Morisuke Yaku (Japanese: 夜久 (やく) 衛輔 (もりすけ) Yaku Morisuke) was a third year student from Nekoma High, and one of the volleyball team's liberos. As of 2021, he plays for Cheegle Ekaterinburg, a professional volleyball team in the Russian Volleyball Super League. He is also a member of the Japan National Volleyball Team.

Appearance

Standing at 166 cm, Yaku is insecure about his height, and his teammates have once stated that it's a taboo subject after Lev pointed it out (he was subsequently kicked by Yaku). Yaku is usually seen wearing the Nekoma training uniform. He has brown eyes and short brown hair (his hair is slightly longer in the manga).

Personality

Yaku is respected for his abilities as a strong libero. Karasuno's libero, Nishinoya, had confronted him about his talent as a libero from his experience of playing against him in the same position. He takes great pride in playing as libero, and considers it a huge honor to play as libero for Nekoma, a team whose members specialize in powerful defense.  

Off the court, he is supportive of his team and often takes on a parental role when speaking toward, or of them, similar to Sugawara. Because of this, Yaku and Sugawara get along well. 

He can also be incredibly short-tempered, especially concerning Lev, who seems to find Yaku's angry outbursts "scary" (although these outbursts are typically in response to Lev tactlessly commenting on Yaku's height and/or attempting to skip practicing receives with him). Even Kuroo at times refers to him as a "demon senpai". Overall, however, Yaku is a rather honest, straightforward person who's very confident about his skills and looks out for his team. He will frequently engage in light-hearted scuffles with his juniors, and will sometimes eat their food too. Fans have remarked that his personality has many similarities to Sugawara's.

Background

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Yaku is introduced as Nekoma High's third year starting libero as he is breaking up an embarrassing encounter between Karasuno's Tanaka and his teammate, Taketora.[1] During the match, he would demonstrate his skills as a libero by making many receives on several of the players that would impress Karasuno and especially Nishinoya. He later encounters Nishinoya after the matches are done, and is taken aback by the latter's apparent sense of humility and constant drive for self-improvement, a quality that he both admires and finds "terrifying".

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Nekoma vs Fukurōdani

Yaku left a rather huge impact during the Tokyo Expedition arc, during which the role of the libero's position was explained in depth; during the Tokyo representative match between Nekoma and Fukurōdani, Nishinoya explains to Hinata that truly skilled liberos are players that manage to not stand out, but whose presence on the court ensures their teams' victory. Even Bokuto stating that Yaku's receives "give him chills" and he acknowledges Yaku's impressive defensive. This in turn inspires Bokuto to play even harder against Nekoma during the Tokyo Representative deciding match.

Nekoma vs Nohebi

After losing to Fukurōdani, Nekoma faces off against Nohebi High School for the third and final Tokyo Representative spot. During this match, both teams demonstrate impeccable persistence in maintaining their defenses, despite Nohebi's penchant for attempting to throw Nekoma off with a constant stream of feints, block-outs, and well-timed taunting. At one point, Yaku admonishes an increasingly frustrated Lev and tells him not to flail his arms aimlessly in an attempt to block the opposing spikers, as this makes receiving the ball extremely difficult; Lev angrily responds in turn that despite that, Yaku would certainly save the ball without fail (this outburst causes Yaku to be quite taken aback).

Later in the first set, Yaku leaped into the crowd in an attempt to save the ball which had been received off-kilter by Taketora--this successful display of athleticism and fast reflexes sent the crowd and his team into a frenzy, and ultimately allows Nekoma to score. However, in the process of saving the ball, Yaku landed on a spectator's foot and sprained his ankle. He attempts to shrug off his teammates' concern but grimaces in pain when he tries to walk it off--he is then promptly led off the court for first-aid treatment, and Shibayama is called into the game as the back-up libero. In response to Yaku's tearful frustration, his fellow third years Kuroo and Kai tell him not to worry, and to consider being benched as a "brief vacation" while his team picks up the slack and secures a spot at the nationals. While sidelined and receiving first aid, Yaku continues to watch his team closely and swells with pride when Shibayama successfully adapts to his role as libero. He tearfully laughs and hugs his teammates after Nekoma secures their victory against Nohebi.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Nekoma vs Kiyokawa

Yaku plays with Nekoma against Kiyokawa High. He and his teammates are seen making multiple receives that wear down Kiyokawa's ace. He later is seen celebrating with the others when Nekoma wins the match.

