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Shōyō Hinata — #10
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Ayumu MuraseThe protagonist of the series, Hinata aspired to become the ace of a volleyball team after seeing "The Small Giant" in a match on television. His aspirations were challenged after facing a crushing defeat against Tobio Kageyama and the Kitagawa Daiichi team in his first and last match in middle school; and then after entering high school and learning that not only he did not have the power nor technique to become a wing spiker, the opponent he had sworn to defeat, Kageyama, was now his teammate.However, his extraordinarily good jumping ability, along with Kageyama's tosses, gave him the potential to become "The Strongest Decoy", drawing away opposing teams’ focus from the other attackers with his various types of quick strikes.
Even though I'm short, I can jump! I'll show you that I can become Karasuno's ace!
Favourite food: Tamago Kake Gohan.
Current concern: He can't catch the ball one-handed.
Tropes associated with Shōyō Hinata:
- Adorkable: Seen in the eyecatches.
- Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Sho-chan" by his friend Izumi, whom he calls "Izumin" in turn.
- Anime Hair: Light orange and spiked in various directions.
- Benched Hero: Since middle blockers are always switched with liberos when they move to the back row during rotation, Hinata is often switched with Nishinoya. Shares this role with Tsukishima.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Hinata is generally upbeat and friendly, but can be very scary when he gets serious.
- Book Dumb: To the point that he didn't even know what number is the failing mark for a test. He also told Sugawara that he's never made a double digit score on a quiz or a test.
- Butt Monkey: In the beginning, when he had little skill in volleyball aside from spiking, he often received the ball with his face. It's become something his teammates have gotten used to.
- Childhood Friends: With Koji and Izumi.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: You would never guess he'd be such a talented player just by looking at him.
- Determinator: Hinata firmly believes that if a match isn’t yet lost, then there’s no reason to give up on it.
- Height Angst: Hinata occasionally feels insecure about his short height (especially in earlier chapters). Despite putting all his faith on his incredible jumping height in order to overcome this, he sometimes can’t help but feel jealous of taller players.
- Hero-Worshipper: If someone is older, good at volleyball and is nice enough, Hinata probably thinks they're the coolest ever and will ask them to teach him their moves, with no hint of shyness.
- Meaningful Name: "Hinata" (日向), can be translated to "place in the sun" or "to face the sun", while "Shouyou" (翔陽) can mean "flying heaven", where "shou" (翔) means "to fly", and "you" (陽) means "sun/heaven/male".
- The flying imagery is taken up a notch when you combine the first kanji in Kageyama's and his given names: 飛翔 ("hishou") means "to soar" (as in 飛翔する; "hishou suru") or "flight". Guess whose freak quick is taking Karasuno to new heights?
- The Napoleon: This is the biggest part of Hinata's story, he's very small for his age, only 162cm, he tries to make up for his short stature with his incredible jumping abilities.
- The Nicknamer: Calls Oikawa "Great King" and Kindaichi "Shallot-head."
- Calls Kageyama "Bateyama-kun" ("Tiredyama-kun") during the later stages of the match against Shiratorizawa.
- Nervous Wreck: Because of his lack of experience, Hinata is this before matches.
- Older Than He Looks: People constantly mistake him for a middle-schooler, or even an elementary school student. Taken up a notch when you realize he's the oldest of the first-years on the team.
- Quizzical Tilt: Sometimes, when someone says something he doesn't understand. Which is quite often. Shares this trait with Kageyama.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kageyama's blue.
- Sleep Cute: With Kageyama on the bus ride back to school from the first day of the Inter-High tournament; only in the manga.
Tobio Kageyama — #9
Voiced by: Kaito Ishikawa"The King of the Upper Court"The former ace of Kitagawa Daiichi that Hinata swore revenge upon. He is hailed "King of the Upper Court" by his junior high teammates due to his tyrannical attitude towards leading the team. Not too long after his match with Hinata, his teammates turned on him and Kageyama was benched for the rest of his tenure in junior high. Due to his actions, none of the top volleyball high schools would accept his application, leading him to attend Karasuno High School, where he must learn the value of teamwork.
Favourite food: Pork curry with an egg on top.
Current concern: He gets the feeling that animals dislike him.
Tropes associated with Tobio Kageyama:
- The Ace: He's probably the best setter in his region.
- Kageyama's stats are killer, he literally maxes out in half of them and and gets 4/5 in everything else, better than Oikawa, who is a monster to go up against on court. Said player even acknowledges his junior's skill, saying that Kageyama would be the ideal setter if he would just think about his team instead of himself.
- He also manages to avert a perhaps expected Crippling Overspecialization, as being an extraordinary setter doesn't stop him from being just as competent in spiking and receiving, much to the rest of the team's exasperation.
- Always Someone Better: Has this mindset towards Oikawa, who he considers a superior setter. Interestingly, the feeling it's mutual.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He has difficulty expressing his emotions in a healthy manner, and understanding the emotions of others. Outside of volleyball, he's a very literal thinker. Volleyball seems to be the only thing he's interested in.
- Animals Hate Him: One of his concerns.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Since Oikawa refused to teach him his killer serve, Kageyama mastered it by simply observing him. He also efficiently copies Kenma's feint after seeing it only once, since he was too awkward at the time to actually ask Kenma to teach him.
- Berserk Button:
- He really doesn't like his In-Series Nickname.
- People not taking a match seriously is also a secondary button for him, as his former teammates and Hinata can attest.
- Book Dumb: An interesting example because he looks the part of the smart and diligent student. And he's a promising tactician where volleyball is concerned (the official databook has him tied with Tsukishima as most intelligent player on the team) to boot. It's just that Kageyama couldn't care less about academics.
- Break the Haughty: Being abandoned by his team in the middle of a match during junior high had this kind of effect on him, and was the trigger for his character development, which really starts when he joins Karasuno.
- Character Development: Kageyama during junior high used to order his teammates around and chastised them over every little mistake, even if he himself had blame. His tyrannical behavior even gave him the nickname "King of the Upper Court" (コート上の王様). Upon bonding with Karasuno, he makes an effort to not let his emotions get the better of him, takes responsibility for his mistakes, learns to treat everyone as teammates, and comes to genuinely care about everyone on the team.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He once thought that Tsukishima's eyes would look like the number 3 once he takes off his glasses. And also, this. Among many others.
- The Comically Serious: A good part of Kageyama's humor comes from the fact that he's thinking of the strangest things with the same serious expression, or that he often has to interact with very... excited upperclassmen (such as Tanaka and Nishinoya), which is something he has no experience with.
- Defrosting the Ice King: A male example. After what happened at his last junior high tournament (his entire team abandoning him), he realizes he needs to trust in his teammates more and not just do everything himself. He is slowly starting to do this at Karasuno.
- Death Glare: Has a extremely powerful one, to the point that when Asahi asks Hinata what's the scariest thing the latter can think of, Kageyama's glare tops everything else.
- Deuteragonist: No less important than Hinata in the story, and also a huge part of the latter's motivation (to keep winning) and improvement (when they team up).
- Foil: To Hinata, in nearly every way. Kageyama is a prodigy in volleyball born with good reflexes as well as the necessary height, which made him known as a fearfully good setter even when younger. Hinata on the other hand is short and can only count on his jump power to make him a noticeable figure in volleyball, and had trouble finding a team who'd play with him in junior high. Unlike Kageyama, who has a terrible temper, Hinata is extremely friendly and excitable. Also, their hair colors both contrast and complement each other, as they're also Karasuno's volleyball team's official colors.
- Also a foil to Sugawara in terms of their type of play. Kageyama can only utilize Hinata and a few other players to score points while Sugawara is able to utilize all the members on the court due to his strategic style of playing. Also, Sugawara cannot score on his own, while Kageyama can.
