February is the month of the St-Valentin, each year lovers around the world celebrate their love for each others in numerous way. However, this February 2018, we will also celebrate the Olympic Winter Games.
From the 9th to the 25th, athletes from 92 nations will meet in Pyeongchang (South Korea) and during sixteen days, they will compete against each other in order to win the top position and get all the honor.
The Olympic are all about competition and “Competition” is February’s topic for the OWLS Tour. OWLS (Otaku Warrior for Liberty and Self-Respect) is a group of bloggers and vloggers who promote the acceptance of everyone without taking in consideration their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation disabilities. If you want to know more about us, feel free to visit the group blog.
In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.
Each weeks during the second month of 2018, members of the OWLS will post about the competitive side in the pop culture.
Reading the prompt, I pretty sure a lot of you think I would go for Kuroko’s Basketball since it’s a sport anime heavily focus on the competition…
I love my KnB franchise, but it wasn’t my pick, for two reasons, one I already used not a long time ago for the December “Warmth” tour and second…well someone was quicker than me and already claimed it. This is why I stopped my choice on the very first sport anime I watched, Prince of Tennis.
Prince of Tennis is a manga series written and illustrated by Konomi Takeshi, it originally ran from July 1999 to March 2008 in the magazine Weekly Shounen Jump. The series count 42 volumes divided in 379 chapters. In November 2008, Jump Square began the serialization of a new series called, Prince of After School and a year after the end of the original Prince of Tennis, a sequel was released, New Prince of Tennis, which is also published in Jump Square.
The series adapted to the television by the studio Trans Art count 178 episodes and spread from October 2001 to March 200. The sequel manga was also adapted for the television by M.S.C and Production IG. The new series, which count 13 episodes, aired between January 2012 and March 2012. You can also find OVA and movie from the Prince of Tennis franchise. For more information about the series, you can read my post here or look-up the Wikia page here.
Like every sport anime, you can feel the competition between the different tennis club of Prince of Tennis, they all compete to be the best, to win the national, but this is not the only competition you will find in the series. While reading or watching the series, you will also see the members of the tennis club going against each other to be part of the regular. Unlike the starter member in series like Kuroko no Basuke and Haikyuu!!, where even the member who aren’t part of the starter team get the chance to go on the court, regular are the main team and are the only one who will play game. Members of the club who aren’t regular are normally not seen during official match, unless it’s a really big club like Hyoutei or if an accident happen to one of the regular right before a match.
The competition within a club for a regular spot can easily be seen in the tennis club of Seigaku, but this competition is not an unhealthy one, this competition to be on the regular push each member to surpass themselves, it push them to develop new technique. It’s because of how the tennis club of Seigaku work, this post will be focus on some of their members
Not Enough Data to Charm a Viper
During the first intra school ranking match we already have a really good idea of the level of competition is between the club members just by taking a look to what happen to one of top player of the club who was a regular when the series begin. Inui Sadaharu is considered as the 3rd strongest player in the club. However, despite being of one of the strongest player he still lost against Kaidoh Kaoru, not cause Kaidoh was necessarily stronger than Inui, but because Kaidoh didn’t wanted to lose his regular spot. Kaidoh had already lost a game against Echizen despite is great technique that is the Boomerang Snake, if he had lost his match against Inui, he would also had lost his regular spot which he didn’t want. No one want to lose his regular spot, Kaidoh had to come up with something to be able to beat Inui. Inui Sadaharu is a data collector player, he is collecting the data from the other player (like the percentage of time they return the ball in a certain area or the type of serve they used) to use them against them. He had all the data on Kaidoh on hand, therefore Kaidoh had to bring up his game to be able to beat him. This is when his determination to not lost his spot and his competitive side took over. Even if Inui had a lot of data on him, even if Inui could predict where the ball with go, Kaidoh still won his match.
Inui might had lost his spot, but he was determinate to regain it during the next intra-school ranking tournament and to do that he had to collect more data and by improving his play. He became the manager to the club, he help the regular for their training and even help Kaidoh to improve his stamina.
When came the second intra-school tournament came Inui was ready to reclaim his spot. Since the last in-school ranking, Inui collected a lot of data on the other club members that would help him to win his match. He didn’t only collected data but he also train hard. His regiment training was 2.25 time harder than Kaidoh regiment which was already 3 times harder than the other regular. Due to his hard training and with the help of the data he collected since he fall-out, Inui was able to beat Momoshiro Takeshi, an other regular. Momoshiro is known for his dunk smash, powerful smash hit from very high, really few people can return this smash. Even armed with this technique Momoshiro lost to Inui and it was a really short match, the crowd was even shock. Through hardwork and the need to compete with the other, Inui Sadaharu gain back is place within the regular, but if Inui got is spot back, Momoshiro lost it.
Jump In to the Competition
Momoshiro always been a fierce and talent player, a wild player confident in his technique and abilities, but despite all the tools he had his hand, Momoshiro had to give his spot to Inui. However it wasn’t the end for him, it was just the beginning. I said it earlier, the competition we are witnessing during the intra-school ranking, is an healthy competition. It push the player who takes part in the competition to surpass themselves, to prove what they are able to do and if they lose, they just come back stronger. This feeling of competition is the fuel keeping the fire within the player alive. Momoshiro might had lost, but he look for way to improve himself after. When he came back to the club (after wandering a little and worrying the first years and Oishi) he was ready to jump in the competition once again. In the final chapter of the manga (ch.379), we can see Momoshiro who is now a second year back with the regular.
The tennis club of Seigaku, is a good example of a healthy competition, sadly this cannot be apply to all the club. Some member of other club, like to play more violently and it’s when someone is injured that the competition become unhealthy.
I hope you enjoy reading my fourth OWLS participation to the OWLS tour, if you didn’t read Zel post about Welcome to the Ballroom, make sure to read it. Also don’t forget Shokamoka post on the 14th, he gonna talk about the Competition side of Hibike! Euphonium.
~ Thank you for reading ~
See you next time!!