Memories of the Court!
I still remember the day my friend first introduced me to the manga that was The Prince of Tennis. Okay, it was more like I was nosey and randomly decided to pick up one of her books that happened to be lying along her room floor when I was visiting one day! Regardless of how it happened though, my memories of that fateful day are still very clear in my mind, even though it's been almost 10 years!
I recall first reading the manga with much curiosity - how on earth could a manga based entirely on tennis be interesting? I wasn't a sporty person in the least, and barely knew the rules of tennis! It quickly proved me wrong however, and before I knew it, I was already out buying my own copies of every available volume!
Credits to www.chuangyi.com.sg/new2/index.php
It was the anime however, that cemented my love for the series. Grabbing the then, newly released VCDs and popping them into my PC, seeing the fully animated and voiced Ryoma and the other characters for the first time was mind blowing! Although most of my friends liked the cool Tezuka, I found myself liking Ryoma - it must have been the cockiness!
Everything that happened after that was like a whirlwind of activity! I watched the anime, the OVAs… but it wasn't until the release of the drama series and the musical, did it hit me that TeniPuri had become more than just a mere sports manga - it had become a craze, with myself proudly knee-deep in it! I even went so far as to pick up the entire DVD collection of the series during my very first trip to Japan, and it remains as one of my most prized possessions.
It's been many years since then, and being older, I've come to realise that while 'old-school' anime connoisseurs like myself will always know the real classic value TeniPuri has, there is an entire new generation that have never grown up with it like I have. You can probably imagine how happy I am now, to see a place like anibee, picking up the series again and re-introducing this classic for the new anime fans of today!
If you're one of these new fans, I beseech you - if you like drama, excitement, but with a good dose of light-hearted moments, check this show out! See for yourself why The Prince of Tennis has been a big part of my life, and why it should be part of yours. Mada mada da ne!
- Julia Chang