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Naoyasu Kuguri (Japanese: (くぐり) 尚保 (なおやす) Kuguri Naoyasu) is a first year student at Nohebi Academy. He plays on the boys' volleyball team as a wing spiker.

Appearance

Kuguri has light wild spiked up hair that he claims to be bedhead and unintentional. His eyes are down-turned and droopy, framed by slightly thick dark eyebrows. He usually holds a bored or disinterested expression. He is slightly above average height and is one of the taller players on the team. He has a lean but muscular build.

Personality

Kuguri is shown to be an under-active and lethargic individual and is said to be difficult to get fired up. His teammates also claim that he is nearly impossible to read. The Nohebi coach tends to dislike this standoffish behavior Kuguri has towards matches and it is explained that Kuguri's disinterest and emotionless state is one of the reasons why he isn't a Nohebi regular despite the immense potential and talent he holds. However, at the end of the Nohebi vs Nekoma match, he is shown to cry deeply out of frustration for Nohebi's loss.

Background

Kuguri currently attends Nohebi Academy, located in Tokyo Prefecture in the region of Honshū.

Plot

Spring High Preliminaries

Just after Nohebi and Nekoma's match starts, Kuguri is seen picking up balls from outside the court with a blank expression, even after Ōmizu tells him that he is going to have to play instead of Numai due to him having dislocated his thumb[1]. When Ōmizu starts shaking his shoulders to get energy out of him, Kuguri drops the volleyballs he was holding without much care, to then pick them up afterward without complaint.

He still holds his expressionless state when he is going to play against Nekoma as part of the main team and is simply looking in the distance before the match is about to start despite him not being a regular. However, he is still shown participating in Nohebi’s cheer of victory after scoring a point.

During the match, Kuguri is able to dig Kai’s spike after Suguru and Seguro block it. Later on, he bumps a spike from Lev after Seguro fails his block. When Nohebi taunts Nekoma, Kuguri doesn't take part in it, but does not look against it and goes along with Suguru’s plan.

Kuguri OVA 5-1.png

During Lev’s first serve, Kuguri is easily able to dig it due to it being messy and isn't afraid to raise his voice to announce that it is a free ball, which is one of the few times that he used his voice. However, after Lev serves once more, both he and Akama fail to dig it. Despite him showing an average performance in the early portion of the match, Kuguri is able to spike the ball over Kenma and Kuroo's block, having a perfect form, according to Yaku, that the libero almost couldn’t tell where the ball was going to go, in addition to his face being hard to read. Numai praises him for that while watching the match and goes as far as to say that his kouhai is a better player than he is. Even Kenma says that it's useless to try reading him.

Right after Fukunaga scores against Nohebi, Numai yells at them to grab them a ticket to nationals no matter whatever it takes, and his team gets more motivated to win. Kuguri and Hiroo are the only ones whose faces stay indifferent at this[2].

However, Kuguri is unable to hit against Lev’s block during the next round and shows the first sign of a shift of expression on his face afterward, looking surprised. Additionally, after the Nohebi coach tells the team to aim at Yamamoto, Kuguri isn't afraid to raise his hand to tell Ōmizu his observation that Lev tends to wave his arms randomly due to being excited when blocking at times, not like Kuroo, who does it at specific times. Right after the game continued, Lev can't block Kuguri’s spike, but when their roles are reversed later on, Lev’s spike succeeds and Kuguri has a small look of panic on his face.

Despite that, when Kuguri faces Lev’s block once again, he is able to outmatch him in strength and sends the ball flying to Shibayama, but the libero can't dig the ball properly. After that performance, his teammates cheer for him and Kuguri hesitates for a bit before he looks at them with determination.

Naumai and Kuguri OVA 5-1.png

When Kenma serves, aiming for Kuguri, he looks alarmed but manages to dig it. When facing Lev’s block again, the block fails, though he had actually let Kuguri spike in order to manipulate him, which leads to Shibayama receiving and earning Nekoma the winning point. After Nohebi loses, Kuguri doesn't say anything but goes to Numai and apologizes for letting Lev manipulate him and they cry over their loss together. Despite this, Numai is still glad that Kuguri would get frustrated over these kinds of things just as everyone else would[3].

Statistics

High School Statistics
Power
 
3/5
Jumping
 
4/5
Stamina
 
2/5
Game Sense
 
4/5
Technique
 
4/5
Speed
 
2/5

It's been said that since Kuguri has such near perfect form, it's incredibly difficult to tell what type of spike he will attempt. Even Yaku has admitted to having trouble reading Kuguri's form.

Skills

  • Receives: Kuguri is shown to be a talented receiver and is able to make several tricky saves.
  • Spikes: Spiking is said to be Kuguri's strongest skill thanks his spiking form. Thanks to this, he is able to deceive the opposing team fairly easily and was shown to have even given Nekoma a difficult time during the Tokyo Prefectural Qualifiers.

Relationships

Kazuma Numai

While they are not shown interacting much, Kuguri is shown to respect Numai as his upperclassman and the team ace. He is seen acknowledging the praise that Numai gives him during the match against Nekoma when he was able to get clean points. After Nohebi's loss, Kuguri apologized to Numai as he felt he had allowed himself to be tricked by Lev's block.

Quotes

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Soba with wild vegetables
  • Current Concern: "My teachers are angry about my frivolous hairstyle."
  • Star sign: Virgo
  • Kuguri's name, like the rest of Nohebi, comes from the name of a snake. Kuguri may come from shina kukuri hebi (シナククリィヘビ), or the Chinese kukri
  • Nomenclature
    • Naoyasu (尚保) - Still, Peaceful
    • Kuguri (潜) - Waterfall

References

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