Anime is not only about super human powers, out of this world adventures, and overly sweet romantic duos, it also has the right mix of sports, which brings us to one of the most popular tennis-fueled series – Prince of Tennis also known as TeniPuri. The story follows Ryoma Echizen who entered a school in Tokyo called Seishun Gakuen (Seigaku), a prestigious school known for its strong pool of Tennis players.
1. Ryoma Echizen
It is only right to begin with this tennis genius who also happens to be the main character of the story. Ryoma Echizen, even before getting a proper introduction in the anime, already has the bragging rights to back up his frank and nonchalant behavior when it comes to tennis. Before entering as a first year junior high school student at Seishun Gakuen, Ryoma Echizen had already won four consecutive titles in the American Junior Tennis Tournament in just a little over a year. To top it off, he is only 12 years old. He is first seen riding a subway along with Sakuno Ryuzaki and other high school students, who Ryoma criticizes for their supposed knowledge about tennis.
Ryoma is the only first year in Seigaku’s tennis club. He is short compared to the other regular members, which made one of his teammates suggest that he should drink at least two bottles of milk per day. He is very focused on developing and learning new skills in tennis, which is why he spends most of time training alone or with the whole club. Ryoma is best-known as an all-rounder type of player and his signature serve is the “Twist Serve”, which is a combination of a sidespin and topspin to make the ball bounce really high and curve towards the opponent. Ryoma’s ability to stay calm in every game gives him the capability to think of possible ways to overcome the skills of his opponent in every match, regardless of lack of prior experience. Ryoma is typically placed in the Singles division, particularly in 2 and 3, though he also has to play Singles 1 at some point in the anime as well as try Doubles with a teammate, Takeshi Momoshiro.
One of his habits in every tennis challenge is to first use his right hand to size up the skills of his opponents, when his real dominant arm is his left. Once he sees that the challenger is someone worth his time, or someone whom he can learn from, he switches to his left hand. Ryoma uses the phrase "Mada mada da ne," which translates to “Not good enough.” or “No, not yet.”
Even though Ryoma is an exceptional tennis player, he continues to push himself in order to defeat his ultimate rival – his father. As the story progresses, Ryoma discovers what tennis truly means to him, as well as develops a certain degree of respect for his teammates.
2. Tezuka Kunimitsu
Tezuka is the captain of Seigaku’s tennis club. Kunimitsu is seen as a serious and strict captain throughout the series which is why he has a rather stoic expression. He takes training very seriously, never gives any exception when it comes to the rules and he will not hesitate even for a second to punish anyone. Just like Ryoma, Tezuka is also an all-rounder tennis player and his signature move is the Zero-Shiki Drop shot. This shot is an advanced drop shot done by adding a heavy backspin to make the ball roll on the net. He is a third year when Ryoma arrives in Seishun Gakuen.
Ryoma considers Tezuka his mentor as well as one of his rivals. Tezuka wants Ryoma to grow stronger and become the pillar of support for Seigaku’s tennis club. Though he may not have the emotional capability to show it, Kunimitsu’s intentions have always been to support the team and lead them to the nationals.
Tezuka had a fit during his first year after feeling anxious over scary rumors in school. He displays a terrified look whenever he is reminded of the flying library book - one of the seven horrific mysteries in Seishun Gakuen.
3. Shusuke Fuji
One can never let tensai (genius) Shusuke Fuji’s content and calm expression get their guard down, because when he is serious, the skills of this tennis player can be limitless. He is a third year junior high school student, who is often seen together with Tezuka who he feels genuinely close to.
Shusuke Fuji is the middle child of three, and he only gets to celebrate his birthday properly every four years because he is a leap year baby. His older sister Yumiko is very attractive, and his friends admire her, while his younger brother Yuta was formerly a student of Seishun Gakuen but moved to St. Rudolph. Shusuke has a strong sense of protecting the people he holds most dear. That’s why if someone messes up with his circle, Shusuke won’t back down to get his vengeance.
He's mostly popular for his triple counter moves: The Higuma Ootoshi, or Bear Drop, Tsubame Gaeshi, or Swallow Return, and Hakugei, or White Whale. During nationals, Shusuke was able to develop three more counter moves. His position is usually in the Singles 2 division but can also do Singles 1. He is a great key for Doubles, in which he and Eiji Kikumaru are considered the “Dream Pair.”
There are only a few tennis players that can push Shusuke to play seriously and lose his calm expression－those whom he considers as national-rank players like Ryoma and team captain Kunimitsu.
4. Shuichiro Oishi
Shuichiro Oishi is a third year at Seishun Gakuen and the vice-captain of the tennis club. Shuichiro is best known for his Moon Volley shot, which is a topspin lob that goes high up the court but lands exactly within the bounds. He can also do a Drop Volley, it is a type of drop shot with the trajectory closer to the net. Just like Shusuke, he is paired with Eiji Kikumaru to make up a national-level doubles team for Seigaku. He and Eiji are referred to as the “Golden Pair.”
Shuichiro demonstrates a caring personality. He often worries about the team’s well-being and this extends even to people he does not know. However, no matter how delicate his personality can be, his composure can crack when agitated.
