Two Wings of Kyushu (Together with Chitose Senri)
Fudomine (3rd Year)
Kumamoto First (Dai-ichi) Elementary School
|Japan U-17 Camp||
Court 6 (Fomer)
NIKE (AIR ZOOM BEYOND)
Yoshihisa Kawahara (Japanese)
Kippei Tachibana (橘 桔平, Tachibana Kippei) is a character in Prince of Tennis and the rival school Fudomine Middle School's charismatic captain and coach. He was the one who rebuilt the tennis team together with the younger players. During the later part of the series, it was discovered that he is 'the legendary' Tachibana Kippei who was considered one of the strongest players in Kyūshū region and is known as one of the Two Wings of Kyushu along with best friend Chitose Senri.
Tachibana is first shown in the series to have black hair however it is revealed that his true hair colour is blonde. For the tournaments of the Tokyo District that Fudomine was in, that Tokyo Prefectural Tournament and the Kanto Regional Tournament, Tachibana's hair was black. It was not until the Japanese National Tournament that he played with his natural hair colour of blonde.
Tachibana's first impression when he was introduced with the Fudomine team was that he looked to be quite an intimidating person. However, when he introduced himself to Tezuka, he presented himself as a respectable sportsman, greeting the opposing team captain with respect. The backstory of the Fudomine team shows that he is also very caring and rebellious, as when he transferred to Fudomine, he noticed that the 1st years, who were more skilled than the current regulars and had more desire to play, were being oppressed and instantly helped them boycott the current tennis team. In an effort to prove that the 1st years were the victim, Tachibana instructed his future teammates to not fight back against the Fudomine team that physically assaulted them, but his rebellious side showed up once more when the coach showed his blatant favoritism towards his current regulars who had no injuries on them, proceeding to attack the coach physically.
Before he showed up at Fudomine, however, he had a habit of playing rough against his opponents, even towards his best friend, Chitose Senri. While he stopped playing rough after injuring Chitose and went into penance, these rough habits show up at times, such as when he had to restrain his teammates from attacking Jin Akutsu, yet in the bloopers, he was imagining how he would beat up Akutsu, and in the bloopers, he got easily angry when Kikumaru Eiji imagined him as a lion buddha. However, it is unknown if this is fully canon.
Tachibana's greatest trait shown so far, however, is that he cares for the well-being of others. Such examples are when he noticed the strain that the Hadokyu placed on Tetsu's arm, withdrawing his teammates immediately during the Prefecturals Semi-Finals due to the majority of the team being involved in a car accident, and in the anime, going out of his way to support Fuji in his match against Kirihara. He is shown to be a very friendly captain and while everyone on his team respects him as much as the Seigaku team respects Tezuka, his teammates are much more friendly around Tachibana and sees him as an older brother of sorts.
Although he is a stern leader type of person this does not mean Tachibana does not have his quirks as well. It is shown that he is awful at cooking and does not even realize it (despite his food looking revolting).
One Year Prior To The Storyline
Known as the Two Wings of Kyūshū, last year, Tachibana and his close friend Chitose Senri dominated their region and powered Shishigaku to a semifinal appearance at the Nationals. Their bright future hit an unexpected setback after Tachibana's Abare Dama injured Chitose's right eye, forcing the latter to quit the team.
As an atonement, Tachibana gave up tennis, cut his hair, and dyed it black. A month later, Tachibana's father transfered the family to Tokyo, where Tachibana enrolled at Fudomine. After learning that Chitose has picked up tennis again in Osaka, Tachibana returned to the sport.
He became sympathetic to the woes of the first-years on the Fudomine tennis club and led them on a mutiny, gaining the wrath of the senpai. When the coach faulted them for being attacked by the senpai, Tachibana jumped the coach. Although they were barred from the Newcomer Tournament,
Tachibana and the first-years had gained control of the club. He along with the new-look Fudomine began causing several upsets in their Tokyo District Tournament and could only be stopped by Seigaku in the finals. Tachibana was unable to play during the final of the District tournament due to Seigaku winning before it reached Singles 1.
