Hyotei Academy (3rd Year)
|Japan U-17 Camp||
Court 5 (Former)
Serve and Volley
WILSON HYPER PRO STAFF 7.6 with ROLLERS
WILSON SURGE DST 02 Mid (S1234W)
Yūji Ueda (Japanese)
Although Jirō is always seen napping, one should not be fooled by his appearance. At the Tokyo Prefectural Tournament, he defeated Fuji Yūta in less than 15 minutes. Jirō only perks up when he is playing against a challenging opponent. So far this has happened a few times, including matches with Atobe Keigo, Marui Bunta and Fuji Shūsuke. He is regularly awakened by Kabaji under Atobe's orders since he sleeps moments before his own match.
Jiro is usually half asleep. He has messy blonde hair (orange in the anime) which goes past chin-length. He has brown eyes.
Jirou is usually seen sleeping, giving him the nickname "Sleeping Beauty". When he is playing tennis, especially against a worthy opponent, he will be overly excited about the match. When the match is over, he will go back to napping. Jirō is perhaps the only player in the series who is perfectly content with a loss as long as it is memorable.
He holds great respect and admiration for Atobe, Fuji, and Marui. In his first year of Hyotei, he was the only person in the tennis club that did not oppose to Atobe being the King of the club. However, Marui seems to be the person he is most in awe of, having been shown to act like a fanboy (and even giving up his habit of sleeping during practice when Atobe set that as a condition for arranging a game between him and Marui). They also both share a love for desserts and sweets.
In the OVA "Another Story II - Jirou's Awakening", when not sleeping, Jirou showed that he's quite an airhead, even openly commented by Oshitari Yuushi and Mukahi Gakuto.
Two Years Prior To The Storyline
Akutagawa along with the rest of the Hyotei seniors began Hyotei academy as freshman and on their first day during assembly endure a speech from the new student body president who to their surprise turns out to be Atobe Keigo. He arrogantly announces that he is the King which Jirou tells Shishido and Mukahi that it makes things interesting while Shishido feels the opposite.
Akutagawa ends up drawing the attention of the whole Hyotei tennis club due to his bad habit of sleeping right through training sessions from the moment he enters the court. Atobe Keigo, Oshitari Yūshi and Mukahi Gakuto decided it would be best to investigate their friend on what could possibly keep him awake.
Shown during an OVA, Akutagawa had a friendly match with his volley rival Marui Bunta just before the tournament.
Akutagawa, like teammates Oshitari Yushi, Ootori Choutaro and Mukahi Gakuto did not appear in the Tokyo Prefectural tournament until after Hyotei were knocked out by Fudomine as Hyotei were arrogant and only sent out 3 regulars to the tournament. They appeared in the 5th place consolation match against St.Rudolph. During the 5th place consolation match at the Tokyo Prefectural Tournament he crushed Fuji Yūta 6-1 in under 15 minutes with his Magic Volley technique.
During the matches in Round 1 of the Kanto Regionals, Jiro wandered off to sleep, causing Atobe to send Kabaji to find him. During his Singles 2 match, Jiro in turn was crushed by Fuji Shūsuke who was fully motivated to defeat Jiro after hearing that he crushed his younger brother Yuta.
Although Hyotei were knocked out in the 1st Round of the Kanto Regionals by Seigaku which prevented them for heading to the Nationals, due to Tokyo being the host city for the tournament, it allowed to give a place in the tournament to their next best team that failed to qualify, which turned out to be Hyotei. This meant Akutagawa could go the Nationals with Hyotei. At the Nationals he wins all of his matches however against Seigaku he was the reserve player.
Jiro and Hyotei Academy cruise through the tournament, crushing last years best four Shishigaku along the way. However Hyotei meet nemesis Seigaku at the Quarterfinals and the two have a long dramatic encounter again. However Hyotei ultimately lose with 2 wins and 3 losses, which ends Hyotei's run. Jiro and Hyotei are present in the audience during the Finals between Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku and Seigaku.
Along with his teammates that played in the Nationals, Jiro gets invited to the U-17 camp along with many other middle schoolers. Upon arrival, the middle schoolers gather together. A helicopter suddenly drops tennis balls on the floor. The head coach then announces that all players unable to obtain a ball must leave the camp. All middle schoolers are able to obtain a ball.
Later on in the day, the Mental Coach arrives and requests all middle schoolers pair up. Akutagawa pairs with Kabaji Munehiro. He then suddenly declares all pairs must play a quick tie-break game where the loser must go home. Jiro then easily defeats his next High School opponents and reaches the 5th Court along with Tachibana Kippei, Shiraishi Kuranosuke, Tezuka Kunimitsu, Atobe Keigo, Chitose Senri, Ishida Gin, Kite Eishirō, Akutsu Jin, Kirihara Akaya and Liliadent Krauser. Since all the middle schoolers that won their tie-breaks win their shuffle matches, it results in all members of the 6th Court and 5th Court being Middle Schoolers except for Oni Jūjirō The Gate Keeper who is known for staying in the 5th Court to strengthen the lower courts. Oni decides to request the 5th Court be put forward for a Team Shuffle where the winning team replaces the losing team regardless of the players that lost.
