Tobio Kageyama (Japanese:
He was chosen to train at the All-Japan youth training camp during his first year of high school and joined the V League as soon as he graduated. He became a part of Japan's national volleyball team at the age of 19, participating in the Rio Olympics in 2016. He is currently playing as a setter for the Japanese V-League Division 1 team Schweiden Adlers .
Kageyama's height and impressively sharp glare are said to be his most prominent physical characteristics. He is of a muscular build. He often emits an intimidating aura, which is heightened by the almost permanent scowl on his face. His black hair is cropped short, with a fringe that hangs just above his dark blue eyes. His typical attire consists of either his school uniform or practice clothes.
Perpetually sullen, arrogant, and undeniably short-tempered, Kageyama originally came off as a typical overbearing perfectionist, caring only about winning and completely disregarding the opinions and well-being of his teammates. His habit of complaining about their performance and barking orders at them eventually led the other players in Kitagawa Daiichi to nickname him the "King of the Court", a constant reminder of the oppressive, egocentric attitude he demonstrated during his volleyball career in junior high.
Unbeknownst to the majority of his schoolmates and acquaintances, however, he is much more sensitive and childish than he appears to be; he simply does not know how to control his frustration, and hence expresses his thoughts and emotions in an inappropriate way.
After everyone in Kitagawa Daiichi became fed up with him and abandoned his side, Kageyama was filled with genuine regret and developed an intense fear of being despised and mistrusted, but refused to openly discuss his problem until Tsukishima confronted him about it.
Despite his inability to properly socialize, he sincerely wishes to do his best and is extremely passionate and dedicated when it comes to volleyball, to the point where he gets overly excited about nearly every successful move he pulls off with Hinata.
Since joining Karasuno, he has grown to be more respectful of his upperclassmen (Sugawara and Asahi in particular), as well as more accepting of people whose abilities and/or views differ from his own (like Tsukishima), and has come to once again understand the importance of teamwork and mutual trust in the sport he treasures so much. Additionally, this has also helped him regain his confidence as a setter. He has also realized that he doesn't call the shots, and gives up control to Hinata and other spikers.
BackgroundKageyama started playing volleyball in his second year at Akiyama Elementary and soon evolved into a genius setter. Once he entered Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High, it was clear that his potential would be much higher than the other players' on his team, including the current third-year setter Tōru Oikawa. However, Kageyama's exceptional abilities and lack of consideration for others led him to develop an arrogant demeanor and an inability to cooperate with his teammates, causing them to refer to him as the "King of the Court". Since the true meaning of this nickname was only known to the players at Kitagawa Daiichi, outsiders simply assumed that it referred to Kageyama's incredible talent.
By his third year of junior high, Kageyama's attitude had already destroyed his relationship with his teammates to the point where two of them considered asking the coach to bench the setter. Despite the setter's lack of teamwork, Kitagawa Daiichi still managed to be a favorite to win at the Junior High Athletics Meet. Its first match was against Hinata's team, Yukigaoka Junior High School. Before the game began, Kageyama went to the bathroom, where he encountered Hinata being bullied by members from Kitagawa Daiichi. Kageyama coldly criticized them before turning his attention to Hinata. Despite Kageyama's mocking of Hinata's lack of height and overly idealistic ambition, Hinata wasn't fazed and challenged Kageyama instead, surprising and irritating the latter. Kageyama accepted angrily before leaving.As expected, Kitagawa Daiichi easily overwhelmed Yukigaoka, but Hinata remained determined. Kageyama admired Hinata's high jumps, overall athletic abilities, and determination, but didn't change his poor opinion of the wing spiker. In the end, Kitagawa Daiichi won both sets (25-5, 25-8). As the teams lined up, Kageyama angrily asked Hinata what he had been doing for the past three years before getting called away. Afterward, as they were leaving, Hinata ran up to Kageyama and vowed to defeat him next time. Kageyama accepted his challenge but probably didn't take it very seriously then since he didn't remember Hinata at first when they saw each other again in Karasuno. Kitagawa Daiichi moved forward with the tournament, but lost at finals; it's hinted that Kageyama may be one of the main reasons for the loss due to his picture being on an article about the match.
At some point during the junior high competitions in his third year, Kageyama sent a toss to his teammates in the middle of a game–only to find no one behind him. His teammates refused to hit his tosses anymore, showing their clear desire of having him removed from the team. Kageyama was then benched and ended his final game at Kitagawa Daiichi in shame.
In the present day, he still gets extremely angry when he is called by his nickname, "King of the Court", but has changed dramatically, terrified that his new teammates will turn their backs on him again.
Karasuno High Team Formation ArcKageyama arrives at the second gymnasium early and practices serves. Suddenly, the door slams open and Hinata rushes in, loudly asking Kageyama why he’s here too. Kageyama recognizes Hinata but doesn’t remember his name, prompting the latter to reintroduce himself. Hinata states that Kageyama has probably already forgotten him, but Kageyama denies it, thinking back to Hinata’s reflexes, jumping power, and speed. Kageyama instead insults Hinata, leading to an argument. Hinata asks Kageyama why he’s here and Kageyama reveals solemnly that he didn’t get into the best school in the prefecture. Hinata wonders how since Kageyama’s the King of the Upper Court and Kageyama yells at Hinata before getting interrupted by the third years.
Daichi, Sugawara, and Tanaka are walking in while talking about Kageyama. They greet Kageyama and talk to him a bit. Hinata loudly greets the third years and Tanaka, taking the attention of Kageyama momentarily. They compliment Hinata for his performance last year and he exclaims that he’ll become Karasuno’s ace. This causes Kageyama to insult him, reminding him to not waste another three years again. Daichi tries to stop the argument but the first years ignore him, too engrossed in their fight.
The vice-principal then comes in and the upperclassmen try to cover up the situation, but Hinata and Kageyama end up challenging each other to a mini-match. Hinata exclaims that he’s not the same as last year and Kageyama replies with the same words and smiles excitedly, surprising Hinata.
The match begins and Kageyama does a jump serve that Hinata avoids at the last moment. Kageyama asks if this behavior is any different from last year’s and Hinata asks for another try without any hesitation. Kageyama serves again but to his surprise, Hinata moves quickly to where the ball goes. However, the ball bounces off his arms and then his face before flying towards the vice principal. It knocks the vice principal’s wig off, silencing everyone in the gym. Coldly, the vice principal asks Daichi to go outside for small talk as Kageyama and Hinata watch on.When Daichi returns, he rounds everyone up and begins lecturing the first years before getting cut off by Kageyama. The setter criticizes Hinata and blames him for everything and Daichi interjects coldly. He explains Karasuno’s goals to go to Nationals before asserting that he doesn’t want any players on his team who would fight with one another. He then throws the two first years out. They aren’t allowed to join until they begin to view each other as teammates.
Hinata begs to be let back in while Kageyama stays silent initially. After coming to terms with his situation, he pushes Hinata aside as he claims that he’ll be able to work with the latter. Daichi opens the door and asks if he’s sure. However, Kageyama replies sheepishly that with Hinata’s current skill level, he would rather take on all the roles by himself than work with Hinata. Daichi laughs and asks Kageyama how he would be able to do that in a game where teamwork is so essential.
The two remain outside the gym. After a while, Kageyama storms away, wondering what he would do since he can't see Hinata as a teammate. He announces arrogantly that he has the potential to make Karasuno better so he has to be allowed on the team. He then proposes to challenge the upperclassmen to a 2-on-2 match. He adds that he doesn’t want to be on the same team as Hinata, but they have to cooperate to join. Hinata agrees after thinking it over.
3-on-3 First Years Match
Later on in the evening, as the Karasuno members are cleaning up, Hinata and Kageyama announce their challenge. Secretly, Kageyama still refuses to work with Hinata and may have been planning on winning the game with serves and dump shots only. Daichi sternly asks them if they had considered the possibility of them losing and Kageyama replies that they’ll take any punishment.
