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I learned a long time ago... just how short and weak I really am.

Kōrai Hoshiumi (Japanese: (ほし) (うみ) (こう) (らい) Hoshiumi Kōrai) was previously a second-year student at Kamomedai High, and the ace of its volleyball team. A highly skilled player, he was invited to the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp.

In 2018, he is a member of Schweiden Adlers, a professional volleyball team in Division 1 of Japan's V.League. He is also a member of the Japan National Volleyball Team.

Appearance

Since childhood, Hoshiumi has been on the shorter side. He has light colored hair that he had kept very short early on and large, wide eyes similar to that of a seagull. He had let his hair grow some time after he met Hirugami and has it styled similar to the plumage of a bird. From being so athletic, Hoshiumi has gained a strong figure.

Sometime after his second year of high school, Hoshiumi cut his hair and reverted back to the hairstyle he had when he was young. He has also gotten slightly taller since high school.

Personality

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[1]. 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[2].

Background

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.

Plot

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Preparation for Nationals

Hoshiumi is one of the players invited to the All-Japan Youth Training Camp[3]. 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[4].

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 vehemently asks why the setter didn't seem impressed or scared by his abilities. Kageyama admits that he did notice his abilities, but he wasn't too affected by it and instead saw Hoshiumi as a good reference source, 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[5].

He is last seen giving Kageyama an annoyed look, possibly due to Kageyama's earlier comments, before leaving the training camp.

Nationals

Hinata and Hoshiumi s4-e12-2.png

Hoshiumi shows up on the first day of the Spring Interhigh Tournament. Before his team's first 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, Hirugami, comes to get him as their match is about to begin.

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, Hirugami 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 angry that both Hinata and Kageyama failed to give him an impressed look after seeing his performance.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Hoshiumi isn't afraid to express his annoyance over Atsumu when spectating the match commencing. Seeing Hinata score right past through Inarizaki's blockers with his quick attack, Hoshiumi gets extremely angry. Despite this, he regains his composure when remarking that Hinata hasn't flustered to Inarizaki's provocations and wonders which kind of serve he would use. However, both he and Hirugami are at lost for words when seeing it being a regular serve. From this, Hoshiumi does not put his hopes up when waiting for Hinata to receive and showing more of his skills. Despite this, when Hinata scores past Inarizaki's blockers Hoshiumi pulls a face and tells Hirugami next to him about how Hinata was able to see 'it'.

Kamomedai vs Karasuno

Shortly before Kamomedai's match against Karasuno, Hoshiumi issues the challenge to Hinata of using their match to decide which of them is the true Little Giant. During Karasuno's pre-game meeting, Hoshiumi is referred to as the one that Ukai believes will cause them the most hardship during the game.

During the warm-ups, Hoshiumi confesses to Hirugami that he will most likely no longer be underestimated given that Kamomedai has made it all the way to the quarter-finals. When Hinata executes the first quick attack of the match, Hoshiumi is totally surprised by it but would scold Hakuba to try to get a touch on the attack. Hoshiumi was quick to recover the lost point by landing his own spike over a triple block.

Hoshiumi's first serve clips the top of the net and he is immediately called out for trying to go head-to-head with Kageyama by Keiichirō Kanbayashi. In one of the early plays of the first set, Hoshiumi attempts to spike but is blocked by Karasuno's block led by Tsukishima. Hoshiumi expresses silent annoyance at this, thinking that the blockers would have taken a while to get use to him like others. He is further annoyed when Kageyama claims that Hoshiumi's time to surprise others is over. Regardless, Hoshiumi guesses that Tsukishima won't be surprised by the acts of someone his and Hinata's height. When Tsukishima attempts to block Hoshiumi again, Hoshiumi instead does a block-out against Tsukishima's hand and scores. When Hoshiumi's skills are admired by the team's second libero, Hirugami reveals that Hoshiumi was a sub player throughout middle school.

Hoshiumi is eventually able to show off his setting abilities when he sets to Hakuba; his set impressing Sugawara, Hinata, and Kageyama. Hoshiumi overhears Hinata praise his set and Hirugami is able to detect that Hoshiumi is getting cocky. Hoshiumi next delivers a service ace that continues to put Karasuno on edge. Hoshiumi would perform a back attack but was able to change the direction of where his spike would go from where his body was facing.

Hoshiumi becomes one of the blockers in a dedicated shift block when Asahi appears to be getting the set but instead it is sent to Tsukishima. Hoshiumi and the others blockers are all able to make it in time to stop Tsukishima's spike. At the end of the first set, Hinata appears to be getting the set but Hoshiumi and Hirugami were able to watch carefully and see that Hinata wouldn't get the set. Although Hakuba was tricked into jumping early, Hoshiumi and Hirugami were not.

