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I haven’t been doing this for a while so I decided that I will put my fan fictions up every weekend day, as other wise I wouldn’t be able to put them all up, I’ve got way too much stuff that I want to share!

What happened last time: Yuri caught the fever in her attempt to find Mitsukake, but was saved by him, like Tasuke, he promises her that he will join Miaka as soon as she comes. Yuri then decides to wait for the news of Suzaku’s summoning before she returns to the palace.

Yuri had been counting the number of days that had passed since she left Mitsukake and hide away here, at this isolated village near the border. It had been many days now, surely Miaka had enough time to go back to the palace and prepare the ritual.
Suzaku should be summoned already!
“Suzaku, please come to us quickly!” she prayed again.
Instead of travelling back to the capital she had continued to travel away from it until she ended up here. This village was the closest establishment to Kotou in Konan.
She did not know why she came here, instead of starting to go back to the palace. Somehow she had a feeling of dread, even though she was sure that Suzaku would be called out soon.
Since she arrived here, she had stayed in the temple and spent almost all of her days praying to Suzaku.
The people of this village naturally did not know her real identity, they just thought of her as a traveller who decided to rest a little. The fact that she was a woman alone was rather strange, but as she carried a sword they decided that she must be an unconventional woman in every aspect, which was not impossible.
Sometimes she would leave the temple and talk to the local villagers, they were very friendly- even to a stranger like her. She was especially pleased to hear about their views on the emperor. Most of them regarded Hotohori as a very good emperor, and all seemed to love and respect him greatly.
“What of the Empress?” she simply couldn’t resist the temptation to ask them this one day.
“We know little about the empress other then the fact that the emperor loves her very much. If that is the case,” a man had shrugged carelessly, “Then she must be a virtuous woman.”
“I suppose that will always be an empress’ role.” Yuri thought. “I really have no importance other then to bear a son. Unlike Hotohori, no one but him would really care if I die. They’ll just expect Hotohori to elect another.”
Walking out of the temple she saw a bunch of young girls giggling to each other, some were probably only a few months younger then her. As she never told anyone about her marital status, these girls greeted her like a following conspirator.
“Look at this!” one giggled.
A bunch of clay dolls were in front of them with a stack of paper, each girl was holding a pen. Taking a doll Yuri held it up to examine it closer, she saw that it was actually two dolls adjoined together, a man and a woman. (1)
“It’s a lovers doll, do you want one, Yuri?” one offered.
“What are they?” Yuri asked in confusion.
“You write your name on a piece of paper and then stick it onto the girl doll, and then you write the name of the man that you love and stick that onto the boy doll. After you do this, you must bury the lovers doll somewhere in secret.”
“What for?”
“It will let you be with the man you love forever, and make him always love you.”
Taking a pen Yuri followed the instruction.
“And now you just need to bury it…oh!”
The doll made from strong clay suddenly broke apart when Yuri was sticking the names on, the two pieces slipped through her finger and hit the ground, shattering into many pieces.
“Don’t worry about it, there’s bound to be one that will break…” one of the girl said with forced cheerfulness. “We have a lot of spares. This one seems very stable.”
“No, it is alright…” she whispered as she picked the pieces up. “I plan to go back to the temple anyway.”
Why did that happen? Even though it was a childish game she could not help but to feel a hint of fear at what just occurred.

Could it be that I will not be reunite with Hotohori as I had hoped? She thought in shock. Could it be that my betrayal made him stop loving me?
“No! I won’t believe this!” she yelled loudly.
She had to force herself to consider the possibility, after all, she did leave him out of the fear of seeing him hate her. Throughout her journey she kept pretending that everything would be well as soon as Suzaku was summoned.
But what if he was so angry at her that nothing could pacify him?
Closing her eyes she felt tears trickling down again, she had thought that he would forgive her as soon as everything was well but the fear that she was wrong began to erupt.
Maybe that was why she came here, instead of going back to the capital. Because it seemed that until she went back and see Hotohori, she could pretend that he would forgive her and everything would be alright.
“What if…” she whispered these words again.
The only reason she would doubt Hotohori’s love for her was because she loved him too much.
Mercifully, sleep soon took over.

Her dream started very pleasantly. At first she was reliving through her own wedding. She was in that elaborate gown with the string of pearls in her hair, Hotohori was standing beside her, holding her hand tightly.
The faces of the advisors changed to the numerous unknown faces of the people of Konan. The two of them were carried in a litter and she saw many people throwing flowers towards them.
“Wave at them,” Hotohori whispered into her ears. “The acknowledgement of the empress will make them very happy.”
Nodding she did so, and almost wept at the cry of joy that greeted her because of that simple action.
Smiling she turned to Hotohori but unlike her real wedding, he was no longer there. Every thing suddenly disappeared and she was left alone in a deserted room with only a mirror in front of her.
By chance she looked into the mirror, instead of her wedding gown she was now dressed in the garbs of a priestess, the robe she had once saw in some illustrations among the ancient scrolls in Hotohori’s private library.
“Is this what I might have been?” She asked softly, fingering the trailing blue bands…
Blue instead of red?
“The costume of the priestess of Seiryuu? Why…”
“So we finally meet, Yuri, my priestess.”
This was only a dream but she still almost screamed when she saw the figure. Standing only a few paces away from her was Seiryuu, the god of Kutou, the country that was threatening destroy Konan.
“Seiryuu?” she repeated dumbly. “What is all this? Why do you call me your priestess?”
“Because that is what was meant to happen. You arrived in this world almost three years ago…”
‘Yes but I arrived in Suzaku’s kingdom, in Konan...”
“Do not interrupt me again.” the god said, but it was not said unkindly, “There is very little time left in this dream. (2)
“You were meant to arrive in Kutou so you could summon me, but through a twist of fate you ended up in Konan, and even became the empress.
“Remember what happened the day you came to this world! Remember that book that took you here!”

