The 3rd Theatrical Season of “Musical: The Prince of Tennis” – known affectionately amongst fans of the franchise as “Tenimyu” – commenced its performance run in Tokyo on 12 July 2018.
Based off the original manga of the same title “Tennis no Ouji-sama” (lit. The Prince of Tennis) by Takashi Konomi, the very first Tenimyu was staged 15 years ago in 2003, and can be considered one of the pioneers of Japan’s 2.5D stage/musical adaptation franchise. Since then, the musical project has put up more than 1600 rounds of performance nationwide in Japan; a massive project/franchise that had involved more than the accumulated number of 2.5 million actors, staff, and production crew over the years.
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This most current production centres on the matches played between the tennis club members of Seishun Gakuen (aka. Seigaku) and their regional rival school Hyotei Academy, with both Tokyo-based schools vying to progress up to the next stage in the National High School Tennis Tournament Semi-Finals. The production also features members of Okinawa-based Higa Middle School.
Back in May 2018, the Tenimyu franchise celebrated their 15th Anniversary milestone with a massive “15th Anniversary Memorial Concert Dream Live 2018” – and it was also there that the previous 8th Generation cast for Seigaku graduated the Tenimyu stage, passing the baton to the current 9th Generation actors… this current theatrical run can be considered the debut shows for this new batch of young 2.5D actors.
In their pre-opening-day press and media conference, Nichika Akutsu (pictured above, third from left) – the actor for the main character Ryoma Echizen from Seigaku –said when interviewed, that “the pressure is real. Being the newest batch of actors in this long-standing project, we were lucky to have all the guidance during rehearsals from our senior actors. The performance is where we show off the fruits of our labour by powering up and giving it our best shot.” The 17-year-old actor who hailed from Tochigi Prefecture then laughingly said he practically grew up reading the original “Prince of Tennis” manga series.
Quoting Hiroki Miura (pictured above, rightmost) – who plays the role of Keigo Atobe, the captain of Hyotei Academy’s Tennis Club – the 19-year-old professional ballet dancer and actor from the 8th Generation cast of Hyotei members claims it “feels good to be acting in this familiar role again. Tenimyu is like one big family and being involved in the current production – the last one for the Heisei Era – certainly feels like coming home”.
Take a look at some of the officially-released photos from the opening-day performance!
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The theatrical run of this current Tenimyu will run for the duration of 2-and-a-half months from 12 July to 24 September, performing in a nationwide tour of five major Japanese cities Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Gifu and Miyagi. Tickets are still available on sales for the price of JPY 6,000 each. Fans who are interested may check out more details on their official website.