Prince of Tennis
Twelve year old Ryoma Echizen is the tennis prodigy from America who has the personal history of winning 4 successive victories at the American Junior Tennis tournaments. His father, Nanjiroh Echizen, a tennis player of legendary status, recalls Ryoma back to Japan to attend the distinguished school of Seishun Academy Middle School. Ryoma, a first year, has his eyes set on being on the regulars team of the tennis club, which the school is famous for.
Seigaku Tennis Club Coach:Sumire Ryuzaki
The Regulars Yudai Yamato – graduated A former Seigaku tennis captain from the days when Kunimitsu Tezuka was a freshmen. He had a match against Tezuka and lost. Yamato is the one who convinced Tezuka to stay in the tennis club as Seigaku’s pillar of support. He has a unique “way” of explaining things that even Sumire Ryuzaki has trouble understanding him.
Kunimitsu Tezuka – 3rd year He is the national-level captain of the Seigaku tennis team. His play style is all rounder and his special shots include the “No-touch-ace Serve”, which is a powerful serve with heavy topspin, making it difficult to return; “Tezuka Zone”, which Tezuka uses his exceptional racket control to put spin on the ball, to the point where no matter the opponent tries to hit, the shot will return to Tezuka; and the “Zero-Shiki (Type Zero) Drop Shot”, which is a drop shot with a heavy backspin, which can make the ball roll towards the net rather than bouncing towards the opposing player.
Shuchiro Oishi – 3rd year He is the vice-captain of the team. His play style is counter puncher (human backboard) and his special shots include the “Moon Volley”, a topspin-lob hit high into the air and landing directly on the baseline, and the “Drop Volley”, a feint “Moon Volley” that is hit with the touch of a drop shot.
Shusuke Fuji –3rd year He is the tensai, otherwise known as a genius, of the Seigaku tennis team. His play style is counter puncher and his special shots include the “Disappearing Cut Serve”, an extreme underhanded sidespin serve, which Fuji spins the ball before dropping it, so when the ball is sliced, the sidespin is much more than usual; and his “Triple Counters”, which are three specialized counter shots that usually help Fuji win the point.
The first Triple Counteris the “Tsubame Gaeshi” (lit. Swallow Return), a topspin counter that when a shot with heavy topspin is hit, Fuji uses a forehand slice to counter the spin, neutralizing the bounce upon contact with the court.
The second Triple Counteris “Higuma Otoshi” (lit. Bear Drop), a smash counter which Fuji hits by spinning his body; the resulting spin allows the ball to be hit high, but still remain in.
The third Triple Counter is “Hakugei” (lit. White Whale), a return slice shot with heavy backspin aimed toward the baseline. Upon contact the ball reverses direction and bounces towards the court it was shot from, clearing the net and often returning to Fuji’s hand.
Fuji has also developed a fourth counter, “Kagerou Zutsumi”, for the Nationals. Kagerou Zutsumi is Fuji’s fourth counter which aims to nullify all spin put on the ball. Fuji has just recently upgraded all of his Triple Counters, and has created a final counter in his match against Shitenhouji’s Kuranosuke Shiraishi. The upgraded Triple Counters are called “Houou Gaeshi” (lit. Phoenix Return), “Kirin/Qilin Otoshi” (Kirin Drop), and “Hakuryuu” (White Dragon). The final counter is called “Hecatoncheires no Monban” (The Gatekeeper of the Hecatoncheires).
Eiji Kikumaru – 3rd year His play style is serve and volley and his special shots include “Acrobatic Play”, which simply incorporates acrobatics into standard strokes; “Kikumaru Beam”, a shot that utilizes Eiji’s jumping skill so that as his side is facing the net, he can put his arm behind his back to hit the ball; “Kikumaru Bazooka”, a shot Eiji uses as he’s running towards a ball that is further back in the court, he then backflips in the air to smash the ball as he’s upside down.
His most incredible special move is the “Kikumaru Seal Step”, in which he seems to split up in two or, in one case, even three, each “clone” equally real and able to play.
Takashi Kawamura – 3rd year His playstyle is aggressive baseliner and his special shots include the “Burning Serve”, an extremely powerful and heavy flat serve that is difficult to return; the “Two Handed Hadokyuu”, a pure flat shot that uses both arms (along with the wrist) to provide power and lessens the strain on the muscles; the “Hadokyuu”, a pure flat shot, that is similar to the “Two Handed Hadokyuu”, but, instead of utilizing both arms, the “Hadokyuu” is one-handed, thus straining the arm muscles quite easily; the “Dash Hadokyuu”, a Hadokyuu which uses the muscles of the legs to provide power, as opposed to the arm, but it’s a shot that Kawamura can only use once per game due to the immense strain on his arm; and the “Jumping Hadokyuu”, which is similar to the “Dash Hadokyuu”, but instead of dashing forwards to provide power, Kawamura is jumping.
