Haikyuu To the Top New Year’s Online Event! Inarizaki High School Special Team Meeting~ Karasuno Still on to the New Year’s Vibe~ 01/10/2021
The report is late, but still posting this for the record!! It’s long and detailed but the talks were really interesting so please read until the end! I promise, you won’t regret it! I also put Haikyuu pictures for easier understanding (but no seiyuu pics from the actual event besides those from the official accounts).
The event was held on 1/10 but there was an archive viewing on 1/23~24 so I watched it again <3
The event starts with a prerecorded video of a mini skit by the voice actors. The video shows the Inarizaki members at the club room at the start of the year (not animated, still images only moving once in a while).
Atsumu: I won this year, Samu! I got more New year postcards than you!
Osamu: But you’re also including the ones sent from business establishments! They don’t count!
Atsumu: Doesn’t matter! They’re addressed to my name, anyway! You’re just a sore loser!
Suna enters the room and they notice that he seems to be happy. Osamu assumed that it’s probably because he got a lot of money from New Year, but warns him that if he spends too much, Kita-san would scold him telling him to save money properly.
Atsumu: Ah! Must be nice to be you, Suna! Because we’re twins, we have to divide and share the money we get from our grandparents! I envy you!
Osamu: *sighs* If I were an only child, I'd get to buy delicious stuff and enjoy all the food by myself!
But Suna clarifies that it’s not because of the money he got why he’s happy, but actually because he got “excellent luck” from the fortune this year.
The twins didn’t expect him to bother about such things, and they said that they don’t actually believe in that because as twins they’re often told to share the same fate.
Kita enters the room and everyone greets him a Happy New Year. Kita greets back and tells them to get ready for the meeting and the practice. Osamu suddenly asks a question before they go though.
Osamu: I heard from Aran-kun before that Kita house’s “ozouni” (Japanese soup with rice cakes traditionally eaten during New Year) is really delicious. Is that true?
Kita: Ah well, it’s made by granny after all, so there’s no way it’s not.
Osamu: Please let me eat that next time!
Atsumu: That’s unfair!!! Let me too!
Kita: *chuckles* Oh, you’re pretty enthusiastic about this, huh. Well, it’s good to properly eat such food during New Year after all. I’ll let you next time.
Twins: Thanks a lot!!
Osamu: Ahhh~ Can’t wait to eat Kita house’s ozouni!
Suna: Osamu, you really do like eating, huh.
Kita reminded them to not get carried away and take care of their bodies. They then go to proceed with their meeting.
The seiyuu event starts with the Inarizaki members greeting a Happy New Year. They’re also happy that Inarizaki is the main focus of this event.
For convenience, they’ll be referred here as follows.
Miyano Mamoru (Atsumu’s seiyuu) - Mamo
Kabumoto Hideaki (Osamu) - Kabu
Nojima Kenji (Kita) - NojiKen
Shimazaki Nobunaga (Suna) - Zakki
They’re all wearing Inarizaki-themed kimonos for the occasion and showed it off with the camera tilting down to up, focusing on each of them, as they also turned around.
Kabu is wearing a matching arm warmer, which he mistakenly calls “warm armer” (Mamo corrects him laughing), that volleyball players apparently use during games. He also shares that he spent the New Year alone (due to the pandemic situation), meanwhile NojiKen went to the Haikyuu exhibit during the holiday and was really impressed with the experience.
There were also seiyuu events held last year but since the anime was still ongoing at that time they cannot fully talk about everything, but now they can go talk without any hesitation. This is also the first time that the four of them gathered for a Haikyuu event.
Zakki has been open about his love for his team in past events and this time he also expressed that with a full smile.
Zakki: I’m really very happy (that we’re all here)! *cute mini jumping/shaking gestures* Ah, i LOVE Inarizaki! I REALLY love this team, it’s the best! Even if I knew that we’d end up losing, I still felt like we were definitely gonna win.
Mamo: But we did lose
Zakki: Don’t say it!
The MC of the event entered afterwards and the seiyuus formally introduced themselves one by one (they almost forgot lol).
Karasuno was then introduced. They also appeared in a mini skit first.
Hinata arrives at the gym first. However, inside the gym Mt. Fuji appeared out of nowhere. He was surprised for a second, but then thought that he’d go climb it anyway.
