Hoshiumi is quite short in height but has a relatively strong build. He has bird-like facial features. His large, wide eyes resemble that of a seagull while his spiky, rough, light-colored hair appears similar to the plumage of a bird. As a child, he had shorter hair and wore it down. Sometime after his second year of high school, Hoshiumi cut his hair and reverted back to the hairstyle he had when he was young.
In games, Hoshiumi is calm and collected, but he's actually an enthusiastic, loud, and proud person who claims that his abilities have always left other people in shock because of his height. He is quick to become irritated, especially when people fail to show him an impressed look or when they comment about his short stature. Hoshiumi has known about his weakness and the physical limitations of being short since the third grade. Although he initially cried over the unfairness of his height, he eventually accepted it following advice from his mother and started honing various skills to become the better player regardless of height.
Hoshiumi comes from a family of four consisting of his mom, dad, and an older brother named Akitomo. Both his dad and brother are tall while Hoshiumi seems to have inherited his short stature from his mom's side.
Although he wanted to play basketball initially, Hoshiumi decided to join a volleyball team in the second grade. He listed his reason as wanting to be free from Akitomo, who constantly sneered at Hoshiumi over their height difference. Despite his superficial reasoning at first, Hoshiumi soon came to love the sport as he watched official matches on TV.
Sometime later, Hoshiumi's volleyball team and Akitomo's basketball team ended up sharing a court for practice. Akitomo wanted to try spiking, but Hoshiumi warned his brother just how hard volleyball could be. However, he was quickly stunned when Akitomo easily spiked the ball due to the latter's superior height and won the adoration of Hoshiumi's teammates. Later at home, Hoshiumi complained about the unfairness of being short to his mom, who advised him to become the better player even though he can't grow taller. Since then, Hoshiumi has taken his mom's advice to heart and practiced diligently to become a formidable and versatile player.
Tokyo Nationals ArcEdit
Preparation for Nationals
Hoshiumi is one of the players invited to the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp. Kageyama quickly takes notice of him due to his obvious short height compared to the other players. During the first practice match, he's able to block Kageyama, surprising the latter.
The players hold another practice match the next day. Hoshiumi shows off his unique approach run, where he concentrates his momentum into the ball of his feet before jumping. This allows him to jump to an extraordinary height and spike above the blockers. However, he notices that Kageyama doesn't seem to be surprised by the height he jumps. After the match, Hoshiumi approaches Kageyama to ask if the first year had seen him play before. When Kageyama denies it, Hoshiumi asks vehemently why the setter didn't seem impressed by his abilities. Kageyama admits that he did notice the height, but he wasn't too affected by it, annoying Hoshiumi.
Later, Hoshiumi is seen playing as a setter in a game where the players shuffle their positions around. Hoshiumi demonstrates his capability as a setter with skills that impress both the coaches and his fellow players in the training camp. However, he gets quickly annoyed when he sees Sakusa doubting his toss.
He is last seen giving Kageyama an annoyed look, possibly due to Kageyama's earlier comments, before leaving the training camp.
Hoshiumi shows up on the first day of the Spring Interhigh Tournament. Before his team's match, he goes to the souvenir shop to purchase a t-shirt with a willpower quote and coincidentally runs into Hinata and Yamaguchi. He and Hinata naturally start a staring contest until Kageyama greets him. He greets Kageyama back before asking whether Hinata and Yamaguchi are Kageyama's teammates. Then, Hoshiumi approaches Hinata to question him about his position, height, and vertical reach. Although Hoshiumi seems irritated once he hears that Hinata is a middle blocker, he is ultimately satisfied when he realizes that his vertical reach is higher than Hinata's. Soon, their conversation is interrupted when Hoshiumi's teammate comes to get him.
During his match, Hoshiumi proves himself as the star of the court by showing off his all-rounder abilities in spiking, blocking, receiving, and serving. He is such a force to be reckoned with that the commentators label him the "Little Giant." After the match, a reporter approaches and congratulates him on his performance. When the reporter questions him about how he felt about being shorter than most of the players, Hoshiumi becomes enraged and expresses his dislike of being noticed only for his height. He feels that everybody puts way too much emphasis on height, and proclaims "being short in volleyball may very well be a disadvantage, but it does not automatically imply incompetence or ineptitude." Before he can continue further, his teammate stops him and forces him to apologize to the reporter for being rude. Afterward, Hoshiumi sees Hinata observing him with a wistful smile and becomes annoyed. It is revealed that Hoshiumi is pissed that both Hinata and Kageyama failed to give him an impressed look after seeing his performance.
On the second day, Hoshiumi and his teammate are seen observing the match between Inarizaki and Karasuno. He is seemingly pissed off after witnessing a high-caliber play from Inarizaki, but is stunned and loses his composure once he sees Karasuno's First Year Combo's minus-tempo broad attack. He continues to observe the match and particularly pays attention to Hinata. He is taken aback by Hinata's lack of serving skills but notices that Hinata possesses the ability to see blockers in slow motion.
Hoshiumi is an amazing all-rounder, excellent at serving, receiving, setting, blocking, and spiking. He's able to jump high and get past blockers who are a lot taller than him using a unique running approach; he bends and twists his legs inwards, resulting in a high vertical jump, which helps him perform an impressive end-line shot. He has also been shown to have a large arsenal of attacks, consisting of feints, wipes, straights, and crosses. Eikichi Chigaya, during the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp, remarked that Hoshiumi gives off a "Small Giant" vibe, based on his height and his jumping power; a commentator at Hoshiumi's first game at the Spring High tournament also dubbed him the Small Giant. Hoshiumi is also able to do a jump serve with extreme power and accuracy.
Jumping Reach: 342 cm
- According to Kageyama, he jumps higher than Hinata.
- Favorite food: Kappa Ebisen (Plum Flavor)
- Current concern: The number of people who are underestimating him is decreasing.
- Hoshiumi's kanji is the reverse of Kaisei, a highschool not known for its volleyball but famous for its star player and now Japan's national team Opposite Spiker, Yuji Nishida. Nishida is known for his super spikes, powerful serves, and incredible jump height. He is also viewed as not-tall when compared to the rest of his teammates and opponents.
- Kōrai (光来) - Incoming Light
- Hoshiumi (星海) - Star Ocean
- "... Everyone who underestimates me because of my height, they're almost always left with their mouths wide open and tongues hanging out when they see my plays! That's a streak that's never been broken!" - To Kageyama, Volume 24 Chapter 215
- "Being small in volleyball may well be a disadvantage, but it does not automatically imply incompetence or ineptitude!" - To a sports reporter, Volume 28 Chapter 245
- "I've known the fact that I am weak, since long, long ago."- To himself, Volume 39 Chapter 343
- "Fess up. Where have you seen me before?" - To Kageyama, Volume 24 Chapter 215
- "That's not what I meant. I wanna know if you've seen my game tape before." - To Kageyama, Volume 24 Chapter 215
- "Then where was your surprise?! Why didn't you stare?! Gape in shock?! Every time you just look at me with this dumb 'Oh, that's interesting' look on your face!" - To Kageyama, Volume 24 Chapter 215
- "I mean, seriously, what's with you?! Most guys see my height and think I suck! Only when they see me play do they realize how scary I am!! That's just how things go!! That's the way it's supposed to be!!" - To Kageyama, Volume 24 Chapter 215
- "Hey man, you totally second-guessed my toss just then, didn't you?!" - To Sakusa, Volume 25 Chapter 219
- "Hinata Shōyō! I'll be waiting for you!" - To Hinata, Chapter 365