To strike past all obstacles...That's the Ace!

Asahi Azumane (Japanese: 東峰 (あずまね) (あさひ) Azumane Asahi) was previously a third-year student at Karasuno High; he was one of the boys' volleyball club's wing spikers and its ace. As of 2018, he is working as an apparel designer in Tokyo.

Appearance

He has long hair which is usually styled as a bun behind his head and dark brown eyes matching his hair as well as his eyebrows. He also appears to be growing a short scruff on his chin, his overall appearance makes him look way beyond his age yet slightly unapproachable.

In Season 2, he is shown wearing his hair in a loose bun in addition with a sports hairband, which had been suggested to him by Kiyoko. In the Spring High Nationals arc, Asahi is shown wearing his hair back in a regular bun again.

Personality

In contrast to his appearance, he is rather quiet and gentle and has difficulties realizing that he is Karasuno's ace, as he initially doesn't feel that way. He shows to be weak-willed at the beginning when he leaves the team before the first years come, feeling that he let down his entire team when they lost against Date Tech High even though they counted on him. After coming back to Karasuno, he realizes that his will to play volleyball is much stronger than he thought, and with the help of his teammates, he acknowledges his position as Karasuno's ace (even though he is still mocked sometimes by Daichi for not having any "ace-like presence") and gains self-confidence.

Asahi is said to have a "Glass Heart", taking everything that is said about him to heart, and becoming depressed because of it at times. While he still feels insecure about a lot of things and seems to be quite a scaredy-cat, he clearly states that he has no intention of letting anyone take his ace position away from him in later chapters, showing his development from the beginning.

Background

Asahi attended Seikoudai Junior High where he played as a wing spiker. Even before he entered Karasuno, he already had a reputation of spiking like a high schooler[2]. Asahi is known as Karasuno's ace, but there was a time when he pushed away his title. During the Karasuno vs Date Tech match back during his second year, all of his spikes were blocked, causing Asahi to feel disappointed in himself and blame himself for his team's loss. One night, as the team was closing up the gym, Asahi asked his teammates why they weren't blaming him, angering Nishinoya.

Asahi storming off after breaking the broom

The libero said that he wouldn't blame Asahi if he couldn't score, but he would not forgive him if he would give up so easily. As they were arguing, Nishinoya pushed Asahi backwards and Asahi broke a broom by stepping on it; even now, the broom is still in the storage room.

The next day Asahi didn't come to practice and Nishinoya approached him by Asahi's classroom. They started arguing again and this time, Nishinoya broke a vase in front of the vice principal's office, causing him to get a 1-week suspension from school and 1-month break from club activities. Asahi decided to leave the team[3].

A month later, Kageyama and Hinata convinced him to rejoin the team after much persistence, mostly from Hinata. Since then, Asahi has accepted his position as the Karasuno Volleyball Team's Ace.

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Asahi and Nishinoya’s Return

Asahi isn't mentioned until Nishinoya arrives and asks if Asahi had returned to the club. When Daichi says he hasn't come back, Nishinoya storms out, saying "a coward will remain a coward". Nishinoya agrees to come back to practice

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but says that he won't play until Asahi returns. When Kageyama and Hinata ask Nishinoya who Asahi is, he says that he was the Ace of Karasuno, or should be. Later, Sugawara approaches him and tells him that Nishinoya has returned - and he asks him to return as well. When leaving his classroom along with Sugawara, he comes across Kageyama and Hinata and tells them to do their best. When they ask him why doesn't he return despite being the Ace, he replies by saying "Sorry, I'm no Ace", and leaves. When Kageyama asks Sugawara if Asahi injured himself, he replies by saying that Asahi started to grow away from volleyball after he wasn't able to score against Date Tech High, and lost all his self-confidence.

The next day, when Kageyama and Hinata once again approach Asahi to implore him to come back to the club, he asks why they are so persistent on him returning. Hinata says that he wants to see the real Ace of Karasuno in action and says the upperclassmen aren't satisfied without Asahi. Asahi replies by saying he isn't able to get past high blocks anymore. When Hinata describes he's now able to get past high blocks with the help of Kageyama, Asahi is tempted to return and recalls how he used to feel while playing volleyball. When Hinata and Kageyama are about to leave, Kageyama tells Asahi that even he recently realized that volleyball doesn't depend on one player, but on the team of six players.

As Asahi leaves school that day, he stops by the gym and sees Kageyama and Hinata practicing. He stares at his hand and realizes how much he misses volleyball. He overhears Hinata and Kageyama speaking about their upcoming match with Nekoma High School, and when Asahi expresses his surprise, Daichi catches him loitering. When Daichi asks him to return, Asahi says what might Nishinoya and Sugawara think, to which Daichi replies by saying they'll keep quiet about it, and if he still loves volleyball, that's reason enough for Asahi to return. Later, when Asahi thinks about it while sitting in a grassy area, he gets up, hinting that he has made a decision.

On the day of the Neighborhood Association scrimmage, Hinata catches sight of Asahi peering through the gym window, and Keishin Ukai angrily asks him what position he plays. Surprised, Asahi answers, "Wing Spiker," and Ukai tells him to play for the Neighbourhood Association team as they're short a player. Sugawara feels more confident when Asahi returns and joins the Neighbourhood Association's side, just so that he can toss to Asahi again. After a few minutes of the match, Asahi realizes how dependable and mature Sugawara has become in his absence. In a flashback it is revealed how Nishinoya and Asahi fought when Asahi, frustrated, asks why none of them are blaming him for not scoring points during the Date Tech match. Nishinoya yells at him, just as frustrated, and got suspended the next day after pushing the Vice Principal over at the news that Asahi was leaving the team.

