Baby Steps

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Baby Steps
Baby Steps manga Japanese Vol 1 cover.jpeg
Cover of first manga volume of Baby Steps published by Kodansha, featuring Eiichirō Maruo and Natsu Takasaki.
ベイビーステップ
(Beibī Suteppu)
Genre Comedy, Sports (Tennis), Romance
Manga
Written by Hikaru Katsuki
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run October 2007 – present
Volumes 41 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Masahiko Murata
Produced by Kenji Saito
Written by Katsuhiko Chiba
Music by Yoichiro Yoshikawa
Studio Pierrot
Network NHK-E
Original run April 6, 2014September 21, 2014
Episodes 25 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Season 2
Directed by Masahiko Murata
Written by Katsuhiko Chiba
Music by Kōhei Yamada
Yoichiro Yoshikawa
Studio Pierrot
Network NHK-E
Original run April 5, 2015September 20, 2015
Episodes 25 (List of episodes)

Baby Steps (ベイビーステップ Beibī Suteppu?) is a Japanese manga series by Hikaru Katsuki. It has been serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 2007. The story is centered on Eiichirō Maruo, a first year honor student who one day decides that he is lacking exercise. He then joins the Southern Tennis Club (STC) where he begins his tennis journey. An anime television series adaptation of the series began airing in Japan in April 2014 with a second season began airing April 5, 2015. It also won the 38th Kodansha Manga Award in the Best Shōnen Manga category.[1]

Story[edit]

Eiichirō Maruo, a first year honor student, one day decides he is unhappy with the way things are and lacks exercise. He finds a flyer for the Tennis Club and decides to check it out. He is instantly captivated by it. With no prior experience and poor physical conditioning, he embarks on a tennis journey using his smarts, dedication and work ethic. He uses his inherent studious nature to develop an extremely strategic approach to tennis, taking notes on the habits and tendencies of his opponents thus allowing him to predict their shots before they make them.

Characters[edit]

Southern Tennis Club[edit]

Eiichirō Maruo (丸尾 栄一郎 Maruo Eiichirō?)
Voiced by: Taishi Murata
Eiichirō Maruo, also called Ei-chan (エーちゃん?) by his friends, is the main protagonist of the series. He is an honor student who quickly became famous for his meticulous note-taking in class. During his first year of high school, however, he got into a rut studying all of the time and wanted to find a way to exercise. When he meets Natsu, a girl in the same year as him, her passion for tennis convinces him to try playing it. Like Natsu and their sempai Takuma, Ei-chan becomes a member of a prominent youth tennis program at Southern Tennis Club (STC). His years of experience in studying and taking notes help him in his path to become a tennis player. His aim is to become a professional tennis player. Ei-chan and Natsu's growing relationship is also a major part of the series.
Natsu Takasaki (鷹崎 奈津 Takasaki Natsu?)
Voiced by: Minako Kotobuki
Natsu Takasaki, also known as Nat-chan (なっちゃん?), is the main female protagonist. She is a member of Southern Tennis Club and has played tennis since she was very young. She studies at the same high school and in the same year as Maruo. She is aiming to become a professional player. Natsu is the exact opposite of Maruo tennis-wise. She is always very optimistic and encouraging toward Maruo, and the two become very close as the series progresses.
Takuma Egawa (江川 逞 Egawa Takuma?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa
Takuma is one year older than Ei-chan and Nat-chan and attends the same high school, where he is known as a delinquent. He and Natsu have known each other for a long time through tennis practice at STC. He showed a talent for tennis at a young age. He is one of the best junior players in Japan, and he aims to go pro. He is often antagonistic toward others, but he's also protective of Natsu.
Yukichi Fukazawa (深沢 諭吉 Fukazawa Yukichi?)
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono
Another high school player who practices at STC. Ei-chan impresses him so much after a certain event that he calls Ei-chan "aniki" ("big bro"). He often offers scouting info on other players to Ei-chan and supports him during his matches.
Yūsaku Miura (三浦優作 Miura Yūsaku?)
Voiced by: Taiten Kusunoki
One of the boys' coaches at STC. He becomes very interested in helping Maruo after seeing his work ethic and how quickly he's able to improve.
Yūki Tajima (田島 勇樹 Tajima Yūki?)
Voiced by: Yūki
An elementary school student who practices at STC. He teases Maruo a lot at first (despite Maruo being eight years older than him), but gradually becomes a friend.