Daichi agrees and changes the match to a 3-on-3 with the duo against the other two first years. Tanaka is placed on the duo’s team while Daichi joins the other one. However, if the duo loses, as long as the third years are around, Kageyama will never get to play as the setter. A shocked Kageyama tries to reason as Daichi reminds him of his selfish behavior from junior high. Despite Daichi telling him that he can join the club as another type of player, Kageyama exclaims that he is a setter only. Daichi replies that it’ll be okay as long as Kageyama wins, and the latter accepts begrudgingly.
Kageyama leaves angrily with Hinata trailing behind him. The latter remarks that even if Kageyama isn’t the setter, he’ll be able to play as a regular anyway and exclaims that spikers are cooler than setters anyway.
This annoys Kageyama, who grabs Hinata and exclaims that a setter is the team’s leader since he is the one who handles the ball the most in a match. Hinata timidly responds that setters just seem boring to him and calming down, Kageyama explains the speed at which the setter tosses the ball and how he opens the path for the spiker. Hinata still doesn’t seem to understand that well, but Kageyama drops the subject.
Just as they begin worrying about where to practice, they hear Tanaka discreetly telling them what time morning practice is, allowing them to come up with a plan. They then both leave as they decide to come at five AM tomorrow.
The next day, they arrive to find the door locked. Tanaka then appears with the key and they begin to practice. However, Hinata has trouble receiving and Kageyama easily loses his temper. Tanaka starts to lecture them but the door suddenly opens, scaring the three.
Sugawara appears and offers to help. Kageyama continues training with Tanaka as Hinata goes to Sugawara, but Hinata’s dissatisfied by this arrangement and pesters Kageyama for a toss. Kageyama blatantly refuses because of Hinata’s low skills and reveals that he’s planning on only using Tanaka during the match on Saturday. He tells Hinata to just focus on not dragging the team down, angering the latter. Hinata asks if Kageyama will toss to him if he can receive the ball properly and Kageyama replies that he will only if it’s necessary because he doesn’t see Hinata as essential to helping him win.
Sometime later during the school day, Kageyama goes to buy a drink from a vending machine outside and sees Hinata and Sugawara talking. He’s surprised to see Hinata practicing even during his lunch break and eavesdrop on the two. Hinata expresses his desire to become stronger than Kageyama so he can then defeat other strong players and after considering the former’s words, Kageyama leaves quickly.
For the next few days, the two practices together wherever they can and Hinata seems to improve, but Kageyama still refuses to toss to him. At one point, Kageyama exhausts Hinata with his continuous spikes, but Hinata refuses to back down. Angrily, Kageyama spikes a ball to the back of the gym and despite being at his limits, Hinata runs to it and saves it. As it’s sent back to Kageyama, the setter remembers all the things he said to Hinata before getting into a tossing position.
To everyone’s surprise, Kageyama sends a toss to Hinata, who happily spikes it. Kageyama then walks over to the shorter first year and states that they’re going to win on Saturday, finally acknowledging him as a teammate.Sometime later, the two are practicing outside when the ball gets stuck in a tree. Hinata climbs the tree while Kageyama yells at him and tries getting the ball with a stick. Annoyed, Hinata calls Kageyama a damn King, angering the latter, but Kageyama doesn’t retort.
They end up practicing into the night and are soon interrupted by Tsukishima and Yamaguchi, the other first years. Tsukishima takes the ball and teases Hinata before turning his attention to Kageyama. He brings up Kageyama’s past with Kitagawa Daiichi and offers to throw the game so Kageyama and Hinata could win. The setter darkly replies that either way, they’re going to win. Tsukishima then continuously calls him a King before reminding him of a game during his junior high days. Kageyama angrily grabs the blond but lets him go after a few seconds of silence. He then storms away and Tsukishima insults him even more.Having enough, Hinata jumps up and grabs the ball out of the blond’s hands, shocking everyone. He exclaims that he’ll defeat Tsukishima, who laughs at him before leaving. Kageyama walks away too, yelling at Hinata that they’ll beat the other two.
The next day, both teams prepare for the match. Tsukishima brings up Kageyama’s past with Kitagawa Daiichi while the latter ignores him, though Kageyama’s shaken up. However, to his surprise, Tanaka comes to his defense.
The match begins shortly. Hinata has trouble spiking past Tsukishima while Kageyama decides to use his powerful serves. To his surprise, Daichi’s able to receive them perfectly. Before the first year can plan another attack, Tsukishima starts teasing him again and reveals that Kageyama’s former teammate gave him the nickname “King” as a reference to his egocentric playing style. He reminds the setter of his last game, when his teammates abandoned him, refusing to go after his toss. As a result, Kageyama was benched.
Having enough, Kageyama reveals that that experience when no one came to him frightens him. Before he can continue though, Hinata interrupts and says that it’s only a thing of the past because Kageyama has him now.
The match continues and Kageyama’s about to spike to Tanaka until Hinata comes from behind and calls him. Kageyama instinctively tosses to him, even though Hinata has trouble spiking from that angle. Just as Kageyama begins yelling at Hinata, the latter stops him and tells him how he was behind the setter. Hinata exclaims that Kageyama’s past doesn’t matter to him and he’ll hit any ball Kageyama gives him.
Motivated, Kageyama tosses to Hinata again and inadvertently performs a quick with him. An impressed Tanaka asks them about it, but Kageyama replies that he has no intention of performing quicks with someone he’s not in sync with. Hinata gets annoyed and Tsukishima takes the chance to insult him again, bringing up his lack of height. Solemnly, Hinata acknowledges that fact and reiterates how he would always get blocked no matter how high he jumped. However, the Small Giant had the same predicament and he overcame that, inspiring Hinata to do the same.Hinata’s words remind Kageyama of his troubles with Kitagawa Daiichi and how he was ultimately benched, motivating him to finally act like a true setter to Hinata. He tells Hinata to just go for his toss without thinking and Hinata excitedly agrees despite barely understanding the strategy.
As expected, the first few quick strikes fail. Exasperated, Kageyama yells at Hinata to move faster but Sugawara interrupts, pointing out that Hinata’s ability is being diminished by Kageyama’s toss. The best way for the two of them to synchronize is if Kageyama adjusts to Hinata’s abilities and limits.Kageyama thinks over Sugawara’s words and decides to try out the third year’s idea. He tells Hinata to use his highest jump and his best speed and Kageyama will get the ball to him. They get into position and Kageyama concentrates on finding the best angle. At the perfect timing and height, he tosses the ball right into Hinata’s palm. The quick-strike succeeds, but Kageyama’s shocked to find out that Hinata had his eyes closed the entire time. Still, it shows how much Hinata trusts him, motivating Kageyama to try the quick again.
The next quick fails and Kageyama realizes that adjusting to another player’s tempo isn’t easy, but he’s starting to have fun. He tries another quick, but with a different strategy with Hinata going towards the opposite side just in time to trick the blockers. It succeeds and soon, they’re able to overwhelm Tsukishima’s team.
In the end, Hinata and Kageyama’s team win, securing their admission in the team. The two hands in their papers just as Kiyoko comes in with the team jackets. Now officially part of the team, the two head right to practice for future matches.
Aobajohsai Practice Match
Just then, the club advisor, Takeda rushes in, announcing a practice match against Aobajohsai, one of the prefecture’s top four teams. Kageyama’s excited until he hears that he would have to play as the main setter for the entire match. The other members are outraged, wondering if Aobajohsai only agreed to play with them because of Kageyama. However, Sugawara agrees to the terms, surprising Kageyama.
Despite being excited to be on his first official match on the team, Kageyama seeks out Sugawara to apologize for taking his spot this time and vows to earn it properly for the next match. Sugawara agrees to the challenge but asks Kageyama how he feels about Aobajohsai since most of his former teammates will be there. Surprisingly, Kageyama doesn’t have any problems with it.