5. Eiji Kikumaru
Eiji Kikumaru is a third year junior high student as well as a regular member of Seigaku’s tennis club. He is Shuichiro Oishi's best friend and Doubles partner. He has a flexible body that enables him to do an Acrobatic Play - style in tennis. Eiji can use the Seal Step; this technique is done by moving quickly from one location to another to create an illusion that there are two of him inside the court. His flexibility allows him to return the ball even those that are technically difficult to reach. Eiji, like Ryoma, has a sharp vision, enabling him to see fast moving objects.
Everyone calls him by his first name “Eiji” unlike most of the characters in the series. Eiji is an energetic and fun-loving person who often imitates a cat by adding a nya at the end of his sentences. He also basks in attention and feels more invigorated when he is being cheered on by the crowd during a match, and when he is at his most eager, he rolls his racket around his hand and catches it continuously. His signature moves when playing singles are the Kikumaru Beam and the Kikumaru Bazooka.
Although Eiji also plays Doubles with Fuji as the “Dream Pair”, he claims that he will not play Doubles anymore if his partner is not Shuichiro Oishi. When playing doubles, Eiji relies on Shuichiro for their game strategy. Since the two of them are best friends and are quite familiar with one another, they are able to predict each others moves.
6. Takashi Kawamura
A third year and regular Seigaku tennis club member, Takashi Kawamura or “Taka-san” is a soft-spoken and shy person but quickly transforms into an aggressive player once he holds a tennis racket.
Before getting a regular spot into the tennis club, Takashi Kawamura had to train and gain control over the power of his shots. During his first year, his shots would often go beyond the court fences, but through the help of his friends and fellow first years, Kinumitsu Tezuka, Shuichiro Oishi, Shusuke Fuji, Sadaharu Inui and Eiji Kikumaru, he was able to overcome this difficulty.
While in Burning Mode, Takashi becomes loud and shouts various words such as “Burning!”, “Come on, Baby!” and “Moreuze!” to name a few. As a power player, Takashi uses a move called Hadoukyuu that uses up 120% of his arm’s strength. Hadoukyuu can put a strain on his arm.
His quest on become the number one power player in Japan became a reality when he was able to beat Gin Ishida by using the Final Hadoukyuu which broke the latter’s wrist.
7. Sadaharu Inui
Inui uses his knowledge to create a tactical advantage he calls as Data Tennis. Before every match, he takes time to observe and collect data to see what his opponent’s disadvantages and habits are. He believes that data is absolute. However, he discovers that if a player is not playing in full potential, the data that he gathered will less likely be accurate.
He carries a notebook most of the time, though this habit of his may go overboard at times. Sadaharu Inui’s excessive data gathering turns into snooping on personal information which makes the others feel awkward.
Sadaharu assemble various training exercises for the team while participating in it as well. He can do a training load 2.25 times harder than Kaoru Kaido, who already has a more rigorous routine compared to the rest of the team. To keep the team from breaking the rules or failing the tests that he has prepared, he cooks up vegetable juice concoctions they call “Inui Juices”, which can instantly knock anyone out. While the rest of the team find Sadaharu’s juices deadly, it is quite that curious Shusuke, along with Sadaharu, think that these juices are delicious and healthy.
He is a great Singles player and uses the Waterfall Serve and the Sonic Serve, which is the fastest serve in the Japanese tournaments.
8. Takeshi Momoshiro
Takeshi Momoshiro, or “Momo” as he prefers to be called, is a second year. He is also a member of the tennis club and the first regular member to match up with Ryoma due to his eagerness to see a twist serve.
Takeshi Momoshiro is notably one of the friendliest and has the easy to get along with personality in the whole team. He is seen as Ryoma’s closest friend because of their outings and random street tennis games. While he and Kaoru Kaido see each other as rivals, they make a great pair for Doubles because they are familiar with each-other's gameplay and tactics.
The Dunk Smash, a great counter for lobs, is Takeshi’s signature move. He jumps several feet in the air to deliver a Dunk Smash then says "don" once his feet are back on the ground. Takeshi can also be a tricky opponent because he is quite good at faking out. He is sly and can predict other people’s movements. Through this he is able to develop the Super Dunk, which is an upgrade to his Dunk Smash but keeps the ball spinning longer before bouncing.
9. Kaoru Kaido
Nicknamed "The Viper", Kaido is a second year junior high student and Momoshiro’s rival in the tennis club team. Kaoru is quite tall and his legs and arms are strong, which enables him to do a perfect Snake Shot, which is inspired by the curving forehand known as the Buggy Whip Shot. As his extensive training with Inui progresses, Kaoru was able to perfect the Boomerang Snake, Short Snake, Reverse Snake, Tornado Snake, Gyro Laser and the Hadoukyuu Boomerang.
Kaoru puts forth a tough exterior and he is almost always slouching. He often makes the fshuuu sound, when exhaling which is the same sound that comes off from a snake. He prefers to play Singles, but he also tries pairing up with Sadaharu as the latter suggested that it would help him train better and develop new skills.
