'Haikyuu!!': How the Volleyball Anime Made an Unlikely Appearance at the Tokyo Olympics

Haikyuu's manga may have finished last year, but the franchise made a surprise appearance during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The series, which was written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate, follows the trials of Junior High School student Shoyo Hinata as he pursues his dream of becoming the best volleyball player in the world despite his short stature.

During Japan's men's volleyball match against Venezuela on Saturday, a reference was made to the beloved sports manga after a particularly tense point.

When Did the Haikyuu Theme Song Play at the Olympics?

During the match, player Yuji Nishida was seen spiking the ball powerfully into the rival team's side of the court, winning Japan a point during the second set.

And after successfully winning the point, SPYAIR's "Imagination" could be heard being played over the speakers.

The song was the very first theme tune to be used for the Haikyuu!! anime, featuring from episode one to 13 of the show's debut season.

Sports anime Haikyuu!! appears in Tokyo Olympics
Haikyuu!! follows Shoyo Hinata on his quest to become the greatest volleyball player in the world. The sports anime is simulcast by Crunchyroll, and the show has a total of four seasons so far. Crunchyroll

It's not the only time SPYAIR's music was used for the anime, as the band's song "I'm a Believer" was the theme tune for the first half of the second season, while their track "One Day" served as the ending song for the second half of the fourth season.

Japan's men's volleyball team were victorious in their match against Venezuela, winning in straight sets for the first time since 1992 Barcelona Games.

The team went on to win 3-1 against Canada on Monday, and they are next set to play Italy on Wednesday.

Haikyuu!! was published in Shonen Jump from 2012 until June last year, ending with 45 volumes in total.

Japan's men's volleyball team at Tokyo Olympics
Japan's players celebrating after a point in the men's preliminary round pool A volleyball match against Venezuela. The team won in straight sets during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Will There Be a Fifth Season of Haikyuu?

The anime adaptation's fourth season was released in 2020, with the first half premiering in Japan in January, and it was simulcast in the US by Crunchyroll.

Due to delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the show's second half was not released until October, and it then finished on December 19.

Season four ended with Hinata's Karasuno High volleyball team getting through to the third round of Nationals.

The fourth season has adapted the manga until chapter 292, so, as Furudate's comic ended on 402 chapters, there are plenty more stories for the anime to recreate.

Anime studio Production I.G, who are behind the adaptation, have yet to announce whether the show has been renewed for a fifth season.