Producing Hanebado! Season 2 may seem like an obvious overhead smash based on the ending of the first season. But it turns out anime studio Liden Films made many character changes when adapting the story, so how will those directorial decisions affect the second season?
The story of the anime is based on the Hanebado! manga, which also goes by the name The Badminton Play of Ayano Hanesaki! Created by Kousuke Hamada, the seinen manga series has been serialized monthly in Good Afternoon magazine since 2013. As of July 6, 2018, the manga series is up to Hanebado! Volume 13.
Unfortunately, no international publisher has licensed the official English translation of the Hanebado! manga series. There are fan-made English scanlation projects but by the time the first season finished airing less than half of the available chapters had been translated.
This article provides everything that is known about Hanebado! Season 2 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.
Hanebado! manga compared to the anime
Those who just finished watching the anime and want to read the manga will probably be a little confused at first. The difference between the two in the way they started is like night and day.
Whereas the manga started with cutesy character interactions, comedy, and light art style only to shift in a new direction, the anime started with the more serious tone from the get-go. The anime focused the story on how talent can become warped and portrayed a child recapturing innocence and freeing herself from the psychological prison created by a manipulative parent.
It’s possible original creator Kousuke Hamada wished to modify the story of the anime so it maintained the same edgy tone as the current manga, which switched gears after Chapter 16.
The first several volumes of the manga practically dawdled along in comparison, introducing Ayano Hanesaki as an inexplicably super strong badminton player who goes from cute and aloof to being cocky on the court. She also avoided practice in an absent-minded manner and went to goofy lengths in her “training” before the IH Nationals.
The manga did not hint at Ayano’s reason for refusing to play badminton while the anime jumped straight into deep waters in the opening episodes. In fact, when Ayano’s “sister from Denmark” Connie Christensen was introduced in the manga the initial meeting was quite positive and light-hearted.
During the meet with the Fredericia Girls High School, Coach Kentaro Tachibana (who plays a more prominent role in the manga) was nagging Ayano to join the club and she ran away. Lost in town, Ayano stumbled into Connie and when the two started talking Connie gave her a gift and encouraged her to treasure her connections with people more.
In this manner, Connie influenced Ayano to give badminton a try again and they develop a mostly-friendly rivalry. Connie even promised to tell Ayano more about her mother if Ayano showed up for future events. That’s not to say Connie was a complete nice girl in the manga since her attitude on the court was insulting.
By contrast, Connie was immediately set up as an adversary in the anime and Ayano’s resentment toward her mother was her primary motivation for excelling at badminton again. This characterization made anime Episode 9 come off as bizarre since suddenly Connie wants to be family with Ayano whereas the manga was consistent in establishing Connie’s motivations from the start.
On one hand, the major changes to the storytelling quickly ratcheted up the sports drama between Ayano Hanesaki and her opponents. It also created drama in the relationship with her teammate Nagisa Aragaki. But creating the atmosphere for the edgy shonen sports formula came at the expense of creating the so-called Darth Ayano.
This crazy-eyed version of the main character became the subject of rampant memes and made it difficult for audiences to root for the main protagonist. If anything, Ayano is almost portrayed as an anime villain in comparison to Nagisa, who is legitimately trying to overcome her physical and mental limitations.
The manga does have Ayano go into beast mode but it’s due to her near-psychotic love of badminton, not because she wanted to abandon her mother just like she was abandoned.
On top of that, the anime probably put Ayano’s mother Uchika in the running for world’s worst anime mom. While not as bad a Tucker from Full Metal Alchemist, Bondrewd from Made In Abyss, or even Shio’s mother from Happy Sugar Life, the fandom’s hate is definitely strong with this one.
By contrast, at first the manga simply portrayed Uchika as an absentee parent and in Chapter 5 Ayano’s grandparents on her father’s side stated they barely remembered anything about Uchika. However, there were creepy hints since Uchika’s trophies were on display in the house. A family photo album in Ayano’s house had the mother’s face scissored out, which was the manga’s first hint that Ayano was suffering from a deep psychological trauma.
Warning: The following contains major manga spoilers.
For those wanting to read the manga, it’s probably worth it to read from the beginning if only to make sense of the differences in characterization and motivations. While the ordering of the badminton matches mostly remained the same, other story events were either out of order or anime original.
Connie was introduced in Episode 4 and also in Chapter 2. The doubles match where Connie refused to let her teammate help was in Episode 5 and Chapter 3.
Episode 6 and Chapter 5 both started off the summer Inter-High preliminaries. Chapter 7 and 8 revealed how Ayano had beaten Nagisa in the previous year and the reason for Nagisa’s slump, but those details were covered by the first two episodes.
Chapter 9 was mostly skipped by the anime, probably because it showed Nagisa and Ayano bonding as teammates in a comedic fashion.
