Ryoga first appears in The Prince of Tennis - The Two Samurai: The First Game, which takes place after the Kanto Regional Championship. Ryoga is not mentioned in the main manga or the anime until the sequel series.
Aboard one of Sakurafubuki's cruise ships Ryoga Echizen introduces himself to the team as Ryoma's older brother. Ryoma reveals that Ryoga was "taken in" by Nanjiro many years ago when they lived in America.
Sakurafubuki organizes a match between his hired team and Seigaku since they were the Kanto Region Champions. However the corrupt Sakurafubuki demands the Seigaku players lose on purpose so that he can gain loads of money from the people that bet on the recently crowned Kanto Regional Champions winning against his hired team.
However Ryoga, eventually becomes angered by this as he realizes he wants a serious match with his younger adoptive brother. Despite Sakurafubuki's orders, Echizen Ryoga decides to betray Sakurafubuki in order to play a match against his brother to see who's the better player. While this happens Sakurafubuki holds several Seigaku members hostage forcing Ryoma, who plays in the last match to lose on purpose so his teammates can be freed. However Ryoga decides that he will not be Sakurafubuki's pawn any longer, and fires a tennis ball straight into his forehead. This allows the rest of the team to escape once again. As Ryoma and Ryoga's match continues, a terrible storm brews, forcing everyone on the ship to evacuate through the lifeboats.
The Echizen brothers keep playing their match, even as an enormous tidal wave descends upon the cruise ship. They seem unfazed as they play their match underwater. In the end, thanks to luck, Ryoma is the match's victor when the ball drops onto Ryoga's side of the net, despite that the net is gone and a large light has crashed across the court. Ryoga accepts his defeat and remarks that Ryoma's tennis certainly has improved. The two escape via Ryoga's jet ski, and Ryoma is reunited with his team, who have all escaped the ship unharmed. Ryoga takes Ryoma's hat and gives him an orange and tells him to find his Grand Dream. After Ryoga's chat, he rides his jet ski into the sunset.
Prior To U-17 CampEdit
Ryoga is shown practicing against a wall in New York that shows his intense level of power as the wall is completely dented. Ryoma is shown watching him during the first episode of the Another Story OVA. This is while Seigaku and Shitenhoji had a joint training camp for two days which was after the Middle School Nationals.
In the ending credits of the OVA, Ryoma returns from Osaka and is seen in a cab in New York, only to see Ryoga outside the window. Ryoma opens the cab door and smiles seeing Ryoga and the song ends with Ryoma on a street tennis court serving a ball, most likely to his brother.
Ryoga's next appearance is in The New Prince of Tennis OVA 1. When Jack tries to aim a ball at his brother's face and Ken was not fast enough to stop it, Ryoga stops Jack's shot with a Twist Serve and also knocks Jack out with the the same serve from a roof above the downtown tennis courts. He and Ryoma stare at each other for a bit, but then Ryoga walks away right before Ryoma receives his invitation to the U-17 Camp. During this time, Ryoga is wearing a black hoodie, the same one that is later seen at the U-17 Camp.
U-17 Camp RevolutionEdit
Ryoga's first appearance in the manga and main storyline doesn't occur until New Prince of Tennis within the U-17 Camp.
Upon the arrival of the 1st Stringers, the bus stops outside the entrance of the camp. Representative candidates No. 11-20 head to the outer courts to participate in their Foreign Expedition Group Challenge matches which involves 2nd Stringers challenging them for their spots.
While all this is going on, the Top 10 relax on the 1st Stringers coach bus, revealing Ryoga as a member of the Top 10, though his name was not mentioned until much later. Ryoga appears on the bus wearing a hoodie underneath his uniform, his signature necklace, and tossing an orange which is a known habit of his and also his favorite thing to eat.
Ryoga and the rest of the Top 10 believing that No. 11-20 will easily defeat their challengers, head to the main courts, head on to greet the rest of the members of the camp, where the Coaches declare that they have not met Ryoga before asking who he was. Showing that after meeting Ryoma and escaping the boat on a jet ski in Futari no Samurai he really did go and explore like he said since Byoudouin Houou states that they met him abroad, saw his skill and found out he had Japanese citizenship.
