I will be the most brilliant, yet reserved, setter ever.

Kenjirō Shirabu (Japanese: 白布 (しらぶ) 賢二郎 (けんじろう) Shirabu Kenjirō) was previously a second year setter from Shiratorizawa Academy. As of November 2018, he is a fifth year med student.

Appearance

Shirabu has copper-colored hair that's parted unevenly into two sides, brown eyes and an average build.

Personality

He is respectful towards his upperclassmen but tends to bicker with Goshiki, a first year. Though he appears serious and composed, Shirabu is extremely hot-headed and gets annoyed at nearly every move his opponents pull. However, he is capable of recomposing himself quickly.

Shirabu is very studious and hardworking, spending all of his free time studying in order to pass the difficult entrance exam for Shiratorizawa. During junior high, he had good grades.

Background

Shirabu is the only player on Shiratorizawa's Boys' Volleyball Team who didn't get into the school with a sports scholarship. He took the exam to get into Shiratorizawa in hopes of being able to play with tall and strong players after watching Ushijima play in junior high.

During junior high[1], Shirabu would watch Kitagawa Daiichi and Shiratorizawa Junior High play in the finals. He noted that outstanding teamwork and attacks never stood out to him; height and strength were what mattered, but his own team didn't have very tall players or a strong ace. Shiratorizawa, Ushijima in particular, stood out to him because they fit the qualities Shirabu wanted, but he didn't think they would want a setter who is self-conscious.

Set on playing for Ushijima and Shiratorizawa, Shirabu began to change his playing style, which included a strong presence and lots of quick strikes, to a self-effacing style where he focuses solely on simple, high tosses to bring out the ace's power.

Plot

Interhigh Arc

Shiratorizawa's featured on TV after destroying Ohgiminami.

In Block H, Shiratorizawa played against Ohgiminami and completely crushed them (2:0 / 25-10, 25-6)[2]. Shiratorizawa eventually went up against Aoba Johsai in the finals[3]. Even though Shiratorizawa was leading, Aoba Johsai held on, leading spectators to think that Aoba Johsai could have a chance at winning. Near the end of the second set, Shiratorizawa messed up a receive and some of the spectators stated that Shiratorizawa couldn't perform a quick now; Shirabu simply replied that it didn't matter because Ushijima doesn't need a quick to blast through the blockers. The match ended with (2:0 / 25-22, 25-23) and Shirabu headed off the court right behind Ushijima.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

On the first day of the Spring High, led by Ushijima, Shiratorizawa entered the Sendai City Gymnasium. As usual, Shirabu walked next to Ushijima.

Shiratorizawa’s first match was on Court A against Araigawa (2:0 / 25-15, 25-12)[4]. Sometime later, as Karasuno was dominating its way through the matches, Shirabu asked Ushijima who he thought they were going to go against in the finals. Ushijima simply replied that it didn't matter because either way as he was confident that Shiratorizawa would win[5].

In the end, Shiratorizawa's opponent for the finals was Karasuno[6]. Before the match started, Shirabu sets for his teammates during the warm-ups. As the team was getting ready, Goshiki stated that no matter who the opponents are, Shiratorizawa would surely defeat them. Shirabu cut in and told him to improve his own strength first before making bold statements. Goshiki got annoyed, but Tendō quickly stepped in and complimented his confidence, and cutting the conversation off. For majority of the set, Shirabu is shown making sets to Ushijima but at one point does not hesitate to send Goshiki a set. Doing this allowed Goshiki to demonstrate his famed line-shot and also trying to gain compliments from his upperclassmen. Shirabu remarked that Goshiki does this so often that it must be tiresome for the first year. After Shiratorizawa has won the first set, Shirabu hears how Tendō is questioning Ushijima about knowing Hinata and reveals that Ushijima had actually gotten into trouble for having allowed Hinata and Kageyama to follow him onto Shiratorizawa's campus.

After Tendō was able to shut down Hinata's attack and Karasuno calls for a time-out, Shirabu reveals to Goshiki that their opponent is as good as done for once Tendō is able to figure out their glances, leg movements, and ball handling. As the game continues, Shirabu's confidence in Tendō's blocking abilities stays strong but he is soon shaken when Hinata and Kageyama do a quick attack directly above Tendō. When the score reached 17-15, Shirabu notices that he is being studied by Tsukishima. The setter soon finds himself growing annoyed with Tsukishima's tenacity as he is able to get numerous one-touches on several spike attempts. As another time-out takes place, Shirabu is spoken to by Semi. The older setter tells Shirabu to keep in mind of the best times to set to Ushijima. Although Shirabu partially listens to his upperclassmen, this still annoys Semi. In the bleachers, two Shiratorizawa students discuss the difference in skill and reliability between Shirabu and Semi as setters and also reveal that Shirabu attends Shiratorizawa without a sports scholarship[7]. As the set continues, Shirabu continues to be frustrated by Tsukishima who has now taken over in directing the timing and positioning of the triple block. Shirabu also notices that Karasuno's blockers have positioned themselves to where they are blocking Ushijima's path for a cross shot and are forcing him to hit a straight shot directly where Nishinoya, their libero, is positioned. Shirabu would soon set to Reon instead of Ushijima, possibly due to wanting to conserve the ace's energy and not over use him. While Reon was able to get a feint shot over the block, Daichi was able to save it but the ball went back towards the net where Tendō performed a direct spike.

