Art by @pottetto on deviantart
“It’s plain to see that Fukurodani isn’t Bokuto-san’s one-man team. Even so, there isn’t a single person among them more fearsome than Bokuto-san”-Tsukishima Kei, Ch.95 page 14
Tsukishima Kei, is often referred to as Karasuno’s rational mind and the brain of the team.
Someone who knows how to read his opponent, watching them closely and guessing every moment in order to block their approach, and most of the time he does succeed.
Yet we see him utter this very words in Chapter 95, as Karasuno played against Fukurodani at the Tokyo camp, while he played against Bokuto in hall 3 previously one would think that the least problem would be Bokuto, but that’s simply wrong as Tsukishima knows who he should be careful.
By simply looking at Bokuto and comparing him to his peers of Fukurodani many people judge him for being an idiot or the opposite they think that without Bokuto Fukurodani loses their best asset.
It might be true somewhere that Bokuto is a major power point in the team but unlike Shiratorizawa who focuses their play around Ushijima’s power, Fukurodani simply uses Bokuto the best they can until he runs out of battery.
“It’s plain to see that Fukurodani isn’t Bokuto-san’s one-man team”, not only Tsukishima saw that but with Bokuto’s emo mode kicking in right in front of Karasuno’s eyes many thoughts of a lucky streak may arise, since the thought of Bokuto being Fukurodani’s main asset is easily engraved in the mind of people who never saw them play.
As the hard reality faces Karasuno, Tsukishima thinks for himself and sees that indeed without Bokuto Fukurodani is just as fine, with each player being just as strong and talented working around the whims of their ace.
More importantly their ace being moody and suddenly stops playing in front of their enemies eyes might even bait their opponents into thinking they are at advantage but again Fukurodani’s ace up in their sleeve is their actual ace.
They are not a one-man team, Akaashi the setter who can bring Bokuto back along with his managers and team mates if he wants to, being skilled in doing his own dump shots and little tricks and also others like Konoha who surprise Karasuno shaking off the very prejudice.
Yet with all that said Tsukishima’s words twist as he thinks, “Even so, there isn’t a single person among them more fearsome than Bokuto-san.”
Why would Karasuno’s rational mind suddenly contradict himself?
Well actually he is not really contradicting himself, since both have a connection.
Bokuto’s simple and raw strength, combined with his unpredictable moods, whims and motivations make him hard to read.
Not only that even though he might be easy to read, his strength and playstyle are top-notch, meaning that even if Tsukishima may see Bokuto’s plays coming he still cannot stop them many times, which is fearsome in many ways.
How frustrating must it be to know your opponents moves and yet you cannot stop them?
Or not being able to see the next move since your opponent seems like he could drop or go all out the next minute?
And this is where Fukurodani also connects to it, they are all strong because they can handle the unpredictable behaviour of their strong, simple-minded yet amazing captain who can sway them with their plays but, also they grew a thick skin due to his antics.
They are not Bokuto’s one-man team which may switch the eyes of the opponents towards them again but when Bokuto is in top form or even if he is not one cannot simply ignore the skilled ace as he can suddenly stand up again before one can realize it.
Which Tsukishima immediately understood, since there are two challenges: one being the awareness that Fukurodani is just as strong without Bokuto, but also that Bokuto is strong and unpredictable, not to be ignored which raises the pressure and shifts the focus of the blocker in many ways.
A team can be strong without the strongest and the strongest can make them even stronger, and here we also see that when the strongest is missing in a way he is still the biggest asset when the team knows how to handle it.
Fukurodani shows us how calm and collected a team can be even with the fearsome Bokuto that is just as fearsome to them.