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I kept the ball in the air, it's not your place to give up.

Yū Nishinoya (Japanese: 西谷 (にしのや) (ゆう) Nishinoya Yū) was a second-year student at Karasuno High School. He served as the libero for the school's volleyball team and was referred to by his teammates as "Karasuno's Guardian Deity" for his remarkable skills.

After high school, Nishinoya retired from volleyball in favor of travelling the world.

Appearance

Nishinoya is the shortest member of the team, standing at 159.3 cm (now at 160.5 cm as of chapter 207). Despite his shorter stature, he has a fairly muscular build. He regularly styles his wild black hair by ruffling most of it upwards, adding 10 cm to his height; the tiny tuft of hair that falls over his forehead appears to be bleached a dirty blond. His eyes are brown and slanted.

He tends to wear brightly colored shirts that typically have a random four-character idiom printed on either its front or back, such as "One-Man Army" or "Three-Point Headstand". In games, he wears an elbow pad on his right arm in addition to his uniform, unlike the rest of the team.

Personality

Nishinoya is a very energetic and temperamental person. His boisterous nature and crazy shenanigans can attract unwanted attention quite easily, which often goes badly for him. Although he hardly ever worries about the consequences of his actions (and may even revert to violence to vent out his anger on certain occasions), he is surprisingly considerate of his friends' feelings and insecurities.

He has a quirky habit of spontaneously coming up with ridiculous names for the moves he executes while practicing receives. He is also unexpectedly shy when it comes to talking to girls he hasn't met before.

Like Tanaka, Nishinoya has a large interest in the team manager, Kiyoko. Together, they try to approach her but are usually ignored. They cause a bit of a ruckus when this happens and are usually scolded by somebody, most often Daichi. When the series officially introduces Nishinoya, he energetically approaches Kiyoko, which results in an off-screen slap. Nishinoya returns with a red cheek and a smile[1]. Tanaka and Nishinoya both like being called "Senpai" (or Upperclassmen in the English version.) and dislike boys who have most of the attention from female admirers, like Oikawa.

Nishinoya can be extremely impatient, excitable and impulsive. As Tanaka puts it, "he simply gets too fired up for his good.". He doesn't bother to filter his words and is therefore prone to blurting out whatever he's thinking in a loud and tactless manner. In-game, however, his attitude changes drastically as he becomes incredibly focused and serious, remaining calm and doing everything in his power to provide the support his team needs until the very end. For this reason, everyone in the volleyball club respects him greatly. He is shown to be incredibly hard-working, once even continuously practicing more than 200 spike-block receives to the point that his legs stopped moving.

Although he displays an incredible feat of confidence and fearlessness countless times, Nishinoya admits that he was a "huge scaredy-cat" when he was a kid[2]. He had many fears, which resulted in his grandfather training him so he could overcome those fears, teaching him that behind every fear is a wasted experience, and telling him to never be afraid to ask for help whenever the fear doesn't fade. This reflected Nishinoya's tenacity and courageous façade during matches and served as an important matter in his character development sometime in the Nationals because he straightforwardly tells the team about his childhood without a doubt even though he is being pushed into a corner.

Background

Nishinoya telling Hinata and Kageyama the reason he chose to attend Karasuno.

Nishinoya attended Chidoriyama Junior High. When they played against Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High, they lost 2-1[3]. He received an award for his exceptional performance as a libero later that same year, which made him famous[4]. When asked why he chose to enter Karasuno, he said it was because he wanted to wear the school's black gakuran, which he thinks is "super cool," and added that he also considers the girls' uniform to be "super cute."[3]. He lives close to where Karasuno High is situated.

At the beginning of March, when Asahi doesn't show up for practice, Nishinoya goes after him and yells at him for quitting the team. The vice-principal comes up from behind him, and Nishinoya pushes him away, causing the vice-principal to knock over and break a nearby vase[5]. Because of this, he is suspended from school for a week, and is banned from club activities for a month[6].

It is revealed that when Nishinoya was a child he was scared of many things; such as certain vegetables, moths, riding a bike, a dog in the neighborhood, and other things. However, his eccentric grandfather, Mineo, told him that being scared is a waste because it prevents you from experiencing life. From that day forward Nishinoya overcame his fears and faced them all head-on and became who he is today, but still dislikes moths and onions[2].

Plot

Karasuno High Team Formation Arc

Aoba Johsai Practice Match

While leaving Aoba Johsai High after their practice match, Daichi states that while they have little time left before the Interhigh preliminaries begin, it's about time for Karasuno's "Guardian Deity", Nishinoya, to return[7].

Asahi and Nishinoya's Return

On their way home, Hinata, Kageyama, Daichi, Sugawara, and Tanaka discuss the upcoming Interhigh competition and the vital positions they currently lack. Kageyama brings up the team member who's about to return and asks what he's been up to. Tanaka answers he was suspended for a week and was banned from club activities for a month which prompts Hinata to ask if he's a delinquent. But Tanaka says no and states that he's just a little too passionate but overly is a good guy. Tanaka adds that he was Karasuno's only prodigy, only that it is no longer the case now as Kageyama has joined their team. Sawamura tells Hinata to also call him "senpai" and claims it will make him stupidly happy.

Nishinoya perfectly receives Kageyama's serve.

While Kageyama is in the middle of serve practice, Nishinoya jumps in to intercept the ball and does a perfect serve receive which stuns Hinata and Kageyama. He compliments Kageyama's serve. Tanaka, Sugawara, and Sawamura arrive. Tanaka enthusiastically calls out to him which Nishinoya returns. Sawamura formally introduces him to the two first years[6].

Hinata, amazed and a bit shocked, comments that Nishinoya is shorter than him which annoys the latter. Tanaka tries to calm Nishinoya down. When asked how tall he is, he answers he is 159 cm tall. He scolds Hinata about how being taller is not a big deal to get happy and cry about when Hinata sheds tears of joy upon meeting someone shorter than him since he started club activities.

Nishinoya explains his reasons for choosing Karasuno.

Nishinoya asks Kageyama, who he says has a mean look in his eyes, what junior high he is from. He loudly expresses his amazement when Kageyama answers he is from Kitagawa Daiichi, a powerhouse school, and tells he has played against them before and lost 2-1 and adds Kitagawa also had a guy with an amazing serve. Sugawara and Sawamura note Nishinoya's still boisterous behavior. Kageyama also asks Nishinoya what junior high is he from to which Nishinoya answers he is from Chidoriyama. Kageyama notes it's also a powerhouse and asks why he came to Karasuno. Nishinoya answers that it's because he likes the girls' uniform a lot, not to include the girls themselves who went beyond his expectations. He also adds that boys get to wear black gakuran, which for him is cool as he had to wear blazers in junior high which made him want to wear a gakuran really badly. He states that with these reasons plus Karasuno being close to his house, it was an easy decision to make.

