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Haikyuu!! To the Top |OT| Toss a ball to your Setter [Cour1 & OVA3&4: Jan10 | Cour2: July] (No manga spoilers)

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747


"To the Top" is Season 4 of the anime series ハイキュー( or "haikyuu" - literally translates to "volleyball") based on the eponymous manga by Haruichi Furudate which started in 2012. Reddit has a further breakdown on the meaning of the name and why it's written in katakana instead of hiragana. The last anime episode aired almost 3 years ago (December 10, 2016) so it's been a long hiatus for the fanbase. If you have not seen S1 to S3 please watch those seasons first as nothing will make much sense jumping into S4 directly. The manga and show was also made in such a way that it slowly teaches you about volleyball including the rules, positions, techniques, jargon, strategies, etc. as the show progresses.

I only have a passing interest in volleyball as a sport and anime in general, but this show is really something special. ProZD sums up my experience:
The show mixes hand-drawn animation with CG elements (the volleyball spinning) very well to create dynamic action that is very different from the static volleyball angles typically seen on television.
The show also uses a very memorable soundtrack to warm your soul and tug at your heartstrings. The stories are a more grounded version of typical sports anime so no magic serves or teleportation spikes here, but it is filled with goofy Japanese teenagers trying & crying hard.

The series has been so successful that there has been a 20% increase in Japanese high school volleyball since the manga started, which is doubly impressive considering Japan's shrinking student population.
Volleyball's popularity in Japan is peaking with Japan's surprise 4th place finish in the men's and 5th place in the women's FIVB World Cup 2019. The 2nd cour will be culminating with the Tokyo Olympics (July 24-Aug 9).

The two main characters are two first years: middle blocker Hinata Shoyo a 5'5"/164cm redhead with a 40"/101cm vertical leap (think Mugsey Bogues dunking a basketball), but no formal volleyball training and Kageyama Tobio - a 6'/182cm setter who is a top prospect to become a professional volleyball player but has emotional and communication issues to work out. Both students played each other one fateful day in middle school and ended up together at Karasuno High School, a small school in the Miyagi countryside.
- A brief summary for each Cour and OVA is listed under blurry spoilers - click to reveal

Season 1 = Manga volumes 1 to 8 (chapters 1 to 71)
Cour1: Karasuno team adjusts to having Hinata and Kageyama
Cour2: Karasuno fail to qualify for the Interhigh tournament losing to Aobajohsai in the quarterfinals
Season 2 = Manga volume 9 to the middle of volume 17 (chapters 72 to 149)
OVA1: Nekoma's Liev introduction
OVA2: Hinata and Kageyama failing exams extended story
Cour1: Karasuno trains in Tokyo with top Tokyo teams
Cour2: Karasuno finally defeat Kageyama's arch-rival and senpai Oikawa/Aobajohsai and qualify for the Spring Tournament Miyagi regional finals
Anime Season 3 = Manga volume 17 to volume 21 (chapters 150 to 190).
Karasuno upsets Shiratorizawa to qualify for the Spring Tournament as the Miyagi regional representative. The season ends with Kageyama being announced as a participant in the National Youth volleyball training camp.
OVA 3 & 4: Manga volume 22-23 (chapters 191-206)
The Tokyo regional playoffs
Season 4 = Manga volume ?-? (chapters ?-?)
Cour1: Appears to be the drama surrounding the National Youth Volleyball training camp and the Miyagi Regional freshmen camp
Cour2: TBD

- The previews tease out several people who I have no idea about but I'll update the OP once we learn more about them.
- Links are to official site model sheets with basic stats, school, and position

HINATA SHOYO
The ultimate decoy 1st year Middle Blocker for Karasuno that was not invited to the National Youth training camp


KAGEYAMA TOBIO
The genius 1st year Setter for Karasuno that was invited to the National Youth training camp


TSUKISHIMA KEI
Karasuno's other 1st year Middle Blocker


Coach WASHIJO TANJI
The head coach of Shiratorizawa


TENDO SATORI
AKA Guess Monster and 3rd year Middle Blocker from Shiratorizawa


GOSHIKI TSUTOMU
The young Shiratorizawa ace Wing Spiker looking to replace Ushiwaka, the only 1st year starter on his team


KINDAICHI YUTARO
AKA Radish head, a 1st year Middle Blocker from Aobajohsai, former middle school teammate of Kageyama


KUNIMI AKIRA
The 1st year lazy guy Wing Spiker from Aobajohsai, former middle school teammate of Kageyama


KOGANEGAWA KANJI
The 1st year baby bird giant Setter from Date Technical


HYAKUZAWA YUDAI
The 2.0m (6'7") tall first year Wing Spiker from Kakugawa. He just started learning volleyball and expected things to be easy with his height.


KIYOOMI SAKUSA
??????


MOTOYA KOMORI
??????


HOSHIUMI KORAI
??????


MIYA ATSUMU
??????


