The Haikyuu Season 4 release date is hotly anticipated by both fans of the anime and the Haikyuu manga. After all, doesn’t everyone want to watch volleyball in action, even if the work of manga artist Haruichi Furudate is very good? For those who can’t wait anymore, the manga provides plenty of spoilers for the fourth season of Haikyuu. Better yet, a Haikyuu movie is about to come out, so there’s plenty of reasons to believe that the fourth season of the anime could enter production in 2018.
Haikyuu Manga Long Enough For Season 4?
Sports anime and manga have been the latest trend to sweep the world. Covering the world of professional ice skating with Yuri on Ice was extremely successful in recent history. There are also many other sports animes that have found success in the past, including The Prince of Tennis and the football-focused Eyeshield 21.
The Haikyuu anime stands out from the crowd with its 9.02 rating from MyAnimeList, which is higher than even Yuri on Ice. The volleyball anime tells the story of Shoyo Hinata, a high school freshman who desires to dominate the courts despite being pint-sized. Unfortunately, these early dreams were crushed by the egotistical Tobio Kageyama, the so-called King of the Court. Hinata vowed to surpass Kageyama, but in the end, the two end up being teammates and then an unlikely duo.
The first season was 25 episodes long and covered 71 chapters of the manga, which was the ending of Haikyuu Volume 8. Likewise, the second season had 25 episodes and ended at Chapter 149, which was in the middle of Haikyuu Volume 17. Unfortunately, the anime was catching up with the manga, so for the third season, anime studio Production IG slowed things down and released only 10 episodes. The third season of Haikyuu ended with Chapter 190, which was the ending of Haikyuu Volume 21, but it also pulled some source material from Chapter 207 (the scene where Hinata and Kageyama compete over who can jump higher).
When the third season ended in December of 2016, there simply was not enough source material for making Haikyuu Season 4. Previously, Production IG had released a new season every year, but the anime needed to take a break or it risked bypassing the manga.
The good news is that mangaka Haruichi has steadily been releasing new chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump. Manga readers are looking forward to Haikyuu Chapter 268, which means that Production IG now has enough manga source material for creating 25 episodes of Haikyuu Season 4.
Haikyuu Season 4 Release Date
As of this publishing, anime production company Production IG has not announced anything official about the Haikyuu Season 4 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel’s premiere is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Haikyuu Season 4 air date may occur.
So far, the release schedule from Production IG has not mentioned the volleyball anime. In 2017, the anime studio released Magical Circle Guru-Guru, Welcome to the Ballroom, and the anime movie Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game. For 2018, the only anime officially confirmed is B: The Beginning, a 12-episode anime original that will be a Netflix exclusive.
According to Anime News Network, Haikyuu was in the top five for the top-selling media franchises in Japan in 2016. When all forms of merchandise are included, Haikyuu sold around 4.5 billion yen, or about $41.4 million USD. So, from a profit-making perspective, there are zero reasons why Haikyuu Season 4 would be canceled.
The only thing holding the money train back was the manga. The current story arc about the Tokyo Nationals is still ongoing, so it’s possible Production IG is waiting to see where the manga creator plans on taking the Haikyuu story before beginning the project. Even though there’s enough source material for 25 episodes, it’s also possible Production IG will find a good stopping point with only 10 to 13 episodes. That would mean the Tokyo Nationals story arc might be finished up with Haikyuu Season 5 or beyond.
In the past, the anime seasons have started airing in both the spring and fall, so predicting when the Haikyuu Season 4 release date could be is difficult, even if it happens in 2018 or 2019. However, Crunchyroll News says four compilation films were recently announced. Haikyuu Movie 3: Talent and Sense releases on September 15, 2017. The fourth film, Haikyuu Movie 4: Battle of Concepts, encompasses the last 10 episodes of the anime and is set to release on September 29, 2017.
Haikyuu Season 4 Spoilers
The story so far covered how Karasuno melded as a team. Shiratorizawa High presented quite the challenge since their team captain, Wakatoshi Ushijima, was one of Japan’s top three aces in volleyball and the No. 1 ace in the Miyagi prefecture. Hinata still managed to spike the ball for the last points, but it took the whole team working together to beat such a tough opponent.
With that win behind them, Karasuno has set their sights on the Tokyo Nationals. At the end of the third season, Kageyama is invited to the National Youth Intensive Training Camp for volleyball. The anime did not show whether Kageyama accepted the invitation, but in the manga he does and Hinata is disappointed since he didn’t receive a similar invitation. What’s more, Kei Tsukishima (aka “Four Eyes”) receives an invitation to a training camp for first years, disappointing Hinata even more.
Hinata ends up sneaking into the first-years’ training camp, and the person doing the roll call realizes the young man was not on the list. The coaches chew him out for barging in uninvited, but Shiratorizawa’s coach allows Hinata to stay as the ball boy. While Hinata can’t join the practice matches, he’s allowed to observe, and so he struggles to find ways to improve himself. He tries to find ways to be a better ball boy, and he also encourages a player who is tall but lacks skill since he started playing volleyball late in his youth.
Meanwhile, Kageyama meets Kiyoomi Sakusa, one of the top three spikers in Japan. The national training camp in Tokyo allows Kageyama to play with other high-level players. He also notices Kourai Hoshiumi of Kamomedai High School, who is short like Hitama but manages to block Kageyama, surprising the latter. Hoshiumi ends up disliking Kageyama because he’s not impressed by the shorter boy’s skills, but Kageyama learns a technique for jumping higher and passes that skill on to Hinata when they’re reunited after training is over.
The anime has shown how Hinata is dreaming of the future matches between the high schools competing in the Spring High Tournament. The ending of the third season actually gave a brief peek at two school teams as a teaser for Haikyuu Season 4. Hinata hopes the Nekoma Cats will beat the Fukurodani Owls for a spot in the nationals because they have a defensive libero named Morisuke Yaku, who is relatively short just like Hinata.
Fukurodani takes an early lead, but then their team captain, Kotaro Bokuto, suddenly claims he can’t remember how to perform a cross spike. He just can’t seem to break his habit of hitting straights.
Without giving away too many spoilers, one of the two teams ends up winning with a score of two to zero. Nekoma High still has one more match to determine whether they will be host representatives at nationals, and this time they’ll be facing the Nohebi Snakes. This team tries to cause their opponents to self-destruct by riling them up with insults. The Nohebi captain, Suguru Daisho, even blocks the sight of the referee, causing a play by Nekoma to be called as an out rather than a point.
Regardless, Nekoma manages to catch up, first tying the game 22 to 22, and then pulling ahead. The second set goes similarly, with the Nekoma ace showing off his skills on the court. With the score tied up again, a spike against a blocker’s hands ricochets out of bounds and ends the match!
In the end, Hinata receives a text message from Kozume Kenma that says, “We’re headed to Nationals.” Itachiyama Academy becomes the first representatives, Fukurodani is the second representatives, and Nekoma is the host city representatives.
As of this publishing, the Tokyo Nationals story arc is over 62 chapters long. Much of the story consists of the training undertaken by Hinata and Kageyama, including a difficult practice match against another team named Date Tech. Chapter 206 is the end of the Spring High Tournament and the beginning of the story arc about the training camps. Only 16 chapters of the manga are not enough for the fourth season of Haikyuu, but it takes another 24 chapters before the team even arrives in Tokyo!
Based on the pacing of both the anime and the manga, it seems Haikyuu Season 4 will find an ending during the Tokyo Nationals tournament or at its conclusion. Let’s just hope fans don’t have to wait until 2019 for the Haikyuu Season 4 release date!
[Featured Image by Production IG/Haikyuu Anime TV Still]