The endearing sports anime Haikyu it’s packed with talented volleyball teams. Each position is filled by a person uniquely equipped for that skill set, be it the captain, setter, libero, center blockers, server, wing attackers, and ace.
The Karasuno High School Volleyball Club team members are all extremely talented and a threat when together, but sometimes they keep losing to other threatening foes and rival teams. Each of these amazing players has served their teams greatly, whether it be acting as the brains of their team, growing in their potential for success, or becoming more versatile and powerful players over time.
Updated November 4, 2021 by Claris Lam: Although this list already had many notable volleyball players, there are even more players who are also notable in their own way and deserved to be added. Possible spoilers ahead for both the Haikyu as from the manga.
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15 Yui Michimiya was the leader of the Karasuno High School women’s volleyball club
Despite the devastating loss to Yui’s team, she was an effective leader of the Karasuno High School women’s volleyball club. Not much is known about her exact abilities, but it is known that she was the most practiced of the entire team and therefore the most skilled. She was also amazing motivating her teammates to do their best, even as the matches got tougher. Despite the defeat they suffered in their Interhigh preliminaries match, she managed to keep a brave face in front of her teammates until she was left alone to cry.
14 Lev Haiba was inexperienced but grew up with his potential
Lev was incredibly inexperienced when he was introduced as a player, but he had a lot of potential for growth thanks to his height, speed and stamina. He also struggled with teamwork, specifically with Shibayama, until they finally stopped a spike during a match against Nohebi. However, his teammates later recognized that Lev grew in his abilities to work with others and also improved his own basic skills over time. This also led to him blocking one of Hinata’s direct shots in the match against Karasuno, to the surprise of himself and his teammates.
13 Hajime Iwaizumi was an excellent server, but he also saved himself against spikes
Hajime Iwaizumi was Aoba Johsai’s ace and has great power and speed. He was a fairly reliable player with a powerful serve, and he also exploited Koganewgawa’s shortcomings as a blocker during the match against Date Tech, managing to score and help win that match.
Thanks to his reliability, he was well liked by his teammates. He was also a better team player, which helped him both during games and outside of them. Although at first he despised parrying against spikes, later he grew fond of it and found it more satisfying than handing out spikes.
12 Takahiro Hanamaki’s versatility was invaluable
Although Takahiro lacks speed compared to his other teammates, he is a good player overall. As he is efficient in many areas of volleyball, this makes him a versatile and valuable player for Seijoh. When it was first introduced, it used standard serves, but later developed the use of jump serves that were quite powerful. As he is also one of the tallest players on his team, he is also very useful for blocking other opponents. Although it does not have any outstanding techniques, its versatility makes it incredibly effective.
11 Kanoka Amanai became so good that she joined the Olympics
Kanoka Amanai was one of the Miyagi Prefecture champion women’s team and an incredibly powerful player. Her serving and spiking skills were among the best, and she became so good at volleyball that she joined the V.League Division 1 team Hikari Pharmaceutical Red Rabbits. Plus, she was so good at what she did that she also played on the Japan women’s national team at the Olympics.
Although his matches were not seen on screen, the fact that he was so skilled to the point of being a part of the Olympics impressed many of his fans.
10 Kenma Kozume is the brain of his team
Kenma is the setter for the Nekoma Institute. While his athleticism and stamina are average at best, his strategic sense is out of the ordinary. Known as the “brain,” Kenma looks at the opposing team’s strategy, players, skills, and dynamics, while devising ways to counter them.
This form of play often ends up giving Nekoma a slow start to the game as he adapts to the players and their style. As they play and adjust to the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses, Nekoma turns to offense in the final stretch, quickly making up for any points he may have missed.
9 Tetsuro Kuroo is a great blocker and a great defender
Kuroo is the captain and central blocker of the Nekoma Institute. He excels in reading the blockade and in comprehensive defense. A master of timing, Kuroo leaps to his apex just as the ball is thrown down the other side of the net, allowing him to block shots from attackers taller and stronger than him.
The fact that Ushiwaka is left-handed gives him a surprising advantage on the court, as his weirdness means that defenders don’t know how to counter his attacks. He has an incredible endurance threshold and is capable of increasing the power of his shots even at the end of his five-set match against Karasuno.
2 Shoyo Hinata became the best lure
Hinata is a medium blocker on Karasuno. It’s a compact little ball of energy and agility. Her speed on the court, coupled with her powerful jumps, gives her incredible mobility, often allowing Hinata to shoot and score a point before the opponent is aware of what to block. Although his serving and receiving skills are normal at best, they are offset by his ability to score points and his tenacity to win.
Hinata’s overwhelming presence on the court earns her the title of “greatest decoy”, as the brighter she shines, the more opportunities she opens up for other attackers to score. After Hinata’s training period in Brazil playing beach volleyball, where he was nicknamed “Ninja Shoyo”, Hinata returned to Japan able to jump serve, receive and place everything at a professional level. Hinata becomes his biggest lure, luring the opposing team to put the ball exactly where he wants it.
1 Tobio Kageyama is the king of the court
Kageyama, the “King of the Track”, is one of Karasuno’s setters and one of those selected to attend the all-Japan youth rally. He is often referred to as a “genius” setter. He has remarkable technical ability, capable of making precise shots after analyzing all angles and placements on the court in a fraction of a second.
Kageyama takes into account the skill and preference of the finisher and alters his casts to suit them. His great precision allowed him to develop the strange fast attack with someone as inexperienced as Hinata when they started on Karasuno. His jump serve is precise and calculated, and often goes untouched.