During the practice game against the Neighborhood Association (present day), Asahi tells Nishinoya that no matter how many times he gets blocked, he will still try to score points. He tries to score with sheer force... and is still blocked. He's visibly disappointed at being blocked, but Nishinoya saves the ball at the last second and says that as long as he (Nishinoya) is there, Asahi doesn't need to worry about the blocks. The ball goes up in the air and Sugawara is unable to decide who to toss to, despite the fact that Kageyama tells Sugawara to toss to Asahi until he can score. When somebody else calls for the ball, Asahi finds his resolve, calling loudly for Suga to toss him the ball while telling himself that he is not fighting alone - and that he is indeed the Ace of Karasuno. Sugawara tosses to him and he smashes it with all his power, causing everyone on the court to be shocked and amazed by his prowess. During the match, Asahi watches Hinata and Kageyama's quick and realizes that Hinata wasn't exaggerating about Kageyama's tosses.

After a while, Asahi scores the final point, and wins the match for the Neighbourhood Association. After the match, Hinata approaches Asahi and says that he’ll create the pathway for the ace and become the strongest decoy. Asahi replies that no matter what anyone's position is, the player whom the enemies fear the most is the coolest, and Hinata happily agrees. Asahi nervously adds that he’ll do his best too, if he’s allowed back into the team. Sugawara laughs at him and Daichi remarks that they finally have their libero and ace back.

Nekoma Practice Match

Asahi makes the first receive of the match. When it is too short, Nishinoya scolds him that those are the results after slacking off for a month. After smashing past Nekoma’s defense, Nekomata becomes impressed at Karasuno’s foundation. In the second set, Hinata apologizes for failing his every attempt to open his eyes when doing his quick set. Despite this, Tanaka is supporting of his junior and assures that he and Asahi would carry his weight. Near the end of the second set, Asahi is rotated in the front row, which makes Nekomata slightly worry because of his intimidating appearance for a high schooler. Nekomata’s worry is not proven to have been useless once Asahi’s spike turns it a free ball as Yaku struggles to bump it well.

After the match, he attempts to help first year Shibayama take down the net equipment but the younger teen was instantly terrified by Asahi's presence that he didn't notice the third year was trying to help him and tried to do it all himself.

Interhigh

Karasuno vs Tokonami

Karasuno's match against Tokonami goes by relatively quick and Karasuno is able to win with little trouble. Early in the match, Asahi overhears people in the stands comment how he must be an adult playing against teenagers or must have been held back several years. Sugawara had attempted to help the ace ignore the comments.

Karasuno vs Date Tech

Prior to Karasuno's game against Tokonami, the team had encountered Date Tech and Asahi was right away targeted by Aone. Though he had put on a brave appearance at the time, Asahi shows to be nervous about facing the team again. He does not stand out much during most of the first set due to Hinata and Kageyama gaining Date Tech's caution with their super quick attack. However, when Karasuno is at set point and Aone had tried to block Hinata, Asahi is able to score the winning point for the first set.

Before the second set, Ukai reveals that he will be moving the rotation two places ahead in order to keep Hinata from being paired against Aone. Asahi talks about how they shouldn't always rely on Hinata's role as the decoy in order to score and he will do more to play like the team ace. Back on the court, he apologizes to Tsukishima as the new rotation means that he will be faced against Aone more than anyone else though Tsukishima does not seem bothered by this as he claims that the blockers will not pay such close attention to him and instead have put all their attention on the ace.

Asahi is able to score Karasuno's first point of the second set even though Aone was nearly able to stop him after having jumped to block when he thought Hinata would get the set. Halfway into the second set, Asahi tells Tsukishima that his role as a blocker for Karasuno is as important as when Hinata and Kageyama can manage their quick attack, stating that being able to defend so well against Date Tech is an amazing thing to do and will help lead the team to victory.

The last half of the second set starts to put pressure on Asahi when the Date Tech blockers are able to start blocking him more. Asahi is still determined not to let the Iron Wall break him again. Near the end of the set, Aone beats Asahi in a joust at the net but because Nishinoya was able to save the ball with his foot and give Karasuno another chance to attack, Asahi is able to make his spike count and win the match for Karasuno.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Early in the first set, Asahi mostly is seen receiving or looking ready to attack. He eventually is able to deflect a spike off Kunimi's arm. Later, Asahi is unable to receive several of Kindaichi's serves and realizes the Seijoh first year was aiming for the spot where the setter would move from the back row to the front. He is able to get the receive up and to Kageyama. He then is mostly seen trying to receive and block for a while until he is able to save a set that Tsukishima was unable to spike.

After Sugawara was subbed into the game to allow Kageyama to cool down, Asahi attempts a back attack but Hanamaki is able to receive the spike. Shortly before Sugawara is taken out of the game, Asahi asks for the next set with the promise that he will make his next spike count. He is able to keep his promise when he scores past Kindaichi.

