Me saying I can't is one thing. But if somebody else tells me that, I don't like it.

Kei Tsukishima (Japanese: 月島 (つきしま) (けい) Tsukishima Kei) was previously a first year at Karasuno High School, playing as a middle blocker on the volleyball team.

He is currently a college student as well as a middle blocker for the Sendai Frogs, a Division 2 team in the V League, and will start work at the Sendai City Museum after graduating college.

He is the younger brother of Akiteru Tsukishima.

Appearance

Tsukishima is very tall and has an incredibly slim build for a volleyball player. Despite being a first-year, he is the tallest player in Karasuno High, standing at 190.1 cm. He has short blond hair, pale skin, thin eyebrows, and golden-brown eyes. He is often seen with a frown or a condescending smirk on his face.

After joining the Karasuno volleyball team, Tsukishima wears the standard Karasuno volleyball uniform (black, orange, and white uniform with the number 11 on the back) during matches. He also wears knee pads and white volleyball shoes with green details. He is also the only player on the Karasuno team who wears glasses. Since Chapter 109, Tsukishima began wearing prescription sports glasses that were given to him by his brother.

Outside of matches and practice, Tsukishima wears a black gakuran, the Karasuno male uniform. He is usually seen with white headphones around his neck. The brand of these headphones seems to be "Somy", which is a play on the real name brand "Sony." He has been seen wearing various shirts with crescent moons on them, which plays on his name "Tsukishima" with "tsuki" meaning "moon".

Personality

Tsukishima is very blunt and will sometimes rile his teammates up due to his antagonistic nature (most notably being Hinata, Kageyama, Nishinoya, and Tanaka) and sometimes other teams because of his casual smug attitude, taking pride in and relishing when his opponents see him as a nuisance as seen with Tendō and Shirabu.

Whenever someone does or says something stupid or silly he is usually seen snickering in the background. However, he does seem to be intimidated by his seniors, being nowhere in sight when Daichi reprimands Tanaka for antagonizing Aoba Josai even though he did so as well, or backing down whenever Ennoshita calls him out.

Despite coming across as arrogant, Tsukishima has low self-esteem and thinks of himself as inferior. This is first noted to be a surprise by Kuroo, who accidentally riles him up by suggesting he’ll lose to Hinata, to which he says that he’s already below him. After the Shiratorizawa match, despite being the MVP, he’s seen calling himself lame for only being able to block Ushijima’s spikes once, only adding to how little he believes in himself and his achievements.

Although Tsukishima maintains a persona of someone who shows little interest in anything and wouldn't do something he didn't like or enjoy, he does truly enjoy volleyball. He initially refrained from putting too much effort into volleyball and being too passionate about it out of fear of suffering from the same fate as his brother. However, after his confrontation with Yamaguchi and hearing Bokuto's inspirational words in the Tokyo training camp, he started to take the sport more seriously and finally found his passion and motivation for volleyball when he blocked Ushijima.

Tsukishima keeps his cool, for the most part, but he can be seen getting visibly annoyed when people underestimate him or tell him what he can or can not do, and uses it as motivation to prove them wrong. He also says things like "It's not a competition" with Hinata but then immediately proceeds to do something to make him jealous, such as the time difference attack during the Shiratorizawa match.

According to Akiteru, "Kei is blunt and doesn't show his emotions often, but he is actually a very hardworking and kind boy."

Background

Tsukishima S2Ep8.png

Tsukishima was shown to be a lot more cheerful when he was younger and have a very close relationship with his older brother, Akiteru. He would attend several of Akiteru's middle school matches and seemed to enjoy the attention he received from locals who knew him as the younger brother of the team ace.

TsukishimaYamaguchi S2E8.png

Sometime in elementary school, he sees Yamaguchi being bullied by several other boys. He doesn't do anything, except call them pathetic; although it is unknown if this was aimed at Yamaguchi and/or the bullies. Shortly after, Tsukishima runs into Yamaguchi again when he was observing a volleyball class. Although he didn't remember Yamaguchi right away, Tsukishima is soon flattered by him when Tsukishima claims that his older brother plays at Karasuno as the team ace, and the two quickly become close friends.

Although Akiteru would state to be working very hard during practice and playing as the team ace again, Tsukishima was kept from attending any Karasuno games because his brother claimed he would become too nervous if he was being watched. When Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, and a classmate decided to attend one of Karasuno's games to settle a debate about Akiteru being a starting regular, Tsukishima discovers his brother is not on the team and is instead in the bleachers with the cheer section. Tsukishima's behavior toward his brother and volleyball changed from this point as he began to distance himself from Akiteru and also began to think that putting in so much hard work would only lead to disappointment in the future.

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

3-on-3 First Years Match

Tsukishima and Yamaguchi join Karasuno Boys’ Volleyball Club a few days after it begins for the new school year[1]. That evening, they go to where Hinata and Kageyama are practicing. To mess with Hinata, Tsukishima goes behind him and grabs the ball before Hinata can catch it and asks if the two are the first years who caused problems. When Hinata tries to reach for his ball, Tsukishima adds that elementary school kids should be going home, annoying Hinata.

Kageyama cuts in and asks how tall Tsukishima is, though Yamaguchi answers for him. Tsukishima then points out Kageyama’s junior high and wonders what an “elite” is doing at Karasuno. Hinata calls for Tsukishima’s attention again and declares that they aren’t going to lose the 3-on-3 and Tsukishima simply shrugs it off, surprising Hinata. Lightheartedly, Tsukishima explains that the match isn’t important for him and Yamaguchi so they could just throw the game for them if they want.

Kageyama gets angry at Tsukishima's taunts.

Angered, Kageyama replies that no matter what Tsukishima does, he would still win. In return, Tsukishima laughs at his confidence and reminds him of his “King” nickname. As Kageyama tries to retort, Tsukishima continues bringing up his past and remarks that it’s true Kageyama dislikes his nickname. Kageyama has had enough when Tsukishima brings up his performance during the prefecture semifinals last year and lunges forward, grabbing Tsukishima by the collar.

After a few seconds, Kageyama lets go and simply walks away, causing Tsukishima to mock him even more. Suddenly, Hinata jumps up behind him and grabs the ball out of his hand, shocking him. As he lands, Hinata exclaims that he will defeat Tsukishima. Losing his composure for a second, Tsukishima glares at him, but quickly recovers and frivolously states that they should just have fun since volleyball is just a club anyway. He then walks away, leaving a confused Hinata staring after him.

On the way home, Yamaguchi runs to Tsukishima and asks him what’s wrong since he seems to be brooding. Coldly, Tsukishima replies that he hates uselessly hot-blooded people like Kageyama and Hinata.

On the day of the 3-on-3, as the players are warming up, Tsukishima loudly provokes Kageyama and Hinata to make them lose their composure, prompting Daichi to comment that Tsukishima has a bad personality.

At first, Tsukishima easily blocks Hinata’s spikes due to his height advantage and makes a point of emphasizing that and Kageyama’s past. While Kageyama does his best to ignore him, Hinata gets angry and confronts Tsukishima, who reveals that Kageyama is only called a King because of his horrible attitude towards his former teammates.

Tsukishima mocks Hinata's lack of height.

To his surprise, Kageyama responds that he is actually terrified of tossing the ball and not seeing anyone behind him like what had happened in junior high. Hinata quickly jumps in and adds that he doesn’t care about Kageyama’s past and will hit any ball Kageyama sends to him. Annoyed, Tsukishima replies that Hinata’s genuine straightforwardness irritates him and reminds Hinata that he can’t fill the gap in height with fighting spirit.

Tsukishima starts playing seriously.

Throughout the game, Tsukishima continues with his taunts, reminding Hinata that he can’t just accomplish anything he wants just by putting all his effort into it. Hinata acknowledges that, but responds that he still wants to win with his body. As Tsukishima adds that his height is still an obstacle, Kageyama cuts in and states that as a setter, he will clear the path for Hinata[2].

When Hinata and Kageyama pull off their first planned quick, Tsukishima’s shocked to discover that Hinata had his eyes closed and asks Daichi to explain it. After the two fail their next tries, Tsukishima wonders how long they’re going to keep trying until they give up. Daichi adds that it’s hard to see someone trusting someone else so completely, especially a rival.

