The official Twitter page of the popular anime series, Haikyuu!!, recently concluded a mysterious countdown with the announcement of a two-part sequel movie adaptation called Haikyuu!! FINAL. This announcement was accompanied by a key visual and a video teaser, which has elicited mixed responses from viewers.
Many fans are thrilled to be getting more animated content after a year and a half of waiting, while others are skeptical about how the studio plans to adapt two years’ worth of content for the two movies. With that in mind, let’s explore the pros and cons of this adaptation.
First, let’s take a look at the usual pacing of Haikyuu!! seasons. Since Season 1, the anime has allotted several episodes to every significant match, starting with Karasuno vs. Aoba Johsai during the Interhigh Tournament, which spanned six episodes and ended with Karasuno’s defeat. This pattern remains consistent throughout every season of the anime. For instance, Karasuno’s second match against Aoba Johsai in Season 2 lasts five episodes. Moreover, the entirety of Season 3 focuses on Karasuno vs. Shiratorizawa, spanning ten episodes, and the last major match takes place in Season 4, pitting Inarizaki against Karasuno at Nationals of the Spring Interhigh. This one lasts a total of 11 episodes, with two showing glimpses of Nekoma vs. Sarukawa Tech in the middle as an interlude.
Since every episode has an average runtime of 22 minutes, all major matches in the show have lasted upwards of 130 minutes or 2.2 hours. This leaves fans wondering how the studio plans to adapt two years’ worth of content into just two movies.
Considering that the Nekoma vs. Karasuno match has been hyped up from the very first season of the anime, Haikyuu!! fans have been expecting an entire season to be dedicated to it, similar to the Shiratorizawa match. Nekoma and Karasuno share an interesting history, and their rivalry is even nicknamed “Battle of the Garbage Dump,” referencing their mascot animals and each team’s playing style.
Much of the Haikyuu!! series’ appeal comes not just from the fluid animation and precise technical commentary but also the underlying drama and the players’ emotions as they struggle to score another point and remain the last one standing on the court. It is highly probable that it would require a minimum of eight episodes, or about three hours, to animate the entire Karasuno vs. Nekoma match properly. If the studio intends to make two movies, this match could easily cover three-quarters of the total runtime.
However, there are also concerns about how much of the manga has been adapted. The Haikyuu!! manga has a total of 401 chapters, with 290 chapters having been adapted in the last four seasons. The teaser for the upcoming movie adaptation includes manga panels from not only the Nekoma vs. Karasuno match but also the fateful encounter against Kamomedai. It goes on to show Hinata in Rio and even gives fans a glimpse of Kageyama and him on opposite sides of the court during the Schweiden Adlers vs. MSBY Black Jackals match. This entire section constitutes a total of 102 chapters and includes two important matches.
Adapting the rest of the manga within the runtime of the two films seems virtually impossible, even if major chunks of the story are excluded. Trying to fit the contents of the remaining 102 chapters into just two movies is definitely a very risky move and might ruin one of the most anticipated matches in the Haikyuu!! series. Ideally, another full season, if not two, would be required to properly adapt the rest of the manga and give all the characters and matches the time they deserve.
Furthermore, there is also the concern of pacing. Haikyuu!! has always been praised for its pacing and how it allows viewers to truly feel the intensity of each match. However, condensing two years’ worth of content into just two movies may mean sacrificing this pacing, which could take away from the overall experience. Additionally, some fans are worried that the movies may not have enough time to fully develop some of the newer characters and their backstories, which could be a major drawback for fans who have grown attached to these characters over the years.
On the other hand, the movie adaptation does have its advantages. For one, the production quality is likely to be top-notch, given the success of the previous seasons and movies. The anime’s animation, music, and voice acting are consistently praised by fans and critics alike, and it is highly unlikely that the studio would skimp on these aspects for the sequel movies.
Additionally, the movies may provide a more streamlined viewing experience for fans who don’t have the time to watch an entire season. With the movies, fans can get the entire story in one sitting, which could be a great way to relive the excitement of the series or introduce new viewers to the world of Haikyuu!!.
In conclusion, while the announcement of the Haikyuu!! FINAL movies has sparked excitement and anticipation among fans, there are valid concerns about how the studio plans to adapt two years’ worth of content into just two movies. While the movies may offer a more streamlined viewing experience and top-notch production quality, the risk of sacrificing pacing and character development is a major concern for many fans. Ultimately, only time will tell if the studio can successfully pull off this ambitious adaptation and deliver a satisfying conclusion to the beloved series.
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