On the day of the match, Karasuno arrives at Aobajohsai and Kageyama wanders off with Tanaka, Yamaguchi, and Tsukishima. They encounter Kindaichi, who mocks Kageyama. However, Kageyama doesn’t retort and simply walks away.The match begins and Hinata’s immediately overwhelmed. Kageyama gets flustered dealing with Hinata’s mistakes and the insults from Kindaichi and Kunimi. The problems reach a climax when Hinata serves right into the back of Kageyama’s head. Daichi instantly reaches out to Kageyama, but the first year coldly replies that he’s fine. He walks to Hinata silently as the latter backs away in fear. Right as Hinata hits the wall, Kageyama questions his anxiety, emphasizing his words by smacking his head. He finishes by yelling at Hinata to get back into the game, surprising the latter, who was expecting a harsher punishment. The two first years try out their quick strike, but it fails the first time. Kindaichi tells Hinata that Kageyama’s bound to yell at him again, but Kageyama apologizes for the poor toss instead. The second attempt at a quick strike succeeds and Kageyama announces that they’re going to start a counterattack now. Karasuno does well initially, but Kageyama notes that Yahaba isn’t the regular setter. Just after the realization, Oikawa arrives and Kageyama reveals that he’s his former upperclassman and an extremely skilled player. With Oikawa on the team, Aobajohsai quickly regains its points, but Karasuno wins with the first years’ quick strike in the end. After the match, Kageyama approaches Kindaichi in the bathroom. Before he can say anything, Kindaichi shouts at him to not apologize, reasoning that everything that’d happened is already part of the past. To him, Kageyama’s still the oppressive king and the person he wants to defeat no matter what so next time, he will win the match. Kageyama accepts and replies with “we will win”, shocking Kindaichi as Kageyama had never used such an inclusive pronoun before.
Before Karasuno heads home, Oikawa meets them at the gate. He points out the players’ mistakes before focusing on Kageyama, announcing that he’s going to crush him in a regular game.
Asahi and Nishinoya’s Return
After the team returns to the school, Kageyama heads home with the others. Tanaka questions why Kageyama’s at a school like Karasuno anyway and the latter replies that Shiratorizawa rejected him, much to Tsukishima’s amusement. Kageyama adds that no matter which school he’s at, the opponents are still high schoolers so there’s no reason they can’t win. His confidence causes Hinata and Tanaka to laugh at him.
The next day, Kageyama’s practicing his serve aim when Hinata gets in his way. As Hinata runs to get the ball, Kageyama serves again. This time, it’s received perfectly by a stranger. The upperclassmen then arrive and introduce the two to Nishinoya, the second year libero.Nishinoya asks Kageyama what junior high he’s from and he replies with Kitagawa Daiichi. After Nishinoya talks about how he’d lost to that team once, Kageyama asks him why he came to Karasuno when he’s from a champion team as well. Nishinoya responds gravely that he came for the girls’ uniforms, leaving Kageyama speechless.
Nishinoya then asks if Asahi returned, but when he finds out he didn’t, the libero storms out of the gym, leaving Kageyama curious about Karasuno’s past. Later that evening, Nishinoya returns thanks to Hinata’s coaxing to teach the first years how to receive. However, Kageyama’s the only one to understand the language and Tanaka snaps that when Kageyama tries to explain things, no one understands him either.
The next day, Hinata and Kageyama approach Asahi at his classroom and are introduced to the former ace. They’re surprised when they realized that Asahi has no intention of returning to the team, even after Hinata’s appeals. Kageyama asks Sugawara about the past and Sugawara reveals the match last year that traumatized Asahi. Kageyama listens but notes that he doesn’t think Asahi truly hates volleyball.
Later on, during practice, the team finds out about a training camp and a practice match against Karasuno’s fated rival at the end of it. During a break, Hinata remarks that if Asahi comes back, the team’s morale would be a lot better. Kageyama replies that Asahi needs to understand that he doesn’t need to bear all the responsibility because no one can win on his own. To this, Hinata brings up Kageyama’s former attitude towards teamwork, leading to a small scuffle.
The next day, the two of them approach Asahi again. Hinata yells that without Asahi, the upperclassmen aren’t happy and Asahi responds that he can’t get over the image of being blocked so many times. Hinata sympathizes with him but adds that he isn’t like that anymore because he’s found a way to get past that with Kageyama’s help. When Hinata explains his jealousy of Asahi’s height and ability, Kageyama stares at him silently before taking him away. As he leaves, Kageyama adds that Asahi can’t win alone so he has to rely on his teammates; this is something he’d just learned so he can’t criticize Asahi too much for it.
That evening, the younger Coach Ukai is introduced to the team and the players get ready for a practice match against the Neighborhood Association. Sugawara chooses to play on the association’s side and Kageyama states that he doesn’t want this to be Sugawara standing down; he’ll rather fight for the position rightfully. Sugawara solemnly explains that he was afraid of competing for his position with Kageyama, but at the same time, he was relieved because he was always afraid of tossing a ball that would be blocked. But, he’s joining the other side, not for that, but so he could toss again to Asahi and get past those obstacles.The match begins and Kageyama and Hinata impress everyone with their quick. Sugawara hesitates on sending another toss to Asahi, but Kageyama shouts at him to keep trying. Sugawara and Asahi do well and Hinata starts getting restless. He announces that it’s time for him and Kageyama to show their skills as well.
The quicks work well initially, but Kageyama starts noticing that Hinata’s being distracted by Asahi’s abilities. This culminates in Hinata getting knocked over by Asahi’s spike and forced to face Kageyama’s rage. Kageyama yells at Hinata for being jealous of Asahi and Hinata argues back that someone tall like Kageyama wouldn’t understand.
The match restarts, but it’s tense between the two. Suddenly, Kageyama announces to the opponents that he’ll be setting to Hinata. He then turns to the middle blocker and explains that right now, he lacks all the traits for being an ace, but as long as he’s here, Hinata’s the strongest. With that said, Kageyama tries the quick again, but with Hinata dodging. It succeeds and Kageyama reminds him that he’s just as valuable to the team as an ace. Finally accepting his position, Hinata replies that he doesn’t think being the ultimate decoy is lame anymore.
In the end, the association wins and Asahi and Nishinoya return to the team.
Nekoma Practice MatchThe Golden Week begins and Karasuno busily prepares. Kageyama runs early in the morning and starts asking his teammates to practice with him so he can be accustomed to individual toss styles. The starting lineup’s finally decided with Kageyama as the official setter. The members receive their new jerseys and Hinata gets annoyed when he realizes that Kageyama’s number is lower than his. Kageyama admonishes him and notes that he should be grateful for being a starter in his first year.
That evening, they’re in their room when Kageyama notices Hinata’s intense concentration. He quickly reminds him to not overwork himself and Hinata retorts that he isn’t going to. Kageyama leaves it in the end.
Karasuno and Nekoma meet the next day and Kageyama approaches Hinata when he realizes that he knows Kenma. Hinata introduces him as Nekoma’s setter and Kageyama immediately becomes interested, intimidating Hinata with his intense competitiveness.
The match soon begins and Kageyama’s immediately annoyed when Inuoka remarks that he isn’t underestimating Hinata. The duo performs a quick right away and scores easily. The subsequent quicks succeed, but Kageyama starts to notice that Inuoka seems to be keeping up. Kageyama keeps his calm initially and goes for a spike, announcing to Hinata afterward what type of attack it was.
However, Inuoka is able to catch up and block Hinata ultimately, shocking Kageyama. He quickly recovers his composure and reminds Hinata to not let it get to him, but the duo continuously gets blocked after that. Just as Kageyama’s worried that Hinata would be pressured, he’s surprised to see him smile. Hinata reasons that he’s excited to have a rival like Inuoka and asks Kageyama to toss to him again. Kageyama replies affirmatively.