Despite his seemingly strong persona, Kaoru has a soft spot for animals which is confirmed by his fondness of Ryoma’s pet cat Karupin. He is also easily moved, and blushes over brief touches by a friend or a teammate. He is quite surprisingly superstitious, and like Kunimitsu, afraid of ghosts. Yes, he avoids listening to horror stories, but give him a racket and place him in the tennis court, and he will not be merciful.
10. Sumire Ryuzaki
Sumire Ryuzaki is a math teacher and the coach of Seishun Gakuen’s tennis club. Though she may already be old, she is tough and strict when it comes to training the regular members of the tennis club. She's been coaching the school’s tennis club for 25 years and was the mentor of Ryoma’s father, Nanjiro Echizen.
Sumire is noticeably close to her team. She joins the team’s recreational activities and see to it that everyone is making an effort to contribute into the group’s progress. She will never hold any of her students nor the tennis club members back. Instead, she is willing to open doors that will give more opportunities for them.
Other Notable Characters in Seigaku
11. Nanjiro Echizen
He was best known as Samurai Nanjiro in his youth, and remained undefeated until he unexpectedly left the sport even though he was only one opponent away from getting a Grand Slam title. He constantly trains his son, Ryoma Echizen, whom he taught his famous technique of playing with his eyes closed. Nanjiro Echizen may be a flirt, perverted and even childish at times, but he truly loves his son Ryoma and will do anything to mold his son into the best tennis player he ever could be. He uses an almost identical catchphrase as his son; he says Mada Mada Dana while Ryoma uses Mada Mada Dane which basically mean the same thing.
12. Sakuno Ryuzaki
She is the granddaughter of Sumire Ryuzaki, as well as Ryoma's fellow first year in Seishun Gakuen. Sakuno is kind and timid. Her hair is quite long and is often tied into two braids. Her interest in tennis starts after witnessing Ryoma Echizen play in the court. In the entire series, she is the only female character who Ryoma shows kindness to despite, being completely oblivious to her feelings towards him. She tags along with the Seigaku’s tennis team and supports them in any way that she possibly can.
13. Tomoka Osakada
Tomoka is Sakuno’s best friend. Unlike Sakuno, she is very blunt and open about her feelings towards Ryoma Echizen. She is the official "founder" of Ryoma’s fan club and adds the suffix -sama to his name to depict her high regards about the player. She, along with Sakuno, cheers loudly whenever they get the chance to watch Ryoma Echizen play and she will not let anyone reprimand her for it.
14. Satoshi Horio
He is a first year junior high student who brags about his knowledge in tennis, often claiming that he has two years of tennis experience. At first he was quite doubtful of Ryoma’s skills especially during the ranking matches, however, after watching him play a couple of times, Satoshi began to acknowledge Ryoma’s abilities. In the anime, his character serves as a gateway to explain the rules and techniques of tennis.
Rikkai Dai Fuzoku
1. Seiichi Yukimura
Seiichi Yukimura is a third year in Rikkaidai as well the captain of the tennis club of their school. He is part of the formidable “Big Three” of their tennis club, and has the title “The Child of God” because he never lost a single game prior to Rikkaidai's match up with Seigaku. Seiichi Yukimura is a kind and calm person. He is also fond of teasing the people who are close to him specifically, his pal and teammate, Genichiro Sanada.
2. Genichiro Sanada
Genichiro Sanada is the vice-captain of Rikkaidai’s tennis club, and like Seiichi, he is also a third year. As part of the “Big Three” he was referred to as “The Emperor” and helped lead his team to the nationals when he was only in his first year. He is strict and will not hold back to hit those who brings shame to their team. Genichiro considers Kunimitsu Tezuka as his rival and vows to defeat him in the near future.
3. Renji Yanagi
Renji Yanagi is the last player of the “Big Three” of Rikkaidai’s tennis club. This third year junior high student is a childhood friend and previous doubles partner of Seigaku’s Sadaharu Inui. He is best known as the “Professor” or “Data Master."
4. Akaya Kirihara
He is best known as the “Second Year Ace” because he is the youngest and the only second year member on Rikkaidai’s tennis club. Akaya has the habit of finishing his matches in no more than fifteen minutes and plays violently on the court, especially when he is in Devil Mode. His trademark shot is the Knuckle Serve, which is a more powerful version of the Twist Serve.
5. Hiroshi Yagyu
Hiroshi Yagyu is called “The Gentleman” and often never fails to be polite to other people. He is a third year junior high student in Rikkaidai and uses the Golf Swing Shot which is adapted from skills at golf.
6. Masaharu Nio
Masaharu Nio, a third year junior high and member of Rikkaidai’s tennis club, has the ability to read his opponent’s moves by ten or twenty steps in advance. He is considered the most troublesome guy and can copy anyone's style in playing tennis. However, there are some limitations in his copying ability based on his physical capabilities. Nio has the habit of saying Puri or Piyo!
