Prince Of Tennis VS Slam Dunk

April 18, 2008

Yay! Another versus between 2 famous and popular sports anime. This time it is between Prince Of Tennis and Slam Dunk. I’m not sure how popular these sports are in Japan seeing that the traditional sumo wrestling is still a popular sport among many Japanese and baseball for the more modern ones. But I guess it was enough for the producers to spur them into a classic manga and even a tv series. Since I don’t really read manga, the versus is just the similarities and differences of the tv series.
 
Sports genre
Prince Of Tennis: Tennis
Slam Dunk: Basketball
 
The school team
The series focuses on the rise of a particular school tennis/basketball club.
Prince Of Tennis: Seishun Gakuen or Seigaku in short
Slam Dunk: Shohoku High School
 
The team members
The players that make up the team of that particular school sports club.
Prince Of Tennis: Kunimitsu Tezuka, Shuichiro Oishi, Shusuke Fuji, Eiji Kikumaru, Takashi Kawamura, Kaoru Kaidoh, Takeshi Momoshiro, Sadaharu Inui, Ryoma Echizen
Slam Dunk: Takenori Akagi, Kaede Rukawa, Ryota Miyagi, Hisashi Mitsui, Hanamichi Sakuragi, Kiminobu Kogure, Tetsushi Shiozaki, Yasuharu Yasuda
 
Reserve players
Well, not every player on the team gets to make regular appearances.
Prince Of Tennis: First it was Inui when his regular spot is taken away by newcomer Ryoma. Though later in the series Inui gets his place back at the expense of Momoshiro, but I felt that Kawamura stayed on the sidelines more.
Slam Dunk: Though Kogure doesn’t have much play time (especially when Hanamichi joins the club), but it’s better then other members Shiozaki or Yasuda who have even less playing time and are only in as substitutes to rest key players or when they’re injured. I also kinda noticed that there are other players in the team who never get to play at all! Not that I remember their names. Yeah, they’re really just warming up the bench.
 
The coach
There has to be somebody to oversee and guide the team to greater heights.
Prince Of Tennis: The elderly Sumire Ryuuzaki. Also, while Inui wasn’t in the regulars, he helped cooked up several weird traning menus.
Slam Dunk: The chubby Mitsuyoshi Anzai. Also, Ayako is also the team’s manager and helps around. When Hanamichi joins the team, Ayako’s responsibility is to train and sharpen his skills.
 
Team captain
Prince Of Tennis: Tezuka
Slam Dunk: Akagi
 
Vice captain
Prince Of Tennis: Oishi
Slam Dunk: Kogure
 
The new rising star
It’s like the advent of this particular newbie seems to have an effect of making the school club from a no-hoper to a formidable opponent and rise to the occassion.
Prince Of Tennis: Ryoma. Even though this left hander seems to be quiet and untalkative at times, he can be cocky and arrogant but has his own sense of justice by standing up and championing the weak and those being bullied. His skills are extraordinary for a person his age.
Slam Dunk: Hanamichi. This hot-headed red head is a loudmouth at times and because of his attitude, he may be deemed arrogant. Though he has the height and built, his skills are akeen to a beginner’s (and not even knowing the rules of the game!) but he learns and adapts well fast.
 
Why join the club
Refers to the new rising star, the reason why he’d join the club.
Prince Of Tennis: Since Ryoma has moved back from USA to Japan, I guess his home is closer to Seigaku. Plus, he has been playing tennis since young so by right he should join a tennis club, right?
Slam Dunk: The girl that he fell in love at first sight, Haruko, did mention how cool it was for a person with such height to play basketball. So Hanamichi joins the basketball club in hopes of winning her heart. Yeah, try real hard pal.
 
Supporters
I’m sure the club has a few fans of their own to cheer them on.
Prince Of Tennis: First year students Sakuno Ryuuzaki (who’s the granddaughter of coach Ryuuzaki) and Tomoka Osakada. There are also 3 first year rookie tennis club students, Satoshi Horio, Kachiro Kato and Katsuo Mizuno, who watch from the sidelines and give their ‘criticisms, opinions and suggestions’. More like stand-up comedians.
Slam Dunk: Besides Haruko who is also Akagi’s little sister, Hanamichi has 4 other pals to support (sometimes make fun) him while he’s playing. They are Yohei Mito, Chuichiro Noma, Yuji Oukusu, Nozomi Takamiya. Yeah, another bunch of jokers.
 
Opponents
Along the way, the club will definitely meet and play formidable rival school opponents, some of them favourites to advance and past year champions. Below are just the selected ones.
Prince Of Tennis: Fudoumine, St Rudolph, Yamabuki, Hyotei, Josei Shonan, Rokkaku, Rikkaidai
Slam Dunk: Miuradai, Tsukubu, Shoyo, Kainan, Takezato, Ryonan
 
Super powerhouse opponents
Well, the all high and mighty favourites who have dominated to scene for a long time. It’s gonna be a tough and torrid time for our Seigaku/Shohoku team.
Prince Of Tennis: Rikkaidai who has been champions of the Nationals for the last 2 consecutive years.
Slam Dunk: Kainan who has won the Interhigh tournament for the last straight 17 years. Wow!
 
The tournament
Every year, all the high schools of a particular in Japan will meet and play matches which literally takes up the whole year.
Prince Of Tennis: It starts of with the Prefectorials first, then followed by the Kantou tournament, before the Nationals. The format for all the tournament is direct elimination, meaning if you lose, you’re out. Seigaku has never lost a match and advances to the Nationals.
Slam Dunk: It starts of with the Interhigh tournament. The format will be direct elimination untill there are 4 teams left, in which they will play each other once and the top 2 will advance to the Nationals. Shohoku has lost 1 match when they’re in the final 4 but managed to advance to the Nationals.
 
