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Hero (Japanese: ヒーロー Hīrō) is the twenty first episode (and the eighth episode of the second cours) of Haikyū!! To The Top, season four of the anime based on Haikyū!! by Haruichi Furudate. The episode premiered on November 20, 2020[1].

The opening theme of this episode is Toppakō by SUPER BEAVER and the ending theme is One Day by SPYAIR.

Overview

Karasuno continues to hold the lead in the score as Suna and Tsukishima begin to form a rivalry. Nishinoya finally admits to the team that he is scared of Atsumu's serves and Aran's history with the Miya twins is revealed.

Plot

Thanks to Kageyama blocking Aran, Karasuno continues to stay in the lead. Daichi is next to serve but is upset that his serve didn't have much power behind it though he was able to make Aran get the first touch. Osamu attempts to score but Daichi was able to receive the spike. With the ball going back to Inarizaki's side, Suna approaches to make a quick attack.

As Tsukishima appears to try to block him, Suna is able to once more use his core to spike past Tsukishima but he and Atsumu are shocked to see Daichi receive the spike perfectly. Thanks to this, Asahi is able to spike past Suna and Osamu. Karasuno successful play is thanks to Tsukishima having formulated a plan to counter Suna during their meeting the previous night. With Ukai pointing out that when a spiker is about to attack, it's not just the spiker versus the blocker but rather the spiker versus six players. Tsukishima agrees with the coach, adding that the belief of a kill block being the only type of block to scare a spiker is outdated.

Kuroo compliments Karasuno for not rushing things, explaining that if they had then Suna would have been able to use that against them. He is aware that if Karasuno tried to fully block Suna one-on-one, Suna would be able to manipulate things to his advantage. Although he understands what's going on, Kuroo admits that he himself would get impatient and try to block Suna; believing that he would be able to stop him at least a handful of times. However, Kuroo thinks he has figured out that Tsukishima was using the first two sets to signal to those in the back row when Suna will be using the cross shot.

Suna and Tsukishima s4-e21-1.png

At the same time, Suna has figured out that Tsukishima has been forcing him to hit the cross shot on purpose. He baits Tsukishima into admitting as much when he thanks the first year middle blocker for allowing him to get several clean spikes by him. Tsukishima simply smirks and in turn thanks Suna for hitting exactly how he expected. Coach Fuki and his colleague are impressed that Karasuno has more than powerful attacks to use. As Ukai sends Kinoshita to serve, Sugawara encourages him to score ten points. Knowing that this will be his last chance to make an impact during the game, Kinoshita continues his mental run through of serving. He is so focused that he doesn't hear the rest of his team cheer for him. Yamaguchi is aware of how focused Kinoshita appears to be; noticing that Kinoshita doesn't hear any of the noise around him and is completely focused on where to aim his spike. He serves and the ball heads toward the back area close to Osamu.

Osamu makes the receive that allowed Aran to spike and score. As Aran is showered with praise, Kinoshita is removed from the court for the final time. As he leaves, Kinoshita silently admits his admiration of the chaotic first years, of how Yamaguchi and Tanaka were able to climb their way up to be the heroes, and even when Ennoshita and Narita were subbed into a game during a critical time. Feeling he could never be as talented as Nishinoya or Kageyama, Kinoshita still held onto the hope that he could have his own epic moment on the court and, even for a single moment, be the hero. He returns to the warm-up box feeling disappointed. He is upset enough that he doesn't accept the compliments given to him about his serve until Sugawara points out he will have more chances to have his moment in the future. Although Sugawara tried to comfort him, Kinoshita realizes that this game could very well be the last for the third years and becomes more upset that he hasn't been able to do anything to help.

Hinata successfully executes a quick attack, keeping Karasuno at a two point lead. Kageyama serves next but the ball clips the top of the net. Despite this, it still goes over and lands before anyone can save it. Annoyed at how Karasuno appears to be taking control of the match, Kurosu calls for a time-out. During the time-out, Nishinoya makes a surprising confession when he tells the team how he was terrified of many things when he was a child. Unable to believe what he is hearing, Asahi questions if Nishinoya is talking about a previous life. Nishinoya reaffirms that he was a afraid of many things when he was a kid and that his grandfather was fairly intense when it came to discipline which helped him overcome some of his fears. Tanka recalls having met Nishinoya's grandfather on two separate occasions and how the man had different attractive women with him each time. Ukai, watching the players, silently comments how Nishinoya is normally not too talkative during a break and wonders if it is due to nerves. As if to confirm his theory, Nishinoya says that he felt as if he couldn't move when Atsumu served toward him but at the same time it felt nostalgic. He remembers how his grandfather would tell him it was a waste of time to be scared.

