|This post is written by Saladine|
History has proven that tennis is one of the most well known sports. Even in the world of Manga, tennis background story turns out to be rather interesting. I’m not talking about the story where the protagonist confesses to a girl who happens to play tennis like Crazy Love Game which the story does not circulate with the tennis concept; I’m talking about a Manga where tennis is the main component in the story development.
You might notice that many Tennis-related Manga have a high school environment in most cases. That’s probably related with the fact that most of the stories are shounen and shoujo, with a cheerful traits and full of energy. It might be cause by the targeted reader, for the reader to be able to understand the characteristic of young boys and girls action. For starter, let me gives you a very short and sharp review of 7 Tennis Manga and my top 2 recommendation of the Tennis Manga.
|Aim for the ace!|
On her first day at Nishi High School, 15-year-old Hiromi Oka is inspired by top player Reika “Ochofujin” Ryuzaki to take up tennis. Shortly after joining the school’s tennis club, she encounters Jin Munakata, the club’s new coach. Munakata puts everyone under rigorous training that even puts Ochofujin to shame. Despite the hardships, Hiromi’s determination prompts the coach to select her as part of the club’s main players. Because of this, Hiromi must endure the peer pressure from her seniors to become an ace tennis player.
Maruo Eeichiro is a perfect student who excels in all of his studies. With such commendable achievement, he get the title of “All A” by his classmate. One day, he realizes the need to exercise on daily routine, not just studying to reach perfection. By the encouragement of his mother, if not pressure, he visited southern tennis club in his hometown. Although there are a little doubt in his heart, he finally found that tennis is quite interesting.
|Prince of Tennis|
A seemingly scary yet cool protagonist named Ryoma Echizen has just enrolled in Seishun Academy tennis teams. As he enters the tennis teams, all of the freshmen is being bullied by the senior. To help the freshmen, ryoma showed them a supreme skill that blows their mind. It was later known that he was related to the Nanjiro Echizen, a former tennis pro with a nickname of “Samurai Nanjiro”. Together with his senpai teammates in the tennis club, they strive to become the best in japan high school.
Miyuki Umino is a normal girl who lives a normal life. Because of his brother who has debt with the Yakuza loan sharks, she strives to become a professional tennis player to repay the enormous debt incurred by her brother. If she failed to meet the expectation, she will be force to become a prostitute at a Soapland.
A group of girls who studied at Shiratama Middle School entered the school’s Soft Tennis club. The story revolves on Asuna Harukaze and his teammate’s everyday lives in the school and their livelihood. With a moe, peaceful and comedy background, the story is not at all serious. The way it tells the story was more like a compilation of short story in one sets of environment. It reminds me of Kobo-Chan and Kariage-Kun Manga, altough its not 4 strips and rather 1 page in each story.
The story centered on 4 high school girls who join the school tennis team. With a comedic story telling, they tried to express the blunderings and uniqueness of each of the girl’s characters. Truly a moe comic, but somehow they rarely play tennis. Although at Japan the Manga have proceeded to vol.1, it has not yet been uploaded to any manga reading site. If you are interested in the story, I suggest you find the Anime. According to Earth Star Entertainment, this is the fastest anime television series adaptation ever.
A comedic shounen story, Giant Steps has a surprisingly refreshing environment to the Tennis background Manga. With the protagonist from the Yakuza background and a little Tsundere Heroine, i cannot stop laughing as i read it. With a little relation to the Prince of Tennis, Giant Steps also have amazing skills to be shown. But differs from the Prince of Tennis, the way it tells the story is less tense and more expressing the funny side of the environment.
The above mention Manga, based from my experience, is all of the Tennis background Manga i discovered. I did not include Manhwa though, because, well, its not Japanese. Now, from all of this unique Tennis Manga i’ve discovered, i shall give you a little recommendation on what to read. My recommendations are based on the basic understanding of Tennis, the story development, the unique characters, and the drawing quality. Now, i choose this 2 Manga, one that is funny and one that is serious, because they are currently the one that resides in my heart. Without futher ado, let me tell you the Manga now:
|Baby steps| |9.3|
A protagonist with perfectionist, honest, straightforward, hard worker and does not like to lose, will surely bring out a unique characteristic to the story pace. Differ from the Prince of Tennis, Baby Steps story pace was rather from zero to hero kind of way. It was interesting to see the development of the protagonist. The authors were able to successfully convey the protagonist emotion with the reader, making the reader feel included in the story. Because there is no specific over-rated skill that defies any logic, every plays can be accepted by the reader. Although the romance story pace was rather slow, I highly recommended you to read it.
|Prince of Tennis||7.9|
Cool, calm, and confident, the main protagonist Ryoma Echizen will surely piqued your interest. Mysterious yet mischievous, he can be viewed as someone with a high arrogance. But of course, he has the skill to back his attitudes. Differ from the Baby Steps, the story tells you of a pack of heroes developing their skills and achieve the highest rank. The story will introduce you to a new concept, a enhance of logic in tennis that being put into a skill. Say, the enhance of curve shot is boomerang shot, a seemingly impossible to block and counter. With many characters that can play such skill in various degrees, Prince of Tennis will surely stimulate your imagination.