The next try, Tsukishima states to Kageyama that he should stop tossing to Hinata since it’ll always fail. However, he’s unnerved to see Hinata run up to Kageyama and quickly calls Yamaguchi over, leaving Daichi in the back. Hinata spikes successfully and scores.

In the end, Tsukishima’s team loses. After the match, Hinata goes to Tsukishima and holds out his hand, seemingly asking to make up because the upperclassmen will kick out any members who don’t get along with others. Tsukishima ignores the hand and retorts that he only got kicked out because he ignored the upperclassmen and caused chaos.

After Hinata leaves Tsukishima, Daichi approaches him and asks him what he thought of the match. Tsukishima replies that he didn’t really care and knew he would lose since he was against Kageyama. Daichi grins and points out that Tsukishima still got pretty serious during the game.

At that moment, Kiyoko walks in with the team jackets. At first, Tsukishima doesn’t want to put it on, but Tanaka and Sugawara goad him into wearing it. Lining up, the first years stand in front of the upperclassmen with their jackets on and officially get welcomed into Karasuno Boys’ Volleyball Club.

Aoba Johsai Practice Match

Tsukishima and his teammates intimidate the Aoba Johsai players.

Upon their arrival at Aoba Johsai High, Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, Tanaka, and Kageyama overhear two members of Aobajōhsai, Yahaba and Kindaichi, badmouthing Karasuno. Tanaka and Tsukishima join forces to intimidate the two Aoba Johsai players before Daichi arrives to reprimand them[3].

Later during the match, Tsukishima is seen mocking Kageyama and Hinata after Hinata struck Kageyama on the back of his head with a serve. It's apparent that Tsukishima is still unable to get along with the his fellow first years, especially Kageyama. The two nearly get into an argument in the midst of a game after they started exchanging insults. Amazingly, they end up in-sync and put up a strong block after growing competitive toward each other. After their successful block, Tsukishima and Kageyama end up arguing over whose hand stopped the spike until Daichi angrily shouts at them to stop[4].

Towards the end of the match, the coach of Aoba Johsai, Irihata, describes Tsukishima as a clever blocker, despite being somewhat lacking in drive. When Oikawa, Aoba Johsai’s captain and setter, arrives to pinch serve for their team, Tsukishima is targeted specifically for his weakness in receives[5]. He grows frustrated after continuously failing to receive Oikawa's serve. He becomes even more annoyed when Hinata stands up for him and gives him a speech about being allies. Afterwards, Tsukishima finally makes a save off of Oikawa's serve but ends up sending a free ball back to Aoba Johsai. However, his efforts ultimately gives his team a fighting chance, and they are able to capitalize on it to win the match.

Later when Karasuno is leaving, Oikawa stops them and point out Tsukishima and Hinata's need to work on their receives. He is shown to be uncooperative when Hinata proclaims that they will be doing special training[6].

Asahi and Nishinoya's Return

Nekoma Practice Match

When seeing Hinata and Kageyama racing over who would get to the bath first, Tsukishima mocks them for their behavior. Tsukishima takes part in the practice match between Karasuno and Nekoma as one of the starting players. Halfway into the first set, he is able to score when he uses a feint shot over Nekoma's block. This immediately catches Kenma's attention when he notices that Tsukishima is the opposite of Hinata in which he first thinks things through before taking action. Tsukishima's careful and attentive nature was soon proven when Kenma confirmed the middle blocker was studying him by using a decoy glance to trick him to go one direction only to set to the opposite side.

As the match progresses, Hinata ends up getting blocked by Inuoka multiple times. Seeing another instance of this, Tsukishima subtly eyes Ukai to tell him that Hinata should get subbed out. However, the coach wants Hinata to learn to adapt on his own. Despite Tanaka and Asahi being supportive of Hinata trying to discover new techniques in the middle of a game, Tsukishima tells him to stop slacking off and threatens to get him benched. Near the end of the second set, Tsukishima is able to block Inuoka cleanly, which leaves the spectators impressed.

After the practice match, Tsukishima observes Hinata and Inuoka jumping about and babbling in gibberish. When he remarks on their choice of language, Kuroo agrees that they are talking like children before suggesting that Tsukishima should let loose every so often instead of acting stoic all the time, to which Tsukishima replies that acting childish is not his style.

Interhigh Arc

Karasuno vs Tokonami High

The match went by relatively quick with Karasuno winning the match.

Karasuno vs Date Tech

When Tsukishima is first rotated into the match, he makes the request of a set slightly further from the net from Kageyama with the intention of trying to stay clear of the blockers. Though Kageyama is annoyed by Tsukishima calling him the King, Kageyama agrees to the request. The two nearly start bickering until Tanaka forces them apart when he noticed Daichi was starting to get angry at their behavior. Tsukishima is able to score though Date Tech notices that the quick set he did was not the same as the one Hinata did.

In the second set, Ukai changes the rotation to keep Hinata from being paired against Aone so much. This results in Tsukishima now being faced against the Date Tech second year more though he does not feel bothered by it when he tells Asahi that Date Tech will most likely not expect him to be the one to make a flashy game changing point as that is Hinata's job while his role is to hold down the fort as best as he can. He adds that Date Tech will not be paying attention to him as the blockers have already focused their attention on the Karasuno ace.

Mid-way into the second set, Asahi tells Tsukishima that his role as a blocker is vital to the team as it will help keep them from losing the lead and being able to defend so well against the famed Iron Wall is an incredible feat. He and Asahi would later prove that Karasuno has their own wall when they block Aone's spike.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai High

For majority of the first set, Tsukishima is not seen much. It isn't until Sugawara is sent into the match as the setter that Tsukishima starts to stand out. He and Sugawara switch blocking positions and Tsukishima successfully blocks Iwaizumi.

When Tsukishima goes back into the game shortly after Kageyama is subbed back in, it becomes noticeable that Tsukishima is now having trouble hitting Kageyama's spikes. During the time-out, Kageyama questions Tsukishima if he sets were good enough for the middle blocker. Tsukishima is not afraid to tell Kageyama that his tosses basically tell the spikers how to hit and that he'd like for the setter to be consistent since he has his own way of doing things. Tsukishima is surprised when Kageyama agrees to give Tsukishima the sets he wants.

Back in the game, Kageyama immediately gives Tsukishima the uniform set he asked for and Tsukishima is able to get a feint shot over the block and score. Tsukishima does another feint shot over Seijoh's block but Watari is able to make the save. The same thing happens again when Tsukishima once more does a feint and Watari saves it. However, Tsukishima's next attack is a spike that Watari believed was going to be another feint and was therefore too far forward to properly receive. When Karasuno has reached set point, Tsukishima believes that Kindaichi will receive the set but follows when Kageyama sees that Iwaizumi will get the set. Together, the two first years are able to stop the third year and win the set for Karasuno.

For the first half of the third set, Tsukishima mostly blocks and communication attempts are made with Kageyama. He is able to once more use the feint shot to get past the blockers and score. After a chaotic rally, Tsukishima is surprised to see Yamaguchi be sent in as the pinch server.

After Karasuno loses the match and goes to the dinner courtesy of Ukai, Tsukishima, though he does not cry like the others, is shown to be upset.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Shortly after Karasuno was defeated by Aoba Johsai, Takeda announces that, thanks to Nekoma's coach, Nekomata, Karasuno will have a practice match in Tokyo against Nekoma and other schools in the Fukurōdani Academy Group. However, members of the team need to pass their final exams (and avoid having to take supplementary classes) if they want to join the training camps.

Having learned that Tsukishima belongs to one of the college prep classes, Hinata and Kageyama, who are bad at studying, ask Tsukishima to teach them. Tsukishima initially refused to help, but eventually agreed after Kageyama begged him to teach them. However, Tsukishima only agreed to teach Kageyama and Hinata before and after practices and refused to help any other time they asked. He also eventually stops teaching the two because he claims they were both too stupid to understand the lessons.