Half-way into the third set, Asahi is able to bring the score to a tie after Kageyama nearly gave the set to Hinata. Like his team, Asahi is surprised when Aoba Johsai suddenly stops marking Hinata when he attempts his wide broad attack and is stunned with Oikawa lands a setter dump during their hesitation. He and Kageyama would later hesitate to make a receive and barely get the ball back over to Seijoh's side. When Yamaguchi is subbed into the game when Hinata is up to serve, Asahi tries to assure the first year to take it easy though he himself is incredibly nervous for Tadashi since he's going into an official game for the first time and is sure to be on edge. After Yamaguchi's serve failed to go over the net, Asahi felt himself more at ease and began to play like usual.

When Karasuno eventually lost the match, Asahi is seen being upset and later, with Daichi and Sugawara, questions what they will do now that Karasuno is out of the tournament. At the dinner Ukai treats the team to, Asahi begins crying like the others.

Loss and Decisions

After Karasuno lost to Aoba Johsai, Asahi reveals that he would be planning to stay on the team instead of retiring like most other third years. When Daichi believes he should retire from the team and let the second years take over, Asahi confesses that he does not intend to go to college after high school and will continue with the club but would leave if the second and first years asked him to. Takeda spoke with him and the other third years about whether they should stay with the team or not as they may want to use the time to plan for their futures. Asahi ultimately decides to stay on the team with the shared hope of making it to the Spring Tournament.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Asahi joins the team to the weekend training camp at Nekoma High. During one of their matches against Nekoma, Asahi and Hinata collide during a play when Hinata seemed to try to take the set meant for the ace. Asahi was instantly fearful that he had hurt Hinata but was relieved when the first year was fine and instead apologized to him. This moment would cause Asahi to see just how great Hinata's desire to grow stronger is and would use this to get stronger himself.

After returning to Karasuno, Asahi decides to start utilizing jump serves and help Nishinoya practice jump sets. At the next training camp at Shinzen High, Asahi continues to work on his new serve but still continues to struggle with the amount of strength he puts in it and his aiming. He would join the teams attempts at working on the synchronized attack. During a break after running a penalty lap, Asahi is questioned by Tsukishima on how he feels about Hinata continuing to want to be the team ace. Though he admits that he is a little nervous at the thought, Asahi is determined not to be outdone.

Asahi is able to start perfecting his serve near the end of the camp but during the match against Fukurōdani he uses a regular serve as he was fearful that he would ruin the teams chance to win if he used a jump serve. He would later apologize to the team for changing his serve, claiming that he his regular serve was just begging for the champion team to attack them.

During the barbecue, Asahi mingles with several players and tried to help Yachi when she accidentally ate a piece of charred meat but his efforts and the help of others did not work because she was too terrified to answer them. Afterwards, he and the team return to Karasuno to prepare for the qualifier tournament.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Karasuno vs Ohgiminami

Asahi is the first to serve in the game against Ohgiminami High. He is able to land a service ace right away and cause nervousness in the opposing team.

Karasuno vs Kakugawa

Just before the match against Kakugawa High, Asahi and some of the other Karasuno players watch Kakugawa's first match and almost all of them are right away frightened by the height of Yūdai Hyakuzawa. Asahi is mostly seen trying to receive spikes and taking part in the synchronized attack. After Karasuno wins the match, Asahi lifts Hinata in celebration.

Karasuno vs Johzenji

Like many on the team, Asahi is surprised by the wild and free spirit and energy of Johzenji. Immediately in the first rally, Asahi smashes a jump serve that Johzenji struggles to bump. When Asahi serves later on, because it was an especially hard one of bump, Tsuchiyu, who manages to do so, is praised for it. When Sugawara tries to explain what a synchro attack feels like, from a setter point of view, Asahi and Daichi get confused. When Kageyama is about to be returned to the court, Asahi speculates that he was about to use vulgar language in front of Ukai but thought better of it and caught his words. During the second set, Futamata pulls an impressive but thoughtful movie, and Asahi admits that he finds Johzenji fearsome.

Karasuno vs Wakutani South

Asahi's position and power as the ace would be of great help during the match against Wakutani. He is able to cleanly spike through blocks that Daichi brags won't be able to stop Asahi unless he were faced with an iron wall[4]. When Daichi was later injured when he accidentally collided with Tanaka, Asahi shows great concern for his friend. As Daichi is removed from the court to receive medical treatment, he leaves Asahi the role of taking care of things until he returns and Asahi promises that he will have nothing to worry about. Supporting Ennoshita in trying to convince Tanaka that he is not at fault for Daichi's injury, Asahi tells the second year that they are grateful that he too didn't have to be removed from the game. Asahi continues to be able to play like normal afterwards and follows Ennoshita's lead easily. After Karasuno wins the match, Asahi happily welcomes Daichi back to the team.

Aoba Johsai vs Date Tech

Before the second rally continues, Asahi wonders who Karasuno will be playing in the upcoming round. When he sees Koganegawa he notices that he is really tall but is still a rookie. Moreover, Asahi expresses shock and intimidation when Oikawa does a setter dump. Additionally, he is impressed after seeing Iwaizumi score past Date Tech’s triple block.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Although shown to be nervous beforehand, Asahi was ready to help his team get their revenge against Seijoh. He becomes inspired by Takeda and Ukai speak of how Karasuno has returned to the tournament stronger than ever but also how they must continue to adapt in order to overcome a powerful team like Seijoh.

Thanks to Nishinoya's jump set, Asahi was able to score and put an end to Oikawa's serve; although Sugawara would point out that Asahi and Nishinoya were the two most surprised of their attack working. For most of the first set, Asahi mostly is seen making receives or spikes.

