Ryoma Echizen

Ryoma Echizen

:An extraordinarily powerful smash done by jumping high into the air, and twisting, then un-twisting, the body back onto the ball. It is first shown while battling Atobe, before the Kantō finals. He later perfects the move while playing Rikkai Dai's Vice Captain Sanada.

;Snake (Buggy Whip Shot):A forehand or backhand shot that has an offset topspin that causes it to curve to the corners of the court, making the opponent run around and lose stamina, Ryoma first finds out about this technique from an article on a pro. Later, after he sees Kaidoh perform a variation of it, known as Snake, he realizes that Snake is the Buggy Whip Shot and manages to copy it, although he said that it is quite difficult to perform with a short reach.

;Zero-Shiki Drop Shot:In the reserve match against Wakashi Hiyoshi, Ryoma shows the ability to use Tezuka's famed drop shot, which is a heavy backspin drop shot that drops after passing 1 foot, then after it lands on the ground, rolls back to the net instead of bouncing. However, due to Ryoma's stance (his racket 30 cm off from his normal stance), it was too obvious and Inui stated that it will not work the second time.

;Super Rising:One of the common shots used by most characters, Super Rising is a half volley where the returner hits the ball they are returning just as it is bouncing up in order to give the opponent less time to react. Ryoma first sees this shot during his match against Yuta Fuji using it against him, and uses it himself to try to return Yuta's Twist Spin Shot. However, it was imperfect until the match against Akutsu, meaning that the Super Rising didn't take very long to master.

;Rondo towards Destruction (manga only):A high-level two-part smash that knocks away the opponent's racket with the first hit, and scores with the second smash, Ryoma was able to use this against Atobe, the one who invented it himself, when outside of Muga no Kyochi. In the OVA, Ryoma was in Muga no Kyochi to use this technique, while in the manga, it was stated by Fuji that he was no longer in Muga no Kyochi before he used this technique.

;Dragon Cyclone Smash (animated movie only):A move where Ryoma returns the ball at a high speed, creating a cyclone around him, which he then uses as a diversion as he hits his return.

;List of techniques used in Muga no Kyochi:"No-Touch Ace" (Tezuka's technique) - Vol 22:"Snake" (Kaido's technique) - Vol 22:"Twist Spin Shot" (Yuuta's technique) - Vol 22, 26 & Episode 128, OVA 13:"Akutsu's Sliding" (Akutsu's technique) - Vol 22, 26 & Episode 128, OVA 13:"Enbu Tennis" (Hiyoshi's technique) - Vol 22, 34 & Episode 128:"Dunk Smash" (Momoshiro's technique) - Vol 22, 26:"Knuckle Serve" (Kirihara's technique) - Vol 26:"Perfected Zero-Shiki Drop Shot" (Tezuka's technique) - Vol 26:"Rhythm" (Kamio's technique) - Vol 26:"Spot" (Shinji's technique) - Vol 26 & Episode 128:"Fuu "Swift like the Wind" (Sanada's technique) - Vol 26, 27:"Two-handed Hadokyuu" (Kawamura's technique) - Vol 26:"Blur Ball Illusion Shot" (Akazawa's technique) - Vol 26:"Deep Impulse" (Shinjyo's technique) - Episode 128:"Big Bang" (Tanishi's technique) - Vol 34, 42 & Episode OVA 13:"Shukuchihou" (Higa Chuu's technique) - Vol 34 & Episode OVA 13:"Viking Horn" (Kai's technique) - Vol 34 & Episode OVA 13 , OVA 19:"Ka "Invade like fire" (Sanada's technique) - Vol 34:"Tannhauser Serve" (Atobe's technique) - Vol 34 & Episode OVA 13:"Seal Step" (Kikumaru's technique) - Vol 34:"Kamaitachi" (Yanagi's technique) - Vol 35:"Rondo towards Destruction" (Atobe's technique) - Vol 35 & Episode OVA 13:"Kamikakushi" (Chitose's technique) - Vol 38, 42 & Episode OVA 19:"Wild Ball" (Tachibana's technique) - Vol 38 & Episode OVA 19:"Entaku Shot" (Shiraishi's technique) - Vol 42:"Rai "Strike like Lightning" (Sanada's technique) - Vol 42:"Super Great Ultra Delicious Daisharin Yama Arashi" (Tooyama Kintaro's technique) - Vol 42

