Hype train! This anime gave me a variety of feelings and almost made me cry near the end. It did a very good job of hyping up the final battle with Aoba Johsei and making sure that it delivered on that hype, showing a new character, new techniques and more character development. I think that, in sports anime, one of the most important things is building up the significance of the opponent, not only relative to the main team but also on their own. It allows for there to be an observable connection between the two teams as well as a connection between the teams and the audience. This season does an especially good job of doing so, building up every character that they can and doing it pretty well. However, some developments were only limited to one or two episodes and as such it became kind of cramped trying to fit the match, backstory and hype all in a very small amount of time. This is only really a problem during the smaller matches that built up to the powerhouse Aoba Johsei wherein the show would just speed through and you wouldn't even notice that another match was happening. But I understand the rush, and I think it was well used considering how much hype the final match had behind it.
The art and music were spectacular, with the animators showing their flair and giving some shots a crazy amount of impact - combined with the music made the delivery of the final match so much more rewarding. That's not even mentioning the unique character designs and popping colours that were on display throughout the series, making it a joy to watch.
Although the whole scheme of things was predictable in that it closely followed normal sports anime arcs - like in Kuroko no Basuke - I was fine with it because of how well it was executed. Almost every character has purpose in the plot, with the series building each one up and even giving most of them time to shine under the spotlight both in the moment and for the backstory. It really helped me to believe in these characters and have the desire for them to win. The training arc helped that development immensely.
Overall, this anime surpasses that of the first season, because of the fact that we get to see them smash the competition after so much build up from the training and multiple smaller matches before the bigger one. And even with its minor flaws I would still rate it an 8 - though a stronger 8 than season one (close to a 9).

87 /100
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