For more than two decades, Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis has spread across manga and other forms of media. Now, for the first time, it has received a CG anime film.
Although I have admittedly no knowledge about the Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis franchise, I do know tennis, as I have played for almost as long as the franchise has existed. Because of that, I was more than interested to see how these two worlds mesh together, being an anime lover myself.
So when Shout! Factory sent over the brand new flick on Blu-ray I was more than excited to not only see what the movie had to offer but to also peek at the special features, such as the Glory version, which includes a full-length alternate cut with different scenes within the film, including seeing different matches between teams.
I never expected the outrageous humor and fun that would be injected into this project, although it may be because I've been too far removed from mainstream anime and manga for a while. It could also be, perhaps, the rap songs and dances that take place.
While I saw the film in English, the thrilling music at the beginning and throughout the film is in Japanese - as is often the case with anime projects. I may not have expected to see the mafia rap about tennis to a child, but I was just as surprised as our main characters were transported to the past.
Our hero found himself when his father was playing the most essential tennis match of his career. However, the mafia again becomes an issue, kidnapping the lead female character and fellow time traveler, Sakuno. This led to many more songs throughout the film, which was a welcome addition.
As a tennis player, I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more focus on the techniques but instead on special moves, and even those came second to the time-travel and mafia/American plot lines. At times, it didn't feel like a tennis movie, but when it did, it soared.
It was nice to see a strong female character wrecking the goons that attacked our protagonists in the beginning, and what was even more fun was watching the match with a broken racket in which the side was used the entire time. The tennis was excellently portrayed, just not quite enough.
Ultimately, these themes tie well together, and the CGI feature film is a great place to flesh out these characters more. The songs were fun and what tennis was in the movie was cool to watch and imagine being real. Overall, the movie was touching, but maybe the next one could focus on tennis a little more. Still, anime fans should flock to grab this one when it releases.
The official press release for the film is included below, along with the synopsis and trailer, as well as our interview with voice actor Robbie Daymond, who plays Seeichi Yukamora in the movie.
Will you be checking this one out on the 5th? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Game, Set, Match! This summer, get ready as the tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen and his friends will grand slam your heart in a thrilling new adventure. Eleven Arts and Shout! Factory will serve up the new action-packed CG anime movie adventure RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS on Blu-ray™+DVD combo pack and available digitally on July 5, 2022. Based on the blockbuster Japanese sports manga series and its sequels created by renowned manga author Takeshi Konomi, with 60 million copies sold over 22 years, RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is the first CG anime movie from this popular franchise. Featuring an all-new storyline with music and lyrics by Konomi and directed by Hiroshi Koujina (City Hunter, The Vampire Dies in No Time), this highly anticipated movie finally makes its long-awaited North American home entertainment debut following its nationwide theatrical release.
Available for the first time in North America, the collectible RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS Blu-ray + DVD combo pack boasts an exciting movie presentation (featuring English audio and Japanese audio with English subtitles) with special bonus content – Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis edition. This is the full-length alternative cut of the movie that includes different scenes featuring Hyotei team captain Keigo Atobe and Shitenhoji team captain Kuranosuke Shiraishi. A definitive entertainment release that will score well with anime and pop culture enthusiasts and collectors, RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is available for pre-order now at ShoutFactory.com and will be available in stores and other fine retailers.
RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is a kinetic action anime adventure filled with humor, a high-energy storyline, and rousing musical numbers. The film also provides a transportive amount of admiration for athletes and the sport of tennis. For the North American audiences and loyal fans of the franchise, the English dub features an exciting team of voice talent, including Ry McKeand (Attack on Titan, SK8 the Infinity) as Ryoma Echizen, David Wald (Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission) as Nanjiro Echizen, Xanthe Huynh (Persona 5, Sailor Moon Eternal) as Sakuno Ryuzaki, Jonah Scott (Beastars, SK8 the Infinity) as Kunimitsu Tezuka, Tiana Camacho (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) as Emerald, Edward Bosco (Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters) as Wolf, William Ofoegbu (Next A-Class) as Boo, Chris Okawa (Number 24, Todo Lo Otro on HBOMax), Robbie Daymond (Spider-Man TV series, Digimon Adventure tri.: Last Evolution Kizuna) as Seiichi Yukimura, and Sarah Cravens (Mortal Kombat 11, God of War) as Rinko Echizen.
Inspired by his tennis champion father, Ryoma is determined to train in the U.S. after winning a championship in Japan. He runs into his classmate Sakuno right as she gets into trouble with street gangs, and Ryoma accepts a tennis match against the villains to save her.
During the intense tennis battle, the shock of two tennis balls ramming into one another disrupts the follow of time! Ryoma and Sakuno are suddenly transported back into the past, decades before, when Ryoma’s father challenged his last match at a championship in the U.S.
Ryoma!: The Prince of Tennis releases on VOD, Blu-ray, and DVD on July 5th.