The next toss, Hinata opens his eyes but misses. Immediately, Ukai calls a timeout and asks Kageyama to change his toss in hopes of changing Hinata’s attack. Though it should be difficult for normal setters, Kageyama replies confidently that he’ll do it.Hinata misses the ball in the beginning, but their reactions improve over time. The first success goes out, however. Nekoma subs in Kuroo, who looks at Kageyama and Hinata. Immediately, Kageyama becomes cautious and pulls Hinata aside, nothing that their new attacks won’t work against Kuroo.
For the rest of the game, Kageyama plays carefully, choosing to toss to Asahi instead in case Hinata would get blocked again. It’s only at the last point does he toss to the middle blocker using the new attack. It succeeds, only for Kenma to send the ball back. It lands on Karasuno’s court, winning the game for Nekoma.
As the teams are cleaning up, Kageyama watches Kenma intensely, trying to gauge his abilities. Afterward, Karasuno goes homes and Kageyama remarks to Hinata that if this was a regular game and they’d lost, they would’ve been eliminated from the competition. As he says this, he thinks back to his time in Kitagawa Daiichi.
Back at Karasuno, the players prepare for Interhigh. Kageyama listens as Ukai names the strongest opponents for them and wonders if Date Tech is the reason for the tension between the upperclassmen. When he discovers that he would face Date Tech and Aobajohsai, he grins in excitement.
Kageyama races to school on the first day of Interhigh, speeding past Hinata and increasing his wins to thirty-one. Hinata admits that it’s thirty-two because, around this time last year, Kageyama beat him in the tournament. He then stands up and challenges Kageyama again.
Karasuno soon arrives at the stadium, where it overhears a couple of players insulting them. Though the members loom over them, they don’t do anything and proceed to head inside. As they pass, Kageyama glares at a few guys who called him by his nickname.
Karasuno vs Tokonami
At the gym, the players are warming up when Aobajohsai comes by. Oikawa greets Kageyama and Hinata as the former glares cautiously.
The match against Tokonami begins and Kageyama’s completely calm, as opposed to Hinata. For the first attack, Kageyama sends the ball to Tanaka to scare the opponents. Karasuno easily overwhelms Tokonami, especially when the quick with Hinata is used.
In the end, Karasuno wins the first match. Kageyama yells at Hinata for spacing out while cleaning up and Hinata remarks that they won. Kageyama’s confused initially but responds that they have another match to play now. Hinata happily exclaims that they can continue to stand on the court as Kageyama watches, silently agreeing with him.
Karasuno vs Date Tech
As Karasuno’s resting before the next match, Kageyama notices Hinata’s exhilarated face. After catching Kageyama’s stare, Hinata hastily defends himself, but Kageyama smirks darkly instead. He happily states that it’s fine for Hinata to be noticed because the opponents would be more distracted. When Hinata replies that he doesn’t understand, Kageyama grabs his head.
Sometime later, the two are practicing outside when Hinata mentions Date Tech and its past with the upperclassmen. Suddenly, Sugawara approaches them. To their surprise, Sugawara bows and asks them to defeat Date Tech with their strengths as the ultimate decoy and superior setter.
The match against Date Tech soon begins. Kageyama’s thrown off by Aone’s high jump and the possibility of his stopping Hinata. However, he recovers easily and isn’t fazed when Aone does block Hinata, confident that Hinata will score. He turns to Hinata and smirks, stating that he’ll get the ball to him.
The two try their quick-strike the next turn and easily succeeds. They continue with their attacks and Date Tech becomes focused on Hinata, according to plan. Taking advantage of this, Kageyama waits for the right moment as the opponents rush to Hinata to send a toss to Asahi for a back pipe attack.
Hinata admits to Kageyama that though he didn’t score, he still feels just as satisfied. Kageyama affirms that the strongest decoy is just as good as an ace.
In the end, Karasuno wins with Asahi’s spike. After Asahi calls his teammates heroes, Kageyama listens happily before they head off the court. Hinata walks beside him and notes that their opponents didn’t notice their signals.
Karasuno vs Aobajohsai
Back at home, Karasuno prepares for the match against Aobajohsai. Kageyama thinks of the practice match against Aobajohsai until Hinata interrupts him. The middle blocker exclaims that they’ll defeat the Grand King and Kageyama agrees, noting that they have to defeat Oikawa to move forward.
The day of the match comes and Oikawa picks out Kageyama instantly. As Oikawa challenges him, Hinata jumps in and yells that they won’t lose. The match starts and Oikawa goes for a spike, surprising Kageyama. He responds with a quick strike and later, a surprise dump shot.
As he recovers, Kageyama remarks to Hinata that though Oikawa has stronger overall power, Kageyama won’t lose as a setter. However, Kageyama starts noticing that some of the opponents seem to be playing better than they did in the practice match. Things get worse when Oikawa suddenly remarks that he’s finally understood and Aobajohsai calls for a timeout.
As Oikawa explains to his teammates, Kageyama suspects that he figured out the signals to his quick. Noticing his tension, his teammates quickly tease him and remind him of his skills. Though Kageyama recovers his composure for a moment, he quickly becomes stressed again once his quicks start getting blocked.
He becomes hyper-aware and continuously messes up his serves and tosses until Karasuno calls for a timeout. Kageyama apologizes for losing his cool, but Ukai reminds him to focus not on Oikawa, but Aobajohsai instead and to remember that he has a team as well.
However, the match still turns into Kageyama battling Oikawa to see who the better setter is. After losing to Oikawa at pushing the ball over the net, Kageyama starts to get frustrated and makes more mistakes. In the end, Kageyama’s switched out.
As he heads to the bench, Hinata suddenly screams that he’ll be the one to defeat Kageyama. Kageyama recovers and responds that the match isn’t over yet so he hasn’t lost yet.
As he rests, he observes Sugawara in play. During a break, the two setters converse on Aobajohsai and Sugawara admits that having a strong setter like Kageyama waiting behind him is a relief. He’ll fight Aobajohsai in his way and Kageyama will find a way to fight as well. Hinata then jumps in and asks if Kageyama’s depressed. Angrily, Kageyama replies that when he gets back in, he’ll make Hinata spike balls like crazy.
The match progresses evenly and Kageyama starts getting restless. He gets switched back in and approaches his teammates silently. Without warning, he smiles darkly, scaring Hinata. He goes up to serve, noting that the ball feels good in his hands, and scores right away.
Tanaka gives him a high-five, surprising Kindaichi and Kunimi, before Kageyama goes to compliment Hinata. When Tsukishima gets switched in, Kageyama reluctantly asks him what type of toss he prefers, shocking everyone. Though his social skills are rough, it’s obvious that Kageyama’s trying now.
It’s at the final match now. Hinata rushes back into the game at full power and scores with a broad attack. Kageyama tosses to Asahi for a pipe attack but notes that Hinata’s performance as a decoy is so skilled that he almost sent the ball to him instead.
Both sides are evenly matched, but Kageyama starts noticing his former teammates playing better. As he remembers his time at Kitagawa Daiichi and compares Kunimi and Kindaichi to the way they are now, he starts to despair, wondering how Oikawa’s able to bring out that much potential. Just then, Sugawara calls for his attention, reminding him that he has his comrades at Karasuno.
Despite his newfound confidence, his final toss to Hinata ends up being blocked. Karasuno fails to receive the ball and Aobajohsai wins. While resting outside, Kageyama apologizes to Hinata. The middle blocker angrily grabs him and yells that it wasn’t a mistake to toss to him. Takeda interrupts them and adds that this defeat is just a trial to overcome. If they remain on their knees, they’ll never win. Fully understanding their situation, the two rise up.
Karasuno heads to a restaurant to cool off. After Ukai gives a brief speech of encouragement, the players start eating tearfully.
Loss and Decision
Back in school the next day, Kageyama goes to the gym to practice angrily. Hinata comes in and without a word, joins him in the practice. After Hinata points out that the final match is today, the middle blocker starts screaming and running around the gym. Kageyama joins him a second later.
As they cool off, Kageyama remarks that he’s not going to apologize anymore. He has to throw a toss that he won’t have to apologize for.
