Haikyu!! 3rd Season is the third season of the anime that is based on the Haikyu!! manga. The season was directed by Susumu Mitsunaka and was produced by Production I.G. The series aired on Japanese television from October 4, 2015-March 26, 2016. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for Haikyu!! 3rd Season.
The entirety of this season was focused on Karasuno’s match against Shiratorizawa Academy. It’s a pivotal match, because the winner becomes the representative for Miyagi Prefecture at Nationals. Shiratorizawa has always advanced to Nationals in the past and is thus known as a “powerhouse” school. Of course, this sets up a conflict between a dark horse team that no one expects to win and a strong opponent.
What I liked about this season is how it built in intensity. While there is some tension from the get-go, it gradually builds until it reaches its peak during the final two episodes. The way the match was written, episode nine was a major nail biter for the audience, and it was anyone’s guess as to how the teams would score. The final episode brings the match and the intensity to an end, and it presents the aftermath of this hard-fought game.
Near the end of the season, there was also some character development presented for Wakatoshi Ushijima, Satori Tendo, as well as Karasuno’s third years. My favorite of these was the backstory for Karasuno’s third years, because we got to see them when they were first years. They were so adorable! Wakatoshi’s backstory was kind of interesting, but Satori’s made him more unsympathetic (at least it did for me).
One of the biggest things, though, was the change that took place for Tsukishima. By the end of the third season, he became a much more likable character.
But all in all, it was an enjoyable season. The ending made it clear that there’s still more to come, and it looks like something major could be coming for Kageyama. With this ending, it seems like a fourth season will eventually be forthcoming, and I hope it does sooner rather than later. At such a point that there is a fourth season for Haikyu!!, I will definitely watch it.