Jiro is not selected during the Team Shuffle against the 3rd Court. Due to Irie Kanata allowing his encounter with Atobe in Singles 1 of the Team Shuffle be a draw for his own amusement, it allows the reserve game to take place. Oni surprisingly takes part in the reserve role and crushes the 3rd Court's Takei Toshio. Making the 5th Court replace the 3rd Court which results in Jiro becoming a member of the 3rd Court. Akutagawa is present with the rest of the camp later on when the Top 10 arrive at the main courts and witness the shock upset that No.s 11-19 were defeated and replaced by Middle Schoolers.
Genius 10 Challenge
As the Player Shuffle between the Genius 10 and the Middle Schoolers comes to an end with the Genius 10 members aside from Ochi/Mouri winning their matches and retaining their badges, it is then revealed that the Middle Schoolers were never intended to be part of the U-17 team and were instead called to the camp for the Middle School world tournament.
Playing Style and Techniques
Jirō is a serve-and-volley player who exclusively specializes in his volleys. His playstyle was inspired by Marui Bunta during his freshman year, and he’s developed it to the point of staying as a constant Regular in Hyotei’s very strict hierarchy of 200 members. The strength of his volleys lie in his extremely flexible and soft wrists, which allows him to freely control a volley with just a snap of his wrists. The delicate control he has over his volleys has been compared to John McEnroe, who was a former legendary pro.
The control Jiro has over his wrists have been noted to be a “god-given ability,” and as a result, even if someone tried to copy Jiro’s volleying style, the player will be unable to replicate the style to the level of control Jiro has shown, unless said player was also gifted with an amazing wrist like Jiro’s. Jiro has overcome certain weaknesses a net player has, such as being able to deal with approach shots, including those that are aimed at his feet (which are the weaknesses of many volleyers) and being able to find various opportunities to approach the net.
However, as a player whose strength lies in his volleys, his over-specialization of his volleys can be a weakness. If he is chained to the baseline and is unable to find a chance to approach the net, then he is unable to play at his strongest. However, this is generally not a problem for him during his service games, as he has various methods to approach the net after his serves. Another weakness Jiro shows is that due to his energetic attitude, he can sometimes lose track of the amount of points that passed during a game.
Jirō can, thanks to his God-given wrists, freely control where he will hit a volley from any positions with just a snap of his wrist, regardless of the irregularity of the position he is in at the time and where the opponent hits the ball to, provided he's at the net. More impressively, no matter what position he is in, Jirō can hit a volley to any direction he wants. Due to this, it is nearly impossible to predict the directions of his shots. Inui states that his volleying technique reminded him of John McEnroe, a former real-life professional tennis player.
U-17 Camp Stats
- Speed: 3
- Technique: 5
- Mental: 3
- Stamina: 3
- Power: 3
Daily School Life
- 07:00 - Rises from bed after his younger sister yanks off his futon, breakfast
- 08:50 - Goes to school (falls asleep twice and is absent from morning practice)
- 09:00 - First Period: Japanese II - Classics (dozes off)
- 10:00 - Second Period: Physical Education - Fencing
- 10:50 - Recess: Dozes in the library
- 11:00 - Third Period: Social Studies I - Geography (dozes off)
- 12:00 - Fourth Period: Music - Classical Appreciation (dozes off)
- 12:50 - Lunch Break: Forgets his bento and gets Atobe to treat him
- 13:10 - Afternoon nap under the shade of the tree in the courtyard
- 14:00 - Carelessly oversleeps and is late for Fifth Period (English Conversation)
- 14:20 - Sixth Period: Technical Skills - Woodworking
- 15:40 - Club Activities: Serve & volley practice
- 17:50 - Falls asleep on his way home and is discovered by Atobe, who sends him home by limousine
- 18:00 - Dozes off while tending to his family's cleaning store
- 19:00 - Is awakened by Mukahi, who brought over some side dishes to share
- 19:30 - Bathes, dinner, changes his pillow cover
- 20:00 - Reads manga, a new volley idea comes to mind
- 21:00 - Falls asleep while doing practice volley swings in the yard
- 22:00 - Is discovered by his older brother, who puts him, fast asleep, back to his room
Note from Taki: His sleeping time was just 8 minutes. Not bad. When I go to borrow books, he's always sleeping in the same seat.
Note from Mukahi: Geez, he's gotten so used to having me and Shishido around! Since our houses are close by, we get put in charge of waking Jirou up.
Tennis Bag Content
Because he said "I sleep because I'm hungry," the girls in his class put these inside his bag when he was sleeping.
He likes to read manga book better than from a magazine. He borrowed this after his older brother, who likes the same manga, finished reading.
- Bunta's wrist band
He forcibly took this off Rikkai's Marui Bunta during the newcomer's tournament in their ichinen. The maker is Bunta's favourite, Wilson.
- Mobile phone with GPS capability
His parents gave this to him because they're worried about Jiro being able to sleep anywhere. But usually it is out of battery.
- Copies of class notes
His classmates got together and made this for all the subjects for Jiro, worried about him because he sleeps before tests too.
- Alarm clock that adjusts the time using radio waves
A birthday present from members of the club. He likes it but there's no sign of it being used.
- "I’m definitely going to keep my service game!" (Zettai service game keep sho!")