"Illusionary Hero" (Japanese:
Tsukishima's older brother, Akiteru, is a kind-hearted individual who is passionately into volleyball and strives to become a strong player. However, things didn't go the way he wants it, causing a rift between him and his brother's relationship, and resulting into a failed admiration his brother has for him. In the present, a worried Yamaguchi lashes out at Tsukishima, and bombards him with words which the latter unexpectedly hears coming from him.
At a middle school tournament, Tsukishima watches his older brother, Akiteru Tsukishima, land a spike and receive great praise as the team ace. Tsukishima later learns that his brother will be attending Karasuno High as their strength is said to be rivaling that of Shiratorizawa Academy and has the chance to make it to Nationals.
A year after Akiteru has joined the Karasuno volleyball club, he begins returning home late after staying for extra practice due to wanting to be the only first year to be a starting regular. Tsukishima had quickly become known as the younger brother of a known volleyball player. He requests to see one of his brother's matches but Akiteru asks that he does not go to the games, claiming that he will become riddled with nerves if his younger brother is present. Tsukishima questions his brother if he plays the same position he did in middle school and believes that his brother is the ace once more when Akiteru answers that he is still a wing spiker.
When Tsukishima goes to volleyball practice, he notices Tadashi watching the players. When Tsukishima walks by, Tadashi thanks Tsukishima for standing up to the bullies and is shocked when Tsukishima appears to not remember who he is. Tadashi notices Tsukishima sneakers and points out how cool they are. Tsukishima reveals they are actually hand-me-down's from his older brother until he can get new ones. Tadashi begins to overwhelm Tsukishima with flattery when Tsukishima tells him that Akiteru plays volleyball at Karasuno as the team ace.
Some time later, Tsukishima approaches Tadashi in class and asks if he wants to join him in watching Karasuno's next game. Tadashi eagerly agrees as both he and Tsukishima have not seen Akiteru play yet. A classmate of theirs joins them and mentions how he too has a brother on the team but causes tension when he says that he recently went to a match and that there were no regular starters with the name Tsukishima.
At the match, Tsukishima is trying to locate his brother on the court but does not see him anywhere. His classmate informs him that there isn't anyone on the team with the last name Tsukishima and that the team ace for the last year is someone known as the Little Giant. Tsukishima is in total shock at this discovery and soon spots his brother in the stands with the Karasuno cheering section.
In the present, Tsukishima is remembering how volleyball seemed to mean everything to Akiteru only for him to later lie about his involvement in it. His thoughts are interrupted when Tadashi runs up to him. Tadashi wastes no time in saying that Tsukishima has been acting pathetically lately and that Hinata could very well become the next Little Giant one day so Tsukishima should do all he can to prove that he's just as good a player as Hinata.
Tsukishima argues back that no matter how hard he or any of the practice there is always the chance of being beaten. Because there is always the possibility of never being the best, Tsukishima asks what it is that drives Tadashi and their teammates to work so hard. Tadashi angrily yells at Tsukishima that there is nothing more that drives them than their own pride. Impressed by his friends sudden boldness, Tsukishima calls him cool for the first time as he realizes that he has been overthinking things.
Yachi tells Hinata that she had seen Tadashi chase after Tsukishima. Hinata deduces that Tadashi possibly went to talk to Tsukishima about where he stands concerning the volleyball club. Hinata thinks that Tsukishima will stay with the club because he's a cool person who only takes interest in things that are cool.
Tsukishima is last seen standing outside the entrance to the third gym.
- Akiteru Tsukishima (flashback only)
- Small Giant (flashback only)
- Kei Tsukishima
- Tadashi Yamaguchi
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka (flashback only)
- Asahi Azumane (flashback only)
- Kōshi Sugawara (flashback only)
- Tobio Kageyama (flashback only)
- Daichi Sawamura (flashback only)
- Makoto Shimada (flashback only)
- Shōyō Hinata
- Hitoka Yachi
- Kōtarō Bokuto
- Tetsurō Kuroo
- Keiji Akaashi
- Akiteru Tsukishima was the captain and the ace of his former middle school volleyball team.