Sadaharu Inui – 3rd year His play style is serve and volley and his special shots include the “S.S.S” (Super Sonic Serve), a serve which rivals Ootori Choutarou’s Scud Serve in terms of power and speed; the “Waterfall Serve”, Inui’s new, upgraded serve for the Nationals, which clocks at around 212 km/h; “Data Tennis”, tennis played with the opponents chances to hit the ball, where they hit the ball, how fast they move, how strong their shots are, etc., to find a weak spot that Inui can take advantage of.
Takeshi Momoshiro – 2nd year Known as Seigaku’s number one trickster, his play style is aggressive baseliner and his special shots include the “Dunk Smash”, a powerful smash, using a high jump to increase the power (it’s also a favorite demoralizer of Pete Sampras in real life, albeit with an abbreviated jump); the “Super Dunk Smash”, which is similar to Momoshiro’s “Dunk Smash”, but much stronger and with a hard return rate due to the ball’s longer spin on the ground; and the “Jack Knife”, a two handed backhand stroke, which uses jumping momentum and the left foot to provide power. Momoshiro adds his own twist to the shot by keeping the ball to his racket until the last moment to make it a strong shot. For the Nationals, Momoshiro obtains “Insight”, a talent he unearthed during his training in the mountains. He is able to sense the subtle changes in the atmosphere around him and use it to his advantage.
Kaoru Kaido – 2nd year His play style is counter puncher and his special shots include the “Snake” shot, which is a buggy whip shot (also referred to as an inside out forehand) with extreme angle and plenty of sidespin; the “Boomerang Snake”, an around the pole shot that is similar to the “Snake” shot, but is hit with a different stance and uses the entire arm, so that the ball is hit with enough sidespin to carry it around the pole and land in the singles boundary; and the “Tornado Snake”, a shot with a spin that causes it to move in a tornado like motion. With unrivaled stamina, his tactic is a game of attrition.
Ryoma Echizen – 1st year He is the Prince of Tennis and the only first year on the Seigaku tennis team.
His play style is all rounder and his special shots include:
- 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 right;
- the “Twist Serve Tornado”, a variation of the twist serve that curves towards the receiver’s face;
- the “Twist Smash”, a smash being the same motion as a serve, this is basically an abbreviated Twist Serve;
- “Cool Drive”, an extrodinary smash that gives the ball extreme power and spin, this shot has yet to be returned;
- “Drive A”, a drive volley hit hard towards the opponent and is a flat shot that has a high chance of going out;
- “Drive B”, a drive volley which is hit by sliding on the ground then jumping and putting spin on the ball causing it to bounce in the shape of a B;
- “Drive C”, a drive volley hit as a smash with half the strength and spin as the Cool Drive;
- “Super Rising”, a shot that hits the ball on the rise and is exactly the same as Yuuta Fuji’s Rising Shot, although Super Rising is the name given to Ryoma’s serve return;
- “Cyclone smash”, a shot that uses the entire body motion to create a powerful smash;
- the “Samurai Eye”, where in the anime, it’s a version of “Muga no Kyouchi”, described as giving Ryoma a very dynamic play style because he is able to switch between many other player’s techniques.
This is an addictive anime series which kept me wide awake from 8 pm friday night to 3 pm the following day. But i only finished 65 episodes out of the total 178.
I had a very entertaining weekend and still asking for more. If only i didn’t have to report to work on Monday, I’d be spending the whole day and night watching. I’ve been watching every night after office just to get the fun going. I can’t seem to stop. I’m being obsessed with this series.
I told my officemates about this anime and, since i have this habit of talking/telling my stories with so much excitement in my voice plus the body movement, i made an addict out of him too. (Such an influence).
I’m looking forward to continue watching the series non-stop for so many hours til i can’t keep my eyes open. However, my player can’t take it anymore. Its current state? Overheat, the fuse got burned and goodness it’s been a week now. I’m just watching it by the net. I’m done with the Kantou Tournament. As usual, it’s always amazing to watch Ryoma plays against other schools’ powerful players.
I’m such a great fan of Ryoma and have a crush on Tezuka. It really feels good going back to my old self and relive my childhood escapades.