The Prince of Tennis

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The Prince of Tennis
Prince of Tennis Volume 01.JPG
Cover of the Viz English version of The Prince of Tennis volume 1
テニスの王子様
(Tenisu no Ōjisama)
Genre School, Sports, Comedy, Drama
Manga
Written by Takeshi Konomi
Published by Shueisha
English publisher Canada United Kingdom United States Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
Original run July 1999March 3, 2008
Volumes 42 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Takayuki Hamana
Studio Trans Arts
Licensed by Viz Media
Network Animax, TV Tokyo
English network United States Toonami Jetstream, Cartoon Network, Animax Asia
Original run October 10, 2001March 30, 2005
Episodes 178 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Sonzoku Yama no Nichi (A Day on Survival Mountain)
Studio Production I.G
Released 2003
Runtime 32 minutes
Original video animation
Zenkoku Taikai Hen (The National Tournament)
Directed by Shunsuke Tada
Studio M.S.C
Released March 24, 2006March 23, 2007
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Zenkoku Taikai Hen Semifinal (The National Tournament Semifinal)
Directed by Shunsuke Tada
Studio M.S.C
Released June 22, 2007January 25, 2008
Episodes 6 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Zenkoku Taikai Hen Final (The National Tournament Final)
Directed by Shunsuke Tada
Studio M.S.C
Released April 25, 2008January 23, 2009
Episodes 7 (List of episodes)
Manga
The Prince of After School
Written by Takeshi Konomi
Illustrated by Kenichi Sakura
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Jump Square
Original run November 2008 – ongoing
Volumes 2
Manga
New Prince of Tennis
Written by Takeshi Konomi
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Jump Square
Original run March 4, 2009 – ongoing
Volumes 12 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
The New Prince of Tennis
Directed by Hideyo Yamamoto
Studio M.S.C, Production I.G
Network TV Aichi, TV Tokyo, TV Osaka
Original run January 4, 2012March 28, 2012
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Related works
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

The Prince of Tennis (テニスの王子様 Tenisu no Ōjisama?) is a Japanese manga series about a tennis prodigy written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The title is often shortened to TeniPuri (テニプリ?), a portmanteau of the two parts in the Japanese pronunciation of the words "Tennis Prince". The manga was first published in Japan in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in July 1999, and ended publication on March 3, 2008. A total of 379 chapters were serialized, spanning 42 volumes. As of volume 40, the manga has sold over 40 million copies in Japan.[1] News that a sequel to the manga series was going to be developed was announced in the December issue of the Japanese manga magazine Jump Square.[2] The new manga series, entitled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in the Jump Square magazine on March 4, 2009, with the story taking place several months after the end of the original manga.[3] Viz Media acquired the license to distribute the series in English in North America.

The manga was adapted into an anime series directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems & TV Tokyo. The anime aired across Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax and the terrestrial TV Tokyo network from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes, as well as a theatrical movie. In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released on DVD. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly 3 months after the end of the first. The second OVA ended on January 25, 2008, and the third and final OVA started on April 25, 2008.

The series developed into a media franchise and has had numerous other adaptations outside of the animated incarnation. Since April 2003, more than fifteen stage musicals have been produced for the series. An animated movie was released in 2005, as well as a live action movie in 2006.The franchise has also had a long-running radio show, numerous video games, soundtracks, and other merchandise or collectibles.

Plot[edit]

The series is primarily set in Tokyo, and centers around Ryoma Echizen, a tennis prodigy who attends Seishun Academy (青春学園 Seishun Gakuen?), or Seigaku (青学?) for short, a private school famous for its strong tennis club and talented players. Ryoma quickly defeats numerous upperclassmen shortly after entrance to secure himself a spot as one of the team's regulars. In pursuit of their ultimate goal of winning the National Middle School Tennis Championship, members of the team make new friends while learning and mastering increasingly complex techniques. Ryoma also begins to develop his own style of tennis, and eventually realizes what the sport really means to him.

The New Prince of Tennis is set shortly after the end of the original manga. Ryoma returns to Japan after his trip to America as a candidate for the Japanese U-17 (under 17) High School Representatives Selection Camp, along with 50 other middle school tennis players. They begin a new adventure there, where only the top potentials in the Japanese tennis train.

The purported advertisement from the Jump Square issue says that everything in The Prince of Tennis up to now has been "prologue" and that "a new legend for [the main character] Ryoma and the others will begin."

Characters[edit]

Note – Names are in Western order, with the given name before the family name.