Kageyama enters the scene chasing a flying hawk.
Kageyama: Oy boke! Hinata! Catch that bird! Fly!
Hinata jumped and jumped but wasn’t able to catch it.
Kageyama: Oy! How dare you let it go! What was with those little jumps anyway? You wouldn’t reach it with that!
Hinata asked what was that all about and Kageyama said that the hawk matches Mt. Fuji. And with that, Hinata realizes that the only thing lacking for a good luck charm is an eggplant (“nasu” in Jpn).
Hinata: Kageyama! “Ore ni nasu!” (Tr: “Bring the eggplant to me,” but this is a play on the “Toss to me” line which sounds similar in Jpn “Ore ni tosu!”)
Kageyama refused, complaining about it and they started to argue.
The sound of alarm suddenly rings. Hinata wakes up from the dream*, and heads out to go to practice.
*Hatsuyume - the first dream of the year deemed to be important in Jpn culture. Dreaming of Mt. Fuji, hawk, and eggplant is particularly considered to be lucky.
The Karasuno seiyuus then join the rest in the studio saying their greetings.
Murase Ayumu (Hinata) - Ayu
Ishikawa Kaito (Kageyama) - Kaito
Haikyuu Back to the Top!
The seiyuus selected their most memorable scenes from the season.
Ayu and Zakki apparently chose the same: Hinata’s “Nice receive” scene.
Zakki particularly loves the silence that follows after the receive, and Kageyama’s “Nice receive” (he claps when it was shown on the VTR).
He loves Inarizaki and really wanted to fight and win with them and felt very frustrated when they lost, but he can’t really help but admire this Karasuno scene. The people who were watching the game couldn’t believe what happened that everyone’s feelings synced and they all fell silent. The silence held so much meaning, he thinks that the events and all the drama that occurred for them to reach this turning point gave the scene life, despite the lack of sound, and it was really beautiful. It’s a scene made by everyone. It also happened that he was at the studio during the recording and he saw how Kaito and the director gave so much thought about how Kageyama would say the “Nice receive” line to Hinata.
Ayu adds that the Inarizaki match is indeed very important to Hinata’s growth and this scene is a testament that Hinata’s path was right, and all his efforts weren’t in vain. He also likes the monologue by Japan National Team coach Hibarida in this scene, saying that Hinata’s life as a volleyball player which would still continue from then on, was acknowledged.
Mamo and Kabu’s chosen scenes were also shown together - Twin’s Quick.
Kabu chose the last quick of the game, while Mamo chose all.
For the first quick, Mamo especially liked the moment when it zooms to Atsumu. The reverse quick was also impressive.
Mamo: *pointing at the VTR* Isn’t this amazing? This is reverse, you know!
Kabu still doesn’t want to believe that their last quick got blocked.
Mamo chose all because of the build-up and growth that happened during the match. The quick attack was something the twins just tried on a whim, but their guts, playfulness, and talent were really amazing.
The last quick was particularly memorable to Kabu because Osamu can be seen as the more reserved of the two, and while the twins carry the same thing inside them their approach and expression of things differ. But in the last scene, Atsumu and Osamu gave their all and really synced 100% perfectly.
Mamo adds that the first and last quick had the same lines, but the tension was very different and he really liked the juxtaposition. As the actors they were also carried away and really let their voices go all out in the last one, and he even thinks that Kabu and him synced perfectly that their voices sounded very alike.
On the other hand, the Karasuno members were also asked for their opinion.
Kaito: Aahhh, no matter how many times I watch it, it’s really amazing. And because it’s the quick attack that we’ve been doing ever since, I still feel irritated, like *points at his face* this area below my eye really twitches unconsciously. That’s our attack! Don’t do it!
Ayu agrees and says that he really likes that last rotation in the game, that if it weren’t for that rotation, if it weren’t Kageyama and Hinata there, Karasuno would not have been able to block that attack. As he also shared in the Jump Festa last time, it’s theirs and they’re the ones who knew it the most so it’s only perfect that they were the ones who were able to stop that.
The next scene shown was the one Kaito picked which turned out to be unexpected to everyone - Atsumu’s happy scenes compilation.