As the match continues, Saeko grimaces when she sees that Atsumu is the next person to serve. As they wait for Atsumu to serve, Nishinoya remembers bits of his childhood when his grandfather helped him overcome things like not liking vegetables, a seemingly mean dog, and being afraid of riding a bicycle. Nishinoya asked his grandfather what someone should do if they were really scared and his grandfather simply answered to request help from others.

Group s4-e21-3.png

Determined to cause Nishinoya more trauma, Atsumu serves toward the libero. Kinoshita recalls when he and Nishinoya practiced together after the practice match against Date Tech and Nishinoya admits that he would like to stick to underhand receives since he is aware his overhand receives are weak. Despite knowing that there are people who are better at it then himself, Nishinoya still wishes to use new methods since it wouldn't be fun not to use them once he knows of them. At this, Kinoshita suddenly yells out to Nishinoya to move forward. Coming out of his frightened state, Nishinoya steps forward a few steps and finally is able to do a perfect overhand receive on Atsumu's float serve. Karasuno performs the synchronized attack and Asahi is able to land a spike, thus cutting off Atsumu's serve. The team celebrate their point but Nishinoya points over Kinoshita as a sign of gratitude. Realizing he's had his epic moment and is the hero, Kinoshita shares in the celebration.

During a flashback of a junior volleyball class, Atsumu and Osamu first meet Aran. They are right away captivated by his height and that he's a grade above them. Aran overhears the twins talk about how cool he is but soon hears that they were more interested in his foreign sounding name. Atsumu begins discussing if he should change his name to sound more foreign until Osamu states that their grandmother would be upset if he did. The two quickly come up with Tsumu and Samu as their new names and earn Aran's annoyance in the process.

Former All-Japan setter Masahiko Inuhata introduces himself as the coach and happily expresses his gratitude of how many kids have decided to attend the class. Aran listens as Atsumu speaks of how he's upset their coach is a setter instead of a spiker. Osamu disagrees with his brother's statement, saying that the setter position is cool and that it is reserved for only the best players. Atsumu questions Osamu is he wants to be a setter but Osamu answers that he intends to be a spiker. During spiking drills, Atsumu hears Inuhata speak to the next spiker and say how he will help him get the ball over. The phrase seems to settle deeply within Atsumu and he now states that setters are amazing.

As the years passed, Aran recalls how he has known the Miya twins since before they were well known in the volleyball world. He states how they were more powerful than skilled but also incredibly competitive. Aran firmly believed that Osamu was the better skilled between the two which led to Atsumu to challenging his brother often. At one point, Osamu was charged with playing the setter position and he would tease Atsumu that he should have seen this coming since the setter spot was only given to the best players. Aran would notice all of the extra work and practice Atsumu would put in and realize that Atsumu had a bigger drive inside him that overcame his hatred of losing. Eventually, Atsumu was chosen to play as a setter. Anytime Aran saw him, Atsumu seemed to improve more and more. When he was paired with Osamu, the two gave off the appearance of being unstoppable. The twins not only caused fear to their opponents but also started gaining more and more attention.

However, Atsumu started becoming confrontational with his teammates and would often question if they had problems with his sets since they appeared to not be able to score off them. Osamu noticed how his brother was becoming hated and mentioned this to him but Atsumu didn't seem to care if he was liked or not. Osamu states that he would never be like his brother and would be the nice twin.

