List of The Prince of Tennis characters

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The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series has a large cast of fictional characters created by Takeshi Konomi; many have appeared in the musical and film adaptations. The cast of the series is largely made up of the members of the various tennis teams for the schools portrayed in the series, their coaches, and various family members and supporters.

The main character of the series is Ryoma Echizen, a 12-year-old tennis prodigy who joins the Seishun Academy tennis team. The main cast is rounded out with the other eight regular players for Seishun, all of whom have various special abilities at playing tennis. Beyond them, there are many rival schools whose players reappear during the course of the series.

Protagonists[edit]

The protagonists of the series all attend Seishun Academy (青春学園 Seishun Gakuen?), or Seigaku (青学?) for short. The school is famous for its talented tennis club in which the series' leading protagonist, Ryoma Echizen, is enrolled into the school by his father, Nanjiro Echizen, a former professional tennis player and Seigaku alumn. Although Seigaku has long been known for its tennis club, the void created by Nanjiro's departure years earlier throws the team into somewhat of a slump, leaving them unable to make it to Nationals over the next several years until a first year, Tezuka, joins the team. The story picks up two years later with Tezuka now a third year. The team slowly reforms, and Seigaku pulls off its first National victory with Ryoma's addition to the team.

Ryoma Echizen[edit]

Ryoma Echizen (越前 リョーマ Echizen Ryōma?)
Ryoma is the series protagonist and the only first year on the Seigaku tennis team. His play style is all rounder, and his signature serve is the "Twist serve", a variation on the standard topspin serve where the ball is hit with a combination of both topspin and sidespin, allowing the ball to bounce high and curve toward the receiver's face. His arsenal of skills also include the Drive A, B, C, and D, the Cool Drive, the Samurai Drive, and Cyclone Smash. His strengths include his ability to analyze his opponents' abilities during the match and adapt his own play accordingly to take advantage of their weaknesses. He is left-handed, but he often starts matches playing right-handed. Though often playing Singles 2 or 3, he begins to take Singles 1 by the end of the Kantou tournament, with the fate of the team's overall success riding on his game; the pressure often seems to be helpful towards his performance, bringing out the best in him — depending on the skill level of the opponent. His bored and cocky demeanor masks his underlying affection and respect for his teammates, especially his close friend Momoshiro and team captain Tezuka. In New Prince of Tennis, all of middle schoolers are shown to have developed great respect for Ryoma to the point where even some of the high schoolers at the U-17 camp find him impressive. However, Ryoma ultimately ends up getting kicked out of the U-17 camp after interfering with a match to protect a friend.
In the Prince of Tennis live-action movie, Ryoma was played by Kanata Hongo. In the musicals, Echizen has been portrayed by actors Kotaro Yanagi (2003-2006), Yuya Endo (2004-2005), Dori Sakurada (2006-2007), Shogo Sakamoto (2007-2009), Ryuki Takahashi (2008-2010), and currently Yuki Ogoe (2010-present).

Kunimitsu Tezuka[edit]

Kunimitsu Tezuka (手塚 国光 Tezuka Kunimitsu?)
Tezuka is the national-level captain of the Seigaku tennis team. Like Ryoma, he is an all-rounder, and his special shots include the "Tezuka Zone", which uses his exceptional racket control to put spin on the ball to allow all shots to return to Tezuka no matter where the opponent tries to hit, and the "Zero-Shiki (Degree) Drop Shot", which is a drop shot with a heavy backspin that can make the ball roll towards the net rather than bouncing towards the opposing player. He was later able to adapt his Drop Shot into a serve.
Tezuka is noted for being rather distant during practices and never smiling. However, he truly cares about his team and always tries to help them improve. At the nationals match against Sanada of Rikkaidai, Tezuka uses another special technique called "Tezuka Phantom", but the side effect injures his left arm.
At the end of Shin Prince of Tennis Chapter 37, Tezuka is noted to have unlock the last door of Muga No Kyouchi and has stepped off the training camp to become a Pro in Germany.
In The Prince of Tennis Musicals, Tezuka has been portrayed by actors Eiji Takigawa (2003–2005), Kengo Ohkuchi, who stood as Tezuka in the place of Eiji Takigawa in the More Than Limit St. Rudolph Gakuen musical, Yuu Shirota (2005–2006), Keisuke Minami (2006-2007), Daisuke Watanabe (2007-2009), Baba Ryoma (2008–2010), Takuma Wada (2010-2012), and Hideya Tawada (2012-Present).

Shusuke Fuji[edit]

Syusuke Fuji (不二 周助 Fuji Shūsuke?)

Fuji is a third year student at Seishun Academy. The middle child of three, he has an older sister, Yumiko, who is very attractive and admired by his friends; his younger brother is Yuta, who was a student at Seigaku, but transferred to St. Rudolph. Fuji is a leap year baby, only getting to properly celebrate his birthday on February 29. He is given the title "tensai", or genius, due to his tactical skill on the tennis court.

He is generally very relaxed and in control, whilst his opponent is pushing himself to the limit, giving many the impression that Fuji is either a genius who knows how to save his energy during play, or that he does not really care about tennis itself. There are a few people that can "wake" the true player in Fuji and force him to play seriously, and these few are either nationally-ranked or extremely talented tennis players. Seigaku teammates Kunimitsu Tezuka and Ryoma Echizen, Shitenhōji captain Kuranosuke Shiraishi, Hyotei Gakuen Chuto Bu regular Yushi Oshitari and Rikkaidai Fuzoku regular Akaya Kirihara have been acknowledged by Fuji to be actual challenges.

Fuji's most famous moves are known as the Triple Counters: Higuma Ootoshi ("Bear Drop") for returning smashes; Tsubame Gaeshi ("Swallow Return") which runs on the ground without bouncing; and Hakugei ("White Whale"), a shot that uses the wind to hop straight into the air and return to Fuji on the bounce. In the nationals, he creates evolved versions of his Triple Counters, and he even creates three more original counters. In addition, Fuji sometimes uses an underhand serve that seems to disappear when the opponent is about to hit it.

Fuji usually takes the position of Singles 2 although he sometimes pairs with Takashi Kawamura or Eiji Kikumaru in Doubles (with Kikumaru, they are called the "Dream Pair"). He and Ryoma Echizen temporarily take turns for the position of Singles 1 when captain Kunimitsu Tezuka is in rehabilitation.

In the anime, Fuji is one of three Seigaku players to earn a spot (along with Kikumaru and Echizen) when all the tennis teams of Japan competed for a spot in the roster to play America in the Goodwill games. He played Singles 2 against Arnold Ignashov.

Fuji is often seen with a calm and content expression on his face with his eyes seemingly closed from lightly smiling. When he is excited or provoked or when playing seriously, Fuji reveals his sharp eyes: light brown in the manga and blue in the anime.

Fuji enjoys a good relationship with his teammates, especially classmate Eiji Kikumaru. Fuji is also one of few Seigaku Regulars who is genuinely close to Kunimitsu Tezuka, the captain of the tennis club. As such, he and Tezuka are often seen together.

Fuji is particularly protective of his younger brother Yuta as displayed throughout the series; he actively tries to "destroy" and punish those who have defeated or harmed his younger brother.

Although not completely obvious, Fuji seems to have a very strong sense of justice. If another player is unfairly injured or sacrifices a lot just to lose, Fuji seems to always avenge them and give them a chance. For example, Takashi Kawamura, his teammate, goes as far as to use the one-handed Hadoukyu continuously to the point of bleeding against Hyotei's Munehiro Kabaji, yet he did not win the match because neither side could continue. Fuji asks to use Kawamura's racket in his match and goes all out from the beginning. Another example is when Fuji visits Fudomine's Tachibana in the hospital after he'd been injured in Fudomine's match against Rikkaidai where Akaya Kirihara purposefully injured his leg. Fuji then asks to have his grip tape, because he feels it was unfair. In manga, it was Ryoma who was injured during an outside match against Kirihara.

Fuji plays the grandmother in the Tenipuri Family episodes. Tezuka is her husband. Inui is the son in-law; Oishi is the daughter. Ryoma Echizen, Kaoru Kaidoh, and Takeshi Momoshiro (Momoko) are the grandchildren.

Fuji is one of the few male characters in the anime who is voiced by a female voice actor, others being Ryoma Echizen, Kintarou Tooyama of Shitenhouji, Taichi Dan of Yamabuki, Youhei and Kouhei Tanaka of Jyosei Shonan (the latter two being anime only characters), and Seiichi Yukimura of Rikkaidai Fuzoku. However, Ryoma, Kintarō and Taichi are first years, thus younger and more naturally voiced by a voice actress. Despite Fuji and Yukimura being third years, they are also voiced by voice actresses.

In the anime series, Fuji's voice actress is Yuki Kaida who also voices Fuji's sister, Yumiko.

For the live-action adaptation film of The Prince of Tennis, Tenimyu actor Hiroki Aiba portrays Fuji.

In The Prince of Tennis Musicals, Fuji has been portrayed by actors Kimeru (2003–2005), Takashi Nagayama, who stood in during Remarkable 1st Match Fudomine due to a cast change, Hiroki Aiba (2005–2007, 2008), Yuuta Furukawa (2007–2009), Hashimoto Taito (2008–2010), Ryou Mitsuya (2010–2012), and Yusuke Yata (2012-Present).

Shuichiro Oishi[edit]

Shuichiro Oishi (大石 秀一郎 Ōishi Shūichirō?) is the vice-captain of the club. Oishi and Kikumaru Eiji make up Seigaku's national level doubles team, known as the "Golden Pair". Oishi is known as the 'Mother Hen of Seigaku', because he constantly worries and frets for the team's well-being. He remains calm and rational in a match, allowing him to form strategies quickly. He uses the Moon Volley, a topspin lob that travels very high over the court and lands just in bounds. He can also use the "Drop Volley", a feint hit with the power of a drop shot, making the trajectory much closer to the net. He is voiced by Takayuki Kondou in Japanese media, voiced by Sam Riegel in English media, and portrayed by Hiroki Suzuki in the live action film.

He and Eiji often use the "Australian Formation", where they stand directly on the center line to confuse the opponents as to which way each player will move when the ball is placed into the opposing court. The "I-Formation" is a variation where Eiji stays below the net and Oishi serves the ball down the center. They also develop "Oishi Territory", which has Oishi focus on the net while Eiji stays in the back. It takes advantage of Oishi's ability to control the flow of the game and Eiji's Seal Step. They later develop the "Synchronization" ability, which lets them play and move as if they are one person.

Oishi plays the mother in the tenipuri episodes. Inui is her husband; Ryoma Echizen, Kaoru Kaidoh, and Takeshi Momoshiro (Momoko) are her children.

In New Prince of Tennis, Oishi earns the No. 16 badge from the U-17 first string.

In the Prince of Tennis Musicals, Oishi has been portrayed by Yuichi Tsuchiya (2003-2005), Hiroki Suzuki (2005-2006), Yukihiro Takiguchi (2006-2007), Yuya Toyoda (2007-2009), Yuki Tsujimoto (2008-2010), Jin Hiramaki (2010–2012), and Ikkei Yamamoto (2012–Present).

Eiji Kikumaru[edit]

Eiji Kikumaru (菊丸 英二 Kikumaru Eiji?) is part of Seigaku's "Golden Pair" along with Oishi. Even so, he sometimes does doubles with Fuji and they are then called the "Dream Pair". Eiji uses "Acrobatic Play" which takes advantage of his flexible body. Eiji is also known to have the sharpest vision on the team with an exceptional talent for seeing moving objects. His main weakness is his lack of stamina which he finally overcomes through hard work and training later in the series. Though the Golden Pair seldom play without each other, certain circumstances, such as their temporary breakup when Oishi gives his spot to Ryoma, forces him to play in singles. Eiji is a friendly, sweet-tempered, and outgoing character and the youngest of a large family. He is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in Japanese media, voiced by Steve Staley in English media, and portrayed by Osamu Adachi in the live-action film.

