Even though he comes across as gentle to even the middle schoolers, it's impossible to tell what his true intentions are. It's quite a sight to behold the dramatic productions he puts on during matches.
|“||Why? Why is this happening? What the hell is driving you to go this far?||”|
— Irie to Atobe
Kanata Irie (入江 奏多, Kanata Irie) is introduced as a 3rd year High School Student. He was originaly the leader of the 3rd Court. The rest of the camp acknowledge him to be amongst the strongest in the camp despite not being in the 1st Court or a 1st Stringer as it is revealed it is his own choice to stay in a lower court, similar to how Oni Juujiro is much stronger than the court he stays in.
Irie plays Saxophone in his spare time at the camp and appears to be friends with almost all of the other High Schoolers.
Irie wears very round glasses and has blonde (strawberry blonde in the anime) hair that is very curly and has red eyes.
He is significantly shorter than all of the other 3rd Year High Schoolers and the majority of all the other schoolers for that matter as he is considerably shorter than several middle schoolers.
He commonly tends to exclaim how outclassed he is by his opponents or pretends to panic, showing his excellent acting skills and then suddenly uses the phrase 'Just Kidding' before annhilating his opponent.
Irie never begins matches at full strength and relies on Insight and his amazing speed during matches.
In contrast to his gentle manner, his true strength is actually top class in the U-17 Camp. Irie's manner is gentle and kind towards the middle schoolers as well.
It is impossible to tell if Irie is arrogant or right during matches because of the confusion his acting causes. He has a tendency to look down on others, but has also been shown to recognize others talent. Therefore it is easy to conclude that Irie has a rather whimsical personality, yet is oddly analytical. Irie also has a habit of holding his lapel while talking.
Irie is quite honest as well. Even though he knew he would win against his macth against Atobe, he admitted that Atobe's will to win was stronger than his. Shuji has hinted that Irie sees potential in Atobe and wants him to evolve even further.
Irie is also shown to be a very skilled Saxophone player, and has to shown to practice at a balcony of the Camp everynight.
Irie is always shown to be calm, collected and with a happy expression on his face which allows him to fool opponents. However his expression dramatically changes when an opponent insults his acting. This is shown during his match against Akiba Koyo in which the latter berates him for his cheap acting. At this moment, Irie who wasnt taking the match at all seriously changed his mannerisms and with an angry expression instantly crushed Akiba.
Irie's first appearance in the series is with Tokugawa Kazuya and Oni Jūjirō while some of the middle schoolers invited to the camp are crushing some of the High Schoolers after the latter challenged them for the tennis balls that were suddenly necessary to stay in the camp according to the Mental Coach of the camp. Irie warns all those playing that personal and private matches are prohibited within the camp.
Irie later appears during the Middle Schoolers swift rise to the 5th and 6th Courts warning Atobe Keigo that it was far too soon for them to reach the 3rd Court.
It is then revealed Irie is the captain of the 3rd Court at that time and plays in Singles 1 against Atobe for the Team Shuffle between 5th Court and 3rd Court. Irie begins poorly losing 0-5, however it was revealed Irie was pretending to be overwhelmed and walks over Atobe and takes the match to 6-5 almost instantly. Irie then decides to have fun and play around until he causes Atobe to unleash his new technique, Atobe Kingdom.
Atobe then keeps up with Irie however the technique demands a high level of focus and energy which causes Atobe to collapse twice. Irie toys with Atobe and shows his level of skill in being able to orchestrate the match and both he and Atobe go into a tie-break exceeding 170 points. Irie tells Atobe that he will turn the game into a long game and taunts him.
During the match Oni reveals that like himself, Irie is far better than 3rd Court level and that his real strength is far higher meaning that Atobe's chances of winning were extremely minimal. Upon the second time, satisfied with the match, Irie allows the match to end a in a draw by claiming he cant move his left shoulder.
It is revealed by Tanegashima Shūji that this was a lie and that Irie could have defeated Atobe if he wanted to as Tanegashima throws a towel at Irie for him to dry his face which Irie catches with his left hand perfectly, giving away the lie that Irie couldnt move his shoulder. Irie had an honest talk with Shiji and admitted that even though he was stronger than Atobe and he knew it, he knew Atobe's will to win the match was far stronger than his.
The Middle School losers then return from the mountains and defeat and switch places with the 2nd Court.
The Coaches declare that the Top 20 U-17 Players are to return soon. Irie is amongst the 20 players chosen from the 2nd Stringers to challenge the High Schoolers. Irie then challenges Akiba for his No. 20 badge of the All-Japan Juniors upon the 1st Stringers return from their Foreign Expedition.
U-17 Camp Revolution
It is here when it revealed that Irie was infact 1st Stringer material however he stayed behind to raise the level of the All Japan Juniors just like Oni Juujiro. Against Akiba Kōyō, he performs his usual antics which involve pretending to be pressurized. Akiba's abilities are above this and scores points and seemingly dominates Irie nonetheless.
However he later insults Irie's acting which strongly provokes him and Irie awakens a higher level of skill. Irie becomes serious and instantly defeats and completely overwhelms Akiba as he becomes the 20th Japan representative leaving Akiba on the floor and seemingly unable to move lying still on the floor.
