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Remember. We are blood. Never stop flowing. Keep moving. Keep bringing oxygen...So that our "brain"...can operate at his best.

Tetsurō Kuroo (Japanese: 黒尾 (くろお) 鉄朗 (てつろう) Kuroo Tetsurō) is a third year student from Nekoma High. He is captain of the boys volleyball team and plays as a starting middle blocker.

As of November 2018, he is part of the Japan Volleyball Association's sports promotion division.

Appearance

Kuroo is noted to be tall and lean with broad shoulders, well-built arms, and a muscular frame. He has narrow, hazel colored (grey in the manga) eyes with cat-like pupils that make him appear sly and intimidating. His black hair is naturally messy and spikes upwards due to his bed head. He also has a fringe on his right side that partially covers his eye. As a result of his peculiar hairstyle, he is occasionally called "Rooster Head".

Kuroo is often seen wearing a black shirt, red sweatpants, and the Nekoma High jacket. During official matches, he wears the Nekoma uniform numbered with the number 1.

Personality

Kuroo has a laid-back yet scheming personality and is considered a "provocation expert" by many[1]. He would actively provoke others and is unrelenting when dishing out snide remarks. This is demonstrated in the way he angers Tsukishima when the first-year blocker maintained a nonchalant attitude toward volleyball during the summer training camp. However, Kuroo is kinder and more genuine than what his exterior image conveys. After realizing he has overstepped a line, Kuroo seeks out and apologizes to Daichi about the provocation. Later on, proving that while he is a "provocation expert," sportsmanship is still important to him[1]. He also cares and respects his elder coach, Yasufumi Nekomata, immensely, enough to help Karasuno improve to fulfill Nekomata's dream of competing against each other at nationals a reality.

According to Kenma, Kuroo was a shy and withdrawn kid who first moved into his neighborhood when he was eight years old[2]. He was quiet in front of strangers and awkward around Kenma at first, despite the two being close in age. Both of them bonded over video games and eventually practiced volleyball together. Slowly, Kuroo began to come out of his shell as the two got increasingly involved in the sport. He became a much louder and energetic person, made new friends at school, and started going out to play soccer with the other kids.

Kuroo is also shown to be a highly observant and intuitive person when it comes to both volleyball and other people. Even as a kid, he was incredibly mindful of Kenma's quiet, withdrawn personality, and had the sense to not drag him out to do something the boy didn't have any fun in doing[2]. In matches, his attentive nature as a middle blocker proves to be extremely lethal for Nekoma's opponents. He quickly tracks down and analyzes every move of the spikers, allowing him to put up a successful block and destroy the momentum of the opposing team.

Around his teammates, Kuroo is a reliable, strong captain, often responsible for lifting the spirits of the team when they are feeling down using sly quips. He seems to derive enjoyment from facing strong opponents and hides his frustration with sharp smirks and boisterous remarks, all the while scheming strategies to break down the opposing team.

Despite seeming sly and cool on the outside, Kuroo possesses a silly side that is on display when he belts out in loud obnoxious laughter and engages in frivolous conversation with Bokuto[3]. Kuroo also seems to either see himself as more of an old man or people only a year or two younger than him as children, as shown when he proclaims "Ah, youth" after seeing Inuoka and Hinata and talking with Tsukishima[4].

Background

When Kuroo was around eight years old, his family moved next door to Kenma Kozume. During times when his father and grandparent's were out, Kuroo would go to Kenma's house. He was noted to be shyer and more withdrawn than Kenma at the time, so the two had a difficult time getting to know each other at first[2].

Initially, Kenma and Kuroo just played video games until one day when Kenma asked him if there's anything he would like to play. Kuroo took this opportunity and introduced volleyball to Kenma. The two ended up playing volleyball outside and grew familiar with each other.

Kuroo used to have a volleyball club and friends where he previously lived, and had trouble adjusting to a new place. So while heading home, Kuroo, not wanting to go to an unfamiliar place alone, invited Kenma to attend a volleyball training camp one weekend. There, they encountered Coach Nekomata for the first time, who told the two that it's important to experience the joy of playing. Kuroo was inspired by Nekomata's words and became more proactive in volleyball and his life in general.

He joined a volleyball team and made new friends at school. Since there were no volleyball players in the neighborhood, Kuroo would still drop by Kenma's house to watch videos of professional volleyball matches together. He would mimic moves he saw, later showing them to Kenma[5]. When he saw Kenma's interest in volleyball tactics, he urged his friend to become a setter, saying it is a perfect position for a strategist and he would not have to move around much.

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During middle school, Kuroo convinced Kenma to join their junior high's volleyball team and they have played volleyball together since then[6]. When Kenma was debating leaving the team in his first year of high school due to troubled relationships with the upperclassmen, Kuroo encouraged him to stay by telling Kenma he is a big asset to the team and that Coach Nekomata was going to be coming out of retirement to coach the team again.

