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Haikyuu Season 4 release date confirmed for winter 2020 anime season: Haikyuu To The Top New character designs released – Haikyuu manga compared to Shoyo Hinata’s story in the anime [Spoilers]

Haikyuu Season 4 has officially been confirmed to be coming out during the winter 2020 anime season. It’s been a long wait for anime fans, but the fourth season of the popular volleyball anime is finally on its way.

In September 2019, the “New Series Kickoff Event” for the anime series announced that the fourth season will officially be titled Haikyuu!! To The Top. The event also announced that voice actor Natsuki Hanae will play as Korai Hoshiumi of Kamomedai High School, while Mamoru Miyano will voice Asumu Miya of Inarizaki High School.

What’s more, it’s been announced that Haikyuu!! To The Top will be a split-cour anime, which means the fourth season could have a Part 2. A “split-cour” is where a single anime season takes a multi-month break before resuming TV broadcasting.

In this case, the first 12 episodes will air from January through March 2020. Haikyuu!! Season 4 Part 2 will then pick up again starting in July 2020. It’s expected that the second cour will have 12 episodes, as well.

In addition to the fourth season, new Haikyuu OVA episodes called “Land vs Sky” and “The Volleyball Way” will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD on January 22, 2020. The new episodes will first be available for purchase at the Toho Animation booth at Jump Fest 2020, which takes place on December 21st and 22nd in Makuhari Messe in Chiba. (Please see below for more information about the OVA episodes’ story.)

The Haikyuu Season 4 opening (OP) theme song music will be “Phoenix” as performed by Burnout Syndromes, while the Haikyuu S4 ending (ED) theme song music will be “Spirit of Decisive Battle (Kessen Spirit)” as performed by CHiCO with HoneyWorks. SPYAIR produced the opening song for the first two seasons, while Burnout Syndromes provided the third season’s OP music.

Presumably, Haikyuu!! Season 4 Part 2 will have a new opening and ending.

Haikyuu Season 4 Anime Character Designs
This Haikyuu Season 4 key visual shows off the new character designs for the five prominent schools of the series! Pic credit: Production I.G.

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.

In June 2019, Weekly Shonen Jump released the first key visual for the Haikyuu Season 4 anime. The fourth season received the lead cover for the new magazine issue to commemorate reaching Chapter 350.

Haikyuu Season 4 Character Design Anime
The Haikyuu Season 4 anime character designs for Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama. Besides the characters appearing bulkier, the most notable difference is Hinata’s hair, which may have been updated to better reflect the art style of Haruichi Furudate. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump/SPY

In late July 2019 and mid-August 2019, several new key visuals were released on Twitter. They show the new Haikyuu Season 4 character designs for more of the characters. (See the featured images above and below.)

Haikyuu Season 4 Anime Character Designs August 2019
The Haikyuu Season 4 character designs leaked in August 2019. Voice actor Kazuyuki Okitsu will play as Suguru Daishou. Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump/SPY

Manga readers love to watch Haikyuu creator Haruichi Furudate’s art be put into action. Since the fourth Haikyuu movie has been out for a while now, 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. (See below for more analysis.)

Haikyuu Jump Festa 2019 Visual
The Jump Festa 2019 visual for Haikyuu. Anime fans were just as tired of waiting for the fourth season to be officially announced. Pic credit: Production I.G.

There was a bit of confusion regarding the initial announcement. The new Haikyuu anime was originally advertised as a “new anime” instead of being directly listed as Haikyuu Season 4. A tweet from the official Haikyu Twitter account claimed they “decided to produce a new series” and they will “continue to work hard without losing the original animation.”

However, another tweet said 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.

The August 2019 announcement cleared up the confusion since the anime was clearly listed as Haikyuu Season 4 in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. A Haikyuu Season 4 kickoff event held on September 22, 2019 cleared up any remaining confusion.

Production I.G. is using the naming convention of Haikyuu Season 3, which was billed as Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs. Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou. Based on that naming convention, Haikyuu Season 4 will be called Haikyu!! To The Top.

Haikyuu Season 4 Key Visual Anime
A key visual for Haikyuu Season 4 released at Jump Festa 2019. Pic credit: Production I.G.
  • Updated November 29, 2019: Added Haikyuu!! Season 4 Part 2 info, number of episodes, and a new trailer.
  • Updated November 20, 2019: Exact Haikyuu!! Season 4 release date announced.
  • Updated November 18, 2019: Added new Haikyuu!! Season 4 OVA trailer for Land Vs Sky.
  • Updated November 14, 2019: Added opening (OP) and ending (ED) music artists.
  • Updated October 28, 2019: Added news of Haikyuu manga’s final arc.
  • Updated September 24, 2019: Added official Haikyuu!! Season 4 synopsis.
  • Updated September 22, 2019: Added official title, new voice actor roles, new teaser trailer, and cleaned up the article.
  • Updated August 16, 2019: Haikyuu Season 4 release time frame confirmed. Two new Haikyuu OVA episodes confirmed. Spoilers revised based on OVA episodes. Added new character designs.
  • Updated July 29, 2019: Changed the featured image to the official Haikyuu Season 4 character designs released in July 2019.
  • Updated June 20, 2019: Added Haikyuu Season 4 anime character designs from Weekly Shonen Jump 30.
  • Updated June 18, 2019: Added Haikyuu Season 4 teaser for key visual set to come out in Weekly Shonen Jump.
  • 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.

