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Aran Ojiro (Japanese: 尾白 (おじろ) アラン Ojiro Aran) was a third-year student at Inarizaki High School and one of the volleyball team's wing spikers. He was one of the top aces in Japan, and filled that role in his team. Similar to Bokuto, he was just outside of being in the country's top 3. It has been noted that if he were even in reasonably good condition, he would probably make the cut. 

As of November 2018, he is an outside hitter for the Tachibana Red Falcons, a professional volleyball team in Division 1 of Japan's V-League. He is also a member of Japan's National Volleyball Team, and participated in the 2021 Olympics.

Appearance

Aran has a dark-brown clean-cut and thick eyebrows. He's fairly tall and has a muscular, athletic build.  His eyes are almond shaped and have fox like pupils; In the manga, his eyes are colored gold/brown and in the anime they're a grey-ish green. 

Personality

Aran is shown to be a mature, third-year student. Despite his mature appearance, Aran is often stuck dealing with his teammates' antics and, as such, is roped into playing a 'tsukkomi', - straight man - like in mansai comedy routines, as he reacts to whoever is acting as the 'boke', or funny man; he is always quick to react to nonsensical things his teammates say with comebacks, such as "what does that even mean?!" 

Aran believes that you don't need logic to feel things such as happiness - and he's quick to snap that at Kita when he wonders whether him becoming the captain is just a side-effect of his everyday actions or is a result, saying that you don't need a reason to feel what you feel, if you're happy you're happy, and that's that. 

Since he has known the twins since they were 10/11, he knows them extremely well. Despite this meaning he also is aware of how they brawl and have their differences better than anybody, Aran has nothing but faith in both them and their relationship - this shows he's a very faithful person who sees the best in things. 

It's also shown that Aran makes references to old movies, or series', as seen in his introduction post-timeskip when he makes a joke about Sazae-san, an animated TV-series from 1969.

Background

Around fifth grade, Aran took part in a volleyball workshop where he first met the Miya brothers, Osamu and Atsumu, who were both fourth-graders at that time. He had overheard them talking of how they thought he was cool but quickly heard that they actually thought his foreign sounding name was cool. Over the years, Aran would witness the competitive nature of the Miya twins though admits that Atsumu seemed to be the more frightening one of the two.

Plot

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Aran s4-e13-1.png

Aran plays in the match between Inarizaki and Karasuno as the court captain. During Karasuno's meeting the night prior to the match, Ukai states that Aran is Inarizaki's top scorer who, like Bokuto, is one of the top five aces in the nation but is able to surpass that when he is on top of his game.

During the warm-ups, Aran's power is witnessed by the Karasuno team though Aran himself is amazed at seeing how high Hinata is able to jump. He assists in joining Osamu and Suna in trying to block Hinata only to be completely surprised when Hinata forgets to hit the ball. Aran is the first person that Atsumu sets to in the game and he is able to score right away though reveals that Atsumu's set caught him off guard. Aran next tries to block Hinata when he does a wide broad attack but is unable to block in time. For his first serve of the game, Aran is able to land a no-touch service ace. His second serve is received by Tanaka and cut off when Hinata is able to score. When Atsumu and Osamu were able to pull off Hinata and Kageyama's super quick, Aran states that this was done due to the faith the twins have in each other though Osamu would silently disagree.

Aran next tries to receives Asahi's serve but is unable to receive properly and seems to start a rivalry with Karasuno's ace. When Yamaguchi is later sent in as a pinch server, Aran is targeted by the first year in order to try to keep the ace contained. Though Aran was unable to pick up the first jump float, he was able to receive the second one and Inarizaki is able to stop Yamaguchi. Late in the set, Aran attempts to score past a triple block but Karasuno's blockers are able to get the ball in the air before Kageyama tries to push the ball over the net and past Aran. However, Akagi is able to save the ball and Aran is given the chance to spike again. He gets past Tanaka and Tsukishima but Asahi makes a receive with his shoulder. On his third attempt, Aran is finally able to land a spike.

When Sugawara is subbed in when Tsukishima is up to serve, Aran becomes the target of Sugawara's serves. It is revealed that Karasuno would use certain serves to target Aran with the plan of wearing down his knees. Sugawara's first serve succeeds in getting Aran to drop to one knee to make the receive and therefore keeps him from joining the attack. Kageyama then forces Aran to make the first touch when the setter sets the ball directly at him. Despite this, Aran still calls for the set. His spike is blocked but the ball landed out of bounds. Coach Oomi calls out to Aran to keep his composure.

During another rally when Aran is preparing to get another set, Ukai is aware that when Aran becomes hyper-aware of the opposing blockers or lets himself get a little agitated, his play becomes affected. It's at this point that Aran puts too much power into his cross shot and the ball lands out. He makes up for this lost point in the next rally when Osamu sets to him and he lands his spike past Karasuno's blockers. When Osamu misses his serve, Aran scolds Atsumu for it due to 'spouting garbage'.