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Despite having a good relationship in their third year, Kuroo and Yaku didn't get along with each other for a short while of their first year that Kuroo explains was due to his team having been defeated by Yaku's team. The two often got into arguments for everything and Kai, who was the only other first-year in the boys' volleyball club, always had to deal with his teammates quarreling. However, when asked about their goals, Yaku, Kuroo, and Kai all agreed that they aim to win nationals, and this seemed to leave the three players' relationship on good terms[7].

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Kuroo first appears at Tokyo Station with Kenma, on their way to Karasuno High for the practice match[8]. Sometime later, he heads out to search for Kenma, who had gotten split up from the group.

Nekoma’s first practice match is against Tsukinokizawa High. Kuroo walks in as two opponents are criticizing Kenma and corrects that Kenma is Nekoma’s backbone. In the end, Nekoma wins 2-0[9]. At the inn that night, Kuroo yells at Yamamoto several times for being too loud.

When Daichi first meets Kuroo, they shake hands, as both of their teams’ captains. Despite his friendly attitude, Daichi is still wary of Kuroo as he can tell that he already doesn’t like him. Sometime later, Kuroo gives his habitual pep talk of Kenma being the team’s “brain”. Following this, Kenma complains over Kuroo always saying that, but after positive feedback from their team, Kuroo tells Kenma that he’ll keep doing it. After more of Kenma’s personality is shown, a flashback of Kuroo encouraging Kenma not to leave the club simply because of their unfair seniors.

Kuroo teases Hinata

As the score approaches a tie, Kuroo and Kenma perform a quick set, which surprises Karasuno. After focusing most of his attention on Inuoka, Hinata then remarks on Kuroo. In contrast to Inuoka, whom Hinata finds fun to play against, Karasuno’s rookie blocker considers Kuroo frightening. After confronting Kuroo, Hinata asks Kageyama for ways to use their quick set against him, but the setter recommends otherwise against such an opponent. Despite scoring past Kuroo in the next rally, the captain isn’t worried, but Karasuno isn’t too optimistic either, as they find him a problem. Soon after, Kuroo takes part in being a decoy for Fukunaga and later performs a quick set with Kenma.

Later on, a flashback of Kuroo surprising Kenma by attempting to do a delayed spike is shown. Right after, Kuroo performs a feint to follow with a delayed spike in the present time to score against Karasuno. After this impressive score from Kuroo, Takeda remarks to having felt senses of consistency whenever Kuroo rotated in the front row.

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After the matches conclude, Tsukishima is seen being puzzled at Hinata and Inuoka’s gibberish conversation. Noticing the lethargic rookie, Kuroo reaches out to him and remarks that his companion first-year blockers were hardly having a high schoolers' conversation. Kuroo then tells Tsukishima to relax and that he could have fun with the other rookies as well, but the latter refuses coldly. When parting ways, Daichi shakes hands with Kuroo, and he vows to defeat Nekoma the next time they meet, though both are squeezing hard in challenge.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Kuroo meets with Karasuno when they arrive at the training camp[10]. He asks Daichi about Hinata and Kageyama when he notices they're missing and learns they had to stay behind at school as he is leading the group to the gym.

Later, he sits in the cafeteria and chats with Daichi about all of the third-years having decided against retiring and Nekoma's loss during the Interhigh; revealing that Nekoma had played against the previous years champion team on the second day and only made it to best eight in Tokyo. Though Daichi remarks that it’s still a good position, Kuroo replies that if they don’t move forward, then there’s no point.

During the next camp, Kuroo’s practicing with Bokuto and Akaashi in the third gymnasium when Tsukishima passes by[11]. He calls Tsukishima over and asks him to do a few blocks for Bokuto, though he’s shocked when Tsukishima refuses. In response, Kuroo brings up how Bokuto would be good practice for him since he's one of the nation's top five ace's and riles him up about his position as a middle blocker enough that Tsukishima decides to join the practice.

Practicing in the third gymnasium.

Kuroo eventually joins Tsukishima in trying to block Bokuto and impresses the younger blocker when he is able to easily stop Bokuto's spike. However, when he warns Tsukishima that Hinata will surpass him if he doesn't start taking his training seriously, Tsukishima grows silent and leaves when the rest of Nekoma walks in moments later. When Akaashi and Bokuto point out how Kuroo upset Tsukishima, Kuroo admits that it was unintentional and that he didn't believe Tsukishima would react in such a manner at his comment. When Bokuto questions what he meant by this, Kuroo admits that Hinata is someone to be cautious of despite his lack of experience and short stature, and that Tsukishima, while taller and smarter, actually sees himself below Hinata. The next day, Kuroo approaches Daichi and apologizes for having upset Tsukishima.

Later, he’s practicing with Bokuto and Akaashi again when Tsukishima approaches them. Tsukishima starts by mentioning their teams’ strength, annoying Kuroo and Bokuto by saying their teams are 'moderately' strong. When Bokuto interrupts with an off-topic comment, Kuroo goes along with him until Tsukishima is finally able to ask why they put so much effort into volleyball as he believes there's not much point to it[3]. Once Bokuto was able to help Tsukishima get a better understand of what benefits will come out of hard work, Kuroo helps the ace in dragging Tsukishima into blocking practice as 'payment' for their words of wisdom. During that practice, Kuroo instructed Tsukishima on proper blocking techniques and how to position his hands to give him the best chance to prevent injuries.