It was the day of her eighteenth birthday but as usual she was spending it alone, she thought about asking some of her colleagues from the office but decided against it, she did not know them that well. (3)
Someone she made herself a recluse, she knew that if she wanted to she could easily mingle with many other young people at her new workplace. There were actually two men who wanted to go out with her.
If she asked them to accompany her, they would gladly do so, but somehow she did nothing. It seemed that she was too paranoid of turning into her mother.
She spent a long time wandering around the town, admiring these fine objects she could not afford to buy just yet. Although she did change into a new dress that she brought this morning, a soft lilac one with that red ribbon in her hair.
Suddenly, without any warning, it began to rain.
The nearest shelter was the library, so she naturally ran in there.
It was in the library when she first felt the book calling to her. It seemed ridiculous even as she recollected years later but that was what she had felt. The voice would grow dimmer when she approached the library, when she tried to leave the voice broke into such a loud scream that she was forced to step back into the library.
Secretly she made her way into the locked room and took the book down. It was the right book because that voice ceased as soon as she closed her hands over the spine of the book.
“The book of the universe of the four gods?” she read the title out softly, “What a strange name for a book.
“This book is about how a young woman receives the power of the god Seiryuu…”

“So I was meant to be your priestess all along, that means I didn’t actually need to leave Hotohori.” Yuri said sadly. “It makes sense though, when I arrived Konan was not on the brink of destruction. But Kutou…”
“Few people knew of what had happened in Kutou. When you arrived the emperor of Kutou was a different man. The last emperor had many children, but when he finally died at a very old age, it was to his youngest son that he gave the country to. Naturally all the others were angry, there was a fierce civil war that ended when the victor among all the other brothers took the throne by force and threw his brother into the dungeon.
“His younger brother, the rightful emperor of Kutou, managed to escape and is now hiding and planning revolts. He would have been a peaceful emperor like your husband- his birth in this war loving country was almost like a miracle. That was why he received the throne, as his father realized that he had a chance of ending the war and corruption that the country had long been tied with.”
“What could I have done if I had I been there?” Yuri asked.
“You would have prevented the usurp, then the Suzaku priestess would never have come as she would not be needed. It is too late to change that now but you must still summon me.” Seiryuu suddenly turned around, and whatever he saw made him frown. “Time is running out, priestess. Come to Kutou as fast as you can and summon me. Otherwise I fear both Kutou and Konan will be destroyed.”
“You would ask this of me? How can you ask me to go and do something that will result in my own death?” she said angrily.
The god met her eyes without flinching as he replied, “I ask this of you in order to save my own life. If Kutou is destroyed, then I will cease to exist.”
Yuri nodded, she did not blame Seiryuu one bit as it was natural for someone to want their life to be preserved instead of another’s.
“I do not wish to die, surely you can understand that if you have the same fear.” She reasoned. “Must I summon you? Can Suzaku not…”
“Unlike you, the priestess of Suzaku will not be able to make the right wish for Kutou. And even if she does, it is impossible, as Suzaku cannot be summoned anymore.” There seemed to be a slight bitterness in the god’s voice.
“Why?” she demanded.
“The emperor of Kutou and his celestial warriors prevented this due to trickery. They stopped all the ways for Suzaku to be summoned.” (4)
“Then I will go to Kutou.” Yuri declared out. “But I am not doing it because I am meant to be the priestess of Seiryuu. I am only doing this because it is the only way to save both Konan and Hotohori.”
“Nonetheless your wish will end up helping Kutou.” He stretched his hand out to her and pressed it against her forehead for a few seconds, before releasing it. “This mark will let everyone in Kutou know that you are my priestess, my chosen one.”
Turning to look into the mirror again, she saw that a picture of a dragon had been imprinted onto her forehead. (5)
“There is one more thing that I want to know.” Yuri called out as she felt the darkness around them beginning to lighten, a sign of the dream ending. “Is this why I cannot bear a child? Because I am not meant to stay in this world?”
Seiryuu nodded. “You cannot stay with him, Yuri. Have you not realized why your appearance changed so little over the two years?”
She sank onto the ground and buried her face into her hands, sobbing openly. So they would force her to leave him no matter what…

