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REVIEW: Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis




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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2125
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 1:29 pm Reply with quote
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The first thing you need to know about Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis is that it's deeply influenced by the stage musical adaptations that have sustained the fandom since 2003. In other words, it's a musical film.


Something that no one, not even Eleven Arts, ever brought up while promoting this movie. Gee, I wonder why...

I mean, nothing against musicals (like many, I grew up on Disney animated films, which tended to be musicals), but the fact that it took this long for it to be revealed that this movie is a musical really does show that all involved parties in bringing this movie outside of Japan didn't want that to be known. I really enjoyed reading Prince of Tennis when Viz was releasing it, but that completely & utterly changes my expectations for this film now, and Eleven Arts simply should have been honest about what it really was from the start.

Even if it isn't anything special, I was interested in seeing an all-CG take on Prince of Tennis the way I remember it. Had this been admitted to be a musical from the start, I probably would have been curious still, but now I'm not as interested (at least, not as immediately), simply because I feel as though this aspect was purposefully hidden.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Since it's a musical movie, are the songs dubbed in the English version?

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I mean, nothing against musicals (like many, I grew up on Disney animated films, which tended to be musicals), but the fact that it took this long for it to be revealed that this movie is a musical really does show that all involved parties in bringing this movie outside of Japan didn't want that to be known. I really enjoyed reading Prince of Tennis when Viz was releasing it, but that completely & utterly changes my expectations for this film now, and Eleven Arts simply should have been honest about what it really was from the start.
I mean they clearly show it's a musical film in the Japanese trailer. It's only in the English dub trailer where they don't show the musical numbers. Which is odd but this is definitely a movie aimed for hardcore POT fans who I assume most of them are probably already aware of the live action musicals and probably have seen fansubs of them.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
I mean they clearly show it's a musical film in the Japanese trailer. It's only in the English dub trailer where they don't show the musical numbers. Which is odd but this is definitely a movie aimed for hardcore POT fans who I assume most of them are probably already aware of the live action musicals and probably have seen fansubs of them.


Even then, Eleven Arts made no mention at all of this movie being a musical when promoting or hyping it up via stuff like press releases & the like. And I double-checked the trailers that Eleven Arts shared on Twitter & the like before my post, even the ones in Japanese, and the most you hear of anything musical is a single song being used with footage that's obviously not musical-related, so it's easy to just think that it's a theme song.

I'm just saying that they should have just been honest about the type of movie it was from the get-go.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 2125
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
All I know is I've known for at least a month now that it was a musical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkMTDoPQM48


OK, and all I'm saying is that this is NOT the trailer that Eleven Arts ever showed. Japan had no problem advertising what the movie really is, but outside of what looks to be one clip shared on Twitter a week ago focusing on a single musical (rap) scene, Eleven Arts never really advertised this movie as a musical.

I know of the stage plays & how they're super popular with the hardcore PoT fans, so I don't know why Eleven Arts didn't just outright say from the moment it announced that license that this was a musical, because there are plenty of people just like me that knew that this film was coming out & even getting a theatrical release, but didn't know that it was a musical until literally today, as even the review itself on this site had to start off by clarifying that. I mean, not even a message from Takeshi Konomi himself that was shared by Eleven Arts mentioned that it was a musical, simply calling it a "road movie", and that's the creator of the manga!

Simply put, that's a failure on Eleven Arts to accurately promote what the movie is, arguably on the level of how EA never mentioned that Brutal Legend was actually a real-time strategy game, instead making everything think that it was an action game until it actually came out. Not everyone is going to see what the Japanese side of things puts out when it comes to trailers, even if said trailer has English subs.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1002
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 4:07 pm Reply with quote
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This film feels cheap, and the fact that it has two different versions with slightly different scenes like a Pokémon game is exploitative to the hardcore fans. (For reference, the "Decide" version gets a Tezuka and Yukimura cameo, while the "Glory" version shows Atobe and Shiraishi.)

Hahaha what? What?? Wow.

...I apologize I have nothing productive to add with this post, just...wow. Gosh. Jeez. lol.
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RaeRoc



Joined: 19 Apr 2022
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
Since it's a musical movie, are the songs dubbed in the English version?


My understanding is no, those aren't. Just the dialogue is.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 7:37 pm Reply with quote
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I know of the stage plays & how they're super popular with the hardcore PoT fans, so I don't know why Eleven Arts didn't just outright say from the moment it announced that license that this was a musical, because there are plenty of people just like me that knew that this film was coming out & even getting a theatrical release, but didn't know that it was a musical until literally today, as even the review itself on this site had to start off by clarifying that. I mean, not even a message from Takeshi Konomi himself that was shared by Eleven Arts mentioned that it was a musical, simply calling it a "road movie", and that's the creator of the manga!


Maybe EA was forbidden from mentioning it? That has been known to happen, and NDAs are a thing.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 9:37 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Quote:
I know of the stage plays & how they're super popular with the hardcore PoT fans, so I don't know why Eleven Arts didn't just outright say from the moment it announced that license that this was a musical, because there are plenty of people just like me that knew that this film was coming out & even getting a theatrical release, but didn't know that it was a musical until literally today, as even the review itself on this site had to start off by clarifying that. I mean, not even a message from Takeshi Konomi himself that was shared by Eleven Arts mentioned that it was a musical, simply calling it a "road movie", and that's the creator of the manga!


Maybe EA was forbidden from mentioning it? That has been known to happen, and NDAs are a thing.


That'd be a really weird thing to request, but at the same time I could sadly see it happening, since Japanese licensors can be weird like that: "Yes, we'd love to license this brand new movie based on a long-running series that has a hardcore fanbase to you... but only if you promise to never advertise that it's actually a musical, because that might actually do the opposite of what we want & instead turn people away from it!"
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camseyeview140



Joined: 26 Jan 2021
Posts: 103
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2022 9:07 am Reply with quote
A little shocked there is no mention of the flood of PoT advertising at the very end after the credits. Like, the music was solid enough, but there was no translation as to what the advertising was outside of the Prince of Tennis 2 manga maybe? It's weird.
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IceLeaf



Joined: 08 Sep 2019
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 3:28 am Reply with quote
I wasn't really interested in the movie because i didn't really like the style of animation but knowing that it's a musical makes me more interested in watching it because I love tenimyu
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