Synonyms: Tennis no Ouji-sama
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2001 to Mar 23, 2005
22 min. per episode
G - All Ages
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.181 (scored by 20962 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
comedy shounen sports tennis
SynopsisEchizen 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.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Prince of Tennis
Side story: Prince of Tennis: Atobe's Gift, Prince of Tennis: The Two Samurai, The First Game, Prince of Tennis: A Day on Survival Mountain, Prince of Tennis: New Year's Special, Prince of Tennis: Band of Princes, Prince of Tennis: Mini Theater, Prince of Tennis: Eikokushiki Teikyuu Shiro Kessen!, Prince of Tennis: Pairpuri
Sequel: Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament
Characters & Voice Actors
The Prince of Tennis - a sports-driven anime that debuted back in 2001, depicts the story of Echizen Ryoma and his experiences in the world of tennis. Along with Hajime no Ippo, the Prince of Tennis helped start the rave with sports-driven anime craze, and its not really a wonder why a lot of those anime use many of the elements from the Prince of Tennis - its so good that its still being animated (in OVA form) this very day.
Normally, with sports anime, you see the rise of a certain young star from not being a very good player to being the ace of their sport. The Prince of Tennis pulled something out of the ordinary and made Echizen an amazing tennis player right from the start. Now you're probably thinking, "Well, where's the fun in that?" Well, Echizen is always going up against top-notch opponents and throughout the show, you'll witness him going from a cocky, immature kid to one who actually respects his opponents (well, sort of anyway) and development of new, exciting skills. Echizen join the Seigaku high school tennis team and participates in tournaments with them. And of course, the overall theme is to aim for the top of the tennis world.
The art is pretty good. It starts off so-so, but before you know it, it gets to that level where you're impressed by it. As for the animation, you'll see a lot of repeated frames throughout the show (as usual with sports anime), but the way they animate all of the new skills and tennis matches is just so amazing, that after some of the matches, you just stare in awe at its magnificence.
The sound, I would say, is probably the weakest point of the show. Although the music presented in the Prince of Tennis does suit the mood and is pretty upbeat at times, there really isn't a score that will stand out to you, where you'll be saying, "Ah!! I need that on my computer/ipod." Nevertheless, its relatively enjoyable
Since the stories are pretty much the same throughout all sport anime (overall), in order for an anime to be amazing - especially the case with sport ones - characters and unique personalities need to be there. And Prince of Tennis does not disappoint in that category. This show unveils so many different memorable characters, that you'll undoubtedly have trouble picking your all-time favorite one from the lot because they are so unique. And the best part about it is that the creators were able to somehow give each character a unique way of playing tennis. With the amount of characters and opponents they present, you'd think that they would have to repeat somewhere. But that's definitely not the case.
With amazing tennis matches, a plethora of unique and lovable characters, and a cocky main protagonist that will get on your nerves at times but you'll respect out of necessity because of his skills, the Prince of Tennis is an amazing sport anime. The best part of this anime is that you will have a hard time knowing who will win matches. Surprisingly enough, all the main characters experience losses matches at times, which makes it interesting to see how each one responds to the agony of defeat.
If you are looking for a sport-driven anime and are in for the long haul - meaning 170+ episodes, the Prince of Tennis is exactly what you're looking for. read more
"Mada Mada Dane"
Once upon a time in Japan, a manga artist by the name of Takeshi Konomi came up with a manga by the name of Prince of Tennis, and it quickly became one of - if not the - most popular sports manga of all time, doing for tennis what Slam Dunk did for basketball, it caused a massive boost in popularity for the sport in its native country. To this day, it's hard to really say that Japan ever got past Prince of Tennis fever, one look at the various pieces of Prince of Tennis merchandise like the musicals or even the live-action film, makes it instantly clear just how big of a thing this is for them.
Naturally, such a popular manga was bound to be subject to an anime adaptation, and so in October 2001, an anime version of the mega-hit was released by none other than...J.C Staff? Wait, seriously? Someone thought that that was a good idea? I mean, J.C Staff, a company that is well known for messing up and/or butchering adaptations of great works? (I'm looking at you Spiral) This is a company that for the most part, seems to have very little in terms of "great" budget, and suddenly they're expected to animate 178 episodes of such a huge hit? All of a sudden, Prince of Tennis the anime sounds like it's going to be a disaster.
You know what though? It's not; in fact, Prince of Tennis is actually pretty good.
