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Blocking isn't just the art of stopping the ball... It's the art of smashing it down too.

Satori Tendō (Japanese: 天童 (てんどう) (さとり) Tendō Satori) was a third year student at Shiratorizawa Academy and one of the volleyball team's Middle Blockers. He was often referred to as the Guess Monster (Japanese: ゲス モンスター Gesu monsutā) by other teams.

Tendō currently works as a chocolatier in Paris, France.

Appearance

Tendō has spiky, bright red hair, with eyebrows of a corresponding color. He also has large, downturned eyes giving him a sleepy looking expression. His irises are small and dark red, while the ends of his mouth curve into a slight smirk. He sports the standard Shiratorizawa uniform, is tall standing at 187cm, and has a medium build.

Post time-skip, he mostly appears the same but now has shaved off his hair.

Personality

Tendō is cheerful and loud, though a bit sardonic. He enjoys teasing both his teammates and opponents, usually annoying the latter. However, when he gets into the game, he becomes a different, more intimidating person, relishing the look of defeat on people's faces when they are denied. He is also extremely confident in his blocking abilities, referred to a guess blocking, as his guesses are nearly always correct as a result of his sharp intuition. Nevertheless, throughout the game he learns that his guesses sometimes may not be correct, and Hinata can read through them as well.

Tendō is also often seen by others to be quite creepy or odd. As a child he was picked on for this and sometimes not welcomed to join teams during practice. Becoming a middle blocker seemed to raise his confidence, and now he doesn't seem to mind being perceived this way.

However, he does seem kind and generous on occasions; such as when he asked Ushijima if they could let Hinata sleep in a room at the first years intensive training camp at Shiratorizawa Academy, or trying to cheer up Goshiki when he started crying. Tendō also seems to be quite a good friend, as post time-skip, he even calls Ushijima to check on him, then gives him his own version of words of wisdom when the latter requires a pep talk.

Background

As an elementary school student, he was called a monster for his looks also probably due to the meaning of his name (Satori refers to a Yokai) and was told he couldn't join the volleyball team by other students because of that. Using his method of guess blocking, he was able to block the spike of one of his bullies. This event made him feel happy and he continued to use his unique blocking technique to feel that way again, which faced some opposition from coaches, until high school where Washijō didn't care how he blocked, as long as he was able to score. Since he had a high success rate, he joined the team with little resistance from the coach. Thus, he became part of Shiratorizawa's boys volleyball team and gained a reputation as the Guess Monster.

Plot

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno

In the anime, he is first seen once the Spring High begins[1]. In the manga, he doesn't appear until the Shiratorizawa vs Karasuno match[2].

Shiratorizawa s3-e1-1.png

Tendō entered the stadium with his team for their match against Karasuno. As both sides were warming up, a ball from Karasuno went over to Shiratorizawa's side. Reon picked it up for him and after Hinata left, Tendō teased Reon, saying that Hinata must've nicknamed him "Benkei" due to his looks. While Karasuno is doing their warm-ups, Tendō is one of those to witness Hinata hit a spike straight down. Upon Goshiki proclaiming that Shiratorizawa will surely defeat Karasuno, Tendō praises the younger players confidence. As the match was about to start, Tendō approached Ushijima and reminded him that the team would be counting on him. The members of both teams were soon introduced to the audience and the game finally begins.

For majority of the first set, Tendō is mostly seen attempting to block Karasuno's attackers. After Karasuno was able to counter thanks to Nishinoya receiving Ushijima's serve, Tendō learns from Shirabu that Kageyama is Oikawa's kohai. He takes this information with a mix of amusement and caution. When Hinata finally rotates to the front row, Tendō notices his short height and is surprised that Hinata is actually a middle blocker. When Reon receives Sugawara's serve that had been targeted at Ushijima, Tendō catches Hinata by surprise by performing a delayed spike. When Shiratorizawa is ahead in the score at 20-11, Tendō is preparing to serve when he notices Ushijima is paying attention to Hinata more than anyone else on Karasuno. Once Shiratorizawa won the first set and the team are changing sides, Tendō questions Ushijima if he already knows Hinata. To his surprise, Ushijima answers that he had met Hinata at an earlier time and that the shorter middle blocker would defeat Ushijima. Tendō believes that Ushijima is paying attention to Hinata because of his bold statement but Ushijima corrects him in saying that he actually despises Hinata for his baseless confidence.

