Kenma Kozume (Japanese:
As of 2018, he is a university student and seems to hold various careers such as a stock trader, professional gamer, YouTuber, and the CEO of his own company, Bouncing Ball Corp.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Background
- 4 Plot
- 4.1 Karasuno High Team Formation Arc
- 4.2 Tokyo Expedition Arc
- 4.3 Spring High Preliminary Arc
- 4.4 Tokyo Nationals Arc
- 4.5 Final Arc
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Quotes
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
Kenma is depicted with an average height, a small build, and has an unsteady posture. He has many outstanding features, including his cat-like golden eyes and blond hair with black roots (sometimes referred to as "Pudding-Head"). He dresses casually, and his Nekoma uniform is the standard black and red jersey. He is usually seen carrying a portable game console and a cellphone with him.
He had dyed his hair in his first year of high school, claiming that he did not want to "stand out". As shown in a Haikyuu! extra, Yamamoto claimed he looked like Sadako while gaming with his black hair covering his face, much to Kenma's dismay.
Sometime after the events of the Spring Tournament, Kenma has allowed his hair to grow slightly longer and is returning to its natural dark color though still has some blond left.
Kenma usually has a quiet, composed and analytical personality. He rarely loses his temper, and usually does not get too excited or fired-up about most things; with a few exceptions being video games, Hinata, Lev - in The Arrival of Haiba Lev (OVA), and Yamamoto during their first years in high school.
Because of his reserved nature, Kenma does not often voice his opinions since he is afraid of what others might think of him and does not like standing out or being noticed in any way. His shy tendencies also prevent him from being very approachable and because of this, he has a difficult time making friends; with Kuroo being stated to have been the only friend he's made since elementary school. He also is not fond of the authority that comes with being an upperclassman and doesn't expect his juniors to automatically respect him; often reminding Lev that he does not need to be so formal with him.
Kenma rarely tends to show many emotions which usually causes him to look like he is giving a cold impression to others. However, it is shown that he does care about his friends and notices small upsets in their behavior. An example is when they were younger, Kuroo's team had badly lost a volleyball match and was feeling down. Kenma noticed this feeling and, despite not caring for volleyball, asked if Kuroo would like to practice and "level up" to which he agreed eagerly. Another can be seen later in the manga when he admits that he tries hard to win for his friends.
Despite his modest personality, Kenma is quite skilled in volleyball with his extraordinary game sense, technique, and strong strategic abilities, which make up for his lack of power, speed, and stamina. Although he seems somewhat apathetic about it, Kenma is the type of person to only do things he enjoys, and would therefore quit volleyball if he didn't enjoy it somewhat; which according to him was the aspect of improving his skills in the same sense as a video game. However, despite having a tough time admitting his feelings, the real motivation behind his continuation of volleyball is his friends. Kenma is also shown to be quite competitive.
After the time skip, Kenma can be described as having a good head on his shoulders. Even after being a successful stock trader, pro-gamer, Youtuber & the CEO of his own company, he doesn't spend his money lavishly except for video games and sponsoring Hinata during his time in Brazil.
When Kenma was younger, he was shy and unable to make friends on his own. His only friend back then was Kuroo, who was around his age and lived next door. Though the two seemingly had little in common besides their age, they spent a lot of time together which at first had mostly consisted of playing video games. Then one day, Kenma asked Kuroo if he had something in mind that he had wanted to play. Kuroo was timid, but excited, as he introduced Kenma to volleyball.
Although Kenma did not like sports back then, he found that volleyball was somewhat fun and especially enjoyed watching games on discs that Kuroo would have. Eventually, Kuroo convinced him to come with him to a practice session and even convinced him to be a setter by telling him of the setter position that seemed like it would be a good fit for a strategist like Kenma and also didn't require much movement; although Kenma would later learn this wasn't entirely true. Kenma later joined the junior high volleyball club where he received the number 4 on the team.
When he joined the boy's volleyball team in high school, Kenma thought of quitting at first because of the uneasy relationship he had with the third years at the time. They often left him out specifically and made him run longer than the other members did. However, Kuroo convinced him otherwise by reminding Kenma of how amazing he is and that Coach Nekomata would soon be returning to the team.
