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Anime TL;DR 
Live-Action First Impression
The Prince of Tennis Live-Action Season 1 ~Match! Tennis Juniors~
奋斗吧,少年!
PrinceOfTennis-Header-LA2019FI-600

Synopsis

Lu Xia is a tennis prodigy who lived in the US since he was a child with his parents. He has inherited his father’s outstanding strength and tennis talent. However, trapped under the shadow of his father, Lu Xia only sees tennis as a tool to win over him, losing the passion and happiness in playing tennis altogether. Upon returning to China, he joins in a high school tennis team and met various tennis masters. Here, he begins to realize the meaning of tennis and figure out his own identity as a player. In the process of working to win the national league, Lu Xia and his teammates learn to work as a group and understand the importance of friends.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

TV Rating

Country

episode(s)

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Premiered

July 22, 2019

Language

Run-time

minutes

Overview

Alternative titles

– 奋斗吧,少年!
– Wang Qiu Shao Nian
– Tennis Boys
– 网球少年
– 奋斗吧少年
– Fen Dou Ba Shao Nian
– The Prince of Tennis

TL;DR First Impression

The Prince of Tennis live-action Chinese drama is based on a Japanese manga and anime series of the same name. Is this a real license of the Prince of Tennis series? I doubt it as Chinese studios are rather loose when it comes to intellectual property. But since they kept the same name, it may be really a legit license after all?

The opening theme sounds like a B-team boy band that can’t quite hit some notes. The ending theme is a little better. I give the intro a score of 5/10 and the outro a 6/10. From the intro alone, I am already feeling unease about this series and I hope I am proven wrong.

This series remind me a little of The King’s Avatar Live-Action, both are Chinese drama with 40-episodes. However, King’s Avatar has 3D CGI to fall back to during the action sequence while this series will be completely live-action. How well will the anime’s tennis action sequence translate? Unfortunately, not that well.

Right at the start, the show already hinting at a romance melodrama. We see multiple long shots of Qi Ying making googly eyes and smiling shyly at our main protagonist. I can’t say I care how they portrait him (Lu Xia) either. He’s arrogant and has a vindictive streak just like in the anime, but he just isn’t likable at all in the live-action. Lu Xia barely has any dialogs, has an expression like someone just killed his dog, and ignore people when they talk to him. He has no personality at all unless you count being angsty a personality.

I think this series is directed by John Woo, as every other cut is a slow-motion shot. Again we see product placement everywhere. Lu Xia is constantly drinking a purple soda, which I assume is either Fanta or a Chinese version of it, every 5 minutes.

For a tennis series, we don’t see a lot of tennis. It is filled with jokes that fall flat, long stretch of nothing happening and fillers of Qi Ying having her girl crush on Lu Xia. The series should be called My Highschool Crush of a Tennis Player instead. The “license” of The Prince of Tennis is wasted here.

I have very little hope this series will turn around to grab my attention. After two episodes, I think I will stop here. Will I come back to it to give a full review? I highly doubt it. Go (re)watch the much better anime version instead.

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Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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