Updated December 22, 2018: Added Haikyuu Season 4 announcement, video trailer, and key visual. Rewrote some sections based on the latest news.
Updated December 21, 2018: Added Jump Festa 2019 visual.
Haikyuu Season 4 has officially been confirmed to be in production based upon an announcement at Jump Festa 2019. The new anime is highly anticipated by Haikyuu manga fans now that Shoyo Hinata’s story has reached a good stopping point for the anime adaptation by Production I.G.
Manga readers love to watch Haikyuu creator Haruichi Furudate’s art be put into action. Since the fourth Haikyuu movie is already out and US theaters will show it in the fall of 2018, it’s hoped that the fourth season will air in late 2019. But why hasn’t the fourth season been released already? No one except Production I.G. knows for certain, but it is possible director Susumu Mitsunaka might have been the missing critical factor in beginning the anime production.
From purely a financial perspective, the Haikyuu anime series has always sold plenty of Blu-Ray copies in Japan, never mind the rest of the world, to justify producing Haikyuu season 4. In 2016, Haikyuu was in the top five for the top-selling media franchises in Japan, generating about $41.4 million in the first year.
The third season ended on a solid note with a 9.0 rating from MyAnimeList. In 2018, Haikyuu manga sales in Japan put the series in the top 5 on the Oricon charts, with the volleyball anime beating even the mighty My Hero Academia. So if the numbers are good, there must also be a good reason for the delay.
Production I.G. used Jump Festa 2019 for announcing the fourth season. Already hyping is building up since a key visual and a video trailer was released for the event.
There is a bit of confusion regarding the announcement. The new Haikyuu anime is being advertised as a “new anime” instead of being directly listed as Haikyuu Season 4. It’s possible Production I.G. has not finalized the title but they are using the naming convention of Haikyuu Season 3, which was billed as Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs. Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou. If that’s the case, then Haikyuu Season 4 will likely have a similar naming convention.
A tweet from the official Haikyu Twitter account claims they “decided to produce a new series” and they will “continue to work hard without losing the original animation.”
However, another tweet says the new Haikyuu anime will be a “new fight that starts for the National Championship” which would only make sense if the new anime is a direct sequel or continuation since the next major Haikyuu manga story arc is the Tokyo Nationals story arc.
On top of that, the kickoff event was announced but the exact Haikyuu Season 4 premiere date was not listed. The kickoff event is being planned for September 22, 2019.
This article provides everything that is known about Haikyuu Season 4 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Haikyuu Manga Compared To The Anime
Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump since 2012, the Haikyuu manga series (which is also spelled as “Haikyu”) is over 300 chapters long and has been published in the tankobon hardcover format in 35 volumes as of the late fall of 2018. The official English translation of Haikyuu is up to Volume 29 as of November 6, 2018. Volumes 30 will release on January 1, 2019, while Volume 31 is scheduled for March 5, 2019.
The manga tells the story of Shoyo Hinata, a Japanese high school freshman who desires to dominate the volleyball court despite being significantly shorter than the average player. Hinata once competed with the egotistical Tobio Kageyama only for the two players to become teammates. Now, they find themselves on divergent paths on the road to the Tokyo Nationals.
Many popular anime series will often be delayed by years when the anime episodes catch up with the source material and the Haikyuu anime is no exception. Season 1 was a two-cour anime with 25 episodes and it adapted up through Chapter 71 of the manga, which was the ending of Haikyuu Volume 8. Season 2 was the same number of episodes and adapted slightly more chapters, ending with Chapter 149. But the third season ended in December 2016 with only 10 episodes because the anime was catching up to the manga.
All in all, the Haikyuu anime adapted all the way up through Chapter 190, the ending of Haikyuu Volume 21 (although the scene where Hinata and Kageyama compete over who can jump higher was pulled out of order from Chapter 207 of Volume 24). The fourth Haikyuu movie released in September 2017 was simply a recap movie that covered Karasuno High versus Shiratorizawa High.
It was announced in July 2018 that Haikyuu The Movie: Battle Of Concepts would be shown in US theaters starting on September 19, 2018. Screenings were available via Crunchyroll Move Night.
haruichi drawing hinata is so amazing to watch pic.twitter.com/603Jptbrs3
— 𝗃𝖾𝗇𝗇𝗂𝖾 ♡ 𝖿𝖾𝗅𝗂𝗑 (@cypherz5) October 2, 2017
Haikyuu Season 4: Number Of Episodes Likely To Be 25 Again?
The manga has already reached the 300 chapter mark as of the summer of 2018, which means that there over 100 chapters available for creating the fourth season. Considering that the chapter to episode ratio has been roughly around 3 to 1 for most of the series, that means Haikyuu Season 4 could easily be two cours with 25 episodes.
It could even be argued that by the time the Haikyuu Season 4 premiere date happens that there will be enough weekly chapters for the fourth season to be three or four cours with 52 episodes. Assuming that idea does not happen, the good news is that Production I.G should have ample source material for jumping straight into Haikyuu Season 5.
The hard part is finding a good stopping point. Many fans consider Chapter 292 to be the best stopping point since that chapter sets the stage for the upcoming Nekoma vs Karasuno match, but that means adapting roughly 102 chapters.
While reaching such a goal means the pacing would be a brisk 4-to-1 chapter-to-episode ratio, that would not be unprecedented since the third season was a 5-to-1 ratio. Let’s just hope Production I.G is able to find a good balance that pleases both manga and anime fans.
Haikyuu English Dub Released By Sentai Filmworks
The high-flying volleyball action finally got a Haikyuu dub starting in November 2017. The full cast list was revealed on the official website along with a trailer showing off the voices for the Haikyuu English dub.
