I'm not good with people, and I don't want to interact with them.
Kenma Kozume
Japanese 孤爪 研磨
Translation Kozume Kenma
Character information
Other names Brain
Pudding Head
Gender Male
Age 17
Date of birth October 16
Height 169.2 cm (5' 6.6")
Weight 58.3 kg (128.5 lbs)
Home town Tokyo
Home country Japan
Likes Apple Pie
Video Games
Dislikes Getting tired
Standing out
Quote "I'm not good with people, and I don't want to interact with them."
Team Nekoma High
Number 5
Position Setter
Occupation High School Student
(2nd Year, Class 3)
Affiliation Nekoma High
Background information
Chapter "Team Karasuno, Full Speed Ahead"
Episode "Decision"
Japanese Yūki Kaji
English Clint Bickham
Image gallery (79)

Kenma Kozume (Japanese: 孤爪 研磨 Kozume Kenma) is a 2nd year student from Nekoma High. He is the team's setter as one of his team mates say that he is the team's back-bone, "brain" and "heart".


Kenma is depicted with an average height, a small build, and has an unsteady posture. He has many outstanding features, including his cat-like golden eyes and blonde hair with black roots (sometimes referred as "Pudding-Head"). He had dyed his hair in his first year of high school, claiming that he did not want to "stand out". As shown in a Haikyuu! extra, Yamamoto claimed he looked like Sadako while gaming with his black hair covering his face, much to Kenma's dismay. He dresses casually, and his Nekoma uniform is the standard black and red jersey. He is usually seen carrying a portable game console and a cellphone with him.


Kenma has a very relaxed and laid back personality. He hardly ever loses his cool and usually never gets excited or fired up about anything (except Hinata, video games,  Lev - in the Nekoma OVA, which Kuroo points out, and Yamamoto in the past). He is quiet and reserved and does not often voice out his opinions since he is afraid of what others might think of him, and hates standing out or being noticed in any way.

Kenma is not very approachable and doesn't make friends easily. His manner of speaking tends to be shy and reserved. He also has a disdain for pointless authority and doesn't just blindly expect his juniors to respect him, unlike others.

Kenma rarely shows emotions; as such, he usually ends up giving a cold impression to others, but it is shown that he does care about his friends and notices small upsets in their behavior. An example is when they were younger Kuroo badly lost a volleyball match and was feeling down and Kenma noticed this feeling and despite not really caring for volleyball asked if Kuroo would like to practice and "level up" to which he agreed eagerly. Another can be seen later in the manga when he admits that he tries hard to win for his friends.

Apart from Tetsurō Kuroo, his next-door neighbor, Kenma didn't befriend anyone ever since he was at elementary school. Despite his modest personality, Kenma is actually quite skilled in volleyball, with his extraordinary game sense, technique and strong analytical abilities, which makes up for his power, speed, and stamina.

Despite seeming somewhat apathetic about it Kenma is the type of person to only do things he enjoys and would quit volleyball if he didn't enjoy it someway, which according to him was the aspect of improving his skills (kind like a video game). However, despite having a tough time admitting his feelings, the real motivation behind his continuation of Volleyball are his friends.


When Kenma was younger, he was completely unable to make friends of his own accord [1] . His only playmate back then was Kuroo, who was around his age and lived nearby. Kuroo introduced Kenma to volleyball sometime before they entered junior high; Kenma didn't like sports back then, but he found that volleyball was somewhat fun. Eventually, Kuroo convinced him to join the junior high volleyball club and Kenma received the number 4 on the team.

When he joined a volleyball team in high school, Kenma thought of quitting at first because of the pressure that the third years put on him. They often left him out specifically and made him run longer than the other members did. However, Kuroo convinced him otherwise, reminding Kenma of how amazing he is and that Kenma is now the official setter for the team.

Around his time as a first year, he also ran into Yamamoto and was quickly annoyed by his overzealous behavior and constant talk about "willpower".  Yamamoto in return was annoyed at Kenma for being good despite his lack of passion or enthusiasm. At one point Kenma noticed Yamamoto was feeling down about a bad practice match they had where he hit a lot of "net outs" and due to Kuroo's advice about making more of an effort to get along with others, gave Yamamoto a piece of advice which then quickly turned to a clash of ideology, causing Kenma to yell for the first time in a while and ended with Fukunaga splashing water on the both of them to stop fighting. 

Later on, Yamamoto realized that while Kenma is a "lazy sloth" he hates losing, and during a match against another school was thankful that his analytical prowess was on Nekoma. Afterwards, Yamamoto told Kenma to call him "Tora" as a sign of friendship, which Kenma replied with "Do I have to?" but is what he calls him to this day.


Karasuno High Team Formation ArcEdit


Hinata gets lost and runs into Kenma.