Nishinoya notices Kiyoko's arrival and rushes to meet her. Sugawara likens him to a storm, Hinata to an unexpected downpour. But Sawamura says his plays are surprisingly quiet. Nishinoya, now with a slap mark on his left face, asks if Asahi has come back. When Daichi answers no, he gets angry and calls Asahi a coward which Tanaka calls him out for. Nishinoya only retorts that a coward's a coward. He storms out of the gym saying if Asahi's not coming back, then neither is he. Hinata follows him outside and asks Nishinoya to teach him receives. Hinata asks if he's a libero, a defense specialist. Nishinoya asks if he thinks so because he is short. But Hinata says it's because he's good at receives and adds Daichi called him a "Guardian Deity". This flatters Nishinoya and asks if Daichi really called him that. Hinata affirms, flattering Nishinoya even further. Hinata requests Nishinoya to teach him receives and calls him senpai, effectively winning Nishinoya over, albeit Nishinoya clarifying it's only to teach him and that it doesn't mean he's coming back to the club.

Nishinoya teaches the first years how to do receives.

Later in the evening, Nishinoya instructs the first years on receives but Hinata, Tsukishima and Yamaguchi do not understand. Tanaka states it's because Nishinoya only moves on pure instinct. Daichi and Takeda converse about the position of libero and how it will be encouraging if Nishinoya comes back as their libero. Daichi notes how despite with his small body, Nishinoya's presence is overwhelming and gives them peace of mind.

Hinata suddenly asks Nishinoya who Asahi is. Nishinoya answers he is Karasuno's ace, or should be. Hinata expresses his intention of becoming an ace, which Nishinoya finds awesome and cheers him on. But later adds he's nowhere near as promising as their current ace. Nishinoya ponders on the admirability of the "ace" and how just the sound of it already has a cool ring to it while "setter" and "libero" look plain. But he proudly claims that what excites the crowd the most is not an incredible spike but rather when they see a super receive. He adds that since volleyball is a battle of height, libero might be the only position where a short player can thrive but he did not become a libero because of his height. He states even if he were 2-meter tall, he'd still play as a libero as it is the libero who is best at ensuring that the ball does not touch the floor, even if it can't be spiked or blocked. Nishinoya's explanation amazes Hinata and calls it cool. This flutters Nishinoya again.

Nishinoya then asks Hinata what his specialty is, to which the latter answers, in a down tone, he is the decoy. Nishinoya only cheers Hinata saying if someone's spike can succeed thanks to the decoy, then his role is just as important[3].

Nishinoya calls out to their ace.

A flashback shows Nishinoya digging a ball and pondering on the fact that his job is to keep the rally going as he can't fight in the sky which is the domain of spikers but he will, without fail, get the ball to the spikers at their highest point. Regardless of how many times a wall bounces back the spike, as long as he can get the ball through, the ace will score. Nishinoya asks Karasuno's ace to call out for a toss, one more time.

At practice the next day, Nishinoya enthusiastically yells "Rolling Thunder" while receiving a ball, shocking Daichi and Tanaka into silence while Hinata looks on adoringly. Sawamura later compliments his receive. Tanaka laughs at his receive and asks where the "thunder" is as it's only a normal rolling receive. Sawamura scolds him and tells him not to move around while shouting something strange as it's dangerous. Kageyama, confused, asks why he had yelled. Tsukishima and Yamaguchi laugh. Nishinoya angrily orders the three to sit down so he can look down on them while he gives them a lecture. Hinata admiringly asks Nishinoya to teach him the move.

Takeda arrives and notifies the team about the practice match against Nekoma High that he has arranged. Nishinoya approaches Sawamura and apologizes as he won't be participating in the practice match. He explains that despite wanting to practice with them if he were to participate in a match and win, it would be like proving that Karasuno can win without Asahi and he doesn't want it. Daichi approves but asks Nishinoya to at least join their training camp[8].

The following day at practice, Tanaka asks Nishinoya what he did at his special training when he was banned. Nishinoya replies that he trained to receive balls that had been blocked and adds that he has yet to do it well but once he can do it properly, his teammates can spike without worry. Tanaka notes how Nishinoya seems to have new bruises every time he sees him and cries in his admiration, baffling Nishinoya.

Coach Ukai temporarily joins Karasuno and arranges a practice match between Karasuno High and the Neighborhood Association Team. Nishinoya hesitates at the prospect of playing in a match, which Ukai notices. Sawamura tries to explain the situation but Ukai asks Nishinoya to participate as the libero of the Neighborhood Association. As Nishinoya rushes to join their visitors, Hinata suddenly shouts out Asahi's arrival, to which Nishinoya perks up. He looks on as Asahi enters the gymnasium. Sugawara joins the neighborhood team as setter and cheers Nishinoya to do some nice receives. Nishinoya answers naturally and glances at Asahi before going to the court[9].

The practice match starts and the neighborhood team scores. Nishinoya compliments Sugawara's toss. Sugawara thanks him but says it's only because the neighborhood team adjusts to him and that his toss still needs work. Sugawara states that nonetheless, they have to make the game not wholly reliant on the ace. Nishinoya comments on how Sugawara has gotten cooler, which joys the setter.

Hinata scores for their team and is now his turn to serve when Asahi suddenly speaks. Asahi tells Nishinoya that he does want to which confuses the latter. Asahi expounds that no matter how many times he's blocked, he does want to hit the ball one more time. Nishinoya answers that that's all that matters and enough to hear. Nishinoya mentally says that his job is strictly to connect everyone as he can't fight in the spikers' domain, the sky, but if he can keep the rally going, their ace will definitely score - and he will keep the ball in play even if it rebounds off the wall of blockers. Nishinoya successfully saves a ball Asahi hit that was blocked by the opposing team. He calls out to Asahi, their ace, to call out for the toss one more time[5].

The match continues and Nishinoya proudly watches on as Asahi calls out to Sugawara to toss the ball to him. Asahi successfully breaks through Kageyama, Tsukishima and Tanaka's block and scores for their team. Asahi compliments his block follow receive while Nishinoya only widely smiles back in reply[10].

Nishinoya scolds Asahi, telling him that the reason he can't jump anymore was due to skipping practice for a month. Asahi embarrassingly apologizes.

As the match continues, Nishinoya witnesses for the first time Hinata and Kageyama's quick attack combo which stuns him and the rest of the first-timers. He calls out to Hinata to compliment him, adding that he ended up just watching without even realizing it.

Continuing the match, Nishinoya receives a ball and brings it to Sugawara, who then tosses to Asahi. Their team scores as he Hinata fails to block the ball[11].

Nishinoya and the rest of Karasuno team members rush to Hinata when the latter was hit by Asahi's spike after spacing out in the middle of the match.

Nishinoya scolds Asahi when he shakes after being fluttered by Kageyama's words, which was addressed to Hinata and his jealousy of Asahi's hit power.

The match continues and Hinata scores for their team. Nishinoya gladly looks on as Hinata states he no longer thinks his role as the decoy is lame[12].

Nishinoya cheers with his teammates.

The match approaches its climax. Hinata decoys for the Karasuno team, allowing Tanaka to get the chance to hit the ball as the neighborhood blockers have marked Hinata. Nishinoya, however, receives the ball and sends it to Sugawara. The match ends with the neighborhood team as the winner, 2-0.

The boys discuss the practice match and how they're complete now. When Sawamura states that the reliable Nishinoya has returned, Nishinoya proudly affirms, only to be embarrassed as Sawamura reminds him to never shove the vice-principal again.

Nishinoya joins in with his teammates for the post-game cheer[13].