Was the dream only a dream? Yuri asked herself as soon as she woke up. Sitting up she saw that she was clad in the plain robe that she had brought instead of the elaborate robes of the Seiryuu priestess.
She was brushing her hair when she remembered the last bit of her dream, automatically her hand rested on her forehead.
On the table was a small basin of water that was meant to be for her toiletries, half-afraid, half-eager, she leant over it to use it as a mirror.
It was there, the mark of Seiryuu, as she guessed it would be.
“I am the priestess of Seiryuu, what an ironic fate.” She muttered bitterly, “I who became the empress of Konan, Suzaku’s country; the wife of one of the seven celestial warriors of Suzaku, was sent here for this purpose!”
She would go to Kutou and summon Seiryuu, as both Konan and Hotohori would be saved. Yuri was fully aware that she would die to achieve this but somehow it seemed that she no longer cared. Because it seemed that either way she and Hotohori must part, so her best option was to make him safe at the expense of her own life.
Kutou was a much more stronger country then Konan, and she knew that when the battle began Hotohori would ride out in the very front. He would willingly die for his kingdom.
There was no way for them to remain together. Even in the unlikelihood of Konan winning she still could not remain here.
Until Seiryuu reminded her of her appearance she had not understand the true significance of it. She was eighteen when she came here, and now at twenty, she still looked exactly the same as she was two years ago. Her hair had been waist length, and it still remained that long even though she never once cut it. (6)
If I stay here I will have to watch Hotohori die before me, and I will outlive him by so many years. I can never give him a child either…
The best thing for me to do is to summon Seiryuu, she realized very sadly. Dying is my best option as I will not be able to live with the pain of being away from Hotohori in that lonely world I had come from, or even just from knowing that he would be making love to another woman and have a child with her!
At that moment, she knew what her three wishes would be.
Perhaps she knew what would have happened all along, as she had took the clothes she wore the day she found the book. Her original reason of taking them was that they might be discovered if she left them in her quarters in the palace.
Now she was not so sure. Maybe it was fate all along.
She put on the lilac dress and then slipped the pair of stilettos on. It felt so strange for her to wear these cloths again. She seemed to have adjusted to the custom of this world a bit too well as she felt that she was dressing too immodestly by wearing a dress that has just one layer, and had no sleeves with the skirt reaching only to her knees.
In the past two years when she was the empress, she rarely wore a gown that did not consists of at least two layers, with the shortest length up to her ankle, and all the sleeves at least reached past her elbow.
“Surely, no one will be able to recognize the Houkigou in this outfit.” She said rather sourly as she quickly cloaked herself. “Even the whores in brothels wear more then me right now.”
Closing her eyes she began to plait her very long hair, then she grasped the braid in her hand tightly, must she cut this too? She was only the empress, not the emperor, so it was not likely for anyone in Kutou to recognize her when no one in Konan did.
But what if they did and used her as a hostage…no, she could not endanger Hotohori in anyway. Her greatest wish was for him to be happy, and only Seiryuu could grant it now.
Taking the dagger she sliced it through the braid neatly. Watching it fall to the ground she had an urge to cry again.
She had always been vain of her long hair since her childhood, it was something that connected her with her dead mother. When she tied her hair with the ribbon in the same method her mother had taught her, she could pretend that it was her mother’s fingers that were weaving through her hair.
When she was a child she had been forced to cut her hair once. Miaka’s mother had demanded so: “If I must have that whore’s child in my house then at least make her cut her hair so she doesn’t look like a clone of that whore!”
Her hair ended up as short as a boy’s and she spent many days crying herself to sleep, holding the braid in her hand. Her vanity towards the length of her hair was not because of the result of her appearance, it was because by having long hair she could bear her mother’s death more easily.
Her mother’s hair was like her’s in everyway: the length, texture, style. When Yuri’s hair was short she was so afraid that she would forget how to tie her hair the way her mother taught her that she practised with her only doll every single day and night until her hair grew long enough again.
By that time, her father had moved out so Miaka’s mother had no way of making Yuri cut her hair again.
Then in Konan, Hotohori had always been fond of touching her hair, and he had often told her how beautiful she looked with her long hair.
“I should give this to him,” she said to herself as she picked the long braid up. Her hair now only reached to her shoulders, to make her looked even more different she swept it into a high pony tail, securing every single strand with the white ribbon.
Later on, when she looked at her reflection in the river she had to admit that she looked very different from Houkigou. But this woman wasn’t Houki Yuri either.
She was someone else, this Yuri was not an empress or the lonely girl who clung onto her mother’s memory for many years. She was a young woman who no longer cared for anything else now, as she knew that her life would soon end.
This Yuri was the priestess of Seiryuu.

1 These dolls came out in volume five and I just suddenly thought it’ll be a good idea to write about this, even though Nuriko said it’s played by girls in the city, I think it is possible that it might have been done by girls all over the country.
2 I really don’t think that Seiryuu is a cruel god although he did ate Yui. But technically the priestesses were meant to make that sacrifice, so the point it, I’ve made Seiryuu into quite a kind god as well, a bit like Suzaku. I think it’s just the current king of Kotou who was cruel, and I guess some of the warriors of Seiryuu. (on a side note I actually like Soi quite a lot.)
3 This whole italic bit is a flashback. Yuri used to work in various jobs at her early and mid teens, a few months before her eighteenth birthday she got a job as an O.L, office lady.
4 Presuming that by this time the warriors of Seiryuu also took the two other sacred objects of the two other gods.
5 When Yui was calling out Seiryuu she had a picture of a dragon on her forehead, I tried to see if Miaka had a picture of a bird on her forehead when she first called Suzaku but I haven’t find it yet. But anyway, later on in Kutou, Yuri was escorted to the palace immediately due to that mark.
6 Another thing I understand now as I re-read the manga is the time difference thing. Before, I actually thought that if someone stayed in the universe of the four gods for two years, they will age by two years although when they return to the outside world, only six months would have passed. Apparently what would happen is that even though someone (eg Yuri) stayed in the book world for two years, she would only physically age as if two months (outside world time) had passed.

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Well…here it is, as I mentioned in the previous entry. A sort of character analysis, mini essay? Like the one I did for Hotohori, only that this is about my favourite character from Prince of Tennis, as well as the character responsible for making me read the story properly. I have read random funny bits from the story before but I didn’t really plan to read the whole thing, but when I read Shiraishi’s match against Fuji (his main moment of fame) I kind of decided: ‘ok, I’ll read the whole thing.’ It is also his match that made me realize: ‘Hey, the tennis bit won’t actually be that bad.’

