A decade has passed since the birth of this young legendary boy, the tennis prince, or rather the “king” as I’d love to call him, became the hottest trend in the world of sports anime. Surely, the name Ryoma Echizen rings a bell after all, although you’d been in the earlier generation, because he still exists from time to time, and there you have that arrogant-looking middle school boy. For those who have grown up watching this boy from the time he stepped his feet onto a school-level tennis court to the most anticipated event he became much skilled and eventually joined a national tournament, you have truly appreciated his hardship and perseverance to become a prodigy. You definitely want this young king and his company to entertain you once again with their superb moves, don’t you? No, you don’t need to reminisce those wonderful times with the Seigaku boys or whoever is your favorite from other school tennis club, but here comes an all-new Prince of Tennis series.
The new series is set after the National tournament, and Ryoma comes back from the United States after he was invited to join the U-17 camp, a selection camp for top potentials in the Japanese tennis world. Ryoma and the other 50 selected middle schoolers begin their new journey to compete with Japan’s top prodigies. Will they succeed with high glory?
Honestly, when I first heard the word “New” in the title, I thought there would be new characters, a new journey far from the original series, and everything would be back to zero. I was wrong because it remains the same as the sequel of the previous series, and their journey continues along with various tennis courts competing with strong opponents. The sound of bouncing balls, the smash of rackets, the unrealistic yet awesome techniques and the deadly footsteps on the court are all nostalgic to me, and I felt a powerful drive to watch this old long-run series all over again. You’re not actually required to watch the first series if you’re a novice of the anime because you can still enjoy the new series without a prior background as to the storyline and the characters. However, if you can’t tolerate watching exaggerated animation of this sports anime, then I suggest, you don’t need to force yourself to watch it.
Every aspect in the series remains the same as the previous franchise. However, since it has only 13 episodes excluding the OVA part, the events are fast-paced and rather focuses on the harmonious relationship among the middle schoolers to surpass their strong opponents. It’s pretty challenging for the characters to undergo different high intensity training, and these events are what I actually wanted to watch out for. Rather than always on a court, let’s see how they get those unbelievable strength and their burning spirit during an actual tournament.
Highly labeled as sports anime, you would think at first that serious ambiance will be shown throughout, but you will eventually laugh at most part of the show as the involvement of comedy that the series tries to maintain along with the sports genre, and fan service is observed most of the time. The New Prince of Tennis has maintained its strong spice of humors as to the first anime. You’ll rather enjoy the happy moments of the characters who were once antagonists in the first series, especially when it comes to the character of Atobe Keigo to be particular. Behind their serious faces and obsessive acts in the tennis world, their soft sides are much appreciated in the series.
I am particularly impressed with the character design which is evidently rich in outline and has a balanced contrast. Ryoma Echizen, being the main protagonist, has turned into a more mature middle schooler. I noticed his legs become slender, and his facial expression becomes more fierce. He is still the most arrogant but shows a lot of potential than before. I’m not actually surprised when it comes to the animation, specifically during a match because the slow-paced action is still the mainstream of the anime. You would only want to focus on the ball rather than the player’s disposition.
Norimasa Fujisawa, who performed the opening theme, Mirai no bokura e, sounds professionally captivating. It feels like I’m listening to an open theatrical performance with his high notes and classical husky voice. He can perform different voices, and you might think you are listening to more than one person in the opening theme. It’s just amazing. The ending theme titled ENJOY, sung by the seiyuu of Ryoma, Kin-chan, Tezuka, Kenya, Marui and Akaya, is just fine, and it shows a plain yet vibrant appearance music video.
The New Prince of Tennis has a lot to offer more than just a plain sports anime. You will simply enjoy watching the series if you’re a big fan of it that you’ve been waiting for another season to come out. As a loyal fan of the series, it’s a great opportunity to watch my boys on a court once again. Everything goes back from the day I set my eyes to this awesome anime. Definitely a must watch.