– Wang Qiu Shao Nian
– Tennis Boys
– 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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