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10 Haikyuu Characters Ranked Worst To Best

Based on the manga by Haruichi Furudate, "Haikyuu!!" is a sports anime set in the competitive world of high school volleyball. The story centers around the members of Karasuno High School's boys' volleyball club, who, at the beginning of the series, are introduced as the "Fallen Champions." However, after five long years of failure and disappointment, Karasuno gains incredibly talented freshmen recruits and is finally on the verge of making their long-awaited comeback. "Haikyuu!" chronicles their journey as they go from being a routinely underestimated team to one of the league's most challenging opponents.

The Karasuno team succeeds through their solid teamwork and intense determination to win the Tokyo Nationals. In order to achieve this goal, each member is assigned specific positions, which cleverly cater to their skills. Although not everyone can be included in the starting lineup, other players can still take part in the team's success through off-court contributions. Which Karasuno players are the most skilled? We're here to find out, by ranking the top 10 "Haikyuu!!" characters from worst to best.

10. Chikara Ennoshita

Poised to take over Daichi's position as captain is the reserved Chikara Ennoshita, who acts as one of the substitute wing spikers and outside hitters. Even though he has good fundamentals, Ennoshita's skills aren't powerful enough to earn him a spot on the team's starting lineup. That's why he spends most of his time by the sidelines with Kinoshita and Narita, supporting the team in any way he can. As the first years' amazing abilities reveal themselves, Ennoshita regrets the chance he missed to enhance his own skills when he gave up on Coach Ikkei Ukai's difficult practices.

While he may not be a vital player, Ennoshita is a respected teammate. His reassuring and attentive presence allows him to keep more playful folks such as Nishinoya and Tanaka in line. This is especially prominent in Season 2's "Direct Sunlight," when he hilariously supervises Hinata, Kageyama, Nishinoya, and Tanaka's emergency review sessions. Later, as the second-year player unanimously chosen as Daichi's successor, Ennoshita's leadership skills are tested in the match against Wakutani Minami in Season 2's "The Battle Without Will Power." He immediately turns his focus to the team's well-being by assisting his players in various ways, including uplifting Tanaka's spirit, covering for Yamaguchi's mistakes, and formulating a strategy that will deflect the opponents' block-out spikes. Through his leadership and guidance, the team wins the match. Daichi even compliments Ennoshita's efforts.

9. Tadashi Yamaguchi

Of the four freshmen players, Tadashi Yamaguchi is the only one who doesn't get chosen for the starting lineup, due to his mediocre skills as a receiver and a spiker. His turning point arrives during Karasuno's practice match against the Neighborhood Association team, which includes former Karasuno players. Even though he doesn't participate, Yamaguchi's attention gravitates towards Makoto Shimada's flawless jump float serves. His desire to contribute to the team finally outweighs his shyness, spurring him to ask the alumnus to teach him how to perfect the jump float serve.

With the help of a mentor and the motivation he gets from his teammates' achievements, Yamaguchi diligently practices the difficult serve almost every day. During Karasuno's first match with Aoba Johsai, he's subbed in to the third set and gets the chance to try out his new skill. However, he fails to properly execute the jump float serve, due to his nerves getting the best of him.

This is a major blow — but Yamaguchi isn't discouraged. He keeps working hard to improve his skills and develop a better handle on his emotions. In Season 2, he finally redeems himself during Karasuno's rematch with Aoba Johsai. Taking his mentor's advice to wait eight seconds to calm himself down, Yamaguchi is finally able to score three service aces as a pinch server.

8. Kōshi Sugawara

Besides his roles as the team's substitute setter and pinch server, Kōshi Sugawara is also Karasuno's second-in-command. As vice captain, Sugawara gives team members a helping hand during practices, as well as advice that may improve their skills. He also goes out of his way to come up with different tactics players can apply to their advantage during matches. An example of this comes when he devises hand signals for Kageyama to use on the court, so that he can silently communicate with Hinata for their quick attack combo.

While he doesn't possess Kageyama's genius, Sugawara is still a very formidable setter, as he considers his sets based on each player's preference. This is something Kageyama doesn't initially understand, but thanks to Sugawara's mentorship, he soon learns to be attentive to his teammates. With his great game sense, Sugawara can also effortlessly come up with strategies during matches, based on his close observation of opponents from the sidelines.

