Anime Heidi's Grandpa Takes a Swing at Coaching in Prince of Tennis Manga

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The latest chapter of Takeshi Konomi's The New Prince of Tennis manga debuted in the July issue of Shueisha's Jump SQ. magazine on Sunday. Fans were quick to notice that the Swiss team's coach who appears in the chapter looks familiar. Twitter user @suicakaede posted images from the character's introduction.

"Jin Onojiiha" looks nearly identical to the character Alm-Öhi (Onji) from Isao Takahata's 1974 anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps (Alps no Shōjo Heidi). The 82-year-old character's name is ”Heidi no Onji” ("Heidi's Onji") spelled backwards. There is no questioning the inspiration for the new tennis coach.

An uncharacteristically jolly version of Alm-Öhi starred in his own parody spinoff anime series Alps no Shōjo Heidi? Cyara-Onji, which premiered on August 11.

Takahata's original anime adapts Swiss author Johanna Spyri's 1880 novel Heidi. The television anime series inspired an anime film adaptation in 1979. The popularity of the anime version of Heidi has drawn Japanese tourists to Switzerland.

[Via Hachima Kikō]

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