Haikyu Festa 2023
©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha, Haikyuu Production Committee, MBS

To kick off the announcement of the latest (and presumably second to last) movie adaptations of  Haruichi Furudate’s popular volleyball manga series, Haikyu!! Festa 2023 was held on Sunday September 24, 2023 at Tokyo Musashino Forest Sports Plaza Main Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

Attended by 9,000 people live along with viewers from all over the world watching online, the event was a celebration of the much-loved 45-volume Shonen Jump manga series about a high school volleyball team that has been adapted into 4 seasons/85 episodes, and 5 OVAs (original video animation). A highlight of the event was a first look at Toho Animation’s trailer for Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump.

The Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump will be the first of two movies that will capture events leading up to the end of the series. This first movie will depict the climactic match between friendly rivals Karasuno High School and their Tokyo rivals/friends from Nekoma High School boys’ volleyball team. The two teams’ face off against each other is referred to as the “Battle of the Garbage Dump” in the manga. This nickname came from the imagery surrounding the two teams; the “Karasu” in Karasuno means “crow” in Japanese and the “Neko” in Nekoma means “cat.” On top of that these animals are normally found hanging out near dumpsters or trash cans. The manga also frequently shows crows and cats fighting in front of garbage bags to reinforce this metaphorical match-up between the two volleyball teams.

Haikyu!! THE MOVIE: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump
©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha, Haikyuu Production Committee, MBS

The rivalry between the two schools started many years ago when Ikkei Ukai (previous Karasuno High School’s boys volleyball team coach and the current coach’s grandfather) met Yasufumi Nekomata (current coach for Nekoma High School). They were rivals as students and as they grew older and started coaching teams of their own, their high schools also became rivals. The two men had always hoped to be able to face each other on a big stage like the Spring National Inter-High Tournament, but their schools never made it far enough to face each other in the semi-finals or finals. Now that both teams have made it past the initial rounds of the Spring National Tournament, it’s time for the wild crows to take on the agile cats. 

At Haikyu!! Fest 2023, there were special performances by voice actors from the anime series, along with special guests and musical artists SPYAIR and BURNOUT SYNDROMES, who performed some of the opening and closing theme songs from the anime series. Official announcements for the dates, movie poster art, and title of the next movie’s release were made at the event. Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump will premiere in theaters in Japan on February 16th, 2024. Overseas release dates for this feature-length film will be announced later. 

The voice actors shown are in order from top left to bottom right as follows: Ayumu Murase (as Shoyo Hinata), Kaito Ishikawa (as Tobio Kageyama), Kouki Uchiyama (role of Kei Tsukishima), Satoshi Hino (as Daichi Sawamura), Isamu Hayashi (Ryuunosuke Tanaka), Toshiki Masuda (Chikara Ennoshita), Kaori Nazuka (role of Kiyoko Shimizu), and Sumire Morohoshi (as Hitoka Yachi).
Haikyu!! Fest 2023 special guests.

Haikyu!! Fest started with Kaori Nazuka (role of Kiyoko Shimizu, the Karasuno High volleyball team’s manager) opening the event along with Sumire Morohoshi (role of Hitoka Yachi, the junior manager of the team), along with publicist/producer Kenta Suzuki, who was the third MC for the event.

The voice actors were then introduced to the crowd, starting off with Satoshi Hino (voice of Karasuno team captain Daichi Sawamura), followed by Toshiki Masuda (the voice of Chikara Ennoshita, the calm, cool substitute wing spiker of the team and later team captain), Isamu Hayashi (voice of Ryuunosuke Tanaka, the fierce wing spiker of the Karasuno team), Kouki Uchiyama (voice of  Kei Tsukishima, the tall, but somewhat cynical middle blocker), Kaito Ishikawa (role of Tobio Kageyama, the ‘genius setter’ and one of the main characters), and Ayumu Murase (role of Shoyo Hinata, the short but talented middle blocker and heart of the team).

©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha, Haikyuu Production Committee, MBS
©Haruichi Furudate/Shueisha, Haikyuu Production Committee, MBS

After the introduction of the cast members, fans got to see a pre-recorded clip from rival school Aoba Johsai’s voice actor’s Daisuke Namikawa (role of Toru Oikawa, one of Karasuno High’s main rivals with the nickname ‘The Great King’) and Hiroyuki Yoshino (role of Iwaizumi Hajime, Oikawa’s teammate and best friend/friendly rival). The audience laughed as they joked about how as representatives of rival school Aoba Johsai, it was like rubbing salt in the wound to wish Karasuno good luck, despite having lost against them in the prefectural tournament. 

