I hope you are excited for another sports anime to grace your presence. I have been told by many a people that The Prince of Tennis is a must watch for any sports anime fan. So I finally got around to starting it! Just to be clear this is The Prince of Tennis from the late 90’s not The Prince of Tennis II which is apparently a continuation of the story. If all goes well I will eventually watch that too.
“RyomaEchizen is the 12-year-old son of a famous tennis player and a tennis genius in his own right. With talent in his blood and fire in his eyes, he backs up his vonfidence on the court with amazing skills. Now he has to overcome the older players on his school team who are dead set against letting him surpass them. To defeat the slippery “Viper” Kaido, the calculating Sadahara Inui, and a host of other opponents, Ryoma will need everything he’s gotten from his father, and more!” -Hulu
This Old Style of Anime!
Oh my heavens! It has been a minute since I’ve watched a 90’s anime. This one is certainly there in style. I don’t even mean the drawing style… Although to be fair that is very apparent in both the drawing style and the character’s fashion choices. That’s to be expected but what really brought me back was the MUSIC choices. From the theme song to the background music it is sooooo late 90’s early 2000’s. I seriously just laugh half of the time because it just takes me back.
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about him as a character yet. If you look at my track record on my favorite characters they are usually types that have potential and as viewers we get to watch them improve and reach their potential. I love characters like that! My worry with Ryoma is that he is an amazing player and so far in the episodes I have seen he hasn’t really encountered anyone better than him besides his Dad. I understand that he eventually wants to beat his Dad but I don’t feel like that is possible unless he actually meets a character that challenges him in a way that forces him to have to change things up. He is already amazing so if this level can’t beat his Dad than he has to come up with something new. How can he do that without being challenged.
In the episodes I have seen so far it has strictly been Ryoma straight up crushing people. Is it weird that I’m almost sitting here like, “You win too much.” I’m kind of waiting for SOMEONE to beat him just to light a spark inside of him.
Lack Of Rival/Goal
A few episodes in and I’m still not certain on what their goal is with the show. Like are all of the episodes just about Ryoma crushing people and wanted to eventually beat his Dad in a match? I mean there are 100 episodes! Is he eventually going to want to go to Nationals or something? I’m also not digging the fact that so far a really good rival hasn’t appeared. You know the Okiawa to Kagayama in Haikyuu. Someone that will push Ryoma to even greater heights.
Also there hasn’t been a clear team that they have identified yet that rallies everyone and gives them focus. I always find stuff like that to be bonding onscreen and fun to watch. I’m hoping that something along these lines happens soon to really pull me into the story. It’s stuff like this that gets me hooked on a show.
Overall though it seems like a pretty cute show. I haven’t completely started to fangirl over any of the characters but there have been some pretty good moments. I am liking that as the show continues Ryoma is starting to come out of his shell a bit more with the other characters. The captain of the team Tezuka seems really promising! I’m hoping that just maybe he can be the one character that can beat Ryoma and kind of mentor him into helping him beating his father.
I’m also pretty pumped about Fuji and Momo! I think they are going to be really great characters. At least from first impressions. Actually a lot of the ninth years seem like the will be fun to get to know and bring some good moments. Also I really do find Ryoma’s dad to be very funny!
The girl/women characters on the show have been a bit disappointing to say the least. First up you have Sakuno who is so typical that devastating. She clearly has a crush on Ryoma but doesn’t know how to say it and spends most of her time dithering around and watching Ryoma. Which is strange because she is supposed to be in the girl’s tennis club but she’s always watching Ryoma practice soooo… I’m not sure what’s going on there. She also has this friend Tomoka who knows nothing about tennis or Ryoma but thinks he’s hot so has started a Ryoma fan club.
You also have Saori who is a grown woman who apparently knows nothing about tennis but somehow lands a position at a strictly tennis magazine. Since she has no real knowledge of the game she is unable to do interviews and takes pictures. Which is strange because she is clearly not a sports photographer and what type of magazine wants amateur photos? Also she sometimes seems like she’s attracted to the players which is super weird since they are all in middle school.
The only saving grace in the woman character department so far is Sumire their tennis coach and the grandmother of Sakuno. She is pretty cool the only downside is that we don’t really get to see her coaching the boys a lot. It’s mostly her handing duties off to other players. I wish she was more influenicial on the players.
I think the biggest problem with these above characters so far is if they weren’t in the episode it would have no effect on the plot or anything. I wish their were more women/girl characters in the show that were interesting and important to events going on.
I plan to see this show through to the end. So many people adore this show so I need to see where that love stems from! Comment below on whether you have seen this show before. Just remember no spoilers though!
See you soon Grimms!