When Asahi mistakenly touches the net during a block, Kita is sent onto the court and Aran is brought. Shimada guesses this is due to Inarizaki guessing that they have the second set practically in the bag and they want to rest their ace for the third set. In a brief flashback, Aran is shown trying to help Kita understand that he does need to concern himself with every small detail and to better understand his feelings only to be surprised when Kita laughs. Aran returns to the game in the third set. He accidentally sends his first serve of the set directly at Nishinoya, thus allowing Hinata to spike and end Aran's serve.

Group s4-e21-4.png

In a flashback, Aran is revealed to have met the Miya twins when he was in fifth grade and the twins were in fourth grade. Aran first felt flattered when he overheard the twins talking about how cool he is only to learn that they thought his foreign sounding name was cool, then becoming annoyed when they tried to give themselves foreign sounding names. Over the years, he would come to know the twins, their behavior towards each other and others, and witness several fights they would get into as well as seeing that Atsumu had more drive when it came to volleyball than Osamu.

At one point, Aran nearly lands a powerful spike but Hinata surprises everyone when he is able to receive the spike, though Inarizaki would eventually get the point for themselves[2]. For majority of the rest of the set, Aran mostly partakes in serves, spikes, and blocks. When Inarizaki eventually loses the game, Aran is shown simply looking exhausted and does not show much emotion.

Final Arc

Aran and Kita make an appearance when Inarizaki beats Karasuno in the Spring Tournament. In 2018, Aran has become an outside hitter for the Tachibana Red Falcons, a Division 1 team of Japan's V-League. He later joins the Japan's Men's National team for the 2021 Olympics and is seen scolding Atsumu on television.

Statistics

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

Aran is one of the top 5 aces in the country with it being noted by several people, including Coach Ukai, that when he's playing well he's as good as one of the top 3. He has a powerful jump serve that has been shown to routinely get services aces or at least disrupt the defense, despite this there are times when he will land the ball out of bounds because the power he uses. Aran has been shown to have the ability to spike above 3 man blocks, implying that he has an exceptional amount of jumping power and good timing. Its shown he can consistently punch through three man blocks and send the ball flying out of the court, because of this his strength has been compared to Ushijima by both Ukai and Saeko. Aran was also shown hitting three powerful spikes consecutively, even after faulty receives. Due to his status as ace Aran is often targeted on serving and spikes, despite this Aran is capable on defense and is often able to make receives on difficult shots. Aran himself has stated "An Ace ain't an Ace unless they're good at both offense and defense!".

Skills

Post-Timeskip Skills Parameter
Serve
 
9/10
Serve Reception
 
7/10
Dig
 
7/10
Setting
 
6/10
Spike
 
10/10
Block
 
8/10

Relationships

Shinsuke Kita

Aran appears to have a close friendship with Kita and the two are often seen around each other outside of games. Aran has also tried to get Kita to not be so 'robotic' when it comes to his emotions. Despite this, Aran has a great amount of respect for Kita.

Atsumu Miya and Osamu Miya

Aran has known Atsumu and Osamu since elementary school and is one of the few who know them better than anyone else. He at first found the two rather odd since they were interested in him because of his foreign sounding name and tried to make ones for themselves. As they grew up together, Aran would see that Osamu was slightly better when it came to volleyball but that Atsumu had a drive in him that made him the more frightening one. Aran is also well known for being the unwilling straight man when the twins are up to their usual shenanigans.

Quotes

  • "In the end... I think Atsumu's biggest blessing isn't his physical talents or mental abilities - it's that he's got Osamu. It doesn't matter if they plow on ahead faster than others can keep up... the other twin will always be there, right by the other's side. Yeah, they may annoy the crap outta each other sometimes, but I'm sure the more they clash, the better they'll make each other." (To himself about the Miya Twins, Volume 32 Chapter 279 / Season 4 Episode 21)
  • "An Ace ain't an Ace unless they're good at both offense and defense!" (To himself, Volume 32 Chapter 286)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Ritz Crackers
  • Current Concern: After thinking "I'll throw these out after one more wear," the underwear with a hole in it ended up being worn three times.
  • He has known the Miya brothers since before they became a household name.
  • In junior high, he attended the same Inarizaki Group Training Camp as the Miya brothers.
  • He is the oldest high school student in the series.
  • Ojiro Aran's name is based on Rüppell's Fox, also known as "オジロスナギツネ" or  ojiro suna gitsune.
    • Alan, which is likely the Anglicized spelling of his given name, is a colloquial term for fox in the Breton language.
  • Nomenclature
    • Aran (アラン) - Little Rock or Handsome
    • Ojiro (尾白) - White Tail

References