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Characters / The Prince of Tennis Rikkaidai Fuzoku Chuu

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Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku, better known as Rikkai or Rikkaidai, is considered to be the best middle school tennis team, having won the Kanto Tournament for 15 years straight and the Japanese National Tournament for the last two years. They aim for perfect wins in the matches and attempt to win for the third year in a row, and to reach said goal they subject themselves to a borderline militaristic discipline as well as Training from Hell. The three leaders are Captain Yukimura, Vice-Captain Sanada, and Treasurer Yanagi and together, they're known as "The Three Demons". However, there's an unexpected factor to consider: Yukimura's health has taken a sudden nosedive, therefore there's extra pressure on them this time...

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    General 
  • Aloof Big Brother: How most of the third-years treat Akaya. While Niou has a Big Brother Bully interaction with him, and Jackal and Marui often hang out with him, Sanada and Yukimura are Always Someone Better towards him, while Yanagi is more of a Big Brother Mentor.
  • Breakout Villain: Along with Hyotei, they were popular enough to be faced a second time-the final match of the National Tournament even.
  • Foil: The Team in General to both Seigaku and Hyotei.
    • Both Seigaku and Rikkai had their Captains hospitalized, Prodigy Rookies (Ryoma-Kirihara), Data experts (Inui-Yanagi) and fragile-looking but skilled players (Fuji-Yukimura).
    • While both Rikkai and Hyotei have been stablished as Seigaku's most prominent rival teams and both teams have in high regard their team captains, they handle different their defeats: In Hyotei the losing player is removed from the Regulars and replaced, while in Rikkai, Sanada slaps the loser.
    • The Yanagi-Kirihara duo serves as an Evil Counterpart to the Inui-Kaidoh pair. Both Kaidoh and Kirihara are Hot-Blooded 2nd years, and the Reds to their respective senior's Blue; Kirihara learns the "Short Snake" shot from Kaidoh while the latter learns the "Devil Mode" from the former. Yanagi and Inui both are 3rd year players who rely on "Data Tennis", and the mentors to their respective juniors.
  • Freudian Trio: The Rikkaidai Demon Kings, with Sanada as The Kirk, Yukimura as The McCoy and Yanagi as The Spock
    • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sanada and Yukimura are Childhood Friends, bordering Bromantic levels.
      • Parodied in New Prince of Tennis with Marui and Jackal. Jackal is treated like Marui cheated on him when he pairs up with Higa's Kite. In the OVA adaptation, it's shown that a teary Jackal is looking to a photo of Marui after they have been separated into different rooms.
    • Odd Couple: Niou and Yagyuu. Polar Opposites in personality but equally as cunning and manipulative.
  • Last-Name Basis: While common in Japan, the only exceptions are:
    • First-Name Basis: Most of the team towards Kirihara. Also Renji towards Sanada and Yukimura.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Apparently all of them sans Akaya have this reaction to realising Akaya's Devil Mode could actually be lethal to him in the sequel. Yanagi then orchestrates for Shiraishi (who can control Kin-chan) to take care of Akaya. The other remaining Rikkai regulars can do nothing but watch, with Yukimura appearing especially worried despite trying to seem unaffected.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Everyone is their own flavor of different.
    • Yukimura is the Nice Guy gentle captain, who turns into a fierce and competitive tennis player.
    • Sanada is the Stern and honorable Number Two of Yukimura.
    • Renji is The Stoic Data Specialist.
    • Kirihara is the young rookie with violent game style.
    • Niou is the unpredictable trickster.
    • Yagyuu is "The Gentleman" of the team, but equally as mischievous as Niou.
    • Marui is the Genius Sweet Tooth.
    • Jackal is the Token Minority.
  • True Companions: The whole team respect and care for Yukimura. In the anime, the relationship between them is expanded explaining that they wanted to win the Kantou Tournament as quick as possible to go see Yukimura before his surgery.

    Yukimura Seiichi 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_yukimura_4627.jpg
Voiced by: Sachiko Nagai (JP)

Yukimura Seiichi is the captain of Rikkaidai. He is called "The Child of God" due to his strength on the tennis court. Despite his strength, he has a very frail and feminine appearance, and he is very friendly to others outside of the court. However, he is very strict with his team when he is acting as their Captain, and while he is playing, he refuses to lose. However, in the final of the National Tournament, he is defeated by Echizen Ryoma after activating the last door of the Muga no Kyouchi/State of Self-Actualization. He is hospitalized for much of the series due a neurological disease, which leaves him with a fifty percent rate of living, but undergoes a successful surgery and rehabilitation during the Kanto Tournament and was able to participate in the National Tournament.


