Nobuyuki Kai (Japanese: (かい) 信行 (のぶゆき) Kai Nobuyuki) is a third-year student from Nekoma High. He is the boys' volleyball team's vice-captain and a wing spiker. As of 2021, Kai is a gardener and arborist[1]

Appearance

Kai has jet black hair shaved into a buzzcut, somewhat thick eyebrows, and full lips. His eyes are heavy lidded, giving him a relaxed and approachable appearance. Whenever shown, he's usually beside Yaku or not too far behind him. He wears the jersey number 2.

Personality

Kai is a calm, collected, and peaceful person who is mostly in the background, giving him the role as Nekoma's vice captain. He doesn't talk much, but when he does, he's always polite. He's a very calm person in general.

Background

Kai joined the Nekoma volleyball club in his first year, along with Yaku and Kuroo. He is shown to have put up with their squabbling, and when the first years were asked to state their goals in the club, he went along with what they said, which was to dominate nationals.

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Kai is introduced along with the rest of the Nekoma volleyball club during the practice match with Karasuno. During the match, he appears to face off with Daichi in being solid receivers but the two seem to become friends after the match.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Kai mostly appears during the practice matches.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Nekoma vs. Fukurōdani

Kai participates in the match between Nekoma and Fukurōdani.

Nekoma vs. Nohebi

Kai plays with Nekoma against Nohebi. When Yaku injures his ankle, Kai is shown being concerned but follows Kuroo's lead that they should continue to push through and do everything they can to win the last spot to represent Tokyo for the Spring Tournament.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Nekoma vs. Kiyokawa

Kai is seen being able to get solid receives against Kiyokawa's ace.

Nekoma vs. Sarukawa

The night before, Kai tells Yaku to have more faith in their juniors as he is skeptical about them getting to nationals the next year. When hearing Kuroo explain Kenma growing to enjoy volleyball, Kai concludes that Kenma would have quit if he didn't like it. As Yaku remarks that Kenma's gotten more determined after meeting Karasuno, specifically Hinata, Kai confirms this. After their conversation about Kenma ends, Yaku and Kuroo get into a short argument and Kai apologizes to the people around them.

During the match, Kai notices Sarukawa doing a feint and he gets praised by the announcers. Near the end of the second set, Kai is set to as Kenma notices that Sarukawa has caught on to his strategy. After Kenma tells the team to send the ball to him, they all proudly assure him that they would do so. After their victory, Kuroo and Kai tease Kenma to him admitting that he cares about the team.

Nekoma vs. Karasuno

For majority of the first and second set, Kai is mostly seen taking part in receives and blocking; most notably he is seen tasked with trying to receive as many of Kageyama's serves as possible. At the end of the second set, Kai is subbed out for Inuoka, so that the first-year could assist Lev in trying to block Hinata. Kai would return to the game at the start of the third set and would right away be the one to receive Kageyama's second serve.

Kai comes out of the game in the third set as Inuoka is subbed in again. Kai finally compliments Inuoka's receives after having held back from doing so during the second set. He is subbed back into the game later on. Kai then attempts to save the ball when Kenma is unable to make the set because of the sweat covering the ball, but is unable to reach it. After the teams shake hands, Kai voices his gratitude for having gotten to play with Kuroo and Yaku for the last three years; causing the two to burst into tears.

Nationals (Post Nekoma vs Karasuno)

During Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai, Hoshiumi impressively receives Tsukishima’s spike after having been set to perfectly and Kai is impressed but worried at how good his receiving skills are.

Final Arc

Kai's final appearance of the series is when he reunites with his former teammates at Kenma's house. After high school, Kai became a gardener and arborist.

Statistics

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

Not much of his abilities have been shown so far, but Kai appears to be a stable player like the rest of the team. He is flexible and very good at receiving and digging.

Jumping Reach: 309 cm

Relationships

Nekoma High

He has a good relationship with his teammates and gets along with everyone, especially Kuroo and Yaku.

Morisuke Yaku and Tetsurō Kuroo

Kai became fast friends with the two during their first years. They joined the volleyball club together and were often with one another, though Yaku and Kuroo would argue with each other all the time.

Quotes

  • "There's not many people out there who'd believe 100% that they're the ones to win. Maybe 'belief' isn't quite the right word here. There are people who are crazy about victory. (Volume 37 Chapter 327)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Sea grapes
  • Current Concern: He does have some trivial concerns, but he figures that as long as you're alive, things will work themselves out one way or another.
  • His star sign is Aries.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Kai placed 34th with 324 votes.[2] He did not rank in the second poll[3].
  • Nomenclature:
    • Nobuyuki (信行)
      • 信 - Trust
      • 行 - Go
    • Kai (海) - Sea

References

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