Basic data, Shiraishi Kuranosuke is a third year student, the captain of Shitenhouji (a junior high school in Osaka). His school was in the nationals last year and reached the semi-finals. Even though they were beaten by Rikkai completely, they lost all three of their first match. (the school who was champion last year and the year before that), it is agreed that they gave Rikkai a much tougher game last year in the semi finals, then the school who actually was runner up in the finals. Shitenhouji is probably the strongest team in the Kansai region, since they actually won the Kansai tournament this year and last year with a clean sweep.

Because Shitenhouji is in Kansai, the majority of the Kantou schools (which is most of the schools in the story) doesn’t really know how good Shitenhouji or their captain is. Also, Shiraishi didn’t get to play in the nationals last year, against the match with Rikkai (which was an excellent opportunity for him to display his skills to the Kantou players) as he was in singles 1 (the most important position), which is the fifth person to play. As a result he didn’t get to play so his skills are a mystery to almost all of the Kantou players. (note- Tezuka seems to know about Shiraishi’s skills as he warned Fuji that Fuji should be on his guard.)

Not much is known about Shiraishi (although I think he is an example of how much stuff you can find out about a character if you really try to seek information), he only appears in Volume 29 of the manga, when all the captains were there to draw their orders for round one of the nationals. There, he made a comment about how Tezuka seems more capable this year, as well as saying that it might be Seigaku this year. (I still am not sure whether he means that Seigaku will be the winners of the nationals, or merely indicate that his school will possibly play against Seigaku.) The next time he comes out is when the schools were walking in the procession, then in Volume 31, where he and most of his team mates were watching Seigaku’s match with Higa. But he doesn’t properly come out until Volume 35- when his team played Fudomine- even though he didn’t get to play again. He was in singles 1 and his team won all three first matches. Then Volume 36…kind of his…his turn to shine? Most of volume 36 basically consists of his match with Fuji. After his match he then kind of fades, since he isn’t a major major character, although he did participate in the meat-eating competition, and he is shown to be watching the finals with a lot of other school, saying that even though Rikkai is most likely to win, he think Seigaku have a chance of preventing Rikkai from winning the nationals three year in a role.

As I said before, Shiraishi is the captain of his team, and the interesting thing is that he was the captain in his second year too, as well as having the prestigious position of playing singles one. Judging from this I think it is quite reasonable to conclude that he was in the school team since his first year as well. If he was allowed to be the captain in his second year, I think it is highly likely that his school would have been lenient enough to let him join the team in his first year. And in a lot of schools there are people who were in the team ever since their first year, although most captains in this story only become captain in their third year (but Tezuka was vice-captain in his second year and I think Yukimura might very possible have been the captain from his second year too). I personally think that it is the fact that he was captain in his second year that played a large part to the forming of his character. Perhaps the sudden responsible was too heavy, making him too responsible a captain with the interest of his team in his heart in such an extreme fashion, or perhaps it is merely because unlike the other third year captains, he have to face another year with the result of his actions during the time he was captain.

Shiraishi plays perfect tennis, I don’t understand anything about tennis so I will just take the following from wikipedia: ‘Perfect Tennis is the form that Shiraishi uses when he plays any match. Perfect tennis is achieved when one masters every technique in its basic form (i.e. perfect forehand form, perfect overhead form).’ I don’t know whether I am right but it is because he knows all the rules so well that give him advantages in his match against Fuji? In his game with Fuji he was able to counter Fuji’s very fancy attacks, and I wonder whether he can do it because he knows the best way to hit the ball, the behaviour of the ball? Fuji have this serve which he calls the disappearing serve and what happened is that the first time Shirasihi swung his racquet he actually didn’t hit it, as it disappeared, but then he turned around and hit it, I think he knows to go that direction because the ball will go there? But basically he plays by the rules, and only by the rules, he doesn’t use any extra actions, each move is precise and has a direct purpose. He is also said to be quite fast and relatively strong. Because of his perfect tennis, he is also known as the bible of Shitenhouji. (Fuji’s coach actually says that Shiraishi and Fuji’s skills are equal.)

The reason I say that Shiraishi is too responsible a captain is because he is, to an extent, letting the interest of his team outweigh his love for tennis. However, Shiraishi doesn’t actually like perfect tennis, as he describes it as the most boring thing in the world, but as he is the captain of the team, he have the responsibility of doing whatever it takes in order to score a win for his team, because no mater how much fun and exciting the match is, if your team doesn’t score three wins in total then you will be out of the race. No matter what happens, if you lose then you lose. I know that you can argue that giving up his own pleasure is not that big a deal but I feel it really is. Like most of the characters in this story, he loves tennis but he has to play it in a way that he doesn’t like. I think for a boy his age, that is a really admirable feat. Also, it must be painful to do something that you find really boring over and over again when you know that you can actually do it in another way that is fun.

So because of this realization, and most importantly because he is the captain, he believes that he is obliged to use perfect tennis in order to let his team be more likely to have three wins, and therefore continue to the next round. Interestingly enough, he actually told Fuji that his tennis is very “cool”, only that it has too many extra movements. I think that is actually a sincere compliment in the first half, as I believe that Shiraishi would like to play tennis that way if he could. I believe that if he was not the captain…when he stops being the captain, then he would actually begin to play the way he used to again, the way that he enjoyed. So what makes him such a noble character is that he is doing it for his team, not for himself.