Eiji's flexible body allows him to reach balls with a touch of flair that few can replicate. His dives and flips often astonish the spectators and often gets grudging praise from his opponents helping Eiji focus. He focuses on the net with his "Kikumaru Beam", a sharp volley that is hit with his hand reaching around his back, and his "Kikumaru Bazooka", a smash hit upsidedown. While playing doubles, Eiji follows the lead of Oishi. The two rely on and know each other thoroughly, which allows them to predict each other's moves without any signals. They further develop this by achieving "Synchronization", letting them act together as if they were only one person. He can also play well in singles by using his "Seal Step", which uses his speed to move from one location to a new one the moment the opponents eyes leave his first location. This gives the opponent the impression that there are two of him for a doppelganger type effect, though the anime gives him the ability to hug and high five his after image, making it slightly unrealistic.

Eiji's favorite color is red; he enjoys brushing his teeth, wandering around pet shops, omelette rice, fried shrimp, and shaved ice. He was born November 28 at 6:28 am and is a Sagittarius. He has grandparents, a mother, a father, two older sisters, and two older brothers, and therefore is the youngest of a very large family, something that gives him attributes of being fun-loving and easy-going. His father is a news reporter. His favorite subject is Japanese history. He has declared that he might want to become a stunt double in the future with Oishi being his personal trainer, doctor, and still best friend. His favorite date spot is the amusement park; he loves anime/fantasy, idol magazines, and JPOP. He also looks for someone who is cheerful and someone whom he can share a laugh with in a friend. He most wants a new knitted hat. Outside of tennis, he excels in fly swatting, bug collecting, cooking, and can often be found in the gymnasium when not at the tennis courts.

In the Tenipuri Family episodes, Eiji plays the family's pet, a pink cat named Kikumaru.

In the musicals, Eiji has been portrayed by Ichitaro Yamazaki (2003-2004), Takashi Nagayama (2003-2005), Osamu Adachi (2005-2006), Koji Seto (2006-2007), Kyousuke Hamao (2007-2009), Shouta Takasaki (2008-2010), Yuta Koseki (2010–2012), and Mario Kuroba (2012–Present).

Takashi Kawamura[edit]

Takashi Kawamura (河村 隆 Kawamura Takashi?) has a shy personality without his tennis racket, but he becomes extremely aggressive and loud once he has a tennis racket in his hands. He often shouts "Burning!", "Great!", "Come on, baby!", "Shocking!", "Victory!", and "Delicious!" while playing. During his first year, he had a lot of power, but he did not have any other skills. He was made fun of by his peers, but his close friends stayed by him and helped him develop. During his third year, he became a regular and eventually meets his goal of becoming the number one power player in Japan by beating Gin Ishida. He plans to quit playing tennis after the tournament and focus on working as a sushi chef under his father with the goal of being number one in the future. He is voiced by Naru Kawamoto in Japanese media, Richard Cansino in English media, and portrayed by Yoshikazu Kotani in The Prince of Tennis live-action film.

Kawamura mainly relies on the Hadoukyuu (ハドウキュウ?), a very powerful maneuver that uses 120% of an arm's strength, but puts a lot of strain on his arm. He copies it from Fudomine's Tetsu Ishida, who learned it from his brother, Gin. Kawamura lowers the risk of the shot by using a Two-Handed Hadoukyuu (両手ハドウキュウ?), which decreases the power. He can use either while jumping to make the Jump Hadoukyuu (ジャンプ ハドウキュウ?), which is hard to return. He later develops the Dash Hadoukyuu (ダッシュ ハドウキュウ?), which is a regular Hadoukyuu performed during an extremely fast dash. It strengthens the shot by focusing all the momentum on the wrist, but it can break the wrist if overused. During his match against Gin, he puts all of his strength into a "Final Hadoukyuu" that, because he accidentally hit with racket frame instead of the gut, it was stronger than Gin's strongest technique and breaks Gin's wrist.

He also reappears as a candidate in the U-17 selection camp, where he loses to Jin Akutsu, but comes back to take the No. 12 position in the first string.

In the musicals, Kawamura has been portrayed by Yoshitsugu Abe (2003-2005), Eiki Kitamura, who stood in for Abe in the More than St. Rudolph Gakuen Musical, Yoshikazu Kotani (2005-2006), Kouji Watanabe (2006-2007), Hiroaki Ogasawara (2007-2009), Ikkou Chou (2008-2010), Sora Yaguchi (previously known as Tomohiro Tsurumi) (2010–2012), and Shohei (2012-Present).

Sadaharu Inui[edit]

Sadaharu Inui (乾 貞治 Inui Sadaharu?) is a highly intelligent player, who uses Data Tennis. He constantly collects and analyzes data of other players in order to determine weaknesses and habits. While he collects data pertaining to tennis, he also collects personal pieces of data, such as favorite things, personal habits, and where they have been, which makes others feel awkward. His style originates from his close friend, Renji of Rikkai, who played doubles with Inui before moving. He is temporarily removed from the regulars after losing to Ryoma and Kaidoh, and he becomes the team manager. He uses his data to create exercise programs for the team and creates a series of disgusting "Inui Juice" health drinks that are able to knock a person out, which motivates the team to train. He is voiced by Kenjirō Tsuda in Japanese media Erik Davies in English media, and portrayed by Hirofumi Araki in The Prince of Tennis live-action film.

Inui's data tennis allows him to predict the probability of a shot taking place although other factors can disrupt the probability. Though he relies on data, he still trains excessively to keep up with his teammates, taking on a training load 2.25 times more than Kaidoh's, which is already far ahead of the rest of the team. This allows him to reclaim his spot as a regular by beating Momoshiro, but losing to Tezuka. He pairs with Kaidoh in doubles to help Kaidoh train, and Kaidoh's massive amount of stamina is used to let him play alone while Inui rests and gathers data. The style does not work against Ryoma, who constantly evolves throughout each match, and he finds it difficult to collect data from players who do not play at their full potential, such as Tezuka and Fuji. He develops two extremely fast serves that are among the fastest in the Japanese tournaments. The Sonic Serve is developed first, which is trained with wrist weights, and the Waterfall Serve, its arc and descent resembling that of a waterfall engulfing the opponent, is developed afterward. His eyes are hidden behind his glasses throughout the series and only appears at the end of chapter 211.

In the musicals, Inui has been portrayed by Sota Aoyama (2003-2005), Hirofumi Araki (2005-2006), Masei Nakayama (2006-2007), Yuuta Takahashi (2007-2009), Yusuke Arai (2008-2010), Teruma (2010–2012), and Seiya Inagaki (2012–Present).

Takeshi Momoshiro[edit]

Takeshi Momoshiro (桃城 武 Momoshiro Takeshi?) is known as Seigaku’s "number one rascal." As the player who is the most open and friendly with everyone, Momoshiro is connected to everyone on the team on some level. Momoshiro is the closest to a true friend Ryoma Echizen can claim; the two spend much time together eating hamburgers or playing street tennis. Momoshiro and Kaidoh Kaoru are eternal rivals, and constantly try to out-do each other. This makes them efficient as a doubles pair, because the two rivals know each other so well. Momoshiro develops an affinity for playing doubles and even masters it, despite expressing a preference for singles. He loses his position as a regular after losing to Inui in the ranking matches. When Oishi injures his wrist before the match against Hyotei, Momoshiro takes his place to form a makeshift Golden Pair with Kikumaru. After that, he keeps his regular spot when Tezuka leaves for rehabiliation. After the nationals, he becomes the Vice-captain of Seigaku. He is voiced by Masaya Onosaka in Japanese media, voiced by Doug Erholtz in English media, and portrayed by Masaki Kaji in The Prince of Tennis live-action film.

Momoshiro's signature move is the Dunk Smash, a very powerful response to lobs as he leaps several feet into the air, which he likes to finish off saying, "Don," upon landing. He often fakes out opponents with a Dunk Volley. He later develops the Jack Knife, a strong backhand shot that is usually only used by professionals. In the anime, he develops the Super Dunk, a Dunk Smash that spins for a long time on the court before bouncing, thus confusing the opponent as to when it will bounce up. Momoshiro is good at "faking out" his opponents and can be extremely sly and tricky on the courts. His ability to read the opponent's movements and to observe their viewpoints and expression allows Momoshiro to guess where the ball will go and use shots that will confuse his opponents. He later improves upon this ability while training in the mountains, which allows him to be related with nature, and use it to his advantage, such as the position of the sun to blind the opponent, the direction of the wind to manipulate the ball, and stray stones to deflect serves.

In New Prince of Tennis, his wrists suffer severe damage after being on the receiving end of a Black Jack Knife, which has twice the spin and power of his regular Jack Knife. However, he later learns the Black Jack Knife himself, and uses it to take the No. 19 position on the U-17 first string.

In the musicals, Momoshiro has been portrayed by Eiji Moriyama (2003-2005), Masaki Kaji (2005-2006), Shinpei Takagi (2006-2007), Tetsuya Makita (2007-2009), Toshihiro Nobuyama (2008-2010), Toru Kamitsuru (2010–2012), and Masyu Ishiwatari (2012–Present).

Kaoru Kaido[edit]

Kaoru Kaido (海堂 薫 Kaidō Kaoru?) (sometimes spelled Kaidou) is known as "Viper" to his teammates for constantly making a "fshuuuu" sound similar to a snake while exhaling. Kaidoh trains rigorously, increasing the training program given to him by Inui to give him an abnormally high endurance. He has a deep rivalry with Momoshiro, in which they constantly try to beat each other. Because they are rivals, they also know each other the best, and they can get along very well in times of need; this makes them an efficient doubles pair. He normally plays singles, though he eventually pairs with Inui, who helps Kaidoh train and develop new techniques. Kaidoh's stamina is used to let him play the other team alone, while Inui collects data. After the national tournament, Kaidoh becomes the new captain of Seigaku. He is voiced by Kōhei Kiyasu in Japanese media, voiced by David Lodge in English media, and portrayed by Kousuke Kujirai in the live-action The Prince of Tennis film.

His signature move is the Snake Shot, derived from the "Buggy Whip Shot", which is a curving forehand that keeps his opponents running. He later develops the Boomerang Snake, where the ball swerves around the net pole back in bounds. He develops the shot under Inui's advice and by working with him in doubles. He also develops the Short Snake, which goes directly behind the net player, the Reverse Snake, which is used to keep opponents guessing, and the Tornado Snake, which is a fast straight shot with a spin that cuts air resistance. He can also use Hiroshi Yagyuu's "Laser Beam", calling his version the Gyro Laser, which is an extremely fast shot with the same spin as the Tornado Snake, allowing him to confuse opponents. He also develops the Hadoukyuu Boomerang in the anime, which is developed from the Hadoukyuu that has much more strength behind a regular Boomerang shot.

Although he has a tough exterior and is cold towards others, there is a softer side to Kaidoh. Unknown to many, Kaidou enjoys playing with small animals. He is often seen playing with Ryoma's cat, Karupin, who wanders off on his own most of the time. Koharu (somehow) notes that Kaido was often mistaken for a girl back in Kindergarten and sometimes forced to wear a skirt, implying that Kaido's tough demeanor is merely a front to hide his insecurities.

In the various TeniPuri Family episodes, Kaidoh is the young infant. Not being able to speak, he mainly just says "fssshhuuuu". Shuuko (Oishi) introduced infant – Kaidoh as "cutie-pie, Kaoru-chan". He is often bullied in some sorts by his older siblings, Ryoma and Momoko (Momoshiro).

In the musicals, Kaidoh has been portrayed by Naoya Gomoto (2003-2005), Kousuke Kujirai (2005-2006), Tomo Yanagishita (2006-2008), Yuuichirou Hirata (2007-2009), Akihiro Hayashi (2008-2010), Ryousuke Ikeoka (2010–2012), and Tatsunari Kimura (2012–Present).