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The following night, Hinata and Lev ask to join the practice; although Kuroo would question Lev if he was allowed to be there since he was suppose to be working with Yaku on improving his receives. Kuroo then suggests a 3-on-3 with the taller players being on one team and the shorter players as the second team. They were able to play a brief game until Fukurōdani's managers warned them of the cafeteria closing and they would need to end their game or risk not getting any dinner. During another free practice, Tsukishima asks him why he’s helping them so much even though they’re opponents. When Kuroo tries to play it off as always being kind, Hinata and Tsukishima stare at him in disbelief. Kuroo then reveals that he wants to make the Trashcan Showdown happen since he doesn’t know how long Coach Nekomata would stay on the team. In order to make this a reality, Kuroo states that Karasuno will need all the help they can get and he is willing to offer his own assistance to help them get stronger. As they begin another 3-on-3 match, Kuroo continues to instruct Lev and Tsukishima on how to block Bokuto. He eventually joins the two in a triple block when Hinata is given a last hit; an act that Bokuto calls them out on. However, Hinata was able to get the better of them when he performed a block-out against Lev's fingers. Kuroo complimented Hinata on the attack while Hinata tried to explain that his aim normally isn't that great.

On the final day of the camp, Shibayama presents a list of the present teams and what their total wins and losses are; Nekoma being the second strongest. The team then watches as Karasuno carries out yet another penalty lap. When Yaku states how serious Hinata, calling him Shorty, is about the flying lap, Lev teases Yaku for not being much taller than Hinata. Yaku immediately retaliates and Kuroo simply states that he is not able to help Lev since he brought the act on himself. Kuroo is able to take quick peeks at Karasuno's match against Fukurōdani and sees how well Tsukishima is playing.

During the barbeque, Kuroo brings food to Kenma in the attempt to get him to eat more and later gives descriptions of the country’s top three aces to Lev and Hinata[12]. He is part of the group that is present to say good-bye to Karasuno when they depart to head home.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

When being asked about blocking stronger opponents, Ukai uses Kuroo as a good example of an experienced blocker with good timing and the person that Tsukishima would best learn from. A few days later, Tsukishima would observe Kuroo block Lev after having waited to bring the block to its peak when Lev began his downward swing. After scoring, Kuroo scolds Tsukishima for being inactive and the rookie blocker joins the practice. Soon after, Kuroo would scold Lev for keeping his arms too wide which allowed Bokuto to score. He explains that a blocker's arms should not be too wide as it would allow a spiker to get by without any problems. Before departing back to Miyagi, Kuroo and Daichi challenge each other, as well as their teams, to a dumpster battle at Nationals. Kuroo was present when Kenma announced to the team that Karasuno had advanced to the final round of their qualifier tournament. Although happy for them, Kuroo sympathized that Karasuno now had to face Ushijima[13].

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During a flashback Tsukishima has during the match between Karasuno and Shiratorizawa, Lev had questioned Kuroo if he would be able to block Ushijima. When Kuroo answers that he could possibly block one in every ten spikes, he is given looks of disbelief from Lev and Hinata. Stating that he answered honestly, Kuroo explains that Ushijima would be trickier for him to block since he doesn't know Ushijima's plays as well as he does Bokuto's[14].

Kuroo goes on to explain that it's not possible to block a spiker one hundred percent of the time and that, even though the ball would only count for one point, it can feel like one hundred points when someone is able to score during a situation that turns the game around. Unfortunately, Bokuto calls Kuroo out on his theory and Kuroo admits that he confused himself in the process.

Tokyo Prefectural Qualifiers

Nekoma vs. Fukurōdani

Nekoma makes it to the top four in the Spring High and faces off against Fukurōdani in the first round[15]. After being informed by Shibayama that their game should start soon, Kuroo prepares a pep talk for his team by telling them to maintain their foundation as they are one step away from nationals.

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As the team is preparing, Suguru Daishō of Nohebi Academy approaches Kuroo and insults his team for just being known as defenders. When Yamamoto gets provoked at this, Kuroo tells him to brush of Suguru’s taunt. However, when saying that Kuroo lies about his height due to his unique hairstyle, that’s when Kuroo gets annoyed and claims that he does not use sneaky methods to lie about his height. In response, Kuroo brings up that he is aware of Suguru being dumped by Mika Yamaka and is possibly too heartbroken to play in the match.

When entering the court for their next game, Kenma asks Kuroo if he is nervous and the captain is not afraid to admit so. Shortly after, Kuroo and Bokuto treat each other to a good game as they shake hands. As a pre-game pep talk, Kuroo preps his team in being prepared to face Fukurōdani and especially Bokuto as the ace is undoubtedly their biggest threat. And for Nekoma’s tradition, Kuroo uses his brain and blood analogies to excite them.

