You’re the best partner that I can boast. You’re a really amazing setter. Even if the team changes, that will not change. But when we fight, I will defeat you.”– Iwaizumi Hajime
art by @miu_akatsuki on instagram
There are Iwaizumi’s words to Oikawa after they leave the gym in the second Seijoh movie.
They had just lost to Karasuno and spent hours playing against each other.
They ate, they played, they cried. And in the end these were the words that hung in the air after that fateful game for Seijoh.
There’s multiple things to unpack in this quote so I will split it into parts.
“You’re the best partner I can boast”, is not just a vain compliment coming from anyone, but they’re very sincere words coming from Hajime.
He’s known Oikawa since his childhood and they have been playing since then, together on the same court.
Iwaizumi and Oikawa are spiker and setter, in combination to their friendship outside of the court, in games they’re partners that need each other to score a point.
Iwaizumi is not someone who boasts with his abilities or the ability of someone else.
He is a very caring person to his team and loves to cheer his peers on. Still, to Oikawa he says that he can boast about him.
Words can be very powerful, and sometimes they can even hurt without meaning to.
Oikawa is used to blatant comments about his abilities “he’s so great, he’s so good”, but even if it isn’t meant in a bad way, they disregard all of the hard work the setter had to put in for him to get those abilities.
“You’re a really amazing setter”, anyone could say that.
In fact I am pretty sure that Oikawa has gotten comments like that but still, do they really get to him when he continually loses against Ushiwaka?
Iwaizumi has been there from the start. He was at his side for years and wants to beat Ushiwaka as well. He knows what it’s like to keep going at it to no avail.
And it’s especially because Iwaizumi was by Oikawa’s side for so long and because he had to drag him out of situations where Oikawa lost himself, that the bond they shared through those experiences made these words get through to Oikawa.
Iwaizumi knows when Oikawa panics, and he is the only one who can get him back to face the present. Be it in middle school or even when the setter starts to ramble on and on about the future events. Iwaizumi brings him back every time to remind him he’s not alone.
Therefore his words have such profound meaning even though they are pretty basic.
I can boast with you, I really believe you’re good, no I know you’re amazing.
Oikawa starts a game with his signature “I believe in you”, but he doesn’t add himself to that equation. Iwaizumi now tells him that he is amazing. Bluntly and directly he tells him that regardless of the team he is in and will be, he always will be amazing at what he does.
And again by realising the bond they have built, those words coming from Iwaizumi hit deep.
He continues with, “Even if the team changes, that will not change. But when we fight, I will defeat you”.
What won’t change?
Hajime knows how Oikawa works. He nags him and gets serious when he sees Oikawa overworking himself.
He always reels his partner back in when he loses himself until he locks eyes on the enemy in front of him.
He knows Oikawa won’t change, his abilities will only get better and better and he will continue being an amazing setter.
Then he changes his sentence with a last dare. I will defeat you.
It sounds almost mean after those compliments right?
But what does that last part really mean?
It’s a promise.
It’s Iwaizumi promising him, wherever we meet each other again and even if our paths diverge. The experience of being at your side and trying to go against the “geniuses” will not ever be forgotten. And if we see each other again, I will give everything I have to beat you.
He doesn’t just say that for fun or as a vain comment.
He says these words because he has the highest respect for him as a player and setter.