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Illusionary Hero (Japanese: 幻覚 (げんかく) ヒーロー Genkaku Hīrō) is the eighth episode of Haikyū!! Second Season, based on the manga Haikyū!! by Haruichi Furudate. The episode premiered on November 22, 2015.

The opening theme of this episode is I'm a Believer by SPYAIR and the ending theme is Climber by Galileo Galilei.


Tsukishima begins to think that he shouldn’t put so much effort in training anymore like his brother did, to avoid being disappointed if he fails. Despite practicing very hard, Akiteru failed to become a regular player for Karasuno due to the number of more talented players on the team, including Hinata’s idol, the “Small Giant.”


TsukishimaYamaguchi S2E8.png

Alone in the bathroom, Yamaguchi recalls memories of when he was in grade school and being picked on by bullies. Tsukishima, having been walking by, observes the scene. The bullies are unsure of Tsukishima and become dazed when he calls them lame. One bully runs over and challenges him but quickly backs down when he sees how much taller Tsukishima is. Yamaguchi admits he was not sure if Tsukishima had been calling him lame as well and was impressed that, despite being outnumbered, he stood his ground and Yamaguchi was jealous of how cool Tsukishima was. Coming out of his thoughts and remembering how Hinata asked what he would say to Tsukishima about not putting in more effort into volleyball, Yamaguchi makes the decision to speak with Tsukishima.

Tsukishima announces to Daichi that he is leaving practice but Tanaka interrupts saying that they still need Tsukishima in order to work on the synchronized attack. Ennoshita appears and says he would like to participate in the practice and Tsukishima leaves during the commotion Tanaka causes when he believes Ennoshita is challenging him for his spot.

As he leaves, Tsukishima recalls a memory of watching his older brother, Akiteru Tsukishima, play a game in middle school. At home, Tsukishima asks Akiteru what high school he has chosen to attend. Akiteru answers that he has picked Karasuno, stating that he believes the team is strong and may even be able to beat Shiratorizawa.

Akiteru S2E8.png

After entering high school, Akiteru begins staying late during practices, saying that he needs to put in more work as there are many talented and hard-working players on the team. A short while later, Tsukishima asks his brother if he can attend one of the games but Akiteru asks that he doesn't, claiming he will be thrown off if Tsukishima is there watching. Tsukishima asks his brother if he plays the same position he did in middle school. Akiteru answers he does and Tsukishima proudly proclaims his brother is the ace again. Akiteru changes the subject by asking Tsukishima what he is doing in the boys' volleyball club he recently joined. Tsukishima answers that he is working on receives and that he does not find it fun at all. Akiteru gives him a quick lesson in receiving and that he has to make a connection with his team in order for plays to work. Tsukishima says that he is friends with the other players but Akiteru quickly calls him out on it.

The next time Tsukishima is returning to practice, he spots Yamaguchi observing the practice from the entryway. Yamaguchi tries to thank Tsukishima for helping him against the bullies but is shocked when he believes Tsukishima doesn't remember him. When Tsukishima reveals he does remember he then questions what Yamaguchi is doing at the practice. Yamaguchi answers that he wants to join a sports team but was not able to join baseball and soccer since they had 'big, scary' players and he believed volleyball would instead be a good choice. He quickly becomes distracted after noticing Tsukishima's shoes, which Tsukishima explains belong to his brother; who plays volleyball at Karasuno as the ace. This impressed Yamaguchi greatly.

A few years later, Tsukishima approaches Yamaguchi during class asking him if he'd like to join him in going to the next Karasuno game as he had yet to see his brother play. Yamaguchi agrees and they are approached by another student who says he also has a brother on the team. He asks Tsukishima of his brother and becomes confused when he says that the rosters did not list anyone named Akiteru Tsukishima being on the team. Tsukishima denies this, claiming his brother is on the team.


The next day, all three attend the Karasuno game. Tsukishima searches the team for his brother but is unable to find him. Their classmate then points out that, for the last year, the ace player is a second-year everyone calls the Tiny Giant. Tsukishima is stunned at this, not wanting to believe that his brother isn't actually on the team. He soon recognizes a voice coming from the Karasuno cheering squad and spots his brother standing among them; horrified that Tsukishima has discovered he is not on the team.

Back in the present, Tsukishima is walking alone and questioning why his brother felt the need to lie about being the ace and putting so much work into the game.

His thoughts are interrupted when Yamaguchi suddenly appears. Yamaguchi begins to tell Tsukishima that, even though he had admired his friend for being cool, lately he has been acting very lame. He goes on to say that it is very possible that Hinata will become the next Tiny Giant and that Tsukishima should work harder to beat him. Yamaguchi questions why Tsukishima always sets limits for himself when they both know that Tsukishima has the means to become a great player.

Tsukishima then begins to question the possibilities and outcomes of what would happen if he did start working harder; wondering 'what comes next' or 'what comes after that'. He then states that, no matter how hard someone works or tries, there is always the possibility that they will lose. Tsukishima then asks Yamaguchi why he and the others continue to push themselves knowing that they may not be able to win.


Angrily, after recalling his failed jump float during the Seijoh game, Yamaguchi yells at Tsukishima saying there is nothing more that drives them than their own pride.

Stunned, Tsukishima muses how the day has finally come that Yamaguchi was able to stand up to him and calls him cool for the first time. Though still not sure, Tsukishima says that he will go ask certain others and leaves.

Later, Tsukishima enters the third gym and approaches Bokuto and Kuroo and say he'd like to ask them a personal question. Though Bokuto and Kuroo become irritated when Tsukishima points out their teams are 'moderately' good and how it's near impossible to win every game, the two listen as he asks them what pushes them to try so hard when volleyball is just a club.

