Prince of Tennis Vol. #08 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.95
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-59116-853-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Prince of Tennis Vol. #08

By Jarred Pine     August 08, 2005
Release Date: July 15, 2005

Prince of Tennis Vol.#08
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Takeshi Konomi
Translated by:Joe Yamazaki
Adapted by:

What They Say
As far as winning strategies go, no effective game plan can be carried out without one essential factor - stamina. And when Seishun Academy's Eiji succumbs to exhaustion, their chances of securing the crucial win over St. Rudolph's fades with each drop of their hard-earned sweat. Then, Seishun's setback turns into an even more daunting situation when their team equalizer, Ryoma Echizen, treads unfamiliar ground in his match against the infamous lefty killer, Yuta. With Yuta's impressive win-loss record of 16-0 against left-handers, Ryoma's in for one tricky match!

The Review
Seishun has their hands full with St. Rudolph’s, as both doubles matches are hard fought and it will take some incredible tennis plays from the players to come out on top.

The cover illustration might be my favorite so far in the series, featuring the whole Seishun team in a panoramic view displayed length-wise with the English logo positioned nicely above them in the middle. The colors aren’t the sharpest, but it still is a nice looking cover. The back cover has an illustration of a sweat-drenched Ryoma.

Inside are more words from Konomi, some chapter extras, and a next volume preview. The print job is decent, as I did find quite a few instances of fading and other artifacts.

There are some great tennis sequences, even if they are improbable, that are illustrated really well with strong panel layouts and exciting artwork. I especially liked the 1-2 page illustrations when a major move was being pulled off. I also feel like there are more backgrounds entering the panels as well. I still find the character artwork to be a bit bland. While I like the detailed clothing and other tennis accessories, I find most characters to have the exact same facial expressions and features.

SFX are translated and retouched. The retouch has a lot of boxed text and it feels ugly and intrusive. The school grades are translated as 7th, 8th, and 9th instead of using the traditional Japanese grades. A little slang enters the dialogue with words like ‘Hella’, but for the most part it does not become a problem. The translation feels decent, although a few times I found myself having to re-read a few bubbles that felt awkward.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
I saw it coming a few volumes back when Kaoru hit that Boomerang Snake shot around the net post inbounds for a point. I should have known it would happen after seeing the Twist Serve of Ryoma’s, a 7th grader that is virtually invincible. Prince of Tennis has become a fantasy title where the matches play out very similar to something like Dragonball Z. They are long, one player actually “recharges” during a match, they yell out their special moves, and Kaoru hits a shot that goes around the net post and through the umpire’s chair to land inbounds for a point. So everyone pick your favorite boy and see what crazy move he’ll pull off next!

The match between Seishun and St. Rudolph’s continues in this volume, with the 2 doubles matches finishing up and Ryoma getting stared with his No. 3 singles match. The match featuring the No. 1 doubles team of Oishi and Eiji becomes quite the nail-biter as it goes into a tiebreaker after a great comeback by Seishun. The other doubles match featuring Kaoru and Momo sees the level of skill increase as the game goes on, with both Seishun teammates using their rivalry between each other to take their game to the next level. Momo even starts to become quite Kaoru-esque as he walks around the court talking about “going crazy”. They are my two favorite characters in the book, so seeing them pair off definitely provides some good laughs for me.

With the match featuring Oishi and Eiji taking up most of the book, I felt it dragged on a bit too long and in the wrong way. I know that I had been saying that I wanted more detailed tennis action, but this was drawn out in a way that made me feel like I was reading a stretched-out shounen fighting manga. Eiji does actually stand still for two straight games “recharging”, coming to wake of course when they are down triple match point and bringing them into a tiebreaker. I got a good laugh out of it just due to how ridiculous the whole scenario played out. And then there was Kaoru’s Boomerang Snake that went through the umpire’s chair, not just once, but twice! Before this volume I gave the portrayal of the sport the benefit of the doubt, being mostly based in reality but also having fun with a few things. Now this has entered complete fantasy and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. The tennis action can be entertaining and there is quite a shocking finish to one of these matches, proving that the members of Seishun aren’t that invincible.

With this volume, the tennis action leaves the realm of reality and starts to tread the path of shounen titles like DBZ. The matches are getting longer in order to push each player into pulling off some sort of ultimate move. The tennis is not about strategy or hard work, but rather who can pull off some impossible move and wow the crowd. The matches can be entertaining, with bits of humor thrown in, and there is a bit of a surprise in the results of one of the matches that keeps me on my toes. However, I’m not sure how I feel about the sport becoming more of a setting for fantastical moves pulled off by good looking guys who spend most of their time posing.


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