- He is also a foil to Kenma because he lacks all the qualities Kenma has in terms of how they play.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Mainly in his junior high days, when little mistakes would tick him off, and he'd scream and put the blame on others. Hinata is still able to make him revert to this even after he gets better, though it's more obviously Played for Laughs.
- Hot-Blooded: One of the characters who take volleyball more seriously in the series, and will snap at the slightest hint of someone slacking off. He's also very passionate about the setter position in particular.
- The Leader: Used to be Type I for Kitagawa Daiichi, despite not being the captain.
- Icy Blue Eyes: More like Icy Gray Eyes, but they are definitely the cold and calculating type. Really stands out as he is one of the few characters not to have Brown Eyes.
- In-Series Nickname: He's known as the King of the Upper Court. He receives this nickname because his junior high teammates compared him to a tyrannical King. They used the title mockingly. He dislikes being referred to as such because of the implications.
- Ironic Nickname: Those who don't know him would be inclined to think he's called the "King of the Court" because he's a well-known Badass setter, which is what Hinata assumes before getting to know him. That's... really not what it means, which is why Kageyama himself dislikes the title.
- Meaningful Name:
- "Kage" (影) means "shadow" which is understandable since he's like a shadow to the sun (Hinata). The kanji of Kageyama (影山) literally translates to "shadow mountain".
- "Shadow" and "light"...where have we seen this before?
- His given name, Tobio (飛雄), means "flying hero", which serves him well with regards to his jump serve.
- The flying imagery is taken up a notch when you combine the first kanji in his and Hinata's given names: 飛翔 ("hishou") means "to soar" (as in 飛翔する; "hishou suru") or "flight". Guess whose freak quick is taking Karasuno to new heights?
- No Social Skills: To the point he can’t even recognize when others try to high five him. He’s also really bad at asking people things, usually approaching them on an awkward and (unknowingly) almost aggressive manner.
- Perpetual Frowner: And it's been lampshaded a good number of times. Tanaka says he has this type of expression on his face even when picking yogurt.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Hinata's red.
- Quizzical Tilt: Ditto as with Hinata.
- Sleep Cute: With Hinata on the bus ride back to school after the first day of Inter-High; only in the manga.
- The Stoic: As explained in Book Dumb above, he appears as this due to his excellent strategic skills and cool-headedness. His similar character design to Anime/Free!’s Haruka Nanase doesn’t help.
- Team Prima Donna: When he was in Kitagawa Daiichi, he used to order his teammates around and wanted everything his way.
- Teen Genius: At volleyball. However, he usually doesn't bother applying himself to his academic studies.
- Tsundere: One moment he'll be shouting insults, the next trying to encourage his teammates. His dere side tends to show mostly around Hinata.
- The Un-Smile: The first time he tried to smile traumatized Hinata.
- Vitriolic Best Buds/Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eventually with Hinata.
- When He Smiles:
- Zig Zagged. Kageyama rarely smiles and when he does, Hinata and the other members of the team find it disturbing and traumatizing. However, Kageyama is shown to give legitimately nice smiles, as shown in the second ending of the anime.
- The thing is, Kageyama's smile looks sinister when he's actually plotting something, or when he's trying to mimic Sugawara's (which is a characteristic, open smile). His sincere smiles, like the ones he gives when excited◊ or confident◊, are visibly quite nicer.
- Younger Than They Look: Kageyama's height and build makes him look slightly older, and he appears more like a second or third year than a first year. Hilariously enough, he's the youngest player on the team.
Daichi Sawamura — #1
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Satoshi HinoDaichi is the Captain of the Karasuno boys’ volleyball team. He claims to have come to Karasuno High School because he saw a volleyball match he could never forget on TV — also it's close to his house. His biggest strength is his defensive abilities.
Favourite food: Shoyu Ramen.
Current concern: His incessant dreams about the vice-principal's flying wig.
Tropes associated with Daichi Sawamura:
- Benched Hero: He knocks out a tooth after colliding with Tanaka during a match and is immediately pulled from the game..
- Beware the Nice Ones: His team, particularly Tanaka and Asahi, is very aware of how scary Daichi can be when he’s mad.
- Brown Eyes: One of the many characters in the manga with these, although his fit his Theme Naming.
- The Captain: Of the Karasuno team, and also one of the Reasonable Authority Figures.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially towards the more hot-blooded underclassmen and Asahi.
- I Can Still Fight: When he gets injured.
- Meaningful Name: The characters used for Daichi (大地) mean "good" and "earth" respectively. As the captain, he acts as the "ground" that supports his teammates.
- Team Dad: He’s a strict leader who most of the team visibly try not to piss off (since he’s quite scary when he’s mad), but is also a reliable and friendly figure.
- The Leader: The Levelheaded type. He's part of the third years and is one of the most mature characters of the team, and even his character design denotes his neutral part. Fittingly, his playing style is also supportive in nature: he's the best of the team at receives, the libero Nishinoya being the only exception.
- Worthy Opponent: Other teams' captains often perceive him as this, notably Oikawa, Kuroo and Terushima. Oikawa often goes out of his way to compliment Daichi, both in person (such as before Aobajousai's second match against Karasuno) and in Internal Monologue, and Terushima even attributes the reason of Johzenji's loss mostly to Daichi, rather than to Hinata.
Kōshi Sugawara — #2
Voiced by: Miyu IrinoSugawara is one of Karasuno’s setters (he's no longer a starter after Kageyama’s arrival) and also the team's vice captain. Composed and courteous, he’s not a prodigy like Kageyama; his style of playing is more generic. He compensates this by being very reliable (and quite clever) when in court.
Favourite food: Super spicy mapo tofu.
Current concern: A lot of his kouhai are bigger than him.
Tropes associated with Kōshi Sugawara:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: His hair is a much lighter shade of silvery-blond in the manga, most notably in one of the center color pages during the Karasuno vs. Aobajousai match.
- Always Someone Better: Subverted. Though he isn't all happy about it, he accepts that the prodigy Kageyama is better than him as a setter, and steps down from his place as regular setter in favor of Kageyama, since the latter is more likely to help Karasuno in going to Nationals than him.
- Beauty Mark: On the corner of his left eye.
- Benched Hero: Sugawara used to be Karasuno's primary setter. However when Kageyama joins, he gives up his spot as a setter. Eventually though, they become a sort of team and Sugawara is put in games as a backup when needed.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Kageyama. He's also labelled as the Kageyama handler whenever Kageyama gets out of control.
- To Oikawa. They're both third year setters outshined by Kageyama, but their treatment of Kageyama is very different. Since Oikawa resented Kageyama, he never gave him advice or helped him when they were teammates. Sugawara, on the other hand, is jealous of Kageyama but he holds no animosity towards him; he always treats him with the kindness Oikawa never gave him as an upperclassman and rival setter.
- Also a foil to Kageyama in terms of their types of play. Kageyama can only fully utilize Hinata and a few other players to score points while Sugawara is able to utilize all the members on the court due to his strategic style of playing. Also, Sugawara cannot score on his own, while Kageyama can.
- Idiot Hair: However, he does not have any of the characteristics regarding this trope.
- Meaningful Name: Sugawara (菅原) means "sedge field".
- Nice Guy: Sugawara is generally a supportive and considerate person. It’s one of the reasons everyone on the team gets along well with him, from the snarky Tsukishima to the aloof manager Shimizu.
- Number Two: He is the vice captain.
- The Strategist: Since he is no prodigy, his playing style is all about efficiently outwitting the opponent.
- Team Mom: Sugawara has a calm, soothing personality, being a source of support for the team. He’s also the only one who can lecture Daichi, the resident Team Dad.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Subverted. While not exactly white per se, he has the lightest hair color on the team, even more so in the manga. He's also considered by most to be Karasuno's nicest player.
Asahi Azumane — #3
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Yoshimasa HosoyaKarasuno's resident ace spiker. He is said to have a heart of glass, and occasionally gets poked fun at by the other third-years for it. Asahi briefly quit the volleyball team after the team got crushed by Datekou during their match the previous year, blaming himself for not being able to break down their defenses.