As the second set plays out, Hinata is able to catch Shirabu off guard when he does a diagonal jump but the Karasuno middle blocker would not be successful in his attack when Tendō appeared and fully blocked him. Tendō then warns Hinata and Kageyama that they would first have to beat him if they wanted to get to Ushijima[3]. It's at this point that the Karasuno supporters would learn of Tendō's reputation as the Guess Monster. When Reon serves, Tendō enlists Goshiki to help him keep a straight shot cut off but he actually maneuvers himself to block Kageyama as he attempted to get around the block. At Reon's next serve, Tendō catches Kageyama and Asahi share a glance but isn't fooled by this. He easily figures out that Hinata will be attacking and easily blocks him. Tendō relishes in the feeling of how well he is playing, stating that he's playing better than he ever has before.

Tendo 3 s3 e3.png

As Karasuno calls for a time-out Goshiki admits that he thought Asahi would be the next attacker, Tendō explains that the glance had been too obvious and an attempt to trick the blockers. Trying to keep things light, Tendō playfully tells Ushijima that he would be taking the spotlight for a while which didn't seem to bother the ace. At the same time, Ukai would explain to Takeda and the team that Tendō relies on a type of block known as the guess block. For Tendō to use this method of blocking, it requires him to rely on his reading and intuition above all else but will allow him to read and figure out the attack before it even happens. Even though there are times when it could be wrong, Tendō has developed the skill so well that he will rarely be wrong. When the game proceeds, Tendō soon finds himself captivated by Kageyama's flawless setting form that he didn't even react to Hinata spiking right before him. However, he is quick to call out Kageyama on having made Hinata spike the ball right above him on purpose as a form of retaliation.

With Shiratorizawa narrowly keeping the lead at 11-10, Tendō hurries to one side when he notices Kageyama set but is shocked to see that he was tricked into going the opposite direction of where Kageyama had actually set. Tendō next tried to keep up with Hinata when he made a dash to one end of the court but was unable to keep up with the shorter blocker's speed. However, when Tendō appeared like he would follow Hinata again when attempting the same thing, Tendō instead changed direction and quickly rushed into place to get a one-touch on Tanaka's spike. Once Tsukishima moved back into the front, Tendō taunts the first year by calling him 'normal'. Although he succeeded in annoying Tsukishima, the first year immediately got his revenge by easily stopping Tendō's delayed spike. The third year would become infuriated when Tsukishima would claim that the time difference attack would not fool him as easily as it did Hinata. When Yamaguchi is subbed in near the end of the set and it taken out right away when Ushijima scores, Tendō happily sings about how their opponent is surely having their spirit broken but does still see that Tsukishima will be a problem. Shirabu would later set the ball Reon. Although Reon got a feint shot over the block, Daichi was able to save the ball. However, Tendō came out on top when he was able to do a direct spike and put the score at a tie. Eventually, Karasuno reached set point.

Tendo 2 s3 e4.png

Goshiki was easily beaten by Kageyama in a joust but Tendō was able to kick the ball into the air and keep the play alive. However, he soon became distracted when Hinata began moving about the court and thus resulted in Tendō reacting late when he finally realized that Tanaka would be getting the set at the end of the court. Because of his late reaction, Tendō acknowledged Hinata as a top notch decoy.

Tendō is temporarily brought out of the game so that Semi could go in as a pinch server. Although Semi was able to help Shiratorizawa for a while, Kageyama and Hinata were able to perform their super quick off an off receive which shocks the Shiratorizawa team greatly. Eventually, Karasuno was able to win the set when Shirabu failed to send a proper set to Ushijima due to a build up of stress and Tsukishima blocking the ace. Just before the third set begins, Tendō realizes that Tsukishima had purposely left an opening in the block to lure Ushijima into thinking he could get a spike through only to close the gap at the right moment. Even though they lost the set, Tendō is surprised that their coach isn't yelling at them; although at the same time it makes him more nervous that they aren't being yelled at. Tendō does become startled when Washijō calls for Shirabu. Although the setter doesn't get yelled at since he was already aware of his actions, Tendō does lightly tease him for returning to the group in one piece. He still tries to comfort Shirabu by saying that his last set wasn't that bad and the fault of the lost set was due to Tsukishima. However, Shirabu believes otherwise and tries to re-gain his focus.