The game format
How the particular tennis/basketball match works
Prince Of Tennis: Rather than an individual game, the tournament is team based with 2 doubles and 3 singles, whereby it’s a best out of 5 and each team only plays 1 set match.
Slam Dunk: Normal basketball rules. Normal 5-on-5 team game.
 
Special skills
In order to make the series more interesting, I’m sure the players have their own specialty abilities and moves which would awe the spectators and their opponents. Exaggerated or purely superb?
Prince Of Tennis: Due to the nature of the sport, there are more special skills portrayed here and each character (Seigaku or their opponents) each at least have a special move like Ryoma’s Twist Serve, Kawamura’s Hadokyuu, Fuji’s Tsubame Gaeshi and Tezuka’s Zero Shiki Drop Shot.
Slam Dunk: Due to the nature of the sport, there isn’t much special skills portrayed. Some of the characters are good and skilfull in their areas like Mitsui’s 3-pointer specialty, Ryota and his little tricks, and Akagi’s built allows him to stand as a good defence.
 
Incorporating other sports into the game
Some players were previous members of other sports club. So it may seem a little weird if they incorporate and fuse it with their current sports club.
Prince Of Tennis: Hiroshi Yagyuu of Rikkaidai was an ex golf player and has adapted his golf swings into his tennis play. Later, Kiyosumi Sengoku of Yamabuki incorporates boxing into his tennis playing style.
Slam Dunk: Tetsuya Naito of Miuradai was an ex rugby player and uses his brute physical force as a source of forward power.
 
"Animal" nickname
Some characters are given an animal nickname because…
Prince Of Tennis: Kaidoh has been nicknamed Viper by everyone who knows him (especially his teammates) because he makes that "Fushuu…" huff and his special skills like Snake and Boomerang Snake add to it.
Slam Dunk: Akagi has been nicknamed Gorilla by Hanamichi because of his huge physical appearance and his face which in a way somewhat looking similar to a primitive ape.
 
Loggerheads
Even though they’re on the same team, they’re always arguing, bickering and don’t see eye to eye. It’s like a love-hate relationship. But more on the hate side.
Prince Of Tennis: Momoshiro and Kaidoh.
Slam Dunk: Hanamichi and Rukawa.
 
Sleepers
Looks like their favourite hobby is taking a nap when not doing anything else. But don’t be fooled by it because they’re still bloody good in the game they play.
Prince Of Tennis: Jirou of Hyotei.
Slam Dunk: Rukawa of Shohoku.
 
Love chemistry
Ah, romance is in the air… Not. Besides, it’s just not for the love of the game itself.
Prince Of Tennis: Sakuno has a crush on Ryoma. Because she’s too shy and softspoken to confess her feelings and Ryoma’s pretty oblivious and densed too, I guess at this rate, sad to say, nothing much will happen. It’s like that till the end. Perhaps Sakuno prefers the way things are now.
Slam Dunk: Though Hanamichi has been rejected by 50 girls in the past, he now has a crush on Haruko, the reason why he joined the basketball club. However, Haruko has eyes only for Rukawa, who in return doesn’t return her love. Same thing for Hanamichi. Haruko tries to forget and let go of this crush of hers but is unsuccessful. As for Hanamichi, I guess he’ll keep trying but we all know how it’ll go, right?
 
Fanclub
Self-established and self-proclaimed fanclubs of a particular team member.
Prince Of Tennis: Tomoka creates a Ryoma Fanclub and is the president of it. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the only member. I don’t think Ryoma is bothered with it.
Slam Dunk: 3 school girls of Shohoku has created a Rukawa Fanclub (dressed in some cheerleading outfit) and cheers for him whether he’s practising or playing a real match. I don’t think Rukawa is bothered with it either.
 
Practice match
A ‘friendly’ match with an opponent they have defeated or gonna meet before an important match.
Prince Of Tennis: Before the final match with Rikkaidai which was postponed a week, Seigaku went on a special training camp in the mountains and also played matches against Hyotei, whom they’ve beaten in the preliminaries of the Kantou tournament. Seigaku again beats them.
Slam Dunk: Before the start of the Interhigh tournament, Shohoku visited and played Ryonan as a warm up match. Ultimately Shohoku lost this closely fought match by just a point.
 
The game before the Nationals
When the clubs surprisingly advances to the Nationals, I’m sure that there are other matches to warm them up before the big one.
Prince Of Tennis: A special training camp is held to select the Japanese representatives to play against the West Coast team from America.
Slam Dunk: Shohoku plays an exhibition match against a combined team from Ryonan and Shoyo.
 
Number of episodes
Prince Of Tennis: The year 2001 tv series spans 178 episodes. The OVA series is currently running as it features Seigaku in the Nationals and they’re making steady advances. There are also 2 movies made of the series (less than an hour’s running time) and a live adaption.
Slam Dunk: The year 1993 tv series spans 101 episodes There is a 4 episode OVA which features Shohoku in the Nationals but the team ultimately lost. There are also 4 movies made but each are about an hour’s length.
 
Conclusion
Well, since I’m not an avid fan of the sport, so definitely I didn’t really become obsessed with the anime. If I had to pick which one, then I would choose Prince Of Tennis. That’s because Slam Dunk has in a way ‘scarred’ me with it’s seemingly long matches in which an episode is actually a few seconds of the match. Oh, they can really drag the series. I mean, it’s the same too with Prince Of Tennis and with all those flashback and filler episodes, but not as long as Slam Dunk. Perhaps Prince Of Tennis may seem better in terms of drawing, animation and colouring. Also, the last time I watched Slam Dunk was ages ago. So I probably don’t remember much. But this 2 are both classic sports genre series and anime lovers who haven’t watched then yet should have a look.
 
Prince Of Tennis Slam Dunk

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