"The Chemical Change of Encounters" (Japanese:
Daichi remembers his first year at Karasuno, and how important this match is for the pride of Karasuno. The fourth set continues and Karasuno pulls ahead, but Ushijima manages to find holes in their defense. The game goes to deuce, while fatigue starts to set in for Kageyama. At match point for Karasuno, Kageyama undershoots and Hinata manages to nudge the ball with his left hand, winning the set.
The episode opens with a flashback of when Daichi, Sugawara and Asahi first joined the volleyball club as first years. Daichi announces that he had seen Karasuno playing in the nationals and hopes to achieve the same thing. The captain at the time, Hidemi Tashiro, excitedly claims they should strive to go to nationals once more.
With a tournament nearing, Daichi realizes that the team has not had many practice matches. Asahi reveals he heard that their connections with other teams has been lost since Ikkei Ukai has been gone. Sugawara adds that even teams they would regularly practice with have denied any practice matches with them. When Daichi questions why, Hiroki Kurokawa declares that it is because the other teams believe Karasuno is not worth their time.
While Daichi was aware that the Karasuno he knew of would be different from what he was experiencing, he had believed that through practices the team would rise up again. Eventually, he began asking to stay after team practices to practice more on his own with Asahi and Sugawara asking for the same thing.After a practice, Daichi comes to the realization that they cannot keep going as they are now. During one day of practice, Daichi reads the players forms to determine where the ball will go after being spiked. He guesses correctly when Kurokawa spikes but catches the ball instead of receiving. Over time, some of the alumni members began practicing with the team and Daichi even recruits Kiyoko to be the team manager.
Eventually the Inter-High qualifiers soon approaches and Tashiro encourages the team to aim for nationals. Kurokawa remarks they should not aim for something that is not possible, saying that they should instead try for a goal that is more achievable. Tashiro scolds Kurokawa for always scoffing at the idea of trying to win nationals and that he feels the team has been getting better as of late.
Despite the teams new found enthusiasm, they lost during the second round of the tournament and the third years retired from the team. Later, Tashiro regrets that they started practicing together far too late. Though he admits that it may take years before Karasuno becomes strong again, he tells Daichi, Sugawara and Asahi that if the chance to go to nationals presents itself to them they should take it.
The flashback ends as Daichi sees the chance to make it to nationals is now right before them and he vows that the team will make it there.
As Tsukishima serves, Ukai realizes that Hinata's new blocking strategy is something that will surely shake up Shiratorizawa and cause a crack in their plays. Luck seems to be on Karasuno's side as Hinata and Kageyama are able to score enough points to get the score tied at 20-20. With Hinata doing the running approach, the Shiratorizawa team cannot ignore this blocking method and Kageyama correctly guesses that Goshiki will use a straight shot and is able to receive. Nishinoya does a jump set that Asahi uses to score and Daichi praises Asahi and Kageyama on their performance.Kawanishi quickly takes back a point for Shiratorizawa during the next play before Semi is subbed in for Shirabu. Semi serves and Nishinoya receives. The ball is sent long and Kageyama jumps to do a one hand set as Goshiki tells himself not to jump right away, seeing that Kageyama will not do a setter dump as his back is to the net. Despite waiting and watching, Goshiki spots Hinata already in the air to spike. The spike lands and Semi's serve is cut off. Tendō is in complete awe at how Hinata and Kageyama do not seem to be slacking in their attacks, calling them stamina monsters.
As Tsukishima rotates in and Nishinoya goes out, the Shiratorizawa fans are relieved to see Hinata now in the back row and Tadashi calls out to Tsukishima not to lose to Hinata in blocking; to Tsukishima's bewilderment that makes Tadashi nervous when he is glared at.
Tadashi is subbed in for Hinata for the serve as Tsukisima mentions a plan to Kageyama. Kageyama says that he can carry out the plan but wonders if Tsukishima will be able to. Tsukishima reveals that he had practiced it with Akaashi during the summer training camp so he will be able to do it and does not notice Kageyama's jealousy at him having practiced with the Fukurōdani setter. Ukai has Hinata sit on the bench with him, saying that Hinata will need to conserve his energy and rest as much as he can as the rest of the game will be a battle of stamina.
