Lev is very tall, with exceptionally long arms and legs. He has neatly parted light grey hair, and catlike slanted green eyes framed with thin eyebrows.
His half-Russian heritage gives him tall height, exceptional limb length, and physical ability.
He is shown to be quite childish and cheerful, as displayed by making fun of and pointing out Hinata's and Yaku's height along with the contrast they hold to him and other players. Lev's appearance, as well as his piercing eyes, causes people to believe he is much more intimidating and serious than he actually is. Though he can be extremely blunt, often offending others without realizing, he never seems to mean any real harm and adopts a playful attitude towards most things.
He is also shown to be enthusiastic about spiking as he gets excited about it very easily, and can be competitive with people he is interested in. He can be quite confident (nearing haughty) as well, as shown in Chapter 199, looking down at Nohebi when he managed to smash down their receive.
Lev is a half-Japanese, half-Russian first-year. He was born and raised in Japan and consequently cannot speak Russian. He is first introduced in chapter 78 of the Haikyū!! manga and the first OVA episode, shown at Jump Festa 2014. He attends Nekoma High, and is a Middle Blocker and self-proclaimed ace on the Nekoma High Volleyball Team.
Tokyo Expedition ArcEdit
Karasuno meets Lev Haiba during the first round of away-games. He was not present at the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno, due to his lack of experience. Kōshi Sugawara and Asahi Azumane ponder if the first-year that was staring at them was present at the practice game. It is during a match that Lev demonstrates his whip-like spike, astounding the members of Karasuno.
Lev and Shōyō Hinata run into each other in the bathroom entrance. Hinata is intimidated by Lev's height and heritage, and he surprised to find that Lev cannot speak Russian. Lev teases Hinata on his height, and Hinata becomes offended. Lev then compliments on Hinata's jump, but says that he can jump higher, prompting Hinata to jump up and hit his head on the top of the door frame. They part ways, swearing that they will defeat each other.
Lev is present to say good-bye to Karasuno when they depart.
Spring High Preliminary ArcEdit
Lev is a relatively inexperienced volleyball player. As a result, his basic abilities are weaker (much like Hinata's, as Kenma had mentioned), but his strike, height, and physical ability more than make up for it. Upon joining the team, Lev quickly overtook Inuoka as the starting middle blocker and is seen as someone with huge potential. Lev initially has trouble syncing with Kenma's toss but gradually improves to be a capable spiker. Overall, Lev takes a straightforward approach to spiking, looking to win and garner the most hits but shows a willingness to learn technical terms.
Lev often self-proclaims himself as Nekoma's ace, although his teammates don't seem to acknowledge this. He had trouble grasping the concept of teamwork until he and Shibayama worked together to stop a spike. Since then, he has become more calm and aware of his teammates during matches.
Jumping Reach: 345 cm
- Whip Spike: Lev's most notable ability yet is his whip-like spike due to his long limbs. Hinata, in particular, is amazed by this spike, telling Lev, "It's incredible, how your spikes made it seem like the blockers being there didn't even matter."
- Broad Attack: Lev is proficient at doing a broad attack. Due to his huge strides, he would outpace his opponents and spike before a block could be put up. He is capable of pulling off a broad attack spontaneously with Kenma.
- Read Blocking: During the summer training camp, Lev starts improving his read blocking under Kuroo's supervision. He corrects his "banzai block" in which he places his arms too wide apart, thereby leaving a huge gap for a spike to go through. By the time Nekoma reaches the Tokyo qualifiers, Lev has already made much improvement but still has the habit of swing his arm around when attempting to block. After he finally understood the importance of teamwork, Lev becomes more adept at limiting the path of the spike for the receivers. Combined with his advantageous height, Lev is a blocker that can exert immense pressure on the opposing setter.
In the Nekoma OVA, Kenma and Lev are seen to be working together to perfect the timing of Lev's whip spike attack. It is mentioned by Kenma that Lev's technique is almost nonexistent and that his attacks are sloppier than Hinata's. At first, it seems as though Kenma dislikes Lev, but this feeling eventually disappears as the two are able to attack properly later in the series.
- Favorite food: Oinarisan
- Current concern: His senpais try to give him weird nicknames.
- Lev cannot speak Russian; despite being of Russian-Japanese descent, he was born and raised in Japan.
- Just like Kenma, he doesn't like Kuroo's prematch speeches and famous quote: "We're like the blood in our veins...", and according to Kenma, that's the only thing he agrees with Lev on.
- Lev shares a birthday with Reon Ōhira.
- Interestingly enough, both of their names have to do with lions.
- His star sign is Scorpio.
- He had stated that he grew 2mm in two weeks, which averages out to 1mm per week. Thus far, he is the third tallest high school volleyball player in the series.
- According to Shibayama, Lev has a tendancy to self-destruct if he becomes too fired up.
- Lev (Лев) - Lion
- Haiba (灰羽) - Ashen Feathers
- "You're even shorter up close." (to Hinata, within the first few minutes of meeting him in Chapter 79)
- "The ace is the one who makes off with the most points. It's as simple as that." (to Hinata, in Chapter 79)
- "I'm trying to be humble by not letting everyone know that I'm the best." (to Kenma, in Chapter 82)
- "I am the wind. I am as swift as the wind...I am the forest. I am as quiet as the forest...And...I'm flexible...as a cat!" (to himself, OVA 1)
- "I grew two millimetres!" (to Hinata)
- "Well, I'm not going to become just a regular - but the Ace!" (Haikyū!! OVA)
- "The Ace has...Awoken!" (After spiking one of Kenma's tosses for the first time, Haikyū!! OVA)
- "The usual for Nekoma... is not the same as before." (about Nekoma, in Chapter 198)
- "A ball that the other team so desperately manages to get back up in the air... it just makes my day smashing those back down!" (Chapter 199)