In Tokyo, while the rest of his teammates are trying to individually improve, Tsukishima is shown to have no interest in improving his blocking. One night, through some coaxing by Tetsurō Kuroo, Tsukishima joined (albeit reluctantly) the blocking/spiking practices between Kuroo and Fukurōdani's Kōtarō Bokuto and Keiji Akaashi. He quickly leaves, however, when Kuroo teases him about Hinata possibly surpassing him because he doesn't put in any extra effort. Kuroo observes that Tsukishima, despite being taller and smarter than Hinata, actually feels inferior to the latter.

Through a flashback, it is eventually revealed that the reason behind Tsukishima's dispassionate attitude towards club activities and inferiority complex towards Hinata is the experience of his older brother, Akiteru, as player for the Karasuno Volleyball Team. After a confrontation with Yamaguchi, however, Tsukishima begins to change his outlook and starts improving his blocking with the help of Kuroo and Bokuto.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Karasuno High vs. Ohgiminami High

During the game, Tsukishima is able to correctly analyze the opponents plays and movements, thus being successful in blocking them many times.

Karasuno High vs. Kakugawa High

Before the game begins, Tsukishima overhears the other first years comparing Hinata’s height with Hyakuzawa’s and replaces Yachi’s 15-inches example of “Hiya Kitty” with a black-belly lantern shark, which makes Yamaguchi praise him for his knowledge. During the game, Tsukishima is able to get past Makado, or Kakugawa’s defense as a whole, thanks to Hyakuzawa not being in the front row.

Karasuno High vs. Johzenji High

As Kei comes home, he is greeted by his brother, Akiteru, who asks him about his game that day. Despite informing his brother of Karasuno’s victory, Kei sounds indifferent as he says so. When Akiteru finds out that they took down a 6’7 player, he speculates that Kei naturally thought that they were going to lose to such an advantageous person. After this, he offers to play with his team, the Kaji Wild Dogs. During practice the next day, Kei rejects Hinata’s idea of trying to come up with ways to block Ushijima and angers the shorter middle blocker, following this, he calls Akiteru to accept his offer.

That evening, Kei fails to block one of Akaizawa’s spike but doesn’t blame himself as he doesn’t expect a high student like him to be able to defeat an adult. As Akaizawa taunts Kei, he wishes to go home, but Akiteru claims that Kei would block the next shot and silently urges his little brother to keep up with Akaizawa. When going back home, Kei reflects back on his failed blocks, Hinata asking him about Ushijima, and Akiteru telling him that he’d expect to lose against those who seem advantageous. Sometime later, he is seen asking Ukai about it.

When going to Tokyo, Kei seems like he rejected Bokuto’s offer to practice but uncharacteristically accepts. After observing Kuroo’s block, Kei joins the practice. A few days later, Kei jams his finger when going up against Akiteru’s team. After the last practice of theirs, Bokuto wants to make sure that Tsukishima will defeat Ushijima and spurs nonsense about him defeating Ushijima if Tsukishima manages to do so, which confuses both Tsukishima and Akaashi. When Bokuto gloats that he’ll become the greatest to ever live, Tsukishima internally remarks that it would be an easier feat said than done. Not long after, Kei goes up against Akaizawa again and manages to block him for the first time thanks to having gotten used to his habits as well as having polished his skills.

As Karasuno gets to the Sendai City Gymnasium, Tsukishima compares Hinata and Kageyama and Hinata to bugs after Yamaguchi comments on how they seem to have animal instincts. As the game against Johzenji is about to begin, Tsukishima tells Hinata to stop staring at his new sports glasses. During the match, Futamata tricks Tsukishima with a setter dump but he still manages to block Higashiyama later on. When Hinata is subbed out, Tsukishima tells him to stop fidgeting so much.

When the first set concludes, Sugawara attempts to explain the word “austerity” to Hinata and the latter gets offended when Tsukishima tells his senior that Hinata would just forget afterward. Sometime later, Tsukishima blocks Bobata despite Ukai having said specifically not to do so. When the rookie glances at his coach, Ukai does not complain. When seeing Nakashima’s family coming to support him after winning against Johzenji, Tsukishima looks slightly disturbed.

Karasuno High vs. Wakutani High

Shortly before the game begins, Tsukishima notices Hinata looking as if he was jealous of Nakashima’s family cheering for him, which Tsukishima mocks him for. As Nakashima abuses and tools blockers throughout the first set, Tsukishima pulls a face of disgust, which Ennoshita notices. Sometime later, Tsukishima’s blocking of Kawatabi allows Karasuno to go the first two-point lead of the game.

When Ennoshita is subbed in, Tsukishima is not surprised that he is the one tasked to replace Daichi. Although he gets surprised when seeing Yamaguchi get subbed in as pinch server, Tsukishima quickly tells Yamaguchi to stop being nervous and assures him that he wouldn’t have to pay such a price if he failed his serve. Despite Yamaguchi succeeding only one of his serves and not even attempting to jump on the second one, Tsukishima does no blame him.

During the third set, despite Hinata catching Tsukishima off guard with his rebound, the taller blocker considers it a fluke. Sometime later, Tsukishima blocks Nakashima, which makes Wakutani Minami become uneasy and is able to tie the score of the 3rd set 13-13. Sometime later, Tsukishima sends Ukai’s message to start more frequent tosses to Asahi to Kageyama.

Karasuno High vs. Aoba Johsai High

Tsukishima is of great help to the team in the second set of the match. When Yamaguchi was able to redeem himself with a service ace, Tsukishima is revealed not to be surprised by his friends successful float serve. He nearly gets scolded by Tanaka for appearing to not be supportive until Tsukishima confesses that he saw how much work Yamaguchi had put into his serve and this was the reason he is not surprised at how well it worked. Shortly afterwards, Tsukishima does a soft ricochet against Oikawa to score which causes the third year to look at him in annoyance. When Seijoh reached set point, Tsukishima is momentarily distracted by Kyōtani acting as a decoy and thus was not able to block Iwaizumi.

At the start of the third set, Tsukishima noticed how Kyōtani was easily irritated by Tanaka provoking him. Tsukishima was able to use this to his advantage when he is in the vanguard as he is able to block Kyōtani after switching blocking positions with Tanaka. When Kyōtani was up to serve, Tsukishima saw that the ball would land out and was right in his assumption. Near the end of the third set, Tsukishima's teammates would become thrilled at seeing Hinata block Kyōtani's spike but Tsukishima remained unfazed and simply stated that this is the job of a middle blocker. Although not overly excited like his teammates, Tsukishima still celebrated in the team's win over Aoba Johsai.

Karasuno High vs. Shiratorizawa Academy

Despite his team’s enthusiasm, Tsukishima is blunt to tell the team that he couldn’t care less whether Karasuno wins nationals or not when Daichi reminds the team of their final goal. The next day, Saeko spots Akiteru before the match begins. Tsukishima had told his older brother not to come to watch the game, but Akiteru still shows up ‘in disguise’, however a menacing aura still hangs around him when Akiteru says so. When seeing Hinata bow the opposite way out of stress, Tsukishima taunts him by saying that he’d display his idiocy in front of everyone.

During the match, Tsukishima’s blocking fails him numerous times. However, he manages to deflect Ushijima once, though he still gets frustrated. When reflecting upon the previous rallies, Tsukishima is shocked at himself when he remembers blinking when facing Ushijima, but he tells himself that he still knew he’d lose because it was the only conclusion, trying to tell himself that he wasn’t like his teammates. Tsukishima is glad that his position doesn’t require serve receiving and already loses hope in winning the first set.

When Tsukishima is subbed in during the start of the second set, Tendo points at him calling him ‘normal’ in comparison to his other teammates. Shortly after, Tsukishima blocks Tendo and mockingly tells him that although his delayed spikes might work against “a certain unnamed wild child” and is glad when Tendo is frustrated over Tsukishima. Tsukishima would once more be given attention when Ushijima easily conquers his block. Right after, Tsukishima takes a short glance at Shirabu, which alarms him but quickly looks away. Despite his shortcomings, Tsukishima would continuously stuff or deflect Shiratorizawa. Near the end of the set and Karasuno’s second time-out, Tsukishima requests to leave the timing for blocking to him when it comes to putting triple blocks together.