Nekoma Practice Match

Nishinoya with his flattened hair.

Karasuno boys' volleyball club starts their Golden Week training camp where the members stay in a training facility. Hinata runs around the facility in excitement, with Tsukishima commenting what's fun about having to spend all day around a bunch of guys who stink. Nishinoya and Tanaka retort that there's no way the air within a 500-m radius of Kiyoko stinks. Sugawara, however, tells them Kiyoko lives nearby and, as such, will go home at the end of each day, breaking the two's spirits.

Come shower time, Hinata tells Tanaka there's someone else besides the volleyball team in the building, spooking the latter. Deep in terrified conversation, Nishinoya walks in on them. The two shouts in shock and fright. Confused, Nishinoya asks what the ruckus is about and warns them they'll make Daichi mad. Hinata realizes he didn't recognize Nishinoya because Nishinoya's hair is flattened, as opposed to his usual appearance[14].

On the first day of Golden Week Training Camp, Nishinoya and the rest of the team train at the school's gymnasium. on their way out for lunch break, Nishinoya cheers on a tired-looking Yamaguchi to pick up the pace.

At their dinner, Tsukishima notes Hinata and Kageyama huge appetite with Yamaguchi adding it's making him feel like he's gonna puke. Nishinoya overhears the two and orders them to eat up even if they've got to choke it down. He adds that at their current state, they'll wither and die when summer comes. He scolds Hinata when the latter asks for Yamaguchi's food and tells him to let Yamaguchi eat properly[15].

The next morning, Coach Ukai reveals Karasuno's starting line up for their practice match against Nekoma. The line up consists of Tanaka, Daichi, and Asahi as wing spikers, Kageyama as the setter, Tsukishima and Hinata as middle blockers, and Nishinoya as libero.

After practice, Nishinoya confronts Asahi and straightforwardly asks him if he doesn't feel sorry for Ennoshita, not to mention Sugawara, who both didn't make it to the starting line up, shocking the two. He adds that naturally only the strong can stand on the court, scaring Asahi further. But Ennoshita states that it's not like he's always been dedicated to volleyball, and has even run away from it, too. Nishinoya, however, comments that if he becomes stronger in body and spirit, he can snatch the regular spot from Asahi, fair and square, but his words only rattle Ennoshita. Nishinoya brushes his reaction off and adds as an afterthought that he has to snatch the regular spot from Tanaka first.

Karasuno and Nekoma reunite.

The next day, Karasuno's jersey uniforms arrive and Nishinoya immediately wears his. Hinata notes Nishinoya's jersey is the only orange one as opposed to the rest of the team's black jersey. Nishinoya proudly explains it's because he's a star player after all, which amazes Hinata. Kageyama, however, retorts to Hinata that it's because Nishinoya is the libero, who goes on and off the court many times, so the color is different to distinguish him from the rest of the team.

The day of the practice match against the Cats arrives. Nishinoya and the rest of the Karasuno team meet up with Nekoma at Karasuno Sports Gymnasium[16].The two teams warm up inside the gym before their practice match. Daichi makes a pep talk before the gathered Karasuno members.

The practice match begins with Nekoma's setter, Kenma, serving first. The ball goes straight to Asahi who fails to cleanly receive the ball. Nishinoya shouts at him that it's because he slacked off for a month. Asahi timidly apologizes.

Nishinoya enters the game and cleanly receives a spike from one of Nekoma's spikers. Kageyama sets the ball to Asahi and successfully lands it on the Nekoma court. Nishinoya and Hinata energetically cheer Asahi on.

Nishinoya rotates to the front and switches out with Tsukishima. Some time in the game, Nishinoya switches in again. Karasuno earns a point and Nishinoya switches out with Hinata[17].

The match progresses with Nekoma gradually becoming accustomed to Hinata and Kageyama's quick attack. Kenma suddenly dumps the ball on Karasuno's side of the court. Nishinoya fails to save the ball before it reaches the ground and screams in frustration.

Taketora spikes the ball but Tanaka successfully receives it. Nishinoya connects with the ball and sends it to Kageyama who lands it on Nekoma's side and earns Karasuno a point. They scored this point against Yamamoto, to whom each playfully tease. Sometime later, Nishinoya is the one to unsuccessfully dig Kenma’s shot.

The match continues and Kenma sets to Kuroo who spikes the ball. Nishinoya tries to run after it but it lands on the ground, effectively causing Nekoma to catch up with Karasuno's score.

Karasuno and Nekoma earn points bringing the match at 22-24 with Nekoma at set point. Nekoma serves which Nishinoya receives then sends it to Kageyama. Hinata tries a quick attack but Inuoka ultimately shuts it down. The match ends at 22-25, in favor of Nekoma[18].

Sugawara Yaku Nishinoya s1-e13-1.png

After the matches end, Yaku notices Nishinoya looking at him intensely. Noticing this, Sugawara apologizes for his behavior and tells the older libero to ignore Karasuno’s own. Abruptly, Nishinoya praises Yaku for his consistent digs and boldly claims to become a better libero than him one day. When Sugawara apologizes once more, Yaku admits to Nishinoya’s thirst to get better despite already being high-leveled to be frightening.

Interhigh Arc

Karasuno vs Tokonami

During the warm-ups prior to the match, Nishinoya is spotted by Oikawa and noted to have been part of the practice match against Aoba Johsai. After Tanaka scores the first point of the match, the two celebrate so much that they are scolded by Daichi and the head referee. When Nishinoya receives Ikejiri's spike, he is upset that he was not able to get it right back to the setter. The rest of the match goes by relatively quickly and Karasuno emerges as the victor.

Karasuno vs Date Tech

Before Karasuno arrives on the court, Nishinoya looks at Asahi with a curious look as Daichi calls the team to start getting ready. During the warm-ups, Nishinoya immediately starts with introducing his rolling thunder move, which confuses half of the team but awes the other half After some short comments from each of them, Nishinoya announces that there is no need for them to worry because he claims that he would always have their backs, which increases the team’s morale. Sometimes at the beginning of the match, Nishinoya manages an impressive bump, which surprises Date Tech. In the same rally, Date Tech’s blockers stuff Asahi and Nishinoya quickly apologizes for not having saved that, but Asahi is not upset. Not long after, Nishinoya surprisingly receives a let serve from Kamasaki.

Shortly after, Nishinoya manages a difficult receive near the net, which makes Sugawara tear up. Later on, Nishinoya succeeds in saving the ball from an area that was clear of any other players and manages another impressive save with his foot after Asahi gets blocked. After Karasuno wins the match, Asahi praises his teammates, which makes Nishinoya smile.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Nishinoya plays in the game between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai. Like Tanaka, Nishinoya is annoyed that Oikawa is able to get the attention of numerous female fans so easily. Nishinoya is later targeted by Oikawa's serve and surprises everyone when he is able to receive it with seemingly little effort. During Seijoh's first time-out, Nishinoya reveals that he was able to receive Oikawa's serve due to having once played against him in middle school. He also states that Oikawa's serve was not as efficient back then as it is now, claiming that his serve would often land out of bounds because he had yet to master the control of it[19]. During the rest of the game, Nishinoya does his best to receive any ball that heads his way and try to keep the Karasuno team in high spirits. He and Daichi are later put in charge of receiving Oikawa's serves due to being the two best receivers on the team.