Tournament Matches


legend0|#ADD8E6 = Win
legend0|#C4C3D0 = Loss

Notable matches

Kaoru Kaidoh

After joining Seigaku, Ryoma plays Kaoru Kaidoh in the Ranking matches. Initially, Kaidoh's Snake Shot gave him the upper hand. Kaido attempts to trap Ryoma into losing his stamina by using the snake, but Ryoma counters by hitting deep and low to the line; thereby forcing Kaidoh to bend his knees and lose his stamina as well. However, Ryoma holds his own, keeping the matches relatively even, until he uses the Buggy Whip Shot, the technique Kaidoh's Snake Shot is derived from. Ryoma wins the match 6 to 4.

adaharu Inui

In his second major ranking match, Ryoma plays a third year, Sadaharu Inui. Inui's Data Tennis technique leaves Ryoma struggling through most of the match. He has difficulties with playing unpredictably, but eventually his One-Footed Split Step gives him the advantage, and he defeats Inui 7 games to 5 (6 to 4 in anime).

hinji Ibu

In the District Regional finals, Ryoma faces Shinji of Fudomine Middle School in Singles 2. Ryoma surprises everyone with his Twist Serve, while Shinji demonstrates his own abilities with his Kick Serve. Ryoma seems to have control early, but Shinji uses his Spot technique of alternating Topspin and Slice shots, which causes temporary muscle paralysis in the opponent's arm. Ryoma attempts to counter this by pivoting with his foot, but he loses control of his racket, which hits a pole, breaks, and rebounds, injuring his eye.

Coach Ryuzaki manages to stop the bleeding temporarily, but Tezuka tells Ryoma he must win in ten minutes or be forced to forfeit. Ryoma retakes the court and manages to seal off Shinji's Spot technique by hitting all low shots to his feet (which makes him unable to make a topspin) and using his Nitōryū. He manages to make it just in time with just 2 seconds to go, and wins the match for Seigaku.

Kunimitsu Tezuka

Following the District Regionals, Seigaku's Captain, Kunimitsu Tezuka, asks Ryoma to play an unofficial match with him, which is done in secret from the rest of the team (aside from Vice-Captain Shuichiro Oishi). While only a small portion of the match is shown, Tezuka defeats Ryoma and asks him to become Seigaku's Pillar of Support. Tezuka does this because he feels that Ryoma is (at that time) merely a carbon copy of his father, and wishes for Ryoma to develop his own style of tennis.

A flashback to this match later on in the manga shows that Tezuka saw Ryoma's "Samurai Spirit" during this match.

Kunimitsu Tezuka (anime only)

In the anime, Tezuka plays against Ryoma on two other occasions besides their first match (above):

Before Tezuka goes to Germany to repair his left arm, he requests a match with Ryoma. Tezuka plays with his right arm, and is shown to hold his own, even being able to return Ryoma's Twist Serve. Tezuka then shows his right armed Tezuka Zone and starts to win more games. Trying to counterattack, Ryoma switches to his right hand, and surprisingly, the ball does not get sucked into the Tezuka Zone due to it having a stronger spin. Ryoma then decides to continue playing with his right hand in an attempt to break the Tezuka Zone, despite his right hand having not nearly as good control as his left hand. After a while, Ryoma is finally able to control the ball, and even manages to break the Tezuka Zone, but in the end, Tezuka still wins with a right-handed Zero Shiki Drop Shot.

In the final episode of the anime, Ryoma decides that he cannot go on in the US Open without beating Tezuka, so he goes back to Japan. During the match, Tezuka takes the lead with his Tezuka Zone. Ryoma finally realizes his full potential and returns the ball with enough counter spin to break the Tezuka Zone, even knocking Tezuka's racket out from his hands. Ryoma then begins to use his teammates special moves as a 'thank you' for all they have done. In the end, he beats Tezuka and truly becomes the pillar of Seigaku.