Sometime later, the players are gathered around Ukai as he explains that Aobajohsai lost to Shiratorizawa. But no matter what, they’re going to get to nationals again. Just then, Takeda bursts in and announces a trip to Tokyo.
Tokyo Expedition Arc
Karasuno easily agrees to the training camp, until Takeda mentions the final exams. Kageyama is shocked to hear that supplementary exams will be held for all those who fail and goes silent, seemingly not breathing as well. As a result, the upperclassmen have to help him and the three other “idiots” study. While studying, Hinata tells Kageyama to ask Tsukishima for help and Kageyama reluctantly accepts after some persuasion.
Kageyama has trouble memorizing initially, but when Daichi interferes and quizzes him on volleyball signals, Kageyama shows perfect memory and notes that he memorized everything the same day he was taught. Daichi then remarks that Kageyama now has no reason to claim that his memory is bad and Hinata jumps in, yelling that he won’t lose.
Sometime later, Kageyama and Hinata are leaving Yachi’s apartment when Hinata notices that they’re near Shiratorizawa. As they mention it, Ushijima appears behind them. Kageyama approaches him and without warning, asks to look around Shiratorizawa.
Ushijima agrees, but remarks that they can come if they can keep up with him. Easily provoked, the two follow him, though they can keep up easily. After arriving, Kageyama introduces himself and adds that he failed to get into Shiratorizawa. However, Ushijima remarks that he expected that since their team doesn’t need a setter that can’t devote himself to the ace.
Kageyama gets angry but is distracted by Hinata’s comments. The two bring up Oikawa and Ushijima adds that Oikawa should’ve gone to Shiratorizawa. After Ushijima insults Aobajohsai, Hinata becomes serious, unnerving Kageyama as well. A stray ball suddenly comes towards them and as Ushijima reaches for it, Hinata jumps ahead of him and grabs it before challenging him by Kageyama’s side. Kageyama adds that Oikawa may be the strongest in the prefecture according to Ushijima, but he surpasses that.
As the two leave, Kageyama states that they can’t beat Shiratorizawa the way they are. This is why they have to go to Tokyo and become stronger.
Sometime later, the test scores come out and the two fail, with Kageyama scoring a 38. Despite that, they’re still planning on going to Tokyo no matter how. Tanaka then steps in and reveals that his sister could drive them after supplementary lessons.
Thanks to this, they’re able to get to Tokyo, albeit a little late. With Kageyama and Hinata here, Karasuno catches up quickly. As time passes though, Hinata starts changing. He approaches Kageyama and states that he’s going to stop closing his eyes during their quick. Kageyama gets angry initially, but calms down and explains that he has no intention of tossing to someone who will miss.
The two go outside with Sugawara later. Hinata explains that he wants to fight on his own. Kageyama replies that the quick strike is Hinata’s greatest weapon and changing it could be fatal. That evening, Hinata approaches Kageyama again.
They try out the new method, but it fails every time and Kageyama angrily argues that they only need their already perfected quick strike, but Hinata refuses to back down. When Kageyama mentions that he’ll only toss to him if he is essential to victory, Hinata attacks him and the two start fighting, forcing Tanaka to come to separate them.
The next day, Kageyama goes to the Lil’Tykes Volleyball in hopes of getting advice, only to encounter Oikawa. Kageyama tries to ask Oikawa for advice, but the latter brushes him off. In the end, Kageyama has to rush in front of him and beg loudly. Oikawa finally accepts and after hearing the situation between the two first years, he remarks that Kageyama’s acting like a dictator by refusing Hinata. He adds that Hinata’s the one who initiates the attacks, surprising Kageyama.
Later on, he’s approached by Ukai who brings him into his shop. Ukai states that Kageyama should change his toss to one that falls around the area where it’s hit. Ukai explains it, but Kageyama already understands his point and is willing to try it.
Kageyama starts practicing on his own in the evening while Hinata does something else. Kageyama also starts changing, which Hinata notices right away in a match. After Kageyama gives a different toss, Hinata angrily calls it out. Kageyama grabs him and almost starts another fight, but realizes what Hinata means. As soon as he does, his facial expression changes and all of his hesitation in the match disappear. That evening, he states to Hinata that so long as he’s messing up, he won’t practice with Hinata, surprising everyone.
All of their changes accumulate in the final match against Fukurōdani. Kageyama moves more fluidly during the match and can see around more clearly. The two achieve their new quick-strike as well and Hinata excitedly compliments Kageyama, who doesn’t know how to respond.
After leaving the training camp, Kageyama trains for Spring High with the former Coach Ukai and Hinata or by jogging on his own.
Spring High Preliminary Arc
Karasuno vs Ohgiminami
Karasuno’s first match is against Ohgiminami. Kageyama performs a service ace in the beginning and Karasuno continues dominating. Karasuno wins this match 2-0.
Karasuno vs Kakugawa
The next match is against a team with a 201 cm tall player, but Kageyama is seemingly the only Karasuno member who doesn’t care. He’s also surprised to see Hinata’s reaction and asks if he’s scared, confident that Hinata wouldn’t be. Kageyama maintains his composure even as Hyakuzawa blocks his first attack with Hinata.
After Hinata gets a ball over Hyakuzawa, Kageyama suddenly states that today feels like a good day. To Hinata’s surprise, Kageyama requests to try the new quick strike and it succeeds easily, shocking everyone in the arena. Before long, Karasuno wins the first set.
During the break, Hinata asks Kageyama why he asked if he was scared before, wondering if Kageyama knew the quick would work today. Kageyama replies that he was in better form today, but he was confident that Hinata wouldn’t be scared because he faced worse opponents in Tokyo. In the end, Karasuno wins this match and proceeds to the next one a few days later. As they leave, Hinata says to Kageyama that with this, they’re finally going to be in the same arena as Ushijima and Oikawa.
Karasuno vs Johzenji
Before the match, Kageyama goes to Aobajohsai to see how they’re doing but has trouble with his disguise. When Yachi points out that wearing sports clothes may help with blending in, he takes her advice, though his intense aura still scares the other students.
However, what Kageyama sees is Oikawa fitting in well with players he’s never played with before. He’s even more surprised to see Oikawa easily bring out their full potential. When he heads back to Karasuno, he admits that he doesn’t think he will be able to win against Oikawa, shocking everyone. Hinata asks if Kageyama’s going to let himself be intimidated by Oikawa again and Kageyama admits to it, but still grins confidently because Karasuno can win as a team.
The next day, Karasuno heads back to the arena for its match against Johzenji. Karasuno’s thrown off by Johzenji’s playstyle, but Kageyama recovers with a quick. Things go south when Kageyama sees through Johzenji’s dump and blocks it with his face by accident. He ends up with a bloody nose that he tries to deny, but has to be switched out in the end.
Before long, Kageyama returns and cheers on the team. He’s later switched in along with Hinata and they continue their quicks. In the end, Karasuno wins the match.
Karasuno vs Wakutani South
Karasuno’s next match is against Wakutani South and Kageyama performs a quick strike right away. Wakutani South’s attacks surprise Karasuno initially, but Kageyama continues with Hinata’s attacks until Daichi reminds him about using Asahi to throw the opponents off.
After Daichi gets switched out because of an injury, Karasuno starts having some trouble and Wakutani South wins the second set. Kageyama sees Hinata staring at Nakashima and reminds him that play the same way since he can’t compete, annoying Hinata.
The two try countering with a quick strike from an abnormal angle, surprising everyone. Kageyama reasons that despite being up against a wall, their weapon is having the firepower to break through. Kageyama then attacks with a service ace.
In the end, Karasuno wins this match. Afterward, Hinata watches Nakashima and remarks that he wasn’t able to have a head-to-head battle with him and he’s more of a Small Giant than Hinata is. Kageyama responds that Hinata’s a hundred years too early for that anyway, annoying the latter.
