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So always playing recklessly is the same as playing seriously?

Akira Kunimi (Japanese: 国見 (くにみ) (あきら) Kunimi Akira), is a first-year student at Aoba Johsai High. He played as a starting wing spiker for the boys' volleyball club.

As of 2018, he is a college student and will be working at a bank in Miyagi upon graduating.

Appearance

Kunimi usually has an indifferent expression on his face and doesn't show his emotions often. He has dark hair that is parted into two sides in the middle. He's quite thin, though he has a lean, muscular build. His eyes are dull brown and he has somewhat delicate features. His eyes make him look very apathetic and tired. He possesses an average height for a volleyball player, standing at 183 cm and is slightly taller than average for a first-year high school student.

Post-timeskip, he appears to have let his hair grow out a little longer and keeps most of it swept over to the right side of his head.

Personality

He is a quiet and indifferent person, though it's mostly out of laziness. He occasionally skips practice as well and doesn't seem to put his full effort into matches; however, his true strength lies in his late game plays because of his 'conservative' nature. Kunimi dislikes loud, energetic people and was dismayed when Koganegawa yelled at him to "go all out", which is one of his least liked phrases. He also refers to Hinata, Koganegawa, and Hyakuzawa as the "idiot squad" because of their energy. Kageyama has also mentioned that Kunimi is smart, though it's unknown if that refers to his game sense or general studies.

Background

He went to Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High with Kindaichi and Kageyama, and the three are often shown together in flashbacks. Kunimi and Kindaichi were the ones who got the coach to bench Kageyama (though in Kageyama's flashbacks, the entire team was shown to be responsible). He and Kindaichi also seem to be very close friends, likely from attending the same junior high, though whether they were friends before then is unknown. He currently goes to Aoba Johsai High and is a starting wing spiker on the boys' volleyball team.

Plot

Kunimi s1-e1-2.png

Kunimi first appears with the Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High boys volleyball team during the middle school volleyball tournament. In the beginning of the match, Kunimi makes several service ace's in a row due to the Yukigaoka Junior High team not being very skilled and therefore missing several receives. Near the end of the second set, Kindaichi is barely able to get a spike in from Kageyama's quick set and Kunimi questions why the setter is being so serious about the game only for Kageyama to openly question why he and the rest of the team are not.

When Kindaichi is able to get a one-touch on Hinata's spike, Kunimi attempts to chase after the ball but does not put much effort in it since he believes that he will not be able to reach it before it lands. Because he did not fully run after the ball, Kageyama yells at Kunimi for his lack of effort. Kitagawa would quickly go on to win the match.

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Seijoh s1-e6-1.png

During the start of the second set, Kunimi gets ready to block, not giving it much thought. However, he gets surprised when he sees Hinata jump impressively high. Even though Karasuno is not able to get a point of this, Kunimi’s surprise does not falter as Kageyama apologizes for having tossed too high. Near the end of the third set, Kunimi is subbed out in order for Tōru Oikawa to enter the game[1]. After Aoba Johsai’s loss, Kunimi finds Kindaichi having just ended a confrontation with Kageyama. Kindaichi expresses his shock over how Kageyama said ‘we’ when telling him that Karasuno was going to beat Aoba Johsai, which confuses Kunimi, and he smacks his friend.

Interhigh Arc

Aoba Johsai enters the arena and as it passes by, Hinata suddenly calls Kindaichi by his nickname[2]. Though Kindaichi's confused, Kunimi snickers and remarks that he fits the description. When warming up to go up against Oomisaki, Mizoguchi notices Kunimi slacking off and yells at him.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

During the match, Kunimi immediately notices that Hinata is being used as a decoy. Kindaichi falls for the trick, but Kunimi doesn’t get to the other side of the net in time before Asahi scores. During the third set, Kunimi saves Asahi’s spike after failing to block it and earns a compliment from his teammates. After the rally ends, Oikawa checks up on Kunimi, and as this happens, Kageyama thinks back about how Kunimi ran to get that ball since in middle school he felt so demotivated all the time, which lost them a rally against Yukigaoka because he wasn't willing to run after the ball.

Kunimi s1-e24-1.png

Kageyama’s surprise furthers when Iwaizumi is used as Aoba Johsai’s decoy and Oikawa sets for Kunimi. Additionally, the audience notices that Kunimi has been the one with the most energy during the last few rallies and wonder how he could still be moving so much[3]. When Oikawa sets for him, Kunimi does a tip to conquer Karasuno’s block and win Aoba Johsai the rally. Seeing Kunimi smile after winning made Kageyama afraid because he didn’t know how he could be able to beat Oikawa, someone who could make full use of all of his players.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Sometime before the qualifiers begin, Kyōtani decides to come back to practice and backs off when getting intimidated by Oikawa, which is something Kunimi compares to having animal instincts.

Aoba Johsai vs Date Tech

Aoba Johsai first faces off against Date Tech[4]. Kunimi performs a few efficient blocks. During the second set, Kunimi is getting ready to move as Oikawa sets but ends up pulling a setter dump and Kunimi is seen with a smug look on his face. When Iwaizumi scores Aoba Johsai's winning point, the whole team comes to congratulate him but Kunimi silently does so.

Aoba Johsai vs Karasuno

Not far into the match, Kunimi is tasked to smash the ball as Kageyama is about to set, but is too slow and Tanaka scores behind Kageyama. Kunimi would soon be subbed out for Kyōtani and after surprising everyone by interrupting Oikawa’s set, Kageyama assumes that he is most likely smart as they subbed him in for Kunimi. When Yahaba explains to him about Kyōtani only listening to Iwaizumi because he has never been able to beat Iwaizumi in any kind of competition, Kunimi compares the team to a wolf pack with Iwaizumi as the alpha.

