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Prince of Tennis Creator Holds Charity Concert With His Own Characters

posted on by Eric Stimson
"17 years ago I never imagined I'd see Ryoma Echizen in front of me like this"

On June 26, Takeshi Konomi, the creator of the manga The Prince of Tennis and a budding singer, held a concert at the DMM VR Theater in Yokohama to benefit the victims of the April earthquakes in Kumamoto. He appeared onstage along with several characters from The Prince of Tennis thanks to 3-D computer graphics and projection technology.

Ryoma was the first character to take the stage, where he performed "Go" as a duet with Konomi. Thanks to offstage actors wearing motion capture suits, he also danced in sync with his creator. Konomi later teased Ryoma, calling him "Chibisuke" ("Shorty"), to Ryoma's annoyance, and then sang "Kanashii Ne... Kimi ga Chikasugite" while Ryoma practiced tennis and danced.

Tezuka was next to appear on stage, wearing a German jersey, followed by Keigo. Keigo sang "Adventure Hero" with Konomi, followed by "Love Festival" with Konomi and Ryoma. "It looks like this event didn't make you happy. We still have a ways to go," Ryoma said.

The concert was followed by an award ceremony: Konomi received a trophy shield for releasing more than 400 different Prince of Tennis-related CDs. "When can I apply for a Guinness [World Record]?" he responded.

Konomi performed seven times in one day. In tweets afterward, he claimed to have never expected Ryoma to appear before him as he did during the concert. He called the motion capture actors the "real stars" for dancing all day in their motion capture suits. Konomi also thanked the people involved and the fans for the wonderful opportunity. "17 years ago I never imagined I'd see Ryoma Echizen in front of me like this," he said.

Konomi's Prince of Tennis manga is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year. Konomi's first album, Takeshi Konomi☆Surprise Live ~Hitori TeniPri Festa~, shipped on June 22. It is a live album of a January concert that also featured various characters, though last Sunday's performance was Ryoma's stage debut.

Konomi with the motion capture actors

Sources: Comic Natalie (photos from dress rehearsal for press) and Takeshi Konomi Twitter

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