Loss and Decisions

Like the others, Nishinoya was visibly upset over the loss against Seijoh. The next day, the second years gather together and discuss the upcoming tournament that will determine the prefecture representative for the Spring Tournament. When it was unclear if the third year's would stay with the team, Nishinoya was briefly seen looking upset but happily celebrated when the third year's announced they would stay on the team until the Spring Tournament. Nishinoya also celebrates the news that Takeda presents on the team being invited by Coach Nekomata to join the summer training camp held by the Fukurōdani Academy Group.

Tokyo Expedition Arc

Karasuno s2-e2-1.png

While originally excited at the news of the team being invited to join the Fukurōdani Academy Group training camps, Nishinoya is one of several members on the team that quickly become fearful at hearing they must first pass all of their exams and avoid supplementary lessons in order to partake in the camps. Accepting help from his fellow second years, Nishinoya would join in regular study groups and received most of his tutoring from Ennoshita who attempted to get the libero to quit entering answers he made up as he felt they were better situated. Thanks to this, Nishinoya was able to pass his exams and join the team on the first trip to Nekoma High.

Since Hinata and Kageyama were unable to make it until later in the day, Karasuno suffered numerous losses and had to carry out numerous penalties. After the two first years arrived, Karasuno was finally able to win a match. During Karasuno's last match against Nekoma, Nishinoya witnessed the collision between Hinata and Asahi and would try to play it off in a joking manner but would actually take on a serious demeanor after Hinata announced to Kageyama that he wanted to change their quick attack. Shortly after the Karasuno team returned home, Nishinoya decided to learn how to do jump sets; most likely from having seen Watari do the same during their previous match.

He would continue to attempt the jump set during the week long camp at Shinzen High but continually struggled with the timing of his jump and at times would ask Sugawara to help him perfect his setting. It would be during Karasuno's final match against Fukurōdani that Nishinoya would finally be able to do a complete jump set although he would quickly blame his set being low when Asahi's spike had landed out of bounds. He is soon seen doing a successful jump set with Daichi.

Kiyoko "protectors".png

During the barbecue, Nishinoya teamed up with Tanaka and Yamamoto to act as body guards to Kiyoko and would prevent boys from other teams trying to approach her. Although the three were successful in keeping others from approaching the older Karasuno manager, Daichi is spotted quickly bringing Nishinoya and Tanaka back under control.

Spring High Preliminary Arc

Karasuno vs Ohgiminami

Nishinoya is seen being able to easily receive many serves and spikes.

Karasuno vs Kakugawa

During the match’s first break, Hinata slightly panics because of Hyakuzawa’s height but Nishinoya tells him that aerial battles aren’t the only main component in volleyball. Nishinoya would then join in Daichi explaining his observations that Hyakuzawa was only hitting cross shots in the direction of where his body would face. Thanks to their discovery, Daichi tells the team only to defend the cross shots. In fact, Nishinoya is able to save one of those from Hyakuzawa, which earns him praise from the spectators, though he would at times be seen being knocked over from Hyakuzawa's spikes due to the sheer power behind them. After the game concludes, Tanaka and Nishinoya playfully tease Hinata about the sound he made when receiving Hyakuzawa’s spike but get intimidated when Ennoshita scolds them about their studies.

Karasuno vs Johzenji

When Nishinoya practices with Yamaguchi after the preliminaries conclude, Nishinoya is eager to receive one of his serves. A few days later, Nishinoya manages a good bump and is confident to do another but fails to save Yamaguchi’s serve. When entering the Sendai City Gymnasium, Karasuno encounters, Terushima. Being informed of what he did to Kiyoko, Nishinoya and Tanaka both leap at Terushima but are soon interrupted by Misaki.

During the game against Johzenji, Nishinoya manages a narrow save and Ukai then uses his play, Hinata and Tanaka’s previous wild plays in that rally as examples of players who can counter Johzenji’s untamed style because of their high energy. When the second set comes around, Daichi is able to save Hinata and Kageyama’s failed combo impressively and Nishinoya praises him for it in a strange way, which makes Daichi tell him not to phrase it as such. When overhearing Misaki lecturing Johzenji and using foul language, Tanaka and Nishinoya request Kiyoko to do the same for them, however, she refuses, much to their dismay. It was after Hinata managed to save a ball heading out of bounds that Nishinoya would get the final hit back over and score for Karasuno.

Karasuno vs Wakutani Minami

When seeing Tanaka before the game begins, Nishinoya becomes excited and waves at her. As the game begins and Nishinoya sees Hanayama, he tells Asahi not to let his chin-scruff outmatch him, which confuses the latter. Sometime later, Nishinoya would continue the game’s longest rally with an impressive dig.

As Ennoshita is subbed in, Nishinoya immediately tells the temporary captain to keep watch for Nakashima’s block-outs. When Nakashima scores a service ace off Ennoshita, Nishinoya does not blame him and assures him that he would only have to cover a lesser wide area in the following rally. After Ennoshita manages to save numerous amounts of Nakashima’s shots, Nishinoya praises the captain for keeping the ball up so many times.

During the third set, Nishinoya becomes the messenger to tell the blockers to stop triple blocking Nakashima. In the next rally, he would notice Shiroshi making a tip. After Ennoshita makes an impressive dig, Nishinoya, Karasuno’s best defensive player, praises him for it. At first, Ennoshita is apprehensive about taking the compliment but quickly switches to being proud about having gotten one from Nishinoya.

Aoba Johsai vs Date Tech

Before the second set of the match continues, Nishinoya is one of the people Daichi tells not to stuff themselves when he sees them stuff themselves. Sometime later, Watari sets, and remembering Karasuno’s past match against Aoba Johsai, Nishinoya wonders who he will set it to.

Karasuno vs Aoba Johsai

Like his teammates, Nishinoya is excited for the rematch against Aoba Johsai with the hope of getting their revenge and advancing to the finals. Although momentarily stunned by how Ukai states that Seijoh is not a good match for Karasuno, Nishinoya is still inspired by their coach urging them to continue to adapt and become stronger.

Nishinoya s2 e20 2.png

In the first play of the game, Nishinoya surprises Seijoh by performing a jump set. With Asahi scoring the point, the two were able to cut off Oikawa's serve right away. Despite their successful play, Sugawara would point out how the ace and libero were the most surprised of their play succeeding. When Oikawa unleashed his more powerful serve, Nishinoya would express excitement at seeing the serve and declared his desire to try to receive it.

In the second set, Nishinoya would be surprised by Kyōtani's brash behavior and wanting to use his full power in each spike. When Yamaguchi lands his first service ace, Nishinoya and Hinata would be so overwhelmed with excitement that they had to be held back from running onto the court by Sugawara and Ennoshita. Nishinoya continues to support Yamaguchi during his numerous serves that not only helped bring Karasuno to a tie but also revived their fighting spirits.

When Seijoh was eventually able to bring the second set to a deuce, Nishinoya becomes frustrated with himself when he was unable to receive Oikawa's serve. As the third set plays out, Nishinoya would make several receives and even make a jump set to Tanaka. He later gives Tsukishima great praise when the middle blocker was able to beat Kindaichi in a joust. Karasuno was soon able to win the match and Nishinoya celebrates with the team.

Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa

Nishinoya supports Daichi when he recalls the team that Karasuno’s goal is to win nationals. Sometime later, Nishinoya boldly declares that if Shiratorizawa has Ushijima, then Karasuno has him, comparing his receiving skills to Ushijima’s strength. The next day, however, Nishinoya loses enthusiasm when seeing Shiratorizawa’s huge cheering squad, but Tanaka tries to cheer him up by pointing out the cheerleaders. However, Nishinoya brightens up when his name is called by the announcers. When Nishinoya sees Ushijima being set to, he immediately reacts and his spike. Nevertheless, the ball bounces right off Nishinoya’s arm and Shiratorizawa scores their third consecutive point in a row. After this, Nishinoya tells his teammates to give him three hits from Ushijima and he’d be able to receive his notorious spikes. During a following rally, Ushijima still manages to outmatch Nishinoya.

Despite this, on Nishinoya’s third try, he successfully receives the enemy ace’s serve, fulfilling his promise to his upperclassmen. Nishinoya would dig Ushijima’s spike and despite the spectator’s astonishment, Nishinoya is still not satisfied. Near the end of the second set, Ukai’s strategy of leading Ushijima to spike in Nishinoya’s direction comes forth and Nishinoya digs it perfectly, impressing Yamagata. Near the end of the second set, Yamagata saves Asahi’s spike and eyes Nishinoya warily. When Tsukishima wins Karasuno the second set, Nishinoya, and Tanaka leap in joy to congratulate their underclassman. Near the end of the third set, Nishinoya fails to receive Ushijima. When Asahi approaches him to see how he is doing, Nishinoya is frustrated but still tells himself that receiving Ushijima is his duty. With the help of Tsukishima, Nishinoya digs Ushijima as he did in the second set. Sometime later, Nishinoya sets to Asahi.

Near the end of the fourth set, Ushijima is up to serve. To reassure them, Ukai tells the team that it isn’t the first time Karasuno’s been in a spot like this. After he serves, Nishinoya is able to receive the ball, but with difficulty. Because Nishinoya is a libero, when Karasuno comes in for their synchro attack and Nishinoya sets, it allows the entire team to go for their synchro attack. Ultimately, Nishinoya sets to Sugawara and he scores.

Shortly after, Nishinoya appears right behind the blockers as Ushijima is about to spike. However, Ushijima spikes in a completely different direction than Nishinoya thought he would. When Narita is subbed in for an injured Tsukishima, Nishinoya tries to motivate his classmate. Following this, Sugawara calls for the team to do a synchro attack as he hates doing setter dumps since he’s too afraid to mess up. Despite being able to save Ushijima’s spikes numerous times, Nishinoya fails to receive Goshiki’s serve. Nevertheless, Nishinoya is able to cover for Daichi when his legs fail to move due to fatigue and digs Goshiki’s impressive line shot. After this, Nishinoya boldly tells his team that although their bodies might get exhausted, aerial battle is still in their hands.

Aftermath

Tokyo Nationals Arc

Nishinoya is with the team as they have their measure done for their personal height, spiking, and blocking. After taking his spiking height, Nishinoya angrily overhears members of the basketball team comment on his height and promptly yells at them. Upon learning of Hinata's spiking height matching Asahi's, Nishinoya believes it is partly due to Kageyama's want of trying to get the spiker's to reach higher points. Nishinoya would greatly celebrate the news of learning Kageyama was invited to the All-Japan Youth Camp and Tsukishima to the First Year Training Camp while trying to keep Hinata from getting too upset at not having been invited to either camp. However, when Hinata was later discovered to have crashed the First Year camp at Shiratorizawa Academy, Nishinoya would not only express support for Hinata's actions but would nearly attempt the same until he was held back by Asahi[20].

Nishinoya confronts Kageyama

When heading to the Date Tech campus, Nishinoya asks Asahi if he is still afraid of their team, to which Asahi assures that they’re the best opponents he could ask for. During the practice match’s first rally, despite Nishinoya being able to receive the first serve, he fails to save Date Tech’s triple block. Shortly after, Koganegawa performs a powerful setter dump. Although Nishinoya is able to bump it, he still finds it difficult to deal with.  Not long after, Nishinoya does his rolling thunder move in order to save a dink from Date Tech. Despite his team’s support for the libero doing this, Kageyama complains that he’s in the way, which confuses the team and angers Nishinoya. After scoring, Nishinoya confronts Kageyama about his comment. After a calm explanation that the libero had unintentionally blocked the back row attacker during his receive, Nishinoya cools down and accepts his mistake. During the second set, Date Tech’s blockers get prepared to block Asahi as they see Nishinoya bumping the ball to him. As he is about to spike, Nishinoya determines the hitter with a harsh cheer.

That night, Nishinoya offers to help Kinoshita with his serves. Subsequent to getting exhausted after 30 minutes of practicing, Nishinoya helps motivate him. As Nishinoya shows trouble with Kinoshita’s serves because of his lack of skills with overhand receives, he gives himself a finger push-ups penalty. When Kinoshita asks him why he tries overhand receives when he is clearly superior with bumps, Nishinoya explains that if he can try more effective ways, he will, remembering successful overhand receives from other players he’s faced in the past.

Karasuno vs Tsubakihara

Just before the match, Nishinoya would be seen along with Tanaka in giving the players of Tsubakihara Academy looks of intimidation that successfully put some of the players on edge along with the reputation Karasuno gained in being the team that had defeated Shiratorizawa. Nishinoya proved to be a great defender during Karasuno's first match of the tournament and would join in praising Kageyama when he successfully landed a setter dump despite Asahi claiming the compliments were actually insults. Nishinoya is also one of the first to notice that Hinata was beginning to read player's forms and would position himself in the correct place to be able to receive. Despite Hinata had made body receives during this time, Nishinoya still praised the middle blocker for his efforts. When Karasuno won the match, Nishinoya celebrates with his team. Afterwards, he is seen with the rest of the second years in reuniting with Kurokawa.

Karasuno vs Inarizaki

Like Daichi and Tanaka, Nishinoya was at first overwhelmed at the power and speed behind Atsumu Miya's spike serve. He is able to relax a bit afterwards when he calls Atsumu's next serve to land out. After Saeko arrives with her taiko drum group, Nishinoya and Hinata are so overwhelmed by her presence that they declare they may die. Karasuno would get back into their own rhythm after this and Nishinoya would notice that Hinata was starting to position himself where he saw a spike would head to. Although Ginjima's spike hit Hinata's foot, Nishinoya still praised Hinata for being in the right place and restored the middle blockers dignity[21].

Remembering how Ukai revealed that Karasuno would be able to tell what serve Atsumu would use by counting the number of steps he takes, Nishinoya prepares to receive the jump float serve but was caught off guard by the speed of the serve that he was not able to receive properly. While he was able to receive the second float serve, Nishinoya was unsatisfied how he got the ball up. When the Miya twins are able to successfully copy Hinata and Kageyama's freak quick attack, Nishinoya is among those being stunned by what they witnessed.