Favourite food: Tonkotsu Ramen
Current concern: When he tells people he's a student nobody believes him, first years are afraid of him, girls in his class say things like "even though he looks the way he does, he's kinda weak" then go getting themselves all disappointed, future plans, the captain being scary... (cut for length)
Tropes associated with Asahi Azumane:
- Actually Pretty Funny: In one occasion Daichi calls him a dumbass in a tone that Asahi finds so amusingly like an impression of how Kageyama calls Hinata that he (along with Suga) asks Daichi to do it again. He does.
- Alliterative Name: Asahi Azumane.
- Broken Ace: He was scared off from his place as ace after being crushed by Datekou's defenses.
- Butt Monkey: Among the third years. Daichi is special loves to crack a few jokes at his expense.
- Face of a Thug: People are often intimidated by how he looks, thinking he's a criminal. Ironically, in the team he surpasses even Team Mom Sugawara in softness.
- Foil: To Nishinoya. Asahi is shy and insecure despite looking big and threatening, while Nishinoya is almost too loud and blunt for his short stature. They even play opposite positions on the team: Asahi is the ace, which means he gets most of the attack points, while Nishinoya being the libero is responsible for only the receives. Trivia takes it further: their names contrast, with Asahi's name translating to "Eastern Peaks Morning Sun" and Nishinoya's name being "Western Valley Evening". And finally, their mirrored birthdays (01/01 for Asahi and 10/10 for Nishinoya) also drive the point home.
- First-Name Basis: Most of his teammates call him by his first name, or at least "Asahi-san", rather than by his surname.
- Fragile Flower: A male example. There is a reason, after all, why the whole team says he has a heart of glass.
- Gentle Giant: Asahi is the second tallest of the team, and also the one with the most powerful physical build, and is also a sensible boy who gets intimidated easily.
- Looks Like Jesus: The team even dresses him up as Jesus during the Shonen Jump Christmas special. He's not exactly pleased about it.◊
- Meaningful Name: Asahi (旭) means “morning sun”.
- My Greatest Failure: Their match against Datekou the year prior to the start of the series. He eventually gets over it after the team defeat them in the Inter-High preliminaries.
- Younger Than They Look: He is also mistaken to be older than 17 due to his appearance. People often think he's always held back.
Yū Nishinoya — #4
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto"Karasuno's Guardian Deity"Nishinoya is the team's expert libero. Due playing for a powerful junior high team and being very skilled, he could have easily gone to any of the top volleyball high schools. Instead, he chose to go to Karasuno because he thought the uniforms looked cool. He was put under house arrest and banned from club activities for a period of time due to hitting the vice-principal during the uproar of a fight with Asahi after losing to Datekou the year prior to the series’ events.
Favourite food: Garigari-kun popsicles (soda flavour).
Current concern: None.
Tropes associated with Yū Nishinoya:
- Affectionate Nickname: Tanaka and Hinata call him "Noya-san".
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has an obvious crush on Kiyoko.
- Anime Hair: His hair is like that because he wants to make up for his short height. Hilariously, he looks really different with his hair down that even Hinata couldn't recognize him and mistook him for a small child when they were on their Golden Week training camp excursion.
- Book Dumb: He wrote "Live a manlier life, Norio!" for an answer on one of his comprehension tests.
- Brutal Honesty: With Asahi as a common target of it.
- Cannot Talk to Women: An amusing example, since he’s very blunt about his crush on Shimizu, and doesn’t hesitate in saying he chose Karasuno High because he liked the girls’ uniforms. The first years are a bit surprised when he gets uncharacteristically shy upon meeting Yachi, who’s new to the team.
- First-Name Basis: He calls some people by their first names and not their last names. Some examples are Tanaka, Hinata and Ennoshita.
- Foil: To Asahi, as noted in his section.
- Hero-Worshipper: A really weird example. Nishinoya admires Asahi very much. Due to this Nishinoya feels the need to support Asahi in anyway he can, be it criticism or praise. He takes it hard on himself whenever he thinks he failed Asahi in being a libero. However, Nishinoya is able to hold his own, just not in the same way as the rest of the team; and needs other people to score points for him.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Birds of a Feather: With Tanaka, due to their similar personalities they get along very well.
- Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Nishinoya is a non-romantic example for Asahi. He is trying to motivate him into becoming a confident ace.
- The Napoleon: He's shorter than Hinata but he doesn't seem to be bothered by his height since he's a very skilled libero, which his height is useful for.
- Older Than They Look: He's been mistaken for an elementary-schooler.
- Pint Size Power House: He's even shorter than Hinata, and yet very strong for a defensive player. He also teams to cause a lot of damage when he delivers victory punches to Asahi and Tsukishima.
- Skunk Stripe: He has blond streaks in his bangs.
- Sleep Cute: With Tanaka on the bus ride back to school after the first day of the Inter-High in Episode 19 of the first season.
Ryūnosuke Tanaka — #5
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Yuu HayashiTanaka is the teams boisterous wing spiker. He has budding potential to become the next ace spiker. He always manages to stay positive in bleak situations. Tanaka quickly took Hinata under his wing towards the beginning of the latter’s tenure on the team.
Favourite food: Melonpan
Current concern: When he tried calling out to a lost-looking first year girl to tell her the way to her classroom, she started to cry.
Tropes associated with Ryūnosuke Tanaka:
- Affectionate Nickname: Nishinoya calls him "Ryuu".
- All Love Is Unrequited: Has a crush on Kiyoko.
- Big Brother Instinct: He is quick to jump to the defense of his kohai, especially Hinata.
- Big Brother Mentor: What he's trying to be to the first years, particularly Hinata.
- Cannot Talk to Women: A mild case compared to Taketora and Nishinoya, though.
- Face of a Thug: Not as bad of a case as Asahi, and most of the time he puts on a thug-like face on purpose, in order to intimidate opponents — but then... just read his current concern again.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Birds of a Feather: With Nishinoya, as noted in his entry. The two are very physical with each other, with Tanaka often lifting Nishinoya up in the air when excited and complimenting each other somewhat excessively.
- Hot-Blooded: Easily provoked, and likes to cheer boisterously and loudly (sometimes too loudly) when scoring a point. However, compared to Hinata and Nishinoya, he does have a bit more of common sense.
- Meaningful Name: Ryuu (龍) means dragon, which is a good contrast with Nekoma's Taketora Yamamoto who has "tora" (tiger) in his name.
- Sleep Cute: With Nishinoya on the bus ride back from Inter-High after the first day in Episode 19 of the first season.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Yamamoto.
Kei Tsukishima — #11
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Kouki UchiyamaOne of the other first years, who happens to be the tallest member of the team. Due to his height and intellect, he is an excellent blocker. However, he lacks a drive to improve, due to his disdain towards volleyball. Tsukishima loves to incriminate Hinata and Kageyama.
Favourite food: Shortcake.
Current concern: Since starting high school, he once again has to deal with the various people asking how you read the character for his first name.
Tropes associated with Kei Tsukishima:
- Affectionate Nickname: Yamaguchi calls him "Tsukki". Eventually other characters, like Kuroo and Bokuto, catch this habit as well, much to Tsukishima's dislike.
- Benched Hero:
- He's often benched whenever he rotates to the back row. Shares this trait with Hinata.
- During the final match of the preliminaries for the Spring Tournament he gets benched after suffering an injury on the pinky finger, but gets back after receiving some first aid.
- Big Brother Worship: Has an older brother who also plays volleyball, and who he used to admire a lot as a kid.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Comes off as this. Tsukishima is the tallest player on the team and his intellect in court matches prodigy Kageyama’s; it’s explicitly said in the manga that if he had the drive, he could be a much more impressive player.
