Karasuno High Team Formation ArcEdit
3-on-3 First Years MatchEdit
Tsukishima and Yamaguchi join Karasuno Boys’ Volleyball Club a few days after it begins for the new school year. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Aobajohsai Practice MatchEditUpon their arrival at Aobajohsai High, Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, Tanaka, and Kageyama overhear two members of Aobajōohsai, Yahaba and Kindaichi, badmouthing Karasuno. Tanaka and Tsukishima join forces to intimidate the two Aobajohsai players before Daichi arrives to reprimand them.
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.
Towards the end of the match, the coach of Aobajohsai, Irihata, describes Tsukishima as a clever blocker, despite being somewhat lacking in drive. When Oikawa, Aobajohsai’s captain and setter, arrives to pinch serve for their team, Tsukishima is targeted specifically for his weakness in receives. 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 Aobajohsai. 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.
Asahi and Nishinoya's ReturnEdit
Nekoma Practice MatchEdit
Tokyo Expedition ArcEdit
Shortly after Karasuno was defeated by Aobajohsai, 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 practice matches.
Having learned that Tsukishima belongs to a college prep class, Hinata and Kageyama, who are bad at studying, ask Tsukishima to teach them. Tsukishima initially refused, but eventually agreed after Kageyama begged him to teach them. However, Tsukishima only agreed to teach Kageyama and Hinata before and after practices. He also eventually stops teaching the two because he claims they were both too stupid to understand the lesson.
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. Kuroo observes that Tsukishima, despite being a lot taller 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.