If I hadn't become a manager, I wouldn't have been able to watch today's matches, wouldn't have been so excited and flustered, or so happy when you won, and my heart wouldn't have felt so warm. It's all because I watched each of you work so hard to do something you couldn't before...If I hadn't been here, I would have never had that experience. So, thank you.

Hitoka Yachi (Japanese: () () (ひと) () Yachi Hitoka) was previously a first-year student at Karasuno High. She joined partway through the year as one of the boys' volleyball team's managers. As of 2018, she is a college student and will begin working at an ad design company in Tokyo once she graduates.

Appearance

Yachi is a petite, young girl with blonde hair that goes slightly past her chin and light brown eyes. She usually wears colourful star hairclips or hairbands on her left side ponytail. She is normally wearing a cheerful expression. She has been noted by some guys (Yahaba, Kindaichi, Yamamoto and Yamaguchi) to be cute.[1]

Personality

Yachi is shown to be paranoid with an overactive imagination, causing her to be intimidated by others a lot, and then having to apologize for being judgmental based on appearances and first impressions. She had to apologize to Hinata for thinking he was a manager because he was short, then to Coach Ukai when she thought he was a fanboy of Kiyoko that may be trying to kill her. She is also very timid and flustered easily which is shown when she blushes and covers her eyes when the volleyball team changes into their uniforms in front of her. She later has become better at overcoming it by voicing the fact that she is nervous, something she told Yamaguchi when he became nervous about facing Seijoh again.

She seems to underestimate her own importance and deems herself incapable even though she has a lot of good qualities as Hinata points out later. She is quite clumsy and gets nervous easily but always takes care of others and tries to cheer them up if they are in a bad mood. 

She is seen as a very curious and tidy character who jots everything down immediately and has clean, organized notes–also because of her mother being a graphic designer. Due to this, she involuntarily becomes Hinata and Kageyama's tutor when they failed their exams.

Background

Her mother is part of a design company, which may leave her at home alone a lot (depending on her schedule).

Yachi had been recruited by Kiyoko as her replacement for when she graduates. Initially, she only agreed because she didn't join any other club activities. Despite being intimidated by them at first though, she quickly grew to like the volleyball team.

Plot

Tokyo Expedition Arc

After being recruited by Kiyoko, Yachi accompanies her to training and is welcomed quite loudly by the Karasuno High boys volleyball team. She is intimidated at first but warms up to them eventually, especially to Hinata. 

Kiyoko telling Yachi about the volleyball club's dream

Still, she feels like she is not fit to be Karasuno's manager as she states she has no idea what volleyball is about anyway and is uncertain if she would be able to be of any support to the team. Kiyoko explains the club's past as the 'Flightless Crows' and says how they're going to make nationals, to which Yachi remarks how it's completely different from her.  

As she's going to leave the school, she happens to overhear Takeda and Ukai discussing how the club lacks money for the bus to the trip to Tokyo for their summer camp. Brooding over how she would be able to help the team out with that problem, she asks her mother and tells her about her participation in the volleyball club. Her mother tells her that if she doesn't dedicate herself to it, she shouldn't pursue it further or else it would be rude to the team putting real effort. 

Yachi feels discouraged but when she joins further training sessions of the team, she becomes more certain that she wants to be their manager. Kiyoko encourages her and tells her of her experience in her years within the club, saying that even if she doesn't have a strong motivation it'll become naturally important.  

Yachi confronts her mother about her wishes to become the volleyball club's manager

Afterwards, she talks to Hinata about her problem and he manages to convince her that even if she feels unimportant, she is, no matter how small her role might seem to her. They go to Yachi's mother and Yachi takes all her courage to tell her mother that she is definitely absolutely going to be Karasuno's manager. Her mother seems to be proud of her definite decision as she apparently never decided something for herself so clearly. 

To help out, Yachi asks for Hinata and Kageyama's assistance without telling them exactly why since she wanted it to be a surprise. Her idea was successful: she took some photos of Hinata making the Oddball Quick Strike and made, with her mother's help, a poster to advertise donations for the Tokyo trip. 

Before the actual trip, she helps tutor Kageyama and Hinata as she is in one of the university prep classes in their year. She does her best to teach them but they both fail anyway because of their own mistakes. 

She is present when Kageyama and Hinata started to fight about the Oddball Quick Strike. After failing to calm down the two, she goes looking for help. Luckily, she finds Tanaka, and they both stop the two from further injuring each other. She appears distressed over their argument yet tries everything she can to fix their relationship again.

She is often seen training tosses with Kageyama and is helping out however she can during the summer training camp. During the BBQ party, she gets flustered over the abundance of tall players. Others comment that she looks like she's being harassed by scary men, when in fact they are merely offering her better choices of food.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Since there can only be one manager allowed on the court, she usually watches the team on the viewing balconies. She is often accompanied by Makoto Shimada, Yūsuke Takinoue, and Saeko Tanaka. When Daichi got injured, she, along with Coach Ukai, was responsible for tending to his injuries.