Around his time as a first year, he also ran into Yamamoto and was quickly annoyed by his overzealous behavior and constant talk about "willpower". Yamamoto himself was annoyed at Kenma for being good despite his lack of passion or enthusiasm. At one point, Kenma noticed Yamamoto was feeling down about his performance during a practice match they had where he hit a lot of out of bound serves and due to Kuroo's advice about making more of an effort to get along with others, gave Yamamoto a piece of advice which then quickly turned to a clash of ideology; causing Kenma to yell for the first time in a while and ended with Fukunaga splashing water on the both of them to stop the fight from escalating.
Later on, Yamamoto realized that while Kenma is a "lazy sloth", he hates losing, and during a match against another school, was thankful that his analytical prowess was on Nekoma's side. Afterward, Yamamoto told Kenma to call him "Tora" as a sign of friendship, to which Kenma replied with "Do I have to?" but does occasionally call him by this name.
Karasuno High Team Formation Arc
First Meeting with Hinata
Nekoma leaves Tokyo and heads out to Miyagi for a practice match against their fated rivals, Karasuno High. Upon getting there, Kenma becomes separated from the team and is lost. While waiting for someone to find him, he ends up playing a mobile game while sitting nearby a neighborhood fence. Coincidentally, Hinata also gets lost during a run with his team and approaches the setter. Even though Hinata was trying to start a conversation, Kenma is more absorbed in his game until Hinata points out that they are both volleyball players after spotting a pair of volleyball shoes in Kenma's bag.
Hinata asks him countless questions, not stopping until he discovers that Kenma is a second-year. Kenma tells him not to worry since he doesn't like status formalities in athletics. Hinata proceeds to ask Kenma whether he likes volleyball or not, and he replies with neither. Kenma explains that he doesn't hate the sport but dislikes getting tired. Yet his friends play it and probably can't do it without him. After finding out Kenma's position as a setter, Hinata reveals that he is a middle blocker and wonders if it's weird since it's a position for tall guys. Much to Hinata's surprise, Kenma replies it's not since he receives similar comments as someone unathletic playing the position reserved for the most talented player on the team. Hinata asks if Kenma's school is strong, and he replies that it was strong in the past and had declined, but lately, it's been pretty strong. Before Kenma tells him the name of his school, his teammate Kuroo arrives and interrupts them. As he's leaving, he tells Hinata that he would see him soon, confusing the latter.
Afterward, Kuroo and Kenma head to a training match against Tsukinokizawa, who starts making snide comments about Kenma being small and unsteady during the warm-up. Kuroo defends him, saying that he is the backbone, brain and heart of Nekoma High. Nekoma dominates and wins in straight sets, leaving their opponents confused about the reason they lost. The Tsukinokizawa players note that none of the Nekoma players are geniuses at offense or defense but are strong, nevertheless. Later that evening, the players discuss if Karasuno has a female manager or not. Yamamoto asks Kenma about his opinion, and the latter replies that he doesn't care but is kind of looking forward to the match, much to the shock of his teammates.
Karasuno Practice Match
The day of the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno soon arrives. With both teams line up in front of each other, Hinata is shocked to find Kenma a member of Nekoma. Hinata approaches Kenma after the team greeting and questions him why he didn't mention he played for Nekoma. The latter explains that it was because Hinata didn't ask, and he knew he'd see Hinata again after he had noticed 'Karasuno High School' written on Hinata's shirt. When Kageyama asks Hinata about Kenma, Hinata replies that he is Nekoma's setter, which piques Kageyama's interest.
Before the match begins, Kenma tells Kuroo that his pre-match speeches are embarrassing, but then trails off as the rest of his teammates take Kuroo's side. The referee whistles to signify the start of the match. Before he takes his position to serve, Kenma informs Hinata that Nekoma is strong because of the entire team, not just because of him. Kageyama and Hinata perform their signature quick strike right off the bat, which leaves everyone traumatized, including Kenma. He approaches Hinata and tells him he's shocked, and that their move was amazing.
As Karasuno keeps their fast attacks, Nekoma asks for a time-out, where Kenma suggests that all they need to do to stop Hinata is by narrowing his range of movement; they merely keep repeating the same fast move, and all Hinata does is striking where there are no blockers. So he tells Inuoka to chase him around; even if they can't clear the first round of the game, he will get used to his movement.