7. Bunta Marui
Bunta Marui is a care-free, laid-back person and one of the most capable Singles players in Rikkaidai. He binges on sweet things, especially before going on a match because it helps him improve his low stamina. He is quite good at returning cord balls and making the ball roll on the top of the net, a move called Tightrope Walking.
8. Jackal Kuwahara
Jackal Kuwahara is a half-Japanese, half-Brazilian club member of Rikkaidai. He is tasked to look after the youngest member of their team, Akaya Kirihara. He is nicknamed as the “Iron Wall of Defense” and the “Man with Four Lungs” because of his incredible level of stamina that is said to be on par with Kaoru Kaido's.
1. Kippei Tachibana
Kippei Tachibana is the person who rebuilt the tennis team in Fudomine Middle School, inevitably making him the captain of the group as well as its bench coach. Although he may be a charming and reliable captain, he can be an aggressive tennis player who uses a signature shot called Abare Dama and Abare Jishi. To increase his physical abilities, he makes use of the Moujuu Aura, or Wild Beast Aura.
2. Akira Kamio
Akira Kamio is an extremely fast tennis player because his playing style is focused on his footwork. He usually plays Singles but also pairs up with his friend Shunji Ibu to do Doubles. He uses the Sonic Bullet shot which creates an illusion that the ball disappeared, and the Quick-Drop Serve to disrupt his opponent’s timing and anticipation.
3. Shinji Ibu
A lot of people do not take Shinji Ibu seriously, nor see him as a threat in the court because of his expressionless face. However, he is good at sensing the muscle tension of his opponents, allowing him to create a passive-offensive play style to momentarily freeze their muscles and miss a point.
4. Tetsu Ishida
Aside from being a tennis player for Fudomine, Tetsu Ishida is also the official fitness trainer of the team. He is hard working, and will follow his captain’s orders no matter what they are. Like Takashi Kawamura, he can also use Hadokyuu, but temporarily seals it off because it puts an extreme strain on his arm. As the story progresses, Tetsu Ishida learns to use Tachibana’s Wild Beast Aura.
5. Kyosuke Uchimura
Kyosuke Uchimura, or the “Vanguard Killer” is a second year junior high student and tennis club member of Fudomine. He can make precise shots, however, it can only be effective if his opponent has a slow reflex which is usually not the case for most tennis players.
1. Keigo Atobe
Keigo Atobe earned his title as the team’s captain after defeating all of the members of Hyotei’s tennis club members during his first year. Hyotei’s team is notably one of the few teams without a vice captain, which clearly shows Keigo’s leadership and skills. He is a national level player or a Zenkoku ku, which puts him at the same level as Kunimitsu Tezuka (Seigaku), Kippei Tachibana (Fudomine), Genichiro Sanada and Seiichi Yukimura (Rikkaidai). Keigo considers Kunimitsu, Genichiro and Ryoma to be his rivals. He can be arrogant and often says "Be awed at the sight of my prowess!"
2. Munehiro Kabaji
This second year is the tallest and has the best stamina in their group. Munehiro Kabaji is very quiet. He rarely speaks and only acknowledges Keigo’s questions by saying usu meaning "yes" or "yup". He is able to copy his opponent’s tennis techniques, but the result is sometimes less impressive, especially if the skill requires a certain amount of experience and practice.
3. Jiro Akutagawa
Jiro Akutagawa sleeps most of the time, especially before a tennis match. However, this behavior of his should not be taken lightly nor be seen as a slacking trait of his. When Jiro Akutagawa sees an opponent who is worth his while, he becomes overly excited and can finish up a match within 15 minutes. After each match, Jiro resumes sleeping, which is why a lot of people refer to him as the “Sleeping Beauty.”
4. Yushi Oshitari
If Shusuke Fuji is Seigaku’s resident genius, Hyotei's is Yushi Oshitari. He is nicknamed the “Man of 1000 techniques” because of his ability to copy other player’s moves, such as Shusuke’s Bear Drop. He also claims that he wears glasses not because he has poor eyesight (his is perfect, in fact) but because he believes that it makes him look cooler and smarter. He play Doubles with his teammate Gakuto, and Singles in the latter part of the series.
5. Gakuto Mukahi
Like most of Hyotei’s tennis club members, Gakuto Mukahi, a third year, is a bit arrogant and boastful of his acrobatic skills. Although his skills are comparable to Eiji Kikumaru's, his acrobatic play is superior and he has the ability to overwhelm his opponents with Moon Volleys for a quick finish. He typically plays doubles with either Yushi Oshitari or Wakashi Hiyoshi.
6. Ryo Shishido
This third year hates to lose, which is why he is persistent and trains hard to achieve his goals. His speed is top-notch, which enables him to be a Dash Specialist and return almost any kind of ball. He also develops a new skill called Rising Counter that he matches perfectly with his dashes. He mostly play Doubles in the tournament with his partner Chotaro Otori.
7. Chotaro Otori
Chotaro Otori is Ryo Shishido’s doubles partner and best friend. He is a second year junior high student in Hyotei. He can do a fast serve called Scud Serve－it can go up to 200 km/h, but has low accuracy. Chotaro later masters this skill and renames it to the Neo Scud Serve, which has a speed of about 215 km/h. He often says the line “one shot with all my soul” each time he does a serve.