  • Beware the Nice Ones: He seems rather friendly off-court and popular with the ladies. He only shows his scary side when playing tennis.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Fuji and Shiraishi. The three of them are among the best players of their teams, are always smiling and are very approachable and friendly towards others, and the three of them bond instantly after being set as roommates and discovering their mutual passion for gardening (the room is filled with various pots right after).
  • Determinator: His obsession with winning made him overcome his illness and recover very fast in time for the National Tournament, even against the doctor's predictions.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Even more so than Fuji, his outside fragility also gives a feminine aura in him.
  • Friend to All Children: In his first appearance, he's seen in his hospital room being visited by a group of kids, who address him with the affectionate "Sei-nii-chan". His nurse mentions how they love to stick close to him.
  • Graceful Loser: Even though he is Victory-obsessed and very full of anger because of his illness, he took very well his defeat against Ryoma, learning to have fun while playing tennis and happily agrees to shake hands with him after the match.
  • Hachi Maki: A nice green one.
  • Heroic BSoD: He gets this in the hospital, when he hears the doctors whisper that he might never play tennis again, which made him cry in anger and frustration and snap at Sanada.
  • Ill Boy: It's a rather... complicated issue. See the main page.
  • Informed Flaw: He's stated to have relative stamina issues due to his disease. Then again, if this is what he can do after being hospitalised for so long, what can he do when he's in top form?
  • The McCoy: He is sensitive yet rational in the Freudian Trio with Sanada and Yanagi.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Even though he is the almost undefeatable tennis captain, he is very fond of art and cultural activities, his hobby includes gardening and was in the beautification committee member that suggested the "Lots of Flowers Movement".
  • Red Baron: Even nicknamed "Child of God".
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: His opponent is eventually rendered blind, giving them these.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Don't let his appearance fool you. He is delicate looking, is very fond of plants and gardening, speaks with a soft voice and is an Ill Boy, but he's also the best player of the Tennis Champions Rikkaidai.
  • Stepford Smiler: According to his stats, with his smiling poker face, the opponent can never read his expressions. Because he has quite the skills to back it up, his Mental strength is strong.
  • Stone Wall: One of the most formidable examples in the series, he's capable of returning practically any shot which causes the opponent to gradually lose all their senses.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: His winning obsession is what makes him loose against Ryoma, who just discovered the Teni Muhō no Kiwami: Having fun with Tennis. Yukimura is incapable of understanding this as his only drive in life is victory.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Genderflipped. He looks and acts the part eerily well with his long-ish and wavy black hair, pale skin, polite speech patterns (complete with his soft voice) and gentle off-courts behavior... and then he shows the Silk Hiding Steel part upon becoming a Determinator Magnificent Bastard in regards to tennis. Then there's his very stern and masculine-looking sub-captain, Genichirou Sanada, who defers to him actually.

    Sanada Genichirou 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_sanada_7005.jpg
Voiced by: Taiten Kusunoki (JP), José Durán (LA SP)

Sanada Genichirou is the vice captain of Rikkaidai, known as the "Emperor", who fills for Yukimura in Singles 1 during his hospitalization. He comes from a very traditional family, is stern and noble, plays with honor, and expects the best from himself and his teammates. When his teammates don't live up to his expectations, or act in a way that brings shame to their team, Sanada will hit them. Sanada practices kendo and combines it with his tennis techniques. His main rival is Tezuka, who he lost to despite being the runner-up to Yukimura in the Junior Tournament, and vows to train and defeat him.


    Yanagi Renji 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_yanagi_45.jpg
Voiced by: Eiji Takemoto (JP), Johnny Torres (LA SP)

