The Prince of Tennis is one of the hugely successful sports manga to come out of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, and the anime series is soon making a comeback!
Celebrating its upcoming 20th Anniversary in 2019, The Prince of Tennis is returning for a series of OVA (or original video animation) projects under a "BEST GAMES!!" series cataloguing the best tennis matches in the series.
The first episode of this new anniversary series will screen in Japanese theaters for a limited time and portrays the match between Seishun Academy's Kunimitsu Tezuka and Hyoutei Academy's Keigo Atobe. Atobe is the series' "Beautiful Prince" and a national level player who eventually beats Tezuka in the Kanto Tournament. Atobe's known for his "Rondo Towards Destruction" special shot which two-part smash in which the first smash hits the opponent grip on the racket and knocks the racket out of the opponent's hand. As the ball bounces up from the force of impact, Atobe smashes it once again at the court to score the point. But Tezuka notably counters this by managing to keep hold of his racket.
This is the second film project for the series following the 2005 film, Futari no Samurai The First Game and the 2011 film Eikoku-shiki Teikyu-jo Kessen!.
For those unfamiliar with The Prince of Tennis, the series was originally created by Takeshi Konomi. The series follows Ryoma Echizen, a tennis prodigy attending a private school famous for its strong tennis players. After making his way onto the school's team by defeating a number of strong upperclassmen, his team decides to enter the National Middle School Tennis Championship as Ryoma slowly learns his own unique style of tennis and really cements what the sport means to him. A sequel series, New Prince of Tennis takes place after the events of the original series where Ryoma returns to Japan and takes part in the Japanese Under 17 High School Representatives Selection Camp against 50 other players.
The series was first published in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump and ran from 1999 to 2008. The series was 379 chapters long, and collected into 42 volumes. Viz Media has licensed the series for an English language release and has sold over 40 million copies in Japan. It was adapted into an anime series by Trans Arts, and ran for 178 episodes. The series was licensed by Viz Media and aired as part of Cartoon Network's Toonami block in 2006, but was later moved to Toonami's streaming platform, Toonami Jetstream, for the remainder of its broadcast.