Sometimes I really feel for middle school kageyama but I also feel like people in the fandom are getting the wrong idea about why he was ostracized and why his current team’s acceptance is so important. He wasn’t picked on because of his looks or something arbitrary and out of his hands like yamaguchi, he was left out because the people around them genuinely disliked who he was and found him hard to get along with. So kitadai. Let me start off by saying that I’m not completely convinced kageyama’s old team was wrong about everything; there might have been a better way to handle it, but they were also at the end of their rope. Was there any reason kindaichi and the others had to like middle school kageyama? No. Judging by the bits of him we see, his teammates reactions, and his underclassmen’s downright fear of him we can probably conclude that middle school kageyama was a dick. He had no restraint, no respect for other people’s limitations, and no intention to compromise on anything ever. His entire team probably felt super disrespected. That’s not to say kageyama meant to be difficult; I don’t doubt that he never meant to harm or scare anyone. He just did not see anything wrong with what he was doing and even when it was explained to him he didn’t understand and couldn’t accept it. So in that sense he really was innocent. But what did that mean for his team? That didn’t make him any easier to work with. It didn’t make being screamed at every practice any easier to deal with. It didn’t make them any less annoyed and/or intimidated by him. I think kindaichi, kunimi, and the coach at least knew that kageyama just didn’t understand but they couldn’t get through to him to make him. At some point they probably got fed up enough and stopped trying. And then they got fed up enough to really stop trying. And objectively from a reader’s perspective? I think it was a good thing that the team decided altogether to tell kageyama “no we’re not with you”. Words and gestures don’t always get through to the ever dense kageyama so he did need to learn somehow. If everyone you know has a problem with the way you are to that extent, I feel like anyone would realize that it’s time for a bit of soul searching. And to his credit, that’s exactly what kageyama did. He had to learn to respect boundaries and he had to learn to compromise. But after unlearning the actually bad stuff, kageyama is naturally just someone that’s hard to read and hard for a lot of people to get along with. Kitadai wasn’t the sort of team that could handle that.
Enter karasuno. Karasuno doesn’t care. Their entire team is full up of people who are hard to understand/get along with for normal people. They’re fluid people, in a word. Not only fluid in their playing, but also in their personalities. That means that not only can they accomodate kageyama on court, they can do it off court too. That’s not to say they have to get along with him, that just means they accept him. At kitagawa daiichi it was like two opposing forces; they could not accept kageyama, they didn’t know how. But in karasuno, there is a space kageyama’s welcome to occupy. Even tsukishima very quickly carved out a place in his life for kageyama. Sure he might not always like the guy, but there he is. He exists. We play together. And tsukishima can deal with that. Hinata despised kageyama but he was able to accept him even faster than tsukishima. Same with all of karasuno. Whether or not they get along with kageyama, they accept him being there. Ofc that isn’t to say kageyama didn’t need to change at all. We saw him revert back to his rude, unyielding king mode recently in the manga. And while karasuno easily accepted the spirit of what he was trying to accomplish, we often gloss over the fact that they also let him know that he was being rude as hell and they weren’t going to pay him any attention if he kept straight up screaming at them and overstepping boundaries. They put him in his place and middle school kageyama probably wouldn’t have been able to accept that but current kageyama was. So its a combination. Kageyama did have to change, I can’t think of any team that could have properly worked with his past self. But he also needed to find a team that could accept him. Karasuno is willing to let kageyama be the king of the court with conditions applied. The team brought the acceptance and kageyama brought his new willingness to compromise. And that’s so important. It’s important that kageyama learned from his experience and it’s important that he met people who were able to easily bring him into the fold.