Yanagi Renji is known as the Data Master. Yanagi usually plays in singles, but sometimes in doubles. He is the friend and former doubles partner of Sadaharu Inui, having been known as the "Professor." He keeps his eyes perpetually half-closed just as Inui hides his eyes behind his thick glasses. He is Inui's rival in using Data Tennis, having taught Inui in the first place.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Only between him and Inui. While he would name Inui "Doctor", Inui calls him back as "Professor".
  • Badass Bookworm: He enjoys reading and is the 3rd best of the tennis team.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He, Sanada, and Yukimura are this to Kirihara, but he fills in the most. To the point of willingly giving up his spot in The New Prince of Tennis to make sure Kirihara will be able to continue.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Inui. Both of them collect data and base their games in strategy and hard training. While Inui uses a lot of science and maths, Renji is more inclined to literature. After rekindling their friendship, both Inui and Renji start developing horrible juices together to feed to their teammates. According to the books, their joint work has made the final products twice as horrible.
  • Childhood Friends: He and Inui know each other since they were kids.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: His bob was longer when he was younger.
  • Finishing Eachothers Sentences: What sets him apart from Inui is that Renji is capable of guessing correctly what his opponent is about to say.
  • First-Name Basis: With Inui. Also with Sanada and Yukimura.
  • Jerkass Façade: Especially in the manga.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: To Inui.
  • Not So Stoic: In the OVA, when Inui is injured by Kirihara and refused to forfeit, his mask cracks and he begs Inui to do so for his own sake. "Please forfeit, Sadaharu! It's not like I'm enjoying this either!"
    • In the sequel he literally begs Shiraishi to keep Akaya from going into Devil Mode, which apparently could endanger Akaya's life if uncontrolled and the tone of his voice says it all. He's desperate and not too proud to show it.
  • The Spock: He is deadpan, calmer and completely rational in the Freudian Trio with Sanada and Yukimura.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Especially in the anime.
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    Kirihara Akaya 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_kirihara_5233.jpg
Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo (JP), Ezequiel Serrano (LA SP, Episode 49), Ricardo Sorondo (65-68)

Kirihara Akaya is the youngest and only second year student in the Rikkaidai line-up, thus earning him the title "Second Year Ace." He joined Rikkai because he heard the school had a very strong tennis team, but his hopes were quickly crushed by the Three Demons. He usually acts childish and friendly, though he is actually very violent on the court, often causing serious injuries that require hospitalization. He reforms in the anime after being beaten by Fuji, (though he retains his nature in the manga) but in the nationals, he returns to his violent playing style, severely injuring Inui. While under high pressure or after sustaining injury, the whites of his eyes turn red, becoming bloodshot, and his power, skill, and speed increase. He becomes much more violent while in this state. Later, he develops a Devil Mode, which turns his skin red and his hair white. His bloodlust and destructive power are greatly enhanced, and he solely focuses on crushing the opposing players using violent means. This turns out to be detrimental to his health, prompting Yanagi to beg Shiraishi - as the one who controlled Tooyama Kintaro - to save Akaya. He does.


  • Adorkable: Off court he's one of the few characters to actually act his age, sometimes even a bit below that. He still believes in Santa, uses crayons and is surprisingly pouty.
  • All There in the Manual: In one of the fanbooks, he expresses that he wants a Wii U.
  • Ax-Crazy: His Devil Mode. And with Slasher Smile included.
  • The Berserker: When he enters the "Bloodshot Eyes" mode. Double for Devil Mode.
  • Berserk Button: Don't liken his hair to seaweed or insult his team. You will regret it.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Despite being already 13 years old.
  • Blood Knight
  • Book Dumb: Sucks at English.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Uses Shiraishi's "Ahh...Ecstasy" during their doubles match against the high schoolers in the sequel. In unison with Shiraishi, no less.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Tsubusu yo" (I'll crush you), and "I'll defeat the three demons and become Number 1!"
    • "I'll dye/paint you red!" (Evil Laugh)
  • Can't Catch Up: Though widely considered to be the Ace of the team, he still holds insecurities about being unable to defeat "The Three Demons".
  • Character Exaggeration: His Blood Knight tendencies get exaggerated to ridiculous degrees in the manga. Made even worse in the anime, where he actually was given Character Development and sought to not fall into this... but the Aesop Amnesia kicked in and that was lost. Until the sequel anyway.
  • Color Motif: Kirihara's main motif is Red, since he is often associated with a demon. His style is violent and bloody, his eyes turn red whenever he gets upset, Rikkai's original uniform was red (until it was recolored to yellow for the next chapters). As a side note, his favorite color is also red and he enjoys fighting video games (the gorier, the better).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He sleeps on the bus to his school and ends up in Seigaku, causing havoc at the tennis club merely 19 chapters into the story.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ryoma, though not explicitly stated. They're both the young, childish, arrogant aces of their teams with exceptional skills. While Ryoma may aim for people with his Twist Serve and Drive A, this is a key part of Kirihara's play style. Ryoma's been trained from a young age, while Akaya's a (very hard working) prodigy.
  • Heavy Sleeper: He once fell asleep on the bus while on his way to school... and crossed all the way from Kanagawa to Tokyo. And that apparently wasn't the first time either. In his Sanroku no Mystic route he actually falls aleep on Tsugumi more than once.
  • I Can Still Fight!: In the anime, during his match with Kevin Smith he injures his shoulder by colliding with the net pole. After carrying on for so long, he's forced to forfeit the match as the pain becomes too much to bear.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His violent and cocky behavior in courts contrasts with his child-like naïveté. It should be noted that the anime gave Akaya additional character development, having him denounce his violent playstyle all together. In the manga this doesn't happen until the sequel rolls around, during which Atobe says "he's not a Devil anymore" and Krauser even likens him to an angel. Go figure.
  • Meaningful Name: His given name "Akaya" has the kanji for "Red".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he enters in his "Bloodshot Eyes" mode, it's better to run. And don't even think about taking him on in Devil Mode unless you're one of Rikkai's Big Three or suicidal.
  • Signature Move: "Knuckle Serve".
  • Tyke-Bomb: Rikkai actually encourages his Devil Mode to win matches (the Nagoya Seitoku match being a prime example). It's not until The New Prince of Tennis that Renji and the others realise it's detrimental to his health and try to keep him as far away from his Devil Mode as possible.
  • Yes, Virginia: According to the fanbooks, he still believes in Santa Claus.