Sumire Ryuzaki[edit]

Sumire Ryuzaki (竜崎 スミレ Ryūzaki Sumire?) is the coach of Seigaku's tennis club and one of the school's math teachers. She helped Nanjiroh Echizen develop his skills and become a professional tennis player. She has a granddaughter named Sakuno with a crush on Ryoma. Ryuzaki has a rivalry with her ex-mentor, Mikiya Banda a.k.a. Banji, who is the coach for Yamabuki. She constantly yells, but she is considered to be a great and reliable coach. She has a good relationship with her regulars and participates in their recreational group activities: the bowling reunion and the beach-volley mini-tournament with Rokkaku Middle School. For the Prince of Tennis live action movie, Ryuzaki's whole personality and back story was changed. Instead of being a middle-aged teacher and ex-coach to Nanjiro Echizen, she is a young and more cheerful woman as well as Nanjiro's former classmate, who was her reason for playing tennis and becoming coach. She was played by the popular singer Hitomi Shimatani.Voiced by: Shizuka Okohira (Japanese), Barbara Goodson (English)

Opponents[edit]

Fudoumine[edit]

Fudoumine Middle School (市立不動峰中学校 Fudōmine Chūgakkō?) is an unseeded and unknown public school with rumors of violence. It was originally unknown due to an unreasonable coach and a lazy set of senior regulars. The freshmen at Fudoumine were brutalized severely by the older tennis club members, while the coach ignored the mistreatment. Tachibana and the abused freshman attempted to rally together and form their own tennis club, but the coach and the other players find this idea absurd and try to stop this from happening. When the coach allows his older team members to attack Tachibana and the freshman, Tachibana snaps and attacks the coach. As a result, Fudoumine is pulled out of the District Tournament that year. Tachibana and the others eventually reform the club, and in the series, upsets Kakinoki in the District tournament semifinals and Hyotei in the Prefectural quarterfinals. They go on to make it all the way to the quarterfinals of the Nationals before losing to Shitenhouji. Fudoumine's uniforms are black hooded jackets with the Fudoumine logo, black shirts, white shorts, and black warm-up pants.

  • Kippei Tachibana (橘 桔平 Tachibana Kippei?) is the captain of Fudoumine. He was originally from the Kyūshū region of Japan, where he attended Shishigaku Middle School. He and his close friend, Chitose, led their team to the semifinals of the Nationals as the top two players of the region. Tachibana is a very aggressive player, and during an intra-school ranking match, he injured Chitose after deciding to try out his new move, the Wild Ball, which makes it look like there are numerous balls coming at one time. He cuts and stops bleaching his hair, moves with his father and sister, and eventually starts with the Fudoumine club in order to play Chitose again. He uses the "Moujuu Aura" (Wild Beast Aura), which draws out his natural style and increases his physical abilities, especially when using his "Abare Dama" frame of racket shot, as well as the "Abare Jishi". In New Prince of Tennis he is one of the players invited to the Japanese U17 team. He is voiced by Yoshihisa Kawahara in Japanese media, and Doug Erholtz in English media. He is played by Takuma Sugawara, YOH, Takashi Kitadai and Yuusuke Ueda (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Akira Kamio (神尾 アキラ Kamio Akira?) is the vice-captain of Fudoumine, who normally plays singles or doubles with his long-time friend Shinji Ibu. His style focuses on speed and "rhythm" of his feet; in other words, he's extremely fast. He uses the "Sonic Bullet" shot, which seems to disappear, and the "Quick-Drop Serve", which is hit before it rises to the top, throwing off the opponents timing and slightly increasing the speed. He has a crush on An, and is jealous when she goes out with Momoshiro. He later learns to use Tachibana's Wild Beast Aura to greatly increase his speed. In New Prince of Tennis he is one of the players invited to the Japanese U-17 team. He is voiced by Chihiro Suzuki in Japanese media, and by David Neil Black in English media. He is played by Matsui Yasuyuki, Yuki Fujiwara and Kinari Hirano (2nd Season) in the musicals, and Yuki Fujiwara reprises that role in the live action film.
  • Shinji Ibu (伊武 深司 Ibu Shinji?) normally plays singles or doubles with his best friend Akira Kamio. He often mumbles and rambles without realizing other people can hear him, making him a moody person in general. He utilizes the "Kick Serve", which bounces upward to the right, similarly to the twist serve. However, his main ability is to sense muscle tension in others, allowing him to utilize a passive-offensive style of tennis (alternating between topspin and backspin shots) that forces his opponent's arm muscles to freeze briefly, forcing them to miss the point. In New Prince of Tennis he is one of the players invited to the Japanese U-17 team. He is voiced by Eiji Moriyama in Japanese media, and Kirk Thornton in English media. He is played by Ryōsei Konishi, Motohiro Oota and Kazuhiro Okazaki (2nd season) in the musicals, and Yasuka Saitoh in the live action film.
  • Tetsu Ishida (石田 鉄 Ishida Tetsu?) normally plays doubles with Masaya Sakurai (桜井 雅也 Sakurai Masaya?), who has a special power shot known as the Hadokyuu, an extremely powerful flat groundstroke that uses 120% of the user's strength. He learned it from his elder brother Gin, who for some strange reason attends the much further away Shitenhoji Middle School. It puts an extreme strain on his arm at first, which cause Tachibana to disallow him from using it until he masters it. He later learns to use Tachibana's Wild Beast Aura, where he not only becomes more powerful, but also acquires the ability to perform a Hadokyuu off of a backhand without stepping forward. Tetsu Ishida is played by Mamoru Miyano and Kyoushirou Takagi (2nd season) in the musicals, and Masaya Sakurai is played by Shun Takagi and Fumiya Takahashi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kyosuke Uchimura (内村 京介 Uchimura Kyōsuke?), nicknamed "The Forward Net Killer" plays doubles with Tatsunori Mori (森 辰徳 Mori Tatsunori?). Kyousuke Uchimura is played by Mao Katou (2nd season) in the musicals, and Tatsunori Mori is played by Youichiro Omi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • An Tachibana (橘杏 Tachibana An?) the cute younger sister of Kippei. She is a member of the girls tennis club, and often supports her brother's team. An cares very much for her brother and her friends from both the Seigaku and Fudoumine teams and tries to help them as much as possible. She is often seen with either Momoshiro or Kamio. She is voiced by Akiko Kimura in the Japanese media, and Jennifer Sekiguchi in the English media.

St. Rudolph[edit]

St. Rudolph (私立聖ルドルフ学院中学校 Shiritsu Sei RUDORUFU Gakuin Chūgakkō?) is a team that first appears in the Tokyo Prefectural Tournament Arc and faces Seishun in the quarterfinals. The school itself only recruits students who are gifted at tennis and they only practice together once a week. The team uniform is a white shirt with brown, brown shorts, and brown warm-up pants.

  • Yoshiro Akazawa (赤沢 吉郎 Akazawa Yoshirō?) is the captain of the team and the doubles partner of Ichiro Kaneda, a soft spoken player called a "prodigal doubles player." He is initially a singles player until being paired with Kaneda by Mizuki, which leaves him unable to properly play until Kaneda, who normally looks up to Akazawa, yells at him. The pair of Akazawa and Kaneda provide St. Rudolph's only victories in their losses to Seigaku and Hyoutei. Akazawa also defeated a Seigaku regular in the year prior to the manga's storyline.[1] He is able to hit a shot that causes rapid movement of the ball, causing it to appear as a mass of balls to people with exceptional eyesight. He is voiced by Masami Iwasaki in the Japanese anime, and played by Kenji Aoki and Kenta Izuka (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Takuya Nomura (野村 拓也 Nomura Takuya?) is the vice-captain, and the weakest member of the team according to Mizuki, though he often claims that he is the strongest. He is voiced by Takayuki Kondo in the Japanese media.
  • Hajime Mizuki (観月 はじめ Mizuki Hajime?) is the manager of the team who transfers from another school. He scouts talented players from around the country to join the tennis team in hopes of creating an elite team. He observes other team's and their tendencies, allowing him to not only pick out the opposing player's weak points, but to anticipate the team's line up and predict the ending scores. Mizuki is also shown to be very ruthless, teaching Yuta Fuji the Twist Spin Shot, despite the fact that it could cause severe damage to Yuta's underdeveloped arm. His arrogance also comes back to bite him when he believes that he has collected all the data on Shusuke Fuji, only to be humiliated by him. He is voiced by Akira Ishida in the Japanese media, Steve Staley in the English media and played by Hidemasa Shiozawa and Yutaka Kobayashi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Yuta Fuji (不二 裕太 Fuji Yūta?) is the younger brother of Shusuke Fuji who constantly overshadows him. Originally a student at Seigaku, he declines to join the tennis team and is eventually scouted by Mizuki. He hits at difficult angles for left-handed players, causing him to be known as the "Lefty-Killer." He uses the Rising Shot, which hits the ball on the rise, giving the opponents less time to react. Mizuki teaches him the Twist Spin Shot, which puts a topspin on the ball, causing it to bounce upwards, though it puts a heavy strain on undeveloped shoulders. Yuta is voiced by Makoto Tomita in Japanese media, Tom Gibis in English media and played by KENN and Seiya Konishi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Ichiro Kaneda (金田 一郎 Kaneda Ichirō?) is a relatively quiet doubles player for St. Rudolph. Aside from Akazawa, Kaneda is the only other member of the team who was initially from St. Rudolph, prior to Mizuki's arrival and subsequent recruiting of other skilled players. Although he has a great deal of respect for his Captain, he lashes out at him during their match against Oishi and Kikumaru. Although Akazawa initially attacks him and tells him to shut up, he then calms his head and begins listening to Kaneda, who guides the pair to victory. He is voiced by Yoshihisa Kawahara in the Japanese media, and played by Yuki Ohtake and Shotaro Ookubo (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Shinya Yanagisawa (柳沢 慎也 Yanagisawa Shin'ya?) is a doubles player, who frequently partners with Atsushi. He is very comical in his personality and style, as he almost always ends his sentences with "dane" in the Japanese dub, whereas in English other characters refer to him as a duck, possibly because of the way his mouth protrudes. He is voiced by Norihisa Mori in the Japanese media, Darell Guilbeau in the English media and played by Mitsuyoshi Shinoda and Sho Jinnai (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Atsushi Kisarazu (木更津 淳 Kisarazu Atsushi?) is the twin brother of Rokkaku's Ryou. Mizuki mistakenly scouts Atsushi instead of his brother, so he forces Atsushi to distinguish himself by cutting his hair and wearing a headband. Atsushi's signature shot is a fake smash, which he then turns into a volley, catching his opponents off guard. He is voiced by Satoshi Tsuruoka in the Japanese media, Peter Doyle in the English media and played by Ryosuke Kato and Daisuke Hirose (2nd season) in the musicals.

Yamabuki[edit]

Yamabuki Middle School (私立山吹中学校 Shiritsu Yamabuki Chūgakkō?) is a national caliber team that bases their strategy on two National caliber doubles teams, supported by the National caliber Singles player Sengoku. They try to use those three weapons to defeat opponents before the matches get drawn out. When their strategy was foiled in the previous year by Seigaku's Tezuka defeating Sengoku, they recruited a second dominant singles player Jin Akutsu, with the aim to eliminate that weakness. Yamabuki's regular sports uniforms are green jackets with yellow stripes with hoods, shirts of the same design, white shorts, and green warm-up pants.