This turns out to be useful when Tsukishima manages to leave Ushijima only one spot to spike at; where Nishinoya is. The latter is able to perfectly dig the ball, which impresses Yamagata. Kageyama then sets to Tsukishima, having pretended to set to Asahi, which frustrates Tendo even more. Shirabu then scores Shiratorizawa’s 24th point in the set thanks to doing an unexpected setter dump. Despite Tsukishima managing to get his hand on it, he is still unable to block it. When Kageyama has his own turn to pull a setter dump, Tsukishima admits that it was a good move on his part. After Hinata is unexpectedly used as a decoy even after moved around wildly, Tsukishima remarks that it is in fact extremely distracting to have Hinata move around so much.

As the second set is wrapping up, Tsukishima remarks that Tendo’s guess blocks are either 120% correct or complete wrong, but also that his read blocks have a 75% chance of succeeding. As he sees Shirabu about to set, Tsukishima thinks to himself that good blocking should never make the opposing setter think he’s fooled that blocker. Following this, Tsukishima is able to get his hand on Ushijima’s spike. When Asahi praises him for his deflection, Tsukishima still isn’t satisfied with it. Nevertheless, he still continues with Karasuno’s strategy to make Ushijima hit in Nishinoya’s direction. In the very same rally, he sees Shirabu stressing out, and this satisfies Tsukishima as he was looking for a crack in Shiratorizawa’s composure and this allows Tsukishima to stuff Ushijima. With sheer satisfaction, Tsukishima wins the second set and remembers what Bokuto had told him about the moment where volleyball would hook him.

After this, he tells his teammates how he managed to block Ushijima, and his teammates are amazed at how far ahead he thought. Hinata praises Tsukishima for his block and smugly, Tsukishima gives him a look to indicate that he should try blocking Ushijima as well since he is also a middle blocker. Near the end of the third set, Asahi and Tsukishima lead Ushijima to spike in Nishinoya's direction and make sure to make his space cramped. After this, Asahi remarks that on top of Tsukishima developing as an individual blocker, he is also becoming the team’s blocking leader. Shortly after, Tsukishima and Tendo’s rivaling interactions are shown once more. When Hinata is subbed in for Tsukishima, he indirectly tells him to do his job in the front row. Following this, Tsukishima is up to serve. He tries to follow Ukai’s advice of aiming his serve at Reon, but it ends up in Goshiki botching his pass.

Tsukishima is then rotated back in. in an attempt to motivate him, Yamaguchi yells at him not to let Hinata outmaneuver him. However, this only results in Tsukishima getting annoyed. Following this, Tsukishima reveals that he had been practicing with Akaashi, and this makes Kageyama jealous. Shortly after, Taichi attempts to block Tsukishima but he delays his spike and scores freely. Following this, Taichi notices that Tsukishima and Kageyama are out of sync when Tsukishima is being set to. However, when Taichi blocks him, Tsukishima saves the ball with his arm.

Near the end of the fourth set, Tsukishima gets into a conflict with Tendo once more as Shiratorizawa scores against Karasuno. However, the next time Tsukishima blocks Shiratorizawa, he would get into a conflict within his own team, with Kageyama. When Ushijima spikes, Tsukishima deflects it. After this rally, Shirabu is about to insult him to Tendo, but Tsukishima hears this and thanks the setter for thinking of him as a nuisance. Shortly after, Tsukishima deflects numerous amounts of spikes from Shiratorizawa and earns the praise of many spectators. However, when he jumps to block Ushijima, the ball scrapes his finger. But because of Ushijima’s force, it leads to a cut on his finger and he has to be subbed out. He doesn’t express it, but while he sees his hand bleeding, Tsukishima is angry at himself for letting himself getting injured in such a desperate situation. However, Tsukishima comes back when Karasuno is in a dire situation as Shiratorizawa is one point away from winning. As Ukai is about to check on his health, Tsukishima tells him that’s fine before he can ask questions.

During the game, Tsukishima is desperate to win the game. However, upon taking a moment to pause, he finds himself foolish for being so much like Hinata. Despite this thought, he still manages to deflect Ushijima. In the following rally, Tsukishima tries to do a slide. Nevertheless, Tendo sees through it and knows that it’s a bluff but still fails to block Tanaka. Shortly after, the rotation depends on Tsukishima to score, and he manages to block Taichi with read blocking. He follows this action by jumping in Karasuno’s synchro attack. Shortly after, Tsukishima leads his teammates into another triple block. Despite this not being the first triple block of the match, Washijo remarks that this block was the first one that prevented Ushijima from performing a line shot.

After Karasuno wins, Ukai goes to Tsukishima and is proud of his player for being such a help throughout the duration of the match. Despite this, Tsukishima is still upset at himself for only being able to block Ushijima once.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

During team measurements, Tsukishima reveals, to the envy of many, that he has passed the 190 cm mark in height. When the team is measuring spiking height, Tsukishima is one of those shown to be studying Hinata closely when he is ready to measure his height but learns that he beat Hinata by one centimeter; putting Tsukishima at having the second highest spiking point. After Takeda announces that Kageyama was invited to the All-Japan Youth Camp, Tsukishima learns that he was also invited to a training camp for first years held at Shiratorizawa Academy. Though he initially tries to reject the offer, Daichi volunteers Tsukishima to go to the camp anyway. After one day of practice, Tsukishima is listening as Yamaguchi mentions how he would like to attend the All-Japan Youth Camp and Tsukishima jokingly suggests he crash the camp; both unaware that Hinata heard their conversation.

First Year Training Camp

When Tsukishima arrives for the First Year training camp, he and everyone else is surprised to see Hinata among them. Tsukishima tries to pretend that he does not know Hinata but his cover is blown when Koganegawa recognizes Hinata as someone who plays on the Karasuno team. In a rarely seen moment, Tsukishima loses his usually cool demeanor to angrily yell at Hinata for attending the camp uninvited. His loss of composure surprises Kindaichi and Kunimi[7]. After Hinata is allowed to stay on the condition of being a ball boy throughout the camp, Tsukishima joins in practices and gives simple responses to Koganegawa's request of how to make his sets better. When the first day of training ends, Hinata attempts to apologize to Tsukishima for the trouble he caused but Tsukishima quickly stops him before be can by stating that this behavior is something he expected of Hinata before mocking his teammate of possibly being upset at being a ball boy and not being allowed to take part in any of the official practices.

During the practices, Tsukishima takes notice of Hinata's steady growth and would eventually ask Hinata to join him during a free practice to practice blocks. Despite his best attempt to block Hinata, Tsukishima was unable to block his spike and the act earned Hinata the favor and caution of many of the other first years. Koganegawa and Kindaichi join in the block when Hinata wanted to try another but Goshiki took the next turn instead and was able to trick the blockers by doing a straight shot when he made it appear he would try a cross shot. Though he was annoyed at being the shortest block, Tsukishima instantly pins the open side that allowed Goshiki to get through on Koganegawa but silently admits that he too thought Goshiki would attempt a cross court shot based on his form. Tsukishima would also admit he was impressed with Koganegawa and believes the training from Date Tech is the reason the setter does not jump at random. When Hinata asks if Tsukishima requested him to join in the practice for possibly giving Hinata the chance to practice with them, Tsukishima instantly denies this but does not reveal to anyone that he is aware of Hinata being a spiker capable of seeing the block and plans to practice against that as much as possible in order to be ready against the more powerful teams they will face at the Spring Tournament[8].

On the final day of the training camp, Tsukishima is paired with Goshiki for a 2-on-2 match against Kunimi and Hyakuzawa. Goshiki does not hesitate to scold Tsukishima on a poor set attempt. Tsukishima is then able to get a soft block on Hyakuzawa's spike and then deliver a better set to Goshiki which would allow the wing spiker to score. Once the camp ends, Tsukishima expresses his weariness of having to return to normal practices after having completed the training camp.

Date Tech Practice Match

Sometime before the Date Tech practice match, Kageyama sets for Tsukishima. Seeing this, Hinata tells him about how he noticed Tsukishima had a higher hitting point when being paired with Koganegawa, to which Tsukishima does not pay much attention to. As Date Tech shuts down Karasuno immediately in the first rally, Tsukishima notices that Kageyama had intended to set above the blockers. Sometime later, Tsukishima blocks Fukiage. In frustration, Futakuchi then successfully attempts to provoke Tsukishima.

