how alive are you after the newest hq chapter?
FUCKING FUCK FUSELIFSLFIEJLIJFE FUCK ME SIDEWAYS
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.