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Funimation Adds The Prince of Tennis Anime Franchise, Including 2021's Game of Future

posted on by Egan Loo
Plans to stream Game of Future on April 16, give franchise a new English dub

Funimation announced on Friday that it is adding The Prince of Tennis anime franchise, including this year's two-part The Prince of Tennis II Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future (The New Prince of Tennis: Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future) original video anime project. The company will stream both Game of Future parts on April 16, and plans to give the franchise a brand-new English dub.

Funimation lists the project that it will offer "in the next year [...] each month":

  • The Prince of Tennis
  • The Prince of Tennis OVAs
  • The Prince of Tennis II
  • The Prince of Tennis II OVAs
  • The Prince of Tennis II OVAs vs Genius 10
  • The Prince of Tennis II Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future Part 1
  • The Prince of Tennis II Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future Part 2
  • The Prince of Tennis: Futari no Samurai
  • The Prince of Tennis: Atobe Kara no Okurimono
  • The Prince of Tennis: Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen!
  • The Prince of Tennis Best Games

The franchise will stream on Funimation in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Mexico, and Brazil; on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand; and on Wakanim in France, Germany, Russia, and Scandinavia.

The first part of The Prince of Tennis II Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future anime debuted in Japan on February 13, and the second part will debut on Japan's U-NEXT service on April 17.

Junya Enoki is playing Yoshio Tamagawa in the anime. The anime tells an original story featuring "Hyōtei vs. Rikkai." Original manga creator Takeshi Konomi is supervising the match-making for the anime. The anime marks the first time that the two schools are facing off against each other.

Keiichiro Kawaguchi (ISLAND) is directing the anime. Mitsutaka Hirota (Anime-Gataris, Nanbaka) is writing the script, and Akiharu Ishii (Blood+, Ultramarine Magmell) is designing the characters. Rei Todoroki performs the theme song "1/2 no Mirai e" (Toward a 1/2 Future).

Konomi serialized The Prince of Tennis manga's original run in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1999 to 2008. The manga follows middle school tennis player Ryōma Echizen as he battles rivals to reach the national tournament. That original manga inspired a 2001-2005 television anime, two anime feature films and a theatrical short, various video anime projects, a live-action film, a live-action television series in China, and a popular stage musical series.

Konomi then launched The New Prince of Tennis manga series in Shueisha's Jump SQ. magazine in 2009. The story picks up after the national tournament, when Ryōma joins a select group of middle school players at Japan's top training camp for players under 17. This ongoing sequel manga spawned its own 2012 television anime series The Prince of Tennis II. The Prince of Tennis II OVA vs. Genius 10 series then ran for five volumes from October 2014 to June 2015.

More recently, the franchise has inspired the Tennis no Ōjisama BEST GAMES!! original video anime (OVA) project. The project retells the story of the franchise's top matches. The first OVA began its limited two-week screening in Japan in August 2018, and shipped in Japan on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in October 2018. The second OVA received a two-week event screening in Japan starting on April 2019, and then shipped on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in June 2019. The third OVA screened in theaters in Japan for two weeks starting in November 2019, and shipped on home video in January 2020.

The Ryōma! Shinsei Gekijōban Tennis no Ōji-sama (Ryōma! Rebirth Movie The Prince of Tennis) 3DCG film for The Prince of Tennis franchise will open on September 3, after being delayed from spring 2020. The film will feature a completely original story that takes place in the three-month time period between the events at the end of the The Prince of Tennis manga and the start of The New Prince of Tennis manga. Funimation's announcement does not list this anime film.

Viz Media published the 42nd and final volume of Konomi's original Prince of Tennis manga run in North America in 2011. Crunchyroll streamed The Prince of Tennis II television anime into several countries as it aired in Japan, and it then streamed the spinoff original video anime projects.

Source: Funimation (Nicholas Friedman)

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