In another rally, Tsukishima manages to score with Kageyama’s set. Despite this positive result, he remarks that Kageyama had an angry look on his face, which begins to get the two into an argument, though they are soon interrupted. Kageyama and Tsukishima would get into hot waters once more when Kageyama yells at him that he could have jumped again after falling for Date Tech’s decoy trick. However, as he is, Tsukishima retaliates and goes back to calling Kageyama “king”. These comments are slightly ignored but when Kageyama gets snappy with another team member, Tsukishima expresses what everyone is fearing; that Kageyama is reverting back to his old kingly self.

Into the second set, Tsukishima fails to hit Kageyama’s set and they get into a small quarrel. In the next rally, Tsukishima scoring past Date Tech’s defense makes Ukai notice that Kageyama is making his hitters get at a higher contact point rather than following their every command. When being subbed out, Hinata explains that Tsukishima had been hitting at higher points when practicing with Koganegawa, but now that Kageyama urges his players to hit higher, he can hit as high once more. After Karasuno wins the second set, Tsukishima expresses how intimidating he finds Date Tech’s blockers. Despite his praising, he then shows mischievous excitement over Date Tech’s ideal scenario of the final rally.

Sometime later, however, Tsukishima adds what would be Karasuno’s ideal scenario, which is to exhaust Date Tech’s blockers and make them impatient to block whatever is coming their way. In the next rally, Kageyama starts to get frustrated over Tsukishima failing to score despite his perfect set and remarks that Tsukishima must be exhausted. After the match ends, Tsukishima hears Kageyama missaying Koganegawa’s name and corrects him, which the setter gets mad about. That night, Tsukishima disregards Yamaguchi’s determination not to lose his spot as pinch server as he believes in his abilities.

On New Year’s day shortly before the national tournament begins, Kei refuses Akiteru’s request to come drinking with him. A few days later, Tsukishima is seen sleeping on the bus to Tokyo. That night, Ennoshita forces Tsukishima to supervise Hinata and Kageyama while on their run and gives him a bike so that he can keep up. Before they start their run, Tsukishima strictly tells the two not to take any wild turns.

Karasuno vs Tsubakihara

Just before the team made it to the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tanaka and Hinata had run off to the bathroom. Tsukishima took the chance to tease Hinata that he would be left behind if he didn't return on time. During the match against Tsubakihara, Tsukishima is one of the greater concerns to Sakae Echigo due to his reputation as the person who was able to block Ushijima. Tsukishima lives up to this reputation when he is able to quickly get several one-touches on many of the opposing spikers attacks. However, Teradomari is able to get past Tsukishima and the other blockers when he proves not to be underestimated and hits a straight shots past them. While Tsukishima is shocked that Teradomari was able to get past the block, he is even more surprised to see Hinata in the right place to receive the spike despite receiving with his body.

Tsukishima is later called on to make an emergency set when Kageyama was forced to make the first touch. He recalls how Goshiki ridiculed his poor sets during the first year training camp and gives Asahi a set that Sugawara describes as being full of care. Although Asahi compliments Tsukishima on the set, the middle blocker silently claims that half of it was due to luck before noticing that Kageyama is glaring at him that Tsukishima states resembles that of Hinata's. Late in the second set, Tsukishima and Kageyama were not able to match their timing for an attack which caused Daichi to make the save. Tsukishima right away believed that Kageyama would put the blame on him from possible weariness while Tsukishima put the blame on Kageyama having set higher than he had been thus far. When Karasuno reached match point, Tsukishima was subbed out so that Sugawara could go in. Thanks to the third years determination, Karasuno went on to win the match.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

For majority of the first set, Tsukishima is seen attempting to block Inarizaki's attackers. He would be surprised at seeing the Miya twins successfully copy Hinata and Kageyama's super quick attack. When Daichi's receive goes back to Inarizaki, Tsukishima is able to perfectly read the play and block Osamu's spike. After a time-out, Tsukishima is able to get a one-touch on Ginjima's spike; his playing state being noted by Kindaichi to be in peak condition. Just before Asahi's second serve, Inarizaki calls for a time-out where Tanaka would compliment Tsukishima for blocking the twins quick. Despite the compliment, Tsukishima would admit that the quick is troublesome. In the next rally, Tsukishima is able to make an approach that allows him to spike at a higher contact point when Kageyama intentionally sets the ball to a higher spot. Even though he was able to score, Tsukishima does not admit to Kageyama that he is relieved the attack worked.

After Hinata was unable to beat Osamu in a joust, a time-out is called where Ukai decides to have the team start using the blending method. When Hinata acts like he remembers the plan, Tsukishima instantly calls him out on not knowing what Ukai is talking about and he believes the lack of memory was a result from Hinata having seen the twins quick attack and thinking is own was faster.

When Karasuno is at match point, Tsukishima begins to notice how quick Suna is to get the block up. Despite getting extra assistance from Tanaka, Tsukishima is surprised to see Suna get his spike past them. When Kageyama makes the save of Ginjima's serve that clips the net, Tsukishima goes to make the set. Although Tanaka calls for the set, Tsukishima instead sends it to Asahi and is unaware of the blow this does to Tanaka's confidence. However, once the rally had ended, he overhears Hinata excitedly praise Tanaka for trying to help block Tsukishima by explaining that middle blockers tend to block by themselves most of the time and it is comforting to have that extra help. Tanaka is able to win the set for Karasuno when he finally is able to make the cross shot work and would questions Tsukishima if he had intentionally ignored his request for the set. Tsukishima explains that he had sent the set to Asahi as he had the better chance of scoring. Tsukishima would then admit that he finds Tanaka's mental strength terrifying and questions if he ever gets brought down. When Tanaka admits that he had been depressed during the last few rallies, Tsukishima is unable to believe him.

In the second set, Asahi is able to get Atsumu to make the receive on his spike. Even though Osamu is able to cover for his brother and set to Suna, Tsukishima saw this possibility and tried to block but Suna again managed to get past him. Tsukishima would then become annoyed when Suna complimented him for being a talented blocker[9]. He gets another chance to stop Suna in another play and is joined by Kageyama but they are unable to stop him. Some time after Aran was brought back into the game, a flashback shows that Ukai decided to have Tsukishima try to block also block Osamu in hopes of stopping the twins freak quick attack. Tsukishima immediately teased Hinata for being now being the one to have the important job to do and successfully annoys Hinata at this. In the rally after Kageyama is able to block Aran, Kuroo is able to figure out that Tsukishima has been using his blocks to help the back row receivers know what spike Suna would be attempting so they could try to position themselves to be in the right place to receive. Tsukishima had devised this plan during the team meeting and, although it took a while, proves to be effective as Daichi is able to receive Suna's spike. Suna himself is able to figure out that Tsukishima has deliberately been using his blocks to direct where he should spike and is able to get Tsukishima to admit as much when he thanks the first year for allowing him to spike the way he wants. Tsukishima in turn replies that he's thankful Suna has been spiking the exact way he expected[10].

Tsukishima is later tricked by Atsumu to go to the left side of the court when it appeared Osamu would spike only for Osamu to instead set to Aran on the opposite end. Because of this, Tsukishima was not able to help Daichi try to block Aran but he would soon be rendered speechless at witnessing Hinata make a perfect receive on Aran's spike[11]. A little past the half way point of the third set, Tsukishima's low stamina is noticed by Suna. This becomes apparent when he and Kageyama have off timing for an attack which resulted in the point going to Inarizaki. Tsukishima would try to claim that he was the one at fault as he realizes just how much effort Hinata puts into his attacks with the intention of always being ready to attack. Kageyama would silence his fellow first year by taking the blame and promising that he will adjust his sets to fit Tsukishima's needs.