Shiraishi also seems a rather mature person, as he actually doesn’t really trash talk at court, in fact he hardly talks during the game. I think it is partly due to his character- he just doesn’t do that, and in his case it might also be due to the fact that talking can waste some energy. I think the most extreme thing he said is that “you can’t struggle anymore, the game will soon be over,” given the fact that he was on the point of winning, and that a few moments ago his opponent was lying on the ground, I think it was justified enough. And his words like “Don’t hold back, use all your triple counters” is not really an insult either, it really is just like saying bring it on. One of the bits that I really like is when Shiraishi scolds one of his team mates for going a bit too far with his taunting. “Be careful with how you speak.” As it shows what a nice person he is. And I noticed that he doesn’t really seem to criticise their opponents, as he tends to praise his team mates instead- by saying how good they are. It is also quite clear that he is the captain, and in the match in Fudomine, we see him telling him team mates to go and do their best, to do whatever it takes to win. Interestingly enough he also forbid Kintarou to bother Chitose when Chitose said that he quits, even though he must know that this would weaken his team.

In his match against Fuji, due to Fuji’s miraculously recovery and evolved triple counters, Shiraishi began to face difficulties. However, he does not give up and even if he panicked, it was only for a short duration. He just kept on trying to analyze Fuji’s serve in order to somehow break it, and he manages to in the end. As Fuji said: “I’ve never seen any opponents who can remain as calm as he is in such a condition.” I think this is because he refuses to give up, he did all these sacrifices and to give up now would make them all futile, I remember thinking that he probably wouldn’t give up or leave the court before the match end unless he was dragged away.

Shiraishi seems much more skilled then almost all of his other team mates, as he recognizes Fuji’s white whale/dragon for what they are immediately. Also, he actually seems to understand what Chitose’s Pinnacle of Great Wisdom is, unlike many of his team mates, who were rather confused. I suppose he should be, since he was the captain since his second year. He also has a very detailed knowledge about almost all his team mates.

Even though Shiraishi says that the most important thing is to win, and that he will play perfect tennis even though he doesn’t like it- because it will help him to win, he doesn’t really seem to fully believe this. A very interesting to notice is that in Volume 37- which starts by announcing his victory, he doesn’t actually appear that happy. I think this is due to him knowing that he sort of won by chance, he probably could have won more gloriously, but the game was ended in his favour due to Fuji’s ball being out. One of his friends then reminds him that the most important thing is that he won, and at this he finally smiled slightly and said “That is true…” Although I think this might just be for the benefit of his team mates. Perhaps he is also rather bitter about the fact that his perfect tennis has give him yet another victory, because every time he wins a match with perfect tennis, he is tied to it even more, it is the ever present reminder that he have to do this, even though he does not like it. He also admits that his match with Fuji would be much better if Fuji had played as well as he did in the middle since the beginning, suggesting that he does like to have a good game, instead of just winning.

As for his match with Fuji, the really interesting thing is that Shiraishi and Fuji are like polar opposites. As mentioned before, Shiraishi plays the way he does in order to win, to score a win for his team, even though he doesn’t like it. Fuji, on the other hand, enjoys playing tennis when he sees his opponent pushing themselves to their limit- which I personally think is rather sadistic. He basically just do enough to let his opponents push themselves to the limit, and as a result, he doesn’t play with his full potential. This is acknowledged by Shiraishi during the middle of the game. I think the main problem with Fuji is that he is a genius, so he never has to try that hard. Others…they probably have talent in tennis but it is not something that they can rely on completely. Personally…Fuji really annoys me, especially since he is so smug at times. But I think this became his downfall in his match against Shiraishi, because he got so confident that his final counter ‘Gate keeper of Hecatonchires’ can forbid Shiraishi hitting the ball over the net, he didn’t realize that Shiraishi has start to counter it until it was too late. (to be honest I can’t remember the last time I so wanted to hit someone with a tennis racquet so much when Fuji did his “Your ball won’t go over the net anymore” to Shiraishi and just turned away when Shiraishi was still serving). In the end, the game reached a tiebreak and Shiraishi won because Fuji’s final serve went out, and I think this is because Fuji let the game dragged out too long so he got really tired. And the cause of this was he didn’t give his full potential in the very beginning. I think when Shiraishi asked Fuji whether he think tennis is so easy that he can just afford to change his attitude in the middle of the game, he is really speaking for many other people- as well as the readers, not just for himself. Why is that Fuji is allowed to do this, I’m sure that if most other people did what Fuji did, then they would have lost.

To be honest, I really wish that Shiraishi could win more gloriously, but well…Fuji is a really popular character and there are already a lot of people on forums who complain about this. I mean…Fuji have it pretty lucky, if you ask me. Officially he only lost due to chance, and his opponent is very worthy. Shiraishi actually never said anything overly rude, and he even went up to shake Fuji’s hand immediately afterward- telling him that he is really good. I mean, it is not as if Fuji lost to someone like Kirihara. But Shiraishi, with his win against Fuji, becomes the first person to defeat Fuji in an official match. Although I admit, if the opposite thing happened then I would be doing what Fuji fans are doing, I would be complaining that it shouldn’t be like that- that this is unfair.

