JUMP COMICS recently released a special trailer to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the volleyball shonen Haikyuu !!, in tandem with a celebration of Hinata Shoyo’s birthday of June 21st. The anime series, based off of Haruichi Furudate’s original manga, follows the story of Hinata as he attempts to become the ace of the Karasuno High School club volleyball team.
The success of each of the respective volleyball teams showcased in Haikyuu !! largely hinges on the performance of their ace. The ‘ace’, a nickname for the best and most reliable spiker on a given team, is the backbone of their club and integral to their team’s success. If the ace falters, the team fails. On the flip side, the strongest aces lead their teams to constant success and accolades.
10 Kenji Futakuchi
A second-year wing spiker for Date Tech High School, Kenji Futakuchi thrives off of his read blocking and jump serve capabilities. He is the only reliable jump server that Date Tech has, which allows him to break formations and allow his team to consistently execute a serve-block tandem.
Where Date Tech’s ace loses out to the others is in his spiking technique. While his clean hits can be devastating and his feint allows him to choose his battles, he tends to consider himself to not be a good high-set spiker. With high sets, he tends to barely clear the net, if he clears it at all.
9 Takeru Nakashima
The Wakutani Minami High School captain and outside hitter pairs a strong spike with impressive defensive skills and a strong sense of leadership. He approaches his captain position with a cool demeanor and an innate ability to uplift and encourage his teammates on the court.
Similar to Hinata, Nakashima was inspired by the Little Giant when growing up and has modeled his play as such. He tends to aim his spikes to repel off the blocker’s hand and throw the opposing defense in disarray, while being incredibly proficient on the receiving end, with solid digging capabilities.
8 Kourai Hoshiumi
The second-year ace of Kamomedai High pairs his impressive vertical with savvy spiking technique to fire past opposing blockers, earning him the nickname “Small Giant.” His unique jumping approach allows him to gain maximum air, sometimes even being able to spike over the outstretched arms of blockers much taller than himself.
Hoshiumi is an incredibly well-rounded player with accurate jump serves, surprising setting skills, and solid receiving skills. The struggles he sees come from attempting to block extremely fast players, but his blocking is otherwise impressively adequate for his height.
7 Hajime Iwaizumi
Iwaizumi holds down the ace role at the wing-spiker position as a third-year at Aoba Johsai High School. He is a supportive yet stubborn teammate whose spiking prowess and dependability makes him the go-to target for Aoba Johsai’s star setter Toru Oikawa when under duress.
A powerful and savvy spiker, Iwaizumi takes advantage of his strength to regularly break blocks or, at a minimum, throw the blockers off balance. Outside of his spiking capabilities, he is also an adept server for his club and a fearless receiver, going for any dig that he has even the smallest of chances of making.
6 Asahi Azumane
The first ace fans of Haikyuu !! encounter is Asahi Auzumane, whose return to Karasuno’s club team marks a massive gain for the high school. The third-year wing spiker’s spiking prowess and serving abilities are deadly, and his all-around sufficiency in blocking and receiving makes him an integral part of the central team.
Azumane’s delayed spiking technique, paired with his mastery of the back row attack, allows him to pick apart opposing blockers for points. His delayed spike catches blockers as they are descending from their jump, hitting off their falling hands, often into the stands. The back row attack utilizes Hinata’s decoy perfectly, allowing Azumane to spike blocker-less when timed correctly.
5 Aran Ojiro
The third-year wing-spiker for Inarizaki High School, Aran Ojiro is an elite spiker and server, recognized within Haikyuu !! as one of the top five aces in Japan. He prides himself on not only his offensive prowess but his defensive capabilities too, having very good receiving skills despite being a primarily attacking player.
Ojiro’s specialties are his serves and his spikes, which are both deadly when he is calm and collected. His spiking ability is elite, having both the jumping skills to hit above triple blocks, as well as the power to smash through them when he cannot go over. He serves take the form of an extremely impressive jump serve, which he routinely scores aces with when playing in Haikyuu !!. His inconsistency is what holds him behind the top four, occasionally faulting when he is too excited.
4 Kotaro Bokuto
Barely missing out on the top three ace list in Haikyuu !! is Kotaro Bokuto, the third-year captain of Fukurodani Academy. His offensive arsenal of straight shots, cut shots, and feints makes him an offensive swiss army knife. Adding in his consistently above-average serving and receiving capabilities makes Bokuto a threat every time he steps onto the court.
The most deadly part of his game is Bokuto’s straight shot and cut shot combination, which allows him to paint his spikes across the court with ease. He is known for his accuracy within his spikes, often easily hitting the edge line with his straight shot. His services are just as accurate, routinely scoring aces with his powerful jump serve.
3 Wakatsu Kiryu
The third-year captain and wing spiker of Mujinazaka High School is Wakatsu Kiryu, who is introduced as a top three ace in Haikyuu !!. Kiryu is a superb physical athlete, and is known for utilizing his entire body in his spikes, being able to adjust to a poor set and hit spikes that are near impossible to receive traditionally.
With emphasis on physical and technical superiority, Kiryu is an extremely reliable and consistent ace in all facets of his game. His jump serve is powerful, often scoring aces or knocking opponents off-balance for an easier block. His spiking capabilities allow him to have full power through blocks with most any set, as his physical prowess allows him to change position and his technical skills give him full power after those adjustments.
2 Wakatoshi Ushijima
The number one ace in the Miyagi Prefecture is Wakatoshi Ushijima, the third-year captain for Shiratorizawa Academy. His calling card is his southpaw spike, as his left-handed hits have a different spin than traditional right-handed ones. This is paired with his immense physical strength, which blows down blocks and makes receiving near-impossible.
While his technique is nothing special, Ushijima’s brute strength allows him to spike past and through blockers who are fully aware of what’s coming, but can do nothing about it. His ability to spike through triple blocks makes him invaluable on the court and to his team. Ushijima is also one of the deadliest servers in Haikyuu !!with jump serves that combine power and spin to make receiving as difficult as possible.
1 Kiyoomi Sakusa
The only second-year ranked in the top three aces is Kiyoomi Sakusa, the ace wing spiker of Itachiyama Institute. While he does not have the physical prowess of Kiryu and Ushijima, Sakusa employs unconventional techniques and creativity to his spikes to blow past blockers. He is also an incredibly strong defender, specializing in service receiving.
Sakusa is known to have hyper-flexible wrists, which allows him to put spins on both his serves and spikes. This spin spells trouble for opposing receivers and blockers and is considered even more formidable than Ushijima’s southpaw spike. This technique is paired with his unmatched accuracy, allowing him to pinpoint his hits in the most inconvenient places for his opponents. This accuracy also allows for maximum consistency, keeping mistakes to a minimum and forcing opposing to have to play perfectly to be able to keep up.
Next: The Top 10 Anime Characters Of Spring 2022, Ranked
Harry Potter: 10 Of JK Rowling’s Best Historical References
About The Author