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Love All Play - What We Know So Far

While anime covers a wide range of genres, featuring stories about literally anything you can think of, sports stories are actually one of the most popular themes you'll see. If you are familiar with anime already, you've probably watched or heard of "Haikyuu!!", which is set around a high school volleyball team, or "Kuroko's Basketball," which is about one teenage boy's drive to make his unknown high school basketball team the best in all of Japan. One of the most popular anime ever is actually "Yuri on Ice," which is all about figure skating. 

The sport of badminton might've already been covered by anime like "Hanebado!", but now there's a new series centered around this sport that fans of this anime genre definitely need to check out. The upcoming series is called "Love All Play," based on the novel series written by Asami Koseki, with the tagline reading, "A once-in-a-lifetime coming-of-age that hurtles at 400 km/h (250 mph), love-all play!!" (Anonesan/YouTube). 

Here's everything we know so far about Season 1 of the anime "Love All Play."

What is the release date for Love All Play Season 1?

The story of "Love All Play" was originally published by Poplar Publishing between 2011 and 2014 as a novel series. In 2021, it is now in production as an anime adaptation from the studios Nippon Animation and OLM. Both studios have been working on animated films and television for decades, with the latter having produced all of the "Pokemon" series and films. Riko Kaneda is working on character design, while Yuki Hayashi is composing for the series (Anime News Network). 

As revealed in the first official teaser video for "Love All Play," the new series will start airing in April 2022. The show will air on the channels YTV, NTV, and their affiliates, every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time. Unfortunately for fans in the US and other western countries, there is no news yet as to how the series will be distributed internationally, but expect to hear more soon. 

Who are the characters in Love All Play?

The badminton-centered series "Love All Play" focuses on the character Ryō Mizushima, a badminton player who was on his middle school team, but as the school didn't have a coach, they remained relatively unknown, with Ryō only making it to the major tournament due to his pure strength and skill. Going into high school, Ryō intends to make it much farther than that, finding a team of fantastic players and a great coach in order to make it to the top. Ryō's new elite high school badminton coach is named Ebihara, who is legendary in the field. 

As the original material is a novel series and not a manga, also being released quite a few years ago, there isn't a lot of information about the specifics of the story and characters in "Love All Play." But according to a fan on Twitter, other characters from the novels who are likely to make an appearance are Ryō's older sister Rika, as well as teammates Kento Yusa, Sakaki, the Higashiyama twins, Matsuda, and Uchida. 

What is Love All Play about?

As it is Ryō's dream to be on the best badminton team in Japan, he does his best in middle school and is noticed for his skill. According to a plot synopsis from Anime Planet, he is then scouted to join "the prestigious Yokohama-Minato High School's badminton team under the legendary coach Ebihara and is surrounded by talented teammates. He strives to become a top athlete and take his high school team to the inter-high tournament." 

"Love All Play" will likely follow the day-to-day struggles of Ryō getting used to a new team and working to improve his skills, finally having a coach who can help him. The Yokohama-Minato High School's badminton team will play more and more matches as they work toward the main national championship, where they would finally have the opportunity to prove that they are the best in Japan. There are four novels in total, and the story is said to shift focus to other players later on, including Ryō's teammate Kento.