|The Prince of Tennis|
|Season 1, Episode 2|
October 17, 2001 (Japan)
A Prince Appears
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Samurai Junior (サムライ·ジュニア, Samurai Junia) is the second episode of the series and the second in the Intraschool Ranking arc.
The opening song is "Future" by Hiro-X and ending is "You Got Game" by Kimeru.
Upon his arrival in Seishun Academy, "Seigaku" for short, Ryoma teaches a lesson to two juniors who are picking on the first year freshmen. Takeshi Momoshiro, one of the team's regulars, puts a stop to it and decides to play Ryoma in a tennis match. Noticing that Momoshiro has a bad ankle, Ryoma decides not to play with his dominant hand. Also, Sakuno Ryuzaki's energetic friend, Tomoka Osakada, is introduced to Ryoma, and instantly proclaims herself to be his number one fan.
Ryoma teaches a lesson to two juniors from picking on his classmates. Momoshiro steps in and challenges Ryoma to a match after hearing about his talents from Sumire Ryūzaki. He forfeits after noticing Ryoma switches hands and remarks that he is scary for giving a handicap.
Upon entering Seigaku Junior high school, Ryoma is introduced by a classmate, Horio Satoshi, who also will join the tennis club. As Ryoma ignores him, he bumps into a 2nd year student, who gives him a lecture on to look where he going. As Ryoma and Horio they are greeted by two other 1st year students, Katou Kachirou and Mizuno Tetsuo, who inform them that practice has been cancelled due to the fact the 2nd and 3rd year players have gone on a trip.
Two 2nd year students approach them and offer them a chance to win 10,000 yen. If they can hit the can and knock it over in 10 tries or less, they win. Little did they know it was a scam set up by them to milk them for 5,000+ yen. As they try to coax Ryoma, he tells them no matter how you hit it, it will not knock over. He serves the ball and hits the tip of it opening the can and revealing the stones they have put in, just as he said they did. As he continued to hit the can in every serve, he asks, "Will you senpai's give me a million yen if I hit it 100 times in a row?" They start to scold him, and a dark figure comes out and smashes the can. It is 2nd year Regular, Momoshiro Takeshi. He warns the other two to stop while they are ahead and they leave.
As they are walking, Ryuzaki Sakano (Sumire's grandaughter) is walking with her friend Tomoka, who asks her, "Why did you take up tennis all of the sudden?". Sakuno's answer was little short and cut off by a woman, Shiba, a reporter from a monthly Tennis Magazine, who asks where the Tennis Courts are. Shortly after that, her senpai, Inoue joins them and they walk together to the Tennis Courts to see them. As they arrive, Sakuno recognizes Ryoma and Tomoka is instantly taken by him. At the same time Inoue recognizes the name, Echizen Ryoma.
Momoshiro challenges Ryoma to a match because he's heard from Ryuzaki-sensei that he can perform "Twist Serve". They start to play, but unknown to all except for Ryoma, Momoshiro plays with a hurt ankle. Ryoma starts off with a regular slice serve, in which Momoshiro tells him to cut to it and serve that "Twist Serve". After he serves it, Momoshiro and the others are stunned to see a 12 year old boy being able to serve like that.
After several more serves, Momoshiro is able to pick the timing out to return the ball, as he does this Ryoma decides to switch hands and this tells Momoshiro that it's time to stop. He gives up and tells him he doesn't want to play anymore. Inoue and the others are very surprised by this and Inoue tells shiba, "Just call him 'Junior Samurai'". As Ryoma walks home he finally remembers who Sakuno is, but it's too late.
List of new characters as they appear.
Tennis Techniques Introduced
- Slice Serve
- Drop Volley
Manga Chapter Equivalents
Anime and Manga Differences
- In the manga, Ryoma asks a bystander for directions to the court instead of listening to Horio (which turned out to be Momoshiro and he gave the wrong directions to the Freshmen), while in the anime, Ryoma nearly bumped into Momo the first time he met him, which resulted in Momo commenting on Ryoma's negative-seeming expression.
- Originally in the manga it was Masaya Ikeda and Daisuke Hayashi that tricked the freshmen into playing the Hit-the-Can game but in the anime Hayashi was replaced with Arai.
- During a scene when Ikeda and Arai explains to the freshmen about the true price of their rigged ball game, Arai's hair, while normally brown, is black, in the same shading as Ikeda's hair.