At the start of the second set, Asahi accidentally sends his first serve out of bounds. He apologizes to the team for his mistake and they try to help him get past the incident. After Kyōtani is subbed into the game, Asahi would also feel the change in Seijoh's plays but continued to play as best he could. He is later requested to help Daichi and Nishinoya try to receive Oikawa's serve.

When Karasuno reached match point, Tanaka was able to make a miraculous save on Daichi's receive after Oikawa and Iwaizumi made an amazing play. Asahi takes charge of getting the last hit over with a mid-air spike similar to what Terushima had done. After Hinata was able to score the final point that led to Karasuno's victory, Asahi joins his teammates in celebrating.

Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa

Sugawara teases Daichi about having cried in his sleep, and Asahi, trying to make his friend feel better, admits that it happened to him when he was younger. Additionally, he supports Daichi when he reminds the team that their goal was to is nationals rather than just get there. When Karasuno encounters the old man that has been criticizing them for their downfall, Asahi and the other third years vow not to make him call them ‘has-beens’ again. When his name is called by the announcers, Asahi tries to manage his nervousness by tracing out something on his hand. During the game’s second rally, Asahi and Tanaka both lead to a campfire when their stress doesn’t allow them to receive Taichi’s let serve. Shortly after, Asahi manages to deflect Ushijima.

Near the end of the second set, Kageyama seems to be setting to Asahi, but misleads Tendo and instead sets for Tsukishima. Asahi then manages to win Karasuno the lead with a service ace. As the second set is about to wrap up, Semi is subbed in and serves, and Asahi manages to roughly bump it. Shortly after, Asahi compliment Tsukishima for a good deflection, and is glad that he didn’t allow the rally to end. As Asahi approaches to hug his underclassman, Daichi holds him back.

During the end of the third set, Asahi checks up on Nishinoya after he fails to receive Ushijima. Despite Nishinoya being frustrated over this, Asahi stills remarks that he’s gotten better at digging Ushijima’s spikes in such a short time. Asahi and Nishinoya then high five when Asahi easily scores past Shiratorizawa. Shortly after, Asahi remarks that Tsukishima is developing into the team’s blocking leader as before this, he had led him and Asahi into Ushijima spiking in Nishinoya’s direction. Later on, Kageyama sets to Asahi while having choices for hitters during Karasuno’s attack. Taichi, who is the rotation’s middle blocker is anxious about the incoming attack but is able to block Asahi nevertheless. Asahi would serve sometime later and Goshiki roughly bumps it.

Throughout the very next rally, Asahi continues to follow Ukai's plan (being lead by Tsukishima) to make Nishinoya dig Ushijima’s spikes. However, when he manages to smash through the triple block, Asahi digs it with trouble. Sometime later, Nishinoya seats to Asahi, and with this, Asahi breaks through Shiratorizawa's defenses, not wanting to get outmatched by his own teammates.

As the fourth set is wrapping up, Asahi serves. However, before he does so, Daichi tells him that it’d be great if he could win the fourth set for Karasuno. Before the fifth set begins, Sugawara is subbed in as Karasuno’s regular setter because Ukai notices that Kageyama being too exhausted to continue. Seeing Sugawara being nervous, Asahi tells him to toss the ball to him if he is even a little bit unsure. During the actual set, Asahi scores a let serves and allows for Karasuno to be 3 points ahead of Shiratorizawa. Soon later, Ushijima spikes in Asahi’s direction. Asahi bumps it roughly, but Takeda still yells in admiration that he managed to bump it. After Tanaka bumps the ball, Asahi attempts to break through Shiratorizawa’s defenses but fails. Later on, Asahi is frustrated at how hitting from the left and having a triple block in place still isn’t enough to stuff Ushijima. When Asahi is up to serve and all of his teammates are looking at him, trusting him to succeed, Asahi is surprised at himself for being reassured at seeing the team do so. After Karasuno wins the match, Asahi hugs Daichi and Sugawara in tears.

Tokyo National Arc

While the team is having their measurements done for the Spring Tournament, Asahi is noted to be one of those who keeps a close eye on Hinata when the middle blocker is having his spiking height measured. To Asahi's unease, Hinata is recorded to have the same spiking height as himself but is determined not to be beaten so easily. Like the rest of the team, Asahi is surprised to hear Kageyama was invited to the All-Japan Youth Camp but at the same time wonders why Nishinoya was not invited. Daichi figures it is due to the camp looking for more mature players and Nishinoya's overly excited nature may have caused him to be overlooked. After learning Hinata crashed the First Year training camp being held at Shiratorizawa Academy, Asahi would have to stop Nishinoya from attempting the same thing when the libero announced he would crash the camp as well.

During Karasuno's match against Date Tech, Asahi begins experimenting with the timing of his spikes but fails several times. He is unaware of the stress this was causing Kageyama who thought his sets were not to Asahi's preference until the first year finally snapped and demanded Asahi start scoring. After Kageyama's sudden change in behavior was cleared up, Asahi apologized for not being able to score more and explains that he has been trying to perfect the timing of spikes to clear the opposing blockers when the block begins to lower but that it hasn't been successful yet with part of the fault being due to Date Tech's improved blocking. He gives advanced apologies since he believes he will continue to miss the timing. Near the end of the practice match, Asahi is blocked by Aone but seems to have finally overcome his fear of being faced against the iron wall. He is able to finally perfect his spike time and deliver a powerful block-out that wins the last set for Karasuno. Shortly before the team departs for Tokyo, Asahi joins Sugawara, Daichi and Kiyoko in a visit to a shrine for New Years. Upon hearing it might be bothersome to the gods of asking for so many things during prayer, Asahi becomes nervous; confessing that he had asked for luck in his future, the health of his neighbor's elderly dog, and even in their games at nationals. Kiyoko is able to calm him, Daichi, and Sugawara and inspire them to not put all of their faith in greater forces and instead believe in their own strength.

