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Shōhei Fukunaga (Japanese: 福永 (ふくなが) 招平 (しょうへい) Fukunaga Shōhei) is a second-year student from Nekoma High. He is one of the boys' volleyball team's wing spikers.

As of 2021, Fukunaga is a comedian and part-time restaurant chef[1]

Appearance

Fukunaga has wide, cat-like eyes with small pupils. He has small eyebrows and short black hair that has notable cowlick stands at the base of his neck. His skin is extremely pale. On multiple occasions, he's shown with his hands in the air, not unlike a manekineko. He is also shown to slouch usually with a relaxed posture. His knees are also bent often making him look a little shorter or hunched over. It is also noted that when doing gestures he often uses both of his hands as seen when he waves, gives a thumbs up, or even the ok symbol. 

Personality

Although he's a regular, he doesn't speak often. He has a few lines in the manga, and says "Yes" and "Okay" in anime. At Nationals he was even described by the announcer as the 'silent big point scorer'. During his first year, he stopped a fight between Yamamoto and Kenma by throwing a bucket of water over them to prevent the situation from escalating. This act caused Fukunaga to receive a lot of praise from his upperclassmen, and the respect of his fellow first years.

He's fond of comedy and often thinks up of funny things to say but never tells anyone else so instead just laughs covertly to himself which sometimes earns him odd looks. Fukunaga is also shown to be very easy going as he usually is not startled or changes his expression unless it is in excitement of the game. During the match with Karasuno, he was even seen listening to the stadium music and seemed unfazed by how the game was going. In a flashback, Fukunaga was shown clapping and cheering an exhausted Kenma, showing that he seems to be supportive and encouraging. 

Background

Not much is known of Fukunaga’s background but it is assumed that he has grown up in Japan and not with any of the people in his grade given that they did not seem familiar with each other at all. In Kenma's flashback of when they were first years, Fukunaga is shown making a pun about an a-pass and catching Kenma and Yamamoto off guard by speaking and then laughing at his own joke. When Kenma and Yamamoto nearly got into an altercation, Fukunaga was able to stop them by throwing a bucket of water on them; earning the admiration and respect of his upperclassmen in the process. This method of stopping Kenma and Yamamoto from fighting would prove handy when Fukunaga is later seen with another bucket of water when his classmates nearly fought again[2].

Plot 

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Fukunaga took part in the practice match between Karasuno and Nekoma. Despite Tanaka’s solid serve during the game’s second rally, Fukunaga makes himself one of the game’s first receivers and does a perfect pass. During Nekoma’s first time-out, Fukunaga does not speak but is seen attentively listening. Though he doesn't stand out, he happens to score a few points for the team and is revealed to have good reflexes in receiving. During the first few chapters of their match, Fukunaga was mostly seen receiving the ball. However, this changed when he did a back attack, which Hinata ended up sloppily receiving and led to Nekoma's point after a quick attack from Kenma and Kuroo.

The other time his abilities were shown was when he was able to receive Asahi's spike head-on. As the match progresses into its second set, all of Nekoma’s hitters, excluding Inuoka and Fukunaga, swarm the net to confuse Karasuno’s blockers as to who Kenma will set to. Despite this, they are all revealed to be decoys for Fukunaga to score behind them as he approaches the net. When it was time for the team to leave, Fukunaga was shown waving his hands to the team though he did not seem to make a strong connection to anyone on Karasuno. 

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Fukunaga is mostly seen taking part in the practice matches and the barbecue.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Nekoma vs Fukurōdani

Fukunaga takes part in Nekoma's match against Fukurōdani to be one of Tokyo's representative teams. Fukunaga is able to score multiple times during the game, mostly being seen spiking and receiving. At one point, his spike makes Sarukui get frustrated at how he always aims at hard-to-reach spots. Later on, Fukunaga fails to cover Lev’s missed spike. Sometime in the second set, Fukunaga makes a spike that Akaashi has trouble with.

Nekoma vs Nohebi

In the match against Nohebi, Fukunaga proves to be one of Nekoma's most reliable players. With his spikes, he is able to throw Nohebi off and begins to make them panic twice if not for their ace, Numai, helping them recover. He is also able to get quite a few good receives. Despite this, two of Fukunaga's spikes are wrongly called to have landed out of bounds when Nohebi players blocked the sight of the ref's in order to gain the points for themselves. Nekoma would eventually win the match and Fukunaga celebrates along with his team, hugging Yaku when being reunited with the team. After this, he is seen watching Itachiyama and Fukurodani's match with the other second years.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Nekoma vs Kiyokawa

With Kenma's help, Fukunaga is able to score the winning point to win the match against Kiyokawa High.

Nekoma vs Sarukawa

A bit far into the second set, Kenma tosses to Fukunaga from the opposite side of the court. Although Fukunaga scores, he still tells Kenma that the set was a bit long, though not sounding too concerned, and Kenma apologizes. The announcers then explain that because Sarukawa was mostly focusing on Lev, it allowed Fukunaga to hit from the left. During the end of the second set, Fukunaga sees Shiramine about to spike his direction and receives it impressively. After Kenma tells the team to send the ball to him, they all proudly assure him that they would do so.