Ōsugi High School[edit]

Kojirō Kageyama (影山 小次郎 Kageyama Kojirō?)
Voiced by: Takuma Terashima
Maruo's best friend from school. He's a member of the shogi club at school. He often comes to tennis matches to support him.
Himeko Sasaki (佐々木姫子 Sasaki Himeko?)
Voiced by: Asami Seto
An honor student who is in the same class as Maruo and Kageyama (and later Natsu). She develops a crush on Maruo as tennis begins to change him for the better, but Maruo is unaware of it. She often watches his tennis matches with Kageyama.

Kanagawa Prefecture Junior Players[edit]

Hiroshi Araya (荒谷 寛 Araya Hiroshi?)
Voiced by: Wataru Hatano
The top player in Kanagawa Prefecture after Egawa (and as a result, Egawa's rival). He trains at GITC and is the same age as Maruo. He's left-handed baseline player with explosive power. He often yells loudly after winning points in his matches.
Takuya Miyagawa (宮川 卓也 Miyagawa Takuya?)
Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara
One of the top players in Kanagawa Prefecture. He trains at Miyagawa Tennis Academy. He is a year younger than Maruo but very tall like Egawa. Like Maruo, he has a strange quirk during matches: he drinks hot kobucha (kelp tea) and eats umeboshi (pickled plums).
Ryō Ōbayashi (大林 良 Ōbayashi Ryō?)
Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno
The first seeded player Maruo ever plays against in a tournament. He's a year older than Maruo and is a serve-and-volley player. He becomes Miyagawa's sempai when the younger player enters the same high school.

All-Japan National Junior Players[edit]

Yū Nabae (難波江 優 Nabae Yū?)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai
Nationally famous junior player who lives in Tokyo. Like Maruo, he has a habit of taking notes, but he does it on a laptop.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Volume list[edit]

As of August 2016, 41 volumes have been released.[2]

No. Release date ISBN
01 February 15, 2008[3] ISBN 978-4-06-363957-5
02 March 17, 2008[4] ISBN 978-4-06-363968-1
03 May 16, 2008[5] ISBN 978-4-06-363991-9
04 August 12, 2008[6] ISBN 978-4-06-384027-8
05 October 17, 2008[7] ISBN 978-4-06-384052-0
06 January 16, 2009[8] ISBN 978-4-06-384089-6
07 April 17, 2009[9] ISBN 978-4-06-384124-4
08 June 17, 2009[10] ISBN 978-4-06-384149-7
09 September 17, 2009[11] ISBN 978-4-06-384188-6
10 November 17, 2009[12] ISBN 978-4-06-384214-2
11 February 17, 2010[13] ISBN 978-4-06-384248-7
12 April 16, 2010[14] ISBN 978-4-06-384283-8
13 July 16, 2010[15] ISBN 978-4-06-384329-3
14 October 15, 2010[16] ISBN 978-4-06-384381-1
15 January 17, 2011[17] ISBN 978-4-06-384428-3
16 April 15, 2011[18] ISBN 978-4-06-384459-7
17 June 17, 2011[19] ISBN 978-4-06-384506-8
18 September 16, 2011[20] ISBN 978-4-06-384558-7
19 November 17, 2011[21] ISBN 978-4-06-384580-8
20 February 17, 2012[22] ISBN 978-4-06-384631-7
21 April 17, 2012[23] ISBN 978-4-06-384655-3
22 July 17, 2012[24] ISBN 978-4-06-384706-2
23 September 14, 2012[25] ISBN 978-4-06-384735-2
24 December 17, 2012[26] ISBN 978-4-06-384782-6
25 February 15, 2013[27] ISBN 978-4-06-384812-0
26 May 17, 2013[28] ISBN 978-4-06-384865-6
27 August 16, 2013[29] ISBN 978-4-06-394911-7
28 November 15, 2013[30] ISBN 978-4-06-394964-3
29 January 17, 2014[31] ISBN 978-4-06-394994-0
30 March 17, 2014[32] ISBN 978-4-06-395028-1
31 June 17, 2014[33] ISBN 978-4-06-395105-9
32 August 16, 2014[34] ISBN 978-4-06-395160-8
33 November 17, 2014[35] ISBN 978-4-06-395244-5
34 March 17, 2015[36] ISBN 978-4-06-395346-6
35 May 15, 2015[37] ISBN 978-4-06-395399-2
36 August 17, 2015[38] ISBN 978-4-06-395461-6
37 October 16, 2015[39] ISBN 978-4-06-395520-0
38 January 15, 2016[40] ISBN 978-4-06-395580-4
39 March 17, 2016[41] ISBN 978-4-06395623-8
40 June 17, 2016[2] ISBN 978-4-06-395689-4

