The dynamics between a setter and a spiker is honestly one of the most entertaining aspects of Haikyuu. I personally love seeing Oikawa and Iwa-chan banter or Bokuto asking Akaashi if he used the word ‘exacerbate’ correctly. And, obviously, Hinata and Kageyama’s antics never cease to be entertaining.
Wait… did I forget about the awesome twin-trouble pair, the Miya Twins?
The relationship between a setter and the spikers is also one of the most essential ones for the success of any team. Being attentive to each spiker, knowing what toss suits each of them best, ensuring the spiker can trust the ball will reach them when they jump, and wordlessly communicating in a split-second is all part of the dynamics between setters and spikers.
The trust, compatibility, and understanding between a team’s setter and its spikers can quite literally keep the team glued together or have it fall apart. Hereare 10 of the best setter-spiker pairs in Haikyuu:
10Atsumu and Hinata
I’m sure you remember Atsumu’s momentous declaration to set to Hinata someday at the end of the Nationals match. Who would’ve thought fate would actually have them playing together on the same team six years later, right?
Surprisingly enough, I found myself empathizing with the Atsu-Hina shippers by the time I’d finished the manga. The two get along hilariously well and honestly kill it together on the court. Taking down two of the best players in the country? Absolute power move.
And if you thought Atsumu and Hinata were the most entertaining part of the Jackals, well, guess again. The Jackals have their own chaotic little quartet. Notice how I said ‘quartet’? Yes, there are four of these dorks creating chaos on the team… You’ll find out who the other two are eventually.
9Kageyama and Ushijima
If you thought Kageyama and Ushijima were terrifying in high school, you can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying they are together after the time skip. These two flat-earthers might share one brain-cell off the court, but on the court, you would not want to be on the other side of the net as them. After all, the monstrous duo forced Hinata’s soul to leave his body at one point.
You probably never expected Kageyama and Ushijima to land up on the same side of the court, and neither did I. With Hoshiumi thrown into the mix, the Adlers have all of Hinata’s biggest rivals in one place, ready to reignite all of the series’ hottest rivalries with a single match.
(PS: Take a look at Kageyama and Ushijima’s matching awkward smiles in this official art.)
8Kenma and Taketora
While Kenma doesn’t like working too hard, Taketora seems to be bursting at the seams with energy and enthusiasm. Yet, despite their differences, Taketora acknowledges Kenma’s game sense and is glad to be on the same team as him. Eventually, the two manage to put aside their differences and form a strong bond based on mutual respect.
Even though Taketora tends to push Kenma to put in more effort occasionally, the two manage to cooperate effortlessly on the court. Kenma often depends on Taketora when Nekoma needs the point the most since he does an excellent job of intimidating the opponent and handles pressure reasonably well.
7Sugawara and Asahi
Before the entry of the star first-years, Sugawara and Asahi spent all their time at Karasuno playing together. Asahi is very much Sugawara’s ace in the way that Hinata is Kageyama’s.
Sugawara is mostly subbed in when Kageyama needs a break or to diversify Karasuno’s offense. Asahi benefits the most from Sugawara being subbed in since the third year tends to send tosses his way more often. Sugawara is familiar with the kinds of tosses each player prefers, and his presence on the court can be a very comforting one. I’d assume the same would be true for Asahi, who struggled with anxiety towards the beginning of the series.
6Koganegawa and Futakuchi
The interactions between these two are honestly the most hilarious thing to exist. Koganegawa being the newbie of the lot, Futakuchi tends to go hard on him even outside the court. Of course, it’s a setter’s job to give the spiker the best possible toss, so Futakuchi’s admonishments come from a good place of wanting Koganegawa to improve.
Despite the frequent scolding from Futakuchi, Koganegawa always remains his enthusiastic, wholesome self. Futakuchi’s patience might just run out someday, though, since I don’t think Koganegawa really understands what Futakuchi is trying to get across half the time.