That's not to say however, that this is the best sports anime out there - indeed, there are definitely flaws with PoT, mostly to do with the animation, which I'll cover later on - and if you've had any animosity towards sports anime in the past then you can immediately forget about liking Prince of Tennis, as it most definitely won't change your mind about them, it's possible that it may make you dislike them even more actually; even sports anime fans that I've talked to have dismissed PoT out of hand calling it "ridiculous" "a joke" and "an insult to the actual sport itself", and whilst I can certainly understand why people dislike certain ridiculous elements of the show, I find comments about it being a joke and an insult to be quite puzzling, because personally, I found that once PoT hit its stride, it was a huge barrel of fun and enjoyment.
The story is typical sports anime fare: Team wants to become the best. Team goes up against many strong opponents and becomes stronger after each match. Team wins some games, team loses some games. It's a tried and trusted formula which, while not really turning any heads in terms of how things play out, provides decent enough motivation for the characters to at least keep you emotionally invested in them for a while.
What's interesting about the story is that, whereas other sports shows would immediately opt for making the main protagonists team a group of underdogs, going up against impossible odds and coming out better for it, the tennis players of Seigaku are actually rather strong by comparison. We're presented with players who are already known at the national level, a player that's regarded by practically everyone as a tennis prodigy, and Jesus himself, Captain Tezuka. These are character archetypes that, in nearly every other sports show, would be reserved for the opposing teams, their sole purpose to make the protagonists team stronger and stronger after every single match, and we're meant to watch them playing for the home team.
So how then does that make the matches interesting?
As mentioned before, Seigaku is constantly going up against stronger and stronger teams, with players that are just as equally strong as them (with the exception of Captain Jesus, who I'll talk about later on), this means that even though there are main characters who are ridiculously powerful, the players are almost never really in a position in which they can just sit back and take the match easily, meaning that it successfully maintains a feeling of excitement and tension, despite the several curb-stomp matches that do occur throughout the series.
One major stand-out of the original PoT's storyline, rather funnily, is the filler. Now obviously, in an anime this long filler is bound to be expected - this could range from anything to funny filler episodes to outright filler arcs - but what's interesting to note is that, well...the filler is actually pretty damn good.
No seriously, I mean it, I wouldn't joke about this even if you paid me.
After about 125 episodes, PoT goes off on its own route because the animators decided that they wanted to give the audience a different Prince of Tennis experience than that of the manga, and it actually pays off rather well, I'm sure the whole Junior Selection Camp thing served in some way as the basis for what would eventually form the plot of New Prince of Tennis; in reality I suppose these filler episodes are nothing more than a clever way for J.C Staff to fully exploit the huge cast of bishonens that exist in PoT, and create new pairings for its ever growing fanbase of yaoi fans (heck I'm a straight male and even I supported some of the pairings). Nonetheless, these filler episodes are at times more entertaining than the actual matches from the proper storyline, they're a strong example of how to do filler, and more importantly, how to do filler well - the fact that I was able to marathon through the final 78 episodes in the space of about two weeks is a testament of how good I personally found the filler.
However, regardless of how good everything else is in Prince of Tennis, there is one factor that threatens to nearly derail the viewing experience almost completely. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Prince of Tennis's utterly woeful animation.
Artistically speaking, the series fares well, Takeshi Konomi's numerous bishonens translate well to the screen, enough so that that was the deciding factor in why the score isn't less than 5, it's when it actually comes to animating that Prince of Tennis utterly falls down.
You will see stock footage, a lot of it, I lost count of the amount of times I saw the same footage for Ryoma's Twist Serve or Fuji's Higuma Otoshi repeated again, and again, and again. Static images are abound in the anime. It's not often that animation in an anime is so bad that it's actually detrimental to the viewing experience, but in this case, it most definitely is. For whatever reason - perhaps due to J.C Staff's lack of funds - simple shots are repeated in little boxes that suddenly appear on the screen, so you're subjected to the same footage you saw not two seconds ago; randomly, a character will take a shot and the anime decides that for whatever reason, it's going to show the same shot again in a spiral that suddenly bombards your screen. I could quite literally turn this review into a complete list of faults with the animation of the show. The animation is meant to be a medium that conveys the manga format effectively, and it seems as if somewhere along the line, J.C Staff forgot about that little detail, as such, we're presented with matches that, in the manga, would only take about 3 to 5 chapters (I bothered to use the Seigaku VS Yamabuki match as a reference for this) and in the anime, take roughly the equivalent of about 4 episodes by comparison.