Tachibana and Fudomine Middle School cruise through the prefecturals and along the way knock out last years winners Hyotei in the Quarterfinals. This is due to Hyotei arrogantly playing weak non-regulars in their Doubles matches. Fudomine win doubles and need just one more win in Singles 3 to go through to the Semifinals of the tournament. Tachibana takes Singles 3 and due to his black hair still has spectators unaware that he is a player of the National level who went to last year's Nationals Semifinals.
He takes on a cocky Hyotei regular Ryo Shishido and plays around at the start, and after a long rally for the first point suddenly gets serious. Tachibana annihalates Shishido in under 15 minutes. Causing the latter to get kicked off the Hyotei regulars breifly. Fudomine advance to the Semifinals from this. Their run is stopped at the Semi-Finals against Yamabuki due to injuries. Tachibana makes Fudomine withdraw in the Semi-Finals after finding out that the players were involved in a minor traffic accident on the way to the match. With reaching the Semifinals however, they achieved automatic qualification to the Kanto Regionals.
During the Kantō Regionals, Fudomine cruise through the first two rounds and meet Yamabuki a second time. The score turns out differently this time as with no injuries the two teams were able to play a full match. A shock win from Kamio Akira against Sengoku Kiyosumi enables Fudomine to reach the Semifinals, however Tachibana claims things were different as Yamabuki were missing Jin Akutsu. In the semifinals, Kirihara Akaya completely dominated Tachibana which was helped due to Tachibana having an injured ankle early on. The lopsided score resulted because Tachibana had not used his full power.
In the manga, six days before the Nationals, Tachibana is visited by Shūsuke Fuji to test his skills. At this point, Tachibana has dyed his hair back to his original blonde color. At first, Tachibana doesn't play seriously. However, after realizing that's what Fuji wants, he reveals his true play style and ends up breaking Fuji's racket when he tried to use Higuma Otoshi.
Tachibana and Fudomine went in to the Nationals again as underdogs but caused a storm by effortlessly defeating last years finalists Makinofuji Gakuin in the 2nd Round.
In the next round, Tachibana released the dormant monster within when he collided with Chitose at the Nationals Quarterfinals. After losing the first two sets, Fudomine needed a win in the Singles 2 match to stay in the tie. Still feeling guilty about damaging his best friend's tennis career, Tachibana purposesly moves his head into the direction of Chitose's smash and takes a shot directly to the eye to atone for his actions a year ago.
Tachibana eventually takes the lead after unleashing Mojuu no Aura. Tachibana knew that Chitose lied about recovering his right eyesight and thus did not hit a single ball to Chitose's right side.
Prior To U-17 Camp
Sometime also before the U-17 Camp in the PairPuri Anime, captains Tachibana, Kuranosuke Shiraishi, Keigo Atobe, and Kunimitsu Tezuka all meet up at the Seigaku tennis club to have some Seigaku team members play against the Fudomine team, and to play against each other.
Tachibana and his Fudomine teammates Akira Kamio and Shinji Ibu recieve invitations to join the All Japan Junior training camp along with several other middle schoolers. 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 50 middle schoolers are able to obtain a ball.
Several Middle schoolers are challenged for their balls by High Schoolers as some middle schoolers took several balls for themselves (with Tooyoma Kintaro pointing out that they were not told that they could only take 1). However Kanata Irie arrives with Jūjirō Oni and Kazuya Tokugawa and Irie warns all private matches to stop as they are prohibited within the camp.
Later on in the day, the Mental Coach arrives and requests all middle schoolers pair up. He then suddenly declares all pairs must play a quick tie-break game where the loser must go home.
Tachibana is paired with fellow Middle School Captain Satoru Kadowaki of Makinofuji who is extremely arrogant in his abilities despite being crushed by Tachibana's teammate Shinji Ibu at the Nationals. Tachibana easily defeats him to secure his place at camp. He is later put forward for Shuffle matches and wins his place in the 5th Court along with Kuranosuke Shiraishi, Kunimitsu Tezuka, Keigo Atobe, Jin Akutsu, Ishida Gin, Jiro Akutagawa, Eishirō Kite, 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 Juujiro 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.
Akutsu requests that Oni selects the players that should play against the 3rd Court, as the one who is most familiar with their opponents. Oni reveals he had already chosen the list surprising the Middle Schoolers. Tachibana is selected to play in Doubles 1, pairing up with Chitose for the first time in over a year to take on High School 3rd Year pair Issa Washio and Shun Suzuki, both of them former students of Shishigaku and members of the tennis club Three Years Prior To The Storyline.