At the start of the second set, Hoshiumi proves to be more troublesome then he was in the first set when he is able to score numerous times. Hoshiumi and the other blockers would soon witness Hinata's wide broad attack. Later, Hoshiumi starts a rivalry between himself and Tsukishima when he performs another block-out against the middle blockers hand and claim it's an easy thing to do when the blocker is so talented. Midway in the set, Hoshiumi appears to be surprised and annoyed at seeing Hinata being able to use the same jumping method he does. After Yamaguchi is subbed into the match when Karasuno is at set point, Hoshiumi attempts another block-out against Tsukishima but is shocked to see the middle blocker dodge the attempt which allowed Hoshiumi's spike to land out of bounds and therefore win the set for Karasuno. Hoshiumi would then be more shaken when Tsukishima grinned down at him[6].

In the third set of the match, Hoshiumi is able to make a set to Hakuba and right after is seen making a receive before right away making an approach for a spike. Faced with Tsukishima trying to block him, Hoshiumi performs a cross shot to get past him. Later, Hoshiumi agrees with Hirugami when they notice that Hinata is only able to use his new jump when he uses both feet and cannot do the high jump when he attempts the wide broad attack. After Hinata nearly succeeds in getting Hirugami to fall for a fast attack and Hinata announces that he'd like for his nickname to be 'The Strongest Decoy', Hoshiumi is seen happily laughing but then became annoyed when Hinata 'allows' him to have the nickname of the Little Giant but laughs again right after.

When Hinata collapses from his fever and is removed from the game, Hoshiumi loudly promises that he will be waiting for Hinata's return.

Final Arc

Hoshiumi has become a member of the V-League Division 1 team, Schweiden Adlers, and is teammates with Kageyama and Ushijima. Ahead of the match against the Jackals, he is seen in the locker room excitedly waiting for the re-match against Hinata[7]. Later, Hoshiumi joins the gathering of players in the hallway and asks Hinata about his current height measurement. He is delighted to find that he's taller than Hinata and boasts about his win despite having checked Hinata's stats earlier that day. When Hoshiumi is introduced with the Alders starting line-up, he is still referred to as the Little Giant.

During the game, Hinata jumps impressively high directly in the first rally, which impresses Hoshiumi. After gaining that point, Heiwajima expresses his shock over finding out that there was someone who could jump higher than Hoshiumi. As he serves, Bokuto internally tells the world to cheer him on, and even named his serve, but gets frustrated when Hoshiumi bumps it and 'steals' his cheers. After Hinata fails his serve, Hoshiumi serves, and internally he tells Hinata to show him 'how it's done', but Bokuto manages to receive it as payback for earlier[8]. Not long after, Sakusa scores a service ace, and Hoshiumi is both frustrated but not surprised at how good Sakusa's serves are.

Not long after, Hoshiumi gets ready to serves, looking out for the opposing blockers as well the enemy libero. Once he serves, however, Hinata is able to bump it beautifully and earn his team the rally. During the start of the second set, Takeda asks Ukai why Kageyama doesn't pull a quick attack with Hoshiumi, which he answers that they could if they wanted to but unlike Hinata, Hoshiumi relies more on a longer amount of time in the air rather than speed. And as they talk, Hoshiumi scores a point against the Jackals' blockers by finding a small gap between them.

Knowing that Atsumu's serve was going to complicate things, Hoshiumi gets ready to receive it, which he does successfully. Hoshiumi is about to spike and remembers what Hirugami said back in their third year when he tells Hoshiumi that was going to stop playing volleyball to do something he loves and that no one was going to do if he stopped playing volleyball. Hoshiumi thinks that nobody's going to die if he screws up, so he is better off than Hirugami in that regard (as Hirugami becomes a veterinary student) but that he just won't be able to make a living off what he loves[9]. After thinking this, Hoshiumi goes for a block out but knowing that the blockers were ready for this, he immediately switches to a spike. Following this, Hoshiumi internally tells Hinata that this is the way to fight in the air.

Hoshiumi spikes, but suddenly gets blocked by a dashing Hinata who was so short that he wasn't in his line of view, to which a spectating Hakuba scoffs at. Not long after, Kageyama sets for Hoshiumi, and in midair, Hoshiumi tells himself that no one can stop him once he's in the air, and he ends up scoring. After the Adlers' loss, Hoshiumi is interviewed by Enaga, and talking about what frustrates him about Hinata, Enaga notices that Hoshiumi's found himself an excellent rival[10].

In 2021, Hoshiumi plays in the Japan Men's National Volleyball Team.

