2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of The Prince of Tennis anime adaptation, based on the manga by Takeshi Konomi. To celebrate, an all-new original episode is in the works, showcasing the battle between Hyotei Academy and Rikkaidai Junior High School.
The episode is appropriately titled The New Prince of Tennis: Hyotei vs Rikkai Game of Future, and this is the first time the match has been told in animated form. Konomi is supervising the episode, with Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Frame Arms Girl) directing, Mitsutaka Hirota (Zoids Wild) on scripts, and Akiharu Ishii (Ultramarine Magmell) handling anime character designs.
Konomi even whipped up a new illustration, pictured above, to celebrate the episode’s production.
Voice actor Junichi Suwabe (Keigo Atobe, Hyotei’s captain) commented on the news:
“The direct confrontation between Hyotei and Rikkai, which has not been told in the original manga, is made into anime!? I’m really surprised. I hope that the good things about our members will be well depicted. And I want Mr. Atobe to win! I want him to fight against the strong competitors who are ready in both mind and body and beat them justly… but how will it go!? Please wait while opening all of your pores!!”
As did Sachiko Nagai (Seiichi Yukimura, Rikkaidai’s captain):
“When I heard about the “Hyotei vs Rikkai,” I realized the true meaning of the feeling of tension. The members of Rikkai come to mind one after another. I imagine the calm exhilaration of the Rikkai members when the match is decided. I’m looking forward to what kind of match order it will be. I will challenge not to be ashamed of the name of the king, Rikkai, who doesn’t allow compromise anytime.”