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Creator Hikaru Katsuki Comments on Baby Steps Tennis Manga's Cancellation

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The 47th and final volume of Hikaru Katsuki's Baby Steps tennis manga shipped in Japan on Friday. However, the series did not come to an end as Katsuki had hoped, and his publisher decided to conclude the manga before he could tell the whole story. The volume features a heartfelt message from Katsuki about the cancellation.

Katsuki said:

Hello, it's Katsuki. With this 47th volume, it's exactly 10 years. And it's become the last volume. There are various circumstances, but it's a shame that the writing of Ei-chan's life comes to an end here mainly with my lack of ability. The theme was independence, so I'm glad it reached the point of Ei-chan as a professional making his own team and finally having his world tour debut... If possible, I wanted to write the Davis Cup, but... Somehow continuing for 10 years is thanks to the staff who collaborated with all their effort, the large group of people who gladly helped with research, and more than others, you who read [the manga] until now. Thank you very, very much!! I think Ei-chan will face forward and continue on, so I also want to move forward. Well then, [see you] again somewhere....

This year's 46th issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine revealed in October that the manga would end in three chapters. This year's 48th issue published the series' final chapter on November 1. Katsuki launched the manga in the magazine in October 2007.

The story revolves around Eiichirō "Ei-chan" Maruo, a punctual and earnest boy who has strived for straight As since elementary school. The 15-year-old high school boy stops by a tennis school to deal with his lack of exercise. There, he meets Natsu Takasaki, a beautiful, earnest girl who only has passion for tennis.

The manga's first television anime series premiered in April 2014, and the second series premiered in April 2015. Katsuki himself collaborated on the creation of episodes with original stories not told in the manga. Studio Pierrot animated both television series, with 25 episodes for each series. Crunchyroll streamed both series as they aired in Japan.

The manga more recently inspired a live-action series adaptation that premiered on the Amazon Prime service in July 2016. Amazon also streamed the series outside of Japan in the same month.

[Via Yaraon!]

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