Akaya Kirihara (manga version)

Ryoma and Akaya Kirihara of Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku meet prior to the Kantō Regional finals and decide to have an unofficial match. While Ryoma starts out well, Kirihara's Red Eyes form becomes too much for him. However, when losing 4-0, Ryoma unconsciously taps into the State of Self Actualization for the first time. He goes into a trance and wins six consecutive games, defeating Kirihara, but then falling unconscious. When he awakes, he is unaware of his victory.

Genichirou Sanada (manga version)

Ryoma starts out the match by going into the State of Self Actualization right away. He manages to win the first game by using a blitz of techniques, but loses control of the game when fatigue sets in. While Ryoma manages to keep steady and return Sanada's Fuu, Sanada merely responds by using Ka.

With all hope seeming lost, Ryoma manages to gain a burst of energy and begins fighting back. Sanada is undaunted, but Ryoma manages to catch up and take the lead. Sanada goes into the State of Self Actualization himself, determined to end the match, but Ryoma manages to win by debuting his COOL Drive.

Genichirou Sanada (anime version)

In the final match for the Kantō Regional Finals, Ryoma and Sanada begin the deciding match. Sanada begins by using the Invisible Swing, which Ryoma cannot return, resulting in Sanada taking the first three games. Ryoma's eyes then adjust to the speed of the ball and is finally able to return it. He debuts his Cyclone Smash, which wins him the next two games. However, the fatigue caused by following the Sanada's Invisible Swing proves too much for his eyes, so he closes his eyes. To everyone's surprise, Ryoma returns the balls with his eyes closed, and wins the next game. Frustrated, Sanada unveils his Invisible Serve, which is even faster than his Invisible Swing, thus Ryoma has to open his eyes again. Nearly exhausted, Ryoma loses the following games, with the score favoring Sanada at 5 games to 3. During Sanada's match point, Ryoma receives encouragement from several other players, and quickly returns the Invisible Serve with a return ace. It is then that Ryoma uses his Samurai's Eye, and begins to use the techniques that his opponents' have previously used against him. With that, and constant use of powerful Cyclone Smashes, Ryoma wins with 7 games to 5.

Kei Tanishi

The two play in the Singles 3 match during Seigaku's match with Higa Middle School at the start of the Nationals. Ryoma uses Drive Cs which everyone believes to be his COOL drive, but he reveals that his COOL drive has twice the spin of Drive Cs. However, Tanishi's Big Bang Serve allows him to win all of his service games, while Ryoma manages to win all of his, forcing a tiebreak.

It is there that Ryoma manages to return the Big Bang Serve. Ryoma had not let on to the fact that the serve had been weakening in power as the games progressed; as such, Tanishi was unaware of his own weakness, allowing Ryoma to get a return ace. Finally showing the true COOL drive, Tanishi attempts to return it before it can land, however when the ball hits Tanishi's raquet the amazing spin he puts on it forces the ball to greatly hit Tanishi's face. Ryoma takes the first win for Seigaku.

Keigo Atobe

During the National quarterfinals, Ryoma and Keigo Atobe face off in Singles 1, with their respective teams tied at 2-2. Atobe uses his new Tannhauser Serve to gain the upper hand. Ryoma attempts to take the lead by using the State of Self Actualization, but Atobe is still able to keep up, and debuts his new ability, the World of Ice, which allows him to exploit all of Ryoma's blind spots and win four consecutive games.

Ryoma then manages to break out by copying what people believe to be the Tezuka Zone, though it is actually him copying his father's Zone; a technique that he learned through his experience in playing against a superior opponent [Nanjiro] . This allows him to catch up and force a tiebreak game. With the score tied at 117 each, both players collapse. Atobe gets up first and manages to walk over to receive the serve, but Ryoma manages to muster the strength to do the Twist Serve. Atobe is unable to return it, for he has already lost consciousness, and Ryoma manages to win 119-117, putting Seigaku in the semifinals.

Kintarō Tooyama

Although the match between Seigaku and Shitenhōji had concluded, Ryoma and Kintarō Tooyama play a special one ball match. In spite of it being only for one point, they both go all out for over 40 minutes. In the end, the ball is split in half, causing it to end in a draw. Though it is hinted by Fuji that Ryoma may have unlocked Teni Muhō No Kiwami (Pinnacle of Perfection) in this match, Nanjiro, who was listening through the radio, believes otherwise.

eiichi Yukimura

During the National Tournament Finals, Ryoma is matched up against Rikkai Dai's captain, Seiichi Yukimura, in the Singles 1 slot; the winner of which will result in their team winning the tournament since both teams have two wins.