During the game’s first rally, Kuroo and Kenma immediately perform a quick set, which makes the audience speculate that blockers would really hate going up against them. When Bokuto performs a block-out and excites the crowd right away, Kuroo admits he’s not surprised. As Bokuto continues to score multiple points, he remarks Kuroo having been quiet for the majority of the game. At this, Kuroo tells the ace that hogging the spotlight isn’t always the best move and assures him he’ll block Bokuto the next time.

True to his word, Kuroo is able to block Bokuto’s line shot as he and Kenma had switched positions at the last second, which alarms Akaashi. In a following rally, Kuroo would perform a jump floater that would give Konoha trouble. Kuroo would confront Konoha once more in the second set when the hitter performs a block-out that frustrates Kuroo. In the end, Nekoma loses after Bokuto scores with two cross spikes past Kuroo. When shaking hands to part ways, Bokuto, happy, attempts to cheer Kuroo up.

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Afterward, Kenma calls Kuroo’s attention to help Lev who became depressed after the match. Although Kuroo is surprised to hear Lev acknowledge that Nekoma is a team based on teamwork and that he didn't want to upset this dynamic, Kuroo still understands how Lev describes wanting to look cool when making a block and helps him to get a better idea of how teamwork can feel when he's truly connected with his teammates.

Nekoma vs. Nohebi

Nekoma faces off against Nohebi[16]. The third-years are tense as the game’s starting as this is their last chance at nationals. As Kuroo and Suguru shake hands, they tease each other about knowing they would be playing against each other for the last representative spot.

Kuroo doesn’t play in the beginning and watches the match from the side, warily taking note of Nohebi’s tactics. When he later goes into the game, however, he is seen being fooled multiple times by Kuguri's form. When Yaku gets injured, Kuroo attempts to comfort the libero but still acknowledges the seriousness of losing the third-year and the possibility of not making it to nationals.

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Kuroo helps Shibayama relax when the first-year libero is showing signs of letting his nerves get to him. With Yaku out, Kuroo has to take on a bigger role on the court when he agrees to stay in the rotation when he is moved to the back row and is shown to receive a jump float serve perfectly, which surprises the server. When in the front row, his presence greatly pressures Nohebi’s setter and is able to block his dump shortly after. With the help of Lev and Kenma, Kuroo wins the first set with a back attack[17].

The second set begins and Kuroo worries about Lev and wondering how to best guide him without discouraging him. Kai notices his distress and remarks that it doesn’t matter what type of mistakes Lev makes because the team will always be behind him.

Kuroo and Kenma use their one-man time delay attack sometime after and Kuroo would earn his team a point when blocking one of Nohebi's less experienced players. Nekoma later suffers a blow when Kuroo later busts his nail when attempting to make an overhand receive and has to be switched out to stop the bleeding. He watches in amazement as Lev pulls off a magnificent block to direct a spike to go directly to Shibayama which would lead to Nekoma claiming victory.

As Kuroo and Kai hold up Yaku, the former compliments Lev for going beyond his expectations. He then hears some players from another school complaining about Nohebi using underhanded methods and deserving their loss. Despite his rivalry with Suguru, Kuroo defends Nohebi, subtly mocking the team about them not having noticed Nohebi's actual skills.

Because Nekoma won the match, it became one of the three teams to represent Tokyo at Nationals. Kuroo and several of his teammates are then able to catch the end of the match between Itachiyama and Fukurōdani. Kuroo watches in amusement as Bokuto attempts to swear vengeance on Kiyoomi Sakusa when Akaashi embarrasses the ace by pointing out his numerous missed serves and Bokuto falls into a tantrum[18].

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Upon meeting Karasuno, Kuroo becomes smug and is glad to see them being able to get so far. When arriving at the gymnasium, however, Kuroo tries to ease his nervousness by teasing Daichi but they both end up admitting to being nervous in the end. To make himself feel better, Kuroo sees how Hinata is handling things and compares him to a middle schooler in the wrong place. Shortly after, when noticing Bokuto, Kuroo comments on the ruckus he is making.

Nekoma vs. Kiyokawa

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During the match, Kuroo is seen repeatedly trying to block Kiyokawa's ace to either block him or direct where his spikes should go. He eventually gets a one-touch on a spike that would allow Kenma and Fukunaga to score the winning point for Nekoma to win the match and advance to the next round.

After a short conversation with Karasuno, Kuroo wishes Daichi good luck getting past the second round the net day. Despite their friendly natures that instant, the moment they turned their back against each other, Shibayama notices their smile fade.

Nekoma vs. Sarukawa

The night before, Kuroo tells Yaku to have more faith in their juniors as he is skeptical about them getting to nationals the next year. Kuroo then explains that although Kenma was reluctant to try the sport when he first tried it, he grew to enjoy it. Hearing this, Yaku doesn't believe his classmate. When Kenma tells Kuroo that he, in fact, has feelings, Kuroo sarcastically refuses to believe him. After Kenma leaves, the third-years continue their discussion about him nevertheless and Kuroo confirms his teammates talking about Kenma's rise in determination after meeting Hinata. After this, Kuroo and Yaku get into a short squabble.

