Shueisha Will Not Count Valentine's Day Chocolates from Prince of Tennis Fans in 2019

posted on by Kim Morrissy

It has been an annual tradition for Prince of Tennis fans to send Valentine's Day chocolates addressed to their favorite characters to Shueisha's monthly Jump Square magazine, which publishes the ongoing New Prince of Tennis manga. The chocolates are counted as votes towards the annual Prince of Tennis character popularity poll, which has resulted in thousands of chocolates circulating Shueisha on Valentine's Day.

Shueisha was reportedly "buried" in chocolates in 2017, and the number of gifts doubled to over 400,000 in 2018. Shueisha halted the tradition once in 2015, but due to fan demand it returned the year after.

Shueisha is once again putting a stop to the Valentine's Day popularity poll, however. The latest issue of Jump Square, which went on sale in Japan on Tuesday, includes a notice stating that the magazine is holding a character popularity poll to celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of Prince of Tennis's original serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump. However, any Valentine's Day presents addressed the characters will not be counted as votes. (The presents will still be given to the manga artist Takeshi Konomi, as per the tradition.)

This announcement has occurred only months after the Japan Anniversary Association officially designated August 14 as "Happy Summer Valentine Day" in honor of the annual Prince of Tennis summer Valentine event.

Details about the latest character popularity poll and how it will be carried out will be released in the February 2019 issue of Jump Square, which will go on sale on January 4, 2019. The notice states that every single character is eligible for voting, including the middle school students, the high school students, the overseas students, and so on.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Prince of Tennis is also collaborating with the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, a theme park and film set modeled after the Edo period. From January 26, 2019 to March 24, the park will sell Prince of Tennis-themed food and goods. The Randen train line is also running a special Prince of Tennis-themed train during the collaboration period.

The Prince of Tennis anime franchise is currently releasing its Tennis no Ōjisama BEST GAMES!! OAV episodes. The first OVA had a limited two-week screening in Japan beginning on August 24, and will ship in Japan on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on October 26. Three OVAs are currently planned in the project.

Source: Jump Square January 2019 issue, Comic Natalie

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