Statistics

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

Post-Timeskip Statistics
Power
 
4/5
Jumping
 
5/5
Stamina
 
5/5
Game Sense
 
5/5
Technique
 
5/5
Speed
 
5/5

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 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:

  • Pre-Timeskip: 342 cm
  • Post-Timeskip: 351 cm

Skills

Post-Timeskip Skills Parameter
Serve
 
9/10
Serve Reception
 
10/10
Dig
 
9/10
Setting
 
8/10
Spike
 
10/10
Block
 
7/10

Relationships

Sachirō Hirugami

Hoshiumi and Hirugami s4-e13-1.png

Hoshiumi and Hirugami both went to Yurisei Middle School and were on the volleyball team. They don't interact much until Hoshiumi catches Hirugami scraping his hands on a wall after losing a volleyball game. He stops him in his tracks and yells, "What the heck are you doing?!". Hirugami responds to this by saying he's pretty sure he doesn't like volleyball anymore, and Hoshiumi suggests that he should quit. He tells him he won't die if he doesn't play volleyball, and praises his abilities. Hoshiumi then infers that Hirugami is most likely burnt out on volleyball, and how anybody would be if they were playing it so intensely for so long. Hirugami reflects on this moment fondly years into the future during Kamomedai's match against Karasuno while on the bench, watching Hoshiumi score another point.

The two are seen to be close friends throughout high school, spectating the Karasuno vs. Inarizaki match together and frequently having scenes together. When Hoshiumi first meets Hinata by a t-shirt stand, Hirugami interrupts them to tell him their next game is starting soon. Hirugami also stops Hoshiumi in the middle of an interview during nationals and tells him to apologize to the interviewer. Hoshiumi tells Hirugami on a staircase at nationals that people need to be more afraid of him. In their third year of high school, they return to the place they first met and Hirugami tells Hoshiumi that he'll be going to vet school. He talks about how he knew during his whole time in volleyball in high school if he screwed up, nobody was going to die, but with the career path he chose, someone could die. He then reassures himself that he's sure it'll be okay, and he understands not everything is going to be okay, and says at least he'll be doing something he likes.

During the MSBY Black Jackals vs. Schweiden Adlers match, Hoshiumi reflects on how if he screws up, nobody is going to die, so he's "way better off than Sachirō in that regard", and at worst he won't be doing what he loves. Before he jumps up to hit a spike, he reflects on Hirugami telling him that because he's working in a field he likes, there will be a time where it makes things harder.

Karasuno High

  • Tobio Kageyama:
    Kageyama and Hoshiumi s4-e4-1.png
    They were both invited to the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp. Hoshiumi seemed to dislike Kageyama at first because the first year wasn't impressed by his abilities and had admitted to it when Hoshiumi questioned him. However, when they met at nationals, they greeted each other and seemed to be on good terms. Years later, they would become teammates on the Schweiden Adlers.
  • Shōyō Hinata:
    Hinata and Hoshiumi s4-e12-3.png
    Hoshiumi and Hinata first meet at the Spring Tournament and a rivalry forms almost instantly before the two even speak to one another. Hoshiumi feels superior when he learns he is taller and has a higher spiking point than Hinata but does acknowledge Hinata as a player to be cautious of despite his lack of skill and experience. When Hinata is taken out of the game due to falling ill, Hoshiumi called out to the middle blocker that he would be waiting for his return. It wouldn't be until years later that the two would meet again and continue their rivalry. Despite always having been opponents, Hoshiumi and Hinata appear to have a friendly rivalry and have mutual respect for one another.

Family

  • Akitomo Hoshiumi: Akitomo is Kōrai's older brother and the two appear to have the typical sibling relationship. When Kōrai was little, Akitomo would often make fun of Hoshiumi's short height and do things such as holding up a basketball where he couldn't reach it.
  • Asa Hoshiumi: Kōrai's mother. Kōrai appears to have a close relationship with his mother. During his childhood, he would often mention to her how he disliked being short and being overshadowed by his brother and other taller people. Asa would teach Kōrai that, while he might not be able to do much about changing his height, he could always find ways to be better than people who are taller than him if he worked hard enough.

Quotes

  • "... 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)
  • "I... Even me... Me! I'd given up a little. I'd started to think that there were limits to the height I could reach." (To Gao Hakuba, Volume 41 Chapter 361)
  • " Height isn't about the distance you can jump off the ground. It's about how much higher you can reach than the blockers." (To Gao Hakuba, Volume 41 Chapter 361)

Trivia

  • 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.
  • Post-timeskip concern: There are times when he cannot handle foreign cuisine.
  • Hoshiumi's kanji is the reverse of Kaisei, a high school 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.
  • Hoshiumi has a vertical reach of 351 cm, the highest out of all the players with a known reach.
  • In his pre-timeskip profile, Hoshiumi is listed as a student in Year 2 Class A. This is later revised in the final guidebook to Year 2 Class 1 to match the rest of the Kamomedai members.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Kōrai (光来) - Incoming Light
    • Hoshiumi (星海) - Star Ocean

References