When Tsukishima is faced with trying to block Suna again, he is aware that he cannot fully stop him and counts on Hinata to be in place to receive the spike. At this point, Tsukishima would notice that, despite having a clear mind, his body was starting to slow down. While he is able to get a one-touch on Ginjima's spike, he nearly collapses into Daichi but manages to stay on his feet. Tsukishima later attempts to save a receive that Kageyama tried to make but the ball instead went towards the back of the court. He is barely able to get the ball up long enough for Daichi to make the last receive and get the ball back over to Inarizaki. Hinata and Kageyama were able to block Atsumu and Osamu when they would attempt the quick attack which lead to Karasuno's victory. Weary, Tsukishima collapsed onto the court as his teammates rushed onto the court to celebrate. While Tsukishima is aware that everyone watching must be surprised by the outcome, he believes that no one on Karasuno is surprised; believing that Hinata and Kageyama were the only ones who did not falter in the timing of the twins quick attack and were the ones to stop it. He admits that their speed is incredible and a fierce weapon but was not invincible and that Hinata and Kageyama knew this fact better than anyone else.

In the sub-arena, Yamaguchi points out how tired Tsukishima is when it's pointed out that he was attempting to put a second jacket on over the one he was already wearing. At noticing Hinata was still fully awake and admiring the bruises on his arms form receiving Aran's spike, Tsukishima believes he bore witness to someone having their own special moment and that Hinata has become even more obsessed with volleyball.

After this, Karasuno reunites at their inn to watch their match being mentioned on television. At the mention of Suna having being unstoppable, Tsukishima starts to twitch. Despite his silence, Yamaguchi angrily yells at the television that Tsukishima had done so purposefully but is soon stopped.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

As Tsukishima rotates into the match for the first time, his presence makes Suguru Daishō feel unsettled although he is unsure why[12]. Tsukishima would notice that Kenma seemed to avoid making eye contact with him and took it as an off-handed compliment that Kenma may not like him much. While Tsukishima would be able to get a one-touch on Kai's spike, he would catch on that Kuroo could see that Kageyama would set to Daichi. Kuroo would state to Tsukishima that he could tell where the ball would go because he noticed the way Tsukishima had his hands positioned during the block. When Tsukishima claims that Kuroo was secure enough to continue to give him blocking tips during the game, Kuroo would admit that he was just trying to annoy the younger blocker[13]. It would also be at this point that Suguru would claim that Tsukishima is exactly like Kuroo and thus the reason that he did not like the Karasuno middle blocker. As Yamaguchi is being subbed into the match, Tsukishima gets encouragement from Sugawara not to lose to Kuroo. Tsukishima would admit that he is fully aware that he could not possibly beat Kuroo as the third year was far stronger than he is but does believe that he would stand a better chance with the right help. With Yamaguchi using his float serve to throw Nekoma off, Tsukishima was able to block Fukunaga in a classic serve and block technique. He then high fives Yamaguchi as the team celebrated. Kuroo would then question Tsukishima how he felt about volleyball to which Tsukishima would answer that, thanks to Kuroo, it was now starting to become fun[14].

When Tsukishima rotates out, he hears Kinoshita point out that it appears the ball is getting by Lev more than usual. Tsukishima would agree with him but notices that Lev appears more calm than he normally is during a match and believes that Lev may have learned how to use his blocks to direct where a spiker should hit. Later, Tsukishima and Asahi would attempt to block Kenma when it appeared he would try a setter dump only for the Nekoma setter to trick them by changing to a set and thus resulted in Karasuno getting called out for doing an over-net[15].

In the second set, Tsukishima mostly appears to try to block and attack earlier on but later begins to have a showdown against Kuroo and at times continues to feel overwhelmed by Kuroo and his greater abilities[16]. When Karasuno was edging closer to reaching set point, Tsukishima and the other players notice how Hinata was able to use his new jump successfully which would allow him to stay in the air long enough that the blockers would be the first to descend and he would have a chance to attack. Tsukishima in particular notices that Hinata now has more stability while in the air thanks to this new jumping ability. Tsukishima's rivalry with Kuroo continues into the third set while Tsukishima remembers times from the summer training camp when Kuroo laid out 'helpful' facts about foods and secrets about Bokuto to Tsukishima and even getting the first year to laugh when Kuroo and Bokuto switched hairstyles at one point[17].

Tsukishima attempts to beat Kuroo in a joust but is unsuccessful. Kuroo then pleads for Tsukishima to stop trying so hard as it would not only stretch the match out but also take a toll on his already low stamina. Tsukishima replies that Kuroo should also stop putting so much effort into the match and that it would have already ended by now if he did. Yaku and Tsukishima then state that part of Tsukishima's development was because of Kuroo mentoring him, with Kuroo replying that Tsukishima put as much work into his growth. A short while later, Tsukishima doesn't have a comeback when Kuroo points out how his blocks cause his opponents frustration and Daichi offers to punch the Nekoma captain if Tsukishima wants. Tsukishima continues to join in attacks and defense as the set continued. Karasuno goes on to win the match and Tsukishima is seen being approached by and shaking hands with Kuroo.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

Not long before Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai begins, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima are sitting together. Yamaguchi is shocked over how Karasuno made it so far but then tries to motiving Tsukishima but trips over his tongue while talking too fast. Immediately after, the two friends break into laughter after thinking back about Yamaguchi’s wording. Soon after, once Karasuno is in the gymnasium, Tsukishima notices Akiteru talking to someone and he asks Hinata who it is. Upon learning that it’s the little giant, Tsukishima shows a small twitch of irritation. When Hinata notices Kamomedai’s 2 meter goliath, he exclaims that he’s the person who bumped into him and didn’t even notice and Tsukishima teases him that he was probably too short to even have been seen. Hinata gets mad and warns him to better watch out for the back of his head once he serves.

After Hirugami demonstrates his great blocking skills, Yamaguchi doesn’t want to dismiss Tsukishima’s blocking and tells him that he isn’t counted out. Despite this, Tsukishima says that any team is at least going to have at least one standout blocker. However, he also says that no matter how good that person may be as a blocker, they are still only one single individual. [18] A short while after, Hinata is able to surpass an impressive triple block from Kamomedai and Tsukishima compares this with having to face multiple Aones.

Bessho is about to spike and Tsukishima is able to block it easily, which impresses the announcers. This is followed by Tsukishima noticing that two blockers had the reaction time to notice Asahi's upcoming spike. Not long after, Suwa sets the ball to Hoshiumi. Tsukishima tries to determine when the perfect timing is to block him and when he finally does, he succeeds in blocking Hoshiumi and surprises the spectators. However, right after when Hoshiumi is matched up against Tsukishima once more, he gets past his block by directing his spike upwards. Not long after, Tsukishima and Yamaguchi notice that Hoshiumi hit it in the opposite direction which he was facing when he served earlier.

When Tsukishima is about to spike the ball on the other side of the net from Kamomedai’s all three blockers, as they are forming a stack block, he is shocked as they all have the speed to be able to get to his side of the net so quickly and block him instantly. Tsukishima then makes a mental note to ask Takinoue for tapes of Kamomedai’s other games later and turns to Kageyama to tell him to stop running away to check on him, which extremely angers him, and Tsukishima gets annoyed when Kageyama indicates that he wants to pick a fight with him. Not long after, Hirugami deflects Tsukishima and immediately gets ready to block Hoshiumi preparing to spike, but cannot do so as he spikes it way back over to Karasuno’s backcourt.

When Karasuno loses the first set, Tsukishima is exhausted at the idea that they'll have to play three sets again. Upon hearing this, Narita and Yamaguchi look at him silently until Sugawara slaps his back and is excited at the idea that Tsukishima is determined enough to already think about the third set and upon him comparing Tsukishima to Hinata, Tsukishima says that sounds depressing, which offends Hinata. At the beginning of the second set, despite rooting for Karasuno, Tsukishima expresses irritation when Hinata jumps to the other side of the court and scores Karasuno a point. Not long after, Hakuba and Hoshiumi are being used as decoys for Suwa to set for Nozawa, which tricks Hinata, who has previously been tricking Kamomedai. Despite Karasuno having lost that point, Kenma notices that Hinata has been getting smarter with his blocking but was still nowhere near Tsukishima’s level. When Hinata is getting ready to block, he is about to get tricked by one of Kamomedai’s decoys but was not fast enough to figure that out. Tsukishima mocks Hinata to himself that he had been too slow to figure it out and Yamaguchi tells him that they still lost the point.