    Yagyuu Hiroshi 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_yagyuu_243.jpg
Voiced by: Eisuke Tsuda (JP)

Yagyuu Hiroshi is known as "The Gentleman" for his polite demeanor. He is a very tenacious player, because despite of his calm and composed appearance, lies a strong desire to win at any game.


    Niou Masaharu 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_niou_3716.jpg
Voiced by: Yuuki Matsuda (JP)

Niou Masaharu known as "The Trickster", is able to completely copy the techniques and play style of other players creating the illusion his opponent is facing another person. It isn't perfect, as there are moves that he cannot copy and he is limited by his own physical abilities. He often copies his doubles partner, Yagyuu, to confuse their opponents. He can predict the moves of his opponents up to ten steps ahead.


  • Beauty Mark: Has one under the right side of his mouth.
  • Catchphrase: "Puri."
  • Ditto Fighter: Of the Tsungxpert kind. He can emulate Shiraishi's Bible and Tezuka's Zero Shiki Drop Shot and Phantom at will.
    • By The New Prince of Tennis, he is capable of performing the Synchro technique with Oishi by "transforming" into Eiji, and also he transformed into their opponents to disrupt their Synchro and turn the game in their favor. He also is now able to copy the rest of Tezuka's techniques, and also can transform into Atobe so he can synchro with himself.
  • Empathic Shapeshifter: He can easily adapt to any of his Illusions.
    • Word of God says that whenever he impersonates Yukimura, Niou gets the Yips.
    • During his doubles match with Atobe, Niou also copies Tezuka's determination, which made him push himself harder despite being at his limit.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Niou has great observation skills, which allows him to exactly replicate any opponent by using his Illusion technique. He could also analyze Mori and Ochi while unable to play, so he could do the Synchro with Atobe and give him all their weak spots.
  • Informed Flaw: Stated to have poor power yet imitates the physically monstrous Kabaji fairly well.
  • Master of Disguise and Master of Illusion.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: In the sequel, the match looks like it's all over when Atobe can't make it in time to return the cord ball Mori hits, but Niou makes the last second game winning shot by returning the ball while still lying on his stomach.
    Niou: This is... doubles... after... all.
  • Short Hairwith Tail: Has spiky white hair and a rat-tail.
  • The Southpaw: When impersonating Yagyuu, who is right-handed.
    • Also when he made his illusions of Tezuka (left-handed) and Shiraishi (right-handed) in the game against Fuji..
  • Took a Level in Badass: Twice:
    • For the National Tournament, he revealed that he could easily transform into Tezuka and Shiraishi. Too bad Fuji saw right through him.
    • Played straight in The New Prince of Tennis. After Yagyuu defeats him and he gets eliminated along half of the middle schoolers, they get a Training from Hell from Mifune. After his return, not only he perfected his illusions, but also acquired the ability to perform Synchro with anyone he plays doubles with.
  • The Trickster: According to the fanbooks, he is into practical jokes. Other media as Houkago no Oujisama, exploits this treat in his own benefit... normally towards Bunta and Jackal.

    Marui Bunta 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_bunta_6057.jpg
Voiced by: Naozumi Takahashi (JP)

Marui Bunta is a volley specialist and plays doubles with his friend Jackal Kuwahara. Despite wearing arm weights during matches, he has stamina issues, so he overdoses on sugar by always eating cake before matches and chewing gum, even when he plays tennis. Jiroh Akutagawa of Hyoutei idolizes Marui and bases his style off of Marui's style, following a game they played in the Newcomers Tournament when they were both first years.


