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Motivation? What more do you need than pride?

Tadashi Yamaguchi (Japanese: 山口 (やまぐち) (ただし) Yamaguchi Tadashi) is a first year student at Karasuno High. He plays on the boys volleyball team as a middle blocker and pinch server. During his third year, he became the team captain.

He is currently a college student and is planning to work for a home electronics company in Miyagi once he graduates. 

Appearance

He has dark grayish-green hair with a flyaway piece of hair sticking up at the top. He has large eyes with small, amber colored pupils. Yamaguchi is taller than average and has a thin build. This, coupled with his freckles, had caused him to be bullied when he was younger[1]; although he doesn't seem to be bothered by this anymore.

After joining the Karasuno volleyball team during games, Yamaguchi wears Karasuno's black, orange, and white uniform with the number 12 on the back. He also wears knee pads and white volleyball shoes with black accents. Outside of matches and practice, Yamaguchi wears a black gakuran, the Karasuno uniform.

By his third year of high school, Yamaguchi is shown to have cut his hair to a shorter length. He kept this look after the time-skip.

Personality

Yamaguchi is a pretty shy person who relies on others early on; most likely stemmed from being bullied because of his appearance. Despite this, Yamaguchi is generally a nice person but does tend to join Tsukishima in teasing others; mainly Kageyama and Hinata. He does show that he is a loyal friend and a supportive teammate. Yamaguchi can at times be seen defending Tsukishima from things he believes were insults toward his friend.

Originally, Yamaguchi constantly doubted his abilities and had difficulty handling his nerves. It was through hard work and seeking mentorship through Shimada that he was able to better his skills and become more confident. By the time Karasuno had their re-match against Aoba Johsai in the semi-finals, Yamaguchi has made exceptional progress in both his game play and emotions.

Background

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Back in elementary school, Yamaguchi was teased for his freckles and overall scrawniness. Once Tsukishima unintentionally saved him from some boys who bullied him by calling them pathetic. Despite thinking that he was included among the ones Tsukishima insulted, Yamaguchi still grew attached to him and looked up to him, he set his goal to become "as cool as him". He is later revealed to want to join a sports club but decided against soccer and basketball because the other players were 'big and scary' and volleyball seemed the safer choice. From this, he and Tsukishima grew to become close friends.

Yamaguchi was with Tsukishima when he attended a Karasuno volleyball match and Tsukishima's brother, Akiteru, was revealed to not be on the team.

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Yamaguchi and Tsukishima provoke Hinata and Kageyama.

Yamaguchi and Tsukishima join Karasuno Boys’ Volleyball Club a few days after it begins for the new school year[2]. That evening, they visit Hinata and Kageyama at the field where they’re practicing. Tsukishima mocks the two while Yamaguchi stands off to the side, smirking along. When Hinata asks about Tsukishima’s height, Yamaguchi answers for him, irritating Tsukishima. On the way home after this, Yamaguchi asks Tsukishima if something's wrong and Tsukishima angrily replies that he hates hot-blooded people like the other two first-years.

3-on-3 First Years ​Match

Yamaguchi apologizes to Tsukishima.

On the day of the match, Tsukishima begins by insulting Kageyama and Hinata and Yamaguchi hurriedly warns Tsukishima, only for the latter to retort that he’s using provocation on purpose. Yamaguchi doesn’t show much of his abilities during this match as Daichi covers the receives and Tsukishima covers the blocks. In the end, his team loses to Kageyama and Hinata's[3].

At the end of the match, Yamaguchi calls out to Tsukishima worriedly as Hinata attacks him in an attempt for a handshake. Yamaguchi gets his team jacket, officially making the team, and hesitantly poses with Tanaka and the other upperclassmen. Later when the team is discussing how to play against Aoba Johsai, Yamaguchi is shown to be upset that he is the only first-year that is not playing a critical role in the practice match.

Aoba Johsai Practice Match

He is seen with KageyamaTsukishima, and Tanaka intimidating Yahaba and Kindaichi upon their arrival to Aoba Johsai and hearing the two talking about the team. He does not play in the match but shows support from the sidelines. He would become fearful when Tōru Oikawa arrived to the match and began aiming his serves at Tsukishima.

Karasuno Neighborhood Association Match

Yamaguchi asks Shimada to teach him the float serve.

Yamaguchi didn't participate in the match but was shown to be captivated at the sight and effectiveness of Shimada's jump float serve. He would later approach Shimada and ask him to teach him how to do a jump float serve as he did not want to be the only first year not contributing to the team.