During the third set, Kunimi is subbed back in for Kyōtani to recollect himself. As he is about to attack, Kageyama predicts that he is going to do a tip, and is correct. However, this creates tension between the two. Moreover, Kunimi is subbed out a few rallies later. In the final set, Kunimi is also of the triple block that read Kageyama’s motion to set to Hinata, but they still fail to block him. After Aoba Johsai’s loss, Kunimi does not go to the ramen shop with his team. Despite this, that night he is seen practicing quietly in his room with a hard stare on his face.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Hinata and Koganegawa studying Kunimi's plays

He and several others are invited to participate in a training camp hosted by Johzenji High's Coach Anabara[5]. During the camp, Kunimi's plays are carefully studied by Hinata, and later Koganegawa, much to his displeasure. Throughout the camp, Kunimi continues to put minimal effort into his plays that causes some frustration among others but he also shows clever tactics that make up for his lack of effort. At the end of the camp, he tries to help Kindaichi put the events of middle school behind him while promising Hinata that Aoba Johsai will defeat Karasuno the next time they play one another. He follows Karasuno's matches at the Spring Tournament and at times comments on how Kindaichi seems to be cheering for Karasuno and for Hinata in particular.

Kindaichi and Kunimi watch Karasuno's match against Kamomedai together. Into the third set, Kamomedai gains a three-point lead, and Kindaichi expresses his distress for Karasuno, telling Hinata to himself to do something, and Kunimi tells him to learn to be specific. Sometime later, Hinata uses his minus tempo attack to get through Kamomedai's blockers, which Kindaichi bursts into laughter about but goes quiet when Kunimi reminds him that he'll be the one to have to face him in the following year.

Final Arc

Kunimi appears in the Final Arc when he goes to the game between the Schweiden Adlers and the MSBY Black Jackals with Kindaichi. At the time of the game, Kunimi is a college senior and will be working for a bank in Miyagi the following year. At the end of the game, Kunimi agrees to Kageyama's request of wanting to play volleyball with him and Kindaichi.

Statistics 

High School Statistics
Power
 
3/5
Jumping
 
3/5
Stamina
 
3/5
Game Sense
 
5/5
Technique
 
3/5
Speed
 
3/5

Kunimi's hidden weapons are being efficient, conserving energy, and always being calm. Kunimi is a proficient player, having been a starting member of a champion team like Kitagawa Daiichi and now on Aoba Johsai. He has efficient blocks, but decent spikes that don't gain momentum until the late parts of the match. He has also improved tremendously since junior high and digs and spikes the ball with better effort, thanks to his increase in motivation.

Jumping Reach: 320 cm

Relationships 

Aoba Johsai High

  • Aoba Johsai High: Kunimi gets along well with all of his teammates and holds tremendous respect towards Iwaizumi and Oikawa, who brought his true potential out of him. Mizoguchi has been shown to yell at Kunimi the most out of everyone on the team and Kunimi is somewhat scared of him; although this is due to Mizoguchi noticing Kunimi's lack of effort during his plays.
  • Yūtarō Kindaichi: Kunimi and Kindaichi have played on the same team since junior high. They are always together and understand each other well. In junior high, they shared a dislike and distrust for Kageyama and often made snide comments about him to each other. Kunimi is aware that Kindaichi was greatly affected by their past with Kageyama and tried to get Kindaichi to overcome this several times. They continued to stay friends after high school as they are shown together or texting each other at different points during the Final Arc.

Karasuno High

  • Tobio Kageyama: Kunimi disliked Kageyama in junior high because of the latter's personality and treatment of his teammates. Kageyama often yelled at Kunimi for not giving more effort; this is the main factor that Kunimi changed in Aoba Johsai, surprising Kageyama. Though it was Kunimi and Kindaichi who mainly got Kageyama benched, Kunimi still asks how Kageyama is doing to his teammates at Karasuno. In the Final Arc, Kunimi appears to no longer be concerned about their history in middle school and agrees to play a game with Kageyama and Kindaichi when they have free time.

Quotes

Trivia 

  • Favorite Food: Salted caramel
  • Current Concern: "Staying awake during class is hard..."
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Kunimi placed 24th with 856 votes[6]. In the second, he rose to 16th with 3,495 votes[7].
  • In Haikyuu's Best Order Poll, Kunimi was the 6th most voted for outside hitter, with 6503 votes, despite never playing outside hitter in the series.
  • He has a list of most hated words.
    • 1: Pitiful (かわいそう) [8]
    • 2: Reckless (がむしゃら) [8] / Go All Out (Anime)
  • His star sign is Aries.
  • He is the youngest high school student in the series.
  • He shares his first name with Akira Saitō, one of the coaches at Shiratorizawa Academy, however, the kanji used is completely different.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Akira (英) - Intelligent
    • Kunimi (国見) -
      • 国 - Country
      • 見 - See
  • He is sometimes referred to as "923" due to the fact that the onyomi (Chinese Pronunciation) of 9 and 2 are "Ku" and "Ni" respectively while the kunyomi (Japanese Pronunciation) for 3 is "Mi". This has led some fans to treat September 23 (9/23) as "Kunimi Day".
  • Furudate commented that if Kunimi actually tried, he would become a dangerous opponent. [9]

References

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