After repeatedly chasing Hinata, Inuoka manages to touch the ball multiple times, which concerns Kageyama. In this same attack, Hinata attempts to block a fast attack by Nekoma, but surprisingly, Kenma dumps the ball and scores a point for Nekoma. After that, he keeps analyzing the rest of the Karasuno players, and notices that Tsukishima is an intelligent player, unlike Hinata; he observes and thinks carefully before making a move. Then he fools Tsukishima at the next serve by glancing at his right before tossing to the opposite direction, which proves his theory that Tsukishima is observing him as well. At the benches, Nekomata comments about Kenma's character not being good with people, hence he's constantly concerned about what they think. Therefore, it makes him good at observing people and coming up with interesting theories about their opponents. Meanwhile, Takeda notes that Kenma doesn't stand out at all compared to Kageyama, but he is capable of incredible things. Ukai replies that it's because of Nekoma's stable receives that Kenma can show his real skills. As the game progresses, Inuoka gets used to Hinata's spikes and manages to block him. However, Hinata starts spiking with his eyes open, and after multiple failures, he clearly sees a pathway through the blockers and aims for it, surprising Kenma and everyone else.
Tokyo Expedition Arc
Kenma's phone vibrates, alerting him to a message; Hinata is asking him to do his best at Tokyo prelims. He texts back asking Hinata if he's coming over to Tokyo, and the latter challenges him, saying he's gonna win this time. The day after that, Hinata shows Tanaka and Nishinoya another text message from Kenma that they already made it through the first round of prelims.
When Karasuno team arrives at Tokyo, Kenma sounds confounded at Hinata's absence, but Taketora explains that Kageyama and he are only late for having supplementary exams. Soon after the training matches start, Nekoma faces Fukurōdani Academy, wherein Bokuto spikes the ball and Kenma dodges it even though he was jumping for a block. After being yelled at by Coach Nekomata, he explains that his arms are going to break, considering Bokuto's strength.
Back at Nekoma's camp, Kenma is sitting and is playing on his video game when Hinata asks him about their middle blocker. Kenma introduces him as the first year Lev Haiba, a half-Russian and half-Japanese blood who was absent at their previous match because he only started volleyball at high school. He says that it was difficult when they were first paired; their timing was off no matter how hard Kenma tried, but gradually, he started to get used to him. He adds that Lev is so special that he couldn't read him easily, but he is still a powerful asset and an honest but not a bad guy, even though he's too honest at times. He suddenly stops playing and remarks that Lev's passing basics and serves are worse than Hinata's, which angers Hinata for being a reference for bad playing. Their conversation makes the rest of the Nekoma players overwhelmed that Kenma is talking to someone without being shy.
Next morning, during Nekoma's training match, Lev asks Kenma for an unplanned side hit. Kenma tosses him the ball, and they manage to score a point. Then Kenma tells Lev that he can't keep asking for a side hit out of nowhere since he can't always keep up. This conversation surprises Hinata and Kageyama, because they had managed to score even though it wasn't planned.
Spring High Preliminary Arc
Sometime before the qualifiers begin, Kenma confesses to Hinata that he wishes to play a high-stake game against his team that would instantly over once either of their parties lose.
Nekoma vs. Fukurōdani
Kenma takes part in the game against Fukurōdani Academy for a chance to represent Tokyo for the Spring Tournament. Before the game begins, Yamamoto tries to get Kenma more fired up and vocal but Kenma instead tricks Yamamoto into thinking that Lev's older sister, Alisa, was watching Yamamoto. The ace believes Kenma and becomes distracted, leaving him to miss a receive and get scolded by the coach.
Halfway into the first set, Kenma notices how Bokuto is excelling in the game with his straight shots. He devises a plan for the Nekoma blockers to cut off the cross shots in order to get Bokuto into the habit of hitting straight shots. Eventually, Kenma is put in charge of getting Lev on track; something Kenma was not fond of but quickly chastises the middle blocker for continuing to make mistakes on things he had been repeatedly told not to do.
Kenma's plan to limit Bokuto is successful as Bokuto begins to hit nothing but straight shots due to his body having gotten into the habit of hitting straights and the Fukurōdani ace falls into one of his depressed moods. However, it does not last long as Akaashi is able to bring Bokuto out of his slump and back into the game to eventually win the match.
Nekoma vs. Nohebi
In Nekoma's match against Nohebi Academy, Kenma is able to pick up that the Nohebi players are baiting Yamamoto and Lev into self-destructing by teasing the two with things they don't want to hear or constantly mess up at certain things. In addition to these problems, Kuguri poses a threat due to his unreadable form when spiking. As Kenma watches Yaku getting subbed out because of his injury, Nekoma looks to be concerned about how their match is going. At this, Kenma brings them back to high spirits when he says he believes they will be fine.
