Haikyuu: Who Is Kei Tsukishima's Love Interest?

TsukkiYama is the slash ship between Kei Tsukishima and Tadashi Yamaguchi.

· 4 min read
The boys sleeping deeply and drooling

Kei Tsukishima is one of the characters of the sports anime Haikyuu. "Haikyu!!" is the story of a young boy, Hinata Shoyo, who is determined to become an amazing volleyball player despite his short stature. He is the series' protagonist, and he is brave, cute, and a little clumsy. He worked extremely hard and overcame all obstacles to become a great volleyball player.

The anime quickly became a fan favourite after its initial release. There were numerous reasons for this. The main reason for this love was the storyline, plot, and bond between the characters.

Kei Tsukishima was previously a first-year student at Karasuno High School, playing as a middle blocker on the volleyball team. Tsukishima is very blunt and will sometimes rile his teammates up due to his antagonistic nature and sometimes other teams because of his casual smug attitude, taking pride in and relishing when his opponents see him as a nuisance as seen with Tendō and Shirabu. He is not the one who finds making friends amusing. The only person he was close to throughout was Tadashi Yamaguchi.

TsukkiYama- The Fanship

TsukkiYama is the slash ship between Kei Tsukishima and Tadashi Yamaguchi. Tsukishima and Yamaguchi are both first years and members of the Karasuno High School volleyball team. The two first met when they were in primary school, Tsukishima standing up to those who were bullying Yamaguchi for having freckles. They later met again when joining a volleyball team as children and their friendship developed from there.

The boys thinking to do a prank on the other roomates
Always being partners in crime 

Yamaguchi refers to Tsukishima as "Tsukki," hence their ship name. However, it's known that Yamaguchi used to call Tsukishima "Kei-Kun" when they were children. The two have a very close bond and are in the same class as well. It is noted that Yamaguchi is also close with Tsukishima's older brother, Akiteru, as they call each other by their first name. They are also seen eating lunch together on multiple occasions. Yamaguchi frequently apologizes to Tsukishima, even if something doesn't warrant an apology, "Sorry, Tsukki." becoming something of a catchphrase for him.

Especially at the beginning of the series, Yamaguchi usually just follows Tsukishima. Over the course of the manga and anime, Yamaguchi works himself up to Tsukishima's side, however, Tsukishima acknowledges and even sees Yamaguchi as further ahead of him due to his hard work and dedication. TsukkiYama is the fifth most popular ship within the fandom and the most written ship for both Tsukishima and Yamaguchi. It is regarded as a very healthy ship, the connection of them being close childhood friends, as well as their current character development building off of each other's support and guidance giving them no problematic aspect. Adding to the health aspect, their general aesthetic in the fandom is very endearing, supportive, loving, "soft" and also "fluffy".

TsukkiYama is often portrayed as the moon and the stars. Tsukishima's name means "Moon Island" and is also canonically shown as or at least with the moon. Yamaguchi doesn't mean stars and hasn't been shown to represent them, but a lot of fans love this concept. This is due to him always being around Tsukishima, like the stars around the moon, and his freckles as well, which are considered to "look like stars" by fans and Tsukishima in fanfictions.

In most fan pieces, Yamaguchi is often the first one to realize or develop, feelings for Tsukishima. There are many fanfictions and artworks of Yamaguchi's love actually being unrequited, however, in most cases, Tsukishima secretly returns the feelings and they work it out. A popular trope in fanworks for TsukkiYama is also angst. A lot of it deals with Yamaguchi's insecurities from the canonical content, especially about his freckles.

Tsukishima has also complained that he doesn't like beer (post-time skip) and only prefers Kahlua and milk as alcoholic drinks, which plays into the theory that he has a hidden sweet tooth. In canon, his favourite food is a strawberry shortcake. Yamaguchi's favourite food is soggy french fries. These foods have often been featured in fanworks with the pairing.

The boys on their way to the match destination

Tsukishima is usually portrayed as more of the dominant one in fanfiction, due to his more cold, collected and blunt personality, as well as his being taller than Yamaguchi. Additionally, Yamaguchi possesses milder traits, such as a sensitive, shy and anxious nature, while also being a more bubbly, open and generally more joyful person than Tsukishima.

But, in some cases Yamaguchi is portrayed as the dominant one, the scene where he gets angry at Tsukishima is one of the main ones that fans like to use for inspiration, flashbacks, and even the perfect moment to make Tsukishima appear flustered in fanfiction or doujinshi. Although not necessary, all fandoms and ships have this side to them.

However, TsukkiYama is a widely balanced ship with many fans indeed having a preference for dominance, but not minding each concept.

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