Nekoma Practice Match

Yamaguchi is one to agree with Tsukishima ridiculing their other rookie teammates for their competitive behavior over something as silly as racing to the bath. During the game, Nekoma’s points have been behind Karasuno’s. Despite this, Yamaguchi becomes worried once they manage to catch up to them. When Sugawara becomes surprised at Hinata trying to open his eyes for his quick set, Yamaguchi becomes confused.

Interhigh Arc

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Before the match is about to begin, Karasuno warms up. Yamaguchi is practicing his serve and Takinoue, who is watching, notices Yamaguchi and asks Shimada next to him how he’s doing as his apprentice. Shimada reminds Takinoue that they’ve only been practicing together for a week, but also tells him that Yamaguchi would manage a successful serve as a fluke from time to time, but acknowledges that it’ll take some time before he can make them with consistency. During the match, Yamaguchi notices that Kageyama is acting differently from his habitual self. After Sugawara is subbed in for Kageyama, Hinata is delighted that he gets to stay on the court longer than Kageyama, and at this, Yamaguchi holds his teammate back, afraid that Hinata gets them a warning.

During the third set, Yamaguchi notices that Hinata is eager to go out and play, and he tries to stop him from getting Karasuno a warning. Despite this, internally, Yamaguchi admits that he also wants to get out of the warm-up zone and play. Yamaguchi is still eager to play even when seeing his exhausted teammates. However, when Yamaguchi is subbed in as a pinch server, he is extremely nervous. He relaxes when seeing his teammates cheering for him but tenses when looking at Aoba Johsai on the other side of the court. As he serves, he surprises Iwaizumi and Oikawa with a jump floater but fails the serve and he holds back tears as he subbed out.

Yamaguchi being consoled and advised by Shimada after Karasuno's loss at the Interhigh

Later, he talks with Shimada about the match. Yamaguchi confesses he is aware that he does not possess skills or abilities similar to those of the other first-years but still wishes to become better in order to stay on the court longer.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Throughout the Arc, he is seen multiple times practicing his float serve, mostly with his teacher Shimada, or Nishinoya.

When Kageyama and Hinata have trouble studying he is the one to convince Tsukishima to help them and is later seen joining in the study group. When Yachi is first introduced to the Karasuno players as a possible new manager, Yamaguchi thinks of her as "cute". He then recommends Hinata to ask her for help studying since she is in an advanced class and could possibly help them in subjects that he is not that good in.

During the training camps in Tokyo, he would mostly focus on trying to improve his serve and at one point asks Tsukishima if he wanted to join in extra practice but was rejected. He then asks if Tsukishima is going to practice anything by himself to which Tsukishima declines as well. Yamaguchi, worried about Tsukishima's lack of motivation, later asked Hinata how he would speak to Tsukishima about his involvement with the club. Hinata answers that he wouldn't say anything since he can't even tell if Tsukishima truly enjoys playing volleyball in the first place. Yamaguchi explains that he thinks Tsukishima doesn't hate volleyball, since he wouldn't have come to Karasuno otherwise and is asked by Hinata how he himself would speak to Tsukishima.

A while later, Yamaguchi is alone in the bathroom when he recalls how he first met Tsukishima in grade school. He was being picked on by a group of kids for his freckles and smaller stature when Tsukishima passed by and saw what was happening, calling the whole thing pathetic. Although Yamaguchi wasn't sure if Tsukishima was including him in the insult, he still admires him for being able to stand up to the bullies. Later, he meets Tsukishima heading to volleyball practice. He tells him that he came to check out volleyball since it seemed safer than other sports because there wasn't as many 'big and scary' people playing. At noticing Tsukishima's shoes, Tsukishima tells him about his brother which sends Yamaguchi into a fit of excitement at hearing Tsukishima's brother was the ace of Karasuno. However, with Akiteru's final game approaching and neither of them having seen him play, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima plan to sneak to the last game when one of their classmates makes the claim that Akiteru is not the ace and not even part of the team. Tsukishima, refusing to believe this, goes to the game to prove their classmate wrong but the two are soon forced to accept the truth when they see Akiteru not on the court but with the cheering section.