Kaito explains that they might think that he’s just fooling around, but he actually has a serious reason for choosing this. Kageyama and Atsumu are both setters with similar personalities, they love volleyball, and are very straightforward to their dreams. And while he does like Kageyama’s demeanor, he admires Atsumu’s attitude towards volleyball so much.
Kaito: “I’m having so much fun right now!!” The way Atsumu expresses that, as a human I want to work and live a life like Atsumu who enjoys doing what he loves so much, and is able to openly express it to the world. Atsumu’s way of playing volleyball, those smiles, the voice that holds all the experiences he’s had - i REALLY like them.
Mamo was glad and grateful with the compliment and agrees, sharing that sometimes at the end of a hard day’s work he’s also like Atsumu who’d go tell himself, “Ah! Ain’t today’s me so amazing?!”
He says that Atsumu is so carefree and thinks that there’s nothing wrong with expressing how he feels at the moment, especially when he’s strong because he’s doing his best everytime. It’s the result of his efforts and he takes pride in it. That is why he can express that smile that loves volleyball very much.
The last scene was the one NojiKen selected - Kita’s “Aren’t my teammates amazing?” scene (starting from the “I don’t have any regrets” line).
While watching the VTR,
NojiKen: Ah, I’m gonna cry..
Mamo: This scene would really make you cry… I did cry during the recording.
Kabu: Aran-kuuunnn T.T
NojiKen: It’s very admirable.. Ah, I really wanted them to win..
Mamo: Ahhhh... He’s the best captain...
NojiKen shared that he was torn between choosing this scene or the scene when Kita got his uniform. During the recording the seiyuus, just like the Inarizaki team, fought with their all, only thinking about victory despite them knowing the end result.
So when the team lost, he really felt so frustrated and if it was him, he’d really want to shout and cry. But Kita-san doesn’t have any regrets, and his choice of words here showing the maturity of his heart really struck him.
NojiKen: Kita-san wasn’t crying in the scene, so during the recording I shouldn’t cry too. But after that, I did cry a lot. I think that in the corners of Kita-san’s heart he was really frustrated but hid it, and when he was left alone, he probably shed tears, too.
Mamo: Ahh, what a really nice talk this is..
NojiKen: So frustrating..
Zakki: I really wanted us to win..
For the next corner, the seiyuus were asked (beforehand) to
describe the Karasuno team and the Inarizaki team in one word.
Their answers were compiled and due to the short time allotted for discussion, only a few answers were discussed.
NojiKen: Karasuno = Turkish ice cream
They’re like that ice cream that unbelievably stretches a lot which he likens to Karasuno growing and improving consistently physically and mentally. Moreover, when you buy the ice cream, the vendor usually won’t hand it to you right away and you’d keep chasing for it, and just like that, Karasuno is a team that isn't easily “captured” by their opponents.
Zakki: Karasuno = Sticky sticky love volleyball (they were laughing at Zakki’s lack of vocabulary)
Zakki also defended his answer that well, Karasuno is sticky and stretches out too that no matter how far the opponents go they will stick to them persistently. And because they are sticky, no matter how much they stretch out they won’t get cut easily amidst difficult situations, remaining connected. And because they love volleyball, they don’t stretch out in pain, but happily.
Inarizaki = Go go go head-on love volleyball
Inarizaki has overflowing spirits and potential and they always go for any challenge, almost without limits. He thinks that if Kita-san wasn’t there to steady the hold they’d go flying too much and even collapse somewhere. And of course since they all share that love for volleyball, despite the differences they are able to face everything head-on.
Kaito, to Zakki: You’re saying something so good but because of the word choice it gets negated!
Mamo: Karasuno = comrades; Inarizaki = family
Inarizaki gives off a strong family vibe not only because the twins are literally brothers, but because of the role of each member like one is a responsible parent (Kita), an older brother (Aran), an inexpressive cheeky little brother (Osamu/Suna?), etc, and he likes it. Whereas Karasuno are more like comrades in arms fighting together.
Ayu: Inarizaki = Despair
This team has a lot of potential and it’s as if they don’t have any weaknesses. They can stop the good momentum of the opponent to get back on track, and when the momentum is on their side they also have Kita-san who can prolong that despair. He says that when he first read them in the manga, he was like “it’s impossible to beat them!”