Tsukishima and Tendo s3-e5-1.png

With the next set underway, Tendō was quick to beat Tsukishima in a joust and comment that the younger blocker was too slow and adds that blocking is all about intuition and the smell of victory as opposed to Tsukishima's belief of blocking being about calculation. When Karasuno launches a synchronized attack, Taichi was able to block Asahi when it's revealed that Taichi eliminated Daichi as being part of the attack since he had received Ushijima's spike. Tendō comments how Taichi's blocking is 'omnivorous'; stating that Taichi naturally relies on read blocking but will switch to guess blocking when he becomes incredibly focused. However, this time, Taichi had used commit blocking. Later on, Tendō is able to block Tanaka. When Reon compliments him on this, Tendō explains that he was able to figure out where to position himself because of the way Tanaka had been standing and from seeing where he was glancing. In the middle of the set, Tendō keeps a close eye on Hinata as he dashes about and watches him head in one direction. Tendō is able to realize that he needs to head in the opposite direction to block Tanaka but wasn't able to complete the block in time.

After Yamaguchi was subbed in and Shiratorizawa attempted to counter, Tendō watched as Taichi attempted to block Tsukishima but was stunned to see the younger blocker use a delayed spike. As Karasuno reached set point, Tendō takes notice of Kageyama's apparent weariness. Since Kageyama has been playing the entire game and has had to keep up with the movements of Hinata and the other players with such precision as well as dealing with the pressure of all the opposing blockers, Tendō guesses that Kageyama is close to reaching his limit. When the score becomes a deuce, Tendō teases Kageyama about having to play at such a time and must certainly be feeling despaired. Kageyama contradicts this and instead says that he will only be upset when he can no longer play volleyball[4]. Tendō soon gets one over on Tsukishima by beating him in a joust again. As the set continues to drag on, Tendō begins to read Kageyama's form more easily as the setter becomes more exhausted. Even though he was in place to block Hinata's spike, the ball landed out of bounds. Kageyama's next toss to Hinata was slightly too short and Tendō felt sure that the Karasuno middle blocker would not be able to score. However, Hinata used his left hand to get the ball over. Tendō tried to reach for the ball but was unable to, resulting in Karasuno winning the set.

Just before the final set starts, the team is warned by Washijō that if they fail to make this last set count he will have the entire team run all the way back to the academy. Tendō whispers to Goshiki that this has happened before and puts the first year on edge. As the teams make their way onto the court, Tendō notices that Kageyama has been subbed out and that Sugawara is now setting for Karasuno. After Tendō blocks Tsukishima's spike and the ball is recovered by Nishinoya, Tendō easily figures out that Sugawara will next set to Asahi. Although he was able to block the Karasuno ace, the ball was hit with enough force that it was sent out of bounds. Tendō remarks that Sugawara is easy for him to read and it was clear that he wouldn't set to someone down the center since a blocker was waiting there. While meaning to bring Sugawara's morale down, Tendō instead is annoyed when Sugawara boasts of how talented Karasuno's attackers are.

A time-out takes place after Karasuno used an all person synchronized attack with Nishinoya as the setter. While Ushijima is commenting how this was the first time he saw such an attack, Tendō points out that Ushijima still obviously has a grudge against Hinata. Tendō suspects that the reason behind this animosity is due to Ushijima not being able to get a solid read on Hinata and the feeling of not understanding something is unnerving; something that Ushijima possibly has not felt before[5]. When Shirabu is forced to make the first receive, Tendō appears like he will attempt a direct spike. With Tsukishima jumping to block, Tendō changes his form and sets to Ushijima. This action will cause Ushijima to declare that he is becoming more fired-up, exciting his teammates greatly. A short time later, Tendō and Shirabu find themselves becoming greatly annoyed by Tsukishima as he has been relentless in his blocking attempts. Regardless, Tendō is still able to easily predict who Sugawara will set to since it's clear that the setter is trying to avoid the blockers. At the end of this attack, it's revealed that Tsukishima's hand was injured when attempting to block Ushijima. As Tsukishima is removed from the game to seek medical treatment, Tendō states that this is chance for Shiratorizawa to take to finish the match.

Tendō is quick to follow his own statement when is able to right away block Narita followed by Sugawara. As he gazes down at Sugawara's defeated expression, Tendō smiles in satisfaction. After Goshiki's cross shot was blocked off and he was forced into hitting a straight that Daichi was able to receive, Tendō had attempted to hit the ball down but Hinata prevented that and kept the ball alive. Immediately after, Tendō watches in annoyance as Karasuno launched another five person synchronized attack. While studying Nishinoya's form and trying to figure out who the libero will set to, Tendō remembers how Sugawara had previously mentioned how Karasuno would attempt the same attack again. At this thought, Tendō realizes that he's fallen into his own demise of overthinking and knows that he will not be able to block anyone. Proving his theory, Tanaka was the one to attack and Tendō was not there to block. This right away gets him yelled at by Washijō who states that he doesn't care if Tendō's guesses are wrong every now and then and just wants him to try to block.

