The Prince of Tennis
Season 1, Episode 8
Episode 8
Air date
November 28, 2001 (Japan)
September 18, 2006 (English)
Episode Guide
The Two Ryomas

The Hard Day

Arc Guide
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Tokyo District Preliminary arc

The Split Step ("サムライ·ジュニア", Supurittosuteppu) is the eighth episode of the series and the eighth in the Intraschool Ranking arc.

The opening song is "Future" by Hiro-X and ending is "You Got Game" by Kimeru.


Using a new move called the Split Step, Ryoma is able to react to Inui’s shots faster and returns them with such speed that Inui has a hard time hitting them back. However, it is not until the end when Ryoma does the Twist Serve that he takes full advantage of the match. Also, the episode shows Ryoma playing with his father and getting utterly beat, along with their father-son interaction.

Characters Introduced

  • No notable characters were introduced in this episode

Tennis Techniques Introduced

  • Split Step
  • One-footed Split Step (Ryoma)

Manga Chapter Equivalents

  • Chapter 14: There's Still More to See
  • Chapter 15: The Weight of Half a Step
  • Chapter 16: The Cocky Rookie