Despite Tachibana and Chitose being capable of keeping up with Washio and Suzuki, the two High Schoolers then show why they are possibly the best doubles pair of the 2nd String and bring out Synchro. The match ends 7-6 in the High Schoolers' favor. Nonetheless, the High Schoolers are stunned that The Two Wings were able to keep up with the Synchro and were left nervous at how close the match was, putting all the pressure on Singles 1.
Due to Kanata Irie 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 despite Akutsu initally wanting to and crushes the 3rd Court's Toshio Takei resulting 3 wins, 2 losses and 1 no-game for the 5th Court. Making the 5th Court replace the 3rd Court which results in Tachibana becoming a member of the 3rd Court.
U-17 Camp Revolution
Tachibana and the rest of the 2nd Stringers are present at the courts upon of the return of the Middle School losers and surprised to find out that they defeat the 2nd Court. Tachibana, along with other middle schoolers, confronts the other 1st Stringers to challenge them. However Byoudouin Houou gives them an extremely hostile response causing them to hold back in fear.
Genius 10 Challenge
Tachibana along with Atobe Keigo, Marui Bunta, Ishida Gin and other Middle Schoolers declare a challenge to the Top 10. However they are quickly silenced by No.1 Represenative Byoudouin Houou. The next day the challenge to the Top 10 takes place, where the Middle Schoolers have replaced the High Schoolers in the line-up to take on the Top 10. Tachibana watches on with Chitose and the rest of the camp as Atobe and Niou become the No.9 and 10 representatives by winning their match, Duke Watanabe renders Ishida Gin unconscious and Kimijima Ikuto through corrupt methods defends his badge against Marui/Kite pair whilst Tohno has his knee damaged and then Tooyama against Oni and Sanada/Akutsu against Tanegashima Shuuji/Ohmagari. 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.
Official Middle School Tournament
|2008 Tokyo District||Round 1||Ōgosho||Singles 1||Osada||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Tokyo District||Quarterfinals||Sato 2nd||Singles 1||Takao||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Tokyo District||Semi-Finals||Kakinoki||Singles 1||Kase||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Tokyo District||Finals||Seigaku||Singles 1||Tezuka Kunimitsu||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Round 1||Rekkyō||Singles 1||Kamiyama||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Round 2||Shinagawa Middle School||Singles 1||Hirano||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Round 3||New Shiono||Singles 1||Muhō||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Round 4||Ōsawa Jitsugō||Singles 1||Kawahara||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Quarterfinal||Hyōtei Academy||Singles 3||Shishido Ryō||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Tokyo Prefectural||Semi-Finals||Yamabuki Middle School||Singles 1||Jin Akutsu||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Kantō Regionals||Round 1||Itogruma||Singles 1||Ueda Shō||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Kantō Regionals||Quarterfinals||Yamabuki Middle School||Singles 1||Muramochi Tōji||None (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Kantō Regionals||Semi-Finals||Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku||Singles 3||Kirihara Akaya||Lost (1-6)|
|2008 Kantō Regionals||3rd Place||Rokkaku Middle School||Singles 1||Saeki Kojiro||Won (6-2)|
|2008 Nationals||Round 1||Echigo Daira 2nd||Singles 1||Gondaira Yonezō||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Nationals||Round 2||Maki no Fuji Middle School||Singles 1||Hagi Einoshin||Won (6-0)|
|2008 Nationals||Quarterfinals||Shitenhōji||Singles 2||Chitose Senri||Lost (5-7)|
- NOTE-1 No results due to one side taking victory before Singles 1.
|Type of Match||Partner||Opponent||Score|
|Tiebreaker-Style Elimination Match||None||Satoru Kadowaki||Won (1-0)(Forfeit)|
|Player Shuffle||None||Unknown 5th Court Member||Won (6-0)|
|Team Shuffle Doubles 1||Chitose Senri||Issa Washio/Shun Suzuki||Lost (6-7)|
Playing Style and Techniques
Tachibana is an All-Rounder and like Tezuka, his skills are at the National Level, although he does not reveal his true skills until after he lost to Kirihara Akaya. Tachibana is skilled at aggressive attacks and can easily approach the net despite being on the defensive by an opponent's deep shots, such as the Super Rising. His control was shown to be very excellent, being able to add enough spin to make a shot that would normally go out to hit right at the baseline, and during his match against Kirihara in the manga, the audience noted that Tachibana was toying with Kirihara and held the advantage during the first game.
