Ryūzaki Sumire (Grandmother)
Seigaku (1st Year)
The manga and anime portrayals of Sakuno are similar, yet have some important differences.
Sakuno has far more spotlight in the anime than the manga, where she's regularly seen hanging out with the Seigaku team along with her best friend Osakada Tomoka, and even helping them out during different training camps. In the manga, she's seldom seen cheerleading and at times even seems to fade away from the storyline, since she spends her time training with the girls of the tennis club.
When Ryoma temporarily lost his memories, Sakuno went searching for him. She was willing to try re-teaching him tennis from scrap in an attempt to help him regain his memory, only to be interrupted by Ryoma as he already recovered his memory and wants to face Yukimura.
In the end, Sakuno was shown as a 2nd year student, content with her life and still playing tennis.
Sakuno is a kind, nice and quiet girl with very long hair kept in twin braids, who almost always seems to worry about Ryoma and the others. She started playing tennis after she saw Ryoma playing, and her progress differs in the anime from the manga; in the anime her lack of skill is a recurring gag, while in the manga she's good enough to be seen as a promising player and even a future regular. She even received a Certificate of Commendation for ranking 3rd Place in the Women's Division, as stated in Pair Puri.Sakuno, in both manga and anime, is extremely
She is also very modest compared to her best friend, Tomoka, in terms of clothing. While Tomoka would often sport clothes that are short and reveal the midriff, Sakuno would wear more conservative clothes (due to her shyness).
Sakuno also has a horrible sense of direction, many times leading Ryoma in the wrong destination.
In New Prince of Tennis, when Ryoma had to leave the U-17 camp for interfering with Tokugawa's match, Sakuno encountered him and later they both went out on a date which helped cheer Ryoma up.
RelationshipsNanjiro and Momoshiro, and occasionally Kikumaru Eiji).
On the other hand, Ryoma doesn't have obvious (if any) romantic feelings for Sakuno because of his dedication to tennis and his own very early age, but has shown kindness to her. The small interactions between the two are often misunderstood by Ryoma's teammates which causes them to (not-so-subty) root for his and Sakuno's relationship to blossom. Ryoma, however, never picks up on these hints and is often left very confused by his upper classmen while Sakuno gets embarrassed.
He, despite being oblivious to her feelings, has rescued Sakuno from bullies twice (once was unintentional), and hasn't shown to mind her tagging along with the team. In the anime, he also successfuly saved her from a bear (who was actually a theif in disguise) during the Seigaku training camp, since all his other teammates failed. He has also coached her and Tomoka in tennis (which he was tricked into doing by his father, and was unable to decline because he ate the food that was given as payment). He also gives her advice on her tennis playing.
- Reason why Ryoma had to teach Sakuno and Tomoka: In Japan, you are not able to reject the request/favor after taking/consuming the payment (which can be food, money, or a favor that can be used later on).
- It was revealed that Sakuno won 3rd place in a girls division tournament.