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Center Ace (Japanese: センターエース Sentā Ēsu) is the fourth episode of Haikyū!! Second Season, based on the manga Haikyū!! by Haruichi Furudate. The episode premiered on October 25, 2015.

The opening theme of this episode is I'm a Believer by SPYAIR and the ending theme is Climber by Galileo Galilei.


Karasuno finally arrives in Tokyo, but Hinata and Kageyama have to stay behind for their supplementary exams back at school. The first-year duo is not discouraged though and decides to take a ride from Tanaka's sister to join the team in Tokyo.


The Karasuno team arrives at Nekoma High and are greeted by Kuroo and Kai. Nishinoya and Tanaka mistake a nearby steel tower for the Tokyo Skytree, causing Kuroo to laugh hysterically. As the team gather themselves, Kuroo questions Daichi after noticing a few missing players.

Group s2 e4 3.png

A flashback scene shows that Hinata and Kageyama each failed a test and therefore may not be able to make it to the training camp as they will have to do make-up work. Sugawara questions how the two failed, which Tsukishima explains that Hinata failed his English test because he placed his (correct) answers in the incorrect places and Ennoshita explains that Kageyama, despite having perfect kanji, didn't expect so many reading comprehension questions and therefore failed Japanese. Hinata and Kageyama are still determined to make it to the training camp by any means before Tanaka steps up and offers that his sister, Saeko, will be able to take them to Tokyo once they have finished their make-up tests. 

Back at Nekoma High, Kuroo figures out that Hinata and Kageyama will have to do supplementary work and Daichi tries to explain the situation but is interrupted by Yamamoto when he sees that Karasuno has a second female manager; exclaiming 'one is the sexy kind and one is the cute kind'. After Tanaka teases Yamamoto, Kuroo offers the team the chance to get ready before heading to the gym to meet the rest of the teams.

At Karasuno High, Hinata and Kageyama are taking their make-up exams with the teacher exclaiming how serious the two are being. After they are done and have passed their tests, the two hurriedly run outside the school and meet with Saeko who proudly proclaims she will able to get them to Tokyo in no time; which Hinata and Kageyama quickly realize by her erratic driving.

Lev 1.png

Now ready, the Karasuno team enter the Nekoma gym and spot all of the teams that have already arrived and are practicing. Kuroo explains to Daichi how their team will be participating and that the penalty for a lost game is a round of flying laps. As the two continue to talk, Sugawara points out that Nekoma has a player that they had not met during their practice game. Asahi looks over to the mentioned player and quickly spots Lev staring at them.

On the way to Tokyo, Saeko notices that Hinata seems stressed and tries to relax him. She praises that he is very hardworking to be able to continue volleyball and questions how he became interested in it in the first place. Hinata explains that he had seen the tv program of Karasuno playing in the nationals several years back and, in unison with Saeko, says that 'he saw the Tiny Giant'. Hinata questions how she knows about the Tiny Giant and is surprised when she answers she was a classmate of his and had seen several of his practice games; though never interacted with him and found him intimidating at one point.

After losing a game against Fukurōdani and doing the penalty lap, the entire Karasuno team observes the teams around them; noting their strengths and plays. Ubugawa has powerful serves, the Shinzen team are masters of combo plays, Nekoma High specialize in receives, and Fukurōdani is a national level powerhouse team with their captain being one of the top five aces in the nation.

Hinata and Kageyama finally arrive after the team loses a game against Ubugawa. Now together, the team soon plays against Shinzen. Hinata and Kageyama do not hesitate to use their special quick attack; both impressing and intimidating several players that are watching. Hinata scores the winning point for the team and they are finally able to avoid the penalty laps.

Hinata begins to see that the quick attack is not working as well as it used to as it has been stopped by quick players and teams such as Inuoka, Seijoh and Date Tech. He is soon brought out of his thoughts when he sees that Inuoka had been switched out and sees Lev and his whip-like spike that was easily able to get by the Ubugawa blockers.

Lev 17.png

Later that night, Hinata is chatting with Kenma and Inuoka. Inuoka praises that Hinata's quick attack is as great as ever but Hinata feels that the attack is not enough anymore. He then questions the two about their new middle blocker. Kenma tells him about Lev, a half-Japanese half-Russian first year who began playing volleyball just that year. Hinata is impressed by hearing of Lev's heritage and surprised that he only started playing in high school and learns the reason they did not meet at the practice match during Golden Week was due to Lev still learning the basics of volleyball.