- Broken Pedestal: Towards his older brother, who he thought was the ace of Karasuno's volleyball team. A young Tsukishima was shocked to find out Akiteru wasn't even in the bench and had been lying all the time to not disappoint him. Tsukishima however seems to bear no resentment towards the person itself and still has a good relationship with them; in narration, he just laments that they felt they had to lie to him. However, it was enough to change his views about volleyball and hard work.
- Collector of the Strange: One panel shows him having a wall of dinosaur memorabilia in his room.
- Cynicism Catalyst: When he finds out that all the hard work put it by his brother to be part of the first string of Karasuno was for naught, he changes into this. He starts believing Hard Work Hardly Works.
- Deadpan Snarker: And not always of the good-natured variety.
- Dismotivation: He does not like putting too much effort into things that seem like a lost cause. He eventually starts to grow out of it, as the team notices when he starts to ask questions to the coach about blocking and strategy, something he never did before.
- Foil: To Hinata, though not in the same way Kageyama is. Tsukishima possesses height and wits (two things Hinata wishes he had), but doesn't particularly enjoy playing volleyball; Hinata is short and relies basically on his jump and speed. Another parallel shows up in that while they share the same position, Tsukishima focuses on the block itself, while Hinata is more interested in spiking. Their names also contrast, as explained in Meaningful Name below.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: At least until we learn about his Broken Pedestal.
- The Gadfly: Loves pushing Hinata and Kageyama's buttons.
- Hard Work Hardly Works:
- He assumes that no matter how you hard you work and what you achieve, there'll always be a bigger, harder challenge ahead. He also tells Hinata something along the lines of this trope when first playing against him, saying that hard work won't compensate for Hinata's short stature.
- Interestingly, he seems to change his mind about this in relation to Hinata after seeing him jump. From that point on, Tsukishima actually puts himself as inferior to Hinata (likely a foreshadow to his own brother's situation in the past, with a similar short yet talented player), as noticed by Kuroo. Tsukishima seems to consider talent a superior virtue to hard work, but doesn't consider himself gifted just for being tall, though he does use his height as an argument against others who don't even have that much.
- Have We Met?: Has this reaction when a younger Yamaguchi thanks him for talking off his bullies.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has his moments, though they're usually reserved to Yamaguchi, who is an old friend, and to his brother. On a minor note, for all his bad attitude, to his credit he did help Hinata and Kageyama studying for a while when they asked him to.
- Jerkass: Acts very smug towards Hinata and Kageyama upon meeting them, often mocking the latter for his old habits as the "King of the Court" as well as using the nickname just to mess with him. Then again, it's a bit understandable with what he views of volleyball after the incident with his brother.
- Meaningful Name: "Tsuki" (月) means "moon", a contrast to Hinata's "sun" (日). His given name, Kei, is an Alternate Character Reading for 蛍 ("firefly"), usually read as "hotaru".
- Not So Stoic: He generally expresses little emotion, but when Hinata sneaks into the Miyagi training camp that Tsukishima was invited to, Tsuki finally snaps and lets it loose on Hinata.
- Only Sane Man: As part of being The Stoic, Tsukishima is always apathetic to anything his teammates does. For example, he's the only one who doesn't cry after Karasuno loses to Aobajousai in the Inter-High tournament, doesn't show off his jersey when Yachi becomes the official manager, and doesn't drool upon hearing about what's for dinner.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Tsukishima had 5/5 points in strategy on the official character profile. He has also mentioned never getting failing marks at school, and tutored Kageyama and Hinata for a while during the school exams.
- Stoic Spectacles: Shows less emotion than anyone else in the team and is usually collected, unless he's mocking someone or something shocking gets him out of his usual vague expression.
- Stopped Caring: He does not take it well when he finds out that his brother, whom he looked up to as a volleyball player, isn't even a starter on the team and has been lying to him about being the ace the whole time.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Tsukishima was rather sweet as a child, at least towards his big brother, until his Broken Pedestal.
Tadashi Yamaguchi — #12
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Soma SaitoTsukishima's companion who is almost never seen without him in the beginning anyway. Yamaguchi has a strong desire to become one of the starting members, as he dislikes being the only first year who isn't one. He trains hard out of school to improve his serving technique, and eventually becomes the team's pinch server.
Favourite food: French fries that have gone soft and floppy.
Current concern: When he thinks a cute girl's come over to talk to him, all she'll ask about is Tsukki.
Tropes associated with Tadashi Yamaguchi:
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Yamaguchi was bullied when he was younger. Tsukishima told off his bullies and they've been good friends ever since.
- Benched Hero: Yamaguchi is only non-regularly played first-year, and he has said he doesn't want to be the only one benched so he asks an alumnus of Karasuno to teach him how to do a jump float serve.
- Grew a Spine: During his confrontation with Tsukishima.
- I Just Want to Be Special: He works hard throughout the series to stop being benched. During the third Seijoh match, he scores 5 points for their team, and holds down the fort during the Shiratorizawa match while Tsukishima was in the infirmiry.
- Idiot Hair
- Meaningful Name: His given name, Tadashi (忠), means "loyalty" or "devotion". He's certainly been a loyal friend to Tsukishima since childhood.
- Nice Guy: Lacks Hinata and Kageyama's tempers and Tsukishima's sharp tongue. He's probably the nicest guy on the team next to Sugawara.
- Odd Friendship: Before witnessing Tsukishima's Broken Pedestal, Tsukishima's cold and uncaring personality seems to contrast heavily with Yamaguchi's much more gentle personality. As the series goes on however, they seem to get closer and have a much more genuine friendship.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Chapters 137-138, he has perfected the jump float serve, which causes him to score five points for his team.
- Yes-Man: Initially has some shades of this towards Tsukishima. Growing out of it is what constitutes his character development.
- Youthful Freckles: A source of harassment when he was younger.
Chikara Ennoshita — #6
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Toshiki MasudaOne of the reserves.
Favourite food: Vinegared sea pineapple.
Current concern: Even when he's really fired up, people still tell him he looks sleepy.
Tropes associated with Chikara Ennoshita:
- All There in the Manual: He's an aspiring film director. The light novels contain some of his scripts which are all spoofs of other works. Examples
- A Day in the Limelight: Ennoshita gets to sub in when Daichi gets injured mid-game.
- Brainy Brunette: He said that he never had failing marks. Also tutors Tanaka and Nishinoya during the upcoming exams.
- Brutal Honesty: Just pay attention to whenever he opens his mouth. Ennoshita is often able to guess what other people, notably the first years, are thinking and say it out loud, leaving them bewildered. He also doesn’t hesitate in calling Nishinoya "obnoxious" during an extra comic, something even Tsukishima had the sense of not doing.
- Characterization Marches On: In the early stages of the series, Ennoshita looks more like your traditional, generic Nice Guy. As the story goes on and by the time his Day in the Limelight arrives, he's gained a sharp tongue and acts more like the leader and handler of the second years, often openly annoyed at Tanaka and Noya's antics. He's still nice, but that niceness is more directed at the first years, while the "disconcerted by his more hammy teammates" part tends to fall more on Yamaguchi.
- Meaningful Name:
- Chikara (力) means power.
- His full name comes from "en no shita no chikara mochi" (縁の下の力持ち) meaning "unsung hero" or "person who performs a thankless task".
- Supporting Leader: He's the most likely candidate for captaincy once Daichi graduates, since he's the most level-headed second-year. And if you consider what Tanaka's sister Saeko says about Ennoshita being the leader of the second-years group, despite barely playing in matches and mostly being a supportive figure on the sidelines, he shows shades of this trope even now.
- Those Three Guys: With Kinoshita and Narita. However, he is shown more often than those two.
Hisashi Kinoshita — #7
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Nobuyori SagaraOne of the other second-years in the Volleyball club.
Favourite food: Pickled ginger.
Tropes associated with Hisashi Kinoshita:
Kazuhito Narita — #8
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Kotarou NishiyamaOne of the other second-years in the volleyball club.
Favourite food: Omelette sushi.