Nekoma vs Sarukawa

Yaku is right away shown making receives against the players of Sarukawa Tech High. When it is figured out that Sarukawa is trying to wear Kenma down physically and the rest of the team does what they can to give him the sets he needs, Yaku is seen glaring at someone who criticizes Kuroo's receive.

During the time-out, Yaku would acknowledge that Nekoma is protective of their setter and will do what they can to prevent him from being worn out. He agrees to Kenma's request of making several poor serve receives at his command and that he would like the ball to be sent to him at a high angle. Yaku is seen making several receives during the game and joins in the celebration when Nekoma eventually won.

Nekoma vs Karasuno

Yaku is seen eagerly waiting the match between Nekoma and Karasuno. He shows disappointment in seeing Lev make an off receive on Tanaka's spike. When he rotates into the game, he compliments Nishinoya for getting even better than when they last met after seeing the second year perform a jump set to Asahi.

When Fukunaga was blocked when Tsukishima and Yamaguchi perform the serve and block method, Yaku would kick Kuroo while blaming him for Tsukishima's increase in skill. In the next play, Yaku is able to receives Yamaguchi's serve that would allow Yamamoto to score and stop the first year's serve. After Shibayama tries to encourage Lev to play like himself but failing to get the message across, Yaku bluntly tells the middle blocker not to mess up.

For several plays, Yaku is mostly seen making receives and later seems to be the one designated with receiving most of Asahi's spikes; this could continue on well into the second set. When the score is tied 19-19, Yaku is seen lying in wait for Asahi's spike only for the ace to put too much power into it and have the ball land out. Bokuto is then seen warning Yachi that Yaku is a player capable of stopping a spiker without ever touching the ball[2].

At Hinata's next attempt using his new jump to spike past a triple block, Yaku is able to receive the spike. Several Karasuno players are able to figure out that Yaku manipulated the players into aiming exactly where he would be waiting. The play would earn great admiration from Nishinoya. Yaku would soon be surprised when Nishinoya was able to save the ball with the back of his foot and score a point for Karasuno[3].

Half-way into the set, Daichi appears to be doing a back attack and Yaku calls for everyone to move back a step. However, this would turn out badly for Nekoma when Daichi's spike hits the top of the net and lands in the front row with no one to save it. When Karasuno is at match point, Yaku would save a ball but it goes directly back over the net where Hinata would do a direct spike only for Lev to suddenly appear and block it.

Nekoma would eventually lose the match. Yaku would shake hands with Sugawara and Nishinoya afterwards before walking off the court with a tearful Lev and Shibayama. He would join the team in thanking Coach Nekomata for being their coach. When Kai would voice how happy he was to have been able to play with Yaku and Kuroo as his teammate the last three years, Yaku would burst into tears.

Final Arc

Yaku's first appearance in the Final Arc is when he makes a stop in Shibuya while on the phone with one of his former teammates. He had stopped in Shibuya due to wanting to see the billboard that Lev and Alisa appear on. As of the Final Arc, Yaku is currently playing for Cheegle Ekaterinburg as a libero in the Russian Volleyball Super League. He returns to Japan to play as one of the libero's on Japan's National Team at the Olympics.