Karasuno vs Aobajohsai
During the break, Karasuno watches Aobajohsai’s current match. Kageyama’s impressed by Date Tech’s new setter but after Aobajohsai wins, he has flashbacks of the match at Interhigh. The team heads downstairs to prepare and Hinata notices Kageyama’s stern expression. He asks if Kageyama’s scared and the setter admits that he is because Oikawa’s strong. However, he’s going to take revenge for Interhigh no matter what.
The players of both teams gather to warm up. Kageyama reaches for the ball at the same time as Oikawa, who grabs onto it and teases Kageyama. Oikawa lets go of the ball and Kageyama tumbles backward.
The match begins and Kageyama starts off unable to set as he received the ball. It then goes to Nishinoya, who tosses to Asahi. Karasuno starts with the first point, but Kageyama then serves out and gives Aobajohsai the next point.
Both teams continue evenly, but Kageyama seems to get more unnerved over time. He kicks Hinata and yells at him to stay calm despite the irony. The two then try the new quick-strike, which succeeds, showing their evolution over the summer.
However, when Kyōtani is switched in, Aobajohsai catches up easily and starts to point the gap. Kageyama watches Oikawa warily, taken aback by this new play style. Kageyama decides to try a back attack with Hinata, only to get it blocked by Oikawa–who had been expecting it, angering Kageyama.
Oikawa scores a service ace, but Sugawara is switched in to play alongside Kageyama. They suddenly switch their positions on the court, surprising Aobajohsai as Kageyama spikes a straight. However, Aobajohsai doesn’t let up and Oikawa continues with another service ace, pulling the gap further. Despite that, Kageyama keeps his composure, showing his difference from Interhigh.
Yamaguchi served in helps with the gap and Karasuno pulls up to Aobajohsai’s side but right after Kindaichi gets a point back, it becomes Oikawa’s serve again. The serve and the follow-ups lead to Aobajohsai’s victory in the second set.
The second set begins and Kunimi goes to spike. Kageyama realizes that Kunimi’s going for a feint and successfully receives it. After Karasuno scores off it, he and Kunimi exchange a look. Hinata is later switched in and says to Kageyama that Oikawa is amazing. Kageyama solemnly agrees, thinking of how Oikawa utilized all the members of Aobajohsai. However, Hinata adds that even so, with him here Kageyama will be the strongest.
The next move, Hinata jumps up too close to the net but rather than panicking, Kageyama quickly tosses to that point. Hinata scores and discovers a new attack. Kageyama reasons that he only tossed there because Hinata was so close; it was a good thing it worked out.
Both teams are nearly at set point and Kageyama notices that Hinata at that intense concentration stage again and wonders where it comes from. Kyōtani goes to serve and Kageyama tries to block, but Hinata adds to it by slamming into his side.
Sugawara gets the first touch, hindering the two-setter attack, but Karasuno prepares for a synchronized attack instead. To everyone’s shock, Kageyama does a dump shot, pulling Karasuno ahead. Both teams fight evenly and Hinata goes up against three blockers. However, using their knowledge from the training camp, the two are able to go for a different angle–the tips of Kyōtani’s fingers. The ball goes to Oikawa, who fails to receive it.
With that, Karasuno wins this match. Kageyama and Oikawa approach each other and Oikawa states that this only makes it one win and one loss. Kageyama replies that he won’t let it get to his head and the two teams part ways. At the scoreboard, Hinata remarks to Kageyama that they’ll show Ushijima the power of those who sprouted from the concrete.
Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa
It's the first time Kageyama will play a match on the center court. He's seen to be flustered, but at the same time excited. When Ushijima’s powerful spike shocks the entire gym, Kageyama and Hinata respond with their infamous quick as a challenge.
After Karasuno finally saves one of Ushijima’s spikes, Tanaka remarks that Kageyama’s pretty calm even though they’re against Shiratorizawa. The latter responds that nothing is more terrifying that Oikawa.
Kageyama tries to take Shiratorizawa off balance with some service aces, but Reon is able to stop them. In response, he and Hinata brings out their quick, forcing Ushijima to finally receive a ball. However, their second attempt is blocked by Tendō. Kageyama hurriedly tosses to Asahi, but he gets blocked as well. Frustrated, he angrily thinks about how having a spike he set up get blocked is more infuriating than having his own spike blocked.
The next move, Kageyama sets up a toss, purposely leaving the opponents oblivious to whom he’s aiming towards. In retaliation to getting blocked, Kageyama sets the spike right over Tendō’s head, causing the latter to call him a sore loser. As the match progresses, Kageyama gets increasingly frustrated with Tendō’s ability to predict his moves.
Karasuno eventually gets caught up in Shiratorizawa’s rhythm, allowing Shirabu to perform a surprise dump. In response, Kageyama surprises both his teammates and opponents with a return dump and stares Shirabu down afterwards. Kageyama proceeds to fight at the net with Goshiki and wins, but Tendō saves the ball.
After Hinata gets switched out, Tsukishima asks Kageyama to try a time differential with him. Kageyama reacts jealously when he finds out that Tsukishima had practiced with Akaashi. The time differential surprises both sides and brings a point back for Karasuno.
However, Kageyama seems to reach his limit when he misses a toss to Tsukishima. Tendō remarks to Kageyama that he must be in despair by now, but Kageyama confidently responds that the only time he’ll be in despair is when he can’t play volleyball.
After Kageyama gets switched back in, he serves a strong spike that ricochets off Shiratorizawa’s side. Immediately, he jumps into action, setting off on a first touch. The match goes back and forth for a while with Karasuno slowly losing stamina. Finally, Kageyama sets to Hinata, who scores the last point. Karasuno wins the match.
Afterwards, Kageyama and Hinata are chatting to Hinata’s junior high friends when Ushijima approaches them with a challenge. Kageyama replies that he’ll make Ushijima say that he’s even better than Oikawa.
Tokyo Nationals Arc
Preparation for Nationals
After their victory against Shiratorizawa, Karasuno is seen preparing for Nationals, and retaking their measurements is the first step. Kageyama excels at the top among his teammates in jumping reach. Hinata frustratingly challenges him for more, but Kageyama ends up beating him completely, much to Hinata's dismay. Just then, Takeda comes rushing at the gym with a big announcement in tow. He then informs the team that Kageyama is invited to a National Youth Training Camp as a representative for the All-Japan Boys' Volleyball Team, where talented athletes under 18 from all over Japan meet. Karasuno is shocked and ecstatic at the same time for Kageyama. The latter accepts the invitation and mockingly bids the jealous Hinata farewell, as he is moving on forward, much further than him.
Kageyama is known as the "King of the Court" and a volleyball genius for his incredible technique and game sense. As a high-caliber setter, Kageyama has the potential to unify the team with his overwhelming talent, but he originally struggles with effectively communicating with his teammates. Over time, he has learned to utilize his skills to bring out the best of his spikers. He now pays attention to his spikers' condition and adjusts his toss accordingly instead of forcing them to match him all the time. 
In addition to his astounding accuracy and technical skills as a setter, Kageyama is a skilled all-rounder with a remarkable grasp of both the basics and the complexities of volleyball. He is capable of playing many other positions, including wing spiker, but chooses to become a setter due to his love for being the team's control tower. Kageyama also has an affinity for improvised strategy and is the first person to suggest using Hinata's prominent presence on the court as an effective decoy. Due to all these factors, Kageyama is one of the players selected to participate in the All-Japan Youth Intensive Training Camp.
Height and reach, as of mid-November 2012:
- Fingertip Height: 239 cm
- Jumping Reach: 337 cm (spike) / 320 cm (block)
- Pinpoint Accuracy: Kageyama's most prominent and praised skill is his ability to accurately determine a ball's trajectory and tossing it to the exact point. Combined with the fact that he can set from any angle at incredible speeds, this makes his sets almost impossible for most of his opponents to predict and counter. His pinpoint accuracy is a necessary component in Kageyama and Hinata's infamous "Freak-Quick" sets. He can calculate Hinata's exact spike point to send the ball straight to him at the perfect moment in time. Moreover, Kageyama uses his accuracy and fast handling of the ball for other purposes too, such as straight shots and setter dumps.