Tropes associated with Kazuhito Narita:
- Bit Character
- Day in the Limelight: Gets subbed in when Tsukishima is injured from blocking Ushijima in the final set of the Shiratorizawa match.
- Those Three Guys: With Ennoshita and Kinoshita.
Position: Head Manager
Voiced by: Kaori NazukaKarasuno team’s manager. Shimizu is a quiet girl who gives off a responsible vibe, and is noted as beautiful by many characters. The whole team seems very fond of her.
Favourite food: Shrimp tempura onigiri.
Current concern: Whether to have Jarico or Jagabee for her snack.
Tropes associated with Kiyoko Shimizu:
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Fits this trope to a T. Dark-haired, tall in comparison to the other girls of the series, by far the most composed and quiet of the team, and has had her beauty noted by several characters. Made even more evident with the arrival of Yachi, a blonde, and whose nervous, talkative and far from intimidating personality serves as a contrast to Shimizu's in almost every way.
- Big Sister Mentor: To Yachi when she comes the second manager.
- Beauty Mark: By the left side of her mouth. Many people comment on it.
- Cool Big Sis: Towards Yachi.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She becomes more open and smiles more often after Yachi joins the team.
- Dude Magnet: She always attracts the attention of other boys even from different schools.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Dark to Yachi's Light. Shimizu is often specifically described as having a "sexy" type of beauty, while Yachi is usually thought of as "cute".
- Oblivious to Love: It's a bit ambiguous regarding Tanaka and Nishinoya but one of Oikawa's concerns is that she ignored him when he tried to flirt with her.
- The Quiet One: Barely spoke earlier in the series. It might be that she just doesn't try very hard to mix in with the boys: she is shown to pretty talkative, or at least more open to conversation, with Yachi.
Voiced by: Sumire MorohoshiKarasuno's second manager. She is recruited by Kiyoko after the latter's search for a successor when she graduates.
Favourite food: Fugashi.
Current concern: What she'd do if she ended up in a situation where she died or was about to die.
Tropes associated with Hitoka Yachi:
- A-Cup Angst: Yachi notices Saeko's enthusiastic cheering and then clutches at her own chest in shock.
- Affectionate Nickname: "Yacchan", which some members of the team have taken to call her.
- Cute Sports Club Manager: She fits this trope better than Kiyoko.
- Hair Decorations: Wears hair ties with decorative stars to hold up her side ponytail.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Light to Shimizu's Dark. Shimizu is often specifically described as having a "sexy" type of beauty, while Yachi is usually thought of as "cute".
- Meaningful Name: Her given name, Hitoka (仁花), is written with the kanji for "compassion" and "flower". Ties in well with her role on the team.
- Nervous Wreck: Especially earlier on, thanks to her low self-esteem. Yachi’s first reaction to understandably not remembering Hinata and Kageyama’s names after meeting them once is to panic over the fact that she might not get a job because she isn’t good at memorizing names and consequently having to resort to organ trafficking.
- Shrinking Violet: Though she’s more of a "nervous" variety (especially when surrounded by boys), than outright shy.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Has this for Kiyoko when she first saw her.
Position: Faculty Advisor
Voiced by: Hiroshi KamiyaThe faculty adviser for the Karasuno boys' volleyball team. He doesn't actually know all too much about volleyball, but he catches on very fast when given information.
Favourite food: Meat and potato stew.
Current concern: He's been told by his students that "your glasses are totally uncool, sensei".
Tropes associated with Ittetsu Takeda:
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He isn't above getting on his knees and begging if it's going to get the team a practice match.
- Determinator: He will get Karasuno matches with other teams.
- Sensei-chan: Some of the students call him Take-chan.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Ukai’s Manly Man.
- The Watson: He’s not very familiar with volleyball’s rules and positions, so his questions about the game are usually what helps the readers to understand the basics of the sport and what exactly is going on, especially in the beginning of the story. Eventually, he learns enough that having him asking questions all the time would no longer make much sense, so his role as this is passed on to Saeko or Yachi.
- Older Than He Looks: He's three years older than Ukai yet he looks like one of the students. Not to mention he's the same height as Kiyoko.
Voiced by: Kazunari TanakaIntroduced as an irritable shop keeper. As it turns out, he is the grandson of the legendary Coach Ukai, who helped propel Karasuno to victory under his instruction. Originally he wasn't very enthusiastic about taking his grandfather's place, but Takeda managed to convince him into taking the role by showing him Karasuno's current potential.
Favourite food: Konnyaku dumplings.
Current concern: He's not even 30 yet but his parents are telling him to "hurry up and get married already".
Tropes associated with Keishin Ukai:
- Cigar Chomper: When he’s not exerting his duties as Karasuno's coach, he’s nearly always seen smoking.
- Legacy Character: He took up his grandfather's place as coach of the Karasuno team.
- Mr. Exposition: Answers most of Takeda's questions about strategy or players' abilities and styles.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Takeda’s Sensitive Guy.
Yui Michimiya — #1
Position: Wing Spiker
Height/Weight: 159.3 cm/51.0 kg
Height/Weight: 159.3 cm/51.0 kg
Voiced by: Asami SetoCaptain of the girls' volleyball team. Has been friends with Daichi since junior high.
Favourite food: Natto with rice.
Current concern: She's been told her thighs are "sturdy".
Tropes associated with Yui Michimiya:
- All Love Is Unrequited: It's been hinted several times that Yui has a crush on Daichi, but he has yet to even notice.
- Boyish Short Hair: Her hair is very short.
- The Captain: She's the captain of the girls' volleyball team.
- She's Got Legs: Her current concern is that someone told her that her thighs are sturdy.
- Trying Not to Cry: She holds her tears after her team loses, as she is the captain and has to maintain her composure. She lets it out later, on her own.
Tooru Oikawa — #1
Voiced by: Daisuke NamikawaOikawa is the captain of Aobajousai's volleyball team and is widely regarded as the ace setter. A former member and setter of Kitagawa Daiichi, he won the "Best Setter Award" in the Miyagi prefecture during his 3rd year in junior high.
Favorite Food: Milk Bread
Current Concern: When he tried to talk to Karasuno's manager, Shimizu, he got utterly ignored. (But she must just have been shy, and it's not like he's all that bothered by it, not even a little bit, not at all - Oikawa said to himself.)
Tropes associated with Tooru Oikawa:
- Always Someone Better: What Ushijima and Kageyama are to him.
- Bishōnen: The most outstanding example in the manga. He even has fangirls cheering for him during his games.
- Butt Monkey: Mainly among his teammates of the same year, who even threaten to make him pay their food if he misses a serve. They do respect him as the captain and as a player and trust him during the game, though.
- Chick Magnet: Oikawa's looks and charming personality have made him quite popular among the females. His fangirls often cheer for him during games and surround him off court (much to Iwaizumi’s, Tanaka’s, and Nishinoya's dismay). They also offer him homemade goodies while they are crowding him and Oikawa humors them — even offering to take pictures with them.
- Death Glare: Not as angry as Kageyama's, and usually more of a "time to get serious" gaze, but one wonders if he didn't teach the latter a thing◊ or two◊ in junior high, after all.
- The Dreaded:
- He's able to induce an Oh Crap! face in Kageyama right on his introduction, which immediately puts Karasuno on their guard.
- Played for laughs with Kyoutani of all people, who seems to have a innate unease towards Oikawa and so mostly keeps a distance from him. The rest of the team, Oikawa included, is rather amused by this.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- When Oikawa arrives in the practice match between Aobajousai and Karasuno, Kageyama's first reaction is to get alarmed and tell the team about his former upperclassmen's aggressive style of play and bad personality. Coming from Kageyama, who up to that point is considered in-universe an incredible setter despite his temper, this tells both Karasuno and the audience that Oikawa is at the very least a powerful enemy on court. Oikawa's own team is also visibly relaxed once he arrives, a hint later confirmed that they trust him as their captain and setter.