Genius 10 Challenge
Irie then arrives to the main courts with the other players and joins the big audience of U-17 Camp members who witness the encounter between the Top 10 and their challengers. At the end of the challenge between the Top 10 and the 2nd String challengers, Irie is listed down as the 11th player on the list of the Top 14 U-17 players chosen to represent Japan at the U-17 World Cup.
Prior to the U-17 World Cup
The head coach tales both high school and middle school representatives to the beach, presumably in the US, and tasks each of them to pick up girls. Irie and Tokugawa witness Oni fail. When it was Irie's turn, he jogged around the beach the yelled "I can't believe I can't pick up any girls!...just kidding". However, Coach Mifune gets mad at him and forces him to eat a riceball. He passes out on the water.
After the first doubles match with Germany (Fuji/Duke), he is paired with Atobe to play the second doubles match.
They are quickly overwelmed by Germany's strength - their opponents being Tezuka and QP - and Atobe suffers his first ever 0-6 loss. He sees Atobe leave the venue.
It was later revealed that he put no effort into the match because even if he went all out, he would have still lost. However, the loss was development for Atobe.
His position number has been revised to No.12 instead of No.11.
U-17 Camp Results
|Type of Match||Partner||Opponent(s)||Score|
|Team Shuffle against 4th Court||None||Unknown||Win|
|Team Shuffle Match against 5th Court||None||Atobe Keigo||No-Game|
|Foreign Expedition Group Challenge||None||Akiba Kōyō||Win (7-5)|
U-17 World Cup
|Type of Match||Partner||Opponent(s)||Score|
|Pre-World Cup Exhibition Match||Keigo Atobe||Kunimitsu Tezuka/QP||0-6 (lose)|
Playing Style and Techniques
Irie is Left-Handed, and an All Rounder. Irie tends to hold back against his opponents and waits until his opponent has confidence before utterly shattering it. He commonly tends to exclaim how outclassed he is by his opponents or pretends to panic, showing his excellent acting skills and then suddenly uses his most common phrase 'Just Kidding' before completely defeating his opponent. Irie never begins matches at full strength and relies on Insight and his amazing speed during matches. Irie's confidence shattering mind games and his play style is very much depicted in his stats. He has 2 out of 5 in Stamina, 1 in Power, 6 in Speed, 6 in Technique and 7 in Mentality.
- A high level technique in which the user can see all of the opponents blind spots and is able to aim at them leaving the opponent unable to return the shot. This high level of technique requires a high amount of both Insight and focus.
Speed - 6: With his light and short patterned footwork, his speed is on par with even the 1st String. He is quite effective at detroying his opponent's pace.
Power - 1: His issue is with his Physical side. Even though he is of slender build, he still should find a way to increase the efficiency of his muscles.
Stamina - 2: WIth his short stamina, he is unsuited to long drawn out matches. However, taking into account that even when he forfeited the Atobe match, it looked as if he still had stamina left to spare. Frankly, it's unfathomable.
Mental - 7: With his unmatchable Mental strength, He relies on his acting skills to toy with his opponents. He can freely control his own emotions at will.
Technique - 6: Once he sees his opponents reactions, he has the high level skill of instantly changing the balls trajectory and shot type.
Kurobe Memo: He is fascinated with developing a match by setting up scenes and performances. However, with his current balance, it limits the kinds of opponents he can win againt. He really needs to build up his physical side.
Oni & Tokugawa
These three are close with each other. Irie and Oni rescued Tokugawa from Byodoin's assualt. Since then, Oni and Irie have been training Tokugawa to defeat Byodoin. They both see Tokugawa still has a lot of potential and they want to be the ones to help him achieve it.
Initially, Atobe and Irie did not get along, especially during their shuffle match. However, both have gotten past their issue and formed a friendship between their shared interest in Shakespeare. Irie has mentioned to Shuji that Atobe still has a lot of potential left.
- Blood Type: A (Fortune-telling with your blood type is quite accurate. I think I'm a typical type A.)
- Hobby: Tenor Sax (Irie: 'It's only a little, but I do play the tenor saxophone. I brought it to the camp as well' )
- Committee: Student Council Vice President
- Favorite Color: Natural Colors
- Favorite Food: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cream Puffs
- Thing he wants most: Jazz Concert Tickets
- Thing you're bad at: Sharp-witted people (because they can see right through him), Fake Girls
- Specialty outside of tennis: Holding 4 full plates at the same time, Tenor Sax
- Irie works part-time as a waiter in the restaurant of the U-17 Camp.
- He is one of the few School Players shown to work in this series.
- There was a girl at his previous part-time job, who Irie had a crush on, who happened to play the saxophone. Currently, still good friends. 
- Irie's play style was developed because he craves attention.
- In order to study for his performances, he researches by watching theater DVDs everyday
- Since he is quite skilled with the Saxophone, he has joined his school's wind instrument club.
- He comes from a family of doctors and wishes to become one too.
- In the New Prince of Tennis 1st Character Popularity Poll, Irie came 1st in the High Schoolers list as the most popular High School Character, and scored 30th in the overall list of both Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers.
- His nickname "The Pierrot" is French for actor, or trickster.
- On the official New Prince of Tennis website for the anime, Irie is listed as a second year.
- The kanji in Irie's name, in Chinese, means many people.