Ryoga and the Top 10 wait at the courts. At this time, Ryoga is still wearing his hoodie, not revealing to Echizen Ryoma who he is. However, he stands with the rest of the Top 10 and lines up against the Top 2nd Stringers wearing his No.4 badge. The coaches notice Ryoga and state that they havent met him before, however Byoudouin explains that they met him abroad.
Ryoga is present at the courts with the rest of the camp upon finding out that the Middle Schoolers defeated No. 11-20 and replaced them as 1st Stringers. After Kimijma Ikuto decides to create a new match rota, later on, Byoudouin sees Tokugawa Kazuya and Ryoma finishing a long practice session. He decides to target them by htting powerful serves, attempting to injure them.
One ball hits Tokugawa and sends him to the floor; however, a serve is suddenly aimed straight at a startled Ryoma's face. Just in time, Ryoga arrives, returning the shot that sent Tokugawa to the floor with ease. He greets them using his childhood nickname for Ryoma, "Long time no see, Chibisuke." He was surprised that Ryoma did not remember the face of his older brother.
Genius 10 ChallengeEdit
Ryoga is then seen with the rest of the camp watching the Representative match for spots No.10 and No.9 with the rest of the camp.
When Kintaro and Oni begin their match, Ryoga excuses himself to go to the restroom, racket in hand. Ryoma, seeing this, excuses himself as well and follows him. Ryoga actually makes his way to the restrooms, making Ryoma question his motives, since Ryoma believed that Ryoga wished to play an unofficial match with him. Ryoga notes that there is "someone who wants to play" Ryoma more than him, and Jin Akutsu makes an appearance.
Once it is obvious that Akutsu has no interest in becoming an All Japan Representative and that he only wants to play Ryoma for revenge. Ryoma declines, and Ryoga offers to play with him instead. Akutsu throws what appears to be 10 balls at him, but Ryoga uses his Clone Technique to dodge them all. They begin to play with 10 balls, and Akutsu is shown to hit them all with ease before Ryoga uses Byoudouin Houou's techique to hit a ball with incredible force. The ball has shockwaves powerful enough to wreck the wall of the building behind Akutsu, and likely would have sent him hurling, just as Byoudouin managed to do to Tokugawa, had Ryoma not stepped in. As it was, Ryoma pushed Akutsu aside to take Ryoga's shot, but is unable to fully return it, causing his racket to fall out of his hand. The Echizen brothers are about to engage in a match when Sanada Genichiro appears and berates them for them for their foolishness.
Sanada leaves with Akutsu, leaving the brothers alone; Ryoma takes this opportunity to ask Ryoga to teach him how to hit "that shot" from earlier known as the Super Sweet Spot. Ryoga begins to teach Ryoma the shot. During the practice session, Ryoga teases Ryoma about the past, telling him that Ryoma used to worship Ryoga and stuck to him like glue.
When Ryoma masters the Super Sweet Spot, both brothers return to the court to play each other in round 6 of the Genius 10 challenge. However, since both brothers are too busy talking about their history together that only Ryoga seems to remember, they miss round 6. Therefore, the match between Tokugawa vs Byodoin begin instead.
Near the end of the match between Tokugawa and Byodoin, Ryoma leaves his brother and runs to see Tokugawa coughing up blood. When Ryoma is booted from the camp for breaking the rules, Ryoga leaves the camp as well. He manages to successfully persuade Ryoma to join the USA U-17 World Cup Team in order to defeat Byodoin.
At the ariport, Ryoga and Ryoma meet up with three USA Representatives. They travel by car and motorbike to the USA U-17 Tennis Academy.
Ryoga makes fun of Ryoma when they arrive at the Tennis Academy. He is present when Ryoma is announced as "the 14th man" of the team.
He is seen warnming up for the USA's match. He sweats and goes into the shower. Unfortunetely, their opponents locks them in the shower room and the entire team, except for Ryoma, attempts to escape.
When the team finally escapes, he is stretching his arm and sees Oliver Philips playing in place and asks who he is.