In short, it's pretty much total butchery, and something that wouldn't be fixed until the National Tournament OVA's in which it was then animated by the far more capable hands of Production I.G.
Musically speaking, PoT fares significantly better, one of the many things that defines a sports anime - or long running anime in general - is the soundtrack; without a good soundtrack, quite a bit of the effect is lost whenever something dramatic happens, and what PoT lacks in the animation department is something that the sound department makes up for. Cher Watanabe composed an absolutely awesome soundtrack, the opening themes are, personally, among some of the best and really get you in the mood for Prince of Tennis, seriously, just try and listen to "Driving Myself" (by far the best of the opening themes) and not get pumped.
The rest of the soundtrack is also pretty good, I remember plenty of moments when the music was the best thing about the show, particularly when tracks like "Mission", "Hangeki" and "Koutekishu" were playing, it's hard to not at times feel a big goofy grin appear on your face when the soundtrack is at its best.
Voice acting is equally strong, there are plenty of arrogant characters in Prince of Tennis, not least Ryoma, Atobe and Kirihara, and the voice acting is able to pretty much hit all the right notes when it comes to performances, whether it be one of the arrogant characters or one of the softer characters, or perhaps one of the stoic characters - it's hard to fault the voice acting, with the exception of the really annoying little kids that pretty much form Ryoma's fan-club, their voices grate significantly and any attempt at humour with these characters falls flat down on its face.
Also, a word of advice, avoid the dub at all costs, they never did dub the entire show but what the did dub was pretty poor; it seems as if practically no one was taking the anime seriously enough to bother contributing something that can actually be considered a performance.
As you will no doubt know, sports anime and manga are usually not reliant on their story (even if, in this case, it's actually pretty good), the sport is usually the lifeblood of its respective anime or manga, but it's the characters that really make it stand out. If you were, for instance, to try and watch Eyeshield 21 without Hiruma, you would be stuck with an anime that, while having its moments, doesn't have a strong enough cast for you to keep yourself interested in it. Thankfully, PoT's characters are strong enough to keep your interest, you will definitely find at least one character among this cast that you can actually bring yourself to like. Like yourself a cocky, confident main protagonist who knows what he's doing? Then you'll probably quickly find yourself fawning all over Ryoma. Do you like relaxed, composed characters with strong poker faces? Fuji's the one for you. Do you fancy unbelievably arrogant, king-like characters? Look no further than King Atobe himself.
Of course, those are just the base character traits, over time, the characters (especially Ryoma) develop into more than that, becoming much more likeable, more sympathetic and much more worthy of you rooting for them. Gags that originally weren't funny, such as Inui's special juices or Kawamura's Engrish, gradually become chuckle-worthy, heck even downright funny, and that's because of the way the characters develop.
Unfortunately, the characters aren't quite perfect, and that's due to the fault of one character: Captain Jesus - I mean, Captain Tezuka.
Tezuka is, hands down, the worst character in the show, so naturally, he's one of the most overpowered too. He's bland, dull, has practically no emotions whatsoever and is just completely uninteresting as a character, and as the team captain; Kabaji had more character development than Tezuka, and the only thing he said was "Yes"! Of course, this also makes him practically unbeatable, with only really the best of the best standing a decent chance against him. The only thing that Tezuka is good for is providing Ryoma with at least some motivation to start getting better, and even that's only a small catalyst.
Despite its faults - and woeful animation, which it should be noted, does actually start to improve in the last 8 episodes - I thoroughly enjoyed Prince of Tennis, it was a fun ride with some excellent filler, a strong cast of likeable characters and a great soundtrack. It most definitely won't change your mind about sports anime if you didn't like them to begin with, especially when it starts bringing in elements that take it from almost believable to downright Super Saiyan, and I wouldn't really recommend it if you're just starting to get into sports anime either, perhaps after you've seen something much more realistic like say, Hajime no Ippo and fancy something that isn't as bothered by the laws of physics. Still, it's a great ride once it gets going and well worth the time you put into it, especially as you're rewarded by Production I.G's glorious animation in the Nationals. read more
Enjoy watching people play sports and have them use "powers" to help them win their matches? Eyeshield 21 and Prince of Tennis each contain their share of "strive to become the best player". They're also not very realistic, in that many characters achieve extremely difficult/amazing skills. Whether you like or don't like either sport, you'll still enjoy the "become the best" parts in both.