Karasuno vs Tsubakihara

Though nervous prior to the match, Asahi was less rattled when the game began. He and the others would find some difficulty in their early attacks when Kageyama was off his game. Despite the off sets, Asahi was still able to make several spikes that earned Karasuno several points. His power behind his spikes would be highly praised by Hidemi Tashiro an Hiroki Kurokawa. His strength and position as the ace somewhat pairs him against Motoki Teradomari who rivals him in terms of power as the ace.

In the second set of the match, Asahi and his teammates would be caught off guard when Aoi Himekawa used a ceiling serve to disrupt their rhythm to score several service ace's. Asahi's spike would eventually be the one to stop Himekawa's serves. Thanks to Hinata's effectiveness as a decoy, Asahi is able to score several times and even manages to get a service ace. Sugawara is subbed into the game when Karasuno is at match point. With a miraculous save made by the third year setter and Hinata drawing the attention of Tsubakihara, Asahi is able to score the final point that allows Karasuno to win the match.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Before Asahi's first serve of the game, he is caught off guard when the Inarizaki cheer section start booing him. Most likely being affected by the negativity, Asahi's serve goes directly into the net. For majority of the first set, Asahi is mostly seen spiking and receiving. When the Miya twins later copied the freak quick attack, Asahi was the only one who reacted to try to stop it but was not fast enough to stop Osamu's spike. Thanks to Daichi receiving Atsumu's next float serve, Asahi is able to score for Karasuno. When he is getting ready to serve, Asahi has a flashback of when he spoke to Ukai about how he tends to use too much of his strength when he serves during a match. Ukai had advised him to try tightening his fist and then relax it in a way to help reduce tension and extra energy[5]. Asahi uses this method before his serve and is able to score an ace when Aran was unable to make the receive.

Late in the first set, Karasuno witnesses Aran spike from above a triple block. Nishinoya tells Asahi that he could spike in a similar style but Asahi playfully replies that it might not be possible for him to do this. When Hinata later makes an emergency set to the ace, Asahi tries to time his spike to take place when the Inarizaki triple block starts to lower. His timing is slightly off and his powerful spike instead becomes a feint shot that still catches Inarizaki by surprise. He would mentally apologize to the Inarizaki team for this[6]. When Daichi is able to receive a serve from Yūto Kosaku that Kageyama would return from Inarizaki's territory, Asahi is able to score from the miraculous save by performing a block-out. After Kageyama is forced to receive Ginjima's serve that hits the top of the net, Tsukishima goes to make the set to him. He is able to score when the ball drops between the blockers and the net.

At the start of the second set, it was clear that Nishinoya was starting to get targeted by Atsumu's jump serves. Asahi saw how Nishinoya was starting to struggle with not being able to receive these float serves and remembered the countless times that the libero was able to help him but he himself is not sure what to do or say to help comfort Nishinoya. The libero would take matters into his own hands by performing his self punishment of finger push-ups in the middle of the court. With Nishinoya somewhat back on track, he was able to receive the next serve and Asahi would attempt to aim his spike at Atsumu to make him get the first touch. Asahi is successful in getting Atsumu to make the first receive but Osamu is able to cover for his brother and set to Suna for a c-quick. During a time-out, Asahi would try to comfort Nishinoya but stating he knew Nishinoya was capable of overcoming that he is unable to receive Atsumu's serves. While admitting that he is not great at encouraging others because of his own self doubts, Asahi promises that he will do everything within his power to score points[7].

In the third set, Asahi is able to land a service ace while using his full strength. The Inarizaki side was so impressed that they praised his serve. Asahi later puts Karasuno at match point when he is able to perfect the timing of his spike to happen when the Inarizaki block starts to descend. Karasuno would eventually go on to win the match when Hinata and Kageyama were able to block the twins trying their quick attack. Asahi joins in embracing the two first years in celebration.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

Shortly before the match is about to start, Asahi hears how much support the Nekoma team has but feels that it's not so surprising at the same time. Asahi is able to score one of Karasuno's first points thanks to Nishinoya making a jump set when Kageyama was unable to make the set. He would attempt a direct spike that gets by Kuroo but the rest of Nekoma would be able to make the receive of his spike and counter. As the set continues, Asahi receives several sets but finds many of them picked up by Yaku.

When later faced with a perfected defense and double block, Asahi performed a block-out that Sugawara dubs as the Block Crusher. Near the end of the set, Asahi would throw Nekoma off when he attempted a feint shot after the receivers moved further back in preparation of a powerful spike[8]. Despite surprising them, Fukunaga was able to make a receive. He gets another chance to attack when Tanaka sends him a set and he is able to get the ball between the net and the blockers. Asahi later joins Tsukishima in trying to block Kenma when it looked like he would attempt a setter dump only to change to a setting motion and have Karasuno penalized for blocking him before he could make a set.