Coach HIBARIDA FUKI
Japan's Olympic Men's team coach




Crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/haikyu
Crunchyroll airtime is Fridays: https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2020/01/09-1/two-haikyu-ovas-are-ready-to-serve-on-crunchyroll


Official site: http://www.j-haikyu.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/haikyu_com
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/haikyuu/
Reddit sticky infos: https://old.reddit.com/r/haikyuu/comments/em8cui/season_4_discussion_thread_information_and_season/
Fandom Wiki: http://haikyuu.wikia.com/wiki/Haikyuu!!_Wiki (beware of spoilers)
Trailer 1: To the Top https://youtu.be/gJv9fFJmnCA
Trailer 2: Hinata https://youtu.be/FJ_zbB3tV8Q
Trailer 3: Kageyama https://youtu.be/6QkarVdrgGQ

 
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BrickArts295

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,461
Hype, but I'll wait until the last couple of episodes to binge the rest. The 1 week wait is going to literally kill me (or make me take a dive into the manga) if they pace it the same way they did S2/3.
 

Apollo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,178
Season 3 is one of my favorite anime seasons ever. Please don’t miss out on Haikyuu if you haven’t given it a shot!
 

Yonafunu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
953
Ayyyy it's up, awesome job shira! This should be a good season. For those who don't know, this season has some new, different staff from the last three, including a new director. I can write up a short post about that if wanted.
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
Ayyyy it's up, awesome job shira! This should be a good season. For those who don't know, this season has some new, different staff from the last three, including a new director. I can write up a short post about that if wanted.
Sure go for it - no spoilers if possible - I'll threadmark it
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
The OVAs are not on CR. What do they cover?
Just extensions of existing episodes.
OVA1 is Liev's introduction and learning to synch up with Kenma
OVA2 is an extended look at Hinata and Kageyama studying and failing their school tests
Not super recommended, just more to watch I guess
 

Mortemis

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,829
Yooooooo it's been way too long. I can't believe I actually held out and never read the manga (well, I did, but stopped right before the nationals started, no idea what comes after). I re-watched it over the summer and it's as good as ever.

Season 4 spoilers question: Is the anime not covering the Tokyo regionals if the OVA is? I guess they wanna get straight to nationals.
 
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amon37

Member
Oct 27, 2017
652
I just started watching this with my wife, only season 1 and 2 are English I didnt realize there was such a gap in time between 3 and 4
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
I just started watching this with my wife, only season 1 and 2 are English I didnt realize there was such a gap in time between 3 and 4
The Japanese VAs are superb if you don't mind watching subtitles.
Some of the best in the business.
Unfortunately, the coach VA died unexpectedly RIP. His final lines in Season 3 were epic.
 
Apr 24, 2018
1,408
Usually not a huge fan of sports animes, but I really enjoyed Slam Dunk, Touch, Cross Game, Hajime no Ippo (one of my favorite anime of all time), and the earlier parts of Prince of Tennis. Admittedly, the premise of volleyball didn't appeal to me, but I've heard/read that Haikyuu is very good.
 

SunKing

Member
Oct 25, 2017
509
^
Haikyuu!! is indeed very good. Superb character development, hype moments (one of the fandom's nickname for the series is HYPEkyu!!), consistently good quality animation for a TV series (Production I.G. yo), great voice acting (at least in Japanese - I don't care for the English dub), and just an all around feel-good show. It's so easy to binge watch and repeat watch, too. It's easily my favourite sports series.
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
Usually not a huge fan of sports animes, but I really enjoyed Slam Dunk, Touch, Cross Game, Hajime no Ippo (one of my favorite anime of all time), and the earlier parts of Prince of Tennis. Admittedly, the premise of volleyball didn't appeal to me, but I've heard/read that Haikyuu is very good.
I don't like any sports anime except this one.

The OP and ED's are ok, but the soundtrack really gets you going.


Apparently it's the same guy that does MHA and the first 2 Gundam Build Fighters.

 
A post about the changes on the production side New

Yonafunu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
953
Sure go for it - no spoilers if possible - I'll threadmark it
In case anyone is interested in the production side of things, this season has a couple of different people on the staff compared to the other three seasons. Note: this is not a post meant to cast doubt on the new season, just to explain why things might look and feel a bit different.

Director Susumu Mitsunaka is not returning for this season, and in his place we have Masako Sato. She has worked for Production I.G. and Studio Ghibli as key animator, storyboard artist and episode director. She storyboarded episode 14 and 20 for season 1, storyboarded + directed episodes 8 and 19 for season 2, and did the same on episode 4 for season 3, as well as directing that season's OP. She has also directed episodes of Welcome to the Ballroom (episodes 4, 12, 17 and 23) and Run with the Wind (episode 22). The only work she has done directing an entire series has been Anima Yell (2018), an adaptation of a 4-koma moe slice-of-life manga. She was also assistant director on Miss Hokusai (2015).

The second big change, and one that will probably be a bit more immediately noticeable, is the Chief Animation Director. On previous seasons this position was filled by Takahiro Chiba, who's really fucking good. Replacing him this season is Yuu Kobayashi. There's not much information I could find about his previous work, aside from the fact that he's worked on all previous Haikyuu seasons as prop designer and key animator. He also has credits on FMA: Brotherhood and Fairy Tail (mostly key animation, some AD), none of them as Chief Animation Director though. This change might also be part of the reason why this seasons designs are somewhat less detailed and more stylized. They're not only much closer to the manga's artstyle, the less detailed models should also make them easier to correct and keep on-model now that Chiba isn't here.