8. Wakashi Hiyoshi
He may be unfriendly and a bit hostile at times, but Wakashi Hiyoshi is a very determined and focused tennis player who aims to reach his goals. He uses Embu Tennis which is a combination of martial arts and standard tennis, allowing him to counter fast shots. His favorite line is gekokujo which means “to defeat the greater and take his place” and wears contact lenses because glasses for him are an obstruction and high maintenance.
9. Taro Sakaki
The Hyotei team coach believes that losers do not deserve a second chance. He looks elegant and acts polite, but Taro Sakaki has little to zero tolerance for losses. He will not think twice to remove a team member from the lineup permanently if they lose. This rule, however, changes as the story progresses; it is simply impractical and demoralizing for any tennis player.
1. Yoshiro Akazawa
Even though he is the team captain of St. Rudolph’s tennis club, Yoshiro Akazawa does not fully perform his duties, and leaves most of the tasks to their team manager, Hajime Mizuki. He is an all-rounder and does well in playing Singles. In fact, a lot of Seigaku members praise Yoshiro Akazawa’s skills. Despite his lack of experience in Doubles, he was paired up with Ichiro Kaneda in the tournament.
2. Takuya Nomura
Takuya Nomura is a third year student, as well as the vice-captain of St. Rudolph’s tennis club. He is considered by the team’s manager, Hajime Mizuki, to be one of the weakest members of the team. He plays on Singles 1 as Hajime thinks that it is a tactical move to sacrifice losses at first then let the stronger members collect wins towards the end. Takuya, however, sees himself as the strongest member of the team, even though he does not have any notable skills, nor any trademark shots.
3. Ichiro Kaneda
Ichiro Kaneda, as well as his team captain, Yoshiro Akazawa, are the only members who are originally from St. Rudolph. This is the reason why team manager Hajime pairs him up with Yoshiro to play Doubles against Seigaku’s Golden Pair. However, things did not go well at the beginning because it was their first time playin together, leading to a lot of disagreements. It took a lot of courage for Ichiro to speak up against his team captain who he respects so much, but in the end he was able to lead Yoshiro through his perceptive skills and natural ability as a Doubles player to get through a huge obstacle.
4. Yuta Fuji
Yuta is Shusuke’s younger brother and formerly a Seigaku student. He was often referred to as “Shusuke’s younger brother” instead of by his own name in Seigaku. When St. Rudolph’s team manager Hajime offered him a chance to create a name for himself, and not just a shadow of his brother’s name, he took the chance and immediately moved out of Seigaku. He transferred to St. Rudolph and has the burning passion to one day defeat his brother in a tennis match. He uses the Rising Shot and later learned how to use the Twist Spin Shot through Hajime’s guidance.
5. Shinya Yanagisawa
This Doubles player often ends his sentences with "dane", a habit of his ever since he was a child. He is paired up with Atsushi Kisarazu to play Doubles and he is fast enough to return cord balls and even Kaoru Kaido’s Snake Shot. Shinya Yanagisawa is also fond of teasing Yuta as ototo which means "little brother." Regardless of his constant teasing, the two have a good relationship and hang out together.
6. Atsushi Kisarazu
He is originally from Rokkaku, where his older twin brother, Ryo Kisarazu, is a regular member of the tennis club. Atsushi Kisarazu is the first person recruited by Hajime Mizuki to transfer to St. Rudolph. Atsushi Kisarazu is quite good at doing a Sky Inversion Drop Volley. Instead of a regular smash, he turns his body around 360 degrees then catches his opponents off-guard by following it up with a backhand drop volley.
7. Hajime Mizuki
Albeit a bit arrogant and ruthless, his sole vision is to create an elite tennis team for St. Rudolph. He spends time observing other teams to determine their weak spots as well as other tendencies that can help him predict the possible ending scores. He is willing to sacrifice his teammate’s health, even allowing Yuta Fuji to practice a Twist Spin Shot even if Yuta is not physically ready for such a dangerous move. Hajime practices Data Tennis. However, just like how the other players who uses this method, he learns that data is not always accurate and that there are many other factors that can make this approach backfire.
1. Kentaro Minami
Kentaro Minami is the team captain of Yamabuki’s tennis club. He is considered to have a dull personality and does not have the “Captain Aura” that most team captains have. He is plain and does not leave an immediate impression on other people. However, as a Doubles player, he and his Doubles partner Masami Higashikata are noted by Shuichiro Oishi to have mastered the art of Doubles and have no weaknesses as a pair.
2. Masami Higashikata
He is the vice-captain of Yamabuki’s tennis club as well as Kentaro Minami’s Doubles partner. He and Kentaro are called the "Jimmies" referring to the Japanese word "jimi", meaning plain or dull. Masami Higashikata can do an accurate and powerful serve which helps Kentaro’s poaches. As a Singles player, Masami Higashikata is an aggressive baseliner.