Kenma proves to be a problem to Nohebi when he successfully lands a setter dump and then a surprise back attack with Lev and Kuroo. Eventually, Nekoma wins the match and makes its way to the Nationals. Despite disliking much physical contact, Kenma lets Yaku hug him after he gets reunited with his team. Afterward, Kenma would text Hinata that Nekoma made it to Nationals.
Tokyo Nationals Arc
When meeting Karasuno in Tokyo, Kenma waves at them with an approachable feel. As Bokuto makes a ruckus in the middle of a crowd, Kenma admits to envying Bokuto being able to act so comfortable around everyone.
Nekoma vs. Kiyokawa
Kenma plays in the game against Kiyokawa. Together with Fukunaga, they score the winning point that allows Nekoma to advance to the next round.
Nekoma vs. Sarukawa
In the game between Nekoma and Sarukawa Tech, Kenma is ultimately targeted as the main threat to Sarukawa Tech. He is made to run in circles and exhaust himself as part of Sarukawa's plan to break the setter. They know that Kenma is most likely not to succumb to mental pressure so they instead decide to wear Kenma down physically in hopes he will make errors. Sarukawa's plan works when Kenma uses an underhand receive to set to Yamamoto who ends up getting blocked. Inuoka explains to Lev that because Kenma used an underhanded receive, the timing was thrown off and that's why Yamamoto was blocked so easily.
Coach Nekomata and the rest of the Nekoma team eventually figure out that Sarukawa Tech is trying to drag the match out in order to wear Kenma down and are quick to adapt to counter their plan. Thanks to the efforts of the Nekoma team, Kenma starts to get back on track but does scare the team when he slips during one play.
During one of the later plays, Kenma tries to lure the Sarukawa blockers away from the left but the team catches on and stay in their current formation; forcing Kenma to set to Kai. Despite Kai scoring, Kenma apologizes for the set being short. His weariness begins to show when he makes a comment of someone coming up with a plan that would prevent him from moving about too much and causes Kuroo and Yamamoto to make fun of him. When the team agrees to do whatever they can to keep him from being worn out, Kenma calls a battle of endurance boring and instructs them to purposely ruin serve receives at his command before admitting that he is aware of how much the team does in order to let him play as he wishes; saying they have mastered the skill of being brave.
Back in the game, Kenma suspects that Sarukawa's blockers will be most cautious of Kuroo and Lev and therefore place themselves more toward the middle of the net. Being aware that the Sarukawa team is trying to exhaust him, Kenma is sure that the enemy team will believe that Nekoma's purposely bad receives will be accidental. Using the poorly sent receive and a middle blocker to one side, Kenma would then send the ball to the far side of the court and would later send it the opposite direction once they began to catch onto this tactic. Then plan would be a success and help Nekoma tie the score 24-24. It would also cause unease among the Sarukawa team when they realize they were being manipulated the entire time instead of thinking that they had control of the set.
As the game continues on for several more rallies, Kenma becomes more frustrated and exhausted to the point that Kuroo has to bring him back to focus. It would be at this point that Coach Nekomata would tell first year setter Tamahiko Teshiro to get ready to go into the game. When Nekoma reached match point, Kenma surprises his team when he does a jump set on an imperfect receive. Nekoma would win the match when Fukunaga scored and Kenma would collapse from exhaustion on the court.
Afterward, Kuroo and Yaku would compliment Kenma on the extra effort he had put in during the set but Kenma would claim he did so in order to prevent a third set from taking place. When Yamamoto also praises Kenma for showing his will power, Kenma's exhaustion and low blood sugar would cause him to ramble how he felt he should put in a bit more effort from seeing his teammates were doing everything they could to keep the ball up and would then admit he sees them as his friends. His confession would surprise some of the members and Kenma would then try to dodge being hugged by Yamamoto and Fukunaga.
Karasuno vs. Inarizaki
When watching Karasuno's match against Inarizaki, he and Kuroo both notice Suna's posture and how he is able to spike past Karasuno's blockers are if they were not trying to stop him. Later on, Kenma asks Kuroo what he would have done about Suna if Nekoma were to go against them and listens as Kuroo admits he would have eventually gotten impatient and want to try to stuff Suna. Later on, when Kenma sees Atsumu set perfectly from an incredibly low point, Kenma admits to Kuroo that he could never be like Atsumu. Kenma also notices that Atsumu baited the blockers into thinking he was going to do a setter dump but instead switched to a set at the last moment in order to have a foul called on Karasuno and give Inarizaki the point.