After only one night of training, a confident Ayano played a practice match while wearing her commando cosplay. When things didn’t go her way, she ran for the hills, and literally dove off a bridge and swam away. Needless to say, while funny, such scenes did not fit the serious tone of the anime.
Chapter 10 introduced Ayano’s middle school rival, the pink twin-tailed Kaoruko Serigaya. Ayano recounted how she was given a cold in Chapter 11, but the manga’s telling was somewhat comedic whereas the anime was all dark.
The manga also had Nagisa sick at home and Ayano dived into the warm bed with her to glomp. The anime also skipped all of the Nagisa fanservice moments.
Chapter 12 finally revealed that Ayano’s mother left after the loss to the cheating/sick Kaoruko, but did not yet reveal Uchika’s reason for leaving.
In Chapter 13, the grandparents discussed how the mother felt that she was raising Ayano as a badminton player, not as a daughter, so she felt it best that she left. Of course, Ayano perceived that her mother left because she lost a match and as a result, she poured her life into badminton.
The anime had Ayano following a dark path whereas the manga character resolved her feelings toward her mother pretty quickly through the power of friendship. If Ayano was feeling hidden angst then she was not verbalizing it.
Uchika also left a letter for her daughter that said, “Ayano. I wait for you out in the world. Come see me. From your wonderful mother.” (Kind of like how Bondrewd is best dad?)
Chapter 14 introduced the new uniforms that the anime covered early on and showcased Riko Izumi’s matches. Chapters 16 and 17 is where Ayano finally let the scarry-eyed beast out against Kaoruko, which was covered in Episode 7.
Chapters 18, 19, and 20 were skipped by the anime since it had Ayano being “kidnapped” by Mr. Uncle Long Legs, a creepy old guy from the Badminton World Federation, so she could reunite with her mother. This chapter also introduced Chinese badminton player Xiaoli Luo, a character story completely skipped by the anime.
Ayano is dropped into a surprise exhibition match with Xiaoli and told that if she wins she’ll meet her mother as a prize. The other surprise is that Xiaoli was raised by Uchika.
By this point in the story, the anime and manga had diverged significantly. It’s possible that Xiaoli and the Mr. Uncle Long Legs character could be brought back for Hanebado! Season 2 but in a modified capacity.
Episode 8 adapted Chapters 22 and 23, which introduced Riko’s friend Nozomi Ishizawa and her problems with her overbearing coach. Episode 9 used elements of Chapters 20 and 23 to tell the story of Connie. Chapter 21 was pretty much like a Rocky training montage for Nagisa.
The beginning of the Nagisa vs Ayano match at the ending of Episode 11 lined up with Chapter 24. Hanebado! Episode 13 covered up until the events of Chapter 33 in manga Volume 7. While that’s a lot of chapters adapted for only two episodes, much of that story arc was full-page panels depicting dramatic moments from the badminton match.
The ending where Ayano confronted her mom with her feelings was quite the divergence since the manga had the mother and daughter barely making eye contact at this point in the story. However, the core motivation for Ayano remains the same in both the manga and anime since she still wants to play against her mom.
Hanebado! Season 2 release date
As of the last update, Liden Films or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Hanebado! Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
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 Hanebado! Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
The good news is that the ending of the first season left plenty of room for Hanebado! Season 2. In fact, by the end of 2020, there should be enough chapters for Hanebado! Season 3 assuming the anime uses previously skipped story elements. The only bad news is that English-only manga readers will have to wait to read ahead of the anime’s story.
The future of the anime may depend on the Hanebado! Blu-Ray/DVD box set, which is being split into six volumes. The first volume released in mid-September, with Volume 6 coming out in mid-February.
Unfortunately, Blu-Ray/DVD sales have been poor so far. That’s not to say the second season of Hanebado! is doomed since streaming revenue from Crunchyroll and other similar services are a major source of revenue nowadays. In the past, there have been second seasons produced for anime with worse sales numbers, so it’s possible the same could happen for Hanebado! Season 2.
Hanebado! Season 2 spoilers
The last time we watched Ayano, she had rediscovered her love of badminton through the match with Nagisa. Unfortunately for Nagisa, she continues to have knee problems which means that Kitakomachi High School does not have the regulated number of players.
As previously mentioned, it’s possible that Hanebado! Season 2 will bring back the exhibition match with Xiaoli since that story arc foreshadows Olympics dreams and introduces the top players. Those skipped manga chapters also include a lot of backstory concerning Ayano’s mother so it would make sense to reverse course.
Volume 8 introduces the fight against Yokohama Shoaki High School. The story also shifts gears from one-on-one singles matches to doubles badminton.
The relationship between mother and daughter may have been strained before, but now it’ll take on a new dimension. Ayano’s becomes the coach for Fredericia Girls High School, which only makes things more interesting with Connie.
Hanebado! Season 2 will probably find an ending somewhere in the middle of the IH Nationals. Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait to see what happens next. Stay tuned!