The Prince of Tennis (film)
|The Prince of Tennis|
|Directed by||Yuichi Abe|
|Screenplay by||Yuichi Abe
|Based on||The Prince of Tennis
by Takeshi Konomi
|Music by||Tarō Iwashiro|
|Distributed by||Shochiku Films|
The Prince of Tennis (テニスの王子様 Tennis no Ōjisama ) is a 2006 Japanese sports film directed by Yuichi Abe. A live action adaptation of the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi, the film stars Kanata Hongo as Ryoma Echizen. It condenses the storyline from when Ryoma arrives in Japan to the match against Hyotei Academy. The film was released in Japan on May 13, 2006.
Ryoma Echizen, a tennis prodigy, attends Seishun Academy (also known as Seishun Gakuen or Seigaku, for short), a school famous for its strong tennis club and talented players. Ryoma quickly defeats numerous upperclassmen shortly after entrance to secure himself a spot on the regulars team.
Twelve-year-old Ryoma Echizen is a tennis prodigy who has won four American Junior Tennis tournaments. His father, Nanjiroh, a famous tennis player, calls Ryoma back to Japan to attend the distinguished Seishun Academy. Ryoma, a first year, wants to be on the school team.
A girl watches Ryoma. Her name is Shioin Higaki, whose parents died in accident. She is mute. She first meets Ryoma when he protects her on a train from a loud group of boys.
Ryoma arrives at Seigaku, and is immediately challenged by Kaoru Kaidoh, a second year team regular, known as "the Viper," whose is known for his "Snake Shot". The members of the team watch the match: Vice-captain Shuichiro Oishi and his doubles partner Eiji Kikumaru; third year Shusuke Fuji, a tactical "genius"; Sadaharu Inui, who collects info on his opponents; and Takashi Kawamura, whose personality instantly changes when he grabs his racquet. The other second year regular is Takeshi Momoshiro, known for his power plays. Ryoma surprises everyone by pulling off the Snake Shot himself, but says it's just the Buggy Whip Shot. Kaidoh and Ryoma's match is interrupted by Kunimitsu Tezuka, the nationally-ranked captain of the tennis club. Tezuka makes Kaidoh run laps for playing a match without an approval and takes an interest in Ryoma.
Ryoma is in time for the monthly ranking tournament, but due to his youth some do not take him seriously; during the tournament, Ryoma is quick to prove his skills and become the only first year on the team, just in time for the prefectural preliminary rounds.
In a crucial match against Fudomine Middle School, Ryoma injures his eye, but his determination to finish the match helps Seigaku advance to the Kanto Tournament. Tezuka is deeply troubled by Ryoma's style; it's an exact copy of his father's. He is also worried about his injured arm. Tezuka plays Ryoma and beats him, disregarding his physician's advice. He tells Ryoma to develop his own style of tennis.
As the Kanto Tournament draws near, Seigaku learn of their first opponent: rivals Hyotei Academy. All the regulars are chosen except Momoshiro, as Echizen is chosen over him. However, Echizen says he has to go back to America. Momoshiro is angry and refuses the jersey Ryoma offers. Egate Mcleod Higaki of Hyotei tries to provoke the players until Tezuka tells him to leave. Echizen goes to the park to think about his decision, and Shioin, Egate's little sister, comes by and plays her flute. The music reaches Echizen's ears, and he makes his choice.
At the Kanto Tournament, Momo still has decided not to come. Oishi and Eiji play Doubles 2. They begin a losing streak until Momo reveals himself in the cheering crowd for Seigaku. With new confidence from their returning teammate, the Golden Pair make a comeback, but lose to Hyotei 5-7. In the crowd, Kaidoh finds Echizen, who decided to stay. Kaidoh and Inui begin their Doubles 1 match. Kaidoh continually takes all the shots and uses his Boomerang Snake, while Inui stands and watches. Finally, he tells Kaidoh he has their opponents' data and they win the match 7-5. Kawamura plays Singles 3 and tries his Hadokyuu, but his big opponent copies the move. They both keep using Hadokyuu until Kawamura does the unthinkable: the dangerous one-handed Hadokyuu. His opponent copies, and both keep hitting until both of them drop their racquets, their hands and racquet handles covered in blood. The match is considered a No Game. Fuji, playing Singles 2, borrows Kawamura's racquet, and amazes his opponent with his Disappearing Serve and his Hakugei Triple Counter; he wins 6-0. Tezuka plays Singles 1 against the popular Atobe; Echizen comes and takes his place as bench coach, and, despite some of the other Seigaku players, Tezuka allows him to rejoin the team.
Atobe seems to gain the early lead, but Tezuka comes back with his Tezuka Zone and Drop Shot. Tezuka gets to match point, but as he tries to serve, his arm gives out. Tezuka continues to play as Echizen takes off his jacket, revealing his Seigaku uniform, and goes to practice. Tezuka loses in the tiebreak, 6-7. Because both teams have two wins, their reserve players will determine the winner. Echizen faces off against Egate, and wins the first game using his teammates' moves. However, as an eclipse passes over the court, Egate uses his brutal tennis form and injures Echizen's leg. Remembering his vow to become stronger, Echizen surprises everyone by using the COOL Drive attack to come back, break the eclipse, and won. Shioin finally cheers. Tezuka rewards Echizen with his Seigaku jacket he kept for him.
As Echizen looks up in the stands at their future opponents, his only reply to them is, "mada mada da ne" (a long ways to go).
The track listing is as follows:
- Mada Mada Dane (まだまだだね)
- Ryōma vs Kaidō (リョーマVS海堂)
- Soko Made Da (そこまでだ)
- Ano Ko wa Samurai Jr. (あの子は侍Jr.)