Several of Asahi's spikes are picked up but he is eventually able to score a no-touch service ace. His next service narrowly lands out but he is able to make up for this by receiving Kuroo's serve. During most of the set, Asahi continues to help with attacks and defense while often finding Yaku continuing to be a problem. As Asahi gets the chance attack again, he becomes too aware of Yaku waiting to receive that he puts too much power into his spike and it lands out[9]. Near the end of the set, Teshiro is subbed into the game as a pinch server. Asahi and the rest of Karasuno are taken by surprise when Teshiro performs a ceiling serve. Tanaka is able to receive the serve and, despite Karasuno being thrown off balance, Asahi's presence calls for the ball as he believes it is time for him to make an attack count. Although he is able to get past a double block, Teshiro manages to make a receive. However, Asahi ultimately ends the rally with another spike that he deflects off Kuroo and keeps Karasuno at set point.

The match soon moves into a third set when Hinata was able to win the second set with a receive of Yamamoto's spike. As the set progresses, Asahi is continually faced with his spikes being directed by or deflected off the blocks and Yaku continuing to attempt to receive his spikes. Karasuno would soon be able to claim victory when Kenma was unable to make a set due to the sweat on the ball not allowing him to have a proper grip. As the players are shaking hands, Asahi is seen shaking hands with Shibayama before walking away with Daichi and Sugawara.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

As Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai is about to start, Ukai and the team have a pre-game meeting where they discuss the Kamomedai players and how it would be best to think of Kamomedai is a max-level version of Date Tech. At this, Asahi gives a spaced-out nod but this changes after Daichi motivates the team and laughs at one of his jokes[10]. Not long after, the third years debate about what meal they would get for dinner, and Asahi mentions that he wishes to have ginger pork.

As the match progresses, Asahi scores an ace, and the announcers joke that they could hear the slam from where they were. When watching this, two of Hinata’s classmates watching the match admit that upon seeing him in the past, they thought Asahi was a teacher and greeted him like one. Later on, Hinata is used as a decoy by jumping sideways to distract Kamomedai’s blockers for Asahi to score, however, Hakuba is still able to block him. When Hakuba wins Kamomedai the first set despite having fallen for Hinata’s decoy trick, Kinoshita expresses his intimidation over their opponent. However, upon hearing this, Ukai tells them not to create vague reasons to scare themselves. However, Asahi explains that it’s because Hakuba can still be in time to block despite jumping twice in the same play thanks to his impressive height.

Not long after, Asahi pulls an impressive serve, but Kanbayashi is still able to bump it. Daichi messily bumps Hoshiumi's serve and Nishinoya roughly sets the ball to Asahi but is easily stuffed by Hirugami. As the game progresses, since Asahi is getting targeted by Kamomedai’s blockers, he keeps getting blocked by them and feels pressured to surpass them as he is Karasuno’s ace. Asahi knows that he’s been useless for the majority of the game and even messes up his serve right afterward. Even more, Hirugami notices this and aims straight for Asahi while he was feeling stressed.

Asahi keeps getting blocked multiple times in the game, Daichi tells him to wipe off his “end-of-the-world” face and that he can’t be expected to score one hundred percent of the time[11]. After Sugawara tells him he doesn’t have the right to be depressed over volleyball, Asahi admits that he was terrified of games every time he got blocked. Right in the next rally, Asahi gets blocked and starts to think depressively but Nishinoya quickly receives it in time. When Asahi thanks him for that, Nishinoya gives him a silent thumbs-up, and Hoshiumi and Hirugami are awed at how cool Nishinoya is[12]. After this, Asahi reflects on his team and what they have been through together throughout the year and he tells himself that he was going to trust himself for once. After this, Kageyama sets to Asahi and with his new mindset, Asahi is finally able to surpass Kamomedai’s blockers by cross shooting it when everybody expected him to slam it. Following this, Asahi reflects on how that was the best bird’s view he ever had of the court. For a third time, Asahi breaks through Kamomedai’s defenses after Sugawara sets to him and by slamming the ball hard enough to make it fall behind the net after touching Hirugami’s arm. Asahi then looks at his tattered hands and looks at his team, happy, and they all hug him[13].

Into the third set, Asahi spikes, to which Kamomedai’s blockers are able to reach, but it waterfalls. Despite this, Hirugami manages to dig the ball. When Hinata later collapses due to his high fever and tearfully apologizes to the team, Asahi tells him to take care and Nishinoya compares his caring nature to that of an elderly grandmother[14]. After this, Asahi scores an ace. Kamomedai is only one point away from winning the match and exhausted, Daichi bumps the ball and entrusts it to Asahi as the ace, who is able to get past an opposing triple block. Nozawa digs the ball, resulting in Hoshiumi spiking the ball and Tanaka being unable to get it before it landed. After their loss, Asahi hugs Bokuto[15]. Shortly after, Nishinoya asks Asahi if he was frustrated at him because he wasn’t able to dig one of the last shots, but Asahi denies that because he says that if Nishinoya wasn't able to save that, no one else in the team would have been.

After the tournament ends, Asahi and other the third years retire from the team and graduate high school.

Final Arc

After high school, Asahi is revealed to have attended a fashion college in Tokyo and has become a fashion designer. He reunites with several of his former teammates just before the start of the MSBY Black Jackals and Schweiden Adlers game. Right after, Asahi tells his companions that coming back to a gymnasium after so long doesn’t feel like it’s been years since they beat Shiratorizawa in order to advance to the Spring Tournament. He and the others soon meet with Kiyoko and Tanaka. Not long after, he laughs at the sight of Bokuto doing cartwheels onto the court. Like Daichi and Sugawara, Asahi is surprised at seeing Hinata perfectly receive Kageyama's first serve and later openly admires plays made by Nicollas Romero. Asahi later expresses silent pride at how Hinata is praised as an effective decoy when he was able to keep the attention of the Adlers long enough for one of the Jackals to score.

