Many of the classic anime series that fans of 90s and 00s witnessed are starting to make a comeback in some fashion, and one of the major returns has been The Prince of Tennis. This series has made some small comebacks to anime with a series of theatrical anime specials that have reimagined many of the series' best games, but one of the biggest efforts was the confirmation that the franchise would be returning for a new feature film in 2020. But unfortunately, it was announced at Jump Festa 2020 that this film will be delayed until sometime in 2021.
Originally scheduled for a release in Spring 2020, the film has now been moved to an unconfirmed date in 2021. But it's not all bad news, however, as the stage presentation for the new film, Ryoma! Rebirth Movie The Prince of Tennis, confirmed that this new film will be an entirely 3D CG animated production (via ANN).
Original series creator Takeshi Konomi will be serving as the creative supervisor for the new film, and it will feature an original story that fills in the three month time period in between the end of The Prince of Tennis and the start of its The New Prince of Tennis sequel. So far, the only character confirmed for an appearance in the new film is Ryoma -- but it's not quite clear whether or not Junko Minagawa will be reprising her role.
But given that she returned to the character for the recent theatrical OVA specials, this seems likely. Titled The Prince of Tennis BEST GAMES!!, the first episode features the match between Seishun Academy's Kunimitsu Tezuka and Hyoutei Academy's Keigo Atobe, and the second episode of the special highlights doubles matches as it recaps both Shuichiro Oishi and Eiji Kikumaru's game against Hiroshi Yagyu and Masaharu Nio, and Ryo Shishido and Chotaro Otori's game against Sahadaru Inui and Kaoru Kaido. This was be followed by a third episode featuring the match between Shūsuke Fuji and Akaya Kirihara during the Kanto tournament.
The Prince of Tennis was originally created by Takeshi Konom for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999. 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.
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