Atsumu and Osamu s4-e21-3.png

Now at Inarizaki High, Osamu is comforted by his teammates after having an off day. However, Atsumu refuses to coddle his brother and instead ridicules him for not being able to score off his sets. As Ginjima tries to scold Atsumu for talking in this manner to his brother, Osamu suddenly charges forward and kicks Atsumu in the back. The two begin fighting as Suna catches the altercation on his phone and the noise eventually draws a small group of students at the gym entrance where many of them begin making bets on which twin will win. Aran narrates how Atsumu's greatest gift isn't his physique or his incredible talent but rather that he has Osamu. Though the two could be annoying at times, Aran did see that the two were able to get stronger the more they competed with each other. In high school, Atsumu is revealed to have been invited to the All-Japan Youth Camp but is upset that Osamu is not upset at not having been invited. Osamu admits that he is frustrated that he isn't more upset about not being invited but does praise Atsumu for all of the hard work he has put in and admits that he believes Atsumu possibly loves volleyball a bit more than he does.

Group s4-e21-6.png

Yamaguchi delivers a jump float serve that begins to stretch when it nears Aran. Inarizaki is able to get the ball back over and Yamaguchi sends the receive to Kageyama as the rest begin a synchronized attack. Asahi is able to get the ball over but his spike is received by Akagi. The libero is immediately worried when he sees that the ball is low but Atsumu stuns everyone watching when he still moves forward and goes into a deep lunge that allows him to make an overhand set to Osamu. The attack is successful and Ukai actually applauds the impressiveness and skill of Atsumu's set. Suna himself voices how he's amazed that Atsumu is able to do such a set when he could just do an underhand set instead. Atsumu simply states that it's the job of the setter to set the ball and get it to the best spot possible. This is why he went with the overhand receive since it would allow him to use all his fingers and therefore give him the better support.

As Hinata moves back onto the court, Kageyama says how he too is glad to have been able to be at Nationals.

Debut

Characters

Appearances

Characters

Locations

Episode Notes

Trivia

Errors

  • When Osamu and Suna attempt to block Asahi, Osamu's hair can briefly be seen as blond.
  • After Yamaguchi receives Inarizaki's return of the ball, Hinata is seen during the running approach in the synchronized attack. Hinata should not have been on the court at this time as he would have been subbed out in order to allow Yamaguchi to serve. In the next cut, Tsukishima is (correctly) shown in his place.

Difference between Anime and Manga

  • Manga: When Tsukishima directs Suna's cross shot to go toward Daichi, Takinoue, Shimada, Lev, and Shibayama are shown reacting. Anime: Only Atsumu and Suna react.
  • Manga: During Kuroo's assumption of Tsukishima signaling the players on defense when Suna will attempt a cross shot, Yaku praises Karasuno's play and also remarks how Lev should learn from it. Anime: This was not shown.
  • Manga: Kinoshita's flashback of practicing with Nishinoya happens before Atsumu serves. Anime: It happens after.
    • A different flashback of Kinoshita and Nishinoya originally happens before Kinoshita shouts at Nishinoya to move forward to make his receive.
  • Manga: When Nishinoya points to Kinoshita, several flashbacks of their practice after the Date Tech match takes place. Anime: This was not shown.
  • Manga: During the flashback of when the Miya twins were young, they are shown wearing shirts that have their names written on the back. Anime: This was not shown.
  • Manga: When the twins have their fight, they are seen being scolded by Coach Kurosu. Anime: This is not shown.

OSTs Used

Crunchyroll

  • In The Thick Of It (Japanese: 粘り Nebari) 0:00 - 0:37
  • - OP -
  • The Evening Moon (Japanese: 月夕 Gesseki) 2:25 - 4:39
  • Obsession (Japanese: こだわり Kodawari) 6:40 - 7:56
  • The Guardian's Hero (Japanese: 守護神のヒーロー Shugoshin no Hīrō) 9:57 - 12:43
  • - eyecatch A-
  • - eyecatch B-
  • Teammate (Japanese: チームメイト Chīmumeito) 12:58 - 14:33
  • Disparity (Japanese: 格差 Kakusa) 14:51 - 16:08
  • Miya Twins (Japanese: 宮ツインズ Miya Tsuinzu) 18:00 - 20:01
  • The Birth of the Serene King (Japanese: 静かなる王の誕生 Shizukanaru Ō no Tanjō) 20:35 - 22:20
  • - ED -

References

  1. ON AIR - Haikyū!! anime - haikyu.jp (Japanese) (retrieved November 20, 2020)

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