Yamaguchi confronts Tsukishima

With his mind made up, Yamaguchi decides to confront Tsukishima. He tells him that he has always admired his height, intelligence, and coolness, but that his lack of trying to improve makes him "lame". When Tsukishima asks him how one can still give his best even though the chances of ever becoming the very best are almost non-existent, Yamaguchi, remembering his failed serve against Seijoh, angrily exclaims "What else do you need besides pride?". Tsukishima, is impressed as his friend's sudden boldness and cool for the first time before he heads off to talk with someone who can give him more insight on their motivation. After this, Yamaguchi returns to the gym Karasuno is practicing in and asks Hinata if he sees Tsukishima as a rival. Hinata answers that he does since he believes that Tsukishima has everything that he himself doesn't. The following day, Karasuno is playing against Fukurōdani while Bokuto seeming to be playing at his peak. Yamaguchi and the others become surprised when Tsukishima reveals a plan to slow the ace down and manage to intimidate him to switch from a spike to a feint at the last minute. Yamaguchi now sees that Tsukishima is finding his own motivation to play volleyball.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Karasuno vs Kakugawa

Shortly before their match against Kakugawa, Yamaguchi and the others see Hyakuzawa walk past. Along with Tsukishima and Yachi, Yamaguchi begins comparing the height differences between Hyakuzawa and Hinata, angering the shorter middle blocker with their mathematical findings.

Although he does not play in this match, he is shown to narrowly miss being hit by one of Hyakuzawa’s spikes during the warm-ups, which leaves him being fearful. After the preliminaries, Yamaguchi is seen continuing to work on his serve and finally managing to perform a float serve that Nishinoya is unable to receive.

Karasuno vs Johzenji

Yamaguchi mostly supports the team during the match as he does not participate in any plays. When Kageyama received a nose bleed from having gotten hit with the ball when trying to block a spike, Yamaguchi escorts the setter to the medical station and quickly returns to the game after.

Karasuno vs Wakutani Minami

Tadashi s2 e17 1.png

A short while after Daichi was removed from the game to receive medical attention, Yamaguchi gets switched in. He is once again very nervous even though Tsukishima and Ennoshita try to cheer him up. Despite their efforts, Yamaguchi is still on edge, which is evident when he flinches at the sound of the whistle. This results in his serve toss being too low and the ball barely getting over the net. Although the serve still scores a point and his first service ace, Yamaguchi again becomes too worried and hits his next serve without jumping in order to get it over safely. Karasuno still scores the point and wins the set but Yamaguchi is visibly upset about backing down. Ukai, who is returning from helping an injured Daichi, angrily walks up to him, ready to give him a lecture, but Ennoshita steps in. He explains that Yamaguchi already knows better than anyone else of what he's done. 

In the stands, Shimada explains to Saeko that a jump serve offers much more speed and efficiency and that Yamaguchi's only option to fight on equal grounds with his teammates is to give it his all with his best and only weapon. After the match, Yamaguchi leaves the rest of the team for unknown reasons.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Just before the match, a nervous Yamaguchi tells Yachi about his failure during the last match against Seijoh which is causing him to worry about making the same mistake again. Instead of thinking that talking about this would make him feel better, Yamaguchi becomes frightened when he unintentionally makes Yachi nervous instead. 

During a 23-19 lead by Seijoh in the second set, Yamaguchi silently urges Ukai to switch him in. A flashback is shown of Yamaguchi seeking out Ukai after the Wakutani game to apologize for backing down during his serve, even though Ukai had already expressed his opinion on this during the Fukurōdani training match when Asahi did not do a jump serve in order to play it safe. He asks him to give him another chance and promises that he will make it count.

Group s2 e22 1.png

Back to the Seijoh match, Yamaguchi is switched in and gets told by Hinata to score ten points. On his note that that would end the match, Hinata tells him that he would forgive him. As he gets ready to serve another flashback show Shimada reminding him that he should wait some of the allowed eight seconds after the whistle to calm him. The referee gives the signal and Yamaguchi is able to stay calm and deliver his serve.

The ball looks to be heading out but curves downwards at the last moment, turning into a service ace. The team celebrates him and Tsukishima notes that his serve wasn't surprising, given all the work and practice he put in over the last several months. Yamaguchi's second serve curves once again, hitting Kyōtani in the arm and scoring another service ace. Although the third serve is returned via an overhand receive by Hanamaki, Yamaguchi receives Iwaizumi's spike with his shoulder and Tsukishima scores the point. Tsukishima hands Yamaguchi the ball with the encouragement to score again. After a time-out from Seijoh, hits his fourth serve. This time, Yamaguchi decides for a more offensive approach by aiming for the top of the net, which gets him his third service ace. His fifth serve has a loose spin and doesn't change direction, but Asahi still scores a point off the returning ball. Even though his sixth serve turns out good, Seijoh returns it and scores, finally stopping Yamaguchi's streak. Off court, he is complimented by the coach and his teammates and tells Hinata that he will score ten points next time.