During the game, Kuroo notices that Sarukawa is aiming at Kenma in an attempt to exhaust him. At Kanazawa's harsh spike, Kuroo digs it with difficulty, determined to cover for Kenma. Later on in the first set, the announcers praise Kuroo as one of Nekoma's most notable players. During the second set, Kuroo tells Kenma that he wouldn't look cool if he acts out of desperation and his friend tells him to stop looking like he's having so much pleasure in saying so.

When Nekomata warns the team to hang on, Kuroo boldly confirms that they will. 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, Nekoma and Sarukawa are stuck in a battle of endurance, and Kenma wishes that he had asked Nekomata to rest, however, Kuroo tries to comfort and motivate him nevertheless. Following their victory, Kuroo and Yaku are both proud of Kenma for being able to come up with a strategy despite his exhaustion. After this, Kuroo and Kai tease Kenma to him admitting that he cares about the team. Despite this, Kuroo still believes that Karasuno would be a tough but awaited opponent for Nekoma.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Nekoma's middle blockers, including Kuroo, are prepared to see Tsukishima block Suna but are proven wrong when Suna scores past him instead. Seeing Osamu lose his temper and serve completely out of bounds, Kuroo remarks that despite Karasuno putting up a good-enough fight, Inarizaki would still have a huge lead. Later on, Kenma asks Kuroo what he would have done about Suna if Nekoma were to go against them. Kuroo would later answer that he would simply try to stay composed but admit that he would still attempt to block Suna. Despite this, he is analytical of Tsukishima's strategy to adapt to Suna's hits and suspects that he is using his blocks to warn the backrow players of what Suna will attempt.

After the match is over and Nekoma reunites back at their inn. Yamamoto and Kenma are seen arguing about Karasuno’s larger support. Kuroo scolds Kenma about how he should cover himself more because of the cold but grows quiet once asked if Nekoma could’ve defeated Ushijima or the Miya twins. As an attempted come-back, Kuroo replies that they could at least try.

Nekoma vs. Karasuno

As the match against Karasuno is about to begin, Kuroo shakes hands with Daichi while teasing the captain about his team being the master of the flying laps. Daichi would credit his team becoming masters of the penalty laps thanks to Kuroo and the others while squeezing Kuroo's hand greatly.

Kuroo's first play in the game is when he attempts to make a direct spike off of Lev's receive. He and Kai then try to block Asahi but they are unable to withstand the power behind Asahi's spike. Kuroo is able to score soon after when Kenma tried but failed to fool Hinata with a decoy glance. When Karasuno execute the synchronized attack, Kuroo is successful in shutting down Daichi's spike, though Bokuto would claim that this was out of pure luck. Kuroo would then right away tease Tsukishima on his blocking but admit that he's just trying to rile him up[19].

After Fukunaga scores a point, Kuroo receives great praise from the announcers on his reliability as a blocker and that his receiving of high quality; being referred to as an opposing spiker's worst nightmare. Kuroo further demonstrates his blocking abilities when he is able to get Hinata to spike where Fukunaga was waiting to receive, and then repeats the same action to allow Yamamoto to make a receive. When Tsukishima rotates into the front row, Kuroo becomes intrigued when the first year admits he did not believe he could beat someone stronger than himself. When Tsukishima and Yamaguchi are able to stop Fukuanga with the serve and block technique, Kuroo is immediately blamed by Yaku for Tsukishima's increase in skill though Kuroo would say that half of it was Tsukishima's own doing. Kuroo would then ask Tsukishima how volleyball has been for him and Tsukishima would answer that lately, with Kuroo's help, it's fun at times[20].

After Lev rotates into the game, Kuroo is able to score a service ace. Kuroo later tries to get a ball that appears like it will cross over the net but is shocked to see Kageyama reach it first and set to Hinata. Moments later, Kuroo sees that Asahi would try to spike. Yaku was able to receive and Fukunaga tries to get it after. Kuroo attempts to get the last hit over by saving the ball with his foot but the ball didn't make it over the net. He and Nekoma later try to place themselves well to defend, and not give Asahi a place to hit, only for Asahi to do a block-out against Kuroo's hand.

Seeing Lev attempt to beat Kageyama to a ball going over the net, Kuroo knows that the first year middle blocker doesn't have the technical skills to beat the setter but would be able to use his power and height to his advantage. Kuroo is able to tie the score near the end of the set when he is able to stop Tanaka's spike.

Later in the second set, Kuroo noticed that Kenma seemed to be upset that Hinata was no longer his interesting self due to Nekoma's plan of containing the middle blocker being so successful. Kuroo starts to become a greater threat to Karasuno when he is able to spike past Tsukishima as well as get a one-touch on his spike. When Karasuno reaches set point and Hinata is able to receive and win the set, Kuroo is left speechless.

Before the start of the third set, Lev promises that he will score twenty points and leave the rest to the team. Kuroo is able to calm Lev enough to see that scoring points one at a time will be better than trying to get a larger amount at once. He encourages his team to go back onto the court with the goal of earning the reward for all their hard work.