3. Kiyosumi Sengoku
Kiyosumi Sengoku is considered the pride of Yamabuki’s tennis club. He has an out-going personality and is easily distracted by girls. He is a flirt, but Kiyosumi is careful as he does not have any intention of choosing one girl over the other. As a tennis player, he’s got sharp eyes and can discern fast moving objects. He is considered as a national level player and uses a jumping serve called the "kohou", or Tiger Cannon, as well as the Dunk Smash.
4. Jin Akutsu
He is a bully and hates being told what to do. But Jin is an exceptional player, and is often called as a “monster” and “once-per-decade” tennis player. Jin Akutsu started playing tennis at a very young age but almost lost interest in the sport because of the lack of proper opponents. He took up karate where he eventually met Takashi Kawamura and became friends with him. He considers Ryoma Echizen as his rival but later on helped Ryoma improve his skills. He is highly flexible, which enables him to respond to any attack shot at any physical location. He is an aggressive baseliner and can slide easily on any kind of surface.
5. Ichiuma Kita
Ichiuma Kita is a second year and a regular member of the Yamabuki’s tennis club. He usually plays Doubles and pairs up with Inakichi Nitobe. He and his Doubles partner are known for creating puns against their opponents. No matter how cynical they may seem to be, they are able to back it up by playing well and defeating a well-known Doubles team in the tournament.
6. Inakichi Nitobe
Inakichi Nitobe is a third year junior high student and a regular member of Yamabuki's tennis club. He is Ichiuma Kita's Doubles partner and has a rather unusual hairstyle. No one can really tell what the curly leaf on top of his head is for.
7. Toji Muromachi
Toji Muromachi, a second year, is called their tennis club’s eternal secret weapon. He idolize Kiyosumi Sengoku and has high regards for him, while Kiyosume on the other hand calls Toji the nickname “Reverse Panda.” Toji Muromachi wears sunglasses most of the time. He develops a tan line underneath but does not feel bothered by it. He plays in Singles and his tennis style is as a counter puncher.
8. Taichi Dan
Notably the innocent and energetic boy from Yamabuki, Taichi Dan has a positive outlook and one of the few who is not afraid to interact with Jin. In fact, his relationship with Jin is good and the two seem very close. He is Yamabuki’s team manager. He does not have the confidence to become a tennis player because of his physical attributes until witnessing Ryoma Echizen play. Watching Ryoma helps him realize that being short is not a handicap and he will not stop anyone to become an exceptional player. He carefully studies Ryoma’s techniques and molds himself to have the same playstyle.
9. Mikiya Banda
Mikiya Banda has been Yamabuki’s team advisor for more than twenty years. He is referred to as "Banjii" which is a combination of his name Banda and ojii, a Japanese word for grandfather. He is always seen with a content and happy face, and enjoys teasing Sumire Ryuzaki because of her gullible attitude. He has a good sense of humor and continues to smile on even if he is being physically threatened by Jin.
Oji has been Rokkaku's tennis club coach for many years already. Nanjiro Echizen reveals that Oji had been coaching for Rokkaku even before he started at Seigaku. Oji makes wooden rackets for a living, and supplies all the rackets that the Rokkaku team is using. His craftsmanship is flawless, as the rackets he produced did not suffer any scratches until their team’s match with Seigaku.
2. Kentaro Aoi
He is the energetic and jolly team captain of Rokkaku’s tennis club. He is talkative, and may sound a bit arrogant, but he has the skills to back it up. What sets him apart from most other team captains? He is only a first year junior high student! His caliber is top-notch, all thanks to receiving Oji's guidance for several years. Kentaro Aoi is a risk taker, he loses the first few games on purpose and works his way back in the end because he enjoys playing under extreme pressure. Kentaro Aoi is quite good with cord balls and it is one of his favorite tennis techniques.
3. Kojiro Saeki
Kojiro Saeki is a very friendly guy even to complete strangers. He has quite a striking appearance which makes him popular with girls – something that Kentaro Aoi is very jealous of. However, the attention he gets does not go to his head. Instead, Kojiro feels that he needs to treat everyone fairly. He is a third year, and the vice-captain of Rokkaku’s tennis club. He can easily read his opponent’s plan of action by looking closely at how their muscles contract.
4. Hikaru Amane
Also nicknamed "David" after the biblical giant killer, Hikaru Amane is arguably one of the strongest tennis players in Rokkaku, and beat a hundred of Hyotei’s pre-regulars all by himself. He uses a custom long racket which gives him the advantage to play Power Tennis. He also teams up with Harukaze Kurobane to be the Manzai Pair for Rokkaku.
5. Harukaze Kurobane
He is a third year who is quite popular with kids. Harukaze Kurobane, or Bane-chan looks after the young children who play in Rokkaku’s playground, and they are very fond of him. He uses Power Tennis and plays well in Doubles with Hikaru Amane.
6. Marehiko Itsuki
Marehiko Itsuki is a third year junior high student and a regular in Rokkaku’s tennis team. He plays Doubles with Kojiro Saeki and he is quite skilled with sinker balls. He is also a very curious person, and will not stop until he gets a satisfactory answer.