Kaito: Inarizaki = Growth period
Inarizaki is always ever-growing all the while they're having fun, and that road to “ripening” is unstoppable, making this team a formidable opponent.
The next corner featured fortune-telling by a tarot card reader named A.M., which was then revealed to be Ayumu Murase. In private life, he revealed that he enjoys tarot card reading and does it almost everyday. He drew the cards of the other seiyuus beforehand to determine their luck in “battles” this year.
Since this corner isn’t about Haikyuu, I won’t report it in detail.
Basically they were ranked based on their luck, and Ayu explained the readings for each one of them.
Since Kaito ranked the lowest, he was given a lucky item - a golden volleyball.
New Year Postcard Pick up Corner
After that, they proceeded to the New Year Postcard Pick up Corner, where cards sent from fans were displayed on a board. This was led by Ayu and Kaito and two cards were picked which contained greetings and questions from the senders.
1st card - Share a moment when you felt like you got hooked on your job again (just like Haikyuu characters did to volleyball).
Ayu and Kaito both answered that it was getting to work in Haikyuu. Kaito expounds that Haikyuu reflects real life as they don’t always win, despite being the main characters. They continue to grow as actors too, and when they get to meet one another in the next seasons they all get to enjoy the new battles they face together.
2nd card - What do you think is Kageyama’s weakness?
Kaito thinks that Kageyama may be seen as strong but he’s not a perfect setter and is continuously supported by the people around him.
Meanwhile, Ayu thinks that as a setter Kageyama may be seen as smart who is good in studies as well, but then the fact that he’s actually just on the same level as Hinata in studying, is cute.
The event then proceeds to the “Grand Prix” program, where three selected scene cuts (VTRs) for each character are shown. Each seiyuu would vote which scene they think represents the character best. After the initial voting, they’d engage in a discussion stating the reason for their choice (though because of time restriction not everyone can speak) where they can persuade others to change their votes. After that they make a final vote.
Miya-1 GranPri: Osamu
Scene 1: from Ep16
Scene 2: from Ep21
Scene 3: from Ep22
Mamo, Kabu, Ayu
Discussion: Kabu remembers that he wondered about how Osamu would talk in this scene, as he’s frustrated but chose to say such words. He talked to Mamo about it and since Mamo/Atsumu would strongly say his lines, Kabu/Osamu also settled to assert his point with more conviction (”Let me finish what I’m saying!”).
Since Kabu discussed his experience that way, other seiyuus were easily convinced to change their answer to 2. Though NojiKen states that his favorite number is 3 that’s why he voted for 3. (So yeah, this didn’t turn into a discussion at all lol)
Final votes: 2 - everyone
Miya-1 GranPri: Atsumu
Scene 1: from Ep4
Scene 2: from Ep21
Scene 3: from Ep24
Mamo, Zakki, Ayu
Discussion: Kaito had a hard time choosing but ended up voting for 1. He says that scene 1 definitely gave a strong first impression of Atsumu. He got disappointed in Kageyama because he didn’t get thrilled on his by the book’s way of playing volleyball. Mamo adds that when they recorded this Atsumu really appeared as a strong, mysterious senpai character, and Kaito who watched it, honestly said that he’s scary. Kaito adds that there is more impact because he was on the receiving end of those words.
Everyone was a bit silent and looked like they got convinced of Kaito's answer, but Zakki begged to differ. He says that because of scene 1 being scary, people would wonder what kind of person Atsumu is, and once they see scene 2 they’d understand where he is coming from. They’d see that Atsumu is a very earnest person who goes straight forward to what he wants and has to do. In an instant, all of Atsumu’s appeal/charm as a person, as a player is shown.
Zakki: Won’t everyone begin to like Atsumu because of this scene?
NojiKen was about to defend his answer, apparently he has a proper reason this time for voting 3, but the time limit bell rang before he had the chance to do so.
Final Votes: 2 - Zakki, NojiKen, 1 - the rest
Scene 1: from Ep7
Scene 2: from Ep19 (Kalm Kageyama)
Scene 3: from Ep24 (Setter Dump)
Mamo, Kabu, NojiKen, Zakki
Discussion: NojiKen says that scene 3 exhibited Kageyama’s sharp intellect as a setter that thoroughly thinks about the strategy. Kabu adds that with this, he thinks Kageyama was able to get even with Atsumu from the goody two-shoes remark.