- Oikawa's introduction also shows his fangirls' screaming even before showing his face properly, which immediately cements him as a Bishounen and a Chick Magnet.
- In-Series Nickname: Hinata calls him the Grand King, as a reference to him being a senior on Kageyama's junior high team. It's also a punny nickname: the original phrase is 'Daiou' (大王) which is a title often associated with Alexander the Great, whom Oikawa shares his birthday with. They are also both mentioned to have outstanding leadership skills, but a bad personality.
- Can't Catch Up: He worries that if he teaches Kageyama what he knows, he would become this to him. He also admits that it's probably going to happen anyway, since Kageyama evolves very fast.
- Determinator: Defeating Shiratorizawa and going to Nationals is his main goal. He has been at it for years and would've overworked himself during junior high in order to achieve it, had Iwaizumi not intervened. Also note that his personal motto is "If you're going to attack, keep it until your opponent breaks."
- Foil: To Sugawara. They're both third year setters outshined by Kageyama, but their treatment of Kageyama is very different. Since Oikawa resented Kageyama, he never gave him advice or helped him when they were teammates. Sugawara, on the other hand, is jealous of Kageyama but he holds no animosity towards him; he always treats him with the kindness Oikawa never gave him as an upperclassman and rival setter.
- Friend to All Children: On Mondays, Oikawa volunteers teaching volleyball to young children.
- Genre Savvy: Deduced correctly that Kageyama would toss to Hinata in the last moments of the Karasuno vs Aobajousai match, because of Kageyama’s Character Development.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Childhood Friends: With Iwaizumi.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: The only character outright stated to be attractive, and also the one with the most antagonistic personality.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all his smugness, Oikawa is very dedicated to his team and believes in each one of his teammates. He also coaches volleyball to children during his free time.
- Jerkass: Likes to openly razz people, especially opponents, has a very childish side and is fiercely competitive. It's all mostly in result of his bitterness toward always losing in the end.
- The Nicknamer: A subtle example, but he usually addresses people by nicknames, be it the suffix -chan (e.g., Iwaizumi, Kageyama, Kunimi) or something he came up with himself ("Mad Dog" for Kyoutani and "Mr. Refreshing" for Sugawara). He also doesn't call Hinata anything but "shorty", "shrimp" or similar.
- The Resenter: Being someone who has bloomed mostly through hard work rather than innate talent, Oikawa seems to resent geniuses in general and Kageyama in particular. Doesn’t help that he used to perceive Kageyama as a direct threat to his position as setter during junior high. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it doesn't seem like he completely grew out of it.
- Signature Move: His killer serve is dreaded by the teams he plays against.
- Sore Loser: Not a terrible example of the trope, nor a haughty winner, and does acknowledge his opponents' strengths, but taking a loss well isn't one of Oikawa's best qualities. When Aobajousai loses to Karasuno and he accompanies Iwaizumi to the crows' subsequent match against Shiratorizawa, Oikawa bitterly claims that he isn't cheering for any of them and that both should lose.
- Terms of Endangerment: Calls Kageyama "Tobio-chan", which is quite overly familiar even for him. Given Oikawa's nature and the fact that he sees Kageyama as a rival, it’s very likely that this is a form of provocation on his part.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Iwaizumi. Oikawa is often pushing Iwaizumi’s buttons on purpose, and Iwaizumi returns it, usually physically. Despite that, they still have what Oikawa describes as a "perfect trust" in each other.
- Worthy Opponent: Ushijima respects his skills enough to consider him this, and even goes as far as saying that Oikawa should have attended Shiratorizawa.
Hajime Iwaizumi — #4
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Hiroyuki YoshinoThe ace spiker for Aobajousai. Iwaizumi is a close friend of Oikawa, the two seem to have a deep sense of trust in eachother. However, Iwaizumi does not approve of Oikawa's more childish antics and often prevents him from doing petty acts.
Tropes associated with Hajime Iwaizumi:
- Affectionate Nickname: Oikawa refers to him as "Iwa-chan".
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost exclusively towards Oikawa.
- Expy: A level headed snarky companion to a womanizing ace? 'Sup Kasamatsu.
- Identical Stranger: He looks incredibly similar to Hinata's friend Kouji.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Childhood Friends: With Oikawa.
- Morality Chain: To Oikawa at times, most notably keeping him from hitting a young Kageyama out of frustration. He becomes one to Kyoutani as well by means of Defeat Means Respect, after repeatedly defeating the latter in various fields (track, arm-wrestling, etc).
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Oikawa. Oikawa is often pushing Iwaizumi’s buttons on purpose, and Iwaizumi returns it... usually physically. Despite that, they still have what Oikawa describes as a "perfect trust" in each other.
Shinji Watari — #5
Voiced by: Arthur LounsberyAobajousai's libero.
Tropes associated with Shinji Watari:
- I Am Not Left-Handed: He was formerly a setter and can set from his position as libero.
Yuutarou Kindaichi — #9
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Makoto FurukawaKindaichi is a middle blocker from Aobajousai. He is also one of Kageyama’s former teammates from Kitagawa Daiichi. Because of Kageyama’s difficult temper during middle school, Kindaichi used to clash with him a lot and still thinks poorly of him.
Tropes associated with Yuutarou Kindaichi:
- In-Series Nickname: Hinata refers to him as "Shallot Head".
- Rejected Apology: Immediately rejects Kageyama's implied attempt of apologizing for his former behavior, claiming that they were never friends in the first place. This however seems to settle, rather than worsen, things between the two of them.
- Those Two Guys: With Kunimi.
Akira Kunimi — #10
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Atsushi TamaruOne of Kageyama's teammates back in Kitagawa Daiichi.
Tropes associated with Akira Kunimi:
- The Stoic: He has a tired or unimpressed expression on his face most of the time.
- Not So Stoic: Kageyama is astonished when Kunimi smiles normally during the match against Aobajousai, something that he, as a former teammate, had never seen Kunimi do.
- Those Two Guys: Shares this trope with Kindaichi.
Kentaro Kyoutani — #16
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Shunsuke TakeuchiA player from Aobajousai, nicknamed "Mad Dog" by Oikawa. He was rather famous in Junior High, and has the best skills of his grade, but is a very difficult person to deal with.
Tropes associated with Kentaro Kyoutani:
- Alliterative Name: Kentaro Kyoutani.
- Character Development: During the match against Karasuno, he starts to understand the value of teamwork and and how important is to have people to rely on. Particularly noticeable when he starts exchanging high fives with his teammates after some initial confusion.
- Defeat Means Respect: Iwaizumi is the only person on the team that he'll listen to, as Kyoutani challenged him multiple times and lost every time. Yahaba slamming him against the wall shortly before asking him to help them out on the court appears to have a similar effect.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: His bad attitude was enough to make his fellow first years avoid him like the plague. It seems that the only reason he hasn’t been kicked out of the club is because he is a very good player.
- A flashback shows that he had a similar relationship with his team mates in junior high, although it's ambiguous as to whether it's this trope or All of the Other Reindeer, given that it's framed as him overhearing their comments about him.
- In-Series Nickname: Kyouken (狂犬), literally "Mad Dog", derived from his name (though with different kanji).
- Jerkass: Doesn’t seem to have much respect for anyone, save for Iwaizumi. He appears to gain some respect for Yahaba after being slammed against a wall by him.
- Remember the New Guy: Has been in Aobajousai since his first year, apparently, but we’re only introduced to him around the hundredth chapter of the manga. Justified in that despite technically being in the team, he wasn’t attending club activities. It’s implied that he was waiting for the third years to graduate before coming back.
Takanobu Aone — #7/#1 after the Inter-High
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Hiroki MatsukawaA middle blocker from Datekou. Aone is a vital part of the "Iron Wall" — Datekou’s impressive “wall” of defense.
