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"Endings and Beginnings" (Japanese:
Hinata works hard for months to get enough volleyball players for his team in junior high. He goes to his first volleyball match but loses right away to Kitagawa Daiichi and in the process, becomes enemies with Kageyama Tobio, Kitagawa Daiichi's "King of the Court" and plans to defeat him in the future. Months later, Hinata goes to Karasuno High School and joins the volleyball club, only to encounter Kageyama again.
In the beginning, Shōyō Hinata is shown staring at the ceiling of a gym while contemplating how a high wall is blocking him. "The view from the top" is something he will never be able to see on his own but if he's not alone, he might be able to see it; he lines up with his Karasuno teammates.
A younger Hinata is shown watching a volleyball match on TV. The announcer points out the "Small Giant", a player who's only 170 cm tall but can go up against 190cm players. Hinata is inspired by how this person can jump so high and score.
Sometime later, in his last year of middle school, Hinata attends his first volleyball tournament as a player and captain of Yukigaoka Junior High volleyball club. Two members of his team aren't real players, but rather Hinata's friends who he asked to fill in the empty spots (Kōji from the soccer team, and Izumi from the basketball team). Despite his makeshift team, Hinata is determined to win. However, most of the audience expects Yukigaoka to be crushed because their first opponent is the championship favorite, Kitagawa Daiichi. The setter of that team is Tobio Kageyama, the "King of the Upper Court", who is known for his amazing senses and excellent leadership.
Hinata gets nervous right before the match starts and runs to the bathroom. As he is exiting, he overhears some players from Kitagawa Daiichi insulting his team and tries yelling back at them, but that only leads to more ridicule. However, Kageyama comes by and criticizes his teammates, scaring them away. He then turns to Hinata, insulting his lack of height and his determination to win even though it's impossible. As he leaves, he clarifies to Hinata that he will be the winner. Hinata goes back to his team to warm up. As they're practicing, some of Hinata's teammates note that Kageyama is a good setter but he can't work with his team at all. The game soon begins.
In a flashback, it was revealed that when Hinata first joined the volleyball club in his middle school, he was the only member. Determined to play volleyball, he decided to join anyway and ended up playing by himself in the corner of the gym, hallways, anywhere that had space. He would persistently ask his friends whenever they were free to toss to him. Fortunately, in his third year, a few first years joined the club.
Back in the game, Hinata jumps high, shocking the opponents and audience, and spikes but it gets blocked. Off to the side, Daichi notes that if Yukigaoka had a proper setter, they might be able to make better use of Hinata; on Kitagawa Daiichi's side though, Kageyama seems to be the only person playing because he doesn't make use of the abundance of players around him. He would criticize his teammates whenever they couldn't spike his toss.
A service ace is sent to Yukigaoka's side and it appears to be another point for Kitagawa Daiichi, but Hinata chases after it; he fails and crashes into the wall, but Kageyama is shocked by his determination. One of Hinata's teammates asks Hinata why he would go that far to save a ball even though they won't win anyway, and Hinata replies with a calm, almost frightening expression that it was because they haven't lost yet. Kageyama overhears and silently agrees with Hinata. Refusing to give up, Hinata gives his all and gains a point for his team. Yukigaoka's setter performs a bad toss next but Hinata runs to it from halfway across the court and spikes; however, he hits it out and Kitagawa Daiichi wins. Kageyama angrily asks Hinata "what have you been doing for three years" because of the latter's poor moves despite his superior athletic abilities and tenacity to win. As the teams are leaving, Hinata finds Kageyama and announces that he will one day overthrow Kageyama from his "King of the Court" title. Kageyama tells him to try growing stronger first, and they part ways.
For the rest of his middle school year, Hinata trains to become better at volleyball. Soon, he graduates and then attends Karasuno High School, determined to join the Karasuno volleyball club, and defeat Kageyama. However, he is shocked when he walks into the gym and finds Kageyama there.
- Kitagawa Daiichi
- Karasuno High
- The Small Giant is the reason why Hinata wants to become a volleyball player.
- Hinata was the captain of Yukigaoka Junior High School's volleyball club.
- Kōji was on the soccer team in middle school.
- Izumi was on the basketball team in middle school.
- Hinata is a big fan of basketball, soccer, and baseball, but chose volleyball after seeing the Small Giant play.
- Hinata is clumsy, but has a lot of stamina, speed, and jumping power.
- Hinata picks Karasuno High School because the Small Giant, his inspiration, went there.
- Karasuno's volleyball club manager is Kiyoko Shimizu; the vice-captain is Kōshi Sugawara; captain is Daichi Sawamura.