Ok…a bit off topic but the match of Shiraishi and Fuji is a really important bit to Shiraishi’s character, and the two of them are very interesting comparisons. Shiraishi is drawn in a very interesting way, his left hand is bandaged. This is never explained why, but Kintarou (the first year in his team) believe that this is because his left hand is poisoned. Shiraishi certainly plays along with this idea, although we don’t see him actually telling Kintarou that his hand is poisoned, Shiraishi would just begin to unwind his bandages and threatens Kintarou with death in order to make him do something, or not do something. We have actually never seen him unwinding the bandages completely, as he usually manages to gain Kintarou’s cooperation very easily. His first proper appearance is in Volume 35, when Kintarou tried to challenge Echizen to a match, instead of watching their other team mates. Once Kintarou left, he apologised to the Seigaku team. “Sorry for causing you guys problems.” The funny thing is that Momoshiro and Ejie seems to sort of believe this, as they both stared at Shiraishi with a rather frightened expression, and Momoshiro even mumbled out: “Poisoned hands…” this then made Shiraishi laugh and tell them that it is only a way to manage Kintarou. But because he seems the type of person who will never waste time, in the meat-eating competition he would put pieces of meat on the grill whenever someone took a piece to eat to make sure that no time is wasted, so I really think that there is something wrong with his left hand in the first place.

Despite using his hand to threaten Kintarou with death, Shiraishi actually seems to be quite fond of him, I think he really treats Kintarou as a younger brother. For example, in volume 30, as they watch Seigaku playing Higa, he is actually ruffling Kintarou’s hair.

Lastly, either there is a slight inconsistency, or Shiraishi is ambidextrous. During his match with Fuji, he uses his left hand most of the time, occasionally using both hands to hold the racquet. This suggests that he is left handed, but before the meat-eating competition, he and his team mates were eating noodles, and he was actually holding his chopsticks with his right hand, but later on in the meat-eating competition- we only see him using his left hand to hold the chopsticks.

Wow…this is getting to be quite a long essay- if only I can write my school essays as fast and as easy. But the above information are all from the manga, as the manga are the original. So, now, OVA parts.

To be honest I was quite worried that Shiraishi is going to end up being very different in the anime/OVA, as I have bad experiences with characters that I like in the past. Eg. Shuro from Ayashi no Ceres becomes totally random while Fushigi Yugi…let’s not go there. And prince of tennis is especially alarming because one of their other characters got this huge as sudden transform. So I was quite nervous as I watch the OVA, not that I could be assured because I didn’t get to watch a subbed version until some times later. Even though the people in the OVA looks really good, and his school’s tennis uniform is so much better. (although I’ll be really angry if I really like his coach, because I think his coach looks more evil in the OVA. I mean, he is quite a sly character in the manga, but he didn’t look evil.)

But much to my relief, the OVA didn’t ruin Shiraishi’s character, or dehydrate his role. I actually really like the extra scenes of him which they added, because they are very to character, which are not in the orginal manga. Shiraishi’s team mates were talking about how good Shiraishi is and his coach then recollected how he once walked pass the tennis court one evening/night when he saw Shiraishi there, all alone, practising. And it seems that he was pushing himself almost to the point of exhaustion, as he was actually panting- barely standing. But then he picked up his racquet once more and resumes practising. I really like what his coach then said: “Everything is the result of hard work.” Because this is true, and I think it reminds us that he is very different from Fuji. I think he has talent, but unlike Fuji it is not something he can rely on that much. I also like what Shiraishi did after the match against Fudomine, he clasped his two team mates on the shoulder and told them “well done”. This is what the captain should do, even if his team mate is really capable, so I think he is definitely one of the very good captains. Although a great pity is that even though the OVA convey the idea that he is playing perfect tennis for his team, even if he doesn’t like it, they didn’t specifically mention that this is because he is the captain, burdened with duty and responsibility.

The OVA also convince me that he treats/regards Kintarou as a little brother, because of the way he acted and spoke with Kintarou. I feel that it shows an elder brother’s exasperation of ‘What have you done this time?’ instead of a captain thinking ‘I’ve got to take responsibility for him.’ Perhaps it is also the fact that he would use his hand to threaten Kintarou, and his promise to Kintarou that they will be able to play against Seigaku if they win against Fudomine is more like a coax, instead of a logical reasoning. He and Kintarou also did the preview of OVA 15- introducing it, basically characters would kind of talk about the next episode as we see preview of the next episode. It is so cute, especially the last line!!! This is what happened.

K: It’s finally our turn to come out! Wait for me with a washed neck. (I think the last line is often a slang for fighting)
S: Kin-chan, this isn’t fighting. It’s tennis, tennis. (although I often think the story is like fighting, all the elaborate moves etc…)
K: Doesn’t matter, it’s all the same. Koshimae, be prepared! (Koshimae is Kintarou’s incorrect way of pronouncing Echizen’s name)
S: Sorry, Kin-chan, but it’s my match first.
K: What did you say? But no, never mind. Ok, go Shiraishi! Next episode: Houkou. Actually, what does Houkou mean?
S: You haven’t really been studying, have you, Kin-chan?
Shiraishi’s tone through out this is like a fond exasperation, quite elder brotherly…

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My sister and I were talking about prince of tennis when she suddenly said “if I can ask Yuuta a question then it would be why he have this cross on his forehead.” So somehow we ended up playing this game, in which we lists out all the important characters and say what we will say to them if we can.

Speaking of prince of tennis I feel that I should also mention that I finished my prince of tennis fan fiction!!! So please go and cheek it out on fan fiction.net. It’s called ‘Sacrifice’ and it is about Shiraishi Kuranosuke. There just aren’t enough fan fictions about him. And it is quite different from the rest of the stuff I have been writing. For one thing, it actually isn’t romance focused. Although there is romance, it is merely just one of the things that have been happening, not the main focus of the story. It’s an examination of Shiraishi’s character- kind of explaining what happened to him during his years in junior high school to make him the character that he is in volume 36. Ok…next time I’ll type a mini essay/character review on Shiraishi.

