I’m only referring to his unpolite and too much straightforward way to speak. What he said was right, though.
He realized and felt sorry. His teammates understood that he was right after all, he wasn’t doing anything wrong actually.
The real problem was communication itself.
I already said it last week: Kageyama believes that communicating in that way is his only way. He’s just like this. He actually can’t stop behaving like a King, because he is a King.
A King who can guess what’s better to do in every situation. A King who knows how to exploit his teammates’ talent perfectly. A King who is able to give his best in front of the strongest opponents.
This is the true King of the Court.
This is what Kageyama is.
And if people around him have a problem with it, they just have to say it in the same direct way Kageyama does. Hinata has always known it. That’s why he didn’t say anything in the last chapters, because he’s used to confront directly with him if they disagree about something.
And this is all wonderful and special, because thanks to Hinata who has never had problems with Kageyama’s behaviour, Kageyama learned to accept what he repressed about himself after middle school. He accepted his true nature. He accepted the fact that he is a King and is allowed to be a King, as far as it allows him to communicate and understand his teammates.
He’s finally able to be himself. Not a two-goody-shoes, not a tyrant. A TRUE KING.
You remember in the beginning how Hinata didn’t really think much about having his title be ‘the ultimate decoy’ until Kageyama told him he had to own it and that he should be proud of it instead feeling down about it.
Isn’t it nice how that feeling is reciprocated in the latest chapter with Hinata telling him to accept his title once and for all? The new king of the court?
So I’ve seen tons of posts about how heartbroken Kageyama gets when he reverts back to his “old self” when he yelled at Asahi in the newest chapter, but I think we are overlooking something extremely more important and symbolic that happens right after:
This is an extremely important moment. Look at what pose Hinata is doing.
He is literally accepting Kageyama with “open arms”.
The angsty part two to my Haikyuu!! “Coming Out as a Couple” headcanons, where this one shows the aftermath of some bullying and rude behavior from peers. There’s still some fluff though because I’m weak.
If you have another request you would like me to do, feel free to ask!
I’ll be using mostly first names in this one and I’ll probably start doing that regularly. If y’all don’t mind.
Thank you for this request and I hope you enjoy! Sorry that it got a bit long!
i was apprehensive at first, because it looked like all of Kageyama’s character development was gonna go straight down the drain for some pre-Nationals angst.
but of course, hinata would never let that happen. because he’s hinata and he’s sunshine and he always, always seems to know exactly what to say to Kageyama in times like these. and the team take their cue from there.
and this chapter also shows just why Karasuno is the perfect place for Kags. his teammates know how he is and what he’s been traumatized by and accept him but don’t manage him. they would never turn their backs on him and that’s why they all thrive together. i mean, he’s borderline having a breakdown after yelling at Asahi, and everybody’s just so chill about it, being all ‘critique’s good, attitude while giving it needs work tho’ and just. my baby crows are the best!
and because i can’t help it, obviously my favorite part is hinata being hinata and just deciding that hey, being called king isn’t a bad thing and it suits him so Kags should just accept it. and Kageyama does.
my heart is so full after this. now i am fully prepared for the upcoming matches. (no, i’m not but i can pretend for now so.)