Kei Tsukishima (Japanese: Tsukishima Kei) was a middle blocker on the volleyball team at Karasuno High School during his freshman year. He is currently a college student and a middle blocker for the Sendai Frogs, a V League Division 2 club, and will begin working at the Sendai City Museum after graduation. He is Akiteru Tsukishima’s younger brother.
Tsukishima is a tall volleyball player with an unusually slender physique. Despite being a freshman, he is Karasuno High’s tallest player, standing at 190.1 cm. Small blond hair, pale skin, slender brows, and golden-brown eyes characterize him. His expression is often seen with a frown or a condescending smirk.
Tsukishima wears the traditional Karasuno volleyball uniform (black, orange, and white uniform with the number 11 on the back) during matches since joining the unit. Knee pads and white volleyball shoes with green detailing are also on his feet.
He is also the Karasuno team’s only player who uses glasses. Tsukishima has been wearing prescription sports glasses (a present from his older brother, Akiteru) in matches since Chapter 109.
Tsukishima wears a black gakuran, the Karasuno male dress, outside of matches and rehearsal. He wears white headphones around his neck much of the time. These headphones seem to be labeled “Somy,” a joke on the real-name brand “Sony.” He’s been seen wearing shirts with crescent moons on them, a play on his name “Tsukishima,” which means “moon” in Japanese.
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Tsukishima is direct and can irritate his teammates (most prominently Hinata, Kageyama, Nishinoya, and Tanaka) as well as other teams due to his relaxed smug demeanor, taking pleasure in and relishing when his rivals see him as an annoyance, as seen with Tend and Shirabu.
He is normally seen snickering in the background if someone does or does something dumb or silly. He does, however, seem to be threatened by his superiors, as he is nowhere to be seen when Daichi chastises Tanaka for antagonizing Aoba Josai, despite the fact that he did so as well, or when Ennoshita calls him out.
Tsukishima has poor self-esteem and believes he is inferior, despite his arrogant demeanor. Kuroo notices this and inadvertently riles him up by saying he’ll lose to Hinata, to which he responds that he’s still beneath him. Despite being the MVP, he is seen after the Shiratorizawa match calling himself lame for only being able to block Ushijima’s spikes once, demonstrating how little he trusts in himself and his accomplishments.
Tsukishima has the persona of someone who is uninterested in anything and wouldn’t do something he didn’t like or like, but he loves volleyball. He was originally afraid of meeting the same fate as his brother if he put too much work into volleyball and became too crazy about it. However, after his altercation with Yamaguchi and reading Bokuto’s motivational words at the Tokyo training camp, he began to take volleyball more seriously and, when he blocked Ushijima, he discovered his love and encouragement for the sport.
For the most part, Tsukishima maintains his composure, but he can be seen as being noticeably irritated as people underestimate him or tell him what he can and cannot do, and he uses this as inspiration to prove them wrong. He also says something to Hinata like “It’s not a race,” but then does something to make him jealous, as the time difference attack during the Shiratorizawa match.
“Kei is straightforward and doesn’t express his feelings much,” Akiteru says, “but he is also a really hardworking and kind guy.”