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Sakuno Ryuzaki (竜崎 桜乃)Name: Sakuno Ryūzaki (Ryūzaki Sakuno)
Seiyu: Mikako Takahashi
Dubbed Voice Actor: Cindy Robinson
Birthday: January 14
School/Year/Class: Seishun Academy/Freshman/1-1 (2-1 in the epilogue)
Known Relatives: Coach Ryuzaki
Tennis Strategy: Unknown
Dominant Hand: Right
The manga and anime portrayals of Sakuno are basically similar, yet have some important differences. It is noted that Sakuno made no appearance in the OVA series Episodes 1-13: The Nationals Arc, neither did Tomoka Osakada.
Sakuno has far more spotlight in the anime than the manga, where she's regularly seen hanging out with the Seigaku team along with her best friend Osakada Tomoka, and even helping them out during different training camps. In the manga, she's seldom seen cheerleading and at times even seems to fade away from the storyline, since she spends her time training with the girls of the tennis club.
When Ryoma temporarily lost his memories, Sakuno went searching for him. She was willing to try re-teaching him tennis from scrap in an attempt to help him regain his memory, only to be interrupted by Ryoma as he already recovered his memory and wants to face Yukimura.
In the end, Sakuno was shown as an eighth grader, content with her life and still playing tennis.
Sakuno is a kind, nice and quiet girl with very long hair kept in twin braids, who almost always seems to worry about Ryoma and the others. She started playing tennis after she saw Ryoma playing, and her progress differs in the anime from the manga; in the anime her lack of skill is a recurring gag, while in the manga she's good enough to be seen as a promising player and even a future regular.
Sakuno, in both manga and anime, is extremely shy, to the point that it's emphasized in the anime. The emphasis given to Sakuno's chronic shyness in the anime makes her prone to ditz spells and even small emotional breakdowns, while manga Sakuno is more insightful, mature and intuitive; one example is that, when Kotoha from Tsubakikawa appeared in the Seigaku grounds during chapter 241 and said she had fallen for Ryoma, Sakuno chose to mostly keep her thoughts to herself and noticed that Ryoma had not taken Kotoha's claims seriously, unlike Tomoka who quite freaked out and expressed this very loudly.
Sakuno also has a horrible sense of direction, many times leading Ryoma to the wrong destination.
While in both anime and manga, Sakuno's crush on Ryoma is clear, she hasn't had a chance to really tell him due to her own shy nature, some degree of bad luck and the meddling of other people (especially Nanjiroh and Momoshiro, and occasionally Kikumaru Eiji). On the other hand, Ryoma doesn't take a possible relationship with Sakuno seriously because of his dedication to tennis and his own early age, but does show friendly concern for her; he has rescued Sakuno from bullies several times, doesn't mind her tagging along with the team, he has also coached her and Tomoka in tennis (although unwillingly; his father tricked him into doing so).