- Minus-Tempo Quick Strike: Also known as the "God-Fast Spike", "Freak-Quick" or the "Oddball Combo", this is an offensive maneuver developed by Kageyama and Hinata during their three-on-three match against Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, and Daichi. It combines Kageyama's setting talents with Hinata's speed, agility, and extraordinary jumping power. Kageyama uses his pinpoint accuracy to set the ball to Hinata's exact spike point. His toss is so accurate that Hinata can spike even with his eyes closed. Ever since the summer training camp, Kageyama has modified his toss to one that stops and falls around the spiker's hitting zone to give Hinata more control in mid-air. He also can send a toss close to the net for Hinata to spike it straight down.
- King's Toss: His best set is known as the "King's Toss," which causes the ball to go straight with a lot of force past through the spiker's point of impact. Originally, his teammates found this sort of set to be impossibly fast to spike. Following Karasuno's summer training camp, Kageyama learned to perform a set that falls around the spiker's point of impact by adding a backspin. The brutal force he'd habitually put into it would thus die out and allow the spiker to manipulate the ball in whatever way he wished.
- Jump Serve: Kageyama has a powerful jump serve that his opponents are wary of. Early on, he hasn't learned how to aim it yet, but during the Shiratorizawa match, he displays the ability to manipulate the power he puts into the serve to catch his opponents off guard (by dropping the serve shorter than expected, for example). By the time Karasuno reaches nationals, his jump serve has become a reliable weapon. He is seen scoring many service aces and even adding a side-spin to avoid the receivers.
- Dump Set: Kageyama often utilizes dump sets and rarely gets blocked. He's adept at finding the perfect moments to perform a dump set, often surprising both his opponents (such as Oikawa) and his teammates. He can also fake this to set up a short-range quick attack.
- Two-setter Attack: Kageyama also has a sharp straight spike, which allows him to act as an extra wing spiker on the right side when Sugawara is used as a setter.
- One Person Time Difference Attack: Kageyama has shown the ability to match his spikers to perform a One Person Time Difference Attack. He utilizes this attack with Tsukishima, who delays jumping to throw off the blockers, during Karasuno's match against Shiratorizawa.
- Shōyō Hinata: Kageyama and Hinata have a frenemy-like relationship and often compete with each other over trivial matters, such as getting to the gym before the other; they even keep a tally of their wins and losses (Kageyama 32 wins, Hinata 30). They often argue and occasionally have full-blown fights, but they see each other as teammates and will help each other with anything, even schoolwork. Whenever someone (usually Tsukishima or Kageyama's Kitagawa Daiichi teammates) brings up Kageyama’s past, Hinata stands up for him and encourages Kageyama to fight back. In return, whenever Hinata feels bad about his height and role as a decoy, Kageyama encourages him and reminds him of his importance to the team. Out of everyone in the club, Kageyama and Hinata seem to understand each other the most and are often called the “freak duo” (Dynamic Duo in the anime) or "Karasuno's Secret Weapon" due to their incredible quick strike. They are usually with each other when it comes to volleyball-related events, but don't interact much outside of club activities; Hinata eats lunch with his friends and Kageyama eats alone.
They first met in the Junior High Athletics Meet when Hinata's team was paired against Kageyama's team in the first match. They fought right away due to Kageyama's condescending attitude towards Hinata. The setter viewed him as overly idealistic and weak initially but was soon taken aback by his determination to win and his jumping ability. However, Kitagawa Daiichi ended up annihilating Yukigaoka. Before they left, Kageyama yelled at Hinata for letting his skills go to waste by joining a meager team like Yukigaoka. This affected Hinata greatly and he ran after Kageyama, announcing that he would defeat him one day. Kageyama seemed to accept his challenge but told Hinata to improve his skills first. However, even though he remembered him because of his exceptional skills, he never learned his name. In the anime when they meet again in the Karasuno gym, Kageyama states that he forgot Hinata's name. Indicating that he may have learned it and simply forgot.
When they met each other again in the same high school, Kageyama regarded Hinata awkwardly until the latter expressed his desire to defeat Kageyama. His confidence annoyed Kageyama, leading to a fight that got them kicked out of the club until they viewed each other as teammates. After several failed attempts to get back in, they grew desperate and asked for a match to prove that they could work together. They were given a week to practice, but Kageyama refused to work with Hinata because Kageyama deemed him as too weak; this changed when Kageyama pushed Hinata to his limits and spiked an impossible ball, but the latter wouldn't give up and chased after it. Inspired, Kageyama finally accepted Hinata and tossed to him.
However, they didn't do well during the beginning of the match because they couldn't synchronize their movements. Tsukishima insulted Kageyama throughout the game and brought up his past as well. Surprisingly, Hinata stood up for the setter, exclaiming that Kageyama had him now. Kageyama then decided to try adapting his toss to fit Hinata’s skills, and their now-famous quick-set was created. Hinata, who despised Kageyama before, trusted him completely and closed his eyes when he spiked; Kageyama had become his strongest ally and vice versa.
From then on, their relationship improved tremendously. When they lost in the Interhigh, Kageyama even apologized to Hinata. However, in the Tokyo Expedition Arc, their friendship was strained when the two disagreed on the ways they could improve. Hinata wanted to have his eyes opened when he spiked Kageyama's tosses, but Kageyama was against it because he thought the quick strike was fine the way it was. Despite this, he did try out Hinata’s idea, but found that Hinata couldn't hit any of the tosses with his eyes opened. Despite his failures, Hinata refused to back down and they got into a huge fight. For the majority of the summer camp, they wouldn't speak to each other until they slowly came up with a new toss that they both liked. Since then, they have reconciled and have a stronger relationship.
Kageyama also considers Hinata as more troublesome than any opposing team's blockers.
- Kei Tsukishima: Kageyama and Tsukishima get along the least out of everyone on the team. Tsukishima often insults Kageyama by calling him "King" or using his past against him, leading to arguments between the two; when they first met, Kageyama almost hit Tsukishima in rage. However, after working together, they grew to view each other as teammates and don't get into as many arguments or are affected by each other's insults as much. Their relationship started changing the greatest during the Interhigh when Kageyama, after much reluctance, offered to change his toss for Tsukishima and even complimented him after a nice block.
Though Kageyama and Tsukishima don't interact much outside of club activities, during the Tokyo Expedition Arc, Hinata convinced Kageyama to ask Tsukishima for help with the upcoming exams. Tsukishima agreed after making Kageyama beg and used his lunch breaks to help the two study.
- Tadashi Yamaguchi: Yamaguchi and Tsukishima often gang up to pick on Kageyama. At first, Kageyama disliked Yamaguchi because of that, but never hated him as much as he hated Tsukishima. They grew to view each other as reliable teammates even if Yamaguchi wasn't a starting member.
- Hitoka Yachi: Yachi was at first intimidated by Kageyama's overwhelming height, but soon befriended him. She helped Kageyama and Hinata study for the exams by giving them her notes and inviting them over to her apartment during the weekends. When Hinata and Kageyama were fighting during the summer camp, Yachi started crying and became extremely worried about the usually inseparable pair.
- Yū Nishinoya: Kageyama was initially overwhelmed by Nishinoya's energy yet intrigued by his excellent receiving skills. Though Nishinoya teases Kageyama often with Tanaka, they view each other as trustworthy teammates.
- Ryūnosuke Tanaka: Tanaka initially disliked Kageyama due to his arrogance and condescending attitude towards Hinata but grew to accept him as a reliable and strong teammate. Tanaka often has to stop Hinata and Kageyama's fights or he'll pick Hinata's side and help the middle blocker.