After this, he was able to finish telling Daichi and Sugawara that Nishinoya's travels have currently led him to Italy and shows them a photo of the former libero after having fished for marlins. At this time, he reveals to the two that, back in school, he hadn't been sure if he had wanted to attend college in Tokyo and had turned to Nishinoya for advice. He had been sure that Nishinoya would have continued with volleyball after high school but learned that he instead had plans to travel the world once he graduated but still encouraged the ace to pursue with what he wanted.

Near the end of the third set, Asahi comes to realize that Ushijima's spike swing is different than it was back in high school. He states that, while Ushijima has become even stronger physically, his new swing adds power to his spike which makes it even harder for receivers to try to dig. As Bokuto is about to make the winning point of the match, Asahi remembers the feeling of hitting a spike. He then joins in the celebration of the Jackals winning the game.

During the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Asahi has joined Nishinoya in his travels and they send a photo of themselves to their friends showing they are currently in Egypt.

Statistics

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

Asahi is the most powerful attacker in Karasuno. He is known for a strong spike that can blast past most defenders. As such, he is often trusted with the responsibility to score when faced with multiple blockers. His best spike is when he's given a high toss that is slightly away from the net. As his captain, Daichi, has said, "If you want to stop our ace, you'll have to bring an iron wall!". Asahi has shown enough power to blast past triple blocks, hit balls hard enough to create waterfall balls, and hitting hard enough to send the ball into the spectator area. He is also able to eventually beat Date Tech's iron wall. Asahi is also good at receives, often being brought into receive formations alongside Daichi and Nishinoya. When teamed up Tsukishima, Asahi proves to be an essential part of the team's blocking. Being one of the best servers on Karasuno, respectively behind Kageyama, Asahi is capable of hitting multiple service aces in a match. Its been noted by Atsumu and Asahi himself that he always starts games at around 70% power on his serves and spikes and increases the power gradually as the game goes on reaching 100% towards the end, with each time he increases the power and accuracy of the serve and spikes.

Height and reach, as of mid-November:

  • Fingertip Height: 242 cm
  • Jumping Reach: 333 cm (spike) / 310 cm (block)

Skills

  • Back Row Attack: After the first practice match against Nekoma, Asahi learned how to do a back row attack. He is usually seen using this attack in conjunction with Hinata acting as a decoy[16]. With Hinata luring in the blockers, Asahi would take advantage of the opening to score. Eventually, he learned to perform this attack while syncing with Nishinoya's libero toss.
  • Jump Serve: Asahi learned to perform a jump serve during the Summer Training Camp Arc. His jump serve has been noted by some to have a good course. Over time, his power and control have improved to which he can serve to difficult spots near the boundary lines[17]. He is shown scoring many services ace and constantly improving with the commentators at nationals noting his serve is quite good and second only to Kageyama. Coach Ukai taught Asahi a technique for reliving stress from his body where he clenches his fist tight then unclenches, this leads to less nerves and improved control on his serve. Asahi always starts games at around 70% power increasing power and accuracy as the game goes on, when his serves reach 100% they are difficult to receive for even the most skilled defenders.
  • Delayed Spike: The delayed spike is one in which Asahi extends the time he stays in midair to throw off the blockers' timing. He would only spike when the blockers have started falling downward. The end result is a powerful wipe that sends the ball ricocheting off the blockers. The ball is often sent flying up and into the stands or surronding spectator areas. He has successfully used this attack in pinch moments against teams like Date Tech, Tsubakihara, nekoma and Inarizaki. Sugawara eventually dubbed this attack as "Block Crusher"[18].
  • Feint: Asahi makes it look like he will spike a powerful hard to receive hit but he simply dinks the ball and lets it fall in the hole left by the defense.

Relationships

Karasuno High

  • Yū Nishinoya:
    Nishinoya x asahi.png
    Nishinoya admires and relies on Asahi and is generally the one to stick up for or comfort him. Nishinoya also refused to return to the volleyball team unless Asahi also returned, although Coach Ukai pushed him into playing a practice match. Despite this, Asahi has been shown to be slightly scared of Nishinoya. Nishinoya is also extremely blunt and would point out Asahi's mistakes and remind him of his past, but the latter doesn't seem to mind. When Asahi seemed to feel pressured in the middle of matches, specifically against Date Tech and Kamomedai, Nishinoya always attempted and succeeded to motivate Asahi and assured him that even if he failed to conquer blocks, Nishinoya will have his back with receives and digs nevertheless. Additionally, Nishinoya inspired Asahi to attend a fashion college and seems to be the only one Nishinoya still kept in contact with among Karasuno after graduating from high school.
  • Kōshi Sugawara:
    AsahiSuga.png
    Sugawara had been Asahi's setter for a long time until Asahi left the team after their defeat. Sugawara was the first person that tried to convince Asahi to come back, though his efforts were futile. Sugawara knows which toss Asahi prefers and always puts the ace's feelings into account; he wouldn't toss to Asahi during the practice match against the Neighborhood Association at first because he didn't want to force Asahi to spike when he didn't want to. However, Asahi soon changed his way of thinking during the match and called out for a toss, and Sugawara happily gave it to him. Since then, their relationship has recovered tremendously. Sugawara and Daichi usually team up to pick on or encourage Asahi, and the latter has once stated that the two act like his parents.
  • Daichi Sawamura:
    DaichiAsahi.png
    Daichi and Asahi have been playing together since their first years and are extremely close friends. Daichi was disheartened when Asahi left the team, but he trusted Asahi to return and never ran after him. So when Asahi did return, Daichi wasn't surprised at all and instead, acted like nothing ever happened, as he believed in the spiker's abilities from the beginning. Their relationship never really changed much and even when he was off the team, Asahi was still afraid of Daichi, stating that he's scary when he's angry.
  • Shōyō Hinata: Hinata is mainly responsible for Asahi's return to the team. At first, Hinata was jealous of Asahi due to his position of being Karasuno's ace,
    Hinata and Asahi s1-e10-1.png
    but Asahi encouraged Hinata to accept his position as a decoy. Since then, Hinata works hard to open a path up for the ace during matches.
    During the summer camp arc, the two ran into some trouble when Hinata almost took a ball meant for Asahi during a practice game. Though it wasn't intentional, the feeling Hinata gave off was almost like he was trying to steal the ball from the ace. Asahi was a bit unnerved and decided to use the rivalry as motivation to improve.

