That's it.. I finished 3rd season in just a few days. Haikyuu!! Season 3 only consists of 10 episodes and features solely on the match between Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa. It is so long because this final is the only time that the winning team has to win 3 sets which open up the possibility of playing a 5-set game.
It is not fair to be biased just because I have watched other sports anime. However there is something about sports show which is addictive, even when the same tropes are being repeated all over again: teams with stark reliance on individuals ability vs teamwork principle, powerhouse vs underdogs, injuries, the emotion at the brink of loss, how the tide turns, etc. Anyway, the 3rd season does not wander too far off from the first 2 seasons in terms of what has been done well and what has been done badly. And similarly, there are more bad than the good things.
Pacing is terrible. I know there is no way that every points can be depicted and usually there are only so many exciting and emotional moments that can be used. However, to have 3rd set is over at a glance while the other sets drag longer is like showing that they really cannot bother at all to sew everything smoothly togther.
For a 5-set game, I think it is a wasted chance that they don't play the benchwarmers that much. On the bright side, Tsukishima becomes a focus in this season which is good and Sugawara gets to play a bit more. However, Ennoshita is back to a benchwarmer and Kinoshita and Narita (the other 2 second year guys) completely has zero match time AGAIN. Well nothing surprising since right from the start, Haikyuu!! is always crazy only about Kageyama and Hinata. Although it is still irritating that as usual, Hinata always gets the final point.
Instead of the usual brute force and luck in scoring points, it is quite refreshing to see more teamwork and team strategies from Karasuno. Facing Ushijima who is a great attacker, there is a bit more focus on receiving, blocking, and defense. Teamwork and team strategies come into play since none of Karasuno players can match Ushijima on one-on-one (hmm.. is there even a one-on-one in volley?). This is nicely built up even until the final moment of the match.
I am actually quite surprised that there is so much hate surrounding Haikyuu!! and the favourite word used is "overhyped". I don't really feel that since I don't really see a lot of Haikyuu!! figures or artbooks. Lol. Yes, what a barometer to use to judge a series popularity. Haikyuu!! is not the best sports anime out there but I think it is still not too bad. After all, tt still has those tension and emotion filled moments which make sports anime fun to watch.