  • Kentaro Minami (南 健太郎 Minami Kentarō?) is the captain of the team. He is a doubles player who typically plays with the vice captain of the team, Higashikata Masami. They are strong in the basics and use a strategy to pressure opponents. Together, he and Higashikata are known as the Jimmies, referring to jimi (地味?), the Japanese word for plain or dull. Kentarou is voiced by Masaki Ishikawa in the Japanese media and played by Hiroshi Yazaki and Jouji Saotome (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Masami Higashikata (東方 雅美 Higashikata Masami?) is a 3rd year student and the vice-captain of the team.[2] He is the doubles partner of Captain Kentarou Minami. He is voiced by Yoshikazu Nagano in the Japanese media and played by Iori Hayashi and Takeshi Terayama (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kiyosumi Sengoku (千石 清純 Sengoku Kiyosumi?), known as Lucky Sengoku, is a third year student, and is one of the keys to Yamabuki's strategy of finishing opposing teams off quickly. He is a happy-go-lucky guy with a strong tennis sense and extremely sharp eyes able to discern fast moving balls. His stronger weapons are the jumping serve, known as "Kohou (Tiger Cannon)" and the "Dunk Smash". He is known as a National level player, and was invited to the Junior Senbatsu (Junior Selection) training camp in his second year after Tezuka declined. Despite those honors, he suffered losses to both Momoshiro in the Prefectural tournament and Kamio in the Kanto tournament. In the anime, he leaves the Yamabuki team for a short while after those losses. He throws away his old style of tennis, trains in boxing, and forms "Boxing Tennis", which focuses on the three-minute limit in a boxing round. When he comes back to go to the camp to be chosen for the Goodwill Games between Japan and America, his new style, "Boxing Tennis", becomes a turning point in his style of play. He is voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi in the Japanese media and played by Masato Wada and Seiya (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Jin Akutsu (亜久津 仁 Akutsu Jin?) is a punk, who was called a once-per-decade tennis player and known as a monster. A very cynical person, he hates to be bossed around and punishes those who order him to do something. He is very violent, attempts to cause conflict constantly, and also smokes in the manga.[3] He uses an unusual flexibility of his body to put high speeds on his shots and hit balls in unnatural positions allowing him to hit his opponents if he desires. He was trained in tennis at young age, but gave up aftering finding it boring due to a lack of competition, as his abilities gave him so much skill that almost no one could compete with him. Mikiya Banda was able to recruit him under the promise of being able to hurt others (legally). Akutsu is raised alone by his mother, Yuuki (who's only 33, meaning that had him when she was 19), and has been a friend of Takashi Kawamura since taking karate together. After hurting Ryoma and his friends at Seigaku retaliating for the fact Ryoma spoiled his conflict attempts with Ginka, he suffers his first ever loss in a match against Ryoma in the Prefectural tournament. He gives up tennis, encourages Dan to look up to Ryoma becoming more content with people. He returns during the National Semifinals, catching Kawamura when he is sent flying into the stadium, and gives him advice to carry on.[4] Akutsu is also among the former rivals of Ryoma who play matches with him after he loses his memory to help him regain his memories of tennis.[5] In the anime, he also helps Ryoma regain confidence after a loss to Sanada. He reappears as a candidate for the Japanese U-17 team where he plays and wins a match against his childhood friend Takashi Kawamura. It is also mentioned that he did accept Banda's offer to study abroad. By this time, he learns to legitimately enjoy tennis and loses most of his violent tendencies. He is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki in the Japanese media, and played by JURI, Ryoutarou Shimizu and Takuya Kishimoto (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Ichiuma Kita (喜多 一馬 Kita Ichiuma?), a 2nd year, and Inakichi Nitobe (新渡米 稲吉 Nitobe Inakichi?), a third year, are two cynical doubles partners known for making silly puns.
  • Toji Muromachi (室町 十次 Muromachi Tōji?) is a 2nd year student, referred to as Yamabuki's eternal secret weapon. He always wears sunglasses to the point where he has a tan line under them, and thinks highly of Sengoku. He is played by Takahiko Yanagisawa and Kenshō Ono (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Tsubasa Nishikiori (錦織 翼 Nishikiori Tsubasa?) is the replacement for Akutsu after he quits tennis.
  • Taichi Dan (壇 太一 Dan Taichi?) is a 1st year student and the manager of the team. He believes he is worthless because of his size and looks up to Akutsu because of his strength. Akutsu tells him to become stronger, which leads to him joining the team as a player. He is also inspired by seeing Ryoma play, realizing that even someone who is short can excel in tennis. He wears a headband that was given to him by Akutsu.[6] After Yamabuki loses in the Nationals, Sengoku tells him that it will be up to him in the following season. In the anime, he copies Ryoma's style and techniques, such as "Twist Serve" and "Drive B", and challenges him to a match, which he loses badly. In the Japanese dub, he ends almost all of his sentences with "desu". He is voiced by Yumiko Kobayashi in Japanese media and played by Yuki Kawakubo and Reiya Masaki (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Mikaya Banda (Banda Mikaya?) or "Banji" for short, is Yamabuki's coach.

Hyoutei Academy[edit]

Hyoutei Academy Secondary Department (氷帝学園中等部 Hyoutei Gakuen Chūtō Bu?) is a team that uses a strict stratification and merit system, which prioritizes ability over emotion. If any regular loses a match, they are removed from their spot and only given a second chance in very rare conditions. With Keigo Atobe as their leader, the one who revolutionized the merit system on the team, Hyoutei's tennis club is composed of over two hundred members. Widely considered as the main contenders to Rikkai Dai, they instead suffered setbacks in the early tournaments, losing to Fudomine in the quarterfinals of the Prefectural Tournament, and then losing to Seigaku in the first round of the Kanto tournament, leaving them ineligible for the National tournament. They are all depressed until they receive a special invite due to the host city, Tokyo, getting to invite one extra team. According to Takeshi Konomi, Hyoutei's popularity was much higher than he expected, and it was for that reason that he chose to bring them back into the story.[2] The Hyoutei team is one of the most popular teams in the entire series. In the official school popularity poll, they came in second losing only to Seigaku.[7]

  • Keigo Atobe (跡部 景吾 Atobe Keigo?) is the captain of Hyoutei. As a former European junior champion, he was relatively unknown in Japan until he defeated all of the members of the team in his first year and the Seigaku captain in his second year. He is severely narcissistic and arrogant, often using the quote "Be awed at the sight of my prowess!" (Ore-sama no bigi ni yoi na 俺様の美技に酔いな?). He comes from a very wealthy family, and owns multiple chateaus, mansions, and vehicles, which are often used to benefit the team. Despite his personality, he trains constantly and takes pride in the team. He has rivalries with Tezuka, who he defeats in the Kantō Tournament, Sanada, who he would have defeated in a practice match but Yukimura called it off, and Ryoma, who he loses to in the nationals. Atobe, using his superior eyesight, is able to use "insight" to quickly determine another player's weakness, which he uses to his own advantage. He eventually develops it to the point where he is able to anticipate the spin of the tennis ball by looking at the way his opponent hits it and apply the proper counterspin. He evolves it even further into his "World of Ice" (氷の世界 Kōri no Sekai?), which allows him to find dead angles a player is unable to reach and hit balls with pinpoint accuracy and timing towards these areas. It can, however, be broken by applying the Tezuka Zone to direct the ball away from those dead angles. He also uses the Rondo Towards Destruction (破滅への輪舞曲 Hametsu e no rondo?), a powerful smash that knocks the opponent's racket away and allow Atobe to smash it once again, and the Tannhauser Serve, which spins rapidly down the court instead of bouncing on impact, making it hard to hit. Atobe must exert enormous force in order for the serve to come out correctly, thus slowly worn down over time. In New Prince of Tennis, he evolves his insight skill to the point where he can see his opponent's skeleton to determine their absolute dead zones, a technique he calls Atobe Kingdom. He and Niou wins their doubles match against the U-17 first string to earn the No. 9/10 position. Since his initial appearance, Atobe has become one of the most popular characters in The Prince of Tennis series. According to Takeshi Konomi, fans initially didn't like Atobe when he was trying to destroy Tezuka's arm, but by the conclusion of the match, he had become one of their favorite characters.[2] In the 4th characters' popularity ranking, Atobe was voted first with a total of 12,913 votes, soundly beating Shusuke Fuji, who came in second with 6116 votes.[8] Besides Ryoma Echizen, Atobe has released more character CDs than any other character in the series, and is the only other character to have two full length albums. One of his singles reached top nine in the weekly charts, the best result for any Prince of Tennis character CDs. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in Japanese media, Yuri Lowenthal in English media, played by Kazuki Kato, Yuki Kubota, Masahiro Inoue, (2nd season) Tsunenori Aoki, and (2nd season) Shota Onuma in the musicals, and by Ryuuji Sainei in The Prince of Tennis live action film.
  • Munehiro Kabaji (樺地 崇弘 Kabaji Munehiro?) is a powerful hitter with a pure mind much like a baby. He rarely speaks and answers Atobe's questions only with "usu" ("yes" or "yup"). Due to his personality, he can instantly copy the moves of anyone he faces. He's generally very efficient at copying techniques, but his results are sometimes inferior if the said technique requires a biological factor or considerable experience. In New Prince of Tennis, he earns the No. 13 position from the U-17 first string, but subsequently gets kicked out of the selection camp when he interfered with Atobe's match to protect him. Kabaji has appeared in every single character popularity poll for the series run by Shonen Jump. He came in 31st in the first poll,[9] and 33rd in the second poll.[10] He fell to 41st in the third poll,[7] but he reached his highest ranking in the fourth poll, coming in 28th.[8] He is voiced by Satoshi Tsuruoka in the anime, and played by Ryo Washimi, Jouji Kawada, and (2nd season)Hiroyuki Furuie in the musicals, and by Kazutoshi Yamakawa in the live action film.
  • Jiro Akutagawa (芥川 慈郎 Akutagawa Jirō?) is called the "magic volleyer" of Hyoutei Academy. His play style, which focuses on returning balls directly from the net using his very flexible wrists, is inspired by Rikkai's Bunta Marui, who defeated him in a match two years earlier. Once he's at the net, he can hit volleys from any position and they can land almost anywhere with very little bounce, making them very difficult to return. He constantly sleeps, and he is very excitable. Takeshi Konomi originally intended Jirou to be a lazy genius character, but he went off course, ultimately becoming a more lighthearted character.[2] Jirou has appeared in all of the Shonen Jump character popularity polls since his introduction into the story. In the second poll, he came in 25th place.[10] In both the third and fourth polls, he came in 13th place.[7][8] He is voiced by Yuji Ueda in the anime, played by Konma Takuya, Taiki Naitou, and (2nd season)Tomoru Akazawa in the musicals, and by Genki Ishii in the live action film.
  • Yushi Oshitari (忍足 侑士 Oshitari Yūshi?) is the genius of Hyoutei Academy. Originally from Osaka, he is called "Oshitari of the one thousand skills" due to his ability to copy moves such as Shusuke Fuji's Bear Drop and Atobe's Tannhauser Serve. He also has several of his own unique shots, which he refers to by acronyms such as "FAS" and "SSAS". He is initially the doubles partner of Gakuto Mukahi, but moves up to Singles during the Nationals Tournament. During the two matches with Seigaku, Oshitari forms a rivalry with Momoshiro, and comes to respect his skill. He wears glasses without a prescription just to look smarter. Oshitari has been popular since his introduction in the series, and has done well on all of the Prince of Tennis character popularity polls run by Weekly Shonen Jump since then. In the second poll, he debuted in 9th place.[10] He moved up to 5th place in the third poll,[7] and came in 7th place in the fourth poll.[8] He is voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi in the anime, played by Takumi Saito, Shintarou Akiyama, and (2nd season)Takuya Kikuchi in the musicals, and by Daiki Nakae in the live action film.
  • Gakuto Mukahi (向日 岳人 Mukahi Gakuto?) is Yushi Oshitari's doubles partner. He has acrobatic skills rivaling and even surpassing those of Seigaku's Eiji, but has low stamina, which he overcomes through practice (not seen in the manga). He has a respectful friendship with Oshitari, which leads him to train his stamina in order to keep from holding Oshitari back. His special technique is the Moon Salute, which requires Gakuto to jump extremely high into the air, somersaulting, and returning the ball at a difficult angle. Gakuto came in 6th place in the fourth popularity poll.[8] He is voiced by Soichiro Hoshi in the anime, played by Ruito Aoyagi, Seiji Fukuyama, and (2nd season)Jun Shison in the musicals, and by Tokio Emoto in the live action film.
  • Ryo Shishido (宍戸 亮 Shishido Ryō?) is known as Hyoutei's "dash specialist" due to his speed and ability to return almost any ball. He is initially dropped from the regulars after being humiliated 6–0 by Kippei Tachibana, but he soon cuts his precious long hair and makes a return to the team. He join with Chotarou Ohtori in doubles, and they become very close. After hard training, he develops the Rising Counter, which hits the ball directly after it bounces, which is strengthened by his dashing. Shishido has appeared in all of the Shonen Jump character popularity polls since his introduction into the story. In the second poll, he came in 20th place.[10] In both the third and fourth polls, he came in 12th place.[7][8] He is voiced by Toshiyuki Kusuda in the anime, played by Kenta Kamakari, Ryouta Murai, and (2nd season) Kousuke Kuwano in the musicals, and by Junpei Suzuki in the live action film.
  • Chotaro Ohtori (鳳 長太郎 Ōtori Chōtarō?) is Ryo Shishido's doubles partner and close friend. He helps Shishido get back on the team, which makes the two very close. Chotaro has a very fast serve called the Scud Serve, which can go up to 200 km/h, though it is limited in accuracy until he masters it. He later renames it the Neo Scud Serve, which goes up to 215 km/h. He recites "one shot with all my soul" (一球入魂 Ikyuunyuukon?) while serving. Chotaro has appeared in all of the Shonen Jump popularity polls since his introduction. In the second poll, he came in 19th place.[10] In the third he came in 20th place,[7] and moved up to 16th place in the fourth poll.[8] He is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in the anime, played by Koji Date, Yuusuke Seto, Li Yong En, and (2nd season)Jin Shirasu in the musicals, with Koji Date reprising the role in the live action film.
  • Wakashi Hiyoshi (日吉 若 Hiyoshi Wakashi?) uses an unorthodox style of tennis he dubs Embu Tennis, which combines martial arts with standard tennis, allowing him to hit fast shots that can easily land in corners. It was developed after the coach tells him to hit in his most natural form after noting that Hiyoshi's follow through was extremely slow in the conventional tennis stance. Hiyoshi's motto is "gekokujou"(下克上) meaning "to defeat the greater and take his place". In the English manga "gekokujou" is translated as 'overthrow'. Hiyoshi is expected to be the next Hyoutei captain after Atobe graduates. Like Mukahi, he has stamina issues, something he overcomes by New Prince of Tennis. In the fourth popularity poll for the series conducted by Shonen Jump, Hiyoshi came in 10th place.[8] He is voiced by Masami Iwasaki in the anime, and played by Ryunosuke Kawai, Kei Hosogai, (2nd season) Daiki Ise in the musicals.

