Nanjiro Echizen


Nanjiro Echizen

Infobox animanga character
name = Nanjiro Echizen
series = The Prince of Tennis


caption = Nanjiro Echizen
first =
last =
creator = Takeshi Konomi
voiced by = Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese)
Liam O'Brien (English)
age = 37
born = November 11
relatives = Rinko Echizen (née Takeuchi, wife)
Ryoga Echizen (adoptive son)
Ryoma Echizen (son)
Nanako Meino (niece)
aux1 name = Style
aux1 = All-Rounder, Right handed

nihongo|Nanjiro Echizen|越前 南次郎|Echizen Nanjirō is a fictional character in the anime and manga series "The Prince of Tennis". His name is spelled "Nanjiro Echizen" in the English manga and "Nanjirou Echizen" in Roman characters in the Japanese version of the anime.

Background

Nanjiro Echizen is the father of the series' protagonist Ryoma Echizen. He is also known as 'Samurai Nanjiro' for his invincible tennis skills during his earlier years as a professional tennis player. During his Junior high years, he was trained by the current coach of the Seigaku Tennis Club, Sumire Ryuzaki. It was also in his high school life that Ryuzaki discovered Nanjiro's natural talent (when he discovered 'nitōryū' all by himself) in Tennis. After leaving Japan and going pro, he remained undefeated and was only one more opponent away to earning a Grand Slam title before he unexpectedly decided to retire.

Nanjiro is married to a sweet-tempered attorney named Rinko (maiden name: Takeuchi), who is more-or-less unfazed by her husband's childish antics. Nanjiro actually met his wife in the U.S.A. 15 years prior to the beginning of the "Prince of Tennis" series; shortly after arriving in the United States to become a professional, he stood up for her against her abusive tennis coach, George Smith, who injured Rinko after she protected George's younger pupils. In the anime, George's child, Kevin, would become one of Ryoma's fiercest rivals.

In the manga, the basics of Rinko and Nanjiro's first meeting in the U.S.A. are kept, but since George is an anime-only character, he is replaced by a much older and very different coach Smith who basically fills into the same role. However, Nanjiro's American friend Michael bears a notable physical resemblance to George.

In the "Prince of Tennis" movie "Futari no Samurai" (non-canon), Nanjiro temporarily takes in a child named Ryoga Echizen shortly after retiring, in order to better teach his young son, Ryoma.

Personality

In a way, Nanjiro can be perceived as a foil for his son. Although both are rather confident, to the point of being arrogant, with their extraordinary tennis skills, Nanjiro is very outspoken, eccentric, a shameless flirt, brash, perverted and almost childish at times, whereas Ryoma adopts a quiet, aloof, and somewhat socially dense mentality.

Both father and son are proven to be very popular with ladies. Though Ryoma is quite oblivious of his female admirers, Nanjiro proved himself to be a ladies' man in his younger days, often seen with several women before meeting his wife. Though Nanjiro more or less quit his womanizing ways for Rinko, during the early stages of their relationship he used to tease her about her small bust and tomboyish behavior, even groping her breasts at least twice.

Plot overview

In episode 6 of the series, Mamoru Inoue, a reporter from Monthly Tennis Magazine, went to visit Nanjiro to ask him of the reason of his early retirement. However, he was not able to obtain any information because he couldn't score a single point in tennis against Nanjiro (which was the latter's condition for answering any question).

In the later part of the anime (more exactly, episode 129), it was revealed that the real reason Nanjiro retired at the height of his career was because he wished to spend all of his time teaching his son tennis skills. Nanjiro states that he has high hopes and dreams for Ryoma; to not only cultivate his tennis playing potential to its fullest in order take over the title as the strongest tennis player in the world, but to also become strong enough to someday defeat him.

He is one of only two known players who has opened Muga no Kyōchi's last door, Teni Muhō no Kiwami (Pinnacle of Perfection). The other is his son, Ryoma.

He later took Ryoma away with him to a forest location to try to teach him Teni Muhō no Kiwami before the Nationals Finals. His methods included using sticks and rocks as rackets and balls, and having Ryoma hit them when he is behind the strong current of a waterfall.

Tennis style and techniques

;Nitōryū (Two Sword Style):Using this technique, Nanjiro can use either his left hand or right hand to return a shot, making him more flexible. It has been stated that Nitōryū was originally conceived by Nanjiro as a way of overcoming a sloppy backhand.

;Twist serve:A serve that abnormally bounces. It is different from Ryoma's Twist Serve, since instead of bouncing towards the face, it bounces to the side.

;Nanjiro Zone:A perfected version of Kunimitsu Tezuka's "Tezuka Zone", though obviously it is not called Tezuka Zone; it is unofficially named Samurai or Nanjiro Zone.

:A technique where all returns are drawn towards Nanjiro. Nanjiro stays in one position and only pivots around one foot without lifting it from the ground. With every shot, Nanjiro puts a specific rotation on the ball, forcing nearly all returns to be "sucked" into his hit zone.

:During a match against reporter Mamoru Inoue, Nanjiro uses his "Zone" with both his eyes closed, while still being able to hit the ball, resulting in Inoue not scoring even one point against him.

;Teni Muhō No Kiwami (Pinnacle of Perfection):One of the three doors, and presumably the last, of Muga no Kyōchi. Nanjiro Echizen is said to be the first person to achieve the feat, though his son, Ryoma Echizen, has also acquired the skill.

ources

*Various "Prince of Tennis" manga chapters, anime episodes, musicals, and "The Prince of Tennis" film.


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