7. Ryo Kisarazu
He is a third year as well as the older twin brother of Atsushi Kisarazu from St. Rudolph. He is the initial target of Hajime when Hajime went to recruit players to create an elite team for St. Rudolph. However, Hajime mistook Atsushi for Ryo. Atsushi has since cut his hair short, and now wears a red headband to avoid confusion.
8. Satoshi Shudo
He is nicknamed the “Poison Taster” after drinking Sadaharu Inui’s new juice concoction called Iwashi Water. Satoshi Shudo is a quiet third year, and his teammates makes fun of him because he is a minor member of the tennis club regulars.
1. Osamu Watanabe
Osamu Watanabe is the advisor and coach of Shitenhoji’s tennis club. Although he may appear to be laid-back at times, he is noted by the members of the team to have a very loud voice especially, when he is training them. Osamu Watanabe is also considered “cheap,” stating that he will treat his team to noodles if they win, in contrast to Sumire Ryuzaki, who promises to treat her team to yakiniku if they win.
2. Kuranosuke Shiraishi
Kuranosuke Shiraishi is the captain of Shitenhoji’s tennis club, he is called “The Bible of Shitenhoji”, and is notable for having the “Perfect Tennis” title. For Kuranosuke, his style of playing is quite boring but he continues to use it because it is very effective. His Perfect tennis style removes any unnecessary movements, helping him conserve and wisely use his stamina. Aside from this, he can also do the Entaku Shot, in which he strikes the ball with the frame of his racket to produce a strong sidespin, fly in a ring formation, and eventually hit the court without even bouncing. Kuranosuke Shiraishi is also known for saying “Ahh… Ecstacy.”
3. Kenjiro Koishikawa
He is the vice-captain of Shitenhoji’s tennis club as well as a third year. Kenjiro does not like to be ignored and he feels very troubled and even agitated when he feels so.
4. Senri Chitose
Senri Chitose plans on quitting tennis because of his eye injury. However, he postpones his plan for the chance to fight against Seigaku’s captain, Kunimitsu Tezuka. He is Kippei Tachibana’s good friend because they both used to be regulars in the Shishigaku team. After an unfortunate accident in a practice match against Kippei, they both left and transferred to different schools. Senri can use “State of Self Actualization”, which enables him to perfectly copy a certain technique that he sees. The only problem is that this skill drains his stamina, especially when the technique copied is something beyond the his physical capacity. Senri’s signature move has to be the Divine Disappearance, which gives the illusion that the ball has disappeared by using a strong topspin.
5. Kenya Oshitari
“No Speed, No Life!” is Kenya Oshitari’s favorite line, and it is quite fitting for him because he is the fastest tennis player in the anime. He is a third year and a regular member of Shitenhoji’s tennis club. He is very proud of his speed, and he makes an effort to apply it to everything he does, including mundane things such as eating. He is a great counter-puncher and blatantly displays his forte every time he is on the court. Kenya Oshitari mostly plays Doubles with Hikaru Zaizen, and at times with Gin Ishida.
6. Hikaru Zaizen
Hikaru Zaizen is an all-rounder but often pairs up with Kenya Oshitari to play Doubles. He has quite an attitude. He does not respect his senpai and even calls Kenya weak-minded. While he is labeled the “genius” of their team, he is never seen playing a Singles game in the entire anime.
7. Gin Ishida
Gin Ishida may look intimidating, but in reality he is a kind and respectful person. Aside from being the strongest middle school power player in Japan, he is also responsible for creating the Hadokyuu power shot. In the anime, old folks thought that he was "The Great Buddha" because of his appearance. Upon developing the Hadokyuu, he shares this technique with his younger brother Tetsu Ishida who is a regular tennis member at Fudomine.
8. Koharu Konjiki
This third year is said to have better “Data Tennis” than Inui Sadaharu because of his high IQ. Data Tennis comes naturally to him, and he often distracts his opponents by throwing them off with comedy. He is Yuuji Hitoji’s Doubles partner and their team up is better known as Naniwa’s Baka Couple.
9. Yuuji Hitoji
Best known as part of Naniwa’s Baka Couple, Yuuji Hitoji has a comedic personality which creates a perfect distraction whenever they are in a match. He and Koharu Konjiki are the only homosexuals in the entire anime. As a tennis player, Yuuji has the ability to mimic certain moves such as the Dunk Smash, Tornado Snake, and Bullet Serve.
10. Kintaro Toyama
Even though Kintaro Toyama is only a first year, he is the strongest player in Shitenhoji’s team. His fragile-looking body is misleading, as he is able to lift a scooter over his head and throw it casually without any trouble at all. He has a wild tennis style and has a signature move called Mountain Storm, a powerful overhead smash that surpasses the strength of Gin’s strongest Hadokyuu. He develops a rivalry with Ryoma Echizen.
1. Harumi Saotome
He is the coach of Higa’s tennis club. Harumi Saotome does not play fair and he encourages violence and dangerous behaviors in the court. Although he is the team’s coach, not a single one of the members truly respects him nor heeds his authority.