Note: there are some people who have doesn’t have their name in Japanese in brackets, and instead have their name in romanji in brackets, that is because they are the advisors/coach. I’m sure that I have everyone’s name write but I did often have to get the Japanese name from one site, and the names in romanji from another site, so do forgive me if I did anything wrong.

Seishun Academy Middle School
Echizen Ryoma (越前 リョーマ): “You really, really, really need to work on your first impression skills.”
Tezuka Kunimitsu (手塚 国光): “You really need to do something about the tensai in your team.” “I know that you are very focused on tennis, but don’t you think you should do something about the seigaku support? Isn’t it quite bad when Shitenhouji (a school from Osaka) seemed to have more people then you guys cheering for them in the semi-finals in Tokyo, when your school is actually in Tokyo?”
Oishi Shuichiro (大石 秀一郎): “What did these psychology tests reveal about Seigaku?”
Fuji Shusuke (不二 周助): “If you still don’t play seriously after what happened in your match with Shiraishi, then you really deserve being slapped by someone like Sanada” “I would have thought that what happened with Kirihara in the regional would have prevented what happened in the semi-finals of the nationals.”
Kikumaru Eiji (菊丸 英二): “It’s all very well to be good at tennis, but you should probably study a bit more.”
Kawamura Takashi (河村 隆): “Your last match is one of the most touching part in the whole manga. It made me cry.”
Inui Sadaharu (乾 貞治): “Didn’t you pre-taste the blue vinegar before hand?”
Momoshiro Takeshi (桃城 武): “Do you honestly think the Shiraishi’s hand might be poisoned?”
Kaidoh Kaoru (海堂 薫): “You should really reveal this other side of you more often.”
竜崎 スミレ (Ryuzaki Sumire): “Can a few decades really make you look so different?”

Fudomine Middle School (市立不動峰中学校)
Tachibana Kippei (橘 桔平): “You truly are an amazing person, but how come you are not my favourite character?”
Kamio Akira (神尾アキラ): “I agree with Tachibana and Ibu, you should really change the line ‘going with the rhythm.”
Ibu Shinji (伊武深司): “You need to change your attitude and stop doing a 4-0 thing in the beginning.” “You think too much, people don’t fall just to gain sympathy.”
Ishida Tetsu (石田 鉄): “How come you are in Tokyo, while your brother is in Osaka?”
Sakurai Masaya (桜井雅也), Mori Tatsunori (森 辰徳), Uchimura Kyousuke (内村京介): “I really like Fudomine so I am really sorry that I don’t really remember you guys.”

St. Rudolph Gakuen (私立聖ルドルフ学院中学校)
Akazawa Yoshirou (赤澤吉朗): “It’s a shame that Mizuki make your school’s reputation really bad, as you are actually a very good person. It takes great courage to admit that you are wrong, and even greater courage to disclose what you did wrong.”
Mizuki Hajime (観月はじめ): “I usually don’t approve people playing with their opponents by letting them win in the very beginning, but you deserved it.”
Fuji Yuuta (不二裕太): “It must be hard to live with such a brother like Fuji.”
Yanagisawa Shinya (柳沢慎也): “You really do look like a duck.”
Kisarazu Atsushi (木更津 淳): “You can probably grow your hair now.”
Kaneda Ichirou (金田一郎): “Well done for saying what you said to your captain.”

Yamabuki Middle School (私立山吹中学校)
Minami Kentarou (南 健太郎): “You really should try to show that you are the captain- otherwise everyone is going to think that Sengoku is the captain instead.”
Sengoku Kiyosumi (千石清純): “Please remember the main point of your purpose when you visits school.” “One day you are going to cause another school to really dislike Yamabuki by you cheeking out that captain’s girlfriend.”
Dan Taichi (壇 太一): “Good luck with next year.”
Akutsu Jin (亜久津 仁): “You almost fully redeem yourself by turning to Kawamura’s match in the semi-final’s.”
伴田幹也 (Banda Mikiya): “Even though it is really good that you want to use tennis to help Akutsu, don’t you think you should consider the effect this will have on the others in the team?”

Hyotei Gakuen (私立氷帝学園中等部)
Atobe Keigo (跡部景吾): “Do you really have to have such an elaborate entrance every single time?”
Oshitari Yuushi (忍足侑士): “What were you boasting to your cousin for? Kintarou is in his school, but Echizen isn’t in your school.”
Shishido Ryo (宍戸 亮): “Your hair cutting scene is truly touching.”
Ootori Choutarou (鳳 長太郎): “What are you doing to do next year when Shishido enters senior high school?”
Mukahi Gakuto (向日岳人): “I think you are the person who should have your hair cut, not Shishido.”
Akutagawa Jiroh (芥川慈郎): “Just how many hours of sleep do you have per day?”
Hiyoshi Wakashi (日吉 若): “I really don’t like you, but at least you are not as bad as some others.”
Kabaji Munehiro (樺地崇弘): “Have you ever thought of saying something other then ‘usu’?”
Taki Haginosuke (滝 萩之介): “I think my liking of you increased after you offered to have your hair cut in the OVA.”
榊 太郎 (Sakaki Tarou): “I am never going to forgive you for what you did with Shishido.”