Ryoma Echizen (越前 リョーマ Echizen Ryōma?)
The protagonist of the series, Ryoma is a first year student at Seigaku Academy and the son of Nanjiro Echizen, who was formerly known as "Samurai Nanjiro" during his days as a professional tennis player. He makes his first appearance when he criticizes a high school student about his tennis knowledge in a subway. He often says "mada mada dane" to his opponents, which is directly translated as "You still have a long way to go." in the Japanese manga. One of his nicknames is The Prince of Tennis.
Kunimitsu Tezuka (手塚 国光 Tezuka Kunimitsu?)
Tezuka is the captain of the tennis club and a third year student at Seigaku Academy. A National-caliber player and vice-captain the year before the series took place, Tezuka is serious about everything – one of his trademark phrases is "Don't let your guard down." Tezuka puts his captaincy of the team and its performance before anything else, including his own pursuits.
Shuichiro Oishi (大石 秀一郎 Ōishi Shūichirō?)
Oishi is a third year student at Seigaku Academy and the vice-captain of the tennis club. Along with Eiji Kikumaru, he is part of Seigaku's "Golden Pair," a doubles team that made it to Nationals the year before the series takes place. The two are called the "Golden Pair" because of Kikumaru's athletic skills and flexibility, and Oishi's strategical mind. They know each other's actions and have a good relationship. Their unique trick is that they can act in a unified way wherein they can sync both of their minds. Oishi is known to care for the team very much, and was even said to care for the team twice as much as anyone on the tennis team.
Shusuke Fuji (不二 周助 Fuji Shūsuke?)
Fuji is a third year student at Seigaku Academy who is given the title "genius" due to his tactical skill on the tennis court. Fuji is often seen with a calm and content expression on his face, with his eyes seemingly closed from lightly smiling. However, when he is excited, provoked, or when playing seriously, Fuji reveals his sharp blue eyes. Fuji's tennis is counter-style, in which he uses elements of opponents' shots to send usually nonreturnable counter return shots.These returns are together called the "Triple Counters".
Eiji Kikumaru (菊丸 英二 Kikumaru Eiji?)
Eiji Kikumaru is a third year student at Seigaku Academy and is part of the "Golden Pair," along with Shuichiro Oishi. Using his acrobatic play, he can return almost any ball, even those that seem out of human reach. Eiji is also known to have the sharpest vision on the team, with an exceptional talent for seeing fast moving objects. He is almost always seen with an energetic and cheerful disposition, even during his matches.
Takashi Kawamura (河村 隆 Kawamura Takashi?)
Takashi is a third year student at Seigaku Academy and, according to the manga series, this is his first year as a regular. He is a shy and a soft-spoken person off the court, though still outspoken and stubborn when he makes a decision. However, he becomes extremely aggressive and loud once he grabs a racket. This change in his personality is marked by him shouting "Burning!!!". He relies mostly on his power and aims to become the National's number one power player.His father owns a sushi restaurant where he invites the entire team after they win an important tournament.
Sadaharu Inui (乾 貞治 Inui Sadaharu?)
Inui is a third year student at Seigaku Academy. As a highly intelligent player, he plays what is called "Data Tennis," which involves collecting and analyzing data for a player in order to determine their weaknesses to the extent that he can determine the exact probability of certain shots being successful. Inui often manages the team's training regimens, which usually involves contests or races of some kind, with many being forced to drink one of Inui's many infamous and poisonous juice concoctions.
Takeshi Momoshiro (桃城 武 Momoshiro Takeshi?)
Momoshiro is a second year student at Seigaku Academy, known as Seigaku's number one rascal. He is an aggressive power player who uses the court and environmental conditions to his advantage. As the player who is the most open and friendly with everyone, Momoshiro is connected to everyone on the team on some level. He becomes the vice-captain after Shuichiro Oishi graduates from Seishun Academy.
Kaoru Kaido (海堂 薫 Kaidō Kaoru?)
Kaido is a second year student at Seigaku Academy whose nickname is "Viper," which fits him well as his signature move is the "Snake Shot," a curving forehand that drains an opponent's stamina by forcing them to chase the return. He wears a bandanna and often exhales, making a sound similar to a snake. He is often remarked as the hardest trainer of the team. He becomes the captain after Tezuka Kunimitsu graduates from Seishun Academy.
Sakuno Ryuzaki (竜崎 桜乃 Ryūzaki Sakuno?)
Sakuno is a first year student at the Seigaku Academy. She met Ryoma on the train, when he saved her from being hit by a couple of high school boys. Since then, it is hinted that she has a crush on Ryoma. She, along with her best friend Tomoka, cheer for Seigaku together during matches.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The Prince of Tennis manga were first published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan on July 1999, and ran until March 3, 2008, spanning a total of 379 chapters divided into 42 tankōbon. The series was put under hiatus when Konomi was injured in an accident during July 2006, but publication resumed in September 2006. As of Volume 40, the manga has sold over 40 million copies in Japan.[1] The manga is published in North America by Viz Media.