As Tadashi prepares to serve, he is determined not to lose to Hinata as well and is going to do what he can to make the most of this chance. From the stands, Saeko notices that Tadashi is standing more toward the left end of the court. As Tadashi serves, Ukai silently pleads for him to do a serve straight to Ushijima. Reon receives the serve and Ushijima made the second receive as Ukai had planned, preventing Ushijima from getting the last hit. Goshiki takes the last hit while Tsukshima, Asahi and Daichi jump to block. Determined not to be underestimated, Goshiki spikes and Tsukishima gets a one-touch that Tanaka saves. Tsukishima rushes toward the front and Kawanishi jumps to block but to his, Tendō's and everyone's surprise, Tsukishima does a time lag attack and scores.
Shiratorizawa calls a time-out and Washijo wastes no time in scolding his team, saying they are dropping their elbows and they need to be more dynamic. He sees that Karasuno's defense is evolving through the match but Ushijima points out that a defense without holes does not exist.
The time-out ends and Tadashi goes to serve again. The ball clips the top of the net but Yamagata is able to receive. Shirabu sets to Ushijima who spikes past a triple block and lands his spike right in front of Tadashi. Takinoue sees how the power behind Ushijima's spikes have not let up at all but Akiteru points out that that because Ushijima is attacking so much his legs must surely be feeling worn out. Shimada agrees that if Ushijima continues the way he is now then he will eventually reach the end of his stamina.In the next rally, Asahi is blocked and Nishinoya saves the ball. Tsukishima goes to spike on the right side but misses as the timing was off but is still able to hit the ball over the net and score, bringing Karasuno to set point. Saeko is very excited that Karasuno may take the fourth set but Takinoue and Shimada are nervous as the Karasuno team has never been in a five set match before and the team they are up against has been to nationals numerous times.
Tendō observes Kageyama as he mentions how he has been able to make sense of Hinata's attacks ever since the beginning of the match. As a setter, Kageyama would also face more pressure against the blocks than anyone else and Tendō believes that Kageyama may have finally reached his limit.
Kageyama apologizes to Tsukishima about his last set. Tsukishima replies that apologies seem creepy coming from Kageyama and when Kageyama becomes irritated at the taunt Tsukishima states that he's still fine. The game continues with Daichi serving next. The ball is received and Ushijima scores with another powerful spike. Kawanishi is then subbed for pinch server Yunohama.Yunohama does a jump float serve. The ball shifts just as Nishinoya receives. Kageyama is able to get the ball to Asahi but the ace is faced with a triple block. Tendō gets a one touch that Yamagata is then able to receive. Ushijima is once more given the last hit and Tsukishima, Kageyama and Asahi try to block. To their utter surprise, Ushijima does a feint shot.
Washijo is pleased with this result as he believed Karasuno would fall into this trap due to being braced for another one of Ushijima's powerful hits and therefore part of the court was open and unprotected. With Ushijima's point, the score is now at a deuce. Tendō goes onto the court and teases Kageyama for having to face the despair of a deuce as exhausted as he is. Kageyama instead says that the only time he will feel despair is when he is no longer able to play volleyball.
Before the set continues, the teams are spoken to by their coaches. Ukai says the defense of the current line-up is fine the way it is and questions Kageyama if he will be able to keep playing. Despite Sugawara offering to go in for a while, Kageyama says he is fine and can continue playing.Soon the game continues and Yunohama serves another jump float. Daichi sees the balls path stretching and receives over-handed. From Kageyama's set, Asahi spikes and brings Karasuno to set point once more. Tendō gains the point back when he gets a shot past Tsukishima. Now at deuce again, Ushijima is now up to serve.
The serve hits the top of the net and lands before anyone is able to save it. Shiratorizawa is now at match point.
Everyone on the Karasuno side becomes on edge knowing that if Ushijima gets one more point, the game will be over and Karasuno will lose. Ushijima delivers a powerful serve heading toward the back corner. Nishinoya dives and saves it but it heads back to Shiratorizawa. When Reon goes to spike, Kageyama and Tsukishima block and get a point back when the ball ricochets off Shirabu's arms.
In the stands, Shizuyasu Yokoyama comments to two young men in front of him of how Karasuno now seems like a powerhouse compared to how they were before when they did not gain any attention or even come close to being where they are now. At that moment, he lets out a loud cheer for Karasuno that is heard by everyone in the gym. With the exception of Ikkei and the Karasuno third years, everyone is bewildered by the sudden cry of encouragement and Ukai sends Hinata back into the game.