Bokuto especially becomes annoyed when Tsukishima says volleyball is 'just a club' and asks if Tsukishima finds volleyball fun. When Tsukishima answers that he doesn't, Bokuto questions if it's because he sucks at volleyball. Bokuto then tells him that he himself only recently began to feel volleyball was fun. The source of his joy came from when he began practicing his line shots after his cross shots were becoming easy for opponents to block. During a game against the same blockers, Bokuto was able to score every shot and described it as his time had come. He tells Tsukishima that when he is playing at his best, he won't care about what the future holds and when he has his own special bad ass moment, that will be when he falls in love with volleyball. Promptly after answering his question, Bokuto and Kuroo drag Tsukishima to block for them as a fair trade.

Hinata Tsukki.png

Yamaguchi returns to the Karasuno teams' practice and is approached by Hinata and Yachi. He informs the two that Tsukishima is practicing with Bokuto and Kuroo, surprising Hinata in the process. Yamaguchi then asks Hinata if he sees Tsukishima as a rival. Hinata answers that he does and that he has a lot to make up for as Tsukishima has everything he doesn't. After Hinata runs off to join the team, Yachi tells Yamaguchi that since Hinata and Tsukishima see one another as rivals, it's like the sun vs the moon.

The next day, Karasuno is playing against Fukurōdani. After noticing how intense Bokuto seems to be, Ukai calls a time-out and informs the team that they should try to do soft blocks against his spikes. Tsukishima then surprises everyone by agreeing that they don't need to 'stop' Bokuto.

The game proceeds and, while getting ready to block, Tsukishima recalls what Kuroo had taught him the previous night about blocking. As Bokuto goes to spike, he becomes stunned at how intense Tsukishima seems to be and changes his spike to a feint at the last moment and scores.

On the sidelines, Ukai notices Tsukishima's behavior and Bokuto is teased by his team at his sudden change in attack; Kuroo even laughs from where he had seen the event take place.

Yamaguchi and Yachi notice how Tsukishima seems to silently challenge Hinata. Yachi notes how it is now the sun vs the moon.






  • Shinzen High's First Gym
  • Tsukishima's house (flashback)
  • Tsukishima and Yamaguchi's middle school (flashback)
  • Sendai City Gymnasium (flashback)
  • Karasuno High's Second Gym (flashback)
  • Shinzen High's Third Gym

Episode Notes

Character Revelations

  • Akiteru is shown to have been the captain of his middle school volleyball team.


  • Tsukishima and Yamaguchi have been playing volleyball since grade school.
  • Yamaguchi has addressed Akiteru by his first name (though they are not shown interacting)
  • Bokuto reveals he has gone to nationals three times.

Differences Between Anime and Manga

  • Manga: Akiteru calls Tsukishima by his name, Kei. Anime: He never says it.
  • Manga: Yamaguchi keeps his reasons for wanting to join volleyball to himself. Anime: He says them out-loud to Tsukishima.
  • Anime: Tenma Udai is referred to as the Tiny Giant (or Little/Small Giant). Manga: During the game, he is shown, he is called 'Small Super Ace'.
  • Manga: When Sugawara asks Daichi if they should be concerned about Tsukishima, Tanaka is shown to briefly join the conversation. Anime: It was just Daichi and Sugawara.
  • Manga: Before learning Tsukishima's name, Bokuto called him Megane-kun. English sub: He calls him 'tall dude with the glasses'. English dub: Even after Tsukishima tells him his name, Bokuto mispronounces it as Tsukibadada.
  • Manga: When Tsukishima refers to volleyball as 'just a club' Kuroo and Bokuto imply that it sounds like a person's name and attempt to make one but are unable to because they heard the phrasing wrong. Anime: Bokuto claims that he wishes to strike Tsukishima for the way he says volleyball is just a club. Kuroo defends Tsukishima by claiming he's possibly more concerned about his grades before he makes fun of Bokuto for his own grades.
  • Manga: Hinata is shown to be able to balance a volleyball on his head, when standing still and running, without the use of his hands. Anime: He does use his hands.
  • Manga: The scene of Bokuto and Kuroo dragging Tsukishima to block for them after answering his question is shown as a flashback. Anime: This is shown straight after they answer Tsukishima's question.

OSTs Used

  • 00:12 - 01:34 - Illusionary Hero (Japanese: 幻覚ヒーロー Genkaku Hīrō)
  • OP
  • 04:00 - 05:13 - Looking Forward (Japanese: 期待 Kitai)
  • 05:48 - 06:39 - Direct Sunlight (Japanese: 直射日光 Chokusha Nikkō)
  • 09:00 - 10:32 - A Reason (Japanese: 理由 Riyū)
  • 10:54 - 11:24 - Breakdown (Japanese: 決裂 Ketsuretsu)
  • 11:52 - 12:53 - "Greed" (Japanese: "欲" "Yoku")
  • 13:24 - 14:36 - Frustration (Japanese: 悔しさ Kuyashi sa)
  • – eyecatch –
  • 14:55 - 15:35 - Lonely (Japanese: 孤独 Kodoku)
  • 17:10 - 18:34 - Confrontation with the Champion (Japanese: 王者との対峙 Ōja to no Taiji)
  • 18:55 - 19:34 - Illusionary Hero (Japanese: 幻覚ヒーロー Genkaku Hīrō)
  • 20:24 - 22:12 - Moonrise (Japanese: 月の出 Tsuki no Shutsu)
  • ED
  • Preview - God-like Quick (Japanese: 神業速攻 Kamiwaza Sokkō)


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