Karasuno High heads off to a training camp. During a race with Kageyama, Hinata gets lost and coincidentally discovers Kenma. He approaches the setter, trying to start a conversation, but Kenma seems more absorbed into his video game. He tells Hinata that he’s lost as well and is merely passing time with his game. But then, he tenses when Hinata spots a pair of volleyball shoes in Kenma's bag. Hinata asks him countless questions, not stopping until he discovers that Kenma is a second-year. Yet Kenma tells him to not worry; he doesn’t like that kind of status formalities in athletics. Hinata asks Kenma whether he likes volleyball or not, but he replies with neither; he doesn’t like it because he hates getting tired. Yet his friends play it and probably can’t do it without him. Then, he adds that he’s only doing it while he’s in high school. Hinata asks him once more if it’s weird that his position is middle blocker, considering that it’s a position for tall guys. Kenma tells him that it doesn’t matter; the audience usually underestimates him when he goes to matches since he’s not athletic, while the setter position is granted for the most talented player. Hinata asks if Kenma’s school is strong, and he replies that it was strong in the past and had declined, but lately, it’s been pretty strong. Before Kenma tells him the name of his school, his teammate Kuroo arrives and interrupts them. As he's leaving, he tells Hinata that he would see him soon, confusing the latter.


The match ends with Nekoma winning.

Kuroo and Kenma head to a training match against Tsukinokizawa, who starts making snide comments about Kenma being small and unsteady during the warm-up. But Kuroo defends him, saying that he is the backbone of Nekoma High, their brain, and their heart. The match ends with Nekoma winning the first two sets, leaving their opponent confused about the reason they lost, but also noting that none of the players are geniuses at offense or defense but are strong. Back at Nekoma’s camp, the players discuss if Karasuno has a female manager or not. Yamamoto asks Kenma about his opinion, and the latter replies that he doesn’t care but is kind of looking forward to the match. The practice match soon comes up, and both teams line up in front of each other. Hinata gets shocked as he sees Kenma. After bowing, Hinata approaches Kenma and asks him the reason why he didn't mention he played for Nekoma, and the latter explains that it was since Hinata didn’t ask, and he knew he’d see him again since he had noticed 'Karasuno High School' written on his shirt. When Kageyama asks Hinata about Kenma, Hinata replies that he is Nekoma’s setter, which makes Kageyama overly interested. Before the match begins, Kenma tells Kuroo that his pre-match speeches are embarrassing, but then trails off as the rest of his teammates take Kuroo’s side. The referee whistles and the match begins. Kenma tells Hinata that he thinks Nekoma is strong because of the entire team, not just because of him, then takes his position for the first serve. Kageyama and Hinata perform their signature quick strike right off the bat, which leaves everyone traumatized, including Kenma. He approaches Hinata and tells him he’s shocked, and that their move was amazing.


Kenma suggests a plan to stop Hinata.

As Karasuno keeps their fast attacks, Nekoma asks for a time-out, where Kenma suggests that all they need to do to stop Hinata is by narrowing his range of movement; they merely keep repeating the same fast move, and all Hinata does is striking where there are no blockers. So he tells Inouka to chase him around; even if they can’t clear the first round of the game, he will get used to his movement.


Kenma's Dump Shot.

After repeatedly chasing Hinata, Inuoka manages to touch the ball multiple times, which concerns Kageyama. In this same attack, Hinata attempts to block a fast attack by Nekoma, but surprisingly, Kenma dumps the ball and scores a point for Nekoma. After that, he keeps analyzing the rest of the Karasuno players, and notices that Tsukishima is an intelligent player, unlike Hinata; he observes and thinks carefully before making a move. Then he fools Tsukishima at the next serve by glancing at his right before tossing to the opposite direction, which proves his theory that Tsukishima is observing him as well. At the benches, Nekomata comments about Kenma’s character not being good with people, hence he’s constantly concerned about what they think. Therefore, it makes him good at observing people and coming up with interesting theories about their opponents. Meanwhile, Takeda notes that Kenma doesn’t stand out at all compared to Kageyama, but he is capable of incredible things. Ukai replies that it’s because of Nekoma’s stable receives that Kenma can show his real skills. As the game progresses, Inuoka gets used to Hinata’s spikes and manages to block him. However, Hinata starts spiking with his eyes open, and after multiple failures, he clearly sees a pathway through the blockers and aims for it, surprising Kenma and everyone else.

Tokyo Expedition ArcEdit


Kenma Texting Hinata.

Kenma’s phone vibrates, alerting him a message; Hinata is asking him to do his best at Tokyo prelims. He texts back asking Hinata if he’s coming over to Tokyo, and the latter challenges him, saying he’s gonna win this time. The day after that, Hinata shows Tanaka and Nishinoya another text message from Kenma that they already made it through the first round of prelims.


Kenma dodges the ball.