Tropes associated with Takanobu Aone:
- Gentle Giant: Despite his intimidating appearance (he is nearly 192cm, or 6'3") and serious demeanor, he's quick to greet Hinata after Karasuno defeats his team, and is quite the good-natured guy; turns out that that's just how his face is naturally. Character book also says his current concern is that "nobody will sit next to him when he's riding the train."
- The Quiet One: He's clearly a man of few words.
- Stone Wall: Because of his height, he is his team's best blocker.
Kenji Futakuchi — #6/#2 after the Inter-High
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Masatomo NakazawaA wing spiker from Datekou, often seen with Aone. Futakuchi is an easygoing young man that is considered a rather problematic kouhai by his upperclassmen.
Tropes associated with Kenji Futakuchi:
- The Captain: Becomes this after his senpai graduate.
- The Chains of Commanding: Futakuchi is a lot less laid-back once he becomes the captain, and comes to understand just how much his relaxed attitude used to trouble his sempai.
- Friendship Moment: Or perhaps Teamwork Moment. When Moniwa, the team's captain, says that Futakuchi and Aone had overpowered Karasuno up to that point, Futakuchi asks him to say we instead, as in, they had all done it together. Given his personality, his senpai are very much surprised (and touched) at this.
- Stone Wall: Whenever someone mentions the Iron Wall, they’re usually referring to Aone and Futakuchi. Futakuchi might not be as tall as Aone, but is just as skilled in blocking.
Kenma Kozume — #5
Voiced by: Yuuki KajiNekoma’s setter. Hinata meets him not long before Nekoma’s first encounter with Karasuno. Kenma is not very good with people, so he specialized in observing them. Because of that, he became skilled at reading his opponents and uses this to predict their moves during a match.
Favourite food: Apple Pie
Current concern: Summer is hot. Winter is cold
Tropes associated with Kenma Kozume:
- Alliterative Name: Kenma Kozume.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Kenma is so good at reading the opposite team’s players’ personalities and game styles that Kuroo calls him Nekoma team's "brain." That said, he is also constantly slacking off training and thinks volleyball is tiring.
- Curtains Match the Window: His hair is actually a dyed blonde (since his roots are showing) but it matches his golden eyes.
- To Kageyama. He lacks all the qualities Kageyama has, but he manages to be the first character to outsmart Kageyama during their practice match. It's also noted by Ukai that while Kageyama essentially unifies Karasuno, Kenma is the one supported by his own team, Nekoma.
- Also a foil to Hinata. Both play in positions people with their height and body type normally wouldn't and are vital to their own teams, but while Hinata loves and is enthusiastic about volleyball, Kenma just plays it because he did it in middle school by Kuroo's suggestion.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Childhood Friends: With Kuroo.
- In-Series Nickname: He is called "the setter with pudding hair".
- Multicolored Hair: His hair is dyed blonde but his roots indicate his true hair colour of black.
- No Social Skills: Kenma is admittedly bad at dealing with others; he interacts with his own team just fine, but it's implied that even that took a while. Yaku actually gets teary-eyed when he sees Kenma talking to Hinata, a relatively recent acquaintance at the time, without a hint of shyness. Also, during the Training Camp barbecue, while the whole cast present is interacting with each other, Kenma is mostly seen at a corner by himself, playing with his phone.
- Shorter Means Smarter: He's actually the second shortest member in Nekoma (with Yaku being the shortest) but one of the smartest players strategically. He actually gave Karasuno a very hard time during the Karasuno-Nekoma practice match due to his keen observation.
Tetsurō Kuroo — #1
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Yuuichi NakamuraNekoma's captain. Kuroo is usually a level-headed guy, if with a somewhat trickster vibe. He’s also Childhood Friends with Nekoma's setter, Kenma.
Favourite food: Grilled salted mackerel pike.
Current concern: Can't get rid of his bedhead hair.
Tropes associated with Tetsurō Kuroo:
- Affectionate Nickname: Kenma calls him "Kuro".
- Anime Hair: Apparently his hairstyle is due to having unmanageable bedhead.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Tsukishima (a bit unwillingly on Tsukishima's side at first), since they play in the same position.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially around energetic types such as Lev, Hinata and to a lesser extent Bokuto.
- The Gadfly: Mainly towards Tsukishima.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners/Childhood Friends: With Kenma.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Played with. He is a bit of a trickster and for his own amusement sometimes behave as a gadfly, but has a kinder side mainly shown towards his childhood friend Kenma and his own team. He also gives plenty of good advice to Tsukishima, who he somewhat takes under his wing during the training camp Karasuno and Nekoma go together, despite them being from rival teams. When asked about it, he says that he's trying to make the battle between Nekoma and Karasuno come true, partly for the sake of Nekoma's elder coach, Nekomata, who's soon to retire and would much like to see that happen.
- He is also the one who convinces Kenma to stay on the volleyball team in high school, telling him that despite their sempai's indifference to Kenma's advice and opinions, he and the others know how valuable a player he is.
- He has in fact lampshaded that he is always this nice, but Hinata and Tsukishima gave him looks of disbelief, likely due to his cunning demeanor (immediately noted by Daichi upon meeting him) and almost permanent Cheshire Cat Grin.
- Only Friend: Kuroo was Kenma's only playmate when both were children. This seems to be in the past now, since Kenma gets along well with the rest of Nekoma.
- Perpetual Smiler: Usually a Cheshire Cat Grin, which is likely one of the reasons people are a little distrusting of him at first.
- The Trickster: Noted by Daichi to have a cunning personality. He does seem to have a way with getting people to do what he wants, as he is able to get Tsukishima into training with him and Bokuto with just a few calculated words. Bokuto even calls him "provocation expert Kuroo".
Morisuke Yaku — #3
Height/Weight: 165.2 cm/60.2 kg
Height/Weight: 165.2 cm/60.2 kg
Voiced by: Shinnosuke TachibanaNekoma's libero. A voice of reason and upfront person as opposed to Kuroo's. Recognized as a reliable player, he supports his team both in and off court with a smile, unless you mention his height.
Tropes associated with Morisuke Yaku:
- Berserk Button: He's remarkably sensitive about his height.
- Height Angst: To a much lesser extent than Hinata, and it's not made out to be a regular part of his character (being a libero, it also technically doesn't matter whether he's tall or short). However, it's still his Berserk Button, which implies he's not all satisfied with it either.
- I Can Still Fight: When he sprains his ankle in the match against Nohebi. He's unable to walk on his own, but he protests that it's nothing and he can still play.
- The Napoleon: People generally acknowledge and respect Yaku more than Kuroo, the actual team captain.
- Team Mom: Supportive and manages to subdue the team's antics before they get too out of control. On several instances he also takes care of them from the sides, such as hurriedly giving tissues to Kenma when the latter sneezes and getting teary-eyed when Kenma stops being shy and interacts with others. He gets along well with Sugawara who is also the Team Mom of Karasuno.
Taketora Yamamoto — #4
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Seigo YokotaTaketora is one of Nekoma's wing spikers and the ace.
Tropes associated with Taketora Yamamoto:
- Cannot Talk to Women: Even worse than Tanaka or Nishinoya; he basically freezes up when he saw Kiyoko.
- Birds of a Feather: With Tanaka. Both are boisterous and energetic presences in and out of court, have a light case of Face of a Thug which they use on purpose to intimidate others, and are weak to girls. Indeed they initially clash with each other due to their similar personalities, but end up becoming friends.
- Meaningful Name: The "tora" in Taketora (猛虎) means "tiger", making him a good contrast with Ryuunosuke.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Tanaka.
Lev Haiba — #11
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Mark IshiiOne of Nekoma's middle blockers. Lev is still relatively new to volleyball, because he only started playing in high school. Despite being a novice and not properly knowing volleyball’s rules yet, he possesses a natural physical ability.
Tropes associated with Lev Haiba:
- Animal Motifs: Lion. See Meaningful Name below.
