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.
An anime television series animated by Trans Arts, co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and directed by Takayuki Hamana, was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes.
In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released over a span of seven DVDs. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly 3 months after the end of the first. The second OVA finished on January 25, 2008, containing six episodes over a span of three DVDs. The third OVA started on April 25, 2008, and finished on January 23, 2009. A fourth OVA titled “Another Story” was released on May 26, 2009, which included two episodes: “Fū’un Shōnen Atobe” which showed Hyotei’s current team’s freshman years, and “Naniwa no Ōjisama”, where Seigaku goes to Osaka for a practice match with Shitenhoji. The second DVD in “Another Story” was released on September 25, 2009.
On April 24, 2007, Viz Media released the first The Prince of Tennis box set in the United States. Viz Media has also opted to not include the Japanese opening and ending themes, instead using electric guitar music. However, the original music themes can be found in the DVD extras of disc 3. As of January 15, 2008, four box sets have been released by Viz. The four box sets contain the first 50 episodes of the series. In contrast, Japan has released a total of 45 DVD volumes for the entire 178 episodes of the anime series.
The New Prince of Tennis, a sequel anime that picks up where the previous series ended, ran from January 4, 2012 to March 28, 2012.
Beginning in 2003, a series of Prince of Tennis musicals began. Each year sees two musicals based on the storyline come out in the summer and winter, with a ‘Dream Live’ performance each Spring, featuring numerous actors and past songs. Each storyline musical adapts a single arc of the manga, typically one specific match against a team. Due to the aging of the actors, all the main characters have been recast several times.
Tennis no Ōjisama – Futari no Samurai is the first animated film of the series. It was released in Japan on January 29, 2005, and co-aired with a short movie, Tennis no Oujisama: Atobe Kara no Okurimono.
The Prince of Tennis: Tennis no Ouji-sama Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen! is the second movie directed by Shunsuke Tada. It was released in Japan on September 3, 2011.
On May 13, 2006, the live-action adaptation film, The Prince of Tennis, was released in Japan.
The Prince of Tennis franchise has spawned many different video games. The vast majority of these are either tennis games or dating sims, and they are spread across several different video game consoles. The first of these games was released for the PlayStation console on February 20, 2002, and is the only game which holds the simple Prince of Tennis title – all of the following game titles are preceded by the “Prince of Tennis” title. This was followed by Genius Boys Academy, which was released for the Game Boy Advance on April 25, 2002. Since then, several other video games have been released for different gaming consoles, including one more PlayStation game, three Game Boy Advance games, five Nintendo DS games, and thirteen PlayStation 2 games. The latest games to be released were Nintendo DS’s Girls, be gracious on March 5, 2009, followed by Boys, be glorious on March 26, 2009.
Additionally, characters from The Prince of Tennis appeared in the Shōnen Jump based video games Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. All of the games have so far only been released in Japan.
There also are two Chinese dramas based on “The Prince of Tennis” story, with the titles of “The Prince of Tennis” and “Go for It! The Prince of Tennis”. The first is the first season, while the second is the second season. There are some differences due to localization for names and cultural themes, including all the characters being renamed, but is still recognizable from its story and the characters’ portrayal. The first season covers from when Ryoma first appears in the series up to the end of their equivalent of the Tokyo Prefecturals, while the second season picks up from the end of the first season and goes to the end of their equivalent of the Kanto Tournament. Due to being based off the anime, Josei Shonan is included. In addition, hints of the live-action movie is present.
A third Chinese drama, produced by Netflix in 2019, is called The Prince of Tennis. It is set in China. A reticent talented teenage tennis player returns to China after spending his childhood overseas–the show does not specify where he spends his childhood–but he is trapped under the shadows of his father who used to be a top tennis player. When he joins a high school in China, he learns the importance of friendship and teamwork, and perhaps even gains his self-identity.
The series has produced a half-hour weekly radio show, over 300 music CDs and a large selection of merchandise. Including a trading card game and figures. Three live events, “TeniPuri Perfect Live” in 2003, “The 100 song marathon” in 2008 and “Tenipuri Festa” in 2009, were held by the TeniPuri voice actors and Konomi Takeshi himself.
The 1986 J-pop song “Valentine Kiss” by Sayuri Kokushō was covered multiple times by multiple characters in the series. From February 2004 through February 2010, a total of nine different versions of the song were released (seven individually, and the final two together). The first one, featuring the character Keigo Atobe (voiced by Junichi Suwabe) reached No. 14 on the Oricon charts.