Ayu thinks that scene 3 was indeed impactful on the opponent side (that’s why all Inarizaki voted for it), but for a teammate the presence of a ‘Kalm Kageyama’ is impressive as it shows a different side of him when playing so he went for 2.
Kaito finds scene 1 a very important turning point for Kageyama as Hinata makes him a king. A king is someone who can’t exist without his own people, so a king only becomes one because he is chosen. Up to now Kageyama has been nothing but a lonely king, so that act from Hinata for the first time ever officially made him the King of the Court. And from that, scene 2 is born showing a King, and then scene 3 shows that this King can also act like this.
Final Votes: 2 - Kaito, 1 - the rest
It was a surprise that after everything Kaito said, he ended up the one changing his answer but he didn’t give any explanation about it.
Scene 1: from Ep19
Scene 2: from Ep19 (the old man discussing Suna’s ability)
Scene 3: from Ep20 (Suna wanting to find Kita’s weakness)
Mamo, Kabu, Ayu
Mamo: 3 is Kita-san’s scene!
Zakki: And 2 is the old man’s scene!
Kaito defends 2 saying that core training is very hard and he looks up to Suna for being able to master that. But when he thought about 1 again, he says that 1 is indeed a good scene and considers changing his answer right then lol. Meanwhile, NojiKen actually wanted to choose 1 but Kita-san was in scene 3 so he voted for that.
Mamo: Well, that was Kita-san’s cute scene after all!
Zakki was about to explain about 1 but was cut by the time limit bell.
Final Votes: 4 - Zakki, 1 - the rest
Zakki explained that he likes 1 but the scene he liked the most was the exchange when Tsukki got back on Suna, so he chose 4. Mamo agrees and teases the staff that they should have chosen to put that scene in the selection instead.
Scene 1: from Ep20 (scene cut starts from Aran and Kita going home until this “chanto yannen” scene)
Scene 2: from Ep20 (Kita analyzing the 2nd years one by one)
Scene 3: from Ep24 (“I’m a human invited to a monster’s ball.”)
1 - Mamo, Kabu, Zakki, Ayu, Kaito
3 - NojiKen
Discussion: NojiKen continues fooling around by choosing 3 even if he actually likes 1. Mamo says that he actually likes the scene before 1, the moment when Kita-san got his uniform and proceeds to tease the staff again to put that scene instead. But Kabu says that he likes that going home scene, surprised that Kita-san can laugh like that and Aran was also cute for getting confused at what Kita-san was talking about. Kaito adds that scene 1 also shows us the level of friendship that Kita-san and Aran have. Kita-san laughed but Aran didn’t look surprised, meaning that he has seen it before - Aran knows Kita-san’s smile.
Final Votes: 1 - everyone
Scene 1: from Ep1
Scene 2: from Ep13
Scene 3: from Ep24
1 - Mamo, Kaito
3 - Kabu, NojiKen, Zakki, Ayu
Discussion: Kaito was very hesitant in making a decision again but ended up with 1. Ayu starts the discussion saying that 1 and 2 are indeed very Hinata-like, but 3 left a big impression on him, seeing Hinata become someone who is able to give his teammates a moment to breathe in the middle of a game, showing how much he has grown. He was deeply moved when he read it in the manga and when he watched it in the anime again.
For a moment Kaito wanted to change his answer to 3, but then explains that 1 is the very starting line of To the Top. Because of that, not only Hinata but Karasuno was able to face and fight Inarizaki like this. Mamo comments on a different note. He wasn’t in the studio during the recording of 1 but when he watched it again now, he felt impressed and realized how along with Hinata Shoyo, Murase Ayumu the seiyuu has also grown a lot. That one short scene makes Ayu’s development very clear, for being able to voice act like that. Ayu was so happy and grateful he immediately changed his answer to 1.
Final Votes: 3 - Kabu, NojiKen, 1 - the rest
New Year Postcard Pick up Corner 2
After the Granpri, they went to the New Year Postcard Pick up Corner again, led this time by Mamo and Kabu.
Mamo: Hi! We are Hyogo’s Miya twins!