After a strong serve from Oikawa, Yamaguchi compares his serves to that of the Seijoh captain, admiring his power and accuracy even during a tense situation. In the final set, he gets switched in once more. He hits another curving float serve, but Seijoh barely manages to pick it up and score. Oikawa is internally amazed by Yamaguchi's progress and Ukai compliments him once more, saying that it was a great serve that could only be stopped because of Seijoh's very strong play. Eventually, Karasuno was able to win the match and Yamaguchi joins his teammates in celebrating their victory.

Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa

Like many of his teammates, Yamaguchi becomes incredibly nervous at the thought of facing the reigning champion team of the prefecture. During the middle of the first set, Yamaguchi gets alarmed when he sees that Tsukishima’s finger was slightly injured and when expressing his concern, he makes his sentences rhyme which annoys Tsukishima. As the set is wrapping up, Yamaguchi is subbed in and manages to score. During the second set, Karasuno is informed of Tendō’s read blocks. Yamaguchi wonders how Kageyama could do to keep his setting being kept from being read, and sarcastically suggests that he does some kind of crazy dance. Shortly after, Yamaguchi would try sending “subtle” signs to Ukai to indicate to him that he wants to play. When he is finally subbed in, Yamaguchi tells himself that he doesn’t have the confidence to tell Tsukishima Hinata’s line to Kageyama about being the greatest when he’s around but he knows that at least he’s come far enough that he can help Tsukishima. When the rally goes to Shiratorizawa, Yamaguchi leaves the court, upset.

After Tsukishima wins Karasuno their first set, Yamaguchi is happy. He then tells Sugawara that he expected Tsukishima to do something like that because of his competitive nature. Near the end of the third set, Yamaguchi is subbed in but his serve goes out. Near the end of the third, Sugawara, Yamaguchi, and Narita talk about how Ushijima confronted Hinata. Yamaguchi and Narita think that Ushijima was being too hard and that Hinata was just playing the victim, but Sugawara retaliates by telling them that anyone who would’ve been hurt by such comments would never have gotten as far as Hinata did. When Tsukishima is subbed in for Hinata, Yamaguchi tries to motivate his friend by yelling not to let Hinata surpass him, but this only annoys Tsukishima.

Yamaguchi would then be subbed in as pinch server. Yamaguchi aims at Ushijima, but his serve instead goes to Reon. However, Ukai already had a retaliation to counter this, and this was to at least make Shiratorizawa badly pass the ball, and in turn, Ushijima’s passes would be rough as well. However, when Yamaguchi serves again, Ushijima smashes the ball right past him. During the fifth set, Yamaguchi is subbed in again. He plans to aim at Ushijima, but the ball touches the net. At his third serve, Yamaguchi’s serve is too long. However, Goshiki does not notice this and tries to receive the ball but it goes out. Following Karasuno’s victory, Yamaguchi tries to make Tsukishima feel better about being upset over only having blocked Ushijima once.

Tokyo Nationals Arc

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When the team is having their measurements done, Yamaguchi reveals to Hinata that he has grown and is currently 180 cm. He would go on to congratulate Tsukishima for finally making it just over the 190 cm mark but would be startled when Tanaka tackled Tsukishima in annoyance of the first-year's height. As the team is measuring their spiking heights, Yamaguchi assists Yachi when she is determining the measurements.

When Takeda announces that Kageyama was invited to the All-Japan Youth Camp, Yamaguchi expresses great surprise at the news and would show joy when Tsukishima was invited to the First Year training camp at Shiratorizawa Academy. After one night of practice, Yamaguchi tells Tsukishima how he would like to attend the youth camp and Tsukishima jokingly suggests that he should crash the camp; the two being unaware that Hinata was listening to their conversation. On the first day of the respective camps, Ennoshita informs the team that Hinata had been caught at Shiratorizawa which left Yamaguchi and many others speechless at his actions.

