The official website for the Ryōma! Shinsei Gekijōban Tennis no Ōji-sama (Ryōma! Rebirth Movie The Prince of Tennis) 3DCG anime film for The Prince of Tennis franchise revealed more cast members and the film’s story on Thursday. The new cast additions all play members of a “tennis gang.” The characters will rap in the film, featuring lyrics written by original manga creator Takeshi Konomi.
The new cast members include (left to right in image above):
Sugita commented on his casting news in English, “How should it be done? a done thing doesn’t change, but. Is sugita sane? Sane!!”
The film’s story begins with the main lead Ryōma arriving in the United States, and finding Sakuno Ryūzaki being accosted by gang members. Ryōma swings a ball at them to help Sakuno, but ends up hitting a ball tossed by a mysterious wheelchaired man. At that moment, Ryōma and Sakuno somehow travel back in time to the time when Ryōma’s father Nanjiro was still playing in America as “Samurai Nanjiro.”
The previously revealed cast members for the film include:
Junko Minagawa as Ryōma Echizen
Takashi Matsuyama as Nanjirō Echizen
Ryotaro Okiayu as Kunimitsu Tezuka
Junichi Suwabe as Keigo Atobe
Mikako Takahashi as Sakuno Ryūzaki
The film will open in Japan on September 3.
Original manga creator Takeshi Konomi is supervising the film. The anime was previously slated to open in spring 2020, but was delayed to 2021. The film features a completely original story that takes place in the three-month time period between the events at the end of the The Prince of Tennis manga and the start of The New Prince of Tennis manga.
Hiroshi Koujina (2011 Hunter × Hunter, Kiba) is directing the anime at The Monk Studios and Keica with cooperation by Studio KAI. GAGA is distributing the film. Takehiko Hata (Lupin III: Goodbye Partner) is writing the script, Patricia Hishikawa is the CG supervisor, Kei Yoshimizu is the animation director, and Momoko Yamada is the CG director. Takeshi Takadera is the sound director, and Kei Tsuda is composing the music. Original manga creator Takeshi Konomi himself is writing all the insert songs for the film.
Takeshi Konomi serialized The Prince of Tennis manga‘s original run in Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1999 to 2008. The manga followed middle school tennis player Ryōma Echizen as he battles rivals to reach the national tournament. That original manga inspired a 2001-2005 television anime, two anime feature films and a theatrical short, various video anime projects, a live-action film, a live-action television series in China, and a popular stage musical series.
Konomi then launched The New Prince of Tennis manga series in Shueisha‘s Jump Square magazine in 2009. The story picks up after the national tournament, when Ryōma joins a select group of middle school players at Japan’s top training camp for players under 17. This ongoing sequel manga spawned its own 2012 television The Prince of Tennis II anime series. The Prince of Tennis II OVA vs. Genius 10 series then ran for five volumes from October 2014 to June 2015.
Most recently, the franchise has inspired the Tennis no Ōjisama BEST GAMES!! original video anime (OVA) project. The project retells the story of the franchise‘s top matches. The first OVA began its limited two-week screening in Japan in August 2018, and shipped in Japan on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in October 2018. The second OVA received a two-week event screening in Japan starting in April 2019, and then shipped on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in June 2019. The third OVA screened in theaters in Japan for two weeks in November 2019, and shipped on home video on January 28.
The New Prince of Tennis: Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future anime will open in two parts. The first part opened on February 13, and the second part slated to open on april 17. The anime will tell an original story featuring “Hyōtei vs. Rikkai.” Konomi is supervising the match-making for the anime. The anime will mark the first time that the two schools are facing off against each other.
Viz Media published the 42nd and final volume of Konomi’s original Prince of Tennis manga run in North America in 2011. Crunchyroll streamed The Prince of Tennis II television anime into several countries as it aired in Japan, and it then streamed the spinoff original video anime projects.