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Takanobu Aone (Japanese: 青根 (あおね) 高伸 (たかのぶ) Aone Takanobu) was previously a second year at Date Tech High, playing as a middle blocker and was the main pillar of Date Tech's defense, famously known as the "Iron Wall".

As of 2018, he is a construction worker as well as a middle blocker for VC Date, a municipal team in Miyagi.

Appearance Edit

Aone is 192 cm tall and always wears a serious expression on his face. People often confuse his expression as a glare when he looks at them. Alongside his light hair color and large frame, his most outstanding feature is his missing eyebrows.

Aone is most commonly seen wearing a Date Tech Volleyball Club's tracksuit, consisting of teal pants and a white jacket with teal collar. During official matches, he first dons the jersey with the number 7 during the Interhigh. After the third years retired, his number changes from 7 to 1. This is quite unusual since the number 1 jersey is usually reserved for the captain. It's most likely he is chosen to wear number 1 for his central role on the team. 

Personality Edit

Despite coming off intimidating for his physical appearance, Aone is actually very kind-hearted and even-tempered. He dislikes when his team members argue and is usually the one to stop them, as shown when former captain Moniwa relies on him to stop Futakuchi and Kamasaki from fighting. He is also very respectful, which can be seen when he greets Hinata by bowing despite the latter being a year younger than him. Aone is shy around strangers and minds the opinion others have about him. He is almost always silent, thereby surprising his teammates when he talks.

During matches, Aone is calm and composed even during difficult situations. He is very determined and solely focused on stopping the opponents. It is noted that Aone has a habit of "locking on" to other team's aces as they are his natural opponents.[1]

BackgroundEdit

AoneFutakuchiBlockAsahi

Aone and Futakuchi block Asahi's spike.

Aone, together with the rest of Date Tech team, faced off against Karasuno in the 68th Prefecture Sporting Competition Volleyball Tournament the past March before the start of the story.[2] They lived up to their reputation as the "impregnable fortress" when they delivered a crushing defeat to Karasuno.[3] According to Sugawara, Asahi's spikes were completely and utterly blocked. Aone, being the vital component to Date Tech's iron wall, played a central role in their team's victory. 

PlotEdit

Interhigh ArcEdit

On the first day of the Interhigh, Aone and the rest of Date Tech runs into Karasuno in the hallway. He immediately locks onto Asahi and points at him before Moniwa and Futakuchi stop him[1].

After advancing into the second round, Date Tech faces off against Karasuno. Aone quickly shows off his speed and capabilities as a formidable read blocker by catching up to Hinata on his first spike. Just like an "iron wall", they continue to shut out Karasuno's spikes one after another. However, they are taken aback once Karasuno unleashed their ultimate weapon, the oddball quick. The rest of his teammates believe the oddball quick to be a fluke, but Aone instinctively grows wary of Hinata[4]. His suspicion proves to be right when Kageyama and Hinata perform the quick once again. Date Tech can't even react on time to put up any defense before losing another point to Karasuno.

Haikyuu17

Aone blocks Hinata only to find out Karasuno is opting for a back row attack.

As the match continues, Aone and his teammates are having trouble dealing with the quick. Nevertheless, Aone is determined to stop Hinata. He immediately changes direction and jumps a second time after seeing Hinata dodging the blockers. This time, he successfully shuts down Hinata's spike[5]. By now, Aone has focused all his attention on Hinata and react to his every movements. When Hinata charges forward to spike, Aone immediately goes to block without even reading the path of Kageyama's toss. He realizes his error too late after he sees Asahi emerging from behind Hinata for a back row attack. Throughout the rest of the first set, Aone gets taken in by Hinata as a decoy and makes errors in blocking. However, he is already adapting and putting up more of a resistance to the oddball quick than before.

After getting used to Karasuno's offense, Aone's reaction time drastically improved during the second set. Even after being distracted by Hinata, Aone still lands a touch on Asahi's spike. Later, he purposely leaves an open space in his block to draw Asahi's spike in. When Asahi smashes the ball, Aone quickly shifts his arm to the side to knock it down[6]. He continues to be a formidable opponent for Karasuno as he thwarts many of Asahi's attacks. Ultimately, they lost the match point to Karasuno after one of Asahi's spikes lands a lucky net-in.