Kageyama is soon returned to the court after resting. After his serve is received and returned to Karasuno's side, Tendō is shocked to watch the setter make a quick set to Hinata from the back row. He attempts to block Hinata's spike but the first year instead had used his downward spike. When Shiratorizawa reached match point and Tsukishima returned from getting medical treatment, Tendō spotted Kageyama attempting a setter dump. Although he was able to get a hand on the ball, it still landed and put the score at a deuce. After Tsukishima is sent back into the game and appears like he will perform a broad attack, Tendō sees that it's a ploy and hurries to the opposite end. As he tried to help Ushijima block, Tanaka was still able to get his spike through and get Karasuno to match point. Karasuno would soon reach match point again at 18-17 but Tendō was able to calm and listen to his instincts. With that, he was able to block Hinata and tie the score.

Tendou9.jpg

Karasuno eventually got back to match point at 20-19. When Hinata attempted a back minus tempo attack, Tendō called out for Taichi to jump to block. With each team continuing to return the ball, Tendō was one of those to notice that Hinata would slow his tempo down in order to join the team for a synchronized attack. Yamagata would be unable to receive Hinata's spike which resulted in Karasuno claiming victory. As his teammates were in shock of the outcome, Tendō quietly bid farewell to his paradise. While doing their cool down stretches, Tendō confesses that he will not be playing volleyball after high school but does look forward to watching Ushijima as he continues to move forward with the hope of being able to brag about being the ace's best friend. Afterwards, the third years would retire from the volleyball team.

Tokyo National Arc

First Year Training Camp

Prior to the Spring Tournament, Tendō joined the rest of the retired Shiratorizawa third years in participating in several practice matches during the First Year Training Camp. When he first noticed Hinata among the other first years, Tendō was quick to declare that he would defeat the middle blocker only for Hinata to instead carry out ball boy duties. He later learned from Hinata that he had not actually been invited to the camp nor was he allowed to join in any matches. Tendō laughed hysterically at learning Hinata had decided to crash the camp and informed Ushijima of the reason Hinata was present at the camp. Tendō continued to help during the camp but also noticed that Hinata was paying attention to Ushijima at several points. One night after a match, Tendō hears Washijō inform Hinata that he would not be allowed to receive food and board since he was not officially invited to the camp. Tendō points out to Ushijima that the camp does have the room to allow Hinata to stay but agreed with Ushijima when he states that Hinata is trying to make opportunities to himself.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

During Karasuno's match against Nekoma, he joins Goshiki in watching the game on Goshiki's tablet. He reveals that Shiratorizawa has played against Inarizaki and Tendō found difficulty in playing against Suna due to getting past Tendō's blocks with his unique torso ability and that he is not fond of the Miya twins[6]. During this time, Tendō admits that he would not like to face off against Nekoma in a game from seeing their incredible defense but finds amusement in watching them play. He also excitedly notes that Karasuno is struggling to get a point in because of Nekoma's defense but also adds that saving a spike isn't always the pinnacle of a flawless defense. Not long after, Tendō noticed how Asahi waited until the blockers started to lower before hitting a spike through. He expresses how Karasuno is a team filled with crazy players but that the super quick combo is the craziest of them all.

As the set continues, Tendō is able to see that Asahi is beginning to feel the pressure of needing to score even though there's a chance that Nekoma could counter. After Asahi was able to get the ball between the blockers and the net, Tendō explains to Goshiki that sometimes it's better to chip away at the block little by little instead of completely powering through. When Kenma was able to trick Karasuno's blockers into blocking him as he changed from a setter dump to a set, Tendō saw that he did this on purpose with a larger plan in mind. After Karasuno lost the first set, Tendō expresses annoyance at hearing the announcers state that Nekoma was able to take the first set from Karasuno; the team that defeated Ushijima.

In the second set, Tendō catches Goshiki pleading for Hinata to get an attack in and points out Hinata's popularity; although Goshiki would try to deny that he was supporting the Karasuno middle blocker[7]. In the third set, Tendō becomes excited at the sight of Inuoka being returned to the game. Like everyone watching, Tendō would show great shock at how Nekoma lost the match. He then playfully comments to Goshiki that if he were to ever face Nekoma in the future to not hit numerous serves out of bounds.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