As the match progresses, Kenma sees Fukunaga on the left and trusts his teammate to score. Following this, Kenma tosses to Fukunaga and he manages to score the winning point. After their victory, Fukunaga praises the setter for his toss. When Kenma admits that he sees his teammates as his friends, Fukunaga joins Yamamoto in trying to hug Kenma. When watching Karasuno's match, Fukunaga sits next to Yamamoto and agrees with him being impressed at Atsumu's serve.

Nekoma vs Karasuno

Fukunaga does not stand out much at the start of the match. He would assist Kuroo in stopping Daichi's spike when Karasuno attempts the synchronized attack. After Kuroo would use his block to direct where Asahi's will go, Fukunaga is able to make the counter and score. Thanks to Kuroo helping direct Hinata's next spike, Fukunaga is able to make the receive.

After Tsukishima has rotated into the front row, Fukunaga would attempt to score but finds himself blocked when Tsukishima and Yamaguchi performed the serve and block technique. Despite being blocked, Fukunaga did not appear upset and instead made a pun about Tsukishima's block by saying "Did he just jump or fly? My, my, so fly.". His pun is overheard and confuses one of the ref's[3]. For several plays, Fukunaga is seen saving receives and is the one who would save Asahi's feint shot.

In the second set, Fukunaga is able to receive Kageyama's serve but the power behind it was enough to knock him off his feet. Fukunaga later makes a spike that lands near the back corner on Karasuno's side that none of the Karasuno player are able to save. He then is able to receive Yamaguchi's jump float serve with no problem.

In the third set, Fukunaga once more mostly is seen spiking and receiving. He would later be seen with a look of great surprise when Nishinoya was able to save the ball with the back of his foot and it went back to Nekoma's side to score[4].

When Teshiro is sent in as a pinch server, Fukunaga would jump over a table to save Asahi's spike after it deflected off the block. During a time-out, Kenma's weariness would cause him to start rambling about video game revivals and Fukunaga would be able to get Kenma to laugh a bit when he states that no one dies when playing volleyball. When Nekoma eventually loses the match, Fukunaga is seen walking off the court with a tearful expression.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

Fukunaga is shocked over Karasuno losing a set to Kamomedai. Into the third set, Fukunaga looks shocked once more when seeing Hoshiumi demonstrate excellent skills countless times during the match.

Final Arc

Fukunaga's final appearance of the series is when he is gathered with his former Nekoma teammates at Kenma's home. He has become a comedian and a part-time chef[1].

Statistics

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

While not much of his abilities are shown, Fukunaga appears to be a well-rounded player.

  • Receives: Like his teammates, Fukunaga is skilled in making receives of opponents spikes and serves. He is shown capable of receiving powerful serves from Kageyama and making an overhand receive of Yamaguchi's float serve. Fukunaga is also shown willing to do things such as jump over tables in order to save the ball.
  • Spikes: According to Kai, he can manipulate the trajectory of the ball for each spike he makes, even controlling its trajectory precisely enough to force it to land right directly on the backline of the court. Kenma also stated that Fukunaga is still capable of scoring even if blockers try to stop him. According to the announcers of the game when introducing the line up for the Nationals match against Karasuno, people should be aware of his "phantasmal ball trajectories".
  • Serves: While Fukunaga doesn't have a particularly strong serve, during the national's match against Karasuno, he is able to use his serves to target certain areas and certain players.

Jumping Reach: 315 cm

Relationships

Nekoma High

Fukunaga seems to be on good terms with his team but appears to be closest to Kenma and Yamamoto, most likely due to knowing each other since they joined the volleyball club together as first years. Fukunaga can at times be seen complimenting Kenma for his sets and at one time teasing Yamamoto about possibly being related to Tanaka due to their similar personalities[5].

Quotes

  • "Did he just jump or fly? My my so fly. / Height that exceeds beyond expectations. Expect the unexpected..." (To himself, Volume 34 Chapter 298)
  • "It'll be alright. Volleyball isn't a sport that kills many people per year." (To Kenma, Volume 37 Chapter 323)

Trivia

  • Favourite Food: dried squid.
  • Current Concern: Yamamoto tells him to "Talk more, c'mon."
  • His birthday is on Japan’s Manekineko Day, which is what his design was based off.
  • His star sign is Libra.
  • He shares the same voice actor as Eikichi Chigaya.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Fukunaga placed 20th with 1,048 votes[6]. In the second, he dropped to 37th with 629 votes[7].
  • Nomenclature:
    • Shōhei (招平) - Consistently Invited/Attracted
    • Fukunaga (福永) - Eternal Blessing/Fortune
  • According to Kenma, he makes delicious paella.

References

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