A sequel to the manga series, entitled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in the monthly magazine series Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story is set several months after the end of the first manga, and features Ryoma returning to Japan after his stay in America.[3]

Anime[edit]

The anime series, directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo, aired across Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax and the terrestrial TV Tokyo network from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes. Starting January 4, 2012 the sequel started. It is known as New Prince of Tennis and picks up where the last story ended. New episodes will be aired weekly.

In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released over a span of seven DVDs. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly 3 months after the end of the first. The second OVA finished on January 25, 2008, containing six episodes over a span of three DVDs. The third OVA started on April 25, 2008, and finished on January 23, 2009. A fourth OVA titled "Another Story" was released on May 26, 2009, which included two episodes: "Fū'un Shōnen Atobe" which showed Hyotei's current team's freshman years, and "Naniwa no Ōjisama", where Seigaku goes to Osaka for a practice match with Shitenhoji. The second DVD in "Another Story" was released on September 25, 2009.

On April 24, 2007, Viz Media released the first The Prince of Tennis box set in the United States.[4] Viz Media has also opted to not include the Japanese opening and ending themes, instead using electric guitar music. However, the original music themes can be found in the DVD extras of disc 3.[5] As of January 15, 2008, four box sets have been released by Viz. The four box sets contain the first 50 episodes of the series.[6] In contrast, Japan has released a total of 45 DVD volumes for the entire 178 episodes of the anime series. New Prince of Tennis received an anime adaptation.[7]

Musicals[edit]

Beginning in 2003, a series of Prince of Tennis musicals began. Each year sees two musicals based on the storyline come out in the summer and winter, with a 'Dream Live' performance each Spring, featuring numerous actors and past songs. Each storyline musical adapts a single arc of the manga, typically one specific match against a team. Due to the aging of the actors, all the main characters have been recast several times.

Films[edit]

Tennis no Ōjisama – Futari no Samurai (テニスの王子様 二人のサムライ The First Game?, lit. "The Prince of Tennis – The Two Samurai: The First Game") is the first animated film of the series. It was released in Japan on January 29, 2005, and co-aired with a short movie, Tennis no Oujisama: Atobe Kara no Okurimono (跡部からの贈り物?, lit. "The Prince of Tennis: A Gift from Atobe").

The Prince of Tennis: Tennis no Ouji-sama Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen! (テニスの王子様 英国式庭球城決戦! The Junior Tournament?, lit. "The Prince of Tennis – The Battle of the British city") is the second movie directed by Shunsuke Tada[8]

On May 13, 2006, the live-action adaptation film, The Prince of Tennis, was released in Japan.

Video games[edit]

The Prince of Tennis franchise has spawned many different video games. The vast majority of these are either tennis games or dating sims, and they are spread across several different video game consoles. The first of these games was released for the PlayStation console on February 20, 2002, and is the only game which holds the simple Prince of Tennis title – all of the following game titles are preceded by the "Prince of Tennis" title. This was followed by Genius Boys Academy, which was released for the Game Boy Advance on April 25, 2002. Since then, several other video games has been released for different gaming consoles, including one more PlayStation game, three Game Boy Advance games, five Nintendo DS games, and thirteen PlayStation 2 games. The latest games to be released were Nintendo DS's Girls, be gracious on March 5, 2009, followed by Boys, be glorious on March 26, 2009.

Additionally, characters from The Prince of Tennis appeared in the Shōnen Jump based video games Jump Superstars and Jump! Ultimate Stars. All of the games have so far only been released in Japan.

Dramas[edit]

There also are two Chinese dramas based on "The Prince of Tennis" story, with the titles of "The Prince of Tennis" (Mandarin: "网球王子"; Pinyin: "Wang Qiu Wang Zi") and "Go for It! The Prince of Tennis" (Mandarin: "加油! 网球王子"; Pinyin: "Jia You! Wang Qiu Wang Zi"). The first is the first season, while the second is the second season. There are some differences due to localization for names and cultural themes, including the main character being renamed Long Ma, but is still recognizable from its story and the characters' portrayal. The first season covers from when Ryoma first appears in the series up to the end of their equivalent of the Tokyo Prefecturals, while the second season picks up from the end of the first season and goes to the end of their equivalent of the Kanto Tournament. Due to being based off the anime, Josei Shonan is included.[9]

Other media[edit]

The series has produced a half-hour weekly radio show, over 300 music CDs, and a large selection of merchandise, including a trading card game[10] and figures.[11] Three live events, "TeniPuri Perfect Live" in 2003, "The 100 song marathon" in 2008 and "Tenipuri Festa" in 2009, were held by the TeniPuri voice actors and Konomi Takeshi himself.

