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Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle

Content Caution



In Theaters


Home Release Date




Kennedy Unthank

Movie Review

After plenty of hype, “destined rival” high school volleyball teams, Karasuno and Nekoma, are finally facing off at nationals in Tokyo.

No one is more excited than Hinata, a Karasuno player who’s been dying to have a real match against his friend Kenma, who plays for Nekoma. And though the reserved Kenma won’t admit it to anyone else, he’s excited to play, too.

The match is set to be a good one—even other teams at nationals are pausing to watch this fierce rivalry between two skilled teams. In fact, they’re calling it the “Dumpster Battle,” because the teams’ respective mascots, a crow and a cat, are animals that frequently pick food out of the trash.

People gather because they know it’ll be a close match. Karasuno’s offensive power is evenly matched by Nekoma’s defense—making every point a war of attrition. But someone must eventually come out on top.

Positive Elements

Both teams obviously respect one another. They give each other compliments whenever a player does something impressive, and there’s plenty of friendly banter between the teams. And when characters start to argue, other team members rebuke them for it. One teammate in particular, Tetsurō Kuroo, motivates his teammates even when they make mistakes.

Kenma isn’t initially motivated to work too hard in the match. However, when he sees others pushing themselves further than he thought possible, it motivates him to “rethink [his] own limits” and to give the match his all.

We also see various interesting and ingenious strategies deployed throughout the match as both teams adapt and work around the other’s tactics.

Spiritual Elements

One player is described as a “guardian diety.” There’s a reference to the mythical oni—an ogre-like demon from Japanese folklore.

Sexual Content

Someone walks in on a player who’s changing into his pants, and we briefly see him in his underwear.

Violent Content

A character takes a volleyball to the face, but he quickly recovers.

Crude or Profane Language

“D–n” is uttered more than 15 times. “A–,” “h—,” “p-ss” and “crap” are each used a handful of times. There’s one use of “b–tard.” God’s name is taken in vain once.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements



Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle continues the story of Netflix’s Haikyu!! animated series, which follows Shoyo Hinata’s experiences after joining his school’s volleyball club.

The film serves (pun intended) as the culmination of a long-awaited match between school rivals Karasuno and Nekoma, two teams who equal each other in technical volleyball ability. With that in mind, anyone wanting to jump into this world should probably watch the TV series before seeing this film, as the movie often includes flashbacks to previous moments from the series that’ll otherwise be lost on viewers.

The entire movie follows the match between the two teams, leaving little time for content concerns beyond a volleyball to the face. However, viewers should be aware that players will often let out an expletive in frustration as the match progresses.

For fans, Haikyuu!! The Dumpster Battle delivers a satisfying match between these two rivals, one that the show has anticipated for a long time. It also contains impressive POV animation and plenty of emotional payoff.

But once again, that payoff will only feel like one if you’ve previously seen the show.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”