Pre-teen angst and sports collide in these “Prince of Tennis” episodes. Usually if you’re in the mood for anime you’re looking for something filled with action, suspense and hopefully ninjas. “Prince of Tennis” breaks from anime tradition by centering its story around a group of hyper-competitive middle school kids and their quest for a national tennis championship. The first “Prince of Tennis” episodes are a bit tedious because the show takes itself way too seriously, but it’s the deadly serious nature that makes “Prince of Tennis” episodes fun to watch. No matter how much you love tennis, if you can’t laugh at a group kids using magic tennis rackets to ward off bears and doing all manner of ninja tricks during their tennis match, check your pulse cause you may be dead. These “Prince of Tennis” episodes are hardly the best thing on TV, but they are an entertaining way to waste an hour or two.
“The Cursed Racket” Having an old school “Scooby-Doo” mystery vibe is what makes this “Prince of Tennis” episode fun to watch. Never one to look a gift tennis racket in the mouth, Ryoma doesn’t ask any questions when he finds a tennis racket on his door step one morning. But as soon as Ryoma starts using his new found racket, strange things begin to happen at Seigaku. Now Ryoma and the other tennis regulars have to solve the mystery of the racket or see their hopes for a tennis championship disappear.
“Eat Rikkaidi” Revenge is a dish best served raw in this “Prince of Tennis” episode. While having lunch at Kawamura’s sushi place the tennis team watches as Rikkaidai Middle School bests the crap out of Fudomie Middle School. Rikkaidai’s victory was so brutal that the Seigaku team vows to extract revenge in the name of their fallen comrades as they continue their quest for the national championship. Sadly this isn’t the blood thirsty, maniacal revenge that you may be craving, after all, we’re only talking about tennis and this is a family show.
“Mizuki’s Whispers” Enemies are forced to work together and new loyalties are forged in the “Prince of Tennis” episode. Momoshiro and Kaido are tricked into a doubles match against Mizuki from St. Rudolph and Kaji Moto from Josei Shonan. Being bitter rivals Momoshiro and Kaido don’t want to team up, but if they don’t they don’t work together to win the match they will both have to leave Seigaku.
“Surprise at Camp” Taking break from the pressure of competing and pre-teen angst, this “Prince of Tennis” episode gleefully works its way back into the realm of the silly. The Seigaku Middle school tennis team has been sent off to tennis camp for a few weeks to relax and tighten up their game. What starts out as a weekend of trying goes awry when the camp is attacked by a bear who is into taking hostages. With everyone at the mercy of the bear it’s up to the Seigaku tennis team to take out the bear with a combination of guts and some sweet tennis moves. In true “Scooby-Doo” fashion the vilian in this story turns out to be a crook in an elaborate mask. At this point we aren’t sure which is funnier; the fact that the criminal in a costume gag never gets old, or the thought of trying to take out a bear with a tennis racket.
“Unforgettable Promise” Every “Prince of Tennis” episode is a build up to the day when Ryoma finally gets his shot at playing in the U.S. Open. With all of the hostage taking bears, magical tennis rackets and injuries behind him, Ryoma has to play a final match against his greatest rival to secure his spot of the U.S. Open.