Early in the third set, Kuroo is able to beat Tsukishima in a joust and afterwards comments how Tsukishima is dragging the match out despite his low stamina. Yaku and Tsukishima comments that it was because of Kuroo and Bokuto that Tsukishima had this newfound fondness for volleyball though Kuroo points out that Tsukishima should give himself some of that credit. Not long after, Kuroo is able to make a receive thanks to Lev, using his block to direct where Asahi should spike.

After Kenma is unable to reach Hinata's feint shot, the setter fell to the floor. Kuroo hurried over to check on him only to be surprised when Kenma confessed he was finally having fun in a game. When accidentally bumps into Kenma and knocks him over, Kuroo is shown being surprised at Kenma's sudden change in behavior when he snaps at Lev to keep the ball is still in play.

When Nekoma loses the match, Kuroo dramatically falls to the ground in the warm-up box. He then makes his way to Kenma on the court where the setter would thank Kuroo for getting him interested in volleyball; leaving Kuroo stunned. When the teams shake hands, Kuroo embraces Daichi afterwards and then pats Tsukishima on the back. When Coach Nekomata thanked the team for their hard work and well played match, Kuroo is the first to voice his gratitude to Coach Nekomata. Kuroo and Yaku would soon burst into tears when Kai expressed his gratitude for having gotten to play volleyball with the two for the last few years.

Fukurōdani vs Mujinazaka

Kuroo watches the match against Mujinazaka. In the first rally, he and Kenma notice Mujinazaka’s blockers having done a commit block. Shortly after, Kuroo declines Kenma’s question about Usuri’s reputation. Mujinazaka’s setter aside, Kuroo then focuses on Kiryū and explains that he’s heard Mujinazaka puts a lot of emphasis on the weight training side of their program. Shortly after, however, Kuroo speculates that Kiryū has more depth than simple height and strength despite his appearance.

As Bokuto keeps getting targeted by Mujinazaka, Kuroo speculates that they chose to act this way in order to put pressure on the ace. When Kiryū’s streak of service aces finally ends, Kuroo wishes for Bokuto’s mentality not to fall under pressure. After Kenma notices Mujinazaka’s anti-Bokuto tactic, Kuroo also remarks that the team also had a way for the ground defense to prevent Bokuto from scoring. Despite this thought, Akaashi eventually becomes the target of pressure. Noticing this, Kuroo doesn’t find himself surprised at Akaashi putting too much restraint on himself.

At the beginning of the second set, Kuroo notices Fukurōdani’s impressive defense but also gets slightly disgusted by it. In the second set, as Bokuto is about to hit a rough emergency set, Kuroo speculates that he won’t be able to make it through. Despite this, Bokuto doesn’t fail to surprise him with a rebound, which frustrates Kuroo. When Fukurōdani uses multiple of its hitters as decoys, Kuroo compares this to Karasuno’s habits.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

Kuroo joins his team in watching Karasuno play against Kamomedai High. Like many others, Kuroo is taken by surprise at seeing Hoshiumi using his special jump and spiking over the blockers but shortly afterwards appears to share in Kenma's annoyance that Hinata appeared to be clearly ignored by Kamomedai's blockers. Despite this, Kuroo was still impressed that Kamomedai was able to get three blockers ready in the attempt to stop Hinata's quick attack even though they were unable to stop him. He's greatly supportive of Tsukishima when he moves to the front row, before laughing at Kenma imitating the Karasuno middle blocker[21]. Right as Kuroo and Kenma notice that Fukurōdani has won their match, they see that Karasuno has lost the first set.

As the second set is about to start, Kuroo notices that Hinata and Tsukishima have switched their usual starting positions. He is shortly shown with an amused expression when Hinata is able to use his wide broad attack to score unmarked. Right after this, Kageyama was able to land a setter dump when Hinata was able to draw enough attention to cause an opening for Kageyama to score. Kuroo is aware that Hinata is able to score several points on his own and is incredibly effective as a decoy. He also notes that this gives the other spikers many opportunities to attack but, as Kenma points out, Hinata is also faced against Hakuba and Hirugami most of the time which could put a great amount of pressure on the middle blocker. Later, like the Date Tech players watching the tournament online, Kuroo shows great surprise when Asahi appeared like he would perform a powerful spike only to switch to a feint shot. Like many others, Kuroo is astounded when Tsukishima was able to dodge Hoshiumi's attempt at a block-out[22]. Despite the excitement of Tsukishima having managed to dodge the ball, Kuroo still points out that it won't be possible for him to manage whenever he wants now that he knows how to do it and that Hoshiumi will most likely be on guard for this and the possibility that Tsukishima won't be the only person who can avoid is spike.

When the third set is about to begin, Kuroo sees that Karasuno and Kamomedai have not changed their rotations and guesses it's due to Karasuno wanting to continue using Hinata to attack from the right while Kamomedai wants to have Hirugami facing Hinata. Kuroo later shows annoyance when Daichi was able to make a miraculous save using his foot and then eagerly watched as Tsukishima made a running approach and spike past a triple block[23]. When Hinata eventually collapsed from his fever, Kuroo expresses concern and watches as Kenma leaves; seeming to instantly know that Kenma was on his way to find Hinata. When Karasuno lost the match, Kuroo was waiting with Bokuto and Yaku to comfort and praise the Karasuno players for their well played match and hard work.