When going back to the hotel, Yamamoto complains about the large buzz around Karasuno being able to defeat Nekoma even before the match started. Hearing his teammate, Kenma remarks that it is well deserved since they defeated much more impressive opponents to get where they are. After getting scolded by both Yamamoto and Kuroo, Kenma asks them if they could’ve defeated Ushijima or the Miya twins, which quiets the two. After this, however, Kenma uncharastically expresses his drive to defeat Karasuno and prove them who’s the superior opponent.
Nekoma vs. Karasuno
As the match is about to begin, Kenma willingly admits that he is unsure if Nekoma would be able to shut down Hinata and Kageyama's quick attack. As the team is making their way onto the court, several Nekoma student's recognize Kenma and are quick to mock how he does not look like an athlete and that he may just be a back-up player.
In the first play, Kenma is unable to dig Hinata's spike but he is still excited when Hinata proclaims that they are finally playing a match with no second chances. After Kai receives Tanaka's serve, Kenma attempts to throw off Hinata by glancing at Yamamoto. Though Hinata does not fall for the glance, Kenma sends the set to Kuroo. Kenma later shows excitement when he watches Kuroo attempt to get a ball that will go over the net but Kageyama beats him to it and then set to Hinata. After overhearing Kageyama request sets near the attack line and being noted for sounding awesome, Kenma states that Nekoma shouldn't try to compete against Karasuno in every little thing. His demeanor is noted by Coach Nekomata to be different than usual and, while not concerned about the outcome of the game, is strategizing how to clip a crow's wings.
After Asahi is able to do a block-out against Kuroo's hand, Kenma goes over a plan of how it would be easier for Nekoma to gain control of the match if they win the first set but realize that it would take a while to do so. When Yamamoto saves the ball that Kageyama hit against Lev's arm, Kenma surprises many people by running into the next position and set to Lev. The surprise of his movement even catches Kageyama off guard. Yamamoto would comment that Kenma was losing to a setter like Kageyama and Kenma states that this is a rude statement, saying that someone like himself couldn't compare to someone as hardworking as Kageyama but would admit that he becomes more interested when he sees something amazing take place before him and the urge to do the same would grow more inside him.
Some time later, Kenma is able to trick Asahi and Tsukishima into thinking he would do a setter dump and got the two to block him before he could make a set, resulting in Nekoma getting the point when the Karasuno is called to have blocked him before he could set. Kenma would later be given credit when Karasuno lost the first set due to miscommunication and no one going to save the ball. During the court switch, Kenma compliments Hinata on having gotten more skilled in receives before he would instructs the players of Nekoma who may be able to score through serves to do so. He points out how Hinata has been consistently scoring points and tries to figure out how they can cut that down a bit.
When the second set starts and Hinata is able to do the wide broad attack, Kenma is able to tell that Kageyama knows Nekoma is trying to keep Hinata from participating in attacks and keep him from doing the super quick. Kenma would then smile and tell Hinata to stay interesting. This act would cause Hinata to back away from the setter in fear.
During the second set, Kenma would start delivering his serves right when the whistle would sound. After being part of a triple block to stop Hinata's spike, Kenma is revealed to be giving signals to the player who is up to serve which indicates where they should try to aim their serve in order to keep certain players contained at certain times. He points out that Hinata has not been spiking as often as he usually does and this is because Nekoma has been using their serves to keep players contained while also blocking off Hinata's running path for the super quick. Kenma adds that Hinata will surely be feeling the affects of not being able to do the super quick due to his frustration building from not getting a proper running approach, saying that the net touch during the block and his recent missed spike were most likely results from that frustration. He urges the Nekoma team to continue trying to keep Hinata from trying to get a running approach as it will surely cause more stress to build up and Nekoma could take advantage of those errors.
Like many others, Kenma is surprised when Hinata utilizes his new higher jump. After Hinata is able to spike above the block, Kenma fully understands that Hinata is able to use the new jump to stay in the air for longer periods of time and realizes that extra help will be needed in trying to stop Hinata. With Inuoka now in the game to assist in blocking Hinata, Kenma reminds the blockers that Hinata is now able to stay in the air longer and they will need to keep their timing in mind.
Some way into the third set, Kenma attempts a setter dump that Hinata spotted and attempted to save but he tipped it and changed the trajectory that Nishinoya ended up saving with his foot. Kenma is narrowly able to get his hands up in time to prevent Hinata's spike from hitting him in the face. He would then send the last hit over the net and force Hinata to make the first touch. Hinata's receive would go back toward the net and Kenma would do a direct spike that Hinata had to once more make the first save. When Tanaka is sends the ball into the net to score for Nekoma, Kenma is seen grinning at Hinata.