As a substitute setter, Sugawara's time on the court is usually rare and limited. However, this is cleverly utilized to change up opponents' strategies, which are centered around Kageyama's plays. Moreover, after the Tokyo Expedition arc, Sugawara leads the team in creating their own synchronized attacks, which they first see during their match against the Shinzen team. His pinch serves are also formidable, as he specializes in using float serves to send the ball to difficult spots of the other team's court.

7. Ryūnosuke Tanaka

Ryūnosuke Tanaka is one of the starting wing spikers and outside hitters for the Karasuno team. Even though he's only the second strongest spiker of the bunch, his abilities and contributions should not be underestimated. Tanaka's loud presence on the court electrifies the whole game. With his undeniable passion and intense drive, Tanaka never delivers a weak spike — or a weak anything.

In the face of adversity, Tanaka can be counted on to never waver in his resolve. While he may not have any special skills like Hinata and Kageyama do, his incredible mental strength makes him an ideal teammate. As a wing spiker, Tanaka doesn't let opponents' shut-outs weigh him down. He's the type of player who never gets tired of pushing himself to the limit in pursuit of a goal. This is particularly clear in Season 4's "Trap," when Inarizaki starts targeting him, due to Tanaka's lack of great plays in the match's early minutes. Despite the pressure from Inarizaki's blockers, Tanaka delivers a set-winning cross shot. This level of tenacity earns him the praise and respect of his teammates as well as everyone in the arena, who were rooting for his comeback.

6. Asahi Azumane

Asahi Azumane is Karasuno's one and only ace, who plays an accordingly major role in the team's offense. Through sheer force and determination, Asahi's powerful spikes can pass through multiple blockers. His tall and strong build also allows him to contribute to the team's defense by blocking out opponents' spikes. Because of this, Hinata idolizes Asahi and hopes to eventually surpass his achievements.

Despite this, Asahi lacks confidence in his skills. At the beginning of the anime, he often thinks he's not worthy of being the team's ace, due to a failed match against Data Tech. Thanks to the influence of the team's younger members, however, his fighting spirit is reignited. He slowly regains his confidence and even conquers his fear of Data Tech's famous "Iron Wall."

Because of his intimidatingly mature appearance, a lot of people mistake Asahi for someone scary. But in fact, he's a gentle giant who tends to take mistakes and criticism to heart. However, whenever he's on the court, Asahi's responsibilities as the ace outweigh his insecurities. Furthermore, like all of his teammates, Asahi shows great improvement over time. He even picks up new techniques, including the back row attack and the delayed spike, which he successfully executes in several matches.

5. Yū Nishinoya

Capable and energetic Yū Nishinoya is the team's defensive specialist. As an experienced libero boasting superb reflexes and crazy speed, Nishinoya can skillfully adjust himself and receive powerful serves from players such as Aoba Johsai's Oikawa, Shiratorizawa's Ushijima, and Inarizaki's Atsumu Miya. He's so good, he's dubbed "Karasuno's Guardian Deity."

Nishinoya's extraordinary stamina and energy routinely help his team push through to the end. He backs up his skills with rigorous training that involves doing more than 200 spike-block receives repeatedly until his body gives out. Nishinoya's quick reaction time on court has also benefited the team countless times. An example of this comes during the last moments of their first match with Data Tech, when he instantly decides to use his foot to save the ball from hitting the ground.

Besides his solid receives and digs, Nishinoya is best known for his "Rolling Thunder" technique, which he boastfully shows off whenever he gets the chance. Furthermore, before the Spring Tournament qualifiers, he develops the libero toss, a new technique that sets him apart from other liberos. He also goes out of his way to improve upon his weaknesses: In Season 4, he works on his overhand receives, which allows him to receive Atsumu Miya's unpredictable jump float serve.

4. Kei Tsukishima

The tallest member of the Karasuno team, Kei Tsukishima — better known as Tsukki — is one of the starting middle blockers. Tsukki's constant banter, especially involving Hinata and Kageyama, is one of the anime's highlights. Like Kageyama, his position sets him up in a battle of wits against different middle blockers and setters with read-blocking skills. His aloof personality also intimidates opponents at the net.

Despite not exerting as much effort as others do, Tsukki is a serious player. In every match, he effectively combines his height with his analytical skills, which allows him to read opponents' moves. Because of this, he can easily steal attention away from Hinata and Kageyama's famous quick attacks. During the Tokyo Expedition arc, despite showing disinterest in improving himself outside of practice, Tsukki is able to pick up new blocking skills through the mentorship of Kuroo and Fukurōdani's setter Akaashi, who hilariously forces him to practice with them.