Not long after, Suwa sets for Hoshiumi but gets frustrated once he finds out it’s too short. Despite this, Hoshiumi can still score with his block-out technique. Having conquered his block, Hoshiumi mockingly thanks Tsukishima for giving him such an easy and predictable target and trying to control his temper, Tsukishima in turn accepts the insult, which angers Akiteru. Continuing this, Karasuno’s first years demonstrate great teamwork to win the rally and it motivates the team, including a previously distressed Asahi. Nearing the end of the second set, Hakuba blocks Hinata’s first tempo attack during Karasuno’s synchro attack. Despite this, Hinata's spirit is still not faltering, and Tsukishima sympathizes with how annoying he thinks it is.

After this, Tsukishima thinks back at the moment when he found out about Karasuno’s little giant, as well as Hoshiumi and Hinata, comparing them to monsters. However, Tsukishima still thinks that he can put up a fight as a mere human. Soon after, Tsukishima has to block Hoshiumi’s spike, but knowing that he was going to use his block-out technique, he dodges the block for it to go out of the court. Tsukishima then smiles smugly at Hoshiumi, which angers him. After this, he silently does a discreet peace sign for Akiteru to see. [19]

When Bessho, Suwa, and Nozawa all predict where Tsukishima is going to spike with read blocking, Tsukishima knows this and tries a cross-shot, but it goes out of the court and gains Kamomedai a 3 point advantage. After this, Tsukishima seems to be hitting the last points of his stamina, but he still tells Ukai that he can keep going, however, the coach wants him to rest. Into the third set, Tsukishima is rotated back in even though he’s feeling exhausted, but he still refuses to let Hinata one-up him.

Soon after, Nozawa spikes and Tsukishima can barely block it and he hopes that someone is behind him to receive that, and that person turns out to be Hinata. Despite this, Tsukishima still refuses to let Hinata surpass him and hits Kageyama’s perfect set. When Hinata tearfully apologizes for not being able to take care of his health well, Tanaka tries to be cheerful and compares his junior to a toddler. At this, Tsukishima tries not to despair as well and tells him that his “mini stamina freak” will be as good as ever after he takes care of himself. After this, the game resumes, Tsukishima sets for Tanaka. However, in the middle of the synchro attack just following this, Tsukishima gets a leg cramp and fails the attack. [20]

After their loss, Tsukishima tells Daichi that he wants to watch Kamomedai’s previous matches, Daichi exclaims tearfully that Tsukishima’s grown so much, which confuses him.

Final Arc

Tsukishima is revealed to have continued playing volleyball after high school. He currently playas a middle blocker for the Div. 2 team The Sendai Frogs. At the same time, he is a college senior and plans to start working for the Sendai City Museum when he graduates[21].

Tsukishima joins Yamaguchi and Yachi in watching the game between the Adlers and Jackals wherein Hinata is making his debut. During a minor flashback when Tsukishima and Yamaguchi were having dinner together, Tsukishima questions Yamaguchi on why Hinata was trying out for the Jackals. When Yamaguchi answered that Hinata chose them because they were currently the best team having try-outs, Tsukishima commented how this was typical of Hinata to do and remembers when he had asked Hinata if he had been serious about switching to beach volleyball; learning that Hinata was doing this to become stronger in order so that a top tier setter see he is worth setting to.

As the players for both teams are being introduced, Tsukishima becomes uneased at seeing Hoshiumi and that he still held the nickname The Little Giant. Yamaguchi playfully points out that Hoshiumi probably wouldn't be too happy to be reminded of Tsukishima. When the Jackals starting line-up begin making their way onto the court, Tsukishima laughs hysterically when Bokuto does cartwheels to introduce himself.

When Hinata and Atsumu perform their new quick attack, Tsukishima has a thoughtful look on his face. After the second quick attack, Tsukishima comments that this attack seems even faster than the original. After Hoshiumi serves, Tsukishima notices move a few steps back. He suspects Hinata is doing this in preparation of Romero doing a block-out or spiking over the blockers only for the Brazilian ace to instead perform a feint shot.

When Atsumu was later made to make the first touch, Tsukishima recalls the moment back during the First Year Training camp how Hinata expressed his desire to want to learn how to do everything. At this, he watches as Hinata sets the ball to Atsumu. When Yachi expressed how well Hinata is playing, Tsukishima agrees but adds that Hinata would need to be this good in order to have replaced Oriver Barnes in the starting line-up. He listens with amusement as Yachi and Yamaguchi realize that Hinata has come to learn the tasks of a setter and a libero which add to his skillset and how this would make a difference in the Jackals plays since Barnes primarily uses power in his plays.

After the Jackals win the match in the fourth set, Tsukishima tries to keep Yamaguchi and Yachi from attending his next match but is unable to stop them. He later is shown arriving at his team's practice and is asked by Kentarō Kyōtani if he would be watching Japan's match against Argentina.

Statistics

High School Statistics
Power
 
2/5
Jumping
 
3/5
Stamina
 
3/5
Game Sense
 
5/5
Technique
 
3/5
Speed
 
3/5

Tsukishima is shown to be immensely proficient at blocking primarily because of his height. It has been said by Kenma that Tsukishima is a calm and collected blocker who thoroughly analyzes his actions, quite contrary to Hinata's behavior. His ability also allows him to perform split-second feints to surprise and put his opponents off-balance. After the final training camp before the spring tournament, he is able to match the power and speed of an adult, whereas before he couldn't even hold the block.

Height and reach, as of mid-November::

  • Fingertip Height: 248 cm
  • Jumping Reach: 334 cm (spike) / 325 cm (block)

Skills

Post-Timeskip Skills Parameter
Serve
 
8/10
Serve Reception
 
5/10
Dig
 
6/10
Setting
 
6/10
Spike
 
8/10
Block
 
10/10
  • Blocking: Tsukishima has established himself as the blocking cornerstone of the team and is often trusted to stop opponents' powerful spikes. He learns most of his blocking skills from Tetsurō Kuroo, who is known to be a veteran in blocking, during the Tokyo summer training camp. There, he learns about putting power into the tips of his fingers and extending his hands out in front of him instead of above him[22]. In addition, he has practiced with his brother's college team to match the timing of his opponents' spike[23]. In matches, he has become the team's blocking playmaker and directs other blockers in his line. With a height of 190cm, Tsukishima has proven to be a troublesome opponent to many spikers. He is said to be the “freak quick killer” by Coach Ukai simply because of how Tsukishima has had to constantly deal with the quick, and as such has gotten used to and sick of it altogether[24].
  • Logical Mind: According to Akiteru, Tsukishima isn't the sort of player who moves on instinct. He doesn't trust in his own strength, nor in the senses, he's honed. The only thing he trusts is the "information" in front of him[25]. As such, he rarely falls for opponents' decoys, including the One Person Time Difference attack. He is quick to process all the players' information and deduce where the toss will go to put up a strong block. This ability makes Tsukishima an exceptional read blocker. In addition, Tsukishima has shown an incredible ability to stay cool-headed. During the Inarizaki match, he persists in restricting Suna's spiking course for the benefits of his team despite many other admitting that they can't resist going for a direct block. Takeda has referred to him as "Karasuno's rational mind."[26]
  • Feint: Tsukishima has used a strategy in which he repeatedly feints to trick his opponents into moving forward. Once that happens, he would change to a normal spike aimed at the newly empty space on the court[27].
  • One Person Time Difference Attack: It is revealed that Tsukishima acquires this skill practicing with Akaashi during the Tokyo summer training camp. He successfully pulls off this attack during the Shiratorizawa match, in which he tricks the blocker with a delayed jump before spiking[28].
  • Tossing: During the 2-on-2 matches in the Miyagi First Years' Training Camp, Tsukishima begins tossing during the 2-on-2 matches. Initially, his set is too low and sloppy, but he quickly made adjustments after complaints from Goshiki[29]. He can now send high tosses to Asahi, although he still credits it's success mostly to luck.
  • Jump Floater: By 2021, he is capable of performing a jump floater which he probably learned from Yamaguchi.