Pretty much both anime revolve around the rise of a young superstar and their path to their respective sports' ultimate championship game.
both sports related!!! and very good animes!! i love the characters..
both are sports anime, and has hilarious moments
Both are very long sport anime about school teams participating in competitions that get increasingly more difficult. Lots of interesting characters, very exciting plot, some humour.
They are both intersting, fun to watch, and have awesome characters. They are both sport anime, and trust me even if u dont like sports at all and u r looking for something good to watch I definitely recommend them both to you. Not to mention they both make names to thier moves [well atleast most of the time].
Both are sports animes. While the main focus of Prince of Tennis is tennis (duh), Eyeshield 21 focuses on American Football. The main characters are also completely opposite of one another. However, after finishing Prince of Tennis, I craved more sports anime which led me to Eyeshield 21. I highly recommend both animes if you haven't seen them yet!
Both have unrealistic moves and powers to help them with winning, and they are both long running.
Also a sports anime, also builds strongly on nice characters.
PoT and KnB can be considered somehow similar:
- both are shonen series of sports genre (despite PoT deals with tennis, while KnB deals with basketball)
- both are about good friendships and the importance of the teamwork in order to win
- among all the sports series, both of those are between the most commercial ones and very likeable stories.
- the characters in both of them have "special techniques/powers" who make everything even more interesting
- still, both are quite addicting, have a gorgeous art style and a very skilled cast of seiyuus.
Despite being about two different sports as you'll have a chance to see, they have some important points in common!
If you liked one of those, give a try to the another as well! It will worth it!
Highly recommended both, they are great series.
They are about sports and have good characters that have resemblances between them. Bth are really good and addicting ^^
Both are amazing sports anime, although they do have their differences. The character personalities clearly differ. For example, the main character of "Kuroko no Basket", Kuroko presence goes unnoticed most of the time, he's polite and he doesn't have a natural talent for playing basketball. While the "Prince of Tennis" main character, Ryoma is quite hard to miss, has a natural talent for playing tennis, and is cocky, often shown by the way he taunts players with his catch phrase "mada mada dane." Although, both main characters differ, they are the same in the sense that they both have a love for the sport that they play. An obvious difference in the 2 shows is that their both playing completely different sports (one being tennis, the latter being basketball), but even though they both follow a story line consisting of 2 very different sports, both series allow for the viewer to bond with the show and come to love the sport that's being played as well. If you love predominantly sports based anime's like then you should check out these 2 anime's.
Both are sports anime with lots of characters that all still get good characterization.
The sense of humor in both series is quite similar too, as well as the plots and counter-plots while playing a match.
both are of the same shounen, sports genre, but different sports altogether
both male protagonists join a school for their favourite sport.. tennis/basketball
both animes show the importance of friendship, rivalry, teamwork etc
both animes sports groups/clubs, have special talents/skills/powers that make each of their individuality, making them better than others, making them elite.
both anime plots are roughly the same, both male protagonists want to be the best at what sport they play, and both animes are surrounded by a full comedic cast of supporting characters
if you liked one you will probably like the other in terms of sports and special moves/skills and winning to be the best.
Opening Theme#1: "Future" by Hiro-X (eps 1-26)
#2: "Driving Myself" by Hiro-X (eps 27-53)
#3: "Make You Free" by Kimeru (male version), hisoca (female version) (eps 54-75)
#4: "Long Way" by Ikuo (eps 76-101)
#5: "Fly High" by Toshihiko Matsunaga (eps 102-128)
#6: "Shining" by Yuki Shirai (eps 129-153)more
#7: "Paradise" by Yuki Shirai (eps 154-165)
#8: "Dream Believer" by Osami Masaki (eps 166-178)
Ending Theme#1: "You Got Game" by Kimeru (eps 1-26)
#2: "Keep Your Style" by Masataka Fujishige (eps 27-35, 38-39, 41-47, 49-53)
#3: "Walk On" by Masataka Fujishige (eps 36-37, 40, 48)
#4: "White Line" by Aozu (eps 54-75)
#5: "Kaze no Tabibito" by Fureai (eps 76-101)
#6: "Sakura" by Yomu Hamaguchi (eps 102-140)more
#7: "Wonderful Days" by Pull Tab to Can (eps 141-165)
#8: "Little Sky" by Kentaro Fukushi (eps 166-178)
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