Review: Prince of Tennis

Review: Prince of Tennis (aka Tenipuri, PoT, TPoT)
Genre: School Life, Sports, Comedy, Drama, Shounen
Author: Konomi Takeshi
Manga: 42 volumes
The Prince of After School (1 volume)
New Prince of Tennis (ongoing)
Anime: 178 episodes
The New Prince of Tennis (ongoing)
OVAs: Prince of Tennis: A Day on Survival Mountain
Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament (13 episodes)
Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament Semifinal (6 episodes)
Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament Final (7 episodes)
Musicals: Tenimyu
Short Film: Tennis no Oujisama: Atobe Kara no Okurimono
Animated Film: Tennis no Ojisama - Futari no Samurai
Live Action Movie: The Prince of Tennis (2006)

(Original from AnimeNews)
Echizen Ryoma is a young tennis prodigy who has won 4 consecutive tennis championships but who constantly lies in the shadow of his father, a former pro tennis player. He joins the Seishun Gakuen junior highschool, one of the best tennis schools in Japan, and there along with his teamates he learns to find his own type of tennis in an attempt to defeat his biggest obstacle of all: his father as well as himself.

Story: The story is good. Not unique, but definitely good. It is well portrayed in the series and I love the smooth flow of events. Despite a quite common plot in the sports genre, it does not become a bore. Rather, the story becomes interesting because of many twists that make this title stand out.

Revolving mainly on the characters' growth, especially Echizen's as the protagonist, the story does not force their development and you can actually see the improvement little by little. I love the story. You can relate to the events quite well and you might even grow to love tennis.

There is a good mix of action and comedy. The best part is because despite the fun, there is an underlying truth of life behind. A lot of lessons can be learned and I believe it helped make this series one of the most outstanding there is today.

Characters: No one will probably argue with me if I say that the characters are one of the strongest points of Prince of Tennis. The characters are easily likable and each of them have unique personalities that will make sure you find the character you will be drawn to. What's also good is the fact that the bad guys are also very likable - in the bad guy way. Each has his/her own charm. It won't be surprising, though, if there are some that will annoy you to no end. Just as you are sure to find the character that you will be drawn to like magnet, you will also find the one that repels you.

The designs are beautiful. I love Konomi Takeshi's art. I like how the appearances of some characters may or may not coincide with their personalities. It never fails to remind me that we shouldn't judge by appearances.

Abilities: Since this is a sports series, of course the characters must have skills. At first, the abilities are normal - for a prodigy anyway. But soon enough, exaggerated abilities show up one after another. These abilities may be based on real-life skills and tricks on the court, but it does make you laugh or twitch (depends on how you take it) when you see over-the-top moves. It is very cool to see that each character has his own specialty and you just can't wait to see that being used and how it can be overcome.

New Prince of Tennis: The New Prince of Tennis is a manga that serves as a sequel to the original Prince of Tennis. It is being adapted into an anime and the first episode will release this January 2012.

The story of the New Prince of Tennis is a continuation of where the Prince of Tennis stops. Ryoma returns to Japan after his stay in America. Seigaku, along with the other middle school teams, are invited to a selection camp where previously, only high school students have joined and been chosen.

Drawing/Animation: The drawing of Konomi Takeshi is excellent. I love how he can display action, motion, and movement so well. Even if I'm just reading the manga, I can feel the action. I also love his attention to detail on his art. The animation of the series was good. But I can't say any more than that. It wasn't poor, but it wasn't anything exceptional, either.

Junko Minagawa, voice actress of Echizen Ryoma
Voice Acting: I'm a fan of the voice actors and actresses in the series. The seiyu for the main characters were very good. I love their interpretation of the characters. And I think they suit their characters well. But, I don't think it was that good a job done by the seiyu of the secondary characters. Of course, there are exceptions, such as the lively voice of Yu Sugimoto as Kintaro, the voice of Toshiyuki Kusuda as Ryo Shishido, and some others.

Soundtrack: The soundtrack is a very fun bunch! I enjoy the music in Prince of Tennis so much, especially when you consider that the singers are the characters' very own voice actors! Some of my favorites are White Line by Aozu, Flower ~Saki Midareshi Hana~ by GIGS

Well, in the end, this is my personal review. My opinions here won't always be what you might think after you read/watch Hunter x Hunter. You may like it so much that you are so addicted to it, or you may hate it so much that you wonder why I even like it, or you may be just like me and like the series a WHOLE LOT! :D

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