I won't lose when it comes to attacking!

Sō Inuoka (Japanese: 犬岡 (いぬおか) (そう) Inuoka Sō) is a first-year student from Nekoma High. He was initially one of the team's middle blockers. Later, he switches to a wing spiker after his position as a regular player was taken by Lev. As of 2021, he works as a childcare professional[1]

Appearance

Inuoka has a rather large build for a first-year and is amongst the tallest players on Nekoma's team. Hinata dubs him lanky in their first match together before knowing his name. He has spiked upwards brown hair and identical brown eyes. In the manga, his appearance the same, with exceptions for his hair being blonde and his eyes being amber.

Personality

Inuoka has a very bright, bouncy personality that is similar to Hinata's. It has been mentioned by Coach Naoi and Kenma that he isn't very smart. Although he is very serious when playing volleyball, he is also really passionate about his position as a middle blocker. Inuoka almost always gives off a very positive and happy vibe when he is around. He is also shown to be very caring and encouraging towards his teammates.

Background

Not much is known about Inuoka's background, but he has played as a middle blocker during his time in middle school.

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Inuoka first appears during a practice match Nekoma has before their match against Karasuno. After the first practice match, Yamamoto tries to make a bet with Inuoka and Shibayama about whether or not Karasuno has a female manager. He later is seen in the background when Kenma and Hinata reunite and when Kiyoko is revealed to be Karasuno's manager.

In the practice match against Karasuno, Inuoka first takes notice of Hinata's short stature but did not underestimate him because of this. Inuoka is later chosen by Kenma to follow Hinata to block his spikes since he was the best fit for it. After getting used to Hinata's spikes, Inuoka is able to completely block them. He was noted by Coach Nekomata to be a true rival to Hinata because of the way they each push each other to reach new levels. After the match, Inuoka and Hinata happily introduced themselves to one another and talk about each others skills while excitedly babbling in gibberish.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

During the summer training camps, Inuoka is revealed to have been replaced as a starting regular by his teammate, Lev Haiba. Because of this, he is now mostly seen supporting the team from the sidelines with the rest of the Nekoma team.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Nekoma vs. Fukurōdani

Inuoka is shown supporting the team during the game against Fukurōdani.

Nekoma vs. Nohebi

During the match against Nohebi, Inuoka tries to keep the team in high spirits when they look to be concerned about how the match is going. He is seen helping Yaku and Kuroo when they each were injured.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Nekoma vs. Kiyokawa

With Shibayama and Lev, Inuoka praises the team for their receives against their opponent.

Nekoma vs. Sarukawa

During the match' first set, Lev asks Inuoka why an underhand wouldn't make things easier. Inuoka simply answers that it would be difficult to hit and further explains that an overhand pass is faster. Additionally, he cheers for his teammates throughout the match.

Karasuno vs. Inarizaki

Inuoka is referred back to when Ukai requests Hinata to mark Osamu as Inuoka did Hinata during Nekoma's first practice march against Karasuno. However, Inuoka does not seem to notice Hinata doing this as he watches the match. After Nekoma's victory against Sarukawa, Inuoka and Shibayama are impressed at Inarizaki's cheer squad. Seeing Atsumu's jump floater and before that, his silencing of the crowd, Shibayama, and Inuoka are intimidated. Next to Lev, Nekoma's middle blockers, including Inuoka, are prepared to see Tsukishima block Suna but are proven wrong when Suna scores past him instead. Though the two are impressed by Suna's perfect block nevertheless.

Nekoma vs. Karasuno

During the game against Karasuno, Inuoka is subbed into the game during the second set to assist Lev in blocking Hinata. Following Kenma's warning of how Hinata is able to stay in the air longer, Inuoka is able to successfully block Hinata's spike. After Hinata is able to get a spike past the Nekoma blockers, Inuoka is shown to stay on the court instead of being subbed out right away. It's at this time that a flashback reveals that Coach Nekomata had recommended Inuoka to become a wing spiker since Lev was going to be given the regular starting position.

After Karasuno wins the second set, Inuoka is subbed back out and Kai is returned to the court. He is later brought back mid-way into the third set and again focuses on trying to block Hinata. However, he fails at a block when Hinata manages to shoot a spike through the open space between his arms; what Lev refers to as a Bonsai Block. Inuoka later nearly succeeds in gaining a point for Nekoma but Hinata eventually manages to get the point for Karasuno instead and is once again subbed out later on. For the rest of the match, he cheers for Nekoma from the sidelines and afterwards in shown crying when they lose.

Final Arc

Inuoka is seen joining the Nekoma team at Kenma's home. He has become a childcare professional.

Statistics

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

As stated by Kenma, Inuoka is the most agile on the team. However, once Lev comes in, his overall skill isn't enough to retain his spot as a regular. Like the rest of his team, he is flexible and really good at receives and digs.

Jumping Reach: 333 cm

Relationships

Nekoma High

  • Yūki Shibayama: Inuoka and Shibayama are often shown cheering together for their team on the sidelines and they seem to be on good terms due to them both being first years.
  • Lev Haiba: Despite having being replaced by Lev as Nekoma's starting middle blocker, Inuoka does not hold a grudge against Lev. In fact, because the two are so similar (they both are first year middle blockers and have similar personalities) they get along quite well. Additionally, they are often seen watching matches together when Lev gets rotated out, and especially during nationals, Inuoka explains a lot of strategic decisions to Lev that he doesn't understand because of his inexperience. Inuoka has shown hurt from having been replaced as a middle blocker, though he acknowledges it is in for the making of a better team. However, this has motivated him to work harder as an opposite hitter and they show good teamwork when he is subbed in to aid Lev in Nekoma's match against Karasuno to block Hinata.

Karasuno High

  • Shōyō Hinata:
    Hinata and Inuoka s1-e12-1.png
    Hinata and Inuoka first meet at the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno. Though Inuoka noticed Hinata's short height, he did not underestimate him and, like the rest of his team, was taken by surprise by Hinata's quick attack. After the Nekoma and Karasuno match, Inuoka and Hinata began to compliment each other's talents, using mostly their own language of gibberish and excitedly jumping up and down. Later, Hinata remarks that his spikes were blocked because "Inuoka is too awesome!"

Quotes

  • "I'm also going to work harder so that I can become a regular, too!" (Haikyū!! OVA)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Fried chicken and rice
  • Current Concern: "I'll eat and eat but still feel hungry!"
  • His birthday is Japan's Dog Day. It can also be noted that "Inu" can mean dog in Japanese.
  • His star sign is Scorpio.
  • Inuoka was the first to stop Hinata's quick attack.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Inuoka placed 32nd with 360 votes.[2] In the second, he dropped to 38th with 621 votes.[3]
  • Nomenclature:
    • Sō (走) - Run
    • Inuoka (犬岡) - Dog Hill

References

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