Tsukki's most notable play arrives in the Shiratorizawa match of Season 3, when he's put in a difficult situation due to Ushijima's powerful spikes and Tendo's accurate blocks. By deflecting Ushijima's spikes, he is able to finally block the Shiratorizawa ace's impossible spike, leading him to win a crucial set for Karasuno. Shiratorizawa's coach Tanji Washijo even acknowledges his skills and potential, which opens up the opportunity for him to attend the special freshmen camp.

3. Daichi Sawamura

The dependable captain, Daichi Sawamura is in charge of keeping the team together, as well as reprimanding Hinata and Kageyama whenever they bicker. No matter the obstacle, Daichi is the embodiment of leadership. In addition to being responsible and compassionate towards his teammates, he takes great pride in each member's achievements. His reassuring presence and uplifting words are a key part of their matches. Moreover, without Daichi on the court, winning a game is a lot more challenging. This is evident in the team's match against Wakutani Minami in "The Battle Without Will Power," which Daichi has to exit after he accidentally collides with Tanaka.

Apart from his leadership skills, Daichi is known for his solid defense. He might not be the most skilled player, but he's the teammate you can count on to receive a spike or handle a difficult serve. His reliable receives and digs have saved the team from losing important points during matches with Aoba Johsai, Johzenji, Shiratorizawa, and Inarizaki. Furthermore, in order to increase their chances during the Spring High Preliminary arc, Daichi leads his team in practicing new attack methods.

Despite being overshadowed by his younger teammates, Daichi doesn't envy them. Instead, he's grateful for their accomplishments and contributions to the team's success — especially since his first two years as a Karasuno player were full of loss and disappointment. The new hope that the freshmen players bring to the team makes him stay, along with the other third year players.

2. Shōyō Hinata

Cheerful and resilient Shōyō Hinata's lack of experience causes other teams to underestimate him. This allows Karasuno to shape him into their ultimate secret weapon. With his superhuman jumps and insane speed, Hinata can easily go head-to-head against tall and powerful players. Every time he and Kageyama execute their flawless quick attacks, opponents and onlookers can't help but be amazed.

Beyond his impressive athletic abilities, Hinata's optimistic and determined presence greatly bolsters his team. He also has a huge desire to improve, especially when it comes to his ability to serve and receive. After Hinata sneaks into the freshmen training camp, Tanji Washijo gives him the opportunity to become a ball boy, so that he might learn how to be a great player without Kageyama's help. Even though he isn't able to play, he still uses the opportunity to improve his receiving skills by closely observing the participants and reading the spikers' form, which helps him learn how to accurately determine the ball's direction.

The intense Inarizaki match features one of his most notable performances. During the five-set match, Hinata applies the techniques he learned at camp and is able to successfully receive strong spikes from Aran Ojiro and Rintaro Suna. Through their strengthened teamwork, he and Kageyama become the ones responsible for winning the match as they block the Miya twins' quick minus tempo attack.

1. Tobio Kageyama

The best player on the court is none other than Karasuno's resident volleyball prodigy, Tobio Kageyama. With his innate skills and incomparable sense of the game, Kageyama controls the team's offense. Other than being Karasuno's official setter, he's an all-rounder who can easily excel in any position. Although his nickname began as a taunt targeting his selfishness, no one can deny that Kageyama is worthy of being known as the "King of the Court."

Kageyama's abilities are on full display in every match. Apart from his precise tosses and quick assessment of opponents' moves, he's also known for his game-saving dump shots and service aces, memorably deployed against powerful teams like Oikawa's Aoba Johsai and Ushijima's Shiratorizawa. Kageyama's undeniable talent as a freshman player is further acknowledged when he becomes the only one chosen from Miyagi Prefecture to train at the prestigious All-Japan youth camp.

Despite his immense and immediate skill, Kageyama still demonstrates impressive growth: He goes from being an egocentric player to a reliable and thoughtful teammate. This is all thanks to the help and support of Hinata and his other teammates, who help him move past his flaws and let go of his tendency to pressure others. Because of this, he's able to become a great setter who can adapt and adjust to any player's abilities and limits.