This article provides everything that is known about Haikyuu Season 4 (Haikyuu!! Over The Top) 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 39 volumes as of September 4, 2019. The official English translation of Haikyuu is up to Volume 34 as of September 3, 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.

Haikyuu!! manga ending soon in 2020?

Is the Haikyuu!! manga ending soon? In late October 2019, Weekly Shonen Jump announced that the Haikyu!! manga is entering its final story arc. Based on the progression of the plot it appears the final chapter could be coming relatively soon.

The Tokyo Nationals story arc ended with Haikyuu!! Chapter 368. Early in October 2019, the author took a one-week break to perform some research and now we know why.

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for the final story arc of the Haikyuu!! manga series.

When the Haikyuu!! manga’s final story arc was announced, Weekly Shonen Jump said the story was moving “to the other side of the Earth.” They were not kidding since the story is moving from Japan to Brazil! What’s more, the focus is shifting from indoor volleyball to beach volleyball!

In just two chapters the story used two time skips, jumping ahead five years into the future. Based on the quick plot progression it’s possible the manga’s story could come to an end in 2020. At the same time, Hinata’s goals that have been revealed so far are pretty open-ended so it’s possible the manga has several more years left in it.

If you want more spoilers, please check out this article which details the beginning of the Haikyuu!! manga’s ending.

Haikyuu Season 4: Number Of Episodes To Be 24

When Haikyuu!! To The Top Part 2 was announced it was also revealed that the first cour would have 12 episodes. Anime news leaker Spytrue claims that the second cour will likewise have 12 episodes, for a total of 24 episodes.

The manga had 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 the 24 episodes of Haikyuu Season 4’s two cours probably won’t catch up with the manga.

It could even be argued that by the time the Haikyuu Season 4 premiere date happens that there will be enough weekly chapters for a quicker turnaround on the anime sequel. While a second cour for Season 4 has indeed been confirmed, 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.

Normally, reaching such a goal would have meant the pacing would be a brisk 4-to-1 chapter-to-episode ratio, although that would not be unprecedented since the third season was a 5-to-1 ratio. But Production I.G will probably be able to find a good balance that pleases both manga and anime fans since the next story arc is being adapted by both OVA episodes and two cours.

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 Of Haikyuu!! To The Top Set For Early 2020

On November 20, 2019, the official Twitter page for the Haikyuu!! anime officially confirmed the exact Haikyuu Season 4 release date. The Haikyuu Season 4 premiere date is scheduled for January 10, 2020, the winter 2020 anime season. A recent tweet also states that each episode will air on late Friday nights (Saturday past midnight, effectively).

Haikyuu!! Season 4 Part 2 will begin airing in July 2020, the summer 2020 anime season. However, the exact release date for the split cour has not been announced (this article will be updated once it’s known).

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?

Haikyuu Season 4 release date anime director ready for fourth season in 2019 Haikyuu manga confirmed long enough to continue Shoyo Hinata's story
Haikyuu Season 4 will bring a high school rivalry to the forefront. Pic credit: Haruichi Furudate

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 was 50 episodes long 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 Characters Karasuno Boys
The Karasuno boys are all pumped up going into the Tokyo Nationals

Haikyuu OVA episodes Land vs Sky and The Volleyball Way to adapt the Tokyo Nationals qualifiers story arc

The ending of the third season actually teased how various high school teams will be competing in the Spring High Tournament. Apparently, the beginning of Haikyuu Season 4 will skip the Tokyo Nationals qualifiers. Instead, two new Haikyuu OVA episodes being released in January 2020 will adapt the story.

The Haikyuu OVA episode announcement did not specify the story, but the key visual art itself and the titles give enough details to figure out the rest. Called “Land vs Sky” and “The Volleyball Way” the first OVA’s story will be about the Fukurodani Owls vs Nekoma Cats volleyball match.

 

After all, fans of  Haruichi Furudate’s Haikyuu manga series know that the third season of the Haikyuu anime adapted all the way up through Chapter 190, the ending of Haikyuu Volume 21. The next chapter just happens to be in manga Volume 22, which is also called Land vs. Sky.

Therefore, these OVA episodes will show how Nekoma High School, Fukurōdani Academy, Nohebi Academy, and Itachiyama Academy compete for three spots in the Tokyo Nationals.

Haikyuu OVA Episodes Land vs Sky The Volleyball Way Announcement Weekly Shonen Jump Key Visual
The Weekly Shonen Jump announcement shows the anime character designs for Nohebi Academy’s Suguru Daishou and Itachiyama Academy’s Kiyoomi Sakusa (top left). Pic credit: Weekly Shonen Jump/SPY

Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Haikyuu OVA episodes.

This part of the story begins the qualifiers which decide the team that’s going to represent Tokyo to national. 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 Land vs Sky OVA episode will likely show how the Nekoma team takes on the Fukurodani Owls. The title The Volleyball Way is based on Chapter 205 of the same name, so it’s likely to be focused on Nekoma taking on Nohebi Academy.

Nohebi Academy has earned the nickname Snakes based on their behavior on the volleyball court. They try to rile up competitors by insulting them and the Snakes captain, Suguru Daisho, 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.”

Haikyuu Season 4 Spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

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 Spring High Tournament story arc adapted by the OVA episodes 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.

Haikyuu Nekoma High Volleyball Team
In 2018, the Haikyuu manga is focused on Nekoma High as the big rivals

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.

Haikyuu Hinata
Hinata will leap to new heights in the upcoming fourth season

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 be glad we now don’t have to wait too long until the 2020 Haikyuu Season 4 release date. Stay tuned!

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