The Prince of Tennis II

Alt title: Shin Tennis no Ouji-sama

TV (13 eps)
3.981 out of 5 from 2,711 votes
Rank #1,049
The Prince of Tennis II

Middle school students fought fiercely against one another in a national tournament. Now, 50 chosen representatives return to fight again as high school students! The stage is the U-17 (Under Seventeen) Japanese Representative Training Camp. Middle school students have been invited for the first time to a camp known to produce the best Japanese tennis players. National champions from Seigaku, Hyotei, Rikkai, Shitenhoji... With all the rivals from the national tournament attending, everyone eagerly awaits their reunion. At first, the middle schoolers do not expect much from their high school opponents. However, the training camp is not so easy! Athletes with skills incomparable to those they previously faced and their mysterious coach appear before them. Faced with numerous demanding challenges, can the middle schoolers survive in this meritocratic training camp?

Source: Crunchyroll

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This review will cover all 30 episodes from: The New Prince of Tennis, The New Prince of Tennis Specials, & The New Prince of Tennis OVA vs. Genius 10. | Of course, the scores are referring to the first season, but from this point on I will be referring to everything there is to the Prince of Tennis II. That being said, this installment isn't a tennis anime. If I'm honest, it doesn't even feel connected to the original Prince of Tennis. So much so, that I'm certain anyone could watch this without having seen the original series. Not that anyone should, because there's a lot of context around a lot of the characters that they'd be missing out on, but in terms of story, there's absolutely no connection to the show's predecessor. People who enjoyed the original Prince of Tennis would probably find something to enjoy about this, but since it is nothing like the original, there may be a lot of disappointment to be found. Now, while it's far from perfection, I enjoyed the original Prince of Tennis. I grew up with it, and back then, I watched everything to this series, including its sequel. However, this sequel installment was the most forgettable part of the entire franchise. The New Prince of Tennis follows 50 of the middle schoolers we've encountered before who were invited to Japan's special Under-17 tennis training camp that was previously only available to high schoolers. They then play matches against each other and get split up into "winners" and "losers." In the OVA vs. Genius 10, they all come together to try and take spots on Japan's U-17 tennis team. Of course most of these middle schoolers are just there to fill in the background, but the problem is that most of these characters are unnecessary, and a whole cluster of characters that only fans would care about. It becomes hard to become invested in much of the cast which is a shame because the characters from the original series were really well-done. Some of the newer characters that appeared in the Genius 10 arc were very out of place for The Prince of Tennis as well. Just about all of them resort to dirty underhand tactics, and not the clever kind either. It got old and seemed very uncreative. Almost no one in the show seemed to have a problem with murdering someone or getting murdered, all in an attempt to make the show seem like it was serious and had high stakes. Instead, it turned into a rather silly shounen death match at some points. Instead of being able to feel each character's different reasons for wanting to win, most of the time it felt like that wasn't even explored. In terms of story, there isn't much to be found. The main story is split into a 13-episode season and its 10-episode OVA, with 7 episodes of side-story specials. Seeing everyone's motivation to get stronger was very satisfying to see towards the second half of the 13-episodes, the ride it took to get there was very uncomfortable. The pacing of The New Prince of Tennis was all over the place. For only 13 episodes, they spent around 5 of them focusing on several different matches that would divide the camp into "winners" and "losers," something that wasn't that important in the long run, and an overall waste of time. Even the outcomes to some of these matches were really counterintuitive and frustrating. On the topic of the tennis matches however, one of the most crucial parts there is to this series, they were also extremely underwhelming. The show completely skipped parts of certain matches, and other matches in their entirety to make everything fit, which was a shame since seeing tennis matches is such an important part of what makes this series. Also, since the entire show is one massive training arc, there's not much at stake either, which hurts the show overall. Lastly, while The Prince of Tennis is a sports anime that foregoes physics, logic, and all reason to create crazy, over-the-top tennis matches, this sequel installment takes that to a whole other level. These teenagers can now hit up to ten balls at once, hit a ball hard enough that it creates craters on the tennis court, and one of my personal favorites: swinging the racket fast enough that it creates a temporary black hole. Yes. That is not an exaggeration, it's not even a metaphor, one of the characters actually swings his racket so fast that a black hole forms to suck up the tennis ball, or something like that. That's not to say that these powers are bad or anything, in fact The Prince of Tennis stands on fun powers like that because they're fun to see. Just be warned that this series takes it to the extreme, further than it ever has before, and I can see many people finding a problem with this aspect of the show. Visually, this installment is better than everything else in the entire series. It is much more modern, and no longer feels like an older show from the past. The tennis fights (because that's honestly what they are now) are animated nicely. It's not One Punch Man or Demon Slayer level, but it's a very nice improvement. As for the sound, it's about the same as the rest of the franchise. The voice actors are good, the sounds fit, and the music is nice. Aside from the absolutely killer "Prelude to a Revolution" OP in the 10-episode Genius 10 arc, everything else is about on the same level as the original series in my opinion. Nothing in these departments will be worth complaining about, as it is mostly the story its characters that were problematic. As for the 7 New Prince of Tennis Specials, these were enjoyable. Each episode featured a different untold part of the first season's story. The specials told stories that took place before training camp started, the story of different tennis matches that took place in the middle of it, or light wholesome stories that took place after. These were lighter and more enjoyable additions to the show. While they weren't as enjoyable as the filler from the original series, they did their job and they did it well, highlighting the different fun things to each character that you've grown to love from the original Prince of Tennis. TL;DR | While the show almost excels visually, and has no flaws in the sound that accompanies the animation, the story is unexciting, and there are too many characters that none are given any room to stand out above the rest. Some of them have spotlight here and there, but will eventually fall out of it, and will become a part of the unimportant background cast. The show in general fails to bring the experience that the original series gave, and while I can respect the direction to try to create a whole new experience (because that is far more rewarding than a bad copy), the end result wasn't anything worth getting excited over. While I still love The Prince of Tennis to this day, I would not rewatch this again, and I will not recommend this to others unless they are that much of a Prince of Tennis of Tennis fan. Even though the original series is much older, and stilll full of its own flaws, I would still say it was better than this.

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