The Iron Wall (Japanese: 鉄壁 Teppeki) is the seventeenth episode of the Haikyū!! series, written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate and published in the manga magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump. The episode premiered on July 27, 2014.
Date Tech and Karasuno battle it out in the second round, with neither side leading for long. While Date Tech easily blocks Karasuno's attackers, Karasuno defense holds strong thanks to Daichi and Nishinoya. Kageyama begins to enact the plan Ukai came up with: force Hinata to stand out to take the attention off the other attackers. The two first years use their usual quick strike and throw Date Tech off. When Aone starts keeping up with it, Kageyama switches his focus to Asahi, giving the ace a toss that enables him to push past Date Tech's defense and finally, get revenge for their previous match. Karasuno has used up its secret weapons now. From this point on, they can only fight to win the match.
Three months ago, Karasuno was destroyed by Date Tech in a match. Asahi remembers how he used to see the other side of the court clearly until the Iron Wall blocked his view. As he faces it, he wonders what the other side looks like.
In the present, Nishinoya announces he’s going to be there to watch everyone’s backs, boosting everyone’s morale. The players line up to bow and the match begins. On Date Tech’s side, Oiwake tells the players that Karasuno’s quicks are amazing, but they have nothing to worry about. He tells them to shut Hinata down like they did to Asahi before. On Karasuno’s side, Ukai tells the players to focus on their defense and break through the opponents’.
As the match begins, Karasuno lines up in its best receiving formation. Right away, Kageyama sends the ball to Hinata, but Aone reacts quicker than they’d expected and almost blocks Hinata. They realize that Aone uses read blocks, a technique Karasuno hasn’t encountered before, and is therefore not easy to trick with decoys. However, Karasuno still has another weapon up its sleeve: Hinata and Kageyama’s quick strike.
Kageyama serves, but ends up sending it to the libero. It gets sent back to Karasuno’s side, but Nishinoya saves it and sends it to Asahi, who tries out a new spiking position. Aone and Futakuchi block him, but Asahi isn’t discouraged. Aone continues blocking Karasuno’s next few moves, but Karasuno’s defense holds strong and it stays two points ahead.
At this point, Kageyama signals to Hinata that they’re going to do their usual quick strike. Hinata excitedly prepares himself while Oiwake watches in confusion. He assumes that the quick strike Hinata and Kageyama used before was their usual one and is confused as to why the two aren’t distressed that their new weapon was blocked.
In a flashback, Ukai goes over the match with Nekoma and asks the players why they think the quick strike got stopped. Kageyama reasons that Inuoka simply got used to Hinata’s movements. Ukai agrees and adds that it was also because Nekoma has a smart analyzer on the team–Kenma. The quicks are strong, but not invincible. What Kageyama has to think about is how to use them.
In the present, Kageyama finally sends the usual quick strike to Hinata. No one in Date Tech is able to react and Karasuno scores. Oiwake and the other Date Tech coach are surprised and wonder if the toss was by design or only succeeded because of luck.
Hinata’s soon switched out and Karasuno steadily keeps up with Date Tech. The two teams play steadily, with neither side giving in, but Date Tech soon notices that Kageyama doesn't use that quick strike with other players and assume that it was either a fluke or something only Hinata can hit. Hinata’s then switched back in and by now, everyone’s attention is on him and Kageyama. Oiwake and the other coach remember Kageyama from Kitagawa Daiichi and how none of his former teammates could hit his toss. However, they're confused as to how Hinata’s able to keep up effortlessly.
Karasuno continues shocking with the quick strikes, with one toss from the back of the court. Oiwake realizes that it’s not a fluke and finally calls a timeout. They discuss the quick and agree unanimously to stop Hinata. The spectators all focus on Hinata, thinking that if Date Tech can stop him, it’ll win the match since the other players can’t get past the blockers. However, this is all part of Karasuno’s plan; the more Hinata shines, the less the blockers focus on the other attackers.
Date Tech begins to get discouraged, but Moniwa boosts the members’ morale with a small speech. The next move, Aone finally blocks Hinata’s quick by jumping twice. This one block may not seem like a big deal but if it continues, it could break Karasuno’s momentum.
Karasuno refuses to give in and prepares its next move. Hinata, Daichi, and Tanaka rush forward while Kageyama starts to toss. Date Tech’s confused by the three attackers moving all at once and doesn’t know who to block. However, due to the previous events, Aone assumes it’s Hinata and runs in front of him. Hinata falters and drops as Asahi appears behind him. The ace jumps down the path Kageyama created for him and spikes, pushing past Date Tech’s defense and finally seeing the other side of the court.
As Asahi celebrates with the other members, Hinata looks down at his hand and remarks that it wasn’t him who scored or even spiked. However, he still feels incredible. Kageyama replies that being the best decoy ever is the same as being the ace. Finally understanding that, Hinata smiles and accepts himself as the “strongest decoy”.
- Shōyō Hinata
- Tobio Kageyama
- Daichi Sawamura
- Kōshi Sugawara
- Asahi Azumane
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka
- Yū Nishinoya
- Kei Tsukishima
- Tadashi Yamaguchi
- Chikara Ennoshita
- Kazuhito Narita
- Ittetsu Takeda
- Keishin Ukai
- Kiyoko Shimizu
- Takanobu Aone
- Yasushi Kamasaki
- Kaname Moniwa
- Takehito Sasaya
- Kenji Futakuchi
- Yutaka Obara
- Kōsuke Sakunami
- Takurō Oiwake
- Tōru Oikawa
- Hajime Iwaizumi
- Yūtarō Kindaichi
- Akira Kunimi
- Nobuteru Irihata
- Sadayuki Mizoguchi
- Takahiro Hanamaki
- Issei Matsukawa
- Shigeru Yahaba
- Makoto Shimada
- Yūsuke Takinoue
- Yui Michimiya
- Karasuno High Girl's Volleyball Club
- Yukitaka Izumi (flashback only)
- Kenma Kozume (flashback only)
- Tetsurō Kuroo (flashback only)
- Sō Inuoka (flashback only)
- Taketora Yamamoto (flashback only)
- Aone uses read blocks, where he jumps as soon as he sees the block. This technique isn’t commonly used as most players tend to focus on commit blocks.
- Moniwa admits to thinking of Futakuchi as a “damned cocky underclassmen”.
Differences Between Anime and MangaEdit
- Manga: As Date Tech begins focusing solely on Hinata, Asahi thinks back to the match against Date Tech a few months ago and Hinata’s words about how he’s able to see the other side of the court. Anime: This flashback happens before the match begins.
- Manga: Before the match with Date Tech begins, Ukai and Sugawara explain Date Tech’s playing habits. Anime: Sugawara lines up with everyone else and only Ukai explain.
- In the anime, the Karasuno Girls’ Team comment on Hinata and Kageyama’s quick strike with admiration and curiosity. Yui thinks back to something Daichi told her about the first years a while ago. The girls were only given snippets in the manga.