During the week, Yamaguchi is mostly seen working on his jump float serve and begins to form a sort of one-sided rivalry with Kinoshita when it was becoming apparent that Kinoshita's jump float serves were starting to rival his own and even at times getting by Nishinoya. After Kageyama, Hinata, and Tsukishima return, Karasuno has a practice match against Date Tech. During that time, Yamaguchi would be overwhelmed at seeing Date Tech's newly improved blocking. While his eagerness to get into the match was noticed by Ukai, the first-year would not take part in the match as a pinch server.

Eventually, the team heads to Tokyo for the Spring Tournament. When Ukai presents the team with a video comprised of their best moments made by Takinoue, Yamaguchi would tell Yachi that it made him feel more relaxed when she asked why he was not joining the other first-years during a run. The next day, the team would have to leave their warm-up early due to the game before them ending sooner than expected.

During a brief period when Hinata made a run to the bathroom, Yamaguchi volunteered to watch his belongings but was momentarily distracted and didn't notice a young boy accidentally taking Hinata's bag containing his sneakers. When the discovery is later made, Yamaguchi blamed himself for the mishap but expressed great relief and gratitude to Kiyoko for retrieving the shoes and making it back in time for their first game.

Karasuno vs Tsubakihara

In the game against Tsubakihara, Yamaguchi is sent in early to try to help close the point gap. Realizing that he will most likely just be serving during the tournament, Yamaguchi remembers what Shimada taught him of using something around him as a reset point to calm his nerves.

Tadashi s4-e10-2.png

Using an exit sign across the stadium, Yamaguchi's nerves settle and he aim's his serve to go behind Teradomari in the hopes of containing the ace. Although the serve is received by another player, Teradomari is forced to make the second touch and was therefore kept from attacking. When the Karasuno blockers shut down the attack, Yamaguchi is up to serve again and scores a service ace when Maiko fails to receive. Tsubakihara manages to score in the next rally and therefore cut off Yamaguchi's serve.

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After the match is over, Yamaguchi and Hinata go around to buy merchandise. When Hinata finds the shirt of his choice, Yamaguchi tells makes a mental note to buy one as well. Shortly after, he accompanies Hinata when watching Fukurōdani’s game against Eiwa. When seeing Bokuto spike nearly outside the line, Yamaguchi gets awed. After Fukurōdani’s match concludes and Hinata and Yamaguchi encounter Hoshiumi, Yamaguchi gets confused at the sudden rivalry formed between the two.

Shortly after, Yamaguchi watches Kamomedai’s game and wonders if Hoshiumi was ever featured in a big magazine. When learning that the ace despises being interviewed, Yamaguchi admits that he’d become nervous just by the thought of getting interviewed himself. That evening, Karasuno crosses paths with Niiyama and Yamaguchi speculates that they have high class luxury meals due to their reputations as 'The Queens'.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Yamaguchi is subbed in as a pinch server when Hinata is up to serve during the game against Inarizaki. He mentally goes through the plan of trying to aim his serve directly at Aran in hopes of getting him to lunge or dive or anything to get the ace down to one knee. Remembering how Shimada gave him the tip of using something to help reset his serves, Yamaguchi looks for the exit sign that he had used during the match against Tsubakihara only to find that the sign is being blocked by banners from another school. He starts to panic but Shimada appears below where the exit sign is and holds up a bag from his market to help Yamaguchi reset his emotions. Thankfully Yamaguchi is able to do so and gets a service ace when Aran is unable to receive. His next serve is picked up and countered, thus ending his serve.

Yamaguchi is later sent in for Hinata once again during the second set after Kita's serve is stopped. However, Kita is the one who receives Yamaguchi's serve and the counter attack leads to Yamaguchi being stopped once more. In the third set, Yamaguchi is again swapped in when Hinata moves to the back row. Aran receives followed by Osamu and finally Suna getting the last one over. Inarizaki eventually ends Yamaguchi's serve and he is taken off the court.

