Tuesday, 22 October 2013

[MANGA REVIEW] The Prince of Tennis (Tennis no Ouji-sama) by Takeshi Konomi

The Prince of Tennis, Vol. 1The Prince of Tennis, Vol. 1 by Takeshi Konomi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Recommended for: those who enjoyed intense battle-outs akin to Bleach of Tite Kubo.
Read from October 06 to 08, 2013, read count: 1

This is a review for all 42 volumes of Tennis no Ouji-sama manga series

4.5 Stars for the adrenaline pumping goodness!

I totally enjoyed the feel-good adrenalin rush this series gave me. So high!

What I love most about this manga is the passionate drive to win and excel shown by most of the characters especially the protagonist. Even the antagonists has such intense fighting spirit too. It totally showcase the spirit of sportsmanship. Apart from this I am also fascinated with the tactical aspect of this game. I didn't know tennis needs that much brain power and a good poker face to win. I had so much fun watching the players trying to outsmart each other and analyzing their opponent's moves then try hard to counter it just like in a chess game.

In a way Echizen Ryoma is like a wild card for the Seigaku Tennis Team. It was such pleasure watching Echizen's journey from a rookie tennis player to an awe inspiring national tennis player. Although he is small in stature and only a first year in his new school as a transfer student from America, he speedily earned the respect from his seniors (sempais) for his unshakeable tenacity towards being the best tennis player. He just does not have the word 'defeat' in his dictionary nor would he take a beating in tennis laying down. To him all the talented players and challengers out there are just 'stepping-stones' for him. Yes he is a cocky one but I love him all the more for it, for I admire his strength in mind, spirit and body. He is the embodiment of a true athletic. By the way he is just 12 years old kid and like his father Echizen Nanjirou, he's a prodigy in the tennis world.

Echizen's favorite phrase: Mada Mada Dane

(this is the English version of Mada Mada Dane. Sometimes he would quote it in English)

This is how others sees him (others describing Echizen):

*Sanpaku gan:- check out this phrase at the bottom of this review. It's Echizen's trademark look he would give to his challenger. Basically it's an intense glare with much smugness in it.

Echizen's bravery and never-say-die attitude made me a very proud fan of his. He might just be a chibi (shorty twink) in others eyes, to me he is manlier than any beefy muscly guys out there.

With all my fangirling about this manga one might think that I am naturally a sports fan which is quite the opposite of the truth really. I am not a sports person at all. Most of the time whenever lay eyes on any sports on the TV screen of anywhere else, I don't even know what those players on the field are doing. Clueless really. That's why I was surprised that I got hooked on Prince of Tennis after watching its anime adaptation and now reading it's manga series and loving it just as much. The anime stayed true to the manga's storyline really. In fact, I couldn't find any deflection from it at all. Both the manga and the anime got my adrenaline pumping just as hard. That only means Konomi sensei is really talented at creating not only a fantastic storyline but also very skillful at rendering the action scenes too. Not many people have that kind of skills to bring forth so much excitement in their readers for non moving pictures story-telling especially of the action genre.

Although please be informed that realism is not the aim of this manga instead it's best to take it as a fantasy-styled shounen sports manga. As the form of tennis played here could evolve in stages very much like those supernatural power showed in the famous Bleach manga by Tite Kubo. Then again, I do believe this is the very essence of what makes this manga so well received. Furthermore, I beg to differ from those who said the characters are all one dimensional and static because to me they all; especially the leading characters matured and evolved as they battle onwards to be the National Champions. Along the way they overcome their weaknesses, learned to be a better friend and team members, giving strong support to each others and also making news friends even from the oppositional teams.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this manga to everyone even to those who think they wouldn't enjoy it due to lack of sports enthusiasm. The perfect team spirit successfully depicted in this series is well worth your attention and time.

Title: Tennis no Ouji-sama
Alternate Names/Titles: テニスの王子様 / 網球王子 / 网球王子 / 테니스의 왕자 / Prince of Tennis / The Prince of Tennis / Tennis no Ouji-sama
Related Series: Houkago no Ouji-sama (Side Story) / Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama (Sequel)
Author/Artist/Illustrator/Mangaka: KONOMI Takashi
Year: 1999
Type: Manga
Volume: 42 Volumes (Complete)
Genre: Action / Comedy / Drama / School Life / Shounen / Sports
Categories: Adapted to a Musical / Adapted to Anime / Arrogant Male Lead / Competition(s) / Genius / Prodigy / Team / Teamwork / Tennis Tournament(s)

Ryoma Echizen just joined the Seishun Academy's tennis team, which is known for being one of the most competitive teams in Japan. Its members are incredibly talented, gifted, and athletic. With rigorous and extremely intense practices, the upperclassmen of the team expect the very best from themselves and they expect even more from the new members of the team.

While most of the freshmen are on pins and needles hoping they won't get cut from the team, Ryoma Echizen is confident, cool, and collected. Some might even say he's cocky, but at least he's got the skills to back up his attitude. With his virtually unreturnable "twist serve," Ryoma is sure to make the starting team.

Join Ryoma and the other first years, as they train hard, make friends, and try to find a place for themselves on the team. And meet Ryoma's cute but chronically shy classmate Sakuno Ryuzaki. She's got a big crush on Ryoma, but will he ever notice her?

Ryoma Echizen is the Prince of Tennis. He may be ready for the Seishun Academy tennis team, but are they ready for him? (source: Mangaupdates.com)

My Status: Read from October 06 to 18, 2013 (all 42 volumes - Complete)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

*Sanpaku gan (三白眼) or Sanpaku (三白) is originated from a Chinese term, as well as a Japanese term means “three whites” and is generally referred to in English as "Sanpaku eyes". The term refers to the iris being rather small, so that it only covers about two-thirds or less of the vertical axis of the eye; e.g. delineate an eye into four portions; the iris would only occupy one portion of the divided four sections; thus leaving the other three in white, hence "three whites". (source: Wikipedia)

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