“Haikyuu!!” is an anime that follows the life of Shoyo Hinata as he goes through high school trying to be one of the best players on his school’s volleyball team. Throughout the show, Hinata encounters a variety of struggles, from being made fun of for his short height to not getting along with new teammates to facing tough schools in tournaments. While the show continues to throw hurdles at Hinata, he continuously manages to jump over each and every one that comes his way.
The anime “Haikyuu!!” is based on the manga series written by Haruichi Furudate, which debuted in 2012. However, the manga was not released in English until it was published in Viz Media’s Shonen Jump in 2016. The manga has a total of 45 volumes and is still being released as fans continue following Hinata’s story.
“Haikyuu!!” aired its first episode in the spring of 2014 through Sentai Filmworks (unlike the manga, which is licensed through Viz Media). Sentai Filmworks is an American anime licensing company based in Houston and founded in 2008. It is also widely known for other popular animes such as “Akame ga Kill!,” “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” and “Beyond the Boundary.”
The anime’s story starts out with Hinata admiring a volleyball star with the nickname “The Small Giant,” a nickname the star earned due to his short height — which is precisely why he is such a huge inspiration for Hinata. Although Hinata has been told time and time again to forget about his dreams of playing volleyball because he’s too small, he continues to practice anyway and plays whenever he can. Now entering high school and joining his school’s volleyball club, Hinata is faced with three other freshmen who he doesn’t get along with despite their common love for the sport. At first, Tobio Kageyama, the “King of the Court,” fights with Hinata. Even though the two immediately clash, they quickly learn that together they are an unstoppable team that only needs to work together to continue improving so that they can advance through tournaments and make it to nationals.
Since 2014, “Haikyuu!!” has aired four complete seasons, with Season 4 ending in 2020. Most of the time, animes will see a new season every year, if possible. “Haikyuu!!,” however, has had a four-year break between seasons once before, so seeing a long break for this anime isn’t unusual. Recently, an announcement was made that “Haikyuu!!” would see a Season 5 soon, reinvigorating fans who were starting to give up hope of ever seeing new seasons of the anime.
Season 2 of “Haikyuu!!” aired in 2015 with a total of 25 episodes. In the first half of the season, fans follow Hinata’s team (the Karasuno High team) after they’ve been defeated at a tournament and are now determined to improve themselves at a training camp with rival schools Nekoma High, Fukurodani Academy, Shinzen High and Ubugawa High. As each member feels the weight of not being able to move forward while other players continue to grow, each episode gives new light to the backstories of each character and how they set out to better themselves.
As the season moves forward, the team puts what they’ve learned at their training camp to use at the qualifiers, a tournament in which teams participate to qualify for nationals. In the season’s second-to-last episode, Karasuno wins their third match against Aoba Johsai High, a tough opponent that the team had not yet been able to beat. This tournament also marks the first time Kageyama beat his rival, Aoba Johsai’s team captain, Oikawa.
Season 3 of “Haikyuu!!” aired soon after Season 2 ended in 2016. The season picks up right where Season 2 had ended: with the final match of the qualifiers. The season is short as it only contains 10 episodes, all of which consist of the match between Karasuno and Shiratorizawa Academy. In the end, Karasano wins with a match point made by Hinata, with a nail-biting final score of 21-19.
While “Haikyuu!!” continuously pushed out season after season in its first three years along with three movies and several OVAs, Season 4 didn’t air until 2014. The season was split into two segments, the first airing in the first half of the year with a five-month break in between and the second half airing in the last months of the year.
Season 4 of “Haikyuu!!” once again starts with more training for the team members of Karasuno as they get ready for the spring tournament, otherwise known as nationals. However, Hinata is discouraged because, unlike other key members of his team, he had not been invited to any training camps like his teammates Kageyama and Tsukishima. This, however, does not stop Hinata from tagging along with Tsukishima, getting him scolded by his own coaches while another coach allows him to stay, but only as a ball boy and not a player.
Once again, this doesn’t stop Hinata as he continues to watch other players and their movements to continue improving and practicing. As the camps’ end, Karasuno continues to have practice matches, where the team puts their newfound skills to use and also figures out better ways to work as a team along the way. By the last few episodes, Karasuno makes it to nationals and plays in their first match, which they end up winning even after some missteps. At the end of the first arc, Karasuno is set to face Inarizaki High, the second-place team of the inter-high tournaments and the favorites to win nationals.
Like Season 3, the second half of Season 4 focuses its episodes on the match between Karasuno and Inarizaki but by the last episode, Karasuno wins and advances to their third match in the spring tournament.
Although “Haikyuu!!” Season 5 has not yet received an official announcement, rumors circling social media state that the anime would see its newest season soon. Season 5 was originally meant to air in 2021 but since COVID-19 pushed back Season 4, delays are still anticipated with the airing of Season 5. As the Karasuno team continues to push forward and improve while they play their way through nationals, viewers hope to see Karasuno play and win against teams they’ve had trouble beating earlier in the anime.
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