Mamo reads the 1st card though there was no question, it’s from a mother writing about his 6-yr old son who loves Haikyuu, particularly Atsumu. Mamo is glad and thinks that people of different ages really do watch Haikyuu. Kabu adds that it would be nice if this can actually inspire someone in the future to play volleyball.
Mamo: Yeah, like hearing someone say that because of Haikyuu they became a setter, or a professional player.
2nd card - Do you have anything that’s like Kita-san’s concept of “Repetitive, Methodical, Thorough”?
Kabu answers that this applies to his work as a stage actor where they keep doing the same things properly everyday for months.
New year’s Play-offs
The next games that followed were more related to New Year but less of Haikyuu so I won’t be reporting them in detail too (also because it’s probably only funny if you get to watch them playing the game). The seiyuus were divided into two: Team Atsumu with Mamo, Zakki, Ayu, and Team Tobio with Kaito, Kabu, and NojiKen.
Game 1 - Guess the Situation of the First Dream: Sleep Talk Nuance Quiz
Mechanics: One of the members will sleep talk using a random line from the anime. There are four situations given where the line can possibly be used, and out of the four the other members will guess what kind of dream their teammate had.
This game was played 4 times, with 2 turns for each team. Both teams won once.
Game 2 - Two-attack First Drawing
Mechanics: One member has to guess the word that his two other teammates will draw together. The challenge is that they can only draw using one pen stroke or without lifting their pen.
Each team only got one turn, and both didn’t get the correct answer.
With the two teams ending up in a tie, they were both declared winners and the prize is... Kita House’s Ozouni! A Hyogo-style ozouni was prepared for them. NojiKen led the serving of the food.
NojiKen: You have to do cooking properly, too. (“Oryouri mo, chanto yannen”)
The event now comes to a close. The seiyuus say their
last message to the fans.
Zakki: I hope it was made clear that this is how fun the atmosphere is during recordings. I really love Inarizaki and the Haikyuu team. I will continue to hope that there will be more chances to spend time with everyone again. Please continue supporting Haikyuu from now on too!
NojiKen: Due to the pandemic situation, voice recordings were taken separately, but still this kind of teamwork was born. During these hard times, please watch/rewatch Haikyuu a lot of times and exercise your hearts and mind. Thank you!
Kabu: I have been invited to participate in a lot of Haikyuu events since last year and then for the first time these 4 Inarizaki members have gathered, and I really had a good time. I hope you all enjoyed it too. Looking forward to your support.
Mamo: I’m really glad that I can experience youth again at my age through Haikyuu. With the current situation where the norm is no longer the usual, I’m really happy that we were able to finish and present this Inarizaki match to you, thanks to the efforts of all the staff who have carefully considered how we can work best while taking the necessary health precautions. From here on too, we will continue to bring entertainment to the fans like usual, and I’m hoping that we can work again and act for the future stories too of Haikyuu.
Kaito: Did you have fun watching, everyone?
*answers himself acting as a viewer* Yes! We had fun! Thank you!
Thank you for all your comments! It’s been more than a year since we started working for Haikyuu To the Top and despite all the difficulties brought about by outside influences (particularly the pandemic), I’m really happy that we are here now and were able to say, “That was fun!” with everyone. Let’s keep the flame burning for Haikyuu!
Ayu: As what everyone has also mentioned, the current situation has made me realize more the value of each and every episode we created. Precisely because the normal everyday things have ceased to become normal, being part of a work that can touch people’s hearts when they watch it and make them appreciate volleyball more, makes me feel really proud. I’m really grateful to the staff. Hinata and everyone’s path will still continue from now on and I really hope we can continue to work with this team until the end.
After their goodbyes, NojiKen was tasked to lead the last greeting as the captain of Inarizaki, which is the main in this event.
NojiKen: Thank you everyone for watching us ‘til the end. Thank you!
All together: Thank you!!!! *cute bye bye waves*
Photos/Posts from Official Accounts
And that’s it!! It was a fun fun fun 2.5 hrs event! I’m really glad that despite the current pandemic situation we can still have seiyuu events like this.
I just want to say that I’ve been watching Haikyuu all these years, but unexpectedly, the Inarizaki match is the moment I felt that I got hooked on Haikyuu *cries*
I just really really LOVE Kita-san soooo much, and the Miya twins T.T !!!!
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