When Tachibana stops holding back, his attacks become even more intense, being able to pressure a National-level player like Chitose and his former Shishigaku senpais. His physical strength is quite amazing, being able to break the Higuma Otoshi with pure power when he is in his Wild Beast Aura and pressure Chitose enough to take the lead quickly. Ann stated that in the past, Tachibana's play style was similar to Kirihara's in the fact that they both specializes in rough play, although after his first Abare Dama, it seems that he hasn't injured anyone.
Wild Lion (Abare Jishi)
A violent and fast paced style of tennis that Tachibana uses, this style is mostly defined (by the audience) by his forehand stroke. In the anime, it appear to be similar to the Wild Ball, but less powerful.
Wild Beast Aura (Mōjū no Aura)
A condition that is similar to Muga no Kyōchi. When this is activated, the user's eyes glow red and and a dark black and red aura shrouds the user's body for a brief moment. The Wild Beast Aura, similar to the Muga no Kyōchi, draws out one's hidden ability and instantaneously releases its full potential. While the Muga does this by using the techniques that one has seen or experienced, the Wild Beast Aura instead augments the user's power and speed greatly.
Tachibana may have trouble fully controlling himself when in this state, as he told Fuji to pay attention or he would get hurt.
A half-volley where the returner hits the ball just as it is bouncing up before the ball reaches its highest point, it results in the opponent having less time to react. Tachibana first demonstrates this technique when using it to counter Chitose's Kamikakushi.
Wild Ball (Abare Dama)
An advanced level Drive Volley, by hitting the ball with the throat of the racket, it creates the illusions of multiple balls flying off in random directions due to the vibration.
U-17 Camp Stats
- Speed: 3
- Technique: 3
- Mental: 5
- Stamina: 4
- Power: 5
- Favourite Food: Tea
- Hobby: Cooking (Note: Extraordinary skills)
- Father's occupation: Office worker (Garment)
- Favourite Subject: Design, English
- Favourite Colour: Blue
- Preferred type: Someone healthy
- In the Musicals he is portrayed by Takuma Sugawara, YOH and Kitadai Takashi in the first season, while in the second season by Yusuke Ueda.
- Tachibana and Chitose have been best friends since Elementary School as they both attended the same school.
- According to one of the fanbooks, he hates sweets.
- According to one of the fanbooks, he knows 125 recipes, and cooks dinner every night. This contradicts a scene in "Atobe's Gift", in which Kamio looks grossed out when he sees his cooking, although its taste was never confirmed.
- (When greeting Tezuka before the District Finals) “I’m the captain of Fudomine, Tachibana. Let’s have a good match.” (“Fudomine no bucho, Tachibana da. Ii shihai wo shiyo.”)
- (When confronting the old Fudomine coach a year ago) “You have no right to be an educator!” (“Anta, jidousha do shite shikaku da!”)
- (About Tetsu Ishida's Hadokyu) “With your Flat Shot that you put 120 percent of your power into, I don't think anybody can return it. But it puts too much strain on your arm. You should know this already. You won't be able to play tennis if you keep this up. Don't use it from now on.”
- (“Hyakunijyu percent no chikara wo tometta omae no Flat Shot wa, dare mo kaesenai daro ga. Ude ni futan ga kakari sugiru. Jibun ga ichiban wakkate hazuda. Tennis ga dekinaku naru zo. Kongo issai utsu na yo.”)
- “Hey, have you had enough fun yet? It’s alright for me to advance now, right?” (“Yo, mo jyubun tanoshin daro? Sorosoro mae te te mo ii ka?”)
- (After defeating Shishido) “Sorry, I finished the game in 15 minutes.” (“Warui na, jyugofun de owacchi mata.”)
- “If even one of you are hurt, it’ll worry me. We’re going to the top, right?” (“Omae wa hitori demo taketara komaro daro ga. Ue ni kun daro?”)