Half-way into the set, Nishinoya is surprised when Hinata is able to cut off Osamu's path for a cross shot which forced him to hit a straight shot where Nishinoya was positioned. After Karasuno gained the point, Nishinoya questions Hinata if he blocked this way on purpose and receives confirmation when Hinata admits that he blocked like Matsukawa; the person whose blocking Hinata despises the most[22].

During the second set, Nishinoya becomes the target of Atsumu's float serves when it's discovered that the libero is not very skilled when it comes to overhand receives. Because of this, Atsumu is able to score several points off of Nishinoya and causes him to be overwhelmed with fear to the point where he begins to hesitate in his movements. During the first time-out of the set, Nishinoya confesses that, when he had been a child, he was shy and afraid of many things. Asahi, not believing what he's hearing, questions Nishinoya if he was talking about a previous life. Nishinoya adds that he was able to overcome many of his fears because of his grandfather's strict tasks. Nishinoya would come to learn from his grandfather that it would be wasteful to be afraid because it would keep him from experiencing new things and that he can always ask others for help if he is ever in a moment of true fear.

Group s4-e21-3.png

When the set continues and Atsumu once more targets Nishinoya, Kinoshita shouts to the libero to move forward when he again hesitates. Thanks to Kinoshita's intervention, Nishinoya was able to move in place and finally make a perfect overhand receive that would lead to Atsumu's serve being stopped. Nishinoya would point to Kinoshita in a symbol acknowledgement and gratitude[2]; unknowingly giving Kinoshita the hero moment he had longed for.

When Hinata later makes an amazing receive on Aran's spike, Nishinoya joins in the celebration and shouts 'nice receive'. During the third set, Nishinoya can be seen making narrow and miraculous receives. Karasuno would eventually become victorious and Nishinoya rushes onto the court to embrace Hinata and Kageyama. When the team is back at the hotel, Nishinoya teases Asahi about the face he made when concentrating as their match is being televised.

Karasuno vs Nekoma

In on of the first rallies of the set, Kageyama made a receive on Kuroo's spike. Because Kageyama was unable to make a set, Nishinoya performed a jump set to Asahi. The ace was able to do a block-out against the Nekoma blockers and Nishinoya would receive praise from Yaku about how much his skills have improved since they last saw each other[23]. At the end of the set, Nishinoya would be the only one seen attempting to try to save the return of the ball made by Kenma but he was unable to partly due to the confusion caused by where the ball was returned to[24].

In the beginning of the second set, Nishinoya would unintentionally cut off Hinata's path and therefore prevent him from attempt another wide broad attack. Later when Lev attempted to send his server toward the back end of the court, Nishinoya is able to make the receive that led to the counter. Shortly afterwards, Nishinoya again cut off Hinata's path for a broad attack when he made a receive. During a time-out, the team go over what has happened during the set and how Hinata was being targeted at certain times by the serves, Nishinoya adds that the middle blocker wasn't the only one who was being singled out. He points out that he too is being targeted to make certain receives and doing this would cause him to block the path for an attacker; mostly Hinata.

As the match moves into the third set, Nishinoya begins to notice and admire the effort and determination that Yaku puts in the match; especially when Yaku had manipulated one of the first rallies to his advantage to the point that Tanaka noticed Nishinoya was left nearly speechless but highly praised the Nekoma libero at the same time[25]. The game continues and Nishinoya becomes more aware of his positioning when receiving and is able to move out of the path of the back row attackers. When Hinata attempted to stop Kenma's setter dump, Nishinoya had already started his diving approach to receive when Hinata grazed the ball and changed it's course. Because Nishinoya was already too far forward, he knew that he wouldn't be able to receive with his hands and instead kicked the ball with the back of his foot[26]. The ball goes back to Nekoma's side and lands before anyone can attempt to save it. The move surprises Karasuno, Nekoma, and many others. Throughout the rest of the set, Nishinoya continues to help in making several receives. Karasuno would eventually win the match although Nishinoya and the others were not able to celebrate like normal due to exhaustion. He goes on to shake hands with Yaku afterwards.

Karasuno vs Kamomedai

Nishinoya is with the team during the pre-game meeting. They hear information from Ukai about needing to be most cautious of Hoshiumi and how they will need to think of Kamomedai as a max level version of Date Tech when it comes to their blocking. Shortly before the game is about to begin, Nishinoya and Tanaka observe the third years and note that 'their backs seem so broad'.

During the early rallies of the match, Nishinoya is shown being angry that he was not able to save Tanaka's blocked spike. When the score eventually reaches 9-10 with Kamomedai in the lead, Nishinoya is able to receive Hoshiumi's second serve which led to a counter attack. Shortly afterwards, Nishinoya noticed when Hinata was unable to receive Hoshiumi's spike and that the Kamomedai ace have spiked in the opposite direction of where his body was facing[27].

During the first rally of the second set, Hakuba is able to deflect his spike off the block and Nishinoya is seen desperately trying to save the ball but unable to reach it before it lands. He soon is seen trying to receive Hoshiumi's spike but it ricocheted off him instead. When Asahi is blocked and it seems that the ball will land without a chance to be saved, Nishinoya proves himself as Karasuno's guardian when he suddenly appears and makes the receive[28]. His save allowed Kageyama and Tsukishima to counter and tie the score 17-17. Nishinoya is later seen having to be held back by Ennoshita when Asahi was able to hit the ball with enough force against the blockers hands that the ball fell between them and the net which put Karasuno at a two point lead.

During the third set, Nishinoya becomes one of the receivers appointed with trying to keep Hoshiumi's serve contained. At seeing Hinata later receive Hakuba's spike, Nishinoya is among those who give great praise to the middle blocker. When Hinata eventually collapsed and is revealed to have a high fever, Nishinoya would join the others in trying to reassure the first year that he should take care of himself and that they would do everything in their power to win the match. The game continues and soon Nishinoya and Tanaka are shown excitedly celebrating Tanaka making a cross shot that Kamomedai's libero was unable to dig. After several hard fought rallies, Kamomedai eventually reached match point. Nishinoya attempted to dig Hoshiumi's spike but was unable to. The ball heads out as Tanaka desperately tried to save it but did not make it in time, resulting in Karasuno's loss.

After the team left the court, Nishinoya questions Asahi if he believes that the libero feels guilty of not having been able to save the last spike. Asahi admits that he does feel a little curious but then admits that if the spike was something that Nishinoya couldn't save then there wasn't much chance of anyone else having been able to save it. Nishinoya simply laughs off Asahi's further reasoning. Come March, the third years graduate high school. Nishinoya is present as Daichi hands over the captain position to Ennoshita then joins the rest of the members as he thanks the newly graduated third years for everything they've done for them.

Final Arc

In the Final Arc, Nishinoya is revealed to have retired from volleyball after graduation and is currently traveling the world. He was also the one to inspire Asahi to follow his passions and apply for a fashion school in Tokyo. At the time of the game between the MSBY Black Jackals and the Schweiden Adlers, Asahi informs Daichi and Sugawara that Nishinoya is in Italy. Although he does not watch the match, he is seen looking in the distance from a boat after Hinata manages an impressive receive. Nishinoya's final appearance of the series is in a photo with Asahi in Egypt.