Kageyama and Shirabu s3-e4-1.png

In the next play, Shirabu is wary of Tsukishima positioned close to him at the net and surprises everyone by performing a setter dump that puts Shiratorizawa at set point; sending Tsukishima a silent message that relying on Ushijima isn't his only task. The success of his surprise attack would not last long when Kageyama would retaliate with his own setter dump and the two setters form a sort of rivalry.

Shirabu s3 e4 3.png

As the set continues, Shirabu becomes more and more frustrated and stressed when Tsukishima continues to get several deflections and Karasuno does not cease in their determination to score. Eventually, it becomes too much for the young setter and, to his shock, he inadvertently sets a low ball to Ushijima. Because of this, Tsukishima was able to do what no one thought possible and blocked Ushijima's spike; winning the set for Karasuno in the process. Before the third set begins, Shirabu is called over by Washijō but does not get a scolding since the older coach can already tell that Shirabu is aware of his actions. With the next set about to start, Shirabu attempts to re-gain his concentration. This proved to work as he was able to be more focused and not let his mistake weight him down. During a flashback, it's shown that, during middle school, Shirabu had originally looked up to setters like Oikawa for his elegance and the combination plays of Kitagawa Daiichi. However, that all changed when he first saw Ushijima playing on the Shiratorizawa junior high team. Shirabu came to greatly admired Ushijima's raw power and height. From seeing Ushijima playing, Shirabu had decided to attend Shiratorizawa Academy with the goal of one day setting to the ace[1]. Thanks to Shirabu being back on track, Shiratorizawa went on to win the third set 25-20.

Early in the fifth set, Sugawara forces Shirabu to make a first touch. Shirabu sent the next hit to Tendō. The middle blocker appears like he will do a direct spike and gets Tsukishima to jump to block only for Tendō to set the ball to Ushijima. As Shiratorizawa leads 7-4, Semi takes the chance to warn Shirabu that he's setting to Ushijima too frequently. Kawanishi states that it's possible Shirabu is doing this because of how persistent Tsukishima has been in his blocking. Semi then notices that Shirabu isn't fully paying attention to him as he was looking over at Karasuno's side. It's revealed that Tsukishima received an injury to his hand when he had attempted to block Ushijima's last spike and now has to be removed from the match.

Ushijima and Shirabu s3-e9-1.png

After Goshiki was able to deceive Karasuno with a soft serve and Ushijima landed a direct spike, Shirabu recalls a time when Ushijima had made him promise that he would always use the ace when he could[8]. Ushijima reminds Shirabu of this promise during the game. Shirabu continues to use the ace that would eventually bring Shiratorizawa to match point. Their elation would not last for too long when Shirabu and others spotted Tsukishima returning from the medical station and soon being sent back into the game.

When a time-out is called as Karasuno reached match point, Shirabu approached Ushijima and questioned if the ace had asked Shirabu to use him only when he was still useful. The question quickly earns Shirabu a scolding from Semi for speaking to Ushijima like this but Ushijima states that Shirabu is correct in his assumption. Karasuno eventually came to match point again at 20-19. With Tsukishima in the front, Shirabu is aware that a delayed spike will not trick the first year blocker and decides to use Kawanishi to attack down the center. This would not turn out to work when Tsukishima was able to get a one-touch on the spike. After several counter attempts, Yamagata was able to get the ball back to Shirabu but the setter would be upset at the position it was sent to. He is quickly able to get over this when he feels Ushijima's overwhelming presence demanding the ball and sets to him.

Shiratorizawa group s3-e10-1.png

Despite all their efforts, Karasuno was able to win the set and the match. As the team is leaving the court, Reon noticed Shirabu's silence. Shirabu admitted that he didn't for a moment believe that Shiratorizawa would lose. After this, Shirabu and many other would allow themselves to cry. The team returned to the school where the third years would officially retire from the team. Ushijima offered advice to the remaining players. His advice to Shirabu was to bring out the potential out of all of their attackers.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