  • Bewarethe Nice Ones It is revealed that Marui had a deal with Kimijima the whole time to break Atsukuyo's knee after Kite breaks his own deal. The purpose of this is shown to be for Yukimura to fully recover from his illness.
  • Big Eater: He eats an entire cake before matches. He eats a lot in general, though, not just sweets.
  • Bubblegum Popping: He is often chewing gum during plays, replacing it everytime it starts to loose flavor.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Dou, tensai teki?" translation 
    Marui: "It'll be done. ...By Jackal!"
  • Crisis Makes Perfect: In the sequel series, he uses his Perfect Fortress/Wonder Castle technique to full effect when he's betrayed by Kite during their doubles match. Prior to this, it was still imperfect.
  • Do You Trust Me?: Inverted. In the sequel, Marui asks Kite if he can trust him after the latter had apparently betrayed him, before ultimately canceling the agreement Kite had with their opponent.
  • Eye Scream: In The New Prince of Tennis, Tohno, in accidentally-on-purpose fashion, throws his racquet at Marui, hitting him in the right eye.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He and Kite are this. They become a formidable doubles pair after a coincidental meeting, but their camaraderie gets put to the test.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Usually seen eating candies or cakes.
  • Heroic Spirit: In The New Prince of Tennis. After being betrayed by his doubles partner and getting smacked by tennis balls from both in front of and behind him, he refuses to give up and brings out his new defensive volley technique — which was, until then, yet to be perfected — to return every single ball on his own and not let a single one get behind him. For someone who's usually rather easygoing, Marui's hair color isn't just for show, apparently.
  • Insufferable Genius: Likes to taunt his opponents about his "genius" finesse.
  • It's All About Me: Instead of freaking out about Jiroh apparently stalking him at tennis practices, he is amused by the fact that Jiroh is his fanboy and considers him a friend after this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his cocksure attitude and habit of making a fool of others, he also watches over his underclassmen in the tennis club. This is most prominent in the fifth OVA special of The New Prince of Tennis. After witnessing Ohtori suffer a rather one-sided loss during the team shuffle, Marui offers him advice so that he has the confidence to participate in a rematch.
  • The Nicknamer: In The New Prince of Tennis, he calls Kite "Kiteretsu."
  • Odd Friendship: With Kite, to the point the others start treating Jackal like he was cheated on.
  • Oral Fixation: Always chewing bubble gum during his matches.
  • Signature Move: "Tightrope Walking" and "Iron Pole Strike".
  • Those Two Guys: With Jackal.
  • Verbal Tic: "Daroi?" He even has a song titled this.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Despite his looks, his voice and manner of speech are decidedly masculine.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Marui's special volleys are more about skill and execution than power. He's mastered hard-to-return drop shots, but lobs and baseline shots tend to get behind him. He also has stamina issues (which he tries to remedy by eating lots of sugar before matches).
  • Will Not Be A Victim: In the sequel series, he's betrayed by Kite during their doubles match. With his partner apparently siding with their opponents, the match becomes 3-on-1 against him, but he refuses to back down and attempts to return every ball himself.

    Jackal Kuwahara 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pot_jackal_1637.jpg
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (JP)

Jackal Kuwahara is half-Brazilian and is known as the "Iron Wall of Defense". He also typically acts as a look out and chaperone-of-sorts for Rikkai's ace player, Kirihara Akaya, and at times takes responsibility for the sophomore's actions.


  • Badass Normal: Doesn't have flashy moves like the other Rikkai members, but is still an excellent defender.
  • Bald of Awesome: The anime explains that he shaves himself bald to honor his coach who taught him tennis when he lived in Brazil.
  • But Not Too Foreign: He is Half-Japanese and Half-Brazilian.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Sanada slapped him once because he didn't stop Kirihara from challenging Ryoma.
    • He usually ends up as the punchline for Marui's Catch-Phrase.
    Marui: "It'll be done. ...By Jackal!"
    Jackal: Why me?!
  • Catchphrase: "Fire!"
  • Nice Guy: He is very compassive and acts as a good sempai to his underclassmen.
  • Straight Man: Next to Marui and Kirihara.
  • Team Mom: He often has to babysit Kirihara and keep him out of trouble.
  • Those Two Guys: With Marui.
  • Token Minority: He, along with Richard Sakata, is one of the few dark-skinned half-Japanese tennis players of the series.
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