5Shirabu and Ushijima
It can be hard to keep up with a player like Ushijima, but Shirabu does the job excellently.
Through a bit of a flashback, we find out Shirabu joined Shiratorizawa solely because he wanted to play with Ushijima after watching him play during middle school. Shirabu admires Ushijima to a great extent and promised to toss to him no matter what. He trusts Ushijima to send the ball across even without the best form.
I’d also like to think that Ushijima meant no disrespect to Shirabu when he said he wanted Oikawa to have joined Shiratorizawa. He merely wanted Oikawa’s potential to be put to good use and wanted his team to be stronger.
4Oikawa and Iwaizumi
Unlike the rest on this list, Oikawa and Iwaizumi are one pair where the spiker seems to understand the setter better, rather than the other way around.
No one understands Oikawa’s moods and tendencies quite like his childhood best friend Iwaizumi. He often keeps Oikawa’s antics in check and makes sure he takes good care of himself, even if he has to throw in a couple of insults to get his point across.
As for game compatibility, Iwaizumi has admitted that Oikawa’s the best partner anyone could ask for. Oikawa’s attentiveness to each spiker also tends to draw out the best of Iwaizumi’s potential.
3Akaashi and Bokuto
Although Bokuto and Akaashi are personally my favorite pair on the list, I’m going to have to be unbiased here and give them the third spot.
Despite his skill, Bokuto was a difficult spiker to have on a team in high school, but Akaashi handled his inconsistencies in the best possible way. Akaashi was familiar with every one of Bokuto’s ‘problems’ and even predicted them from time to time. He knows the best course of action to deal with Bokuto’s whims and never tires of him, instead always believing in Bokuto and his capabilities.
Akaashi was the only person able to keep up with Bokuto, and not just during their runs and training. It’s obvious they both admire each other to a great extent and care about the other’s well-being too.
2Atsumu and Osamu
Going into Nationals, the Miya Twins were the most hyped up, and with good reason. Having played together for years, the two brothers communicate effortlessly on the court. Atsumu always makes sure to give his spikers the best possible toss. He often tests the limits of his body going to the ground to give his spikers an easy-to-hit overhead toss.
Atsumu and Osamu rival Hinata and Kageyama when it comes to recklessness and adaptability. No one in the series has copied Hinata and Kageyama’s freak-quick as quickly as Atsumu and Osamu did. The duo might not have power like Ushijima, but the tricks they pull off at the tip of a hat can leave you gaping with disbelief.
Kageyama and Hinata are indisputably the best setter-spiker duo in Haikyuu. Their blind trust in each other is one that usually takes years to develop but is solely why they can pull off their signature freak-quick and other stunts. The two rivals constantly motivate each other to improve and outdo the other.
To add to that, both Hinata and Kageyama are both equally reckless. They’re both always trying out new tricks during important matches that they’ve never practiced even once before during training. It takes a different level of crazy and brave to do something like that even at Nationals, and I’m afraid both of these dorks fit the bill too well.
Although we don’t have much information on what these two were like in a team, we do know they met up in Rio after high school from the crazy selfie Hinata sent Kageyama.
Despite being the most unlikely pair, the two did reconcile over dinner, and I’m willing to bet they worked up quite a storm together at beach volleyball in Brazil.
Haikyu!! is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Its publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump began in February 2012 with 42 collected tankōbon volumes released.
Hinata Shoyo is a highly passionate boy who wishes to follow the steps of his idol, ‘The Little Giant’ in the field of volleyball. Hinata’s resolve is unbreakable as he faces gruesome defeat at the hands of the ‘King of the Court,’ a genius prodigy setter Kageyama Tobio in middle school. Hinata’s dreams take fruit as he enters high school.
He joins the declining volleyball team of Karasuno High and is appalled to find the very same Kageyama as his teammate. The story follows the revival of Karasuno High and the unity they maintain to pave their way for nationals.