Fans also got to hear a pre-recorded clip from Ryota Takeuchi (voice of Wakatoshi Ushijima) who plays the stoic and strong ace of rival school Shiratorizawa High. He shared that one of the most memorable moments for him was seeing when Kouki Uchiyama (role of Kei Tsukishima) recorded his yell/cheer after blocking Ushijima’s spike in Season 3 of Haikyu!!. He remembers feeling touched but also frustrated because his character was the one being blocked. Here’s this scene from Haikyu! Season 3, as featured on Crunchyroll’s YouTube channel:

The event also had a “Super Maniac Quiz” segment, where three teams faced off against each other to answer Haikyu!! trivia. The teams were divided into the Karasuno voice actors, the anime production team, and the Haikyu!! stage play actors. After three rounds, it was Hinata (Ayumu Murase) vs. Hinata (Kenta Suga) for the win, but they decided to share the prize of A5-ranked beef from Sendai (the main city of Miyagi Prefecture, where the fictional Karasuno High School is located).

The in-person audience of 9,000 people also had the special privilege of doing a cheering challenge. The voice actors were split up and coached different sections of the crowd. Their yells were recorded and will be included as the crowd noises in the upcoming Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump movie.

There were also special performances by Japanese rock bands SPYAIR and BURNOUT SYNDROMES. SPYAIR played at the beginning of the event, starting things off with the iconic Season 1 opening song “Imagination” and followed up with Season 4 ending 2 song “One Day” and Season 2 opening song “I’m a Believer,” which is featured in this SPYAIR music video:

BURNOUT SYNDROMES performed towards the end of the event, starting off with Season 2 opening 2 “FLY HIGH!!” and going into the beloved Season 3 opening “Hikariare”. They also brought out surprise guest CHiCO who performed “Decisive Battle Spirit” with them. CHiCO originally sang the song with the band HoneyWorks for the Season 4 ending song, but she collaborated with BURNOUT SYNDROMES for the event. They closed their set with the Season 4 opening PHOENIX, the song starts slowly with the lyrics “nail prints on my palm from clenching my fists so hard. Now, into the orange light” as the stadium is filled with orange penlights from the audience. The momentum slowly builds and so does the excitement of the audience, everyone had their arms in the air and started jumping along with the song. 

After a great performance by all 3 bands, the next segment included a compilation of anime clips from Seasons 1-4, before showing the Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump trailer from Toho Animation.

The trailer reveals that the movie will premiere in theaters in Japan on February 16, 2024. The movie will be directed by Susumu Mitsunaka, who directed Seasons 1-3 of the Haikyu!! animated TV series. The rest of the animation team is listed on their website

Mitsunaka added this comment via the Haikyu X/Twitter account:

“I will be directing Haikyu!! once again. I’m hoping to bring something unique that can only be done in a movie format. All the staff members are very enthusiastic about their work so I have great confidence in them. Thank you for your support.”

Despite some initial reservations for how Haikyu!!’s ending will be adapted, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Fans both at the event and online were excited to see scenes from the epic match where Karasuno vs. Nekoma will be playing against each other in a game where if you lose, it’s instantly game over.

HAIKYU!! © 2012 by Haruichi Furudate/SHUEISHA Inc.
HAIKYU!! © 2012 by Haruichi Furudate/SHUEISHA Inc.

When Nekoma’s setter Kenma Kozume first meets Karasuno’s middle blocker Shoyo Hinata, he is unenthusiastic about volleyball, but recognizes that he’s part of a good team. As the two schools begin to play practice matches against one another, Kenma is often taken aback by Shoyo’s dedication to always continue growing and bettering his skills. One day he declares to Hinata that he wants to play an official game against him where there are no opportunities for a rematch.

Now that both teams have passed the qualifying rounds and made it to the national stage, it’s time for them to give it their all and play in a high stakes setting like the Spring National Tournament. Each team will be fighting to see who is the best team once and for all, and for the opportunity to get to the next round and possibly win the championship title against some of the best high school volleyball teams in Japan.  

Shown in the image are the Nekoma players facing the Karasuno players.
Karasuno and Nekoma face off

More details about the Haikyu!! movie will likely emerge on December 16, 2023, when JUMP FESTA, the annual celebration of all things Shonen Jump, will be held in Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe convention center. Jump Festa is a manga and anime convention that is organized by Shueisha, the publisher for various print and online manga magazines, including Weekly Shonen Jump, online magazine Jump+ (where Chainsaw Man is serialized), video game-focused V Jump, Jump SQ (home of Blue Exorcist), and kid-friendly Saikyou Jump magazines. The event has stages for various anime and manga series where they have performances and announcements. The Haikyu!! Super Stage RED will start at 10:30 JST and performers have been announced so far will include: 

  • Ayumu Murase (voice of Hinata Shoyo)
  • Aito Ishikawa (voice of Kageyama Tobio)
  • Yuki Kaji (voice of Kozume Kenma) 
  • Yuichi Nakamura (voice of Kuroo Tetsuro)

The Haikyu! anime series is currently streaming on Netflix and Crunchyroll in N. America. The Haikyu! manga series is available in print and digital from VIZ Media, and is also included in with VIZ Media’s all-you-can-read Shonen Jump subscription service, as well as Shueisha’s Manga Plus website/app.

Visit the official Haikyu!! website for the Haikyu!! Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump movie for more details about this upcoming release.