As a Tokyo-based writer, I will introduce you to various aspects of pop culture such as manga, anime, movies and music. I want to spread the joy of Japanese pop culture around the world.
Hello, otaku readers of MANGA.TOKYO! This is Mokugyo, an otaku writer who loves manga and anime!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! In recent years, female fans have been sending Valentine’s chocolates to manga or anime characters, and this reminds me of The Prince of Tennis. The anime is famous for the incredible amount of chocolates the characters receive.
Today, I want to tell you more about a unique person, the author of The Prince of Tennis, Takeshi Konomi.
Takeshi Konomi is the author of the popular manga The Prince of Tennis. He is an active manga artist who not only makes media appearances, but has even performed songs for his works. Konomi calls himself ‘a happy media creator, sometimes a manga artist.’ I’d like to tell you some stories related to his self-description!
Takeshi Konomi’s most famous work, The Prince of Tennis, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1999 to 2008. It has since switched to Jump Square, where the sequel The New Prince of Tennis is being serialized. The Prince of Tennis has been made into an anime, a live-action movie, and several musicals, all really big hits. It’s been almost ten years since the last chapter of the manga and the title is still gaining fans.
A famous aspect of the work is the flashy attacks that are full of impact. ‘Hadoukyuu’ is so strong that it flicks an opponent off the court. You can move so fast with ‘Bunshin’ that it looks like there are two of you. If you use ‘Tezuka Zone,’ a ball from an opponent will definitely go toward your hands. In The Prince of Tennis a lot of surreal attacks which could never happen in reality are possible. It’s a superhuman tennis manga which packs the punch of a great story!
Plus, the real-world impact of The Prince of Tennis was massive. Thanks to its serialization, students who joined tennis clubs increased at Japanese schools. Kei Nishikori, a tennis player who was the first Japanese player to be ranked 4th in the world rankings, also said that he is a fan of The Prince of Tennis. It is such an inspiring work.
The Prince of Tennis is known for having a lot of enthusiastic female fans. They say that its beautiful pictures and the unique and good-looking male characters managed to capture their hearts.
The Valentine’s Day custom in Japan is for girls to present chocolate to the boys they like. It is well-known that on Valentine’s Day, the female fans send numerous chocolates to the TeniPri characters, which only reinforces the story’s popularity among women.
今朝まで8人体制で、一生懸命皆さんのキャラへの愛情を集計し終わりました҉٩(#´◇｀#) ۶҉ ｱﾘｶﾞﾄｰ!
— 許斐剛 (@konomi_takeshi) March 5, 2016
Above, you can see one of the chocolate moments that Takeshi Konomi shared on his personal Twitter account.
In 2016, fans sent as many as 112,363 chocolates to Takeshi Konomi in total. He tallied which characters got how many chocolates with 7 other staff helpers. It’s impressive that he tweets frequently and shows us the chocolate scenes while also drawing manga. The character that got the most this year was Keigo Atobe; he got 8948 chocolates. He is the captain of the tennis club at the rival school, Hyoutei Academy. He’s popular for his wealthy and arrogant ‘oresama’ character. Takeshi Konomi and his staff eat some of the chocolates and the rest are sent to establishments for unfortunate children. This phenomenon seems a little abnormal, but it proves that there are fans who are just a little too enthusiastic about their favorite anime.
(Next page: It continues, Takeshi Konomi’s various facts!)