Statistics

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

Nishinoya's skills in defense are said to be unparalleled. The level of proficiency he demonstrates in his position as a libero has caused Daichi to dub him as a "guardian deity", and his skills were also acknowledged by Nekoma's libero, Yaku. He has supremely fast reflexes, swift feet, and flexible arms. He can receive volleys that most teams would usually deem impossible, and keep the ball in play and connected. One of his techniques, "Rolling Thunder", is based on him performing a dive-and-roll receive.

Nishinoya is good at acting on the spur of the moment, adapting to the flow of the game as it is required. This turned out to be a vital asset to Karasuno in their revenge game against the famed "Iron Wall", wherein Nishinoya made the split-second decision of using his foot to prevent the ball from hitting the ground since he knew he could not reach it with his hands in time[29]. That move alone earned him the immediate astonishment and heartfelt praise of the entire stadium, including several volleyball veterans, a number of players from rival teams, and even his normally critical coach.

Height and reach, as of mid-November:

  • Fingertip Height: 208 cm
  • Jumping Reach: 302 cm (spike) / 290 cm (block)

Skills

  • Libero Toss:

    Nishinoya tosses

    Nishinoya distinguishes himself from many other liberos with his participation in the offense with a libero set he decided to learn after watching Shinji Watari perform the technique. Despite struggling with it initially, he is now capable of jumping behind the attack line and performing a libero toss either to Asahi or his other teammates in a synchronized attack. This is especially helpful under the circumstances where Kageyama or Sugawara are forced to make the first touch. However, the move is not without drawbacks; given that it is effectively an all-out synchronized attack, there won't be anyone to defend if the attack is blocked[30].
  • Overhand Receives: Nishinoya originally has an obvious weakness in overhand receives and is particularly weak at receiving jump floaters. Since then, he has made immense improvements from practicing with Kinoshita[31]. He is now better equipped to deal with different types of serves and spikes.
  • Spiking: While playing as a libero, it is against the rules for Nishinoya to spike. In the extra Nisekyū!!, Nishinoya enters as a spiker in a volleyball beach tournament, where he demonstrates his ability to spike in an attack he called "Small Big Thunder".[32]
  • Rolling Thunder: Rolling Thunder is really just a rolling receive (you receive then do a roll), but Nishinoya likes calling it Rolling Thunder. On multiple occasions, he has done the move and shouted "Rolling Thunder!". Usually people get weirded out by it. Tsukishima, Yamaguchi and Tanaka always laugh when he shouts the name. Hinata is the only one who is interested in the move and wants to know how to do it.
  • Digs/Receives: Nishinoya and Daichi are the strongest receivers on the team although Nishinoya is commonly known as the team's guardian due to his incredible defense and at times making seemingly impossible saves.

Relationships

Karasuno High

  • Asahi Azumane:
    Nishinoya x asahi.png
    Nishinoya and Azumane have a strangely complicated relationship. Nishinoya deeply trusts and admires Asahi. However, the latter’s low spirits and utter lack of self-esteem often set the enthusiastic libero off, and have been the cause of some serious friction between the two. Nishinoya believes it is his responsibility to point out his senpai’s flaws, resulting in Azumane feeling more disheartened. At the same time, Nishinoya tries to support and encourage him as much as he possibly can, and becomes exceptionally flustered and apologetic if he fails to receive a ball in the ace's presence. Asahi, on the other hand, adamantly refuses to blame for any missed shots or lost games on Nishinoya and is instead quick to marvel at his underclassman's passion and advanced abilities. He has even gone so far as to call Nishinoya "a seemingly perfect player" and wishes to improve himself so that he doesn't let him down in their future matches. Nishinoya cares a lot about Asahi and has said multiple times that if Asahi doesn't join a match and they win it would show that they didn't need him. So if Asahi doesn't play, Nishinoya won't either. However, when Asahi joined back, he did whatever he could not to let Asahi's confidence once more and promised to always be there to back him up if he were to be blocked.
  • Ryūnosuke Tanaka:
    Nishinoya x tanaka.jpg
    As a result of their similar personalities, Tanaka is probably the person Nishinoya gets along the best with. Aside from nonstop goofing, the two work quite well together in games. Tanaka holds Nishinoya's skills in the highest regard and takes pride in having him on his team, never failing to compliment him on a successful receive. They both have a crush on the volleyball club's manager, Kiyoko Shimizu, but instead of being rivals, they actively team up to "protect" her from any potential "outside threats" (namely boys from other schools). They also hate people like Oikawa who get more attention from girls. They appear to be very close, as Nishinoya is the only second year that is implied to keep clothes at Tanaka's house (or else be comfortable enough wearing Tanaka's own), as seen during the second year study session. He also spends enough time there to be familiar enough with Saeko to consider her as his own sister, and they are on a first-name basis. They are nearly always shown sitting together on the bus and are the only two characters to have slept on one another's shoulder, and their usual celebratory method involves Nishinoya allowing Tanaka to lift him high in the air in often ridiculous poses.
  • Shōyō Hinata:
    HinataNishinoya.png
    Nishinoya provides Hinata with lots of practical advice, both on and off the court. He has openly admitted that he considers his underclassman to be a genuinely good person and an amazing player. Nishinoya felt so touched when he first heard Hinata call him "senpai" (Mr. Upperclassman in the English dubbing) and "awesome" that he not only volunteered to teach the latter the proper way to receive but also offered to buy him two popsicles. Nishinoya has also stated that Hinata is one of the few people that truly understand what a libero is: someone who's good at receives. (Most people think being short equates to being a good libero). Nishinoya is one of the few people who call Hinata by his first name. Hinata greatly admires Nishinoya for his skills and is always awed whenever the libero does his "rolling thunder" 'move'.
  • Hisashi Kinoshita:
    Kinoshita and Nishinoya s4-e20-1.png
    Kinoshita and Nishinoya are seen practicing together several times over the period of preparing for the Spring Tournament so that Nishinoya can improve on his overhand receives while Kinoshita improves on his serving. During one of their practice sessions after Kinoshita gets a service ace off of Nishinoya, he asks the libero why he bothers with overhands when he's naturally good at underhand receives. Nishinoya tells him it's because there are better ways out there, to which Kinoshita replies, "Again with the cool speeches". During the Inarizaki match, while Nishinoya is having trouble with being targeted by Atsumu Miya's jump float serves, Kinoshita would see the libero struggling and becoming fearful of not being able to make proper overhand receives. Although Kinoshita struggled with his own doubts of self-worth, he was still able to help Nishinoya when he hesitated on the court, which allowed Nishinoya to finally overcome his fear and perform a perfect overhand receive. Nishinoya would acknowledge and be grateful to Kinoshita for being the one to help him overcome this obstacle.
  • Kiyoko Shimizu: Nishinoya and Tanaka are considered as part of Kiyoko's "protection squad" due to them often preventing other male characters to talk to her. Additionally, Nishinoya and Tanaka always express their feelings for Kiyoko whenever they see her when attending practice. Kiyoko doesn't seem to mind this behavior from the two, but when the two get too far in their admiration for the female manager, she makes sure to scold them.
  • Kōshi Sugawara: Along with Tanaka, Sugawara and Nishinoya are shown to be the team's main motivators, especially towards Asahi because of his lack of confidence in his abilities. They are also shown supporting Yamaguchi and Kinoshita when they get subbed in to serve, and they are often joined with Hinata and Narita. The two also have excellent teamwork, despite Sugawara's occasional times on the court. However, they were able to demonstrate great teamwork during Karasuno's synchro attack in the Shiratorizawa match, and it even made Kageyama admit that he wouldn't have been able to be so in sync with the other players as they did, apart from Hinata of course.

