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The Prince of Tennis Vol. 2 (Story and Art by Takeshi Konomi) (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 30, 2004 by  



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Will Ryoma become a starter at Seishun Academy?  The seventh grader must prove that he can defeat Kaoru Kaidoh a.k.a. “Viper” and the highly intelligent, Sadaharu Inui. A great sports manga that is addictive and leaves you craving for more! Recommended!

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© 1999 by Takeshi Konomi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: The Prince of Tennis vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Takeshi Konomi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: A for All Ages

RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2004

Ryoma Echizen, the Prince of Tennis, has just enrolled at Seishun Academy after spending several years in America winning 4 consecutive U.S. Junior Tournaments. His cool confidence raises the hackles of a few older students on the tennis team, and they challenge him to a game – but none of them even comes close to his skill and knowledge.

Now intramural matches to determine the starting members of the team for the upcoming city tournament are about to begin, and although the rules don’t allow 7th graders to play in tournaments, the captain has arranged for Ryoma to enter the ranking matches. Does he have what it takes to truly deserve the title Prince of Tennis?

Seventh grader Ryoma Echizen has proven to be a young phenom when it comes to tennis, but now he must prove that he deserves to be in the starting lineup.  So, he must take on starters Kaoru Kaidoh (master of the “Snake” move) and the highly intelligent Sadaharu Inui, who is known for calculating data and knows the probability of one’s moves.

Will Ryoma be able to beat these two individuals and become a starter at Seishun Academy?

Find out in Takeshi Konomi’s hit manga, “The Prince of Tennis” Vol. 2!

What is “The Prince of Tennis”?

In 1999, tennis player and manga artist Takeshi Konomi created a series known as “Tennis no Ojisama”.

Published in Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump” in July 1999, the series became one of the most popular sports manga series created and would eventually lead to an anime series adaptation by Trans Arts and Nihon Ad Systems & TV Tokyo.

Suffice to say, the series became an incredible hit and popular media franchise which would lead to video games and more!

The series began with a teenage girl named Sakuno Ryuzaki tring to get to the tournament grounds to meet with her grandmother, Sumire Ryuzaki, a high school tennis coach for Seishun.

A group of high schoolers begin bragging about the type of grips, while a 7th grader named Ryoma Echizen is not impressed by the inaccurate information. As Ryoma tries to school the older teenagers, she accidentally gives Ryoma the wrong information of how to get to the tournament grounds and he misses his tournament.

Feeling bad that she gave Ryoma the wrong information, the teenagers on the train spot Ryoma and start teasing him and want to school him on the game of tennis.

And immediately, the 7th grader ends up defeating the teenager with amazing skill. It is revealed by Coach Sumire that Ryoma just returned back to Japan after winning the American Junior Tournament four years in a row. So, good that he entered the tournament to not try for the under-12 but for the 16 and under.

Immediately, news of Ryoma starts making its way at Seishun Academy that the older tennis players want to check out and see for themselves of how good Ryoma is, including the elite at Seishun High School.

Meanwhile, one high schooler named Arai is not so thrilled that Ryoma has arrived and tells him that there’s no room for seventh graders and how they are there to pick up the balls, while the older students are there to play.

Arai, so angered at Ryoma, wants to humiliate him by challenging him to a match but hiding Ryoma’s tennis rackets and giving him an old, badly strung wooden tennis racket.

But Ryoma agrees to the competition, even using a bad racket.

Meanwhile, team captain Tezuka is working on the Inter-Squad Ranking Match to decide who will be the starters and who will compete in the next tournament. And while its customary that only the older students are put into competition, will he allow a 7th grader to compete?

In vol. 2, Ryoma Echizen must take on Kaoru Kaidoh who is known as “Viper” to his teammates.  He hardly speaks, his eyes look as he’s looking past you and he is the master of the snake technique (derived from the “Buggy Whip” shot) and also other techniques.

Ryoma’s second matchup is against Sadaharu Inui, highly intelligent and tries to keep meticulous data on all his players, including the number of shots, what type of shots and what position they were when they have taken their shots.  And Inui feels he has Ryoma all figured out.

Can Ryoma defeat these two starters and become the new starter at Seishun Academy?

With the second volume of “The Prince of Tennis”, we get to see a much more heightened competition in which Ryoma must take on his fellow Seishun Academy players, the starters to see if he can become a starter and compete in the next tournament.

So far, Ryoma has taken on players who have talked the talk but not necessarily that good.  But this time around, he will go against two starters who are very good players and with different styles.

Can Ryoma find a weakness in Viper’s technique and how can Ryoma defeat someone who has memorized his moves?

The second volume of “The Prince of Tennis” focuses on tennis competition but also giving readers a chance to get to know the various characters of “The Prince of Tennis”, so while these are competitive matches, they are matches that are also character building and introduction storylines of the starters of Seishun Academy.

I first discovered “The Prince of Tennis” back in 2002. Having discovered the anime series, I was instantly hooked by the fact that a series about tennis was created.

Character design by Takeshi Konomi are well-done, the storyline manages to capture the excitement of tennis and strategy and more!  I liked how he managed to capture the look of the Viper but also the strategy employed by Ryoma and his on-court rivals.  Really good in capturing the action of the series!

Overall, the second volume of “The Prince of Tennis” is simply delightful. A great sports manga and I can’t wait for volume three!  Recommended!

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