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When Karasuno wins the match, Yamaguchi is seen rushing toward Tsukishima and in the sub-arena points out that Tsukishima is attempting to put on a second jacket from how weary he is. After this, Karasuno reunites at their inn to watch their match being mentioned on television. At the mention of Suna having being unstoppable, Tsukishima starts to twitch. Despite his silence, Yamaguchi angrily yells at the television that Tsukishima had done so purposefully but is soon stopped.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

While the match was still in the early stages, Yamaguchi is sent in. At noticing that Kageyama hadn't been able to get a service ace off of Nekoma, Yamaguchi hopes that he will be able to be the one to accomplish this. He is able to do so when Yamamoto is unable to receive his float serve. The serve not only put several of the Nekoma players on edge, it also annoyed Kageyama at not getting the first service ace for Karasuno[4]. His second serve would be received but would throw Nekoma off just enough for Tsukishima to figure out who would be the next attacker. Tsukishima is able to block Fukunaga in a text book example of a serve and block technique. Yamaguchi and Tsukishima high five in celebration of their attack working. Yamaguchi would be subbed out when Nekoma countered his third serve and he would receive praise from Daichi when Karasuno called a time-out. During the time-out, Yamaguchi recalls how his serves felt and notices that he felt calm during the serves.

When he goes in during the second set, he admits that he never believed someone as timid and easily frightened as himself would ever be standing on the court at a national level. His serve is immediately countered. He mostly acts in a supporting role throughout the rest of the set and is highly impressed that Hinata was able to use his improved jumping to get past a triple block. Yamaguchi is sent into the game against during the final set. His first serve is countered by Tsukishima who was able to get an attack by Kuroo. His second serve is stopped and he is removed from the game.

Fukurōdani vs Mujinazaka

Although Hinata does not express any of his intentions, Yamaguchi can tell that he wants to both watch the match and warm up for Karasuno’s own upcoming one. Noticing this, Yamaguchi tells the shorter blocker that no matter how fast he is, he can’t do both.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

As Karasuno’s match against Kamomedai is about to start, Yamaguchi listens as Ukai goes over the players of Kamomedai; specifically Hoshiumi. However, after Daichi tries to motivate the team and says that they have now made it into the top eight schools in the nation, Yamaguchi is intrigued. The team captain then explains that if Karasuno beats Kamomedai and makes it semi-finals, they’d get to play on the center court, which excites the team. Soon after, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima are sitting together, preparing for the match, and Yamaguchi is shocked over how Karasuno made it so far but then tries to motiving Tsukishima but trips over his tongue from talking too fast. Immediately after, the two friends break into laughter.

During the game, Hirugami is quick to score a blocking point, which is something that Yamaguchi is frustrated about but not surprised as they are facing “Hirugami the Immovable”. However, Yamaguchi doesn’t want to dismiss Tsukishima’s blocking either and tells him that he isn’t counted out. Despite this, Tsukishima says that any team is at least going to have at least one standout blocker. Into the match, Tsukishima can block Hoshiumi, which results in Sugawara, Hinata, and Yamaguchi shaking back in forth in surprise and excitement. Not long after, Tsukishima and Yamaguchi notice that Hoshiumi hit it in the opposite direction which he was facing when he served earlier.

When Yamaguchi is rotated in the court to act as Karasuno’s pinch server, his serve goes out of the court and gains Kamomedai a two-point advantage[5]. Later on, Hakuba wins Kamomedai the first set despite having fallen for Hinata’s decoy trick, Kinoshita expresses his intimidation over their opponent. However, upon hearing this, Ukai tells them not to create vague reasons to scare themselves. However, he is shocked when he finds out that it wasn’t why his team was afraid. Tsukishima mocks Hinata to himself that he had been too slow to figure it out and Yamaguchi had to tell him that they still lost the point. Nearing the end of the match, Yamaguchi is subbed in as a pinch server, and in the end, Karasuno gets the point.

Into the third set, Hinata is revealed to have a high fever and is made to leave the court. Yamaguchi accompanies him on part of the way as he does. After this, the game resumes but Tsukishima gets a leg cramp. Not knowing who to sub him in for, Sugawara stubbornly tells his coach not to worry about not picking him because he’s a third-year and in the end chooses Yamaguchi. After their loss, Yamaguchi shakes Tokura's hand[6].

Final Arc

In a brief coverage of events that took place after the Spring Tournament, Yamaguchi is revealed to have become the team captain during his third year[7]. Yamaguchi attends the match between the Adlers and the Jackals, noting to Osamu that this is the first time since middle school that Hinata and Kageyama will face each other on opposing teams. At the time, he is a college senior and will be working for a home electronics company once he graduates.