Other Schools

  • Morisuke Yaku:
    Sugawara Yaku Nishinoya s1-e13-1.png
    During the Karasuno and Nekoma practice match, Nishinoya is shown to right away be impressed with Yaku's skills as a libero as he was able to nearly save Asahi's first spike of the game despite never having seen Asahi play before. After the match ends, Nishinoya approaches Yaku and admits that he finds the third year incredibly talented but will not lose to him the next time they face one another. During their match at the Spring Tournament, Nishinoya and Yaku continue to compliment each other while openly admiring how they have each grown stronger. Nishinoya even became speechless at one point when Yaku was able to manipulate a play to his advantage. After the game, the two liberos are seen shaking hands. When Hinata was concerned about Nekoma being able to secure a spot for nationals, Nishinoya assured him that he had nothing to worry about because Nekoma has Yaku, an indication of how highly Nishinoya regards Yaku.

Family

  • Mineo Nishinoya: Nishinoya appears to have a close relationship with his grandfather. Since he was young, Nishinoya had strict but helpful guidance from his grandfather that allowed him to overcome several fears he had. One thing Nishinoya remembers being taught by Mineo was that he shouldn't be afraid to try new things, or that he should ask others for help if he wasn't sure what to do. The two appear to enjoy playing hanetsuki together although Nishinoya appears to be beaten most of the time.

Quotes

  • "Who cares how it sounds? If a spiker is able to score because of you, the decoy, then your position is just as important!" (To Hinata when the latter loses faith in his 'decoy' role, Volume 3 Chapter 17 / Season 1 Episode 8)
  • "Kageyama, Tsukishima, Yamaguchi, get over here. I've got an important lecture to give you, so crouch down! No, wait, sit down! Get yourselves lower than my line of sight!" (To his underclassmen after he did his 'rolling thunder', Volume 3 Chapter 18 / Season 1 Episode 8)
  • "Don't you DARE give up on the shots I've worked so hard to receive!! I'm a libero! A vital part of our team's formation! And yet, scoring points is impossible for me... I'm not allowed to attack. And I have no intention of blaming you, no matter how many of your spikes don't go through. But to just accept defeat so selfishly... That's something I cannot forgive!" (To Asahi, Volume 3 Chapter 20 / Season 1 Episode 9)
  • "My role is to strictly 'connect' everyone. I can't fight in the sky -- that's the spikers' domain. But I will, without fail, get the ball to them at the highest point possible. No matter how many times it bounces back off a 'wall', if I can just get to it, then our ace will definitely score. The ball which has rebounded off the wall... just you watch! This time as well, I'll raise it up, so please, call out for a toss once more, ace!" (To Asahi, Volume 3 Chapter 20 / Season 1 Episode 9)
  • "My hand's thickness is about 2 cm. Perhaps my hands are a lot smaller than those of other boys my age... But that 2 cm gap between the ball and the floor is the ace's lifeline!" (To himself, Volume 3 Chapter 21 / Season 1 Episode 10)
  • "Oi guys, don't you start freaking out now! If we fall, let's fall forward!" (To Karasuno, Season 1 Episode 23)
  • "No matter how hard I struggle, it's a fact that tall guys have the advantage in volleyball. Right here and now, he's the tallest around. But that doesn't matter for liberos. I'm the only one who can combat him on equal footing." (To himself about Wakatoshi, Volume 19 Chapter 166)
  • "ROLLING THUNDER!"
  • "ROLLING THUNDER!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!"

Trivia

  • Favorite Food: Gari-Gari Kun! (Soda flavor)
  • Current Concern: None!
  • Nishinoya wears white gym shoes with red accents
  • Nishinoya claims that he thought the name "Ace" sounded cool compared to other position names. But he also said that something the crowd likes even better than a good spike is an awesome save.
  • He was suspended from school for a week and was suspended from club activities for a month due to getting in a fight with Asahi and knocking down the Vice-Principal's plant.
  • He said that he came to Karasuno because of the uniforms (the girls' are cute and the boys' black uniforms look super cool) and the short distance between the school and his home.
  • He is known as the Guardian Deity of Karasuno High Volleyball Club.
  • During the team's first training camp, Hinata didn't recognize Nishinoya because, after bathing, his normally swept-up hair was down instead, and thus decreased his height by 10 cm.
  • In the 35th Volume of the manga, Daichi says that he has never seen anyone who looks that good with a stick before.
  • According to Tanaka, the only type of movie Nishinoya will watch is over-the-top action, where he usually yells in the excitement in the middle of the film.
  • His worst subject is contemporary literature.
  • He attended Chidoriyama Junior High, a middle school in the Miyagi Prefecture.
  • During Ennoshita's flashbacks of his first year, Nishinoya is seen with completely black hair; meaning he dyed his hair sometime after that year's summer vacation, but before the Newcomer's Match against Date Tech. [33] However, this clashes with Nishinoya's flashback to his childhood in the manga, where he is seen as a young child with his signature blonde streak. Whether his streak is natural or dyed is still to be confirmed.
  • Asahi and Nishinoya are foils. Their birthdays are inverse (01/01 and 10/10), as are their heights and personalities (and even their name kanji contrast each other - respectively 'east' and 'west', 'peak' and 'valley', 'morning sun' and 'evening'). They are also the two best-known, talented, and accomplished members of the team other than Kageyama.
  • His star sign is Libra.
  • When asked about Nishinoya's name origin, Furudate said, "The evening sun that sets in the western valley! But I still think the name Yū doesn’t fit Nishinoya!"[34]
  • He received the most votes for the libero position on the 'Dream Team' poll and was hence chosen as the libero on the Readers' Dream Team.
  • In Haikyuu's first popularity poll , Nishinoya placed 3rd with 5,704 votes.[35] In the second, he placed 6th with 6,852 votes.[36] In the Takara Tomy Character Poll he placed 10th with 7,560 votes.
  • He is officially the series' third-biggest eater. [37]
  • As a child, he 'was a huge scaredy-cat' who was 'scared of bugs, scared of dogs, scared of birds' and so on.[2]
  • He hates onions and moths.[2]
  • He fights with players from other schools if they flirt with Kiyoko Shimizu because he likes her.
  • In the short chapter Nisekyū!!, Nishinoya is seen spiking.
  • His favorite play is the Rolling Thunder.
  • When Hinata was naming his back minus, Nishinoya advised Hinata to add Thunder to the name.
  • When he gets excited, Nishinoya has a habit of placing his hands on the shoulders of the nearest person and uses this to stabilize himself as he jumps up and down in the air, kicking his feet up so it almost looks as if he's attempting to do a handstand in mid-air.
    • On at least one occasion, he actually manages to perform said handstand and maintain it for a short amount of time.
  • Many times during a match when someone in the crowd compliments him, Nishinoya always points out a mistake he made.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Yū (夕) - Evening
    • Nishinoya (西谷) - West Valley

References

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