This is the first part of a two-part Haikyu!! OVA, which Crunchyroll began streaming on January 10, 2020. This two-part OVA does not focus on the main characters from Karasuno. Instead, the main focus in on Nekoma High. Hinata is referenced a couple of times during this OVA (once in a line of dialogue, the other in a scene where Kenma receives a text from Hinata saying that Karasuno has made it to the finals). That text reinforces the idea that this OVA must fall between the last episode of the third season of Haikyu!! and the first episode of the fourth season.
For Nekoma’s side, there’s a lot of focus on Kenma and Lev. We are also introduced to Taketoro Yamamoto’s younger sister, Akane, and Lev’s older sister, Alisa. It’s pretty clear as the first match progresses that Akane seems to have a crush on Lev.
In the first match, Nekoma is up against Fukurodani Academy. Bokuto is the character who is focused on the most for this team. During this match, we see Bokuto acting like his usual self. Lev, unfortunately, isn’t doing so well during this match. It was interesting to see Kenma confronting Lev after the coach tells him to, because this is the most emotion we’ve seen in his facial features and words. For a guy who’s normally calm and unassuming, seeing this side of Kenma was surprising and a little humorous at the same time. The guys on Nekoma’s team try their best to shake off issues they’re having with their gameplay.
The OVA also introduces a new team, Nohebi Academy. True to the team’s name (“hebi” is Japanese for snake), the team captain has a snake-like look to his facial design. They’re the team that Nekoma is up against during their second match. This match begins in this episode, but stops in the middle of it when this episode ends. There’s a cliffhanger at the end of this episode, so if you want to see how the match continues and how the story will continue after the cliffhanger, you have to watch the second episode of the OVA.
While this OVA may not feature the characters we know and love from Karasuno, it still features all the action and character interactions that the audience has come to expect from Haikyu!! during the matches.
I’m looking forward to seeing the other episode of this OVA in order to find out what will happen. Will Nekoma prevail against Nohebi? Will there be more references to Hinata and/or Karasuno? Will Lev’s gameplay improve? Will we see more of Lev’s sister and Yamamoto’s sister? So many questions that I can only find out the answers to by watching the rest of the OVA.