HinataAndAone

Aone offering Hinata a handshake after their match.

 After the match, Aone extends a handshake toward Hinata across the net. Hinata returns the gesture, and the two players are seen gaining mutual respect for each other. Aone later approaches Moniwa and blurts out the words "Spring Tournament". Futakuchi shares the same sentiment and joins Aone in declaring their revenge against Karasuno in the Spring Tournament. To their distraught, Moniwa reveals he and the rest of the third years won't be around by then. However, Moniwa instructs his underclassmen to live up to the name of the "iron wall" and defeat even the strongest of teams. Aone and the rest take Moniwa's words to heart and are determined to see it through[7].

Spring High Preliminary ArcEdit

Prior to the start of playoffs, Aone encounters Hinata in front of the men's bathroom. Hinata unknowingly bumps into him while backing away from Ushijima, Oikawa and Iwaizumi. They greet each other with a bow before going off their own ways. Later, Date Tech plays against Shirato and wins in straight-sets[8].

Karasuno vs. JohzenjiEdit

After winning their first match in the preliminary, Aone and Futakuchi stay to observe Karasuno's match against Johzenji. The two pay extra attention to Karasuno's oddball quick and seem to have noticed something after seen it used for the first time in the match. Soon, they are joined by Obara and Sakunami. Aone listens quietly while the others discuss about Johzenji's rough but persistent play style[9].

AoneAnnoyed

Aone is annoyed after hearing Futakuchi dismiss Hinata.

Later, Aone sees Hinata being substituted by Narita after Kageyama was taken off court for a nosebleed. He gets annoyed at Futakuchi when the latter comments about Hinata's amateur skills. It turns out that Aone has formed an unlikely friendship with Hinata after their match. To the further surprise of his teammates, Aone speaks up for Hinata, saying that Hinata is well-aware of his current skill level[10].

They continue to watch the match until Karasuno is officially declared the winner. By now, Aone and the others have realized that Karasuno's quick strike has evolved. Aone then signals to Futakuchi to go on ahead without him, and the latter complies. He waits by the entrance of the court and approaches Hinata when Karasuno finally exits. Aone states he will be the one to stop Hinata in their match tomorrow, indirectly implying that both teams will defeat their next opponents. As he walks away, Aone hears Hinata answering his challenge. He looks back with a content smile before leaving[11].

Aobajohsai vs. Date TechEdit

Date Tech plays against Aobajohsai the following day. They lost the first set and can't seem to close the two-point gap in the second set. Now that the third years retired, Date Tech is still adjusting with their new and inexperienced setter, Koganegawa. As a result, Aone and Futakuchi find themselves miscoordinating with Koganegawa's overly high tosses[12]. Despite the setbacks, Date Tech lives up to their reputation as the "iron wall" and earns back points through their blocks. Eventually, Aone pulls off a successful quick with Koganegawa "putting" the ball to his spike point[13].

HinataAone1

Unable to face Hinata again because of his loss

Date Tech manages to keep the score close but ultimately fails to overturn the set when Iwaizumi breaks through their block to earn the match point for Aobajohsai[14]. After the match, Aone and the rest meet up with the retired third years to discuss their performance. When Koganegawa declares that he will stop all opponents no matter how tall or powerful they are, Aone corrects him saying those are not the only ones difficult to block. At that moment, Aone crosses path with Hinata once more. This time, neither say anything, with both sides knowing their promise to a match is no longer possible. However, Aone is determined to face Hinata once more and stop him. 

Tokyo Nationals ArcEdit

Date Tech vs. Karasuno (Practice Match)Edit

Aone and the rest of Date Tech are in the midst of their routine practice when Coach Oiwake informs them of a upcoming practice match the following week. They are surprised to find their opponent to be Karasuno and become even more fired up[15].