Right before the Aoba Johsai High match, Yamaguchi approaches her to ask for some stomach medicine. Seeing him rather pale and sickly, she asks if she could offer him any help. When Yamaguchi tells her about the pressure he was under during their last match against Aoba Johsai when he missed a serve and that he is currently under tremendous anxiety, she, out of nowhere, starts to panic also. She even threatens to throw up and claims her heart is about to leap from her chest. This, of course, removes the anxiety from the other players.

While the teams are doing their warm-ups, Yahaba and Kindaichi notice her as an addition to the team. The former is about to approach her when a stray ball starts heading to her direction. Luckily, Kiyoko stops the ball with her left hand, preventing her from getting injured.

During the actual match, she, along with her regular companions, watches in the balconies. When the team won, she joined in the celebration, ecstatic that Karasuno was able to overcome such a huge opponent. Despite being a constant presence on the balcony she has never recognized Ikkei Ukai until the final against Shiratorizawa when prompted by Saeko Tanaka.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Karasuno vs Tsubakihara

For Karasuno's first match at Nationals, Yachi was the one to be the manager on the court due to Kiyoko having volunteered to retrieve Hinata's missing shoes. Though Yachi had originally volunteered to get the shoes, Kiyoko insisted to be the one to go as she possessed the speed and stamina to make it back before the game. Because Kiyoko would be gone, she entrusted Yachi to be there for the team in her place as it would be a good opportunity for Yachi to become use to the idea of becoming the new manager once the third years would retire. During the game against Tsubakihara, Yachi can mostly be seen taking notes of the match and afterwards meets Kiyoko with a relieved expression.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

During the game against Inarizaki, Yachi mostly supports the team from the sidelines. Like others, she too is intimidated by the power the players possess and is also stunned when the Miya twins perfectly copied the super quick attack on their first attempt. Later, Yachi sees how Nishinoya was struggling with handling Atsumu's float serves. At one point, she is greatly startled when Osamu's serve hit the scoreboard she was standing next to[2]. Yachi later shows concern when Kita was subbed into the game and was able to receive Yamaguchi's float serve with seemingly little difficulty and later appears frustrated when Inarizaki was able to win the second set. Yachi continues to be concerned when Atsumu and Osamu were able to do a reversed version of the super quick in the third set. When Karasuno eventually won, Yachi tearfully celebrates their success.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

For the match against Nekoma, Yachi is mostly observed watching the game from the sidelines. Near the end of the first set, Yachi notices how Hinata now appears to no longer struggle with making receives. Like the rest of the team, Yachi is completely shocked by the manner in which Karasuno lost the first set[3]. As the second set starts, Yachi is spotted by Bokuto and Akaashi. When Akaashi notices her serious expression, Yachi admits that she is concerned about Karasuno since this was the first time they have lost the first set of a three round match since the start of the prelims with the one exception being the finals match against Shiratorizawa[4]. She goes on to voice her worry that they may lose the match entirely until Bokuto stops her from being consumed by her worries and tells her to not worry about what comes later but to focus on what is currently taking place and to see how strong they have all become.

As the set continues, Yachi notices how Yaku was able to manipulate things to his advantage which led to Asahi sending his spike out of bonds. She hears from Bokuto that Yaku will be a great threat to Karasuno as he is a player who is able to stop his opponent without ever touching the ball. As Kageyama sends Hinata a high toss for a third tempo open center attack, Yachi watches in amazement as Hinata utilizes his new jumping method to reach a higher spiking point; although he would narrowly manage to tip the ball over. When Teshiro is brought into the game at the end of the set and uses a ceiling serve, Yachi becomes annoyed at seeing this type of serve being used against Karasuno. Upon Karasuno's victory, Yachi is seen bowing in respect[5].

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

As Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai is about to start, Ukai and the team have a quick meeting where they discuss their upcoming match against Kamomedai and the players they need to be on guard against the most. Yachi watches in astonishment and concern as they prepare for a game in the quarterfinals after having just finished an exhausting match against Nekoma. Yachi also questions how the players are still able to move so well and wonders if they are consuming an unknown food source that regenerates their bodies when she is not looking. She then observes with Hinata and Kiyoko as Kageyama writes in his volleyball journal and determines this must be one of his methods of self-discipline.

Yachi does not appear until the end of the first set, which Kamomedai wins and she is seen worrying over it. However, upon remembering Bokuto telling her not to think negatively of what may happen, she is able to calm down. At seeing Asahi perform a sudden feint shot, Yachi is greatly surprised. Like the rest of the team, Yachi became very concerned when Hinata collapsed from having a high fever. She and Shimada would escort him from the game to a hospital for medical care; the entire time she did her best to keep her emotions together and tried not to cry. She and Hinata were able to watch the outcome of the game on Kenma's tablet. After the tournament, the third years retired from the team and Yachi became the official team manager.

Final Arc

In the events following the Spring Tournament, Yachi became the official manager after Kiyoko retired with the other third years. After graduating High School, Yachi began attending college and would work part-time at her mother's design company. Yachi goes to the Adlers and Jackals game with Tsukishima and Tadashi. She is a college senior and plans to work for an ad design company in Tokyo once she graduates. She happily supports Hinata and Kageyama during the match. After the game, she and Tadashi voice how they will attend Tsukishima's next game to support him and then they reunite with Hinata and Kageyama. In her final appearance, Yachi is shown watching the Olympic volleyball match between Japan and Argentina while at work.