- Seigaku Ranking Ikusa (青学ランキング戦)
- Chiku Yosen (地区予選)
- Ryōma vs Ibu (リョーマVS伊武)
- Hyōtei Fight (氷帝ファイト)
- Echizen Omae wa Tashikani Tsuyoi (越前お前は確かに強い)
- Ryōma no Omoi (リョーマの思い)
- Higaki Tōjō (檜垣登場)
- Oboete Okeyo (覚えておけよ)
- Kantō Taikai (関東大会)
- Oishi, Kikumaru vs Oshitari, Mukahi (Acrobat Shōbu) (大石・菊丸VS忍足・向日(アクロバット勝負))
- Inui, Kaidou vs Ōtori, Shishido (Data & Tairyoku Shōbu) (乾・海堂VS鳳・宍戸(データ&体力勝負))
- Kawamura vs Kabaji (Power Shōbu) (河村VS樺地(パワー勝負))
- Kono Racket Tsukawasete Morauyo (このラケット使わせてもらうよ)
- Fuji vs Akutagawa (Tensai! Fuji) (不二VS芥川(天才!不二))
- Tezuka Shutsujin (手塚出陣)
- Tezuka Zone (手塚ゾーン)
- Atobe Hametsu e no Rondo (跡部 破滅への輪舞曲)
- Tezuka e no Omoi (手塚への思い)
- Ore wa Makenai (オレは負けない)
- Ryōma Shutsujin (リョーマ出陣)
- Ryōma vs Higaki (リョーマVS檜垣)
- Ryōma Kōgeki Kaishi (リョーマ攻撃開始)
- Ryōma Kakusei (リョーマ覚醒)
- Last Battle (Sorezore no Omoi) (ラストバトル(それぞれの思い))
- Ippome (Tenipuri Edit) (一歩目(テニプリEdit))
- Kimi o Omou (君を想う)
Alterations from the Anime/Manga
The movie was a condensed version of the manga and anime series, thus a lot of the events that happen were condensed and characters were changed.
- Sumire Ryuzaki's age was changed so that instead of being a grandmother (and Nanjiro's junior middle school coach), she became a year younger than Nanjiro and became a former junior middle school student with him. She says that Nanjiro was her inspiration to play tennis.
- The character of Wakashi Hiyoshi from the Hyotei school was replaced by Egate Mcleod Higaki, who was created as an original character for the movie. His sister, Shioin Higaki, is also an original character that was not in the manga/anime series, replacing Sakuno Ryuzaki.
- In the film, the Seigaku uniforms have a little flap on the back of the jackets (which were featured in the anime, but slowly disappeared in later episodes), and the blue colors are much brighter. Also, Echizen's shirt that he wears in the beginning is of a different design and colors.
- In the movie, the Oishi/Kikumaru pair takes on the Oshitari/Mukahi pair, while originally it was the Momoshiro/Kikumaru pair who did so. Also, the results of their match and that of Inui and Kaidoh are reversed; in the movie, they lose and the Inui/Kaidoh pair win, while the opposite happened in the manga/anime. Likewise, Fuji wins 6-0 in the movie, while the manga/anime has Jirou Akutagawa, his opponent, take one game before Fuji shuts him out.
- The entire prefectural tournament, along with the matches against St. Rudolph and Yamabuki, are skipped over in the movie.
- In the manga/anime, Echizen faces against Arai, another member of Seigaku's tennis club but not on the regular team, prior to becoming a regular. In the movie, Kaidoh is the first to challenge Echizen. Because of this change, when Echizen plays in the ranking matches, he faces against Momoshiro and Inui. In the manga/anime, his second match was with Inui, but the first match was with Kaidoh.
- In the ranking match, Momoshiro has already developed the Jack Knife.
- Just before his match with Egate, Ryoma uses a line from the anime that Fuji Shusuke of Seigaku said to Kirihara Akaya of Rikkaidai, "A dog that doesn't bite barks the most."
- Schools that appear in the movie besides Seigaku and Hyotei are Fudomine Middle School, Rokkaku Middle School, Higa-Chuu, Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku and Shitenhōji.
- The whole Seigaku cast is the same second musical cast from Tenimyu, except Ryoma, who was recast due to Kotaro Yanagi's accident, as well as to cast an actor closer to the character's age. However, the only members of another team from the musicals to reprise their roles were Koji Date as Choutaro Ohtori and Shun Takagi as Masaya Sakurai. Every other role in the movie was entirely recast. For most of these actors, this film was their first major appearance in the film industry.
- Several former members of the musical cast make cameo appearances in the movie, though not in the roles they played in the musicals (i.e.: Eiji Moriyama, who played Momoshiro in the first TeniMyu cast, makes an appearance as Genichirou Sanada from Rikkai; Yuichi Tsuchiya, who played Oishi in the first cast, also appears as Eishirou Kite from Higa).
- Many cast members were former and future actors from the Super Sentai series. Ryuji Sainei (Keigo Atobe) played Banban Akaza/DekaRed in 2004's Dekaranger. Yasuka Saitoh (Shinji Ibu) was playing Masumi Inou/BoukenBlack from Boukenger at the time the movie was released. Following the film, Hiroki Suzuki (Shuichiro Oishi) and Hirofumi Araki (Sadaharu Inui) played Jan Kandou/GekiRed and Rio respectively in 2007's Gekiranger. Hiroki Aiba (Shusuke Fuji) later played Ryūnosuke Ikenami/ShinkenBlue in the Samurai Sentai Shinkenger in 2009.
The movie debuted #10 in the Japanese Box Office.
The DVD was released on September 28, 2006, in two editions: Premium Edition (9240 yen) and Regular Edition (4935 yen).
Prior to the movie's release at the Japanese box office, a "making of" DVD entitled Prince of Tennis Navigate was also released for fans to purchase.