Once the practice match starts, Date Tech immediately puts up a three-man block on Asahi's back row attack even
Group s4-e6-6
with Hinata acting as a decoy. The team has become even more skilled at using a bunch shift where the blockers are moving together to overwhelm the opposing spiker with sheer numbers. Following their block on Asahi, Aone and Futakuchi manage to match Hinata's speed and land a touch on the minus-tempo quick from the start[16]. Date Tech continues to dominate the first set and eventually takes the set win while Karasuno is still experimenting with their newly learned techniques.

Later during the fourth set, Aone reveals his recently acquired jump serve. He packs immense power in his serve and sends the ball over in a clean trajectory. The serve unfortunately lands out of bounds, but it becomes clear that his serve is shaping up to be a powerful weapon once Aone improves his control[17].

Afterwards, Aone proves his reputation as a skilled read blocker by continuously shutting down Karasuno's attacks. He accurately rules out Hinata's decoy from a glance and successfully blocks Daichi's spike from a synchronized attack. However, Aone and the rest of Date Tech start to have a difficult time discerning the real spiker after Karasuno employs their blend and distract technique, in which Hinata slows down to match his teammate at first tempo. Aone, Futakuchi, and Koganegawa are initially confused by Hinata's unusual play style and pay even more attention to him. This causes a delay in their reaction to block Asahi's spike, which causes Date Tech to lose the fourth set[18].

Date Tech manages to remain calm and unfazed throughout four sets, but they are showing signs of impatience after Hinata throws off their timing. When Kageyama and Hinata suddenly pull out their minus-tempo quick again, Aone
Group s4-e8-2
and Koganegawa fail to put up a proper block and lose more points to Karasuno[18]. Despite having more trouble dealing with Karasuno, Aone quickly adapts and blocks Hinata's quick near the end of the eighth set. Aone continues to be a powerful wall against Karasuno's offense by shutting down Asahi's spike at Karasuno's set point. Aone, Futakuchi, and Koganegawa then put up a three-man block in response to Asahi's second attempt. However, the three blockers are unable to stop Asahi from hitting a powerful block out that sends the ball flying all the way to the second floor of the gymnasium. With that last point, the practice match comes to an end with Date Tech and Karasuno tied at 4 wins and 4 losses[19].

After the practice match, the two teams bid each other farewell. Aone and Hinata formally bow to each other before heading their separate ways.

NationalsEdit

On the first day of the Spring Interhigh, Aone and his teammates gather at Date Tech's computer room to watch Karasuno's match against Tsubakihara[20]. They remark just how different watching Karasuno's quick feels compared to facing it directly on the opposite side of the net. Later, they take notice of Tsubakihara's defense and their ability to constantly put up two blockers against Karasuno. After Karasuno won the match, Date Tech resumes their afternoon training, seemingly even more fired up.

Date Tech continues to tune into Karasuno's match against Inarizaki the following day. In the third set, Aone and Futakuchi watch Asahi pull off a powerful blockout against three Inarizaki blockers. They are reminded of the time when they delivered a crashing defeat to Karasuno that broke Asahi's spirit and how much he has changed since then. Having encountered the blockout during the practice match, Aone and Futakuchi know that Asahi purposely delayed the timing of his spike to wait for the moment that blockers start falling. At the same time, they are aware that such spike is difficult to execute correctly, even more so during a desperate moment when the spiker is already exhausted[21].

Final ArcEdit

During the next InterHigh after the Spring Tournament, Date Tech beats Karasuno in the final round and advance to the nationals for the first time in eleven years. Aone and Futakuchi are seen embracing happily while crying. In the Final arc, Aone and Futakuchi attend the match between the MSBY Black Jackals and the Schweiden Adlers. He and Futakuchi are impressed with Hinata's increase in skills. Aone is revealed to currently be working as a construction worker and plays as a middle blocker on the Date community team.

Statistics Edit

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

Aone is the undisputed backbone of Date Tech's famous "Iron Wall" defense. He is an experienced read blocker whose strong points include his sturdy physique, a calm mindset, and the tenacity to stop his opponents' attacks.[5] Aone mostly works with his teammates in using a blocking strategy called bunch shift, in which all three blockers congregate at the center and move together to block their opponents' spikes.