Josei Shonan[edit]

Josei Shonan (城成湘南中学校 Jōsei Shōnan Chūgakkō?) resides in the Kanagawa Prefecture of the Tokyo region. Though they are mentioned in the manga, they only appear in the anime, where they replace Midoriyama as Seigaku's opponents in the second round of the Kantō Tournament.

  • Aoi Hanamura is the coach of the team, who refers to her students as masterpieces and constantly tries to recruit new students, especially Ryoma. She is often proud of her own prowess and of her pupils', but is otherwise very calm and professional.
  • Takahisa Kajimoto (梶本 貴久 Kajimoto Takahisa?) is the serious and soft-spoken captain. His flexibility is used in his serve, the L-drive Serve, where he bends his entire body back and releases it like a catapult. In the anime, he is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi.
  • Hiroshi Wakato (若人弘 Wakato Hiroshi?) is the vice-captain, who can copy any famous professional tennis player's playing style using his Change Over technique, even copying their smallest habits. With this move, he can change his play style easily and when his opponent finally gets used to his style, he changes over again. Though he passes it off as just copying, he spends countless hours practicing. He is very popular, even having his own fanclub, which follows him to his official matches.
  • Reiji Shinjo (神城玲治 Shinjo Reiji?) is known as Hanamura's greatest "masterpiece", with his techniques involving very powerful shots known as Mirage. The powerful shots are indistinguishable from a regular return or serve, leaving opponents confused. Another technique he has is the Deep Impulse, which is a powerful shot that also can be used as a serve that will injure the opponent, and consecutive attempts to return the Deep Impulse may injure the player to the point of unable to play tennis anymore.
  • Yohei Tanaka (田中洋平 Tanaka Yohei?) plays doubles with his younger, twin brother, Kouhei Tanaka (田中浩平 Tanaka Kouhei?). He is often mistaken for a girl due to his short, dark pink hair. Kouhei is often in the same situation due to his long blue hair. He has very good hearing, which, together with his brother's good eyesight, allows them to predict their opponents moves.
  • Sho Ota (太田翔 Oota Shou?) is the doubles partner of Daichi Kiriyama (桐山大地 Kiriyama Daichi?). His small body, combined with his partner's large body, forms the Thunderbolt, where Shou jumps off Daichi's shoulders and returns high shots. Daichi uses a powerful volleyshot, Cannon Volley, which is often the set up for Thunderbolt.

Rokkaku[edit]

Rokkaku Middle School (市立六角中学校 Rokkaku Chūgakkō?) is a team based in the Chiba Prefecture, which focuses on training local children in tennis from an early age. They have a large playground and tennis court which is often used to train. They make the Kantō Tournament semi-finals, where they lose to Seigaku. They advance to the National Tournament, but they are upset by a dark horse team, Higa.

  • Oji is the coach of the team. He is an elderly man who manufactures creates special wooden rackets for his players, taking into consideration their skills and personality.
  • Kentaro Aoi (葵 剣太郎 Aōi Kentarō?) is the freshman captain of the team due to his skill. He is cheerful and talkative, having been playing tennis under the guidance of Oji for years. Oji creates a special hexagonal racquet with the strings crossed in hexagons, which allows for better control. The racquet combined with his training regiment allows him to always hit to the same spot on his opponents side regardless of placement, which frustrates his opponents. He also uses his control to hit cord balls at any point. Aoi enjoys playing under pressure, so he frequently loses the first 4–5 games of his matches on purpose, in order to make them more exciting. In the manga, he thrives on setting conditions for himself, such as saying that he will only date ugly girls if he can't make a certain shot. He plays against Kaoru Kaidoh in the manga, but plays against Ryoma Echizen in the anime. He is voiced by Toshiyuki Toyonaga in Japanese media, played Kazumi Kawahara and Taiki Yoshida (2nd season) in the musicals and by Daiki Sano in the live action film.
  • Kojiro Saeki (佐伯 虎次郎 Saeki Kojirō?)is Rokkaku's stern and confident vice-captain. He is a childhood friend of the Fuji brothers. Saeki excels in doubles with his outstanding game reading capabilities, being able to read where an opponent is going to run or hit the ball by watching the contractions of their muscles prior to their action. He is voiced by Katsuaki Arima in Japanese media, and played by Kanata Irei and Daisuke Utsumi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Hikaru "Davide" Amane (天根ヒカル Amane Hikaru?) uses a custom racket that is the maximum legal length, which allows him to have a large range and disperse strong shots easily. He's also known for frequently making ridiculous puns that often frustrates the people around him. He is voiced by Kosuke Takeuchi in Japanese media, played by Airu Shiozaki and Atsushi Kimura (2nd season) in the musicals, and by JURI in the live action film.
  • Harukaze "Bane" Kurobane (黒羽 春風 Kurobane Harukaze?) is very popular amongst the kids that often stand on Rokkaku's playgrounds. Like Davide, Bane's tennis also uses the opponent's power to generate strong shots of his own; however, Bane focuses on the baseline, whereas Davide plays at the net. He is voiced by Kazehiro Oguro in Japanese media, and played by Gaku Shindo and Shota Motokawa (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Marehiko Itsuki (樹 希彦 Itsuki Marehiko?) is a very curious player who never stops asking about everything that happens around him, sometimes going to the extreme of chasing a person around if he doesn't satisfy his curiosity. He often deeply breathes through his nose, which seems bull-like. He is skilled in hitting balls without a spin and reaching balls close to the ground, due to his experience with clam digging. Besides practicing for the tennis team, he enjoys spending a majority of his time on the beach. He is voiced by Takehiro Hasu in Japanese media, and is played by Shoma Ikegami and Shinichi Hashimoto (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Ryo Kisarazu (木更津 亮 Kisarazu Ryō?) is the older twin brother of Atsushi Kisarazu. Mizuki attempts to scout Ryou, but ends up with his brother. He is never seen playing in the manga, and though he is seen playing only once in the anime, the official fanbook notes that he has a special move titled the "Sky High Volley." He is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in Japanese media, and played by Ryosuke Kato and Daisuke Hirose (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Satoshi Shudo (首藤聪 Shudou Satoshi?) is made fun of for being a minor member of the regulars. He is titled the team's "poison taster" and dreams of tasting America's fabled turkey flavored soda.

Rikkaidai[edit]

Rikkaidai Junior High School (私立立海大附属中学校 Shiritsu Rikkaidai Fuzoku Chūgakkō?) is located in the Kanagawa prefecture and is considered to be the best middle school team, having won the Japanese National tournament the last two years. They aim for perfect wins in the matches winning the Nationals for the third year. They are fully introduced during the Kantō Tournament, where they easily crush Fudomine in the semi-finals. In the finals, however, they suffer a loss to Seigaku, and return to the Nationals to try and beat Seigaku to fulfill their 3rd win in the Nationals. They make their way all the way through to the finals of the Nationals, but they are once again defeated by Seigaku, ending their hopes of winning a third straight title. Takeshi Konomi mentioned in an interview that he was not sure who would be in the finals between Nagoya Seitoku and Rikkadai, but he decided on Rikkaidai finding them were more interesting.[2]