Anime[edit]

Reception[edit]

In 2014, Baby Steps won the 38th Kodansha Manga Award in the Best Shōnen Manga category.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Yo-kai Watch, Baby Steps Win 38th Kodansha Manga Awards". Anime News Network. May 8, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b ベイビーステップ(40) [Baby Steps (40)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved July 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ ベイビーステップ(1) [Baby Steps (1)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  4. ^ ベイビーステップ(2) [Baby Steps (2)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ ベイビーステップ(3) [Baby Steps (3)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ ベイビーステップ(4) [Baby Steps (4)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ ベイビーステップ(5) [Baby Steps (5)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ ベイビーステップ(6) [Baby Steps (6)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ ベイビーステップ(7) [Baby Steps (7)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ ベイビーステップ(8) [Baby Steps (8)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ ベイビーステップ(9) [Baby Steps (9)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ ベイビーステップ(10) [Baby Steps (10)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ ベイビーステップ(11) [Baby Steps (11)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ ベイビーステップ(12) [Baby Steps (12)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ ベイビーステップ(13) [Baby Steps (13)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ ベイビーステップ(14) [Baby Steps (14)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ ベイビーステップ(15) [Baby Steps (15)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  18. ^ ベイビーステップ(16) [Baby Steps (16)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ ベイビーステップ(17) [Baby Steps (17)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ ベイビーステップ(18) [Baby Steps (18)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  21. ^ ベイビーステップ(19) [Baby Steps (19)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  22. ^ ベイビーステップ(20) [Baby Steps (20)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ ベイビーステップ(21) [Baby Steps (21)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  24. ^ ベイビーステップ(22) [Baby Steps (22)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  25. ^ ベイビーステップ(23) [Baby Steps (23)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  26. ^ ベイビーステップ(24) [Baby Steps (24)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  27. ^ ベイビーステップ(25) [Baby Steps (25)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  28. ^ ベイビーステップ(26) [Baby Steps (26)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  29. ^ ベイビーステップ(27) [Baby Steps (27)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  30. ^ ベイビーステップ(28) [Baby Steps (28)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  31. ^ ベイビーステップ(29) [Baby Steps (29)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ ベイビーステップ(30) [Baby Steps (30)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  33. ^ ベイビーステップ(31) [Baby Steps (31)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  34. ^ ベイビーステップ(32) [Baby Steps (32)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  35. ^ ベイビーステップ(33) [Baby Steps (33)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  36. ^ ベイビーステップ(34) [Baby Steps (34)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  37. ^ ベイビーステップ(35) [Baby Steps (35)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  38. ^ ベイビーステップ(36) [Baby Steps (36)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  39. ^ ベイビーステップ(37) [Baby Steps (37)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  40. ^ ベイビーステップ(38) [Baby Steps (38)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved January 30, 2016. 
  41. ^ ベイビーステップ(39) [Baby Steps (39)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]