Final Arc

In the Final Arc, Kuroo appears after the match between the MSBY Black Jackals and the Schweiden Adlers. He has become part of the sports promotion division of the Japan Volleyball Association and approaches Hinata with an offer of appearing in a collaboration video along with Kenma with the hope of inspiring others through sports.

Statistics

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


Kuroo is considered by many to be a blocking expert and is excellent at pressuring opponents. He possesses fine-tuned techniques and is recognized to be Tsukishima's blocking teacher. Kuroo is an all-rounder, essential to Nekoma in both offence and defense. Like the rest of his team, Kuroo is flexible and efficient with receiving. Even though a middle blocker is usually rotated out with the libero, Kuroo has shown the ability to play back-row capably after Yaku is taken out due to injury. He is also currently the only starting member to have a good jump serve.

Jumping Reach: 330 cm

Skills

  • Masterful Blocking:
    Group s4-e17-2.png
    Kuroo is a skilled read blocker and is capable of stopping powerful spikers such as Suguru and Bokuto, despite Bokuto being one of the top five spikers in the country. His expertise in blocking is mainly derived from his firm grasp of the nuances, such as proper posture, timing, and jumps. When jumping to block, Kuroo would stop and jump straight up instead of sideways. At the same time, he tries to match his blocking timing with the moment the ball is spiked downward[24]. This allows Kuroo to block spikers taller or stronger than him. While capable of blocking opponents, Kuroo also uses his blocks to help make receives easier for his team to handle by narrowing or blocking a path a spiker should take.
  • Personal Time Difference Attack: Kuroo picked up the personal time difference attack after watching volleyball matches in his childhood and perfected the move with Kenma over the years[5]. It is one of Nekoma's strongest attacks and can be used to throw off the opposing blockers when he appears like he is running for a normal attack but pauses momentarily and then jumping when the blockers have already jump to block. This allows Kuroo to spike without fear of being blocked.
  • Jump Serve: Kuroo is one of the two players on Nekoma shown to be able to use a jump serve. He first showed off his jump serve in the match against Fukurōdani Academy in which he can land a free ball for Nekoma[25]. Since then, he has used the jump serve reliably either for service aces or breaking the opponents' formations.
  • Receives:
    Kuroo 3.png
    Kuroo has demonstrated that he is very reliable when it comes to defense. Like the rest of Nekoma, he is solid in receiving opponents spikes and is also able to make a capable receive of Hiroo's float serve with an underhand receive.

Relationships

Nekoma High

  • Kenma Kozume:
    Kuroo1.png
    Kuroo moved into Kenma's neighborhood when they were young, and they gradually became close friends. Due to both of their shy and withdrawn nature, the two ended up playing video games in silence until Kenma asked what Kuroo wanted to do one day. Kuroo suggested playing volleyball, and Kenma joined in despite his initial disappointment over it not being a video game. Once Kuroo began opening up more, Kenma realized that there is indeed a loud guy underneath it all.
    Kuroo remained close with Kenma even after joining a new volleyball club, making new friends, and becoming more outgoing. He continued to be understanding of Kenma's reserved personally and respected the latter's wishes to not participate in certain activities. Kuroo insisted on helping Kenma foster interests of his own, stating that if Kenma was interested in something he would invite him out; otherwise, Kuroo doesn't want to make Kenma uncomfortable.
    Kuroo and Kenma remain good friends into adulthood and would still work together occasionally. Post-timeskip, Kuroo revealed that he is planning a video collaboration with Kodzuken, the famous Youtuber/gamer, and asked Hinata to join them for more possible views.
  • Morisuke Yaku:
    Kuroo Yaku OVA.png
    The two originally started off on bad terms due to Kuroo having once lost to Yaku and his team in a middle school tournament[7]. As a result, they often clashed as first years at Nekoma. In contrast to Yaku, Kuroo prefers fish, girls with long hair, sweet curry, Mikasa volleyballs, going to the sea during the summer, dogs, and Japanese-style; however, it's unclear if he said some of those things so that he would oppose Yaku. As third years now, they have a strong relationship and mutual respect.
  • Lev Haiba:
    Kuroo and Lev OVA 4-2.png
    Kuroo is shown to be the person most responsible for teaching Lev proper blocking techniques, such as read blocking and correct arm placement. Though Kuroo at times can get frustrated by Lev's impulsiveness, he is also patient and always ready to help however he can. After Nekoma's defeat against Fukurōdani Academy, Lev was depressed about his performance, but Kuroo was there to try to cheer him up and help him understand the meaning of teamwork. Kuroo does show pride and excitement when Lev begins to use his blocks more effectively during the Spring Tournament. While they have a good relationship, one of Inuoka's flashbacks indicates that Kuroo is possibly annoyed that Lev is taller than him[26].