To Goshiki's dismay, Tendō and Shirabu have gathered in Goshiki's dorm room to watch Karasuno play against Kamomedai. When Hinata use the combination of his new jump and the minus tempo to spike past Hirugami, Tendō is incredibly surprised at seeing the new attack and later shows annoyance when Hinata tried the attack a second time. When Tsukishima managed to dodge a block-out attempt by Hoshiumi, Tendō is shown with a surprised expression. He theorizes that because Kamomedai has now witnessed Tsukishima dodge a spike and seeing Hinata has a new attack, Tendō surmises that Kamomedai will now have a lot more to worry about. In the third set, Tendō listens in amusement as Goshiki admits how effective Hinata is as a decoy and Shirabu lecture him about how only the best hitters are truly good decoys and asking if the first year wing spiker would really stand a chance if he and Hinata went head-to-head against one another. The middle blocker would continue to watch the match and watched when Hinata was discovered to be suffering from a high fever and is removed from the game. He continued to watch until Karasuno eventually lost.

Final Arc

During flashbacks, Tendō is shown to have seen news articles of Ushijima having struggled during the world league games[8]. He calls Ushijima to see if there was anything troubling him and learns that Ushijima became upset after a young boy told him that volleyball was boring. Although amused at first, Tendō sees that this affected Ushijima and states that Ushijima must first become even better at the sport which will help bring more attention to it; having stated that no one will pay attention to lame players who just try really hard. This was enough to help motivate Ushijima to become even stronger. Tendō has since become a chocolatier in Paris, France. During a television show, Tendō and Ushijima were shown to have met in Paris one night. Tendō bragged about how the two have known each other for a while and had gone to nationals many times while on the volleyball team. The two would then confirm that they are best friends[9].

Statistics

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

Tendō believes that blocking isn't the art of stopping an opponent, but is the art of knocking down the ball.

He is an extremely skilled blocker who bases his blocks on his intuition and reading, which is known as guess blocking. In other words, he reads the attack before the toss is thrown and jumps almost entirely on intuition; his guesses are usually always accurate. No matter how minuscule the opponents' signals (glances, leg movements, ball handling, etc.) are, as soon as Tendō discovers them, he will be able to block all the spikes. What's more, he usually intends to "commit block" all of his opponents and uses his blocks to score points and won't let the opponent get the chance to attack. He stated that about "since spikers look toward a spot to find the target of the intended spike", which make many spiker's attacks a telegraph to him.

He also has incredibly quick reflexes and once used his foot to save a ball. He did the same during the final of Nationals Qualifiers to stop Hinata's Diagonal spike.

Jumping Reach: 327 cm

Relationships

Shiratorizawa Academy

Tendō gets along with almost everyone on the team due to his easy-going nature. He calls Ushijima by his first name, but the latter doesn't seem to mind. Not only Ushijima, but Tendō also prefers calling the rest of his teammates by their given name. Tendō is also usually the person in charge of breaking up disputes between the kōhais, namely Shirabu and Goshiki. Despite his lax nature, he has been shown to be nit-picky when it comes to Kawanishi's blocking.

Wakatoshi Ushijima

Ushijima and Tendo s3-e7-1.png

Tendō admires Ushijima's spiking form and often gives friendly gestures towards him. However, when Tendō talks to Ushijima, their conversations are very one-sided due to Ushijima's simplistic nature and Tendō's enthusiasm. This doesn't stop Tendō from becoming close friends with the ace. As such, Tendō appears to understand Ushijima better than others do to the point where he believed Ushijima did not like Hinata because the first year was so unpredictable and the ace did not like something he was not familiar with. After Shiratorizawa lost, Tendō comments that he looks forward to seeing Ushijima continue his volleyball career and being able to say he is friends with him. The two remain close over the years and Tendō was even able to help Ushijima after his difficult game in the world league. When the two appear in a documentary, they confirm to be best friends.

Eita Semi

Tendō and Semi seem to have a banter-based friendship. Tendō occasionally calls Semi by his nickname "Semisemi," much to the latter's dismay. Tendō teases Semi about his fashion sense and Semi is critical of his forwardness. Despite this, the two of them keep each other in check when either gets riled up too much. It is shown after the time skip that the two still keep in contact.

Quotes

  • "Jump towards the direction that smells like satisfaction." (To himself, Season 3 Episode 9)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Chocolate ice cream.
  • Current Concern: None of his teammates want to talk to him about Shōnen Jump.
  • His star sign is Taurus.
  • Even though he thought the movie was scary, Tendō watched The Ring because he thought the actress who played Sadako was cute.
  • During a Haikyū! manga extra, he named a blocking move Shooting Star but it was shown to be unsuccessful.
  • He has the second smallest appetite out of all the characters in the series.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Satori (覚) - Consciousness; refers to a mythical creature that can read minds
    • Tendō (天童) - Heaven Child

References