Yamaguchi is soon joined by Yachi and the two go to the stands where Tsukishima is waiting. When Hinata scores the first point of the game, Yamaguchi joins many of his former teammates in welcoming Hinata back. He later listens to Tsukishima's theory that the new quick attack that Hinata and Atsumu perform is even faster than the original quick attack. After Hinata is called on to make a set and gives the ball to Atsumu, Yamaguchi and Yachi see that Hinata not only has the skills to be a wing spiker but has also learned how to play as a setter and libero which is why he was able to replace Oriver Barnes who is normally the Jackals canon. This also changes the dynamics of the Jackals plays by having Hinata in the starting line-up. Not long after, Yachi and Yamaguchi both take notice that Kageyama hasn't been using many quick attacks. Yamaguchi believes that this is due to Kageyama having both Nicollas Romero and Ushijima to set to as both players are capable of using pure power to score points.

The Jackals would go on to secure their victory in the fourth set. Although Tsukishima tries to tell them otherwise, Yamaguchi and Yachi promise to attend his next match to support him. Yamaguchi's final appearance in the series is when he is shown to be watching the match between Argentina and Japan while wearing an Olympic jersey that matches Hinata's.

Statistics 

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

Yamaguchi grows into a reliable pinch server with his jump float serve. Early on, Yamaguchi began practicing the jump float serve technique, not wanting to be left behind by the other first-years. Although attempting and failing the serve against Aoba Johsai at a tight moment of the match, he works extremely hard to improve it. He is originally hindered by his lack of experience and weak-heartedness but, since then, has grown much more assertive and confident about his role. 

Despite his skills as a server improved over time, his body control as a receiver is still lacking, resorting to body saves and unorthodox shots.

Height and reach, as of mid-November:

  • Fingertip Height: 232 cm
  • Jumping Reach: 315 cm (spike) / 300 cm (block)
Tadashi Yamaguchi Cover.png

Skills

  • Jump Float Serve: This serve is Yamaguchi's main weapon and has helped out Karasuno in many clutch moments. His jump float serves can vary from skimming the top of the net to catching the opponent off guard having to receive from further out before. Under the tutelage of Makoto Shimada, Yamaguchi increases the speed of his serve so that opponents have a harder time reading the trajectory[8]. He also has worked on improving his aim and accuracy to target a specific player or area. 
  • Serve and Block Combo: This strategy involves Yamaguchi breaking the opponents' formation with his serves, thereby forcing players out from participating in offense. This would reduce the amount of information Tsukishima needs to process in order to put up an effective block. The two successfully use the serve and block technique in the match against Nekoma[4].

Relationships

Karasuno High

  • Kei Tsukishima:
    TsukishimaAndYamguchiFriendship.jpg
    Yamaguchi and Tsukishima have been friends since they were in elementary school when Tsukishima unintentionally saved Yamaguchi from a group of bullies. From that encounter, Yamaguchi found Tsukishima to be the coolest person he'd met and hoped to be the same one day. Since then, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima were often seen in each other's company and Yamaguchi began calling him Tsukki. Since knowing each other since their childhood, Yamaguchi knows Tsukishima very well and is aware of the pain Tsukishima suffered when he learned of his brother not being the ace of Karasuno.
    Due to his more timid nature, Yamaguchi tends to follow Tsukishima's lead most of the time which eventually led to him making fun of some of his teammates once they joined the Karasuno volleyball team. Yamaguchi is shown to greatly admire Tsukishima which causes him to at times brag about Tsukishima's height but he does care about his well being. However, their friendship began to strain during the summer training camps when Yamaguchi began to notice that Tsukishima was lacking in spirit and effort when it came to volleyball. This eventually led Yamaguchi to confront his longtime friend about feeling inferior to Hinata and feeling there was no point in putting in more effort when they may not emerge as the overall winner. From this confrontation, Tsukishima began to see Yamaguchi as 'cool' and their friendship returned to normal.
    As teammates, Yamaguchi constantly praises Tsukishima's blocking abilities and the two eventually began using the serve and block technique that made them a formidable duo. After high school, Yamaguchi and Tsukishima remained close and Yamaguchi continues to support Tsukishima when he joined the Sendai Frogs.
  • Shōyō Hinata:
    Hinata and Tadashi s4-e6-2.png
    Although Yamaguchi originally joined Tsukishima in mocking Hinata when they first met, Yamaguchi eventually began to form a friendly relationship with Hinata as the year goes on. Yamaguchi started to see how strong Hinata is as a volleyball player which caused him to be self-conscious of his own abilities. Since the summer training camp, their relationship improved greatly and Yamaguchi would find himself under Hinata's praise when he used his float serves in the re-match against Seijoh. Post-timeskip, they stayed in contact with one another and Yamaguchi continued to support Hinata as he entered the professional volleyball league and eventually played in the Olympics.
  • Tobio Kageyama:
    KageyamasReaction.png
    Though originally disliked by Kageyama because he aided Tsukishima in picking on the setter, Yamaguchi and Kageyama eventually developed mutual respect for each other.
  • Hitoka Yachi:
    Yachi and Tadashi s2-e19-1.png
    Yachi and Yamaguchi are good friends who get along well and can relate to each other. When Yachi first arrived with Kiyoko to practice, Yamaguchi thinks of her as "cute." He's shy around her at first and could at times be seen blushing when around her, but eventually they start to get closer and more comfortable around each other. Before their rematch against Aoba Johsai, Yachi offers helpful advice to Yamaguchi on how to handle his anxiety but ended up becoming anxious herself. When Yamaguchi succeeded with his jump float serve, Yachi seems to be brimming with pride.

