Manabu Naoi (Japanese:
He has a rectangular shaped head and a jutted jaw. His hair is a dark, shortcut and his eyes are the same dark colour. He appears to have a slight widow's peak.
He seems to be a confident individual and has a competitive streak, shown by his slight rivalry with Ukai. He also has a sense of humor as he can easily joke about how he's never been a starting member during high school.
Seven years ago, he was in the Nekoma Volleyball Club at the same time as Ukai was in Karasuno's and played as a setter with the number 8. However, like Ukai, he wasn't a starting member and because of that, the two called themselves the "Benchwarmers Club". He is currently a coach on his former team.
Karasuno High Team Formation ArcEdit
Nekoma plays a practice match against Karasuno. Naoi approaches Ukai and teases him for his hair before the two of them introduce themselves as the Benchwarmers Club to Takeda.
At the end of the match, Naoi watches Ukai and Nekomata shake hands angrily and challenge each other, thinking to himself that they're at it again. He tries to step in to say that Nekomata's being childish, but gets rebuffed. Later, Naoi and Ukai shake hands angrily as well.
Tokyo Expedition ArcEdit
Naoi spends most of his time by Nekomata's side and drinks with the coaches often.
Spring High Preliminary ArcEdit
When Yaku gets injured in the match against Nohebi, Naoi helps carry him off the court with Inuoka. He then helps him by pressing an ice pack on his foot by the sides.
Tokyo Nationals ArcEdit
Naoi used to be a setter, but he wasn't good enough to be a starting member.
The two seems to have a good relationship; when they first saw each other again after so many years, they joked about each other's appearances. They met back when they were in high school, possibly in their teams' practice matches. They both got along due to their similar situations of not being a starting member, and thus dubbed themselves the "Benchwarmers Club".
Naoi gets along well with his team.
- Current Concern: He's been told that he's "worse with alcohol than he looks".
- Manabu (学) - Learn
- Naoi (直井)
- 直 - Straight
- 井 - Well