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 165 cm, Yaku is insecure about his height. His teammates have once stated that it's a taboo subject, especially 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 blond 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 especially 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, which is 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

Upon joining Nekoma's volleyball club, Yaku and Kuroo started with a rocky relationship due to Yaku's middle school having badly defeated Kuroo's middle school in the past. The two often got into arguments and often seemed to disagree on everything. Kai, who was the only other first year in the volleyball club, still stuck with Kuroo and Yaku in spite of having to deal with their numerous arguments. Despite their differences, when asked about their goals, Yaku, Kuroo, and Kai all agreed that they aim to win nationals, and this seemed to leave the three players' relationship on good terms. [1]

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, Yamamoto[2]. During the match, he would demonstrate his skills as a libero by making many receives 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

During the summer training camps, Yaku can mostly be seen participating in the practice matches or spending time with his own teammates or with Sugawara. On the first night of the first training camp, Yaku is joyful at seeing Kenma talking to Hinata without a hint of his usual shy demeanor.

During the week long camp, Yaku is revealed to be helping Lev try to improve his receiving; although Lev at one point ditched the practice to join the group in the third gym. Yaku later hangs out with Kai and Sugawara during the barbeque, where they watch several of their teammates acting silly and Yachi appear nervous around all the taller players. He joins several others in saying good-bye to Karasuno when the team headed back to Miyagi.

Spring High Preliminary 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 stated that Yaku's receives "give him chills" and he acknowledges Yaku's impressive defensive skills. 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 how he blocks, Yaku would certainly save the ball without fail; this outburst causes Yaku to be quite surprised and flattered until he is teased by Kuroo for losing his demon senpai image.

Later in the first set, Yaku leaped into the crowd in an attempt to save the ball which had been received off-kilter by Yamamoto. 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 the final spot to represent Tokyo at 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 played with Nekoma against Kiyokawa High. He and his teammates are seen making multiple receives that wear down Kiyokawa's ace. He was later seen celebrating with the others when Nekoma won the match.

Nekoma vs Sarukawa

Prior to the match, Yaku is relaxing with the team's third years. He wishes that the nationals were farther away because he'd like to travel. He follows by being skeptical about Nekoma's future lineup about passing the qualifiers the next year. When spotting Kenma, he is amazed at how they managed to get him to nationals. When Kuroo explains that Kenma is grateful that he picked volleyball up, Yaku doesn't believe him. He then remembers Kuroo telling the team about Kenma's "early riser" incident and notices that he's gotten more determined after meeting Karasuno. After this, Kuroo and Yaku get into a short squabble.

During the match, Yaku roughly manages to save an impressive jump floater from Wakura. In a timeout, Yaku explains to his team him having noticed Sarukawa's attempt to tire Kenma. When Nekomata tells his team not to lose focus, Yaku boldly announces that he would do anything to protect Nekoma's setter. After Kenma tells the team to send the ball to him, they all proudly assure him that they would do so. Following their victory, Kuroo and Yaku are both proud of Kenma for being able to come up with a strategy despite his exhaustion.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

After their match is over and Nekoma watches Karasuno's match against Inarizaki, Shibayama attempts to explain how the ball could go different ways after receiving. Lev claims he's understood, but Yaku isn't convinced. As he continues to watch, Yaku gets excited when seeing both of the teams' setters clash. Later on, Yaku yells at Lev, who is watching the game with the other first years, to pay attention to Suna and Tsukishima's blocking. Sometime later, Osamu keeps Karasuno waiting as he is about to serve and Yaku, although he is not playing, admits he hates the time gaps Osamu creates.

Nekoma vs Karasuno

Yaku is seen eagerly awaiting the match between Nekoma and Karasuno. He showed disappointment in seeing Lev make an off receive on Tanaka's spike. When he rotated 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 was able to receive Yamaguchi's serve that would allow Yamamoto to score and stop the first year's serve. After Shibayama tried to encourage Lev to play like himself but failed 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 continued 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[3].

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[4].

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 there 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 for the last three years, Yaku would burst into tears.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

During Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai, Hoshiumi impressively receives Tsukishima’s spike after having been set to perfectly and Yaku is impressed at how good his receiving skills are. After Karasuno's loss, Yaku joins Kuroo and Bokuto in praising Karasuno for a well played game and tearfully hugging Sugawara.

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. 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 liberos on Japan's National Team at the Olympics.

Statistics

High School 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 dig 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

Skills

Post-Timeskip Skills Parameter
Serve
 
6/10
Serve Reception
 
10/10
Dig
 
10/10
Setting
 
7/10
Spike
 
5/10
Block
 
4/10


Relationships

Nekoma High

  • Lev Haiba:
    Lev and Yaku OVA 4-1.png
    Lev is Yaku's underclassman and "student" who he coaches regularly in receiving (much to Lev's dismay). The two appear to get along most of the time. However, Lev frequently attempts to escape Yaku's merciless coaching and will at times poke fun at the latter's height, which usually 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:
    Kuroo Yaku OVA.png
    Although Kuroo and Yaku played against each other in middle school, they didn't officially meet until they joined the volleyball club during their first year of high school. Because Yaku's team had easily beaten Kuroo's team 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, 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 per 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.

Karasuno High

  • Kōshi Sugawara:
    Sugawara Yaku s1 e13.png
    They first met during the Nekoma vs Karasuno practice match when Taketora and Tanaka were causing trouble. 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.
  • Yū Nishinoya:
    Sugawara Yaku Nishinoya s1-e13-1.png
    Yaku first encounters Nishinoya during the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno. After the match had ended, Nishinoya approached Yaku while admitting that he found the Nekoma libero incredibly talented and would not lose to him during their next meeting. Yaku would admit to Sugawara that Nishinoya was the incredible one as he continues to push forward, making him a dangerous threat. During their match at nationals, Yaku and Nishinoya continued to praise one another's plays and are seen shaking hands when the match ended.

Quotes

  • "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 Nekoma, Volume 22 Chapter 199 / The Path of the Ball)

Trivia

  • Favorite food: Stir-fried vegetables.
  • Pre-timeskip Concern: His kouhai are causing him all kinds of worry.
  • Post-timeskip Concern: Being charged as a child in ticketing.
  • In an officially released chart from Monthly Volleyball 2020 August Issue, he is listed as 169 cm and 69 kg in July 2020. However, the final guidebook and the official illustration book both list him as 167 cm and 64 kg, indicating the statistic in the chart is an error.
  • His birthday falls on World Cat Day.
  • His star sign is Leo.
  • 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.[5] In the second, he dropped to 19th with 2,979 votes.[6]
  • Nomenclature
    • Morisuke (衛輔) - Protecting Help
    • Yaku (夜久) - Long Ago Night

References

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