After the delay in the release of Haikyu!! Season 4’s second cour, this is the perfect time to catch up on the previous OVA’s.
While not all of them may be canon-compliant, they make for excellent watches.
1. How many Haikyu!! OVA’s are there?
OVA’s are original video animation. Generally, they are episodes that are included on the DVD/Blu-Ray that didn’t air on TV. While they are often bonus fillers, sometimes they can include scenes from the source material.
In Haikyu!! there are currently 5 OVA’s released. Of the 5, only “Land Vs Sky” and “The Volleyball Way”, deal with the original story. I will be highlighting the OVA’s, their plot, and whether they should be watched.
I. Haikyu!!: Lev Genzan!
“The Arrival of Haiba Lev” or “Haikyu!!: Lev Genzan!” was aired on November 9, 2014, at the annual anime exposition sponsored by Shueisha, Jump Festa.
It was included in a limited edition DVD release of Haikyū!!, along with the 15th edition of the manga.
The episode follows the progress of Lev Haiba, a first-year Middle Blocker who strives to become Nekoma’s ace.
After the decision of Nekoma’s coach to include him in the lineup for future matches, the episode follows his training and syncing with Nekoma’s setter, Kenma.
They prepare for their practice match against Kunihira Senior High and the Tokyo training camp.
This OVA episode takes place shortly before the Tokyo training camp with Fukurodani Academy, Ubugawa High, Shinzen High, and Karasuno High and is not based on a manga chapter.
II. Haikyu!!: vs. “Akaten”
“VS. Failing Grades” or “VS. Akaten”, aired on November 3, 2015, at the annual anime exposition sponsored by Shueisha, Jump Festa. It was also included in a limited edition DVD release of Haikyū!!, along with the 21st edition of the manga.
The OVA follows Hinata and Kageyama as they fail a test and find out that the make-up exam conflicts with their training camp.
The episode consists of them trying their hardest to pass the make-up exams and attend the camp in time. In the end, they manage to do so with the help of other Karasuno team members and Tanaka’s sister, Saeko.
This OVA episode is connected to Season 2 Episode 4 and takes place shortly before the Tokyo training camp with Fukurodani Academy, Ubugawa High, Nekoma High, Shinzen High, and Karasuno High. This OVA is not based on a manga chapter.
III. Special Feature! Betting on the Spring High Volleyball
Special Feature! Betting on the Spring High Volleyball” was an OVA included in a limited edition release of Haikyū!! along with Volume 27 of the manga.
This special follows a news broadcast that airs a special focusing on two news anchors presenting a segment about high school volleyball and the upcoming Spring Interhigh, a tournament comparable to the volleyball version of Koshien.
They mention the recently concluded qualifier rounds in Miyagi and then proceed to introduce the players from various schools.
It includes interviews with the players from Date Tech High, Aobajohsai High, Karasuno High, etc. This OVA is not based on a Manga chapter.
IV. Haikyu!!: Land VS Air
Land VS Air” or “Riku vs Kuu” is an OVA that received a special release alongside The Volleyball Way OVA. These two specials focus on the Spring High tournament matches between the Tokyo representative schools.
The episode follows the matches between the Tokyo representative schools, Nekoma High, Fukurodani Academy, Nohebi Academy, & Itachiyama Academy, at the Spring High National Tournament.
The match-up consists of Nekoma High VS Nohebi Academy and Fukurodani Academy VS Itachiyama Academy. This OVA is the anime adaptation of the 2nd half of Chapter 190 to Chapter 199, the whole of Volume 22 and is entirely canon.
V. Haikyu!!: Bōru no Michi (OVA)
“The Volleyball Way” is an OVA that received a special release alongside Land VS Air. The two specials focus on the Spring High tournament matches between the Tokyo representative schools.
This episode is the continuation of the matches between the Tokyo representative schools, Nekoma High, Fukurodani Academy, Nohebi Academy, & Itachiyama Academy.
The top three teams will go on to Nationals.
In the game between Nekoma and Noehbi, Nekoma has won and will go on to nationals and in the game between Itachiyama and Fukurodani, Itachiyama wins the game.
The results of the matches make Itachiyama the first representative for Tokyo with Fukurodani being the second and Nekoma as the third.
This OVA is the anime adaptation of Chapter 200 to Chapter 206 and is entirely canon.
2. Are the Haikyu!! OVA’s canon?
Out of all the released OVA’s, only “Land Vs Air” and “The Volleyball way” are canon and animated from scenes in the manga. The first three OVA’s do not follow the story of the manga and are thus not canon.
3. Should you watch the OVA’s?
While it is not strictly necessary to watch the first three non-canon OVA’s, they are a perfect bridge to their following seasons. They also contain extra scenes and make for an interesting watch that is good for some nice fill-in content.
However, the last two released OVA’s, i.e, Land Vs Air and “The Volleyball way” are completely cannon and take place based on the story in the manga.
They should not be skipped as they are plot essential and introduce multiple major characters.
4. What’s the correct watch order?
The correct order to watch the OVA’s is as follows:-
- Haikyu!!: Lev Genzan! (OVA)
- Haikyu!! Second Season
- Haikyu!!: vs. “Akaten” (OVA)
- Haikyu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs. Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou
- Haikyu!!: Riku vs Kuu (OVA)
- Haikyu!!: Bōru no Michi (OVA)
- Haikyu!!: To the Top
For further information about the watch order, refer to this article:-
5. About Haikyu!!
Haikyu!! is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Its publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump began in February 2012 with 42 collected tankōbon volumes released.
Hinata Shoyo is a highly passionate boy who wishes to follow the steps of his idol, ‘The Little Giant’ in the field of volleyball.
Hinata’s resolve is unbreakable as he faces gruesome defeat at the hands of the ‘King of the Court,’ a genius prodigy setter Kageyama Tobio in middle school. Hinata’s dreams take fruit as he enters high school.
He joins the declining volleyball team of Karasuno High and is appalled to find the very same Kageyama as his teammate. The story follows the revival of Karasuno High and the unity they maintain to pave their way for nationals.