  • Seiichi Yukimura (幸村 精市 Yukimura Seiichi?) is the captain of Rikkaidai, and is known as one of the Big Three, who has a strong willpower, stern, brutally honest attitude on court. He is called "The Child of God"(demigod) due to his strength in the tennis court. As one of the few who can activate Muga No Kyouchi, he returns the opponent's every shot, which takes away their main senses as playing subconsciously leaves them "no longer wanting to even cross the net." Despite his strength, he has a very frail and feminine appearance, and he is very friendly to others outside of the court. However, he is very strict with his team when he is acting as their Captain, and while he is playing, he refuses to lose, However, in the Nationals Final he is defeated by Ryoma Echizen after activating the last door of Muga No Kyouchi. He is hospitalized for much of the series due a neurological disease, which leaves him with a fifty percent rate of living, but undergoes a successful surgery and rehabilitation during the Kanto tournament and was able to participate in the National tournament, where he was ultimately defeated by Ryoma when the latter achieved Pinnacle of Perfection. In New Prince of Tennis, he took the No. 11 position on the U-17 first string with little to no difficulty. He is voiced by Sachiko Nagai in Japanese media, and played by Ren Yagami, Toshiki Masuda and (2nd season) Keisuke Kaminaga in the musicals.
  • Genichiro Sanada (真田 弦一郎 Sanada Gen'ichirō?) is the vice captain of Rikkaidai, known as the "Emperor", who fills for Yukimura in Singles 1 during his hospitalization. The second of Rikkaidai's Three Demons, he comes from a very traditional family, is stern and noble, plays with honor, and expects the best from himself and his teammates. When his teammates don't live up to his expectations, or act in a way that brings shame to their team, Sanada will hit them. Sanada practices kendo and combines it with his tennis techniques. His main rival is Tezuka, who he lost to despite being the runner-up to Yukimura in the Junior tournament, and vows to train and defeat him. He uses a family of techniques called "Wind, Forest, Fire, Shadow, Mountain, Lightning" (Fuu Rin Ka In Zan Rai?), though he initially seals off Shadow and Lightning to prepare for the match with Tezuka. Wind, based on the drawing of a sword, leaves the ball nearly invisible to the eye. Forest neutralizes the spin of a ball. Fire is a powerful shot that can be hit as a smash, forehand, or backhand. Shadow hides his weaknesses and makes him unreadable, particularly against the Saiki Kinpatsu no Kiwami. Mountain was never shown or depicted, but Atobe has remarked he was always defeated by it before completing his World of Ice technique. Lightning is an extremely fast strike that comes from anywhere on the court and goes at a difficult angle to hit. Beyond all these shots, Sanada can further enhance his play style by using Muga no Kyouchi. In the anime, Sanada possesses two different shots he does not have in the manga, the Invisible Swing and Invisible Serve. These shots involve Sanada moving his racket extremely quickly, and making the exact path of the ball difficult to see with the naked eye. The manga shots replace the Invisible Shot and Serve in the OVA of the Nationals. In New Prince of Tennis, he acquires a new technique called Black Aura which allows him to change the direction of his shots after hitting them. He is voiced by Taiten Kusunoki in Japanese media, played by Kentarou Kanesaki and (2nd season) Ken Ogasawara in the musicals, and by Eiji Moriyama in the live action film.
  • Renji Yanagi (柳 蓮二 Yanagi Renji?), known as the Data Master, is the third of Three Demons of Rikkaidai. Yanagi usually plays in singles, but sometimes in doubles. He is the friend and former doubles partner of Sadaharu Inui, having been known as the "Professor." He keeps his eyes perpetually half-closed just as Inui hides his eyes behind his thick glasses. He is Inui's rival in using Data Tennis, having taught Inui in the first place. He possesses two special techniques, the Kamaitachi, a high speed slice shot, and the Utsusemi, a slice shot that does not bounce. In New Prince of Tennis, he eventually takes the No. 17 position on the U-17 first string. He is voiced by Eiji Takemoto in Japanese media, and played by Kento Ono, Yuki Yamaoki and (2nd season) Atomu Mizuishi in the musicals, and by Mamoru Miyano in the live action film.
  • Akaya Kirihara (切原 赤也 Kirihara Akaya?) is the youngest and only second year student in the Rikkaidai regulars, thus earning him the title "Second Year Ace". He is known for completing his official matches in under 15 minutes. Originally discouraged to join Rikkaidai because he thought he could be the number one player, Sanada eventually convinces him to join and strive to someday defeat the Three Demons. He usually acts childish and friendly, though he is actually very violent on the court, often causing serious injuries that require hospitalization. He reforms in the anime after being beaten by Fuji, (though he retains his nature in the manga) but in the nationals, he returns to his violent playing style, severely injuring Inui. While under high pressure or after sustaining injury, the whites of his eyes turn red, becoming bloodshot, and his power, skill, and speed increase. He becomes much more violent while in this state. Later, he develops a Devil Mode, which turns his skin red and his hair white. His bloodlust and destructive power are greatly enhanced, and he solely focuses on crushing the opposing players using violent means. Kirihara's trademark shot is the Knuckle Serve, a more powerful and extreme version of the Twist Serve, in which the serve goes straight for the opposing players body. As a player who can use "Muga no Kyouchi", Kirihara has also used many other shots originally belonging to other players. In New Prince of Tennis, it is revealed that his Devil Mode has life-threatening consequences with continued use. With Shiraishi's help, he develops the equally powerful alternative Angel Mode. He is voiced by Showtaro Morikubo in Japanese media, and played by Genki Okawa and (2nd season) Motohisa Harashima in the musicals. In the 3rd character popularity poll for the series, Kirihara came in 7th place.[7]
  • Hiroshi Yagyu (柳生 比呂士 Yagyū Hiroshi?) is known as "the Gentleman" for his polite demeanor. In the anime, he uses a Golf Swing shot is an adaptation of a golf swing from his days in the golf club prior to his recruitment to the tennis team. In the manga, his special move is the Laser Beam, an extremely high speed technique that is difficult to return. He and his doubles partner, Niou, pull off a switch where each impersonates the other in appearance, personal, and play style for half the game. He is voiced by Eisuke Tsuda, and played by Toru Baba and (2nd season) Ryosuke Mikata in the musicals.
  • Masaharu Nio (仁王 雅治 Niō Masaharu?), (sometimes spelled Niou) known as "the Trickster", is able to completely copy the techniques and play style of other players creating the illusion his opponent is facing another person. It isn't perfect, as there are moves that he cannot copy and he is limited by his own physical abilities. He often copies his doubles partner, Yagyuu, to confuse their opponents. He can predict the moves of his opponents up to ten steps ahead. In New Prince of Tennis, he takes the No. 15 position from the U-17 first string, and later moves up to No. 9/10. However, the latter match damaged his left arm so much that his future tennis career was left in a questionable state. He is voiced by Yūki Masuda in Japanese media, and played by Masataka Nakagauchi and (2nd season) Hidetoshi Kubota in the musicals.
  • Bunta Marui (丸井 ブン太 Marui Bunta?) volley specialist and doubles partner with his friend Jackal Kuwahara. Despite wearing arm weights during matches, he has stamina issues, so he overdoses on sugar by always eating cake before matches and chewing gum, even when he plays tennis. He is especially good at hitting cord balls and having the ball roll along the top of the net. Jirou Akutagawa of Hyotei idolizes Marui and bases his style off of Marui's style, following a game they played in the Newcomers Tournament when they were both first years. Marui is a net specialist, and his trademark shots include Tightrope Walking, a shot that rolls along the top of the net before dropping in, Iron Pole Strike, a similar shot which runs to the end and bounces off the iron pole, and Temporal Difference Hell, a smash feint where he catches the ball at a different angle at the last second, returning it in an unpredictable manner. In New Prince of Tennis, he loses his match against the U-17 first string, but is given the No. 8 badge after one of the high schoolers defaulted out of injury. He is voiced by Naozumi Takahashi in Japanese media, and played by Renn Kiriyama, Mio Akaba and (2nd season) Junpei Yasukawa in the musicals.
  • Jackal Kuwahara (ジャッカル 桑原 Jakkaru Kuwahara?) is half-Brazilian, known as the "Iron Wall of Defense." He shaves his head as a tribute to his old coach in Brazil. At the Kanto conference, Jackal is shown to have the arm training Kaidoh has to use the Boomerang Snake. He wears 20 kg arm weights in order to train. He is voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama in Japanese media, and played by Jutta Yuuki and (2nd season) Kouhei Shiota in the musicals.

Shitenhoji[edit]

Shitenhoji Middle School (四天宝寺中学校 Shitenhōji Chūgakkō?) is one of the strongest teams in the Kansai region. Though the team loses to Rikkai in previous year's semi-finals, the members puts up the strongest fight against Rikkai with more willpower than any other team's. During the course of the series, they defeat Fudomine in the National Quarterfinals, but once again lose in the semi-finals, this time to Seigaku.

  • Osamu Watanabe (渡邊 オサム Watanabe Osamu)is the coach and adviser, noted by his team for having a very loud voice. He is voiced by Koji Yusa in Japanese media, and is played by Yuki Kimisawa (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kuranosuke Shiraishi (白石 蔵ノ介 Shiraishi Kuranosuke?) is the captain of Shitenhōji. He is heralded as having "Perfect Tennis", and is referred to as "The Bible of Shitenhōji." Due to Shiraishi's hard work, he masters the basic forms of tennis and gradually obtains the skill where he can perform strokes without mannerisms or habitual actions that can lessen the use of stamina, which has a great effect. Shiraishi himself believes that perfect tennis is silly notion and finds his own style boring, but continues to employ it because of how effective it is for winning. He uses the "Entaku Shot" which uses a massive sidespin to cause the ball to fly in a ring formation until it hits the course without bouncing. He is the first person to ever beat Fuji in an official singles match, as well as defeating all of Fuji's counters (save for the later-developed 6th counter). He is voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya in Japanese media, played by Kyousuke Harukawa, Yoshihide Sasaki and Shintaro Anzai (2nd season) in the musicals. He is shown to be wearing a bandage in his left arm. On numerous occasions, he pretends to remove it in order to keep Kintarou wild nature in-line, as the latter fears that Shiraishi is hiding a poison arm. In New Prince of Tennis, it is revealed that he actually wears a gold arm guard under the bandages, which the players note as being at least three times heavier than the iron/lead weights everyone else uses.
  • Kenjiro Koishikawa (小石川 健二郎 Koishikawa Kenjirō) is the vice-captain, but has almost no role in the story. He was originally intended to play a larger role, but this was cut when Konomi had to move Chitose to Shitenhōji, and the team wound up with an extra player.[2]
  • Senri Chitose (千歳 千里 Chitose Senri?) originally played on the Shishigaku team with his close friend, Kippei Tachibana where the two guided Shishigaku to the National semi-finals in the previous season. This ended after the Nationals when Tachibana injures Chitose's eye during a practice match. They both leave tennis for a time, and Chitose eventually transfers to Shitenhōji, though at a lesser level due to blind spots in injured eye. Chitose and Tachibana eventually get reunited in the National Quarterfinals, where Chitose defeats his old friend in a close match. Although he intended to quit tennis after that match, he gets drawn back in to play Tezuka in the semi-finals, where he loses. Chitose discovers the State of Self Actualization, which allows him to copy techniques of other players perfectly, and through studying, finds the second of the "three doors", the Pinnacle of Great Wisdom. The power is focused on the mind, which allows him some foresight during rallies, giving him the ability to determine the least number of hits possible to win the point. His own original technique is the "Divine Disappearance", which allows him to make the ball appear as if it has disappeared by applying a large amount of topspin. Chitose was originally intended to still be with Shishigaku, but when Takeshi Konomi chose to bring Hyoutei back, he had to cut out Shishigaku's match with Seigaku, so he decided to move Chitose to Shitenhōji.[2] Chitose has a little sister named Miyuki, age 8, who is very close to Tezuka, whom she calls "racket stealer". He is voiced by Jun Osuka in Japanese media, and by Ryuuko Isogai, Masashi Oyama and Keisuke Higashi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kenya Oshitari (忍足 謙也 Oshitari Ken'ya) is known as Naniwa's Speed Star for his unparalleled speed that is far superior to even Fudoumine's Kamio Akira. He is Hyoutei's Yuushi Oshitari's cousin. He plays doubles with Hikaru Zaizen and sometimes Ishida Gin, but he selflessly agreed to sit through the Nationals semifinals so that his teammate, Chitose, could play Tezuka in the Doubles match that Kenya should've been in. Zaizen calls him "hetare" sometimes, which refers to how he is clumsy and weak-brained, such as the scene in Another Story OVA where he effortlessly runs past the Seigaku team despite arriving late, and, as he is laughing, crashes into a signpost and trips, falling to the floor. It is revealed in New Prince of Tennis that, despite his amazing speed, his balance is extremely poor, something he would later rectify by training with trip lasers. He later obtains the No. 18 position for the U-17 first string. Kenya is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in Japanese media, and played Takuya Uehara, Kouki Mizuta and Masato Saki (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Hikaru Zaizen (財前 光 Zaizen Hikaru) is considered to be a genius, though he's never been seen playing a match. He is the doubles partner of Oshitari Kenya. Zaizen is not respectful to his senpai, often calling the Koharu and Yuuji "sick/gross" (and calling Kenya "weak-minded) as well as dissing Chitose after Chitose lost to Tezuka. He called Kawamura "Seigaku's extra baggage" and was reprimanded by Shiraishi. He is voiced by Hirofumi Araki in Japanese media, and by Hisanori Satou, Bishin Kawasumi and Ryuji Satou (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Gin Ishida (石田 銀 Ishida Gin) is a very serious, honorable, and stern player who is the older brother of Fudomine's Tetsu Ishida. Gin is the inventor of the powerful shot, Hadokyu, which is composed of 108 progressively stronger techniques. He can also nullify other's use of Hadokyu. He is the strongest middle school power player in Japan, until he loses his match against Takashi Kawamura in the Nationals after an extremely strong serve. Though incredibly strong already, his strength pales in comparison to the U-17's first string power player. Takeshi Konomi has stated that Gin is his favorite character from Shitenhouji.[2] He is voiced by Masaya Takatsuka, and by Yuusuke Hirose, Yuuta Yoneyama and Keisuke Yamauchi (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Koharu Konjiki (金色 小春 Konjiki Koharu) and Yuuji Hitōji (一氏 ユウジ Hitōji Yuuji) are two homosexual doubles partners known for their "comedy tennis", which is used to disrupt the synchronization of the other team. Koharu uses data tennis, determining how to counter shots with his IQ of two hundred, allowing him to store a large amount of data without note-taking. Yuuji impersonates other players' voices after studying their behavior. They break up after they lose to Seigaku; while Yuuji is heartbroken and still chases after Koharu, Koharu assumes the typical "girl-bratty" personality, rejecting the boy and even tearing up some of the pictures he had of Yuuji in his bag (from fanbook 40.5, Shitenhouji bagchecks). Koharu is voiced by Ryo Naitou in Japanese media, and played by Takeya Nishiyama, Manabu Iizumi and Kaita Fukushima (2nd season) in the musicals. Yuuji is voiced by Suguru Kumabuchi in Japanese media, and played by Ryo Hirano, Makoto Uenobori and Taishi Sugie (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kintaro Toyama (遠山 金太郎 Tōyama Kintarō?) is the youngest member of Shitenhoji and the team's strongest player. He is very carefree and naive, and has trouble speaking, often messing up names and sayings. He forms a rivalry with Ryoma, though they only get to play a single point. He uses a "Wild" tennis style (and acrobatic play) that takes advantage of his natural stamina and strength, being able to lift a scooter over his head and throw it with ease. His signature technique is the "Mountain Storm", during which he spins rapidly in the air, causing a massive amount of wind to stir, and delivers a powerful overhead smash stronger than Gin's strongest Hadokyuu. Chitose finds Kintaro as the player closest to achieving Tenimuhō no Kiwami (Pinnacle of Perfection), but the latter doesn't achieve it until New Prince of Tennis. Kintaro has an extremely active imagination: after reading a manga about monsters with poison claws, he believes Shiraishi has poison claws under the bandages that he always wears around his left hand and arm, which the latter doesn't hesitate to exploit to keep the former well-behaved (this is a reference to Konomi's previous manga series; Cool -Rental Body Guard-). Kintarō's knowledge of Japanese is also shown to be weak, and he misreads the Kanji of Ryoma's family name 'Echizen' as 'Koshimae', which becomes a running gag among the other Shitenhoji regulars. In New Prince of Tennis, he achieves the No. 14 position on the U-17 first string. He tries to take the No. 5 position, but loses, despite awakening the Pinnacle of Perfection during the latter match. He is voiced by Yū Sugimoto in Japanese media, played by Yuuya Kido, Takuya Kawaharada and Kodai Matsuoka (2nd season) in the musicals, and by Masato Wada in the live action film.

