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"Formidable Opponents" (Japanese: 強敵たち Kyōteki-tachi) is the thirty-fifth chapter of the Haikyū!! series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. It was published in the 48th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump’s 2012 series.
Karasuno trains diligently for the Interhigh and aims to meet Nekoma at Nationals. The team also ponders the top schools in their prefectures: Wakutani South High, Date Tech High, Aobajōsai High, and Shiratorizawa Academy. Meanwhile, the tournament bracket for Interhigh is released; Karasuno may have to face Date Tech in the second match.
At Tokonami High, Ikejiri interrupts his team practice to hand the members a list of high school matchups for the Interhigh. Their first opponent is Karasuno, a team known as the “Fallen Champions” or the “Flightless Crows”. This causes them to get excited, thinking that they would be able to win easily. Ikejiri notes to his teammate that he went to junior high with someone in Karasuno and then wonders how he’s doing now.
Karasuno’s busy practicing for the Interhigh. In a flashback, Ukai explains to the team that they have to get into Nationals to play against Nekoma again. Using this as inspiration, the members put their full efforts into practice.
After practice ends, Hinata and Kageyama spot the upperclassmen looking at a volleyball magazine. Tanaka exclaims that Shiratorizawa’s Ushijima is one of the three nationally notable players. Ukai interrupts and reminds everyone of the opponents they have to watch out for: Wakutani South with its excellent defense and teamwork, Date Tech with its huge blockers and impenetrable defense, Aobajōsai with Oikawa, and the champion school Shiratorizawa with the super ace Ushijima. When Ukai mentions how Karasuno lost to Date Tech last year, the upperclassmen look away and Kageyama wonder if it was that match that caused Asahi to quit volleyball. Ukai ends the meeting by encouraging the players to win so they can’t be called the “Flightless Crows” anymore.
Nishinoya approaches Asahi afterwards and announces that he has no intention of losing and reminds him that they will eventually face Date Tech again. Asahi remembers the match and how his spikes were completely blocked; he's set on getting revenge. Takeda suddenly rushes in with the list of high school matchups for the Interhigh. The players are shocked when they discover that they could face Date Tech in their second match and eventually face Aobajōsai; however, they remain confident.
- Hayato Ikejiri
- Chaya (appearance only, name still unrevealed)
- Haga (appearance only, name still unrevealed)
- Tamagawa (appearance only, name still unrevealed)
- Komaki (appearance only, name still unrevealed)
- Wakatoshi Ushijima (appeared only)
- Takeru Nakashima (appeared only)
- Shunki Kawatabi (appeared only)
- Yūki Shiroishi (appeared only)
- Takanobu Aone (appeared only)
- Kenji Futakuchi (appeared only)
- Kenjirō Shirabu (appeared only)
- Reon Ōhira (appeared only)
- Daichi Sawamura
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka
- Tadashi Yamaguchi
- Keishin Ukai
- Kei Tsukishima
- Asahi Azumane
- Yū Nishinoya
- Kōshi Sugawara
- Kiyoko Shimizu
- Shōyō Hinata
- Ittetsu Takeda
- Tobio Kageyama
- Nobuyuki Kai (flashback only)
- Tetsurō Kuroo (flashback only)
- Shōhei Fukunaga (flashback only)
- Kenma Kozume (flashback only)
- Taketora Yamamoto (flashback only)
- Morisuke Yaku (flashback only)
- Sō Inuoka (flashback only)
- Tōru Oikawa (appeared only)
- Hajime Iwaizumi (appeared only)
- Yūtarō Kindaichi (appeared only)
- Takahiro Hanamaki (appeared only)
- Issei Matsukawa (appeared only)
- Shinji Watari (appeared only)
- Akira Kunimi (appeared only)
Chapter notes Edit
Character revelations Edit
- Daichi picked Karasuno for two reaons: he was inspired after watching its Boys' Volleyball Team play in the Spring High on TV (it was a match that “he’d never forget”), and he lives near Karasuno High.
- Ikejiri and Daichi went to the same junior high, but haven’t seen each other since entering high school.
- Shiratorizawa’s Ushijima is one of the three nationally notable players and is the current number 1 ace in Miyagi Prefecture.
- Ushijima’s goal is to win Nationals.
- Oikawa has the most offensive power of his team.
- Despite appearing to be lazy and sloppy, Ukai is actually good at researching.
- Tokonami High Boys’ Volleyball Club practices in the first gymnasium of its school.
- Tokonami always loses in the first match of its competitions.
- Wakutani South doesn’t have tall players, but utilizes skillful receives to compensate.
- Date Tech is known as the “impregnable fortress” due to its huge blockers.
- Last year, Karasuno lost to Date Tech in the Spring High (2-0).
- Because Date Tech finished in the best 16 last year, it’s not considered a top competitor, but its skills are at a high level.
- Miyagi Prefecture doesn't have district preliminaries during Inter High. Instead, they go straight to the prefectural ones.
- Shiratorizawa is the strongest team in Miyagi Prefecture.
- In the official English manga release this chapter is called "Powerful Opponents."