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Bringing The Haikyuu!! Series To Life Was Not An Easy Task

"Haikyuu!!" is a sports anime series from Production I.G. based on the manga series of the same name by Haruichi Furudate. The series follows the story of a young volleyball enthusiast named Shoyo Hinata (Ayumu Murase), who (despite his short stature) dreams of becoming a famous volleyball player. This dream leads him to enroll in Karasuno High School due to its renowned volleyball program.

Unfortunately, Hinata arrives at Karasuno to discover that the volleyball team has become a shell of its former self and is currently the laughingstock of the league. On top of that, one of his new teammates at Karasuno is his longtime rival Tobio Kageyama (Kaito Ishikawa), whom he played against back in junior high.

The aggressive rivalry between Kageyama and Hinata transforms the Karasuno volleyball team into a legitimate contender, and the team dramatically fights their way toward a spot in the National Championship. Despite the somewhat simplistic premise of the series, there are still plenty of moving parts throughout the first four seasons of "Haikyuu!!" Indeed, although it might sound like an extremely straightforward story, several of the executives overseeing "Haikyuu!!" say that it was actually incredibly difficult to bring the series to life.

The team struggled with the story's pacing and structure

During an interview with animatetimes.com, several "Haikyuu!!" executives discussed the immense challenges involved with bringing the acclaimed manga series to life as an anime, asserting that it was tough to adapt the story of the manga in an engaging way (via Haikyuu!! English Twitter Account).

"There are some parts of the story that need to be compressed and some parts that need to be drawn out more tightly than others," explained series composer Taku Kishimoto. "It was very difficult to balance the content and the length of the story while emphasizing the plot development and cohesiveness of each episode and not changing the impression of the original story." Director Masako Sato echoed this sentiment by discussing the particular difficulties the team has in balancing the pacing between the action-packed volleyball scenes and the more mundane sequences outside of those games.

Sato explained that every single action within these volleyball scenes is mapped out in extensive detail and that sometimes you'll have an extremely dense structure for a scene that is "over in an instant." Indeed, it seems as though translating the action of these volleyball matches from page to screen was nearly as tricky as adapting the dense story of the "Haikyuu!!" manga into an exciting and powerful anime. As such, it's no wonder that bringing "Haikyuu!!" to life was such an enormous task.