For the finale of Haikyuu!!’s fourth season, Sachiko Fukuda presents us with some action-packed cuts. This scene, in particular, shows how her style has evolved throughout the series, inspired by Takashi Mukouda.
The dynamic run at the start is breathtaking: the tempo of the animation suddenly accelerates the rhythm of the match. The immersion is accentuated by the camera angle, which focuses on the character’s legs and ending on a closeup of the deformed, stretched foot, which allows for an impactful transition to the next cut.
The wind effects, coupled with smears, enhance the strength put into the initiation of the jump.
The rhythm of the scene abruptly slows down as Hinata is in the air, leaving us to admire Hinata, the animation of his clothes and hair highlight his pose and prepare for the highlight of the scene: the hit of Karasuno’s 10.
The sequence is very reminiscent of the following scene by Takashi Mukouda.
Notice how, from 9 seconds onward, we have a similar closeup forerunning the jump, followed by the use of special effects to enhance the jump’s impact. The use of smears, as well as the model’s deformation through stretching, supply the speed, put into the action.
I love how the similarity of the two scenes serves narrative purposes. By successfully achieving the same jump as Hoshiumi shows his growth as a character and how close he is to become a Little Giant, like his Senpai. At the same time, it shows Sachiko Fukuda’s development as an animator, who is herself catching up to her senior.
After Hinata’s anticlimatic failure, the subtle smears when he lands are a great detail emphasizing the strength put in the jump.
The heavy use of speed lines in the last cut, as well as the frenetic movement, accentuate the comedic aspect of the attack’s failure ending the sequence with as much intensity as it started.