- Chikara Ennoshita: Ennoshita encourages Kageyama occasionally and Kageyama respects Ennoshita's skills. During the first official match against Aobajohsai when Kageyama was subbed out, Ennoshita was the one who helped Kageyama realize he needed to communicate better with everyone on the team to bring out their best potential. Like the rest of the team, Kageyama believes that only Ennoshita can replace Daichi as captain due to the second year's similar personality and good relationship with the underclassmen; even asking Ennoshita's permission to set up quick attacks when Ennoshita replaced Daichi during the Wakutani match.
- Kōshi Sugawara: Sugawara acknowledges Kageyama's ability and calls him a "talented first-year setter", but is still unwilling to "give up" the position of the setter to him. He does, however, let Coach Ukai understand that his feelings won't be hurt if Kageyama is chosen as the official setter over him since it will benefit the team the most. Despite this rivalry, Kageyama highly respects Sugawara's ability as a setter and position as an upperclassmen and had asked him for advice on building a relationship with his teammates. Sugawara also treats Kageyama kindly as a junior whom he could both teach and learn from. Sugawara is often referred to as Kageyama's "handler", especially when the first year gets angry at Hinata or reverts to his junior high behavior, as Sugawara has been mostly responsible for calming Kageyama down.
- Daichi Sawamura: Kageyama respects Daichi since he's the captain and a third-year and Daichi sees Kageyama as one part of Karasuno's secret weapon. They got off on the wrong foot initially when Kageyama and Hinata got into a huge fight as Daichi was speaking and ended up knocking the vice principal's wig off, a memory that often pervades Daichi's nightmares. However, Daichi believes in Kageyama's ability and was confident that he would be able to do well in the three-on-three match.
- Asahi Azumane: Kageyama sees Asahi as a reliable teammate. He was instrumental in Asahi's return as he had encouraged Sugawara to toss to Asahi during the match against the Karasuno Neighborhood Association, helping restore the ace's confidence in himself. Asahi's sometimes overwhelmed by Kageyama's ability and enthusiasm in volleyball and usually is responsible, along with Sugawara, for calming Kageyama down whenever he's angry at Hinata.
- Kiyoko Shimizu: Kageyama is one of the few characters who don't seem to be attracted to Kiyoko. He respects her as an upperclassman and the manager of the team but doesn't fawn over her.
- Tōru Oikawa: Oikawa was Kageyama's senior in junior high, who often treated Kageyama poorly or with disdain due to Kageyama's advanced abilities despite being much younger than Oikawa. On the other hand, Kageyama looked up to Oikawa and often requested him to teach him how to serve; Oikawa refused to, but Kageyama eventually learned by simply watching him. There was one incident in Kageyama's first year of junior high when he asked an already stressed Oikawa to teach him. Out of jealousy and frustration and anger from being defeated by Wakatoshi Ushijima, Oikawa almost hit the first year, only to be restrained by Iwaizumi.
Since his junior high years, Kageyama has grown to see Oikawa as more of a rival than a role model, but he still retains the respect he held in junior high. He also believes that by surpassing Oikawa, he would become the best setter in the prefecture. He often compares himself to Oikawa, especially on their relationships with their teammates and Oikawa's ability to bring out the maximum potential of any team he's on. Oikawa also goes out of his way to pick on Kageyama and make him lose his cool whenever Karasuno and Aobajōsai play against each other. Despite his frivolous attitude towards the first year, Oikawa still feels threatened by Kageyama and acknowledges that he will one day surpass him. However, Oikawa does help Kageyama albeit mockingly due to the satisfaction of knowing that Kageymama respects him. He even tells Ushijima that Kageyama is strong enough to defeat him.
- Yūtarō Kindaichi and Akira Kunimi: Kindaichi and Kunimi were Kageyama's former teammates in Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High. It is unknown whether or not Kindaichi, Kunimi, and Kageyama were close during their first and second years, but they are often seen together in Kageyama's flashbacks. Kindaichi was mentioned to be Kageyama's partner back then by Oikawa because Kageyama had tossed to him a lot, almost like Hinata and Kageyama's relationship now.
During their third year, Kageyama demanded a lot from his teammates, often with unreasonable requests, which caused Kindaichi and Kunimi to ask the coach to bench Kageyama. They, along with the rest of the team, also ignored Kageyama's toss in the middle of a match, making it clear that they didn't want anything to do with him anymore. With this impression of Kageyama, they were shocked when they saw Kageyama's improved teamwork with Karasuno and couldn't accept it initially. Kindaichi was convinced that Kageyama was only faking the civility and warned Hinata to watch out. However, after Karasuno beat his team in the practice match, Kindaichi finally accepted that Kageyama has changed. When he went to the bathroom to cool off, Kageyama approached him and tried to apologize for his behavior in the past, but Kindaichi refused to accept it because he didn't want any reconciling. Instead, he announced that he would defeat him the next time they play, which did happen. Kageyama accepted the challenge and replied "we will win", shocking Kindaichi because Kageyama never used "we" in junior high. In the anime, after Aobajōsai lost to Karasuno in the Spring High, Kageyama passed a crying Kindaichi and Kunimi in the hallway. They ignored one another until Kindaichi called Kageyama. Kumimi stated calmly that they would get revenge and Kageyama agreed.
Kunimi didn't talk a lot to Kageyama, but he seems to have accepted that Kageyama changed. In a special chapter, Kunimi asked Tsukishima how Kageyama was doing.
- Favorite Food: Pork curry with an egg on top.
- Current Concern: He gets the feeling that animals dislike him.
- Kageyama wears black volleyball shoes with and light grey accents.
- Since he was born in Japan and on the cusp if he was born before 11 am he is a Sagittarius; if he was born after 11 am he is a Capricorn.
- Kageyama usually buys a carton of milk or yogurt during lunch.
- He is the only first-year on Karasuno's volleyball team that isn't a middle blocker.
- He's been playing volleyball since his second year at Akiyama Elementary.
- Kageyama is the youngest member of the team.
- Kageyama is the youngest first year on the team, whereas Hinata is the oldest.
- He claims to have a poor memory when it comes to English vocabulary, but when he was quizzed by Daichi on tactic signals he was able to answer them quickly and revealed that it took him barely a day to memorize those. This shows that he does have a great memory, but lacks the motivation to put it to use on subjects that aren't related to volleyball.
- Kageyama has admitted to Hinata that he is jealous of Hinata's physical ability and reflexes. Specifically that Hinata has great ability but has not been able to hone it properly to his greatest potential. Kageyama says this is why he is 'irritated' by Hinata.
- Before choosing Karasuno, Kageyama tried to get into Shiratorizawa, but he failed the entrance exam. Afterward, he chose to attend Karasuno only because he wanted to train under the former Coach Ukai. However, Ukai collapsed shortly before Kageyama joined.
- In the One-Shot, Kageyama's reason for joining Karasuno was that he wanted to fight "Top Schools". Hinata and Kageyama had also formed their "Freak-Quick-attack.” during a match against another school instead of during the 3-on-3 match.
- His birthday overlaps with the winter solstice (December 22nd, the shortest day and longest night of the year) which contrasts Hinata's birthday which occurs in summer solstice (June 21st, the longest day and shortest night of the year) respectively.
- His seiyuu, Ishikawa Kaito, is also the seiyuu for Nine, a character in the anime Zankyou no Terror. Number nine is Kageyama's uniform number.
- It has been hinted that Kageyama was the Vice-Captain of his Junior High Team, Kitagawa Daiichi.
- In Haikyū!!: One-Shot, Kageyama's jersey number was 6.
- In the first popularity poll conducted by Weekly Shōnen Jump, Kageyama was ranked 1st. However, he was ranked 3rd in the second popularity poll.
- In regards to Kageyama's name, Furudate wrote, “I gave him this name with the image of “strong shadow” and “flying” in mind.”
- In an interview with Furudate about Kageyama's character, Furudate noted that they felt Kageyama turned out well.
- Hinata once called Kageyama "バテ山君" (Bateyama-kun), which translates to someone who is tired.
- Tobio (飛雄) - Flying Hero
- Kageyama (影山) - Shadow Mountain