Ryoma starts off strong and uses three of his signature techniques, but Yukimura returns them all without having to move from the baseline. In response, Ryoma activates Muga no Kyōchi and uses five consecutive copied techniques, but once again, Yukimura returns them all without much effort. Ryoma then reveals that he has opened Hyaku Ren Jitoku no Kiwami, but it is only after Yukimura wins three straight games that Ryoma is able to use Hyaku Ren to its fullest, going on to win a point. Right after, he reveals that he has also opened Saiki Kanpatsu no Kiwami. However, he breaks his own prediction by hitting the ball out of the court, and just when his nose begins to bleed, Yukimura decides to show his true strength. As they play, Yukimura informs him that he is losing his senses, which becomes a reality as Ryoma has already lost his sense of touch, followed by his sight. Though Ryoma continues to hit the ball through his hearing, he eventually loses that as well.

Despite losing all his senses, Ryoma attempts to continue playing. As he realizes what tennis means to him, he activates Muga no Kyōchi's final door, "Teni Muhō No Kiwami" (Pinnacle of Perfection). Using Teni Muhō, Ryoma continues to get consecutive service aces as well as return aces from Yukimura's serve, and eventually catches up to Yukimura, and then takes the lead by winning five games in a row. However, just when Ryoma needed one more game to win, Yukimura begins to adjust to Ryoma's playing style, and is thus able to return Ryoma's hits. Ryoma then uses his Samurai Drive, splitting the ball in half, and though Yukimura is able to return it, Ryoma is able to smash both halves into Yukimura's side of the court, winning the match 6-4.

Mada mada dane

Mada mada dane (まだまだだね) is a phrase that has been popularized by Ryoma Echizen. The meaning literally means "No, not yet," but varies in similarity, with meanings that include "You still have a ways to go," "Not good enough" or "Still no good," and "It's not over yet." In the English version of the manga, or as translated directly in a chapter of the Japanese manga, it is "You still have lots more to work on." In the English anime, it is translated as "You still have a ways to go." He says this to annoy and also to taunt his rivals. While most often linked to Ryoma Echizen, it is actually a derogatory phrase that is heard quite often in anime. Differences in usage include:

- Mada mada dana: used by the former Samurai Nanjiro in his glory days.

- Mada mada daze: used by Ryoga Echizen, Ryoma's supposed older brother. He is only seen in the movie "Futari no Samurai".

- Mada mada sune (or mada mada desune): used when addressing someone in higher respect.

- Mada mada ssuyo: used in the anime, when coach Ryuzaki asks Ryoma if he wants to continue during his match against Sanada in the Kantō Finals.

Reception

Ryoma has done well on every single popularity poll taken for "The Prince of Tennis". He won both the first and third popularity polls. [cite book |title= Prince of Tennis Vol. 10 |last= Konomi |first= Takeshi |year= 2001 |publisher= Shueisha |isbn= 4-08-873162-X |pages= 184 |chapter= Genius 83 ] [cite book |title= Prince of Tennis Vol. 33 |last= Konomi |first= Takeshi |year= 2006 |publisher= Shueisha |isbn= 4-08-874048-3 |pages= 192 |chapter= Genius 276 ] He also came in second place in the second poll, [cite book |title= Prince of Tennis Vol. 18 |last= Konomi |first= Takeshi |year= 2003 |publisher= Shueisha |isbn= 4-08-873407-6 |pages= 192 |chapter= Genius 158 ] and in third place in the fourth poll.

Actors

* In the anime series, Ryoma's seiyū is Junko Minagawa in the Japanese version; in the U.S. version, his voice actor is David Neil Black.
* For the live-action adaptation film of "The Prince of Tennis", actor Kanata Hongo portrays Ryoma.
* In The Prince of Tennis Musicals, Ryoma is portrayed by actors Kotaro Yanagi (2003, 2005-2006), Kimeru (2003-2004), Yuya Endo (2004-2005), Dori Sakurada (2006-2007), and Shougo Sakamoto (2007-present).

References


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