Tenma Udai
Little giant
Japanese 宇内 天満
Translation Udai Tenma
Character information
Other names Little/Small Giant

Tiny Giant (anime)

Gender Male
Age 21
Height 170 cm (5' 6.9")
Home town Miyagi Prefecture
Home country Japan
Team Karasuno High (former)
Number 10 (former)
Position Ace (former)
Affiliation Karasuno High (former)
Background information
Chapter "Endings and Beginnings"
Episode "Endings and Beginnings"
Image gallery (15)
Tenma Udai (Japanese: 宇内 (うだい) 天満 (てんま) Udai Tenma), also known as the Small Giant or Little Giant (Japanese: (ちい) さな巨人 (きょじん) Chīsana Kyojin), was the ace of Karasuno High's Boys' Volleyball Club. He is Shōyō Hinata's inspiration.

Appearance Edit

During his time in high school, Tenma appears to be around less than 170 cm in height and has messy curly black hair similar to Hinata. In Saeko's flashback, he is also seen with dark grey eyes.

Personality Edit

Saeko Tanaka described him as a mischievous person and one of the "bad kids" whom she would've gotten along with[1]; however, in the anime[2], she also claimed that he didn't stand out. When it comes to volleyball, he becomes a focused person due to the incredible intensity he emits while playing. He took immense pride in being his team's ace and his teammates relied on him on many occasions.

Background Edit


The Small Giant's intense gaze from Saeko's perspective.

Tenma is an alumnus of Karasuno High School and its former Ace. According to Keishin Ukai, Karasuno was at its peak when Tenma played for the team. Initially,[3] the Small Giant used to always get blocked but halfway through his second year, his abilities started developing and he figured out a way to get through the blockers and hit the ball from above them every time they tossed to him.


The Small Giant in action from Tsukishima's perspective.

There was one time in the past when he was not doing so well during a practice match[1]. In the middle of the game, he was benched and went outside to the hallway to vent. Saeko Tanaka, who was watching the match, was standing near the lockers at that time. She observed as Tenma kicked things around and banged his head against the lockers, until he suddenly turned around and made eye contact with her. Saeko was taken aback by his intense expression and even now, remembers it vividly. She confessed it almost made her fall in love with him.

Plot Edit

Tokyo Nationals ArcEdit

Karasuno vs Kamomedai High

Tenma is revealed to be the Small Giant when he attends the Spring Interhigh as a spectator after hearing about Karasuno making the quarter finals. He manages to spot Akiteru from the crowd and accompanies the rest of the Karasuno alumni to the arena. Saeko introduces him to Hinata, who eagerly greets him and inquires about his current volleyball activities. However, Tenma admits that he had stopped playing volleyball after he graduated high school due to other interests as well as not being invited to join a new team.

Statistics Edit

He was blocked constantly during his first year and didn't develop his set of unique skills until his second year at Karasuno. However, after he improved his abilities, he became peerless in mid-air battles. He has been said to have incredible jumping ability. Since he was no match for the blockers in height, he developed a play style using block-outs, where he intentionally aims for the small gaps of a block and the blocker's fingertips so that the ball would ricochet. That was how he conceived his battle against other blockers.[3].

Relationships Edit

Ikkei UkaiEdit

In the past, Ukai Ikkei gave the Small Giant additional training to help him develop other skills to make up for his lack of height. Karasuno had the best team in its history when the Small Giant was around.

Quotes Edit

  • "I also thought that I was strong." - To Akiteru Tsukishima (Chapter 343)
  • "Throughout all of middle school, high school, and at a prefectural level, I felt that I was fairly good. I had the self-awareness and self-confidence that I was the ace. But at the Nationals, the higher you go, the bigger, faster, smarter, your opponents become. It thought that to make up for my lack of height, I'd fight with technical ability. But whether you're big or small, those who spent time polishing their technical ability were the ones who had skills and the feeling where you meet someone bigger or stronger than you, and for the first time, you realize how small and how weak you are." - To Akiteru Tsukishima (Chapter 343)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chapter 78
  2. Season 2, Episode 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chapter 30
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