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Being nervous simply means that you desperately want to be able to show the fruits of your labor.

Aoi Himekawa (Japanese: 姫川 (ひめかわ) (あおい) Himekawa Aoi) is a first-year student at Tsubakihara Academy. He plays on the boys' volleyball team as a wing spiker and pinch server.

Appearance

Himekawa has a gentle face with large dark eyes and an average build. He appears to have short light brown hair. He wears Tsubakihara's uniform with the number 14 on it. He also wears knee pads and the Tsubakihara headband around his forehead.

Personality

Himekawa seems to be a timid and shy person, similar to Yamaguchi. He is hardworking and wants to improve his skills. Though he's passionate about his abilities, he's also considerate of others and was initially afraid to play due to sympathy for an upperclassman he was replacing.

Background

Himekawa currently attends Tsubakihara Academy, located in Kanagawa Prefecture in the region of Kantō.

Plot

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Himekawa is one of the reserves during Tsubakihara's match against Karasuno. He is startled after seeing Coach Ōsado gesturing for him. Soon enough, Himekawa is subbed in as a pinch server, in place of Iwamuro, after Karasuno has already reached set point for the first set. Himekawa steps onto the court, visibly nervous, and draws sympathy from Karasuno's pinch servers, Yamaguchi and Kinoshita[1].

Himekawa s4-e11-2.png

Before he serves, Himekawa attempts to calm himself but struggles after realizing that their regular pinch server, Tsukioka, is watching. He begins worrying about messing up and quickly tells himself to instead think of this as an opportunity to prove himself. After the referee blows the whistle, Himekawa does an unexpected underhand serve but hits the ball wrong and drives the ball into the back of Teradomari's head; earning Karasuno the final point to win the first set[2].

The crowd starts to laugh at the botched serve as several spectators suspect that Himekawa would be having nightmares of this moment for the rest of his life. Himekawa attempts to apologize to his teammates for his error and is surprised to see that his teammates do not hold grudges against him. Echigo tries but fails to hold back his laughter at Teradomari's misfortune. Teradomari grows flustered and warns Himekawa to hit someone else if he messed up his serve again. Meanwhile, the others reflect on their own subpar serves during the first set[2].

Shortly after the match resumes and reaches the midway point, Ōsado calls Himekawa to get ready to be subbed back in to serve. Before going in, Tsukioka glares at him and tells Himekawa not to worry about him as he feels confident that they will make it to the next round where he can have the chance to play and says that Himekawa should make the best of the chance he has now.

While Himekawa waits to be subbed in, Ōsado tells him to think about pinch-serving as a low-risk high-reward opportunity. He assures Himekawa that the team will not blame him if he messes up, but Himekawa will become a hero if he scores. Ōsado encourages Himekawa to succeed and reminds him that he has a big ally. Himekawa steps onto the court more composed and determined than before.

Himekawa s4-e11-5.png

Himekawa uses an underhand serve once more and executes a perfect ceiling serve. The Karasuno players are forced to look up and find themselves blinded by the ceiling lights. As a result, Daichi fails to receive the ball properly. Himekawa scores a service ace for Tsubakihara, and his teammates happily celebrate. Himekawa recalls his coach's words and realizes that the stadium ceiling is his biggest ally.

On his second ceiling serve, both Daichi and Asahi call for the ball but hesitate when they saw the other moving to receive. The hesitation allows the ball to land and gives Himekawa another service ace[3]. However, at his third serve, Asahi is able to get the ball up. Despite this, Himekawa is able to dig Daichi's tip when Maiko and Atema attempted to block him. Teradomari spikes past Hinata and Daichi to keep Tsubakihara in the lead. Karasuno calls a time-out to regroup. Meanwhile, Tsubakihara is invigorated by Himekawa's service aces and feels the momentum is on their side. Himekawa receives encouragement from Tsukioka to land another serve.

Once the match resumes, Himekawa is determined to continue his serve streak. However, he is quickly intimidated after noticing the composure of the Karasuno defenders. He pulls off another ceiling serve. However, this time, the serve flies toward Karasuno's reliable libero, Nishinoya, who cleanly receives the serve with ease. Karasuno immediately goes on the the offensive with their synchronized attack. Himekawa is overwhelmed by the sheer number of attackers and stands frozen in place while Asahi slams the ball down right next to him. Himekawa stares at Karasuno in awe as he personally experiences the caliber of a team at nationals. Now that his serve streak has ended, Himekawa is subbed out for Iwamuro. As he leaves the court, Echigo tells him to prepare for a possible upcoming third set. However, this would not come to pass as Karasuno claims victory and removes Tsubakihara from the tournament.

Statistics

High School Statistics
Power
 
2/5
Jumping
 
2/5
Stamina
 
2/5
Game Sense
 
4/5
Technique
 
4/5
Speed
 
3/5

Himekawa is a solid receiver, like the rest of his teammates, and he specializes in underhand and ceiling serves. During the Tsubakihara vs. Karasuno match in nationals, he was able to score several points for his team using the ceiling serve.

  • Ceiling Serve: Himekawa is best known for his ceiling serve that he performs during the match against Karasuno. He is able to send the ball high into air near the ceiling which causes his opponents to unintentionally look directly into the ceiling lights and become distorted, allowing their receives of his serve to sometimes fail and allow him to score one or more service aces'.
  • Receives: Himekawa is stated to possibly be more of a defensive specialist[3]. During the match against Karasuno, Himekawa is shown to have easily been able to receive Daichi's feint shot. However, because of his inexperience in actual matches, he occasionally hesitates; as seen when he began overthinking and missed Asahi's spike.

Relationships

Tsubakihara Academy

Himekawa is often seen being nervous around his teammates, his current concern even being that he tends to miss the timing for passing over the towels, but they don't seem to mind him messing up, seeing as they were not blaming after he hit Teradomari's head during his first serve. However, after he successfully pulls three consecutive service aces in a row and demonstrates great receiving abilities, they gloriously congratulate him and it puts their hopes up to win.

Chiharu Tsukioka

Since Tsukioka is Tsubakihara’s main pinch server, Himekawa admires Tsukioka. Tsukioka did everything for Himekawa to have the courage to pull effective serves that would earn their team a lot of points even if it meant that he would get fewer chances to play.

Quotes

  • "Back in the prelims, it was always Tsuioka-san who got called out in these situations… if I mess this up-- no, I have to see this as an opportunity.” (To himself, Volume 27 Chapter 239)

Trivia

  • Favorite food : Tekkadon
  • Current concern : "I tend to miss the timing for passing over the towels."
  • Star sign : Capricorn
  • Himekawa is the youngest first-year on the Tsubakihara team and is the fourth youngest first-year in the series.
  • Nomenclature
    • Aoi (葵) - Hollyhock
    • Himekawa (姫川) - Princess River

References

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