2. Eishiro Kite
Eishiro Kite is the team captain of Higa’s tennis club. He is polite and composed even on the court but may turn aggressive if provoked. Eishiro Kite is often called the “Hitman” and “Killer” because of his ability to stop and defeat the aces of most teams. He is able to use the technique called Shukuchihou. It is based on martial arts and gives the illusion that a player can approach the net or baseline in one single step. Eishiro teaches this technique to his recruits and teammates. However, he is the only one who can do shukuchiho in different angles. He combines this move with his Big Bang serve and Habu shot.
3. Yujiro Kai
Yujiro Kai is the team’s vice-captain and oldest member. He has the tendency to be brash and loud at times. He plays using his right hand, but switches with his natural left hand when he needs to do a Viking Horn shot, a curving attack that is difficult to return. As Eishiro Kite’s teammate, he can also utilize a basic shukuchihou.
4. Hiroshi Chinen
Hiroshi Chinen is the tallest regular member of Higa’s tennis club. He uses his appearance to mock and intimidate his opponents. Hiroshi Chinen is very perceptive. He observes his team’s opponents to determine any weak spots as well as their advantages.
5. Kei Tanishi
He is fat, yes, but one should not take this Higa tennis club member lightly. Because of Kei Tanishi’s weight, he can take full advantage of the Big Bang serve which is nearly unreturnable. The downside of this type of serve is that it takes a toll on the user’s stamina which drops the strength of the serve as the game progresses on. Aside from learning shukuchihou from Eishiro, Kei Tanishi can also do a quick sidestep called the Carioca Step.
6. Rin Hirakoba
Rin Hirakoba is very serious and focused when he is playing, in fact, he is the only member of his team who enjoys a fair match. He believes that only through fair play can he fully exert his skills and keep his pride intact regardless of the result. This third year junior high student is very skilled. He can use the Habu technique as well as the Giant Habu which makes the ball curve right after getting hit by the user’s racket.
7. Tomoya Shiranui
He is a regular member of Higa’s tennis club and mainly plays Doubles with his partner Aragaki Koichi. Tomoya Shiranui has a great stamina and does not tire out easily, this trait of his makes up for his inability to use shukuchichou. His lung capacity is exceptional, which is proven when he and his team have an underwater stamina exercise.
8. Aragaki Koichi
Aragaki Koichi is Tomoya Shiranui’s Doubles partner. His partner has a great stamina and lung capacity, but Aragaki Koichi turns out to be the best as he holds the longest when their team does an underwater stamina exercise. Like Tomoya, Aragaki is not able to use shukuchichou.
1. Hanamura Aoi
The students in Josei Shonan call her by her first name, thus, she is referred to as Hanamura-sensei. Appearing only in the anime, Hanamura Aoi is the coach of Josei Shonan’s tennis club. She considers her students to be her masterpieces, with Reiji Shinjo as her favorite. She can easily spot a player’s potential, which is why Hanamura Aoi constantly tries to recruit new members for her team including Seigaku’s Ryoma and Takeshi.
2. Takahisa Kajimoto
Takahisa Kajimoto is the calm and soft-spoken captain of Josei Shonan’s tennis club. He is mature and never brash, and punishes those who are over-confident in the court by crushing them completely. He is quite flexible and uses it to deliver the L-Drive serve, which is done by bending his body back and releasing it in a way similar to a catapult.
3. Hiroshi Wakato
This smug character is the vice-captain of Josei Shonan’s tennis club. Hiroshi Wakato is quite popular with the girls, which earns him a constant group of supporters (mainly screaming fangirls) in every game. His tennis style is called “Style of the Pretender,” it allows him to copy any of his opponent’s techniques down to their single habits. When he feels the need to change his play style, he uses his signature move Change Over to swap his style with a different one.
4. Reiji Shinjo
Reiji Shinjo is considered by Hanamura Aoi to be her greatest masterpiece. He has two signature shots; the Mirage and Deep Impulse. Mirage is a powerful shot－it confuses the target by making appearing like a regular shot when in reality it is really strong and difficult to return. The Deep Impulse is a deadly technique, it can lead to an injury for players who constantly try to return it.
5. Yohei Tanaka
Yohei Tanaka plays Doubles for Josei Shonan’s tennis team along with his younger twin brother, Kohei Tanaka. He is shorter than Ryoma Echizen and is often mistaken as a girl because of his appearance. Yohei Tanaka has the talent to analyze his opponent’s physical attributes, but tends to underestimate them most of the time. Aside from his tennis skills, he and his twin brother are blessed with great voices.
6. Kohei Tanaka
He is Yohei's younger brother, and plays Doubles for their school’s tennis club. He and his brother are currently second years. He practically has the same set of skills as Yohei, which makes them an effective pair for Doubles since they are familiar with each other’s game style and techniques.
7. Sho Ota & Daichi Kiriyama
They are Doubles partners who are opposites when it comes to body frames. The pair mainly uses the technique called Thunderbolt in which Sho returns the shots from between Daichi’s feet. Daichi can also perform a Cannon Volley, which he combines with Thunderbolt to deliver a very fast shot.