The 1986 J-pop song Valentine Kiss by Sayuri Kokushō was covered multiple times by multiple characters in the series. From February 2004 through February 2010, a total of nine different versions of the song were released (seven individually, and the final two together). The first one, featuring the character Keigo Atobe (voiced by Junichi Suwabe) reached No. 14 on the Oricon charts.[12]

International distribution[edit]

The Prince of Tennis was announced to be a part of Cartoon Network's new online broadband service called Toonami Jetstream. It began streaming July 14, 2006. The anime began airing on Toonami's Saturday night block on December 23, 2006, though some episodes were initially skipped. Beginning on February 24, 2007, the episodes aired, restarting at the beginning, going in order. However, it is now off Toonami and Toonami Jetstream as of December 3, 2007.

In the Philippines, The Prince of Tennis aired weekdays on QTV 11 (now Q 11) (part of its afternoon anime block "Anime Revolution"), but later ended. Although, due to popular demand, The Prince of Tennis was aired back on Q on the same time slot, and later moves to weekdays on GMA 7. As of current, the anime series is no longer aired on the said channels. It also airs on the anime cable channel Hero TV as well as on Animax Asia.

Reception[edit]

Though The Prince of Tennis has become a successful franchise, spawning several adaptations like an anime, original video animations, musicals, movies, radio shows, and video games, the series has received both positive and negative reviews. When a popular anime and manga news website, Anime News Network, reviewed the first DVD box set released by Viz Media, they commented that "Prince of Tennis is among the dregs of the genre." They go on to say that it is "boring" and "lacks the human drama necessary to get audiences to care who wins or loses."[5] 'Anime on DVD', however, comments that the show "takes the usual themes in sports shows and applies them masterfully."[13] DVD Talk takes more of a nonchalant view, commenting that the "series is okay but not great" and that it has some charm, which will make you not regret watching it.[14] Active Anime also gave praise to the series, saying that it "holds some surprising twists to the regular sports drama formula", and praised the suspenseful matches and innovative techniques.[15]

Despite the reviews, the series is popular in Japan. When TV Asahi, a television network in Japan, conducted a nation-wide survey for the one hundred most popular animated television series, The Prince of Tennis anime came in twenty-seventh place.[16] They also conducted an online web poll, in which The Prince of Tennis placed eighteenth.[17] Nearly a year later, TV Asahi once again conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and this time, The Prince of Tennis anime advanced in rank and came in eighth place. They also surveyed Japanese celebrities for their favorite anime, where the series only came in sixty-eighth out of the top one hundred.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Shōnen Jump Japan Ends Prince of Tennis and Muhyo and Roji". March 3, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Ken-ichi Sakura Confirmed for Prince of Tennis Tribute". Anime News Network. November 3, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "American Artist Assists on New Prince of Tennis Manga". Anime News Network. March 6, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Prince of Tennis, Vol. 1 (DVD Box Set)". Viz Media. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Review – The Prince of Tennis DVD – DVD Box Set 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  6. ^ "The Prince of Tennis, Vol. 4 (DVD Box Set)". Viz Media. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  7. ^ "New Prince of Tennis Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. August 22, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  8. ^ "2011 Prince of Tennis Film Event to Be Streamed Live". Anime News Network. September 1, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  9. ^ "The Prince of Tennis Chinese Drama". Good Drama. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Buy The Prince of Tennis Trading Card Game Booster Pack Vol. 11 – Order Now". PlayAsia. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Prince of Tennis Figure #2: A Kunimitsu". Hobby Link Japan. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  12. ^ "バレンタイン・キッス/跡部景吾 with 氷帝学園中" [Valentine Kiss / Keigo Atobe with Hyotei Academy Chū] (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2010.  Query Wayback Bibalex Wayback WebCite Wikiwix
  13. ^ "AnimeOnDVD Review – Prince of Tennis Box Set 01 (of 0)". animeondvd.com. April 4, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  14. ^ "DVD Talk Review – The Prince of Tennis Box Set, Vol. 1". DVD Talk. April 24, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  15. ^ "ActiveAnime.com:: PRINCE OF TENNIS BOX SET 1 (ADVANCED REVIEW)". ActiveAnime. April 13, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2008. [dead link]
  16. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime Part 2". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  17. ^ "TV Asahi Top 100 Anime". Anime News Network. September 23, 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Japan's Favorite TV Anime". Anime News Network. October 13, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Official sites
Profiles