Jumping Reach: 335 cm

SkillsEdit

  • Read Blocking: Aone has a reputation as a formidable read blocker. He excels at reading the path of the toss and deducing where the ball will go to put up a block. As a result, he doesn't easily fall for decoys. On the occasions where he misreads, Aone has demonstrated the ability to quickly correct himself and still put up a decent block.[5]
  • Jump Serve:  Aone used a jump serve during the most recent practice match against Karasuno. He has yet to gain perfect control over it but his serve packs enough power to be a dangerous threat once improved.[17]

RelationshipsEdit

Date Tech HighEdit

  • Kenji Futakuchi:
    AoneFutakuchiWatchingMatchTogether
    Futakuchi and Aone are good friends and would help keep each in line. Futakuchi is first seen stopping Aone from intimidating Karasuno when requested by Moniwa. In return, Aone is the one keeping Kamasaki and Futakuchi in control whenever the two start bickering. During the Spring Tournament, Aone and Futakuchi are now the leading figures of the team after the third years retired. Not only are they the central component to the iron wall, but they are also responsible for guiding their juniors, notably Koganegawa.
    It is shown that Futakuchi is capable of understanding Aone's thoughts simply through a gesture from the latter. They work well together on the court and would occasionally do a chest bump after a good play, although Futakuchi ends up in pain due to Aone unintentionally putting in too much power.
  • Kanji Koganegawa:
    AoneComfortKoganegawa
    Aone acts as an encouraging senior figure to Koganegawa. He is seen comforting a distraught Koganegawa after their loss to Aobajōsai and even imparting his own wisdom about strong opponents to the rookie setter. Aone is very patient toward Koganegawa's antics and would compliment him when Koganegawa does something well. On the occasions that Koganegawa messes up a toss, Aone would stay quiet and leave the reprimanding to Futakuchi. 
    In return, Koganegawa highly respects Aone for his skills as a blocker and thrives to be on the same level. It is implied that he takes Aone's words very seriously. During the Miyagi First Year Training Camp, he recognizes Hinata as someone that Aone acknowledges and thinks highly of him despite not having played Karasuno then. 

Karasuno HighEdit

  • Shōyō Hinata:
    HinataAndAone
    After losing to Karasuno, Aone initiates a handshake toward Hinata as a sign of acknowledgement. During the Spring High preliminaries, it is revealed that Aone has formed an unlikely friendship with Hinata. He is seen glaring at Futakuchi after the latter criticizes Hinata, and he even goes as far as to speak up for Hinata despite being usually silent. They have a friendly rivalry, which is shown when Aone promised Hinata that he would face him after Date Tech defeats Aobajōsai, although Date Tech ended up losing.
    The two have immense respect for each other. Hinata thinks highly of Aone's blocking skills while Aone sees Hinata as a worthy opponent regardless of his diminutive size. This is further shown with their habit of greeting each other by bowing. 

QuotesEdit

That might be true for now. #10 also knows it
Tomorrow, I'll stop you.
Those who are tall and strong aren't the only opponents who are difficult to block.

Trivia Edit

  • Favorite food: Kuri kinton.
  • Current concern: When he's riding the train, nobody wants to sit on either side of him.
  • His teammates are surprised when he talks.
  • He doesn't seem to know his own strength and has the unfortunate habit of accidentally hurting his teammates when giving high fives or chest bumps.
  • His star sign is Leo.
  • He shares his birthday with Wakatoshi Ushijima.
  • He is currently tied with Yūdai Hyakuzawa as the second-heaviest volleyball player in the series at 88.2 kilograms, or 194.4 pounds.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Aone placed 21st with 1,003 votes.[22] In the second, he dropped to 30th with 1,403 votes.[23]
  • Nomenclature
    • Takanobu (高伸) - (高) Tall (伸) Stretch
    • Aone (青根) - Deep Blue

ReferencesEdit

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