Relationships

Family

  • Akiteru Tsukishima:
    Kei Akiteru s2 e11.png
    Tsukishima's older brother. During his childhood, Tsukishima greatly admired his brother for being the ace player of his middle school and it appeared his source of interest in volleyball was due to Akiteru. The two were incredibly close and Tsukishima would often ask to go watch his brother's matches once he began attending Karasuno but was always asked not to. When Tsukishima discovered his brother's deceit, their relationship became incredibly fragile and Tsukishima would begin to distance himself from Akiteru.

After Tsukishima attended the training camp in Tokyo with the rest of the team, the brothers finally had a meaningful talk and are beginning to rebuild their relationship. Since then, Akiteru would continue to help Tsukishima by inviting him to join practice with his team. Even though Tsukishima would tell Akiteru not to attend his matches, Akiteru would still go to support his brother but Tsukishima was always able to see through his disguise if he wore one in an attempt to not be noticed.

Karasuno High

  • Tadashi Yamaguchi:
    TsukishimaYamaguchi.png
    Tsukishima is shown to be close friends with Yamaguchi, who calls him by his nickname Tsukki. When they were younger, Tsukishima helped save Yamaguchi from bullies by saying that they were pathetic. Because of this, Yamaguchi later began to stay close to Tsukishima, yearning to be as cool as him.
    Yamaguchi and Tsukishima are rarely seen apart. They are both often portrayed making fun of others together. However, as time went on, their relationship began to drift apart in terms of training. While Yamaguchi persevered in working on his jump float serve, Tsukishima did not exert more effort than needed. This worried Yamaguchi and some of the other members, but they didn't say anything at first. Later on, during the summer training camp arc, Tsukishima still refused to put any effort into his training because he did not see why he should. His behavior angered Yamaguchi who, for the first time, yelled at Tsukishima and asking him what more motivation he needed than pride. This changed Tsukishima's way of thinking and impressed him; he even called Yamaguchi "cool" for the first time. Tsukishima started working harder, and their relationship returned to normal after this event.
  • Shōyō Hinata:
    Hinata Kageyama vs Tsukishima Tadashi.png
    Tsukishima initially had a rather antagonistic treatment towards Hinata. He has voiced his dislike of the latter's hot-blooded and energetic nature towards volleyball despite his lack in height; even going through the lengths of trying to crush Hinata's spirits during their 3-on-3 match at the start of the series. This is later revealed to have been because of his brother's past with playing volleyball at Karasuno.
    Tsukishima also has originally considered himself somehow inferior to Hinata's skills, as noted by some of their teammates and Kuroo. After finding his own love for the sport, Tsukishima has started to have a bit more of a competitive rivalry with Hinata.
  • Tobio Kageyama:
    KageyamaAndTsukishima.png
    Tsukishima and Kageyama didn’t get along at all, mainly because they got off on the wrong foot in the beginning. Tsukishima uses Kageyama's past as a terrible teammate to insult the latter often, and Kageyama would often yell back; their fight almost led to violence at one point. Tsukishima was shocked by Kageyama's change at first, especially when Kageyama asked him about the type of toss he preferred. Since then, the two now view each other as teammates and work together during matches, capable of performing time-difference attacks, as well as working together as part of Karasuno’s “total defense.”
  • Karasuno High:
    Season final end card.PNG
    As far as his relationships with his teammates go, they vary though he holds a few members with disdain. This disdain applies to his second-year senpais Tanaka and Nishinoya, who are hot-blooded and loud most of the time (traits he found irritating). However, he did hold respect for his third-year senpais Daichi, Sugawara, and Asahi but probably on the account that they are more mature and level-headed; although he is shown to be wary of Daichi when the captain is angered. Unlike the majority of his teammates, Tsukishima is not attracted to Kiyoko nor does he interact much with her as often.

Other Schools

  • Tetsurō Kuroo and Kōtarō Bokuto:
    BokutoKuroo1.png
    During the summer training camp arc, Tsukishima trained with Kuroo and Bokuto at their request. In their training matches, Tsukishima received advice from both of them while also paying deep attention to their moves. The two are mainly responsible for Tsukishima's improvement; Kuroo taught Tsukishima the proper way to block successfully and Bokuto taught Tsukishima "that moment", which Tsukishima used as motivation in the Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno match. During the summer training camp, Bokuto and Kuroo started calling Tsukishima by his nickname 'Tsukki', much to his annoyance. Despite this, Tsukishima still thinks highly of both of them and sees them as wise figures.

Quotes

  • "We're not hung up on winning or losing, so if it'll be troublesome for you guys to lose... how about we throw the game for you?" (To Kageyama and Hinata, Season 1 Episode 3)
  • "You aren’t the only one who’s thinking out there. What the opponent’s defense looks like and how it’s reacting. Which shots are working and which aren’t. All of us think about that." (To Kageyama, Volume 7 Chapter 59)
  • "It’s not like I’m competing with him in the first place." (To Yamaguchi, about Hinata, Volume 19 Chapter 171)
  • "God, what's gotten into me? This is stupid. I'm not Hinata. Why do I feel like I want to keep fighting to the end?" (To himself, Volume 21 Chapter 184)
  • "Roofing someone certainly feels good, yes, but personally, I despise the idea of blockers getting around me even more. Settling down and following the ball means slower reaction times, yes, but that way setters will never shake you completely." (To Lev, Volume 21 Chapter 187)
  • "It really is irritating to have Hinata buzzing around in front of you all the time like a bug." (To Yamaguchi, Volume 18 Chapter 161)
  • "If I could stuff him right here, I bet the whole team would go crazy. But... I can't. So you had better be there." (To himself, thinking about Hinata, Volume 32 Chapter 287)
  • "I'll watch, I'll watch. There's just something about seeing them out on that court... that makes me feel like I have to get moving too." (His last lines of the series, to Kentarō Kyōtani, Volume 45 Chapter 402)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Strawberry shortcake.
  • Pre-timeskip Concern: Upon entering high school, he once again has to put up with various people asking how to read the character for his first name.
  • The character for his name (蛍) means firefly and can be read as either Hotaru or Kei.
  • Post-timeskip Concern: He wants to improve his serve accuracy a little more.
  • Tsukishima wears white gym shoes with green accents.
  • His star sign is Libra.
  • He has the third-smallest appetite in the series, often making his teammates and upperclassmen worry for his health.
  • His BMI is the lowest of the male characters in the series.
  • He has a habit of fiddling with his fingers when he feels nervous, which is demonstrated most notably when he asks Coach Ukai for advice on blocking.
  • He is usually seen with his white Sony (Somy in anime, to avoid trademark concerns) headphones around his neck whenever he's not practicing or playing.
  • Tsukishima appears to be good at studying, as he belongs to Class 1-4, known to be a college preparatory class.
  • His birthday falls on the day of the Harvest Moon–which is when the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, on the Chinese calendar is celebrated in September 2015.[30] Coincidentally, the first character in his name means "moon". In addition, Tsukishima was often seen with a crescent moon symbol on the back of his hoodies and jackets as a child.
  • He keeps toy dinosaurs on a shelf above his desk. Whether he actually likes dinosaurs or not is unknown, but it can be assumed that he does, as is demonstrated in a Let's! Haikyuu!? chapter.[31]
  • Tsukishima is often referred to as the moon while Hinata is the sun due to their surnames and opposing personalities.
  • In a poll conducted by Charapedia, a Japanese anime and manga character database, that asked which anime characters would they choose as the basis for their children's name, Tsukishima came in 9th with 98 votes among female respondents.[32]
  • In One-Shot (Weekly Shōnen Jump), Tsukishima was a second-year while Hinata and Kageyama were first years. He was also only 184 cm.
  • Furudate picked Tsukishima's name because “His last name has ‘moon’ (月) to contrast Hinata’s ‘sun’ (日). But I named him ‘firefly’ (蛍) because he can emit light on his own.”[33]
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Tsukishima placed 8th with 3,407 votes[34]. In the second, he rose to 4th with 8,305 votes[35].
  • Tsukishima's most hated type of spikers are ones who ricochet the ball of the blocker's hands. This was noted by Tsukishima after Ennoshita noticed his expression[36].
  • Nomenclature:
    • Kei (蛍) - Firefly
    • Tsukishima (月島) - Moon Island

References

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