Karasuno Neighborhood Association

  • Makoto Shimada:
    YamaguchiShimada.png
    Shimada is the one that taught Yamaguchi the jump float serve which became his forte. After watching Shimada play in the practice match against the Neighborhood Association, Yamaguchi went to his store and asked him to become his teacher. Since then, Yamaguchi often goes to Shimada Mart after closing hours to practice. Shimada acts like an older brother to Yamaguchi as well, often encouraging and cheering him on, and he also calls the younger boy by his first name. When Yamaguchi messed up during the Aoba Johsai vs Karasuno match in the Interhigh, Shimada comforted him and motivated him to get back on his feet.

Quotes

  • "Up until junior high, I thought it was fun just to play with everyone. That was what volleyball was to me. But that's not it... that's not it... I want to be like the others, and... I want to be able to make my body move right! I want to control the ball! I want to play on the same level as the other, better players!" (To Makoto Shimada, Volume 8 Chapter 70 / Season 1 Episode 25)
  • "What can Kageyama do to keep his setting from being read like that? Should he do what Hinata does and do some kind of crazy antsy dance first to throw them off?" (To Tsukishima, about Kageyama, Volume 18 Chapter 156)
  • "I only have one weapon: my serve. I'm going to fight putting my pride and the flow of the game into that shot. I am ... a pinch server." (To himself, during his 3rd service Ace against Aoba Johsai, Season 2 Episode 22)
  • "Sorry, Tsukki!" (Various, towards Tsukishima)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Soft, floppy french fries
  • Current Concern: Whenever he thinks a cute girl has come over to talk to him, all they want to talk about is Tsukishima.
  • His star sign is Scorpio.
  • There has been debate over whether the dotting on his face is acne or freckles, but many believe that the specks are freckles.
    • In Haikyuu!! Radio #22, Yamaguchi's voice actor, Soma Saito, described Yamaguchi with the word "freckles" in a guessing game with Uchiyama Kouki, Ayumu Murase, and Kaito Ishikawa.
  • Since he's in Class 4 with Tsukishima, he is speculated to be smart since Classes 4 and 5 are college-preparatory classes in Karasuno. Although he himself has stated that he is terrible at English.
  • His original reason for joining a sports club was so he could grow stronger. He chose volleyball specifically because the other sports clubs had "scary-looking guys".
  • He is the only first-year to not be a regular of the volleyball team.
  • He is the second youngest of the first-years.
  • In the fourth instance of Haikyuu!! Radio, Yamaguchi's voice actor for the anime adaption, Saitō Sōma, was asked "What sort of person is your character, Yamaguchi?" to which he responded "Loves Tsukki very much."
  • His seiyuu, Saitō Sōma, is also the seiyuu for Twelve, a character in the anime Zankyou no Terror. Number twelve is Yamaguchi's shirt number.
  • In the English dubbing of the anime, he is the only first year, as well as one of few characters, referred to by his first name instead of his last name.
  • He shares a birthday with Kenji Futakuchi.
  • When asked about Yamaguchi's name origin, Furudate said, “He’s 忠 (loyalty), like a loyal dog!”[9]
    • 忠 is also how "Hachiko" is written. Hachiko is a famous loyal Japanese dog who also shares the same birthday as Yamaguchi.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Yamaguchi placed 15th with 1,993 votes[10]. In the second, he rose to 7th with 6,561 votes[11].
  • Nomenclature:
    • Tadashi (忠) - Loyalty; Devotion
    • Yamaguchi (山口) - Mountain Entrance

References

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