First Year Training Camp

Just before nationals, Shirabu would join in practice matches against the First Year Training Camp players. After one game, he noticed Hinata had approached Ushijima for advice. Shirabu tried to get Goshiki to do the same since Ushijima would not be around as often to help the team. When Goshiki at first refused to ask his 'rival' for help, Shirabu glared at Goshiki and told him that Hinata was a step ahead of him when it came to taking the initiative. This statement caused Goshiki to hurry over to Ushijima to ask for his advice.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Along with Goshiki, Sagae, and Kai Akakura, Shirabu watches the match between Karasuno and Inarizaki. He watches in surprise as Hinata received Aran's spike.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

Along with Tendō, Shirabu watches Karasuno play against Kamomedai in the quarter finals in Goshiki's dorm room. Although he does not comment much, Shirabu does express annoyance at seeing the variety of attacks Karasuno possesses. When Goshiki admits in the third set that Hinata is a terrifying decoy, Shirabu comments that it's the best hitters who make an effective decoy. While adding that the young wing spiker is still not taking Hinata seriously, he questions Goshiki if he would be able to take on Hinata one-on-one now that they've seen how much stronger he's become[9]. After Hinata was removed from the game due to having a fever, Shirabu watched as Karasuno continued to suffer several devastating blows until they eventually lost the match and were removed from the tournament.

Final Arc

In the Final Arc, Shirabu is now in his fifth year of medical school. During his breaks, he watches the MSBY Black Jackal and Schweiden Adlers game. He becomes so invested in Ushijima's plays that he would intimidate others around him with his intense aura. Shirabu would later gather with several of his former teammates at Goshiki's home where they would see Tendō on television.

Statistics

High School Statistics
Power
 
2/5
Jumping
 
3/5
Stamina
 
4/5
Game Sense
 
4/5
Technique
 
4/5
Speed
 
3/5

Several people in Shiratorizawa have stated that Shirabu gives off a good sense of security and is a stable setter. He's been said to have quite the solid hands. When the receives are a bit off, he'll give a high set that utilizes the wing spiker's strength. He's not afraid to use dumps when the time is right.

Jumping Reach: 305 cm

Relationships

Wakatoshi Ushijima

Shirabu has been seen with Ushijima the most out of all the other players. Shirabu would point things out about the

Ushijima and Shirabu s3-e9-1.png

opponents to Ushijima, though he would usually reply "it doesn't matter." Shirabu greatly admires Ushijima, having enrolled in Shiratorizawa just because he wanted to play with the third year. At an unspecified date prior to the Shiratorizawa match, he promised to toss to Ushijima no matter what, at Ushijima's request. Ushijima brings it up again during the match to remind Shirabu. When Shirabu brings it up himself, remarking that it only applies to Ushijima as long as he's useful, Ushijima smiles and acknowledges it.

Tsutomu Goshiki

Shirabu and Goshiki seem to not get along very well. Whenever Goshiki gets overly excited, Shirabu insults him. However, they get along

Goshiki and Shirabu s3-e1-1.png

quite well on the court in a unique sense. Shirabu trusts the ball to Goshiki, if Ushijima wasn't the one to get it. He sets it to him with zero hesitation and trusts him to score a point. Shirabu does insult Goshiki off-court, however on court, he actually compliments Goshiki like the others ("Nice receive!"). During the first year training camp, Shirabu encouraged Goshiki to ask Ushijima for advice when he sees Hinata speaking with the ace and became annoyed when Goshiki originally refused and called Ushijima a rival[10].

Eita Semi

It has been shown that Semi harbors a strong dislike towards Shirabu's dismissive and disrespectful behavior, particularly when he gave him advice in the match against Karasuno. However, Semi does acknowledge Shirabu's skills and, in contrast, the areas where he himself is lacking in regards to Shiratorizawa's way of playing.

Taichi Kawanishi

Kawanishi and Shirabu are in the same class, and so may know each other off the court. Both show support and appreciation with each other, as shown when Kawanishi managed to hit a set tossed to him by Shirabu. Not to mention they share a few similarities like being bland and serious.

Quotes

  • "Eyes. Footwork stance and ball handling. Everyone has tells. Once Tendō-san figures yours out, you're as good as done." (About Tendō, to Goshiki, Volume 18 Chapter 156)
  • "Standing back... and leaning on Ushijima-san... isn't the only thing I know how to do." (Volume 18 Chapter 159)
  • "My job isn't to only rely on Ushijima-senpai but it isn't to demonstrate my own strength and pride either. It is to portray the strongest ace in the country in the best light." (Volume 18 Chapter 160)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Shirasu (whitebait).
  • Current Concern: Wants to be taller.
  • He and Kawatabi of Wakutani Minami used to be teammates in middle school.[1]
  • During the Interhigh, Shirabu had the number 11[11]. However, in the anime, he's shown with number 10 throughout the two tournaments.
  • Shirabu attends Shiratorizawa Academy without a sports scholarship[7].
  • His star sign is Taurus.
    • Nomenclature
      • Kenjirō (賢二郎) - Intelligent second son
      • Shirabu (白布) - White cloth

References

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