Higa[edit]

Higa Middle School (比嘉中学校 Higa Chūgakkō?) is the first team from the Okinawa Prefecture to make it past the Kyūshū tournament in twenty-six years. All its players are Okinawan martial artists, and incorporate their experience in their tennis style, such as with the "Shukuchihou" method of movement. They have poor sportsmanship, and are not afraid to use nasty methods in order to win. During the series, the team makes the Nationals for the first time, and defeat Rokkaku in the first round. However, they are defeated in straight sets by Seigaku in the second round.

  • Harumi Saotome is the coach and encourages on-court violence, especially towards the coach of the other team. When his team is defeated, he attempts to abandon them, but Kite slams a tennis ball in his stomach, and forces him to watch the remaining match. In the anime, he abandons his team when it became clear that Kite would lose to Tezuka.
  • Eishiro Kite (木手永四郎?) is the captain, whose nicknames are "Killer" and "the Hitman", as well as receiving a reputation for defeating the aces of many other teams. He has an aggressive play style and can quickly figure out and target the opponent's weaknesses. He scouts various players and teaches them "Shukuchihou", a technique based on martial arts that gives the opponent the impression that the user is able to approach the net or baseline in one step from anywhere on the court. He is the only member that is able to use the "Shukuchihou" in any direction due to his balance. He also teaches them their signature techniques. Kite remains composed and polite in front of other teams, yet extremely condescending towards them, and if physically attacked, won't hesitate to strike back. His tennis style combines the "Shukuchihou" with other techniques such as his powerful "Big Bang" serve, and his "Habu", a shot that curves randomly, making it extremely difficult to return. Kite is one of the middle schoolers invited to the Japanese U17 team in New Prince of Tennis. He plays a doubles match with Bunta against the U-17 first string but ultimately loses. He is voiced by Tarusuke Shingaki in Japanese media, played by Luke.C and Kazumi Doi (2nd season) in the musicals, and by Yuichi Tsuchiya in the live action film.
  • Yujiro Kai (甲斐裕次郎?) is the vice-captain who has a tendency to be brash and impulsive despite being the oldest member. Though he acknowledges his opponent's strength during the match, he trash-talks as much as his teammates do upon victory. He normally plays with his right hand, though he switches to his natural left-handed style while using a racket with a reverse grip to use his "Viking Horn" shot, which curves before reaching the opponent's side. he utilizes this attack by waiting for his opponents reaction and at the last second, strikes back to the opposite side of the reaction. He is voiced by Daisuke Nakamura in Japanese media, and played by Hijiri Shinotani and Yoshihiko Aramaki (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Hiroshi Chinen (知念 寛?) is the tallest player in Higa Chuu, who uses his size and looks to mock and intimidate his opponents. He is voiced by Kazuya Sueyoshi in Japanese media, and played by Takeshi Hayashino and Yu Yoshioka (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Kei Tanishi (田仁志 慧?) possesses a large body, which allows him to utilize his "Big Bang" serve that uses his weight and the gravity from falling in order to make a nearly unreternable serve. It takes a lot of stamina, which decreases its power over time, allowing it to be returned, which was taken advantage of by Ryoma. He is one of the former rivals of Ryoma who return to help him regain his memories. He is also well known for being a big eater. In New Prince of Tennis, he is among the 50 middle school players who are invited to the Japanese U-17 team, where he loses a surprising amount of weight during his time training. He is voiced by Youji Ueda in Japanese media, and played by Yutaka Matsuzaki and Yuuki Tomotsune (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Rin Hirakoba (平古場凛?) is the only member who likes fair play. He uses Habu, which has the stance of a smash, except that it curves wildly and unpredictable while in the air and bouncing, and Giant Habu, which curves immediately after leaving the racket, though it causes his hand to go numb, limiting it to one use per match. Hirakoba is a very formidable player, being able to take out Fuji's triple counter and Takashi's Hadoukyuu. He is one of the few players to stand up to Coach Saotome, refusing an order to attack Seigaku's coach feeling the match was too interesting. He is voiced by Hiroyuki Yoshino in Japanese media, and played by Yasuka Saito and Toshiyuki Someya (2nd season) in the musicals.
  • Tomoya Shiranui and Aragaki Kouichi are doubles partners, who, having grown up playing under an extremely hot sun, have extremely high endurance, which makes up for not being able to use the "Shukuchihou" technique. However, Shiranui's stamina still pales in comparison to Kaidou's.

American team[edit]

The American Team was part of the "Senbatsu Training Camp" and "Good Will Games" arc only seen in the anime of The Prince of Tennis.

  • Richard Baker is the American team's extremely strict coach, who views tennis as a great show, and his pupils as the actors and pawns for success. He often expects his players to win or lose based on his idea of entertainment. He is later fired for squandering funding on expensive advertising and promotion for his team.
  • Kevin Smith is the captain of the team. He wishes to play Ryoma to settle a rival feud between his father, George Smith, and Ryoma's father, Nanjiro Echizen. George becomes very strict with Kevin's training and turns to alcohol, which causes Kevin to view him as worthless. He plays a highly destructive form of tennis used to injure other players, and he copies Ryoma's style. When he and Ryoma meet up in the United States he shows a more cheerful and gentler side, without losing his competitiveness.
  • Arnold Ignashov (アーノルド・イグニショフ Ānorudo Igunishofu?) is an immigrant from East Germany, who becomes disillusioned and turns to life as a street punk. He eventually finds a sports magazine, and becomes involved in tennis. Not wanting to return to his previous lifestyle, he practices and wins every official match until playing Shusuke Fuji. Arnold is called a tennis machine because of his accuracy and the ability to predict and counter his opponent's shots.
  • Bobby Max (ボビー・マックス Bobī Makkusu?) is the tallest and most muscularly developed of his teammates, earning him the nickname, "Beast Bulldozer." Bobby often struggles to control his temper and poor sportsmanship, which have gotten him banned from most sports in his school until being introduced to tennis. Previously, Bobby played basketball and American football.
  • Tom Griffy (トム・グリフィー Tomu Gurifī?) is the older brother, as well as the doubles partner of Terry Griffy (テリー・グリフィー Terī Gurifī?). They were raised by their aunt following the death of their parents. They support themselves and their aunt by collecting items from the garbage and performing tennis tricks. Baker discovers them and "rescues" them from their aunt, which leaves them deeply indebted.
  • Billy Cassidy (ビリー・キャシディ Birī Kyashidi?) is a boy who moves to Los Angeles after being on a ranch most of his life. He begins to play tennis to become a person worthy of attention of Stephanie, the daughter of one of Baker's sponsors.
  • Michael Lee (マイケル・リー Maikeru Rī?) is the only son of a successful Chinese businessman, and is a United States immigrant. His father's personal philosophies of hard work and success shape Michael's personality and tennis play. He has also practiced kung fu for many years, enhancing his speed and reflexes when playing tennis.

High School Team[edit]

  • Juujirou Oni (鬼十次郎 Oni Juujirou?)

Known as the Gatekeeper of Hell, Oni is a member of the 5th Court on the High School team who plays to keep all lower ranked players from being able to move up. He was actually formerly the number one player on the team, and after watching the middle school players return to the team he gained some of his old spirit back, and returned to his spot on the main team. His original goal was to become the number one player in Japan in order to inspire a group of orphans who he played with.

  • Kazuya Tokugawa (徳川カズヤ Tokugawa Kazuya?)

Tokugawa is a member of the first court who had previously been humiliated in a match against the number on player on the team, Byoudouin. After that loss, he trained on the mountain and was helped by both Oni and Irie in order to get revenge against Byoudouin. Although focused, he's a very polite person, and concerned for the well fare of others. He's unable to win his rematch against Byoudouin due to sacrificing his own body to protect Ryoma on the eve of the match.

Others[edit]