Karasuno High

  • Daichi Sawamura: Though he sometimes teases Daichi for his team being the one to do the most penalties during the training camps,
    Daichi and Kuroo s2-e14-1.png
    Kuroo and Daichi respect each other and share a desire to have their teams play against one another at Nationals. They are both seen having to keep an eye on their underclassmen on occasion. After their final matches at Nationals, they are shown sharing embraces and Kuroo is shown praising Daichi and the Karasuno team for their well-played game after they lost to Kamomedai High.
  • Kei Tsukishima:
    KurooTsukishima.png
    Kuroo constantly teases Tsukishima while the latter is neutrally respectful towards him, occasionally looking towards Kuroo for inspiration. Kuroo taught Tsukishima many proper blocking techniques during the training camp and gave him advice on how to improve. Kuroo was the first to notice that Tsukishima felt inferior to Hinata during the summer training camp and would later apologize to Daichi for upsetting the middle blocker when he unintentionally hurt his feelings. Because of how much he would help Tsukishima, Kuroo became known as his mentor.
  • Shōyō Hinata:
    Hinata and Kuroo s1-e13-2.png
    Kuroo first meets Hinata when he found Kenma after the setter got lost. During the practice match between Nekoma and Karasuno, Kuroo would taunt Hinata about his height but recognized that he was faster than Inuoka and able to give him a hard time. During the summer training camps, he is friendlier to Hinata and would at times share blocking advice during free practices. Kuroo acknowledges Hinata as an opponent to be cautious of despite his lack of experience and short stature. Kuroo also seems to hold a certain level of gratitude toward Hinata for being a friend that Kenma was able make on his own.

Other Schools

  • Kōtarō Bokuto:
    BokutoKurooAkaashi.png
    Kuroo and Bokuto are good friends, know each other quite well, and often team up in their antics. Although Kuroo is more sensible than Bokuto, and will sometimes fool around with him, they often share similar reactions to events unfolding before them. He and Bokuto have a rather competitive relationship, though mostly trivial, and enjoy each other's company. Kuroo practices with Bokuto and Akaashi at the training camp despite being on different teams, suggesting that they must have known each other for a while. From how long they've known each other, Kuroo is highly aware of Bokuto's abilities and strength as a volleyball player and knows how dangerous he can be when in peak condition. The two continued to remain close friends after graduating.
  • Suguru Daishō:
    Suguru and Kuroo OVA 4-1.png
    They are longtime rivals and enjoy mocking each other. From what Akane was told by her brother, Kuroo and Suguru have known each other for several years and usually seem to bicker any time they meet[27]. They also seem to have mutual respect as they acknowledge their respective teams' abilities and have challenged each other to meet at the Spring High finals. Somehow, Kuroo knows a bit about Suguru's personal life, including his breakup with Mika. Kuroo calls Mika "Mika-chan", but it's unknown if he does it to tease Suguru or if he knows her personally.

Quotes

  • "That unsteady shrimp you guys are talking about is the backbone of Nekoma. He's our brain and our heart." (To players from an opposing team during a practice match, Season 1 Episode 11 / Season 1 Episode 11)
  • "Remember. We are blood. Never stop flowing. Keep moving. Keep bringing oxygen... So that our "brain"... can operate at his best." (To Nekoma, Volume 4 Chapter 28 and various)
  • "A 'personal time difference attack!' It’s an offensive technique we can’t use yet, but if we practice it a lot from here on out, around the time we’re in high school, I’m sure that it’ll become one of our most magnificent special moves!" (To Kenma, Volume 4 Chapter 32)
  • "Then, isn't it best to attack before being attacked? They do say offense is the best defense, right?" (To Kenma, The Arrival of Haiba Lev)
  • "Read blocking is a block that consists of restraint and persistence, but it's also... the block where you laugh last." (To Lev and Tsukishima, Season 3 Episode 9)

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Grilled salted mackerel pike.
  • Current Concern: Can't get rid of his bedhead hair.
    • His hair sticks up like that because it's his natural bedhead, according to Kenma.
      • Kenma has also stated that this happens because Kuroo sleeps on his stomach while pressing two pillows onto both his ears and his hair.
  • Kuroo spiking with his left hand
    In Haikyuu's first popularity poll, Kuroo placed in 6th with 4035 votes[28]. In the second, he placed in 8th with 6511 votes[29].
  • It has been theorized that Kuroo could be ambidextrous as he has been shown spiking with both hands in the manga. However, Furudate has stated right-handed players spiking were occasionally drawn spiking with their left hand due to drawing while half-asleep[30].
Kuroo spiking with his right hand
  • In a flashback Tsukishima has of the training camp, Kuroo and Bokuto were shown to have switched hairstyles[31].
  • Kuroo is the youngest of Nekoma's third-years and is one of the youngest third-years in the series.
  • In the official English sub of the anime, his name is written as 'Kuro'.
  • His star sign is Scorpio.
  • He knows the full term for DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
  • Until Lev's introduction, Kuroo was the tallest member of the team. A flashback Inuoka had shown that Kuroo is possibly annoyed that Lev is taller than him[26].
  • Nomenclature:
    • Tetsurō (鉄朗) - Iron Cheerfulness
    • Kuroo (黒尾) - Black Tail

References

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