Statistics

High School Statistics
Power
 
1/5
Jumping
 
2/5
Stamina
 
2/5
Game Sense
 
4/5
Technique
 
1/5
Speed
 
2/5

As the show continues, Yachi gets progressively better at understanding the complexities of the sport, although she lacks the skill set required to pull off anything she learns. As Yachi was not in any club beforehand, nor does she show any physical prowess, it is safe to assume that she is not an athlete in any sense of the word. Therefore, it is only natural that her statistics are low.

In her ad break segment, Yachi is shown accidentally striking Hinata in the head when she attempts to serve the ball underhand, much to her horror (and Kiyoko's amusement).

Relationships

Kiyoko Shimizu

Kiyoko and Yachi s4-e10-1.png

Kiyoko was the one who recruited Yachi to potentially be the next manager for the volleyball team. Stunned by Kiyoko's beauty (even calling her sexy), Yachi absentmindedly agrees to attend one of the volleyball club's practices as a way to introduce her to the team and get an idea of what it is to be a manager. After Yachi joins, Kiyoko is seen to be more open, even making jokes to make her feel more comfortable. They get along very well, although Yachi was intimidated by Kiyoko's beauty (and her potentially murderous fans) at first. As time goes on, Kiyoko becomes more of Yachi's bodyguard; she protects Yachi from a stray ball that was about to hit her at the same time Shigeru Yahaba attempted to flirt with her and will at times defend her from rowdy boys from other schools.  

Madoka Yachi

Hitoka with her mother

She is Hitoka's mother who she works at a design company. Although she works a lot, she seems to be there usually for meals and to provide guidance. Yachi's school notes are modelled after what her mother has taught her of layouts in design. When Yachi tells her mother about possibly the volleyball club as a manager, Madoka responds saying if she isn't going to be fully dedicated that it would be rude to the people who are. It's said in the spirit of tough love, which is her way of encouraging her daughter to do what she thinks is best. Later on, when Hitoka shouts her own resolution to be the club manager, she's shown to be very proud and tears up in response.

Shōyō Hinata

Hinata running alongside Hitoka

It's possible Hinata recommended Yachi, along with other first years not in a club yet, in a list to help Kiyoko scout a new student manager.  

Yachi and Hinata got along well from the very beginning. Hinata encourages Yachi to become the manager. He helps her out with her uncertainty about that and convinces her eventually so that she sets her goal of becoming a good manager for Karasuno.  

When Yachi was feeling down due to her mother's harsh words, it was Hinata that took her to her mother and told her to speak her mind, encouraging Yachi to finally stand up for herself and convey her true feelings. 

She is seen to be very worried and began to cry for Hinata after his and Kageyama's fight and she tries everything to rebuild their friendship again, for both Hinata's and Kageyama's sake.

Tobio Kageyama

Yachi speaks with Kageyama

Despite being intimidated at first by Kageyama's overwhelming height, Yachi soon befriended him. During the training camp, she stayed with him and threw balls to him so that he could practice his new toss, and was visibly excited whenever he managed to hit a bottle (but also got scared by the face he pulled when he missed).

When Kageyama tried to sneak off in disguise to Aoba Johsai to check out the competition, he was spotted by Yachi, who immediately recognized him. Shyly, she told him that plain training gear was a more appropriate disguise as he would fit in easily.

Yachi is not afraid to cheer for Kageyama and Hinata despite her introverted, shy nature, and will often get mad whenever someone speaks badly about the team (although she would never say anything).

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Fugashi
  • Current Concern: What she would do if she ended up in a situation where she died or was about to die.
  • Her zodiac sign is Virgo.
  • Best subject: None in particular, but her English grades are far better than Hinata and Kageyama as she is in an advanced class. As such, she is tasked to help Kageyama and Hinata to get 90 points in their supplementary exams in one go in the second season OVA.
  • Furudate gave her this name because: “I gave her the image of earth and plants because Kiyoko-san is ‘water’ (水)."[6]
  • Nomenclature:
    • Hitoka (仁花) - Compassion Flower
    • Yachi (谷地) - Marshland

Quotes

  • "I ended up standing next to such a beautiful girl for nearly two minutes...! What should I do if her fans try to kill me?!" (To herself about Kiyoko, [1])
  • I've never tried to do something on my own, or had someone need me for anything...So when Shimizu-senpai worked so hard to recruit a Townsperson B, like me, who has no experience or knowledge of volleyball, I was really happy." (To Karasuno team about Kiyoko and herself, [7])
  • "Townsperson B can fight too!" (To Madoka Yachi, her mother, [7])
  • "I feel like I'm in some shoujo manga!" (to herself, [7])
  • "I'm in a jungle of titans!" (to herself, [8])
  • "I-I'm pretty confident when it comes to being nervous!" (to Tadashi Yamaguchi)

References

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