  • Nanjiro Echizen (越前 南次郎 Echizen Nanjirō?) is the father of Ryoma. Nanjiro is very outspoken, eccentric, a shameless flirt, brash, perverted, and almost childish at times. He is known as "Samurai Nanjiro" for his invincible tennis skills during his earlier years as a professional tennis player. Other than Ryoma, he is the only player to have reached the "Pinnacle of Perfection". He was trained by Ryuzaki during middle school and eventually became a professional after leaving Japan. He remains undefeated and was only one opponent away to earning a Grand Slam title before he unexpectedly decided to retire in order to teach Ryoma tennis. In the animated movie Tennis no Ōjisama - Futari no Samurai, it was revealed that he had briefly taken in a child named Ryoga Echizen. In addition to being one of the few players to ever achieve the "Pinnacle of Perfection", Nanjiro sports a tennis style that uses the "Nitoryuu" position of playing ambidextrously, and he uses Samurai Zone to cause all of his opponents shots to return straight to him. Voiced by: Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English) He is played by Yukio Ueshima in the first musical, Shinnosuke Motoyama in second season, and Goro Kishitani in the live action film.
  • Sakuno Ryuzaki (竜崎 桜乃 Ryūzaki Sakuno?) is the granddaughter of Sumire. She is a kind, nice and quiet girl with very long hair kept in twin braids, and often worries about Ryoma and the others. She starts playing tennis after watching Ryoma helps support the Seigaku team. Sakuno is attracted towards Ryoma and has feelings for him, she has not had a chance to tell him due to her own shy nature, a degree of bad luck, and the meddling of the other Seigaku regulars. In the manga, she is shown to be more intuitive, mature and a good tennis player. Out of all the girls in the story, she is the only one whom Ryoma shows his kind personality. Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Japanese), Cindy Robinson (English)
  • Tomoka Osakada (小坂田 朋香 Osakada Tomoka?) is Sakuno's best friend and classmate; she supports Ryoma along with Sakuno at the team's matches. She and Sakuno cheer together and are very good friends. Tomoka is attracted to Ryoma, and she shows this more than Sakuno. Although her obvious crush on the boy, she stated that the only one she considers her love rival is Sakuno. She also can be seen arguing with Horio at times and also has several younger siblings, which causes her to miss some of Ryoma's matches. Voiced by: Fuyuka Oura (Japanese), Stephanie Sheh (English)
  • Satoshi Horio (堀尾 聡史 Horio Satoshi?) is a first year student, who claims to know everything about tennis. He constantly brags about his "two years of tennis experience" when he is, in fact, a less than average player. He often explains or tries to explain to his first year friends key words, rules, and techniques. He has an older cousin named Junpei, who has "two years of biking experience" and helps Kintarō Tooyama from Shitenhōji to reach Tokyo. He is portrayed by Yusuke Ishibashi, Masaki Hara, Ryo Yamada, and Shun Maruyama in the musicals.Voiced by: Shigenori Yamazaki (Japanese), Adam Lawson (English)
  • Kachiro Kato (加藤 勝郎 Katō Kachirō?) hangs around a lot with Satoshi Horio and Katsuo Mizuno. Although he is not very good at tennis, he thoroughly supports the team. He has a father who coaches at an expensive tennis club. Though he is normally polite and meek, Kachiro believes strongly in justice and fights to the end to defend his beliefs. He is portrayed by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Yuya Mori, Ryou Kawamoto, Tsubasa Itou and Hiroki Hirai in the musicals.Voiced by: Akira Nakagawa (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
  • Katsuo Mizuno (水野 カツオ Mizuno Katsuo?) is the third of the "freshman three." He bears a strong resemblance to Oishi, which is used to stall for time while Oishi is not present. He is portrayed by Masaru Hotta, Yuki Okamoto, Kouichi Eguchi, Masashi Watanabe and Rie Takahashi in the musicals.Voiced by: Kei Watanabe (Japanese), Yuri Lowenthal (English)
  • Masashi Arai (荒井 将史 Arai Masashi?) is a second year student and the best reserve player on the team, who is the closest to becoming a regular, almost getting a shot to play in Kantō Tournament finals in the anime when Momoshiro and Kaido were nowhere to be seen. He is known for his hotheadedness and hazing of weaker players. He is as hard on himself as he is on the others during training. Although he had a very bitter relationship with Ryoma at first, he cheered him on during his match with Akutsu. He often hangs around Masaya Ikeda (池田 雅也 Ikeda Masaya?) and Daisuke Hayashi (林 大介 Hayashi Daisuke?). He is portrayed by Jiro Morikawa in the musicals.Voiced by: Norihisa Mori (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English)
  • Yūdai Yamato (大和 祐大 Yamato Yūdai?) was the captain during Tezuka's freshman year. He talks Tezuka into staying in the tennis club as Seigaku's pillar of support, calming him down when he was on the verge of quitting after being injured. Eccentric, insightful, and gentle, Yamato has a unique way of explaining things that even Sumire Ryuzaki has trouble understanding. He continued to help the tennis club after graduation; in the anime, coach Ryuzaki asks him for his guidance when they go to a training camp to prepare for the Kantō conference final against Rikkai.Voiced by: Masanori Ikeda
  • Mamoru Inoue (井上 守 Inoue Mamoru?) is a journalist for the Monthly Tennis magazine. Inoue takes a special interest in the progress of Seigaku. He is also an amateur tennis player, as well as being a big fan of Nanjiro Echizen. Voiced by: Hozumi Gōda (Japanese), Jack Bauer (English)
  • Saori Shiba (芝砂 織 Shiba Saori?) is the new photographer for the Monthly Tennis Pro magazine. Along with Inoue, she takes a special interest in Seigaku. Voiced by: Noriko Namiki (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
  • Nanako Meino (菜々子 Meino Nanako?) is Ryoma's cousin; she is a student at a local Tokyo college, who currently lives with her relatives, the Echizen family. She plays the role of an elder sibling figure to Ryoma, who is an only child and helps him and the other Echizens with their daily lives. She is sweet-tempered, very polite, loyal, and devoted. Voiced by: Risa Mizuno (Japanese), Stephanie Sheh (English)
  • Rinko Echizen is Ryoma's mother and Nanjiro's wife. Her maiden name is Rinko Takeuchi. She is sweet and compliant, but quite strong-willed as well. She works as an attorney, which has been her long-time dream. She met Nanjiro while playing tennis when she got hurt from saving a boy from an abusive tennis coach; Nanjiro avenges her by completely humiliating the coach in a match. Voiced by: Yuki Nakao
  • Sasabe is a local bully, who occasionally encounters Ryoma and his friends. He is first introduced when he boasts about his knowledge of the different types of tennis grip, which is when Ryoma corrects his knowledge. He is also the first person in the series to play a match against Ryoma, whom he loses to. His father, who has an attitude similar to his son, also encounters Ryoma and his friends on a few occasions. He is portrayed by Katsuo in the first musical.Voiced by: Yoshiaki Matsumoto (Japanese), David Lodge (English)
  • Miyuki Chitose (みゆき千歳 Chitose Miyuki?) is Senri's eight-year-old little sister and the one who helped Tezuka make it in time for the nationals after he injuries his shoulder after a match with Keigo Atobe in the first round of the Kanto Tournament and has no choice to go to Kyushu for rehabilitation. They meet after Tezuka accidentally started using her racket to practice hitting in his training. Since then, Miyuki started calling him "Racket Thief" or "Mister Thief". She became his little coach and after her Yips, a medical condition where the body's muscles stiffen because nervousness, kicked in during a match, Tezuka told her about the only way to get over it is to train and will build confidence. A tennis team then walked in and told Tezuka about how Seishun won the Kanto Tournament without him. Tezuka then starting playing tennis with one of his team members, but he lost because he now has a fear of lifting his shoulder. Miyuki then decided to play against the team. Amazingly, she does not give up, and her Yips does not occur. This made Tezuka the reason he cannot lift his arm is because of what happened so after Miyuki trips, he hits the ball back and takes her place. Tezuka wins against the team, and Senri checks up on him during the matches. Tezuka realizes he can make it back in time. A few days later, Miyuki was able to become champion of a tennis tournament and went to show her new medal to Tezuka, but he is gone because he already left. Miyuki reappears in Another Story Ova 1, after seeing Tezuka in a book store.
  • Liliadent Krauser (リリアデント・クラウザー(蔵兎座) Ririadento Kurauzā?) is one of the seven foreign students gathered for the national conventions. He appears only in the OVAs (debut appearance in 'OVA Semifinal Vol. 3-Episode 6', and then in 'The New Prince of Tennis: OVA 4') Unlike his teammates, he had decided to stay in Japan in order to continue challenging the players that had defeated him at the National tournament semifinals, and joins the other middle schoolers at the All-Japan U-17 camp. His tennis style is "Dismissal by Crucifixion" where, after some set-up "hopping ball" shots, he hits a single powerful shot "Southern Cross" that vibrates in the shape of a cross and nails the opponent to the back wall or fence, forcing his opponents to retire. He's noted to have below average stamina because of his play style. Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara

Reception[edit]

Shusuke Fuji

Fuji has remained in the top two of all the Shonen Jump character popularity polls for the series. He was number one in the second character popularity poll,[10] and second place in every other poll.[11][12][13]

Fuji has constantly been in the top three recipients of chocolate in the Valentine Chocolate specials of the manga, receiving the most in 2001.[14]

Sadaharu Inui
In each of the official character popularity polls for the series run in Weekly Shonen Jump, Inui has appeared in the Top 10, with his rank steadily increasing. In the first two polls he came in 10th place,[9][10] and he increased to 6th place in the third poll.[12] In the fourth poll, Inui made it into the Top 5 for the first time, appearing in fifth place.[2]
Kaoru Kaidoh

Kaidoh has been placed on every single popularity poll taken for The Prince of Tennis. In the first poll taken, he came in 6th place,[11] and moved up to 5th place in the second poll.[10] He fell to 18th in the third poll,[12] and moved up slightly to 17th in the fourth poll.[8]

Anime on DVD praised Kaidoh for being unpredictable and borderline psychotic.[15]
Keigo Atobe
Since Keigo Atobe's initial appearance, he has become one of the most popular characters in The Prince of Tennis series. In the 2006 Valentine Special, Atobe was the winner, receiving over 1000 chocolates. In the third character popularity ranking, he came in third place, behind only Ryoma and Fuji.[16] In the 4th characters' popularity ranking, Atobe was voted first with a total of 12,913 votes, soundly beating Shusuke Fuji, who came in second with 6116 votes.[17]
Atobe was also the first character to sing "Valentine Kiss" in 2004. Since then, the same song was released annually at Valentine's Day by different characters and featuring harmony by two other characters. In 2005 it was sung by Yuushi Oshitari, and by Ryo Shishido in 2006, all of whom are Hyotei Gakuen players. In 2007, it was sung by Genichirou Sanada of Rikkai Dai, thus ending the Hyotei successions. The song appears for the second time in 2007 as a bonus track in the album of Shuichiro Oishi. In 2008, it was sung by Yuujirou Kai of Higa Middle School. Shiraishi Kuranosuke of Shitenhoji sang it in 2009 and was sung by Niou Masaharu of Rikkaidai and Hiyoshi Wakashi of Hyotei in 2010. In 2011, it was sung by Fukushi Michiru of Ginka and Ohtori Chohtaroh of Hyotei. In 2012, it was sung by Kite Eishirou, captain of Higa.

Merchandise[edit]

Keigo Atobe

Atobe has released more character CDs than any other character in the series besides Ryoma, including two full length albums. One of his singles reached top nine in the weekly charts, the best result for any Prince of Tennis character. Figures of Atobe have also been released.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2001). The Prince of Tennis Volume 7. Shueisha. ISBN 1-59116-787-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Konomi, Takeshi (2007). The Prince of Tennis Character Book (Vol. 40.5). Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874198-6. 
  3. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2001). The Prince of Tennis Volume 10. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873162-X. 
  4. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2007). The Prince of Tennis Volume 37. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874326-1. 
  5. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2008). The Prince of Tennis Volume 41. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874443-8. 
  6. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2003). The Prince of Tennis Volume 20.5. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873549-8. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Konomi, Takeshi (2007). "Genius 276". Prince of Tennis Vol. 32. Shueisha. p. 184. ISBN 4-08-874015-7. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Konomi, Takeshi (2007). "Genius 333". Prince of Tennis Vol. 38. Shueisha. p. 192. ISBN 978-4-08-874353-0. 
  9. ^ a b Konomi, Takeshi (2001). "Genius 83". Prince of Tennis Vol. 10. Shueisha. p. 184. ISBN 4-08-873162-X. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Konomi, Takeshi (2003). "Genius 158". Prince of Tennis Vol. 18. Shueisha. p. 192. ISBN 4-08-873407-6. 
  11. ^ a b Konomi, Takeshi (2001). "Genius 83". Prince of Tennis Vol. 10. Shueisha. p. 184. ISBN 4-08-873162-X. 
  12. ^ a b c Konomi, Takeshi (2006). "Genius 276". Prince of Tennis Vol. 33. Shueisha. p. 192. ISBN 4-08-874048-3. 
  13. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2007). "Genius 333". Prince of Tennis Vol. 38. Shueisha. p. 192. ISBN 978-4-08-874353-0. 
  14. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2001). "Genius 62". Prince of Tennis Vol. 8. Shueisha. p. 184. ISBN 4-08-873112-3. 
  15. ^ Jarred Pine (2005-05-09). "Prince of Tennis Vol. #04". Manga Review. Anime on DVD. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  16. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2007). The Prince of Tennis Volume 32 (in Japanese). Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874015-7. 
  17. ^ Konomi, Takeshi (2007). The Prince of Tennis Volume 38 (in Japanese). Shueisha. ISBN 978-4-08-874353-0. 
  18. ^ "Prince of Tennis Figure #2: B Keigo". Hobby Link Japan. Retrieved 2008-10-21.