Kenma tries to save Hinata's feint shot but is not able to reach it properly. Promptly after this, Kenma would collapse to the floor where he would admit he was finally having fun in a game; stunning players on both teams. When Karasuno reaches match point, Kenma and Lev jump to try to block Tanaka. Lev would bump into Kenma in the process and knock the setter over. When Lev questions if he is alright, Kenma suddenly angrily shouts at Lev to keep his eye on the ball. When Lev and Yamamoto call for the set, Kenma is unable to do so when the sweat on the ball causes him to miss the set and the ball lands behind him.
With Nekoma having lost the match, Kenma fell to the floor and claims the game was a fun experience. When Kuroo approaches him, Kenma thanks his friend for getting him interested in volleyball. After the players shake hands, Kenma would join the team in thanking Coach Nekomata. Afterwards, he promises Hinata and Kageyama that they should meet at Nationals again the following year.
Fukurōdani vs Mujinazaka
In the game’s first rally, Kenma notices Mujinazaka’s commit block once they manage to stuff Onaga. Shortly after, there is suspense as Usuri is about to set. Unsurprisingly, he chooses the ace, Kiryū. At this, Kenma asks if the setter is famous. Following a few rallies later, Kenma notices that Kiryū looks and acts like a typical power hitter but that his jumps are essential as well. After Yamamoto explains that Kiryū’s focus is on smashing through the hitters rather than going over them, Kenma becomes intimidated at the prospect of receiving his hits.
When Bokuto makes a chest receive and praises himself for that good pass, Kenma copies the ace’s comment. Sometime later, Keisuke Unnan blocks Bokuto after a consistent streak of letting either he or Nozomu Mami a spot for Bokuto to target at before they can block him. Noticing this, Kenma speculates that this is Mujinazaka’s anti-Bokuto tactic. As Usuri predicts Akaashi’s setter dump, Kenma notices that he most likely went easy on his first serve. Additionally, he explains that Usuri’s tactic was to break Akaashi’s spirit from the beginning. When talking about Akaashi and Kiryū with Yamamoto, Kenma notices that he had taken a liking to Mujinazaka’s ace.
Karasuno vs Kamomedai
During the match, Kageyama uses Hinata as a decoy to set for Tanaka. Despite this, Hirugami is still able to block him and Kenma notices that he didn't even give Hinata a second glance. Not long after, when Tsukishima is in the front row, Kuroo cheers him on to win the "blocking-showdown" and Kenma makes a snarky Tsukishima imitation that it's the spikers who face the blocks.
As the match progresses, Kenma internally notes that it's obvious that Kamomedai's main purpose in their stack block was to put pressure on the edges but he also wonders whether if they have the foresight to anticipate that Karasuno would come over to the middle to avoid it. Then out loud, he says that Kamomedai scares him. When Karasuno loses their first set to Kamomedai, Kenma and Kuroo are seen being at loss for words. Trying to reassure, himself, Kenma says that Karasuno gets better as the game progresses just like Nekoma and that they were still able to take the final two sets for their game against Nekoma, which results in Kuroo telling him not to remind him of that.
During the start of the second set, Kenma notes that both teams switched up their starting rotations but it would not mean a thing for either team if they mess things up right at the beginning. When Hinata was getting ready to block, he was about to get tricked by one of Kamomedai's decoys but was not fast enough to figure that out. 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 Kamomedai blocks Hinata's quick set, Kenma snickers at how it would be impossible to find a team more adept at blocking short jumpers than Kamomedai.
After Asahi breaks through Kamomedai's defenses three times in a row despite having being blocked all the time he tried to do so before, Kenma says that he's activated his ultimate skill, guts, out loud to himself, which confuses Kuroo who is next to him. When Hinata does his minus tempo attack, jumping even higher and faster than before, Kenma notices this and wrongly uses an expression. When it's Tsukishima's turn to ‘unlock a new skill', Kuroo tells Kenma that it wasn't certain that he would be able to pull it off again, which offends Kenma because he says that playing video games isn't to just press buttons. Soon after, Hinata pretends to do a slide to then switch to a first tempo plus attack in the last minute, and Kenma compares it to him changing weapons.