When Karasuno team arrives at Tokyo, Kenma sounds confounded at Hinata’s absence, but Taketora explains that Kageyama and he are only late for having supplementary exams. Soon after the training matches start, Nekoma faces Fukurōdani Academy, wherein Bokuto spikes the ball and Kenma dodges it even though he was jumping for a block. After being yelled at by Coach Nekomata, he explains that his arms are going to break, considering Bokuto’s strength. Back at Nekoma’s camp, Kenma is sitting and is playing on his video game when Hinata asks him about their middle blocker. Kenma introduces him as the first year Lev Haiba, a half-Russian and half-Japanese blood who was absent at their previous match because he only started volleyball at high school. He says that it was difficult when they were first paired; their timing was off no matter how hard Kenma tried, but gradually, he started to get used to him. He adds that Lev is so special that he couldn’t read him easily, but he is still a powerful asset and an honest but not a bad guy, even though he’s too honest at times. He suddenly stops playing and remarks that Lev's passing basics and serves are worse than Hinata’s, which angers Hinata for being a reference for bad playing. Their conversation makes the rest of the Nekoma players overwhelmed that Kenma is talking to someone without being shy. Next morning, during Nekoma's training match, Lev asks Kenma for an unplanned side hit. Kenma tosses him the ball, and they manage to score a point. Then Kenma tells Lev that he can’t keep asking for a side hit out of nowhere since he can’t always keep up. This conversation surprises Hinata and Kageyama, because they had managed to score even though it wasn’t planned.


Original Statistics
Game Sense

Since Kenma is often concerned about what other people think of him, he pays more attention to his surroundings. This helps him notice the little details of his opponents and calculate their skills, allowing him to decide which moves he should use to defeat them. Like the rest of his team, he is flexible and good at receiving the ball. According to Coach Ukai, he, as a setter, is supported by the entire team's receiving power. In other words, he can utilize his talents because of the strength of the receivers.

Dump ShotEdit

Due to his calculation of his surroundings, he can tell when would be the perfect opportunity for a dump shot, causing him to become an expert at them.


Tumblr inline ofgoa6h4r01ur5jx6 540

Kuroo trying to convince Kenma to continue playing volleyball


Kuroo laughing at Kenma during a flashback

Tetsurō KurooEdit

Because of Kenma's inability to make friends of his own accord, Kuroo, who was around his age, has always been his friend. Since they lived in the same neighbourhood, they would often play volleyball together. Under Kuroo's influence, Kenma joined the volleyball club in junior high and high school. During Kenma's first year of high school, he wanted to quit volleyball because his seniors were always bossing him around, but Kuroo convinced him to stay. Kenma has admitted he hasn't quit volleyball because he would feel bad for letting Kuroo down. Kuroo is usually looking after Kenma; he once brought Kenma back to the team when the latter got lost in Miyagi, and he made sure Kenma ate during the summer training camp. Kenma also calls Kuroo by his nickname "Kuro". In the Cross Team Match game, Kenma has stated that he had never failed a test because Kuroo teaches him before them.

Shōyō Hinata Edit

Hinata and kenma-0

Kenma meets Hinata.

According to Kuroo, Kenma has always shown some excitement and adoration when watching Hinata's matches, comparing it to his happiness when he gets a new game. Kenma also told Hinata that he was looking forward to having a real match with him and Karasuno, because he found them interesting, even though Kenma usually never gets excited about anything except for video games. During the summer camp, Hinata spent most of his time when away from Karasuno with Kenma. He also got Kenma to toss to him five times, which is an incredible feat according to Kuroo. The two of them are good friends even outside of the court, texting each other and referring to each other by their first names.

Taketora YamamotoEdit

The two started out in rough terms due to their completely different personalities but eventually became close and now comfortably rely on each other on the court Yamamoto even asking Kenma to call him "Tora" instead. Yamamoto seems to also somewhat admire the fact that even though Kenma slacks off, and complains all the time he always sees things through to the end.  


  • Current Concern: Summer is too hot, winter is too cold.
  • Favorite Food: Apple pie.
  • He is an only child[2].
  • He has the smallest appetite in the series 
  • He dyed his hair blonde to not "stand out" because Yamamoto had previously said that his hair looked like Sadako, which would draw attention from people. (Bonus chapter: 'Story Of The Pudding Head')
  • He doesn't want to cut his hair because he gets anxious when his field of vision is too wide.
  • His star sign is Libra.
  • He neither likes nor hates volleyball; he hates getting tired.
  • Up till middle school, he would easily get sick after practice days or matches.
  • His nerves are always on edge because he doesn't want to be noticed.
  • He considered quitting volleyball when he was a first-year because he was constantly targetted by his seniors. However, Kuroo talked him out of it.
  • His username on his games is 'applepi'.
  • Nomenclature:
    • Kenma (研磨) - Polishing
    • Kozume (孤爪) - Lone Claw


  • "I'm not good with people, and I don't want to interact with them. And yet I'm very concerned about what others think about me. "
  • "I feel anxious if my field of vision is too wide; so I can't cut my hair." [3]
  • "Even if a game doesn't seem clearable at first, after playing it over and over again, you can conquer it."
  • "It's not because of me, but because of everyone ."[4]


  1. chapter 29
  2. Volume 10, Special Chapter 1
  3. Story of the pudding head
  4. chapter 28