Statistics

Original Statistics
Power
 
1/5
Jumping
 
3/5
Stamina
 
4/5
Game Sense
 
4/5
Technique
 
4/5
Speed
 
4/5

Yaku's skills as a libero rival those of Nishinoya. He has a keen sense of receiving and can steadily receive Asahi's strong spikes despite having never faced him before, a feat which instantly earns him Nishinoya's respect during Karasuno's first practice match with Nekoma. Nishinoya has commented that one reason he admires Yaku is that he does not stand out much on the court, yet his defensive prowess is undeniably invaluable. Akane Yamamoto had also described him as the "Guardian" and "Commander-in-Chief" of Nekoma's defense, and regards him as a player just as important as the ace. His abilities have been praised by Bokuto, who has stated that "Yakkun's receives give me goosebumps!"

Jumping Reach:

  • Pre-Timeskip: 301 cm
  • Post-Timeskip: 325 cm

Relationships

Kōshi Sugawara

They first met during the Nekoma vs Karasuno practice match when Taketora and Tanaka were causing trouble.

Sugawara Yaku s1 e13.png

Sugawara and Yaku apologized to each other for their teammates and soon bonded over their similar positions of being caretakers for their teams.

Yaku and Sugawara have a similar personality type, and are seen conversing in a friendly manner on multiple occasions.

Lev Haiba

Lev is Yaku's underclassman and "student", who he coaches regularly in receiving (much to Lev's dismay). The two

Lev and Yaku OVA 4-1.png

appear to get along, but Lev frequently attempts to escape Yaku's merciless coaching and will at times poke fun at the latter's height, which frequently sends Yaku flying into a rage that will result in the libero hitting or kicking the middle blocker. Like the rest of his teammates, however, Lev has great respect and admiration for Yaku due to his impressive skill as a libero and his commanding presence on the team.

Tetsurō Kuroo

Although Kuroo and Yaku played against each other in middle school, they didn't officially meet until they joined the

Kuroo Yaku OVA.png

volleyball club during their first year of high school. Because Yaku's team had wrecked Kuroo's and Kuroo was much taller than Yaku, their relationship started off very badly. They would often bicker and disagree on minor things, such as girl's hairstyles (Yaku prefers girls with short hair), summer activities, favorite foods, and even which brand of volleyball they preferred.

One day during practice, all the freshmen members had to say their goals and aspirations out loud, according to the club's tradition. To everyone's surprise, both Kuroo and Yaku declared in unison that they wanted to "dominate nationals", despite their other teammates settling for making into Tokyo's top eight. This declaration ultimately helps them to put aside their differences and unite as teammates who trust each other. Kuroo has been shown calling Yaku various nicknames such as "Yakkun" and "Demon Senpai". At present, their interactions are far friendlier than when they first met.

Trivia

  • Favorite food: Stir-fried vegetables.
  • Current concern: His kouhai are causing him all kinds of worry.
  • His birthday falls on World Cat Day.
  • His star sign is Leo.
  • He is in a college prep class.
  • Unlike Kuroo, he prefers meat, girls with short hair, spicy curry, Molten volleyballs, cats and going to the mountains during the summer.
  • Yaku is the second oldest of the third years.
  • While people usually call him "Yaku", Kuroo and Bokuto were shown calling him "Yakkun", Lev calls him "Yaku san", and Nishinoya calls him "Morisuke".
  • He was chosen as the libero on Furudate's Dream Team.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Yaku placed 14th with 2,211 votes.[4] In the second, he dropped to 19th with 2,979 votes.[5]
  • Nomenclature
    • Morisuke (衛輔) - Protecting Help
    • Yaku (夜久) - Long Ago Night

Quotes

  • "Yamamoto, stop immediately picking fights with people. It makes you look like an idiot." (To Taketora, Volume 4 Chapter 27)
  • "[About Nishinoya] His skills as a libero are at such a high level, and yet far from being conceited, he just looks intently forward... That's pretty frightening." (To Sugawara, Volume 4 Chapter 34)
  • "You know, getting nicks and bruises... that's the same as breathing for me. And this entire year, I've managed to avoid any serious injuries or illnesses... So why of all days did it have to be today?" (To the Nekoma team, Volume 22 Chapter 199)

References

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