In this house, we’re still a little bitter that Haikyuu!! is ending with two films rather than continuing into further seasons. But, honestly, it’s better than never getting an ending at all, so we’ll gladly scrabble for any drips of information we can get. And at this weekend’s Haikyuu!! 2023 Festa event, the staff gave us a teaser trailer, promotional image, and release date of Gekijōban Haikyu!! Gomi Suteba no Kessen (Haikyu!! the Movie: Decisive Battle at the Garbage Dump).
The film, which opens February 16, 2024, focuses on the battle between Karasuno and Nekoma at Nationals. This match has been a decade in the making, and the stakes are high for all of our characters. Karasuno has never beaten Nekoma, and this is the first time they’re competing against each other in an official match, where the results actually matter.
The promotional image features Hinata and Kenma locked in battle – but with blades instead of a volleyball. If you haven’t read the manga, this is meant to be metaphorical, the same way Kageyama has never actually played a match while wearing a crown. I thought this went without saying, but I guess some people were confused. The Battle at the Garbage Dump is a long-running rivalry between the two schools, but Hinata is determined to beat Kenma, and all of the Karasuno players have leveled up since the last time they faced Nekoma.
The teaser features a mix of older scenes from the first four seasons of the anime – moments where the players from the two teams interacted – as well as new scenes from the upcoming match. The focus in particular is on the interaction between Hinata and Kenma.
The animation looks like a combination of the art style and character design from the first three seasons and the different “camera angles” from season 4. Many weren’t happy with the animation in season 4 (there were definitely some weird moments), so hopefully this is a return to form for a title that had always been well done. Fans are certainly optimistic, considering much of the team who worked on the film are from the first three seasons.
As I mentioned, some fans are still salty about the decision to close out the anime with films instead of seasons. (It’s me. I’m “some fans”.) There’s been no real explanation as to why, but people have their theories – namely cost (films are cheaper to produce and can make more revenue) and schedule (lots of anime coming up that needs to be focused on).
There are some concerns about what will need to be cut to fit this match into a film; the Nekoma match was a long one in the manga, with a lot of backstories of the Nekoma players. Fans worry that key moments will be sacrificed for run time.
On the other hand, I do remember that reading these chapters felt like a slog. This match seemed to go on forever when reading the manga weekly, and I recall people in chapter discussions wishing that it would just end already. So perhaps a film will have the right amount of pacing so that this match doesn’t feel like it drags.
Whatever the reason, Gekijōban Haikyu!! Gomi Suteba no Kessen hits theaters in Japan on February 16, 2024. According to the website, tickets go on sale October 6. Fingers crossed that international fans don’t have to wait too long to see it!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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