MIL-OSI China: ​Shanghai hosts ‘Haikyu!!’ film extravaganza

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Source: China State Council Information Office 3

Over 10,000 fans were sent into a frenzy on Monday as Japanese rock band Spyair performed the theme songs from “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle” at the Shanghai premiere of the Japanese animated sports film.

Japanese rock band Spyair performs on stage at the premiere of “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle” in Shanghai, June 10, 2024. [Photo courtesy of Road Pictures]

The event, organized by Road Pictures, a seasoned marketing company and promoter of Japanese animation works and culture, transformed a regular movie premiere into a fan carnival. The company has a history of hosting spectacular events, including an outdoor screening and fan festival for “Spy x Family Code: White” in April this year, as well as an electrifying, nostalgia-filled Beijing premiere for “The First Slam Dunk” at Peking University in April 2023.

“Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” written and directed by Susumu Mitsunaka, is based on Haruichi Furudate’s “Haikyu!!” manga series. This film is a direct sequel to the anime television series and marks its first film adaptation. The storyline centers on the inaugural “Dumpster Battle,” where Karasuno High and Nekoma High square off in the Spring Nationals’ third round. Representing Karasuno’s aggressive style, Shoyo Hinata must join forces with his middle school rival, Tobio Kageyama, to overcome the defensive prowess of Nekoma, led by Hinata’s friend and rival, Kenma Kozume, and advance in the tournament.

The film features an ensemble voice cast, including Ayumu Murase, Kaito Ishikawa, Yuki Kaji, and Yuichi Nakamura, several of whom attended the Shanghai event to interact with fans.

“The character I voiced is quite unique. He speaks little and shows little emotional fluctuation but is introspective and thoughtful,” said Yuki Kaji, sharing his first impression of his role as Kenma Kozume at the fan event. “I am incredibly grateful to this role for ushering me onto a new stage in my acting career and introducing me to audiences in China and around the world. I am deeply moved.”

“Haikyu!!” has gained significant popularity among Chinese comic and animation fans since its serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2012 to July 2020. It has inspired anime adaptations, video games, radio dramas, and this new film. The original creator, Haruichi Furudate, sent his editor, Riki Azuma, to the film’s premiere in China, where he read a letter from Furudate thanking Chinese fans. “The spirit of sports knows no borders; everyone is moved by its charm,” Furudate wrote in the letter.

A Chinese fan attending the event told China.org.cn that she became a fan 10 years ago when the animation series first aired. She was impressed by the lighting effects, the voice cast’s interaction with fans, and Spyair’s energetic performance. “I was immediately drawn back into the beautiful time of my youth when I watched and followed the animation series,” she said. “The new film on the big screen truly showcased the charisma of the animation. The friendship among the players and the delicate portrayal of character relationships moved me.”

The voice cast of “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle” poses for a photo with over 10,000 fans at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center at the film’s premiere in Shanghai, June 10, 2024. [Photo courtesy of Road Pictures]

“Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle” will hit Chinese theaters on June 15, boosting China’s summer vacation film season and promoting Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges. Before its release in China, it grossed $85.2 million worldwide, including over 10 billion Japanese yen ($63.7 million) in its local market, making it the second highest-grossing Japanese film of 2024 so far, second only to “Detective Conan: The Million-dollar Pentagram.”

MIL OSI China News