While heading to the bathroom, Hinata runs into Lev and is surprised to hear that Lev doesn't speak Russian. Now over his initial surprise, Hinata introduces himself and Lev does the same before unintentionally pointing out Hinata's height which sends Hinata into a fit of anger. Lev compliments Hinata's jumping abilities but points out that he is able to jump higher, leading Hinata to jump into the air to prove he can jump higher but accidentally hits his head on the door frame.

Lev and Hinata 2.png

Hinata admires Lev's spikes that seem to get through any block and Lev states this is due to him being the ace of Nekoma; though he says Yamamoto becomes angry when he claims this and Hinata points out that he plays the middle blocker position. Lev believes that the name of the position doesn't matter and that the ace is the player who can score the most points. He then parts ways with Hinata after promising that he will be the one to stop his quick attack. After hearing Lev's view of what an ace is, Hinata begins to wonder if this is true.

The next day, Karasuno is playing against Ubugawa. A time-out takes place and Hinata watches Nekoma play against Fukurōdani. When Nekoma receives the ball and Kenma goes to cover, Lev calls out for the ball. Kenma sends the ball to Lev who manages to easily score a point. Hinata and Kageyama hear Lev apologize to Kenma for 'being bossy' in calling for the ball and that Kenma was surprised to have been asked for a broad jump set; of which Lev did not actually know what it was and surprised the two that it was a play asked for out of the blue.

Hinata now seems to believe Lev's words of the ace being the one who can score the most points. The episode ends with Coach Nekomata wondering what Karasuno will do in order to grow stronger.






Episode Notes

Differences Between Anime and Manga

  • Manga: Hinata is seen talking to Kenma and Inuoka outside the gym. Anime: Hinata is talking to Kenma and Inuoka in their quarters.
  • Manga only: When the Shinzen volleyball captain is shown, the school name is spelled differently on his shirt.
  • Anime only: The Nekoma team shirts do not have the school name printed on them.
  • Anime only: When Saeko arrives to take Hinata and Kageyama to Tokyo, a scene is added of her speedily driving away from the school.
  • Manga: When Saeko asks how Hinata became interested in volleyball, he answers that he saw the tv program featuring Karasuno and the Tiny Giant playing in the nationals when he was in elementary school. English dub: He says he saw the program when he was in middle school.
  • Manga: When Karasuno is first playing against Fukurōdani, Narita is shown attempting to block. Anime: He is not shown taking part in the game.
  • Anime: The teams from Nekoma High School, Ubugawa High School and Shinzen High School are introduced and what they each specialize in. Fukurōdani Academy is introduced to be a national level team with their captain, Bokuto, being one of the top five aces in the nation. Manga: Only the captains from Ubugawa, Shinzen and Fukurōdani are shown.
  • Anime only: After Hinata and Kageyama arrive and enter the match against Shinzen, they use the quick attack twice. 
  • Manga: After Lev promises to be the one to stop Hinata's quick attack, Hinata has flashbacks of when the quick was blocked by Inuoka. Anime: This does not happen.

OSTs Used

  • 00:01 - 00:30 - Let's Go To Tokyo!! (Japanese: レッツゴートーキョー!! Rettsugōtōkyō!!)
  • 00:47 - 01:35 - Failing Marks Group (Japanese: 赤点組 Akaten-gumi)
  • OP
  • 04:20 - 05:11 - Saeko-neesan (Japanese: 冴子姉さん Saeko Nēsan)
  • 05:33 - 06:26 - Confrontation with the Champion (Japanese: 王者との対峙 Ōja to no Taiji)
  • 07:36 - 09:05 - Goal (Japanese: 目標 Mokuhyō)
  • 09:11 - 10:06 - Kageyama vs Tsukishima (Japanese: 影山対月島 Kageyama tai Tsukishima)
  • 10:07 - 11:50 - Room to Grow (Japanese: 伸びしろ Nobi Shiro)
  • 12:39 - 13:00 - The Freak Quick (Japanese: 変人速攻 Henjin Sokkō)
  • – eyecatch –
  • 13:15 - 14:04 - Breakthrough (Japanese: 突破口 Toppakō)
  • 14:30 - 14:50 - It Doesn't Work (Japanese: うまくいかない Umaku Ika nai)
  • 14:58 - 17:24 - Cat (Japanese: ネコ Neko)
  • 17:49 - 19:50 - Anger (Japanese: 怒り Ikari)
  • 20:22 - 22:13 - "Greed" (Japanese: "欲" "Yoku")
  • ED
  • Preview - God-like Quick (Japanese: 神業速攻 Kamiwaza Sokkō)


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