Sometime later, when Hinata is being subbed out because of his fever, Kenma just leaves without a word. After this, the game resumes and Hinata sees Kenma, who says he's there to help a friend. Hinata is about to cry again but asks Kenma if he has a way to watch the game together, and Kenma shows that tablet that he brought for him.
During Hinata's conversation with Santana about the logo on Hinata's shorts, Hinata says that he was being sponsored by his friend's company.
In a flashback, Hinata is shown visiting Kenma's house, which had a gaming room packed with various gaming consoles and even arcade machines. Hinata comments that Kenma should have lived in Roppongi Hills. He dismisses the idea and says that Kuroo had said the same thing.
Later on, while they were under a kotatsu, Hinata asks Kenma why he had sponsored him to which Kenma replies that he had money to spare. Hinata thinks that he wants to be able to say that some day and Kenma warns him that if he gets boring, he'll stop.
Kenma watches the match against the Schweiden Adlers and MSBY Black Jackals. In the first set, Kenma notices that Hinata drops the ball in a tough spot for Romero to get, and gets shaken up once he sees that he still manages to get a point out of it. During the second set, Kenma claims he's getting tired just by watching it because they were pulling such extraordinary saves and such.
|High School Statistics|
Kenma is known as the "brain" of Nekoma for his sharp strategic mind and incredible ability to develop extensive plans against his opponents. He is naturally observant of others' behavior due to being overly concerned about what other people think of him. This helps him notice the tiniest details of his opponents, including their habits and personality, and use these traits to his advantage. Kenma would calculate his opponents' skillset before coming up with a meticulous plan for his teammates to follow. Most of his plans are unnoticeable in the beginning but become more effective as time progresses. As such, his opponents often fail to realize they have fallen into his trap before it's too late.
While Kenma excels at strategizing, he is unathletic and possesses low stamina. According to Coach Ukai, he, as a setter, is supported by the entire team's receiving power. In other words, Kenma can utilize his talents because of the receivers' ability to cleanly return the ball to him. More recently, he has become more active and would seek out offensive opportunities instead of solely relying on his teammates' perfect receives.
Like the rest of his team, he is flexible and good at digging and receiving the ball.
Jumping Reach: 295 cm
- Ball Control: As a setter, Kenma possesses superior ball control. He can set with a clean form and minimal movements, thus making it hard for opposing blockers to read his intentions. Moreover, he has shown the ability to match his toss to a spiker even at a short notice as seen when he accurately responds to Lev's impromptu broad attack.
- Court Awareness: Kenma is very observant and keeps track of what's happening on the court at all times. He can understand quickly players' formation and deduce the path his opponents will take. This ability allows him to adjust Nekoma's defense accordingly and develop plans using serves to constrain a certain player. It is also mentioned that Kenma never returns a simple chance ball. He is always looking for holes in the formation and targeting the return ball to a difficult position to throw off his opponents.
- Glance Feint: Kenma uses a type of feint in which he would fake a glance toward a spiker before he sets to trick the opposing blockers. Once the blockers react, Kenma would toss to a different spiker usually opposite of his glance direction. Due to Kenma's minimal movements, every little action becomes a bigger distraction. This makes his glance feint even more effective because blockers can't help but read the slightest movements. This is a tactic he most likely picked up when he and Kuroo would watch matches when they were young .
- Dump Shot: Due to his awareness of his surroundings, Kenma can tell when would be the perfect opportunity for a dump shot. Recently, he is seen using a dump shot as a feint before switching to a set to lure opposing blockers into a foul.
- Tetsurō Kuroo: Because of Kenma's lack of interest to make friends of his own accord, Kuroo, who was around his age when he moved into Kenma's neighborhood, became his friend just due to their similar ages. In the beginning they would just play Kenma's video games in silence, but once Kenma asked Kuroo what he wanted to do, Kuroo introduced Kenma to volleyball.
During their youth, Kenma being the attentive person he was even at that age, was sensitive to Kuroo's own shyness and often internally understood the latter's reasons for being so withdrawn at the time.
Under Kuroo's influence, Kenma joined the volleyball club in junior high and high school, and even talked him into not quitting and staying in the club during in Kenma's first year. Kenma has also admitted the reason why he hasn't quit volleyball is because he would feel bad for letting Kuroo and his other teammates down.
Kuroo is usually being seen looking after Kenma; he once brought Kenma back to the team when the latter got lost in Miyagi, and he made sure Kenma ate during the summer training camp. Kenma also calls Kuroo by his nickname "Kuro". In the Cross Team Match game, Kenma has stated that he had never failed a test because Kuroo teaches him before them.