- Butt Monkey: Ever since his debut, he has been seen either working with Kuroo or Yaku with his volleyball skills and most of the time, they yell at him either for missing the ball or for skipping practice in a comical manner. Everyone else on his team likes to tease him too. Even Kenma thinks his serving is crappier than Hinata's.
- But Not Too Foreign: Lev is half-Japanese, half-Russian.
- Foil: Can be perceived as one to Hinata. Both are energetic first-years who play as middle blockers and intend to become the ace of their own teams. The crucial difference is that Lev possesses the height that Hinata always wanted so badly.
- Innocently Insensitive: He’s often pushing peoples buttons, especially in regards to their height, with no actual harmful intentions. Even Kenma mentions that he's a little too honest sometimes.
- Meaningful Name: "Lev" (Лев) is Russian for "lion", which is also a perfect fit for Nekoma since the team is often represented by cats.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Calls himself Nekoma’s ace, but is still very inexperienced. He definitely has the potential, though.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Has both impressive height and reflexes, but lacks in experience, and therefore in strategy.
Sō Inuoka — #7
Position: Middle Blocker
Voiced by: Kyousuke IkedaA middle blocker from Nekoma.
Tropes associated with Sō Inuoka:
- Animal Motif: Dog. See Meaningful Name below.
- Birds of a Feather: Inuoka is one of the few characters who are able to talk with Hinata through the latter’s… peculiar form of communication. Since he also has a bright personality which is very similar to Hinata's, they get along very well.
- Meaningful Name: The "Inu" in his name means "dog".
- Odd Name Out: Notably the only known player on the team whose Animal Motif derived from his name isn't cat-related.
Kōtarō Bokuto — #4
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Ryohei KimuraFukurodani's energetic captain and ace, and an elite wing spiker. Bokuto and his teammates are already somewhat acquainted with the Nekoma team. He meets the Karasuno team during a training camp.
Tropes associated with Kōtarō Bokuto:
- Always Second Best: A mild example. It’s a bit of a Running Gag that despite being one of the top five spikers in the country, Bokuto couldn’t make it to the top three. He gets annoyed when people mention it.
- Animal Motifs: Owls. Specifically, the horned owl.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Tsukishima, again unwillingly on Tsukishima's part, and also to Hinata.
- Brutal Honesty: He's not quite as blunt as other characters, but has his moments of this as well.Bokuto: Do you enjoy playing volleyball?Tsukki: Well... not particularly...Bokuto: Isn't that because you suck at it?
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He doesn’t look the part, and even his team admits he is a rather simple-minded guy, but he is one of the best spikers in the country.
- Hot-Blooded: Is very passionate, often trying to lift the team's morale and gets frustrated easily. If things don't go his way, though, he tends to go into a low-key mode, at least temporarily.
- Man Child: Is a third year and the captain, but soon it becomes obvious that he acts more like the baby of the team.
- Meaningful Name: His family name, Bokuto (木兎), is an Alternate Character Reading of the Japanese word for the horned owl, "mimizuku".
- Mood-Swinger: He has unpredictable highs and lows in his performance. His team's used to it.
- Multicolored Hair: A notable example, considering most characters in the series have normal hair colours.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Akaashi's blue in fact, he could be the red to his whole team's blue, but Akaashi stands out.
Keiji Akaashi — #5
Voiced by: Ryota OhsakaFukurodani's setter. Akaashi has a cooler temper than the actual captain of the team, and is usually the one who deals with Bokuto when he’s having his mood swings.
Tropes associated with Keiji Akaashi:
- Deadpan Snarker: If the right buttons are pushed (usually by Bokuto).Bokuto: We won't let you get even one point more!Akaashi: I don't think it's possible to prevent them from scoring even a single point, though.
- Grin of Audacity: Delivers one to Tsukishima after Bokuto scores the match point against his team in the training camp.
- Meaningful Name: "Akaashi" is derived from the Japanese name for the rufous-legged owl, which inspired his character design.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Bokuto's red.
- The Stoic: Likely in result of the way he's drawn. See those droopy eyelids in his character picture? They're almost always like this, thus making him look quite deadpan.
- Not So Stoic: From time to time, mostly during matches. His thoughts in the novels also show he gets annoyed easily (usually by Bokuto).
Wakatoshi Ushijima— #1
Position: Wing Spiker
Voiced by: Ryouta TakeuchiUshijima is a wing spiker and also the ace of the strongest school in the prefecture, Shiratorizawa.
Tropes associated with Wakatoshi Ushijima:
- The Ace: Ushijima is Shiratorizawa’s ace, and apparently has been so since middle school. He’s also recognized as the number one ace in the prefecture.
- Badass Baritone: His voice in the anime is... deep.
- In-Series Nickname: "Ushiwaka", an abbreviation of his full name.
- Innocently Insensitive: Is pretty blatant to the point of people thinking he's mocking them or using of Brutal Honesty, when he's actually just being honest about what he thinks.
- It's All About Me: Downplayed, but volleyball-wise, he seems to think his way. He outright says to Kageyama that Shiratorizawa has no need of a setter who can’t devote themselves to him.
- The Rival: To pretty much every other team in the series, but especially to Oikawa.
- The Stoic: Usually has a very serious expression on his face.
- The Southpaw: His father was influential in preventing young Wakatoshi from being forced to use his right hand.
- We Can Rule Together: Tries to pull this on Oikawa attempting to get him to be Shiratorizawa's setter. He is quickly refused.
- When He Smiles: He genuinely smiles when talking to his team in Chapter 185, leaving them all stunned.
Height/Weight: 155.2 cm/48.8 kg
Voiced by: Yuka KomatsuTanaka’s older sister. She was also once a student at Karasuno, in the same year as "The Small Giant".
Tropes associated with Saeko Tanaka:
- Cool Big Sister: Literally one to her brother Ryūnosuke, but also to Nishinoya, who even calls her "Sis". Hinata also seems to view her like this.
- Doting Sister: Saeko seems to be quite fond of her little brother, as her main concern in her character profile is that girls don’t realize how cool he is. She also made an appearance on a popularity poll wondering why Ryūnosuke wasn’t in the top 10.
- Drives Like Crazy: Tanaka implies this about her, but thankfully for Hinata and Kageyama, in the manga all we see is that she’s very fast. In the anime adaptation, however, it's played very straight.
- Most Common Superpower: Is the most endowed out of all the women in the series, with fairly noticeable cleavage in a show that's doesn't do fan service.
- Stalker with a Crush: Had shades of this towards "The Small Giant" when she attended Karasuno.
Position: Wing Spiker
Height/Weight: 185.2 cm/79.5 kg
Height/Weight: 185.2 cm/79.5 kg
Voiced by: Takahiro SakuraiTsukishima's older brother. Also a volleyball player, and once a student at Karasuno.
Tropes associated with Akiteru Tsukishima:
- Always Someone Better: The Small Giant specifically was this to him at high school, for being a second-year who was the ace of the team and hogged all the attention. It's worth noting that it's implied that at that time the Karasuno team itself was too strong for Akiteru to ever become a regular.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: His current concern is that despite his age he still hasn't got used to drinking sake.
- Doting Brother: Although their relationship is not as close as it used to be, he's very interested in how Tsukishima does at the Karasuno team, disguises himself in order to watch him play and even complains about how he can't call Tsukishima "cute" anymore.
- First-Name Basis: With Tsukishima, naturally.
- Little Big Brother: Is slightly shorter than his brother.
Voiced by: Kyousuke IkedaHinata's friend from middle school. He is on the basketball team.
Tropes associated with Yukitaka Izumi:
- Put on a Bus: He and Kouji are not seen for a long time after Hinata enters high school.
- The Bus Came Back: Finally reappears in the manga to cheer Hinata and his team in their match against Shiratorizawa.
- Those Two Guys: With Kouji.
Voiced by: Seigo YokotaIzumi's friend from middle school. He is on the soccer team.