As the Karasuno vice-principal leads another cheer, Hinata tells Kageyama that he can hit any toss he sends no matter how bad. Kageyama declares that he does not send any bad tosses but Hinata does not seem intimidated by this. Tsukishima is then subbed out for Sugawara.
Now serving, Sugawara aims for the front and Reon receives. Tendō jumps to spike when Hinata suddenly jumps to block. At the last moment Tendō changes the direction of his spike and gets by though Sugawara is able to receive. As Kageyama goes to set, Tendō sees that Kageyama's flawless form is now starting to fall apart and he is able to read where Kageyama will send the ball. Tendō and Goshiki jump to block as Hinata spikes the ball into Tendō's hand but it lands out of bounds.
Akiteru sees that, despite Kageyama's confidence, it seems like it would be a good idea to rely on the left a bit. Ikkei says this is a silent plea. Kageyama does not plan to back down from any attacks and he wants Tendō keep his guard up.Kageyema is up to serve next and he delivers a good serve. Yamagata dives to receive it and it's sent back to Karasuno. Nishinoya sends the receive to Kageyama as Hinata rushes to the ride side. Kageyama sends the ball but becomes fearful when he sees that he sent it short. Hinata remembers his time training with Ikkei and how he should treat the ball as if it were an extension of himself. To everyone's surprise, he hits the ball with his left hand.
With no one able to receive, the ball lands and Karasuno wins the fourth set. Washijo instantly scolds his team for not attempting to save the ball while Hinata is praised by his team. As they leave the court, Daichi remembers Tashiro's words of seizing any chance of making it to nationals and he is determined not to let this opportunity slip from them.
Hinata circles around Kageyama until the setter grabs his shirt and compliments his left handed hit, though Hinata says that his expression does not match his words.
The episode ends with Hinata proudly stating that they will be playing one more set.
- Karasuno High
- Shiratorizawa Academy
- Hiroki Kurokawa (flashback)
- Makoto Shimada
- Yūsuke Takinoue
- Saeko Tanaka
- Akiteru Tsukishima
- Yui Michimiya
- Ikkei Ukai
- Karasuno High's Vice Principal
Episode Notes Edit
Character Revelations Edit
Differences Between Anime and MangaEdit
- Manga: After Sugawara's first serve as a pinch server gets Karasuno their second set point, he does another serve. However, Ohira spikes it back and gets the point for Shiratorizawa, bringing the set into a deuce. Sugawara is then switched out with Tsukishima. Ohira serves but Karasuno manages to get the point with Tanaka's spike. Now Karasuno is again at set point, and it is Kageyama's turn to serve. A short rally ensues until Hinata manages to land the ball in Shiratorizawa's side, earning the set. Anime: After Sugawara's first serve, the anime skips straight to Kageyama's serve that leads to Karasuno earning the set.
- Daichi's flashback of when he joined the volleyball club as a first year with Sugawara and Asahi takes places after their victory against Seijoh in the manga. The episode begins with the flashback.
- When Asahi spikes Nishinoya's toss in the anime, the ball is slightly away from Tendō. In the manga, the ball nearly hits Tendō in the face.
- After Tsukishima's delayed spike in the manga, Akiteru explains how the attack is not used that often due to not being very effective against read blocking and Shimada brags how the attack was possible thanks to Tadashi's serve forcing Shiratorizawa into a bad pass. This was skipped in the anime as a time-out is called and Washijō scolds his players.
- In the manga, Asahi gets the team back to set point when Shirabu is unable to receive the spike. The anime only shows Asahi spiking.
- After Ushijima's spike in the manga, Ikkei is shown realizing the only reason it was a net ball was because Ushijima was so aggressive. This is not shown in the anime.
- When Shizuyasu Yokoyama shouts that he's counting on Karasuno to win, in the anime the Shiratorizawa players on the court are also shown reacting to his shout. In the manga, Ennoshita, Kinoshita, Narita and several Shiratorizawa students are shown reacting.
- Reon's serve and Tanaka's spike getting Karasuno back to set point were skipped in the anime.
- Manga only: Ikkei is shown smiling when Hinata uses his left hand to score when the set is short and Sugawara and Tadashi are shown cheering.