The English dub is currently available to purchase from Sentai Filmworks on both Blu-Ray and DVD. The English Haikyuu Season 2 was released in 2018 and although an English Haikyuu Season 3 has not yet been announced it seems likely the English dub will continue to be released for later seasons.
Haikyuu Season 4 Release Date: Premiere Likely In Fall 2019?
As of the last update, Production I.G or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Haikyuu Season 4 release date. The production of a new anime has been announced at Jump Festa 2019.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Haikyuu Season 4 premiere date will occur in the future.
All that is known for certain is that an Haikyuu anime kickoff event is being planned for September 22, 2019. Therefore, it’s very likely, but not yet confirmed, that the Haikyuu Season 4 release date will be in October during the Fall 2019 anime season.
The announcement has been a long time coming. Anime fans were hoping for a major announcement when Haikyuu Chapter 300 was released by Shonen Jump in May 2018. When that did not happen, fans predicted that the end of the Inarizaki match or maybe even the Nekoma match in the manga would precipitate an official announcement. After all, Metropolitan Nekoma High is Karasuno High’s rival and thus a major story point in the Tokyo Nationals story arc. So why the large delay if the manga provided enough source material?
One educated guess is that production could not start until 2019 at the earliest because of staff availability. The reason is that Susumu Mitsunaka, who directed the first three seasons of Haikyuu, was committed to directing the newly released Professor Layton anime for the foreseeable future. The Professor Layton spinoff is going to be 50 episodes and started broadcasting in April 2018, so it seemed like the director would not be available for another project until around the summer of 2019.
This educated guess is based on a brief comment from Yonkou Productions, who is well-known for providing accurate anime news. In April 2018, he was asked, “How soon do you think Haikyuu will get a new season announced?” Yonkou replied, “Stay faithful but our director is stuck working on the Professor Layton anime for a year so who knows.” In June 2018, he followed that comment up by explicitly stating that “there is no release date for Haikyu S4 ATM” and “nobody knows because Mitsunaka is currently on Professor Layton.”
The idea that Haikyuu Season 4 could be delayed for so long should not be surprising. The anime industry as a whole is facing a human resources crisis where there simply is not enough manpower. All of the studios are operating at peak capacity, so projects are being scheduled many years in advance based on studio availability.
Haikyuu Season 4 Spoilers
The Karasuno boys’ volleyball team’s journey to the top last ended with the match against Shiratorizawa High. Hinata scored the last points by spiking the ball, but the entire team had to pull together to defeat their competitor’s team captain, Wakatoshi Ushijima, the number one ace in the Miyagi prefecture and one of three volleyball aces throughout Japan.
With that win secured by Karasuno, the manga has been in the Tokyo Nationals story arc since Chapter 205. Like previous seasons, the first half of Haikyuu Season 4 will be focused on training. One of the highlights will be a difficult practice match against a team called Date Tech.
The ending of the third season actually teased how various high school teams will be competing in the Spring High Tournament. Hinata has been rooting for the Nekoma Cats to win a spot in the Tokyo Nationals because they have a short player named Morisuke Yaku, who is a defensive libero (the only player on a team that is not limited by the regular rules of rotation). The anime will show how the Nekoma team takes on the Fukurodani Owls and the Nohebi Snakes to earn their spot.
The Snakes deserve their name since they try to rile up competitors by insulting them. The Snakes captain even stoops to cheating by blocking the referee’s vision so that a point by Nekoma is called as an out. Despite the lowbrow tactics, Hinata receives a text message from Kozume Kenma that reads, “We’re headed to Nationals.”
The Spring High Tournament story arc ends in Chapter 206 with Itachiyama Academy as the first representatives, Fukurodani as the second representatives, and Nekoma as the host city representatives. Next up is the beginning of the story arc about the training camps.
That means the fourth season will probably continue where the last episode left off. Kageyama is invited to the National Youth Intensive Training Camp for volleyball whereas poor Hinata did not receive an invitation at all. Insult is piled on top of Hinata’s injured pride when Kei “Four Eyes” Tsukishima also receives an invitation to a first-years training camp program.
So, the dynamic duo of Hinata and Kageyama end up going their separate ways for a time so they can grow individually. The invitation-less Hinata sneaks into the first-years’ training camp, but is quickly discovered during roll call and is chewed out by coaches for entering uninvited. Hinata talks Shiratorizawa’s coach into allowing him to stay as the ball boy, but he can only observe the practice matches.
Without being able to play, Hinata struggles to figure out how he can improve himself by becoming a better ball boy. The pint-sized player also helps a tall volleyball player who joined the sport late in his youth. The bigger boy may have the height advantage, but Hinata is able to help increase the other boy’s skills.
Kageyama’s time at the National Youth Intensive Training Camp allows him to meet other high-level players including Kiyoomi Sakusa, one of the top three volleyball spikers in Japan. Kageyama is also in for a surprise when his hit is blocked by Kourai Hoshiumi of Kamomedai High School, who is short like Hitama. The two boys end up having a conflict, but Kageyama ends up learning a technique for jumping higher and Kageyama is able to pass on the tip when the two Karasuno boys are reunited.
The second act of Haikyuu Season 4 will probably line up with Chapter 230 of Volume 26: Warfront. The team finally arrives at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium for the National Volleyball High School Championships. Karasuno’s first match will be up against Tsubakihara Academy, second representatives of the Kanagawa Prefecture.
As previously mentioned, the anime will probably find an ending somewhere around Chapter 291 or 292. A very solemn Nekoma High watches in disbelief from the stands as the Karasuno vs Inarizaki match causes a large upset. While anime fans can look forward to watching this moment on their TV screens, let’s just hope fans don’t have to wait until 2020 for the Haikyuu Season 4 release date. Stay tuned!