Other Schools

  • Takanobu Aone:
    Asahi and Aone s4-e8-1.png
    Because Date Tech is hugely part of the reason Asahi quit volleyball and since is one of their most notable blockers, Aone and Asahi have a bit of a rocky relationship. Their relationship was tested again when Karasuno had to face Date Tech again when Asahi just came back in the team and Aone pointed at Asahi to challenge him, as he always did with enemy aces, though his teammates stopped him from being too aggressive. During their match, Asahi managed to get over his fear of failing to score and the two learned to respect each other, but also because Aone started to struggle with facing a short blocker like Hinata. When Asahi faces Date Tech once more, he is still being blocked by Date Tech nevertheless, but doesn't have as many worries as he did in Karasuno's first match against the iron wall. Despite this, Asahi would struggle against Kamomedai's blockers later on.
  • Kōtarō Bokuto: As their team's aces, Bokuto and Asahi seem to have a good relationship and respect each others' skills. They were not shown interacting much during the training camp when their two schools first met, but Bokuto watched the majority of Karasuno's matches during nationals. During this, he noticed Asahi breaking through being pressured to score every time against Kamomedai and was proud of his fellow ace for doing so and even hugs him despite Karasuno's loss after their match is over.

Quotes

  • "Like a comet, I set forth. I failed, Kamchatka. I fled, Okhotsk. I set forth, like a shooting star, scattering silver as it descends. I will never give in, Kamchatka!" (Haikyuu!! Christmas Drama CD)
  • "My teammates are skilled. They're trustworthy. I want to play volleyball together with them for as long as I possibly can. But... out of everyone on this team... there's one guy I never learned to trust. So. We're facing a really good team. I don't have the luxury of fighting against both them and myself. It's only natural to feel scared. Anyone would feel guilty. So man up and shoulder the burden. Today, for once... I'm going to learn to trust in myself." (To himself during the Kamomedai match, Volume 40 Chapter 352)
  • "'The heavy, smothering weight of expectations sitting on an Ace's shoulders,' huh? Since when have my teammates ever been a burden?" (To himself, Volume 40 Chapter 353)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Tonkotsu ramen
  • Current Concern: When he tells people he's a student, nobody believes him; 1st years are afraid of him; girls in his class say things like "Even though he looks the way he does, he's kinda weak" and then get themselves disappointed; also his future plans; the captain being scary.... (cut for length)
  • Asahi wears white gym shoes with black accents.
  • There are many rumors going around about Asahi mainly due to his physical appearance, including he is the leader of a gang, he deals illegal substances such as drugs, and he's been in high school for five years.
  • His jersey number (3) is symbolic, considering how his specialty is spiking (and how spiking is usually the third contact) He, along with Daichi and Sugawara, form a set.
  • People fighting (or the idea of it) seems to frighten him.
  • Asahi and Yū Nishinoya are foils. Their birthdays are inverse (01/01 and 10/10), as are their heights and personalities (and even their name kanji contrast each other - respectively 'east' and 'west', 'peak' and 'valley', 'morning sun' and 'evening'). They are also the two best known, talented, and accomplished members of the team, other than Kageyama.
  • In manga chapters 234-277, Asahi's appearance on the rotation charts show his hair to be styled in the manner of the Spring Interhigh games in which he wore his headband. This is later changed to show his hair in a bun in chapter 278.
  • His star sign is Capricorn.
  • He went to Seukoudai Middle school.
  • In the English dubbing of the anime, he is one of the few characters referred to by his first name instead of his last name.
  • When asked about Asahi's name origin, Furudate said, “Because I finished the story and scene first - which doesn’t happen often - I made his name contrast to Nishinoya’s name: the morning sun which rises from the eastern peak!”[19]
  • In the Christmas Haikyuu!! Drama CD, Asahi mentions that 'Don't Give up, Kamchatka' is his Bible. It's a collection of photos and poems of people living in the harsh wilderness.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Asahi placed 7th with 3,418 votes.[20] In the second, he dropped to 13th with 4,003 votes.[21]
  • Asahi owned a pet dog when he was younger. [2] He said that he'd wake up and realize he was crying after dreaming about the dog that had passed away.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Asahi (旭) - Morning Sun
    • Azumane (東峰) - East Peak

References

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