The Prince of Tennis is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A total of 379 chapters were published and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes.
The manga was adapted into an anime television series directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes, as well as a theatrical movie. In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released on DVD. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly three months after the end of the first. The second OVA ended on January 25, 2008, and the third and final OVA started on April 25, 2008.
In North America, Viz Media licensed both The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series for an English-language release.
The series developed into a media franchise and has had numerous other adaptations outside of the animated incarnation. Since April 2003, more than fifteen stage musicals have been produced for the series. An animated movie was released in 2005, as well as a live action movie in 2006. The franchise has also had a long-running radio show, numerous video games, well over 250 soundtracks and CDs, and other merchandise. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.
A sequel titled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in Jump Square in March 2009, with the story taking place several months after the end of the original manga.
The Prince of Tennis has become a successful franchise. As of March 2008, the first 40 volumes of the manga had sold over 40 million copies in Japan. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.
Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network reviewed the first DVD box set released by Viz Media, and commented that “Prince of Tennis is among the dregs of the genre.” They go on to say that it is “boring” and “lacks the human drama necessary to get audiences to care who wins or loses.” ‘Anime on DVD’, however, comments that the show “takes the usual themes in sports shows and applies them masterfully.” DVD Talk takes more of a nonchalant view, commenting that the “series is okay but not great” and that it has some charm, which will make you not regret watching it. Active Anime also gave praise to the series, saying that it “holds some surprising twists to the regular sports drama formula”, and praised the suspenseful matches and innovative techniques.
Despite the reviews, the series is popular in Japan. When TV Asahi, a television network in Japan, conducted a survey for the one hundred most popular animated television series, The Prince of Tennis anime came in twenty-seventh place. They also conducted an online web poll, in which The Prince of Tennis placed eighteenth. Nearly a year later, TV Asahi once again conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and this time, The Prince of Tennis anime advanced in rank and came in eighth place. They also surveyed Japanese celebrities for their favorite anime, where the series only came in sixty-eighth out of the top one hundred.
The Prince of Tennis is written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was first published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan on July 19, 1999. The series was put under hiatus when Konomi was injured in an accident during July 2006, but publication resumed in September 2006. The series finished on March 3, 2008, Shueisha collected its 379 individual chapters into forty-two tankōbon volumes published from January 7, 2000 to June 4, 2008.
In North America, Viz Media announced the acquisition of the series in February 2004. The first volume was released on April 21, 2004. As of July 5, 2011, the forty-two volumes have been published.
A 4-panel manga parody, entitled the Prince of After School, began on November 4, 2008 in Jump Square.
A sequel to the manga series, entitled New Prince of Tennis, was announced in the December issue of Jump Square, published on November 4, 2008. The series began serialization in Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story is set several months after the end of the first manga, and features Ryoma returning to Japan after his stay in America.
The chapters of The Prince of Tennis manga series are written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi, and were serialized in Japan’s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A sequel to the series entitled New Prince of Tennis began serialization in Japan in the monthly magazine Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story centers around a cocky tennis prodigy named Ryoma Echizen, who, upon his father’s urging, enrolls in a private middle school called Seishun Academy (“Seigaku” for short), which, besides being famous for its strong tennis team, is his father’s alma mater. The storyline of the first manga series revolves around Seigaku striving to become the National middle school tennis champions, while the sequel takes place several months after their National victory.