They are still close friends post time-skip and even have talks of being in videos together.
- Taketora Yamamoto: The two started out in rough terms due to their completely different personalities but eventually became close and now comfortably rely on each other on the court. Yamamoto even asking Kenma to call him "Tora" instead. Yamamoto seems to also somewhat admire the fact that even though Kenma slacks off, and complains all the time he always sees things through to the end.
- Lev Haiba: In the Nekoma OVA, Kenma is seen to not be too enthusiastic about being paired with Lev due to not being able to match up with the middle blocker's timing and height of his spikes. He admits to not knowing much about Lev since he had joined the team but is asked by Coach Nekomata to work with him so the chance of syncing up will happen sooner. There are several occasions in which Kenma is asked to guide Lev along during games, being deemed the most fit to do such a task, and Lev always follows Kenma's instructions.
- Shōyō Hinata: Although their personalities are complete opposites, Kenma is noted to not be as shy or quiet when around Hinata and actually shows signs of excitement when watching or playing against him. Ever since the first practice match between Karasuno and Nekoma, Kenma usually seeks out Hinata when their teams meet again and the two can often be seen spending time together when outside of matches and are away from their teams. They are also known to regularly send text messages to each other. Kenma is also one of the few people who regularly calls Hinata by his first name. After the timeskip, the two have remained close friends and Kenma became Hinata's sponsor when he traveled to Brazil. According to Kuroo, Hinata was a friend that Kenma was able to make by himself and the setter has done things he normally wouldn't because of Hinata's influence; such as staying for extra practice and eventually finding volleyball enjoyable.
- "I'm not good with people, and I don't want to interact with them. And yet I'm very concerned about what others think about me." (To himself)
- "I feel anxious if my field of vision is too wide; so I can't cut my hair." (To himself, The Pudding Head Story)
- "Even if a game doesn't seem clearable at first, after playing it over and over again, you can conquer it." (To himself)
- "When you asked about our team, I said I thought we're good. But that's not because I'm on it. It's because we're together." (To Hinata, Volume 4 Chapter 28)
- "I've been thinking that lately... You're fun to play against, so I'd like to face you in a real match. A match where losing means an instant game over." (To Hinata, Season 2 Episode 14)
- "I hurt. I'm exhausted. I don't ever want this to end." (To himself, Volume 37 Chapter 323)
- Y'know... no matter which one of us lost... or which of us won... no one was going to die. No one's coming back to life either. Evil won't flourish across the land. The world won't be destroyed. It isn't like we had a grand adventure across a sprawling fantasy world... we just ran in circles in a rectangle 18 meters long and nine meters wide... trying desperately hard to make a ball hit the floor in one spot and not hit the floor in another. And it was the most fun I've had in my life. (To Kuroo, Volume 37 Chapter 324)
- Current Concern: Summer is too hot, winter is too cold.
- Kenma is shy around others except for Hinata, Inuoka, and Kuroo
- Favorite Food: Apple pie.
- He is an only child.
- He has the smallest appetite in the series.
- He dyed his hair blond to not "stand out" because Yamamoto had previously said that his hair looked like Sadako, which would draw attention from people.
- Kenma keeps his hair long because he gets anxious when his field of vision is too wide.
- His star sign is Libra.
- He neither likes nor hates volleyball; he hates getting tired.
- Up till middle school, he would easily get sick after practice days or matches.
- His nerves are always on edge because he doesn't want to be noticed.
- He considered quitting volleyball when he was a first-year because he was constantly targeted by his seniors. However, Kuroo talked him out of it.
- His username on his games is 'applepi'.
- The blue console he can be seen holding is a Playstation Portable.
- In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Kenma placed 10th with 3,256 votes. In the second, he still placed 10th with 4,863 votes.
- Kenma (研磨) - Polishing
- Kozume (孤爪) - Lone Claw
- Volume 4 Chapter 29
- Volume 30 Chapter 266
- Volume 3 Chapter 24
- Volume 3 Chapter 25
- Volume 4 Chapter 26
- Volume 4 Chapter 27
- Volume 34 Chapter 301
- Volume 34 Chapter 305
- Volume 37 Chapter 323
- Volume 42 Chapter 366
- Volume 9 Chapter 79
- Volume 34 Chapter 304
- Volume 33 Chapter 296
- Volume 36 Chapter 318
- The Pudding Head Story
- Volume 7 Chapter 57
- Volume 14 Chapter 123