All of that said, there's still a ton of veteran Haikyuu-staff in familiar positions. Mariko Ishikawa, assistant director for seasons 2 and 3 returns in the same role here. Series composition is still in the hands of Taku Kishimoto (seasons 1-3). The music is still being done by Yuki Hayashi and Asami Tachibana, and the art direction and colouring are being handeled by the same people as previous seasons.

For something actually well-written and more knowledgeable about this whole thing, check out this writeup on Sakugablog.
 
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TheMrPliskin

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,184
The show already looked great but I think I prefer the changes they've made to the art for this season. Obviously remains to be seen if it holds up in motion but the various trailers look promising.

I also just realised that the last guy under characters in the OP appears to be the super tall guy from season 2 which is surprising to see. One of the last characters I would've expected to see show up again.
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
The show already looked great but I think I prefer the changes they've made to the art for this season. Obviously remains to be seen if it holds up in motion but the various trailers look promising.

I also just realised that the last guy under characters in the OP appears to be the super tall guy from season 2 which is surprising to see. One of the last characters I would've expected to see show up again.
Oh it is him.
They changed his hairline.
 
Apr 24, 2018
1,408
^
Haikyuu!! is indeed very good. Superb character development, hype moments (one of the fandom's nickname for the series is HYPEkyu!!), consistently good quality animation for a TV series (Production I.G. yo), great voice acting (at least in Japanese - I don't care for the English dub), and just an all around feel-good show. It's so easy to binge watch and repeat watch, too. It's easily my favourite sports series.
I don't like any sports anime except this one.

The OP and ED's are ok, but the soundtrack really gets you going.


Apparently it's the same guy that does MHA and the first 2 Gundam Build Fighters.

Nice - thanks to you both. I'll have to try and give the show a shot at some point.
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
This reddit sticky post seems will have all the infos which I will link in the OP

Japan launch infos
https://www.tbs.co.jp/tv/
Soo the show debuts Jan 1011 @ 1:25 AM Tokyo time which translates to EST

because of the way schedules are formatted
If you want to calculate the exact time in your zone just input here
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html?iso=20200110T162500&p1=248&p2=250

Crunchroll launch infos
 
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Yonafunu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
953
Just a heads up for anime-only watchers, there are a ton of screenshots from the new OVA floating around on Twitter, as people just started getting their early DVD/Bluray copies from Jump Festa. So be careful if you want to stay spoiler-free.
 

Christian

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,578
I don’t see it mentioned here, why in God’s name was there a three-year layover between seasons three and four?
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747
I don’t see it mentioned here, why in God’s name was there a three-year layover between seasons three and four?
iirc it was supposed to air in 2018 then 2019
So, the OVAs 3 & 4 are things that happened before Season 4?
I don't read the manga, but Reddit says the OVA's pick up where the manga ends after Season 3 of the anime ends.

Anime Season 3 = Manga volume 17-21 (chapters 150 to 190).
OVA 3 & 4: Manga volume 22-23 (chapters 191-206)

There could be time skips or events happening at the same time. I don't know how the manga works chronologically, but sequentially it looks to be yes.
 

Yonafunu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
953
The OVAs cover manga material that takes place between the end of the Shiratorizawa match and the start of season 4. So chronologically it takes place before season 4.

iirc it was supposed to air in 2018 then 2019
This is actually not the case, that was just people misreading the initial announcement.

I don't think we really know why there's been such a gap. Most of us (here, at least) thought it was because the director was working on other projects. But it turns out there's a new director for this season anyway, so maybe they were waiting for the right person and staff to free up. Maybe they were waiting for the manga sales to drop and get that sweet anime-bump. Who knows, really.
 

Porygon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
674
I don't read the manga, but Reddit says the OVA's pick up where the manga ends after Season 3 of the anime ends.

Anime Season 3 = Manga volume 17-21 (chapters 150 to 190).
OVA 3 & 4: Manga volume 22-23 (chapters 191-206)

There could be time skips or events happening at the same time. I don't know how the manga works chronologically, but sequentially it looks to be yes.
The OVAs cover manga material that takes place between the end of the Shiratorizawa match and the start of season 4. So chronologically it takes place before season 4.
Thanks!
 
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shira

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,747

AYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Is that a legit twitter?
I know they have a bunch of them.

Well the link is real.
Hype

Along with the premiere of Haikyu!!'s new season, Crunchyroll is excited to announce two Haikyu!! OVAs that will start streaming tomorrow, 1/10/2019 at 12pm PST! The two episode Haikyu!! OVAs LAND VS. AIR and The "Path" of the Ball will be made available to Crunchyroll members in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Turkey, and Latin America.
 

T-Rex.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,643
I'm kinda nervous cos I remember reading elsewhere that this season has had a troubled production. Hopefully it delivers.