Rokkaku Chuu (市立六角中学校)
Aoi Kentarou (葵 剣太郎): “Try to change your technique as it is too risky.”
Saeki Kojirou (佐伯虎次郎): “How come you are friends with Fuji, as you seem a nice person all the time.”
Kisarazu Ryou (木更津 亮): “You will never be remembered if you don’t play in any match.”
Amane "David" Hikaru天根ヒカル: “If you honestly can’t tell jokes then please don’t tell them…”
Kurobane Harukaze黒羽春風: “It must be difficult for you having to hear Amane’s joke all the time.”
Itsuki Marehiko (樹 希彦): “Eh…what would you do if you ever have a blocked nose?”
Shudou Satoshi (首藤 聡): “I really don’t think that you have done anything that bad to be only remembered as ‘the guy in Rokkaku Chuu who is always the first person in his school drink Inui juice’”
オジイ(Ojii): “Just how old are you?”

Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku (私立立海大附属中学校)
Yukimura Seiichi (幸村精市): “Can you just please tell us what you are really like?”
Sanada Genichirou (真田弦一郎): “You should at least take the award in the Kantou regionals, I am sure that others might want the award even if you don’t.”
Yanagi Renji (柳 蓮二): “I would have thought that you would be more likely to be the vice captain then Sanada.”
Kirihara Akaya (切原赤也): “You really need someone to give you a good beating.”
Niou Masaharu (仁王雅治): “I think I actually almost like you when I saw you slap Sanada so hard.”
Yagyuu Hiroshi (柳生比呂士): “I thought being a gentleman involves being perfectly honourable.”
Marui Bunta (丸井ブン太): “I really want to see you choke on your bubble gum one day, and see if you can continue being smug.”
Kuwahara Jackal (ジャッカル桑原): “I think I only remember you as much as your seiyuu did- which isn’t much.”

Shitenhouji (四天宝寺中学校)
Shiraishi Kuranosuke (白石蔵ノ介): “You have done enough as the captain, it is time for you to do whatever you want.”
Chitose Senri (千歳千里): “You should at least not quit in the middle of the nationals.”
Oshitari Kenya (忍足謙也): “Can’t you not talk so much?”
Zaizen Hikaru (財前 光): “You completely deserve being scolded by Shiraishi for what you said about Kawamura.”
Ishida Gin (石田 銀): “You should be glad that you ate that really spicy sauce, as that can’t be worse then Inui juice.”
Konjiki Koharu (金色小春), Hitouji Yuuji (一氏ユウジ): “It seems that you guys have a similar attitude like Shiraishi about doing all it takes to win, but how come we feel the completely opposite about you guys.”
Tooyama Kintarou (遠山金太郎): “I think you are much much more likeable then Echizen.”
渡邊オサム(Watanabe Osamu): “What do you use to do before you arrived in Shitenhouji?” “Don’t you think that you should have a talk with Shiraishi about his attitude, since he is the captain, only the coach can help him.”

Higa Middle School (比嘉中学校)
Kite Eishirou (木手永四郎): “The end does not justify the means.”
Hirakoba Rin (平古場 凛): “You are actually one of the pretty good looking guys in Higa, so it is quite a big pity that you are one of the people who tries to hit the other team’s coach.”
早乙女晴美 (Saotome Harumi) “you don’t know tennis at all, do you?”

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Well…I haven’t up update for ages, (blushes) but…well, a lot of you haven’t either- (looks at Satsuki-sis) Not that I am giving any names. (whistles innocently.) But anyway…what has been happening. Horrible exams that I some how finished, I mean, I have no idea what I have done but at least I survived, and I am not even sure how I have survived. Ok…I am just blabbing now but...post-exam stress.

What else…it’s my birthday yesterday. A very important date. :0 Anyway…I have received presents. One of it is a borders voucher so I can probably buy another manga. Yeah…I’ve got quite a collection now. Well, for someone like me it is an impressive collection. I have all eighteen volumes of fushigi yugi, two volumes of Ayashi no Ceres, two volume of Rose of Versailles, all seven volumes of Tokyo Babylon and Volume sixteen of X. So what should I add to my collection? And albatross-sis gave me the cutest bunny rabbit toy. Ok…that kind of sounds wrong but it really is cute. Due to having recently read Prince of Tennis we decided to give it a name that is from prince of tennis. (see below for explanation). I rather call it Shiraishi, as Shiraishi is my favourite character from Prince of Tennis, but well…it ended up being called Fuji. (Because the bunny’s eyes are closed, like Fuji’s eyes most of the time.)

Well, as mentioned above, I have been reading prince of tennis. Yeah, before I used to think my sister is crazy for reading of tennis because: “I mean…what is the point of reading a manga that is about tennis?” but then my sister begin to show me the funny bits and it was really funny and I began to realize that it is not just about tennis, it is also about character development and these kind of stuff, it really is a good manga. Although it does have a lot of tennis too- I usually just skip these parts. But I will actually recommend this manga, it can be funny, but it can actually be really touching at parts. For example, there are all these scenes where the characters are asked why they do this, and the characters are all very interesting. Some people want to have a good game because this is the last time they will play; other people wish to win because they simply want to do the very best; other people play tennis because they enjoy what they feel as they play tennis; while others might play the way that they do because they want to win for the sake of their team, even though they don’t really enjoy playing tennis that way; or maybe they want to do their very best because they see that as a way to repay back all the effort their captain spent on them. So I think one of the very interesting points of prince of tennis is that they have such a large diverse cast of characters. Well, I might as well give the plot. The plot is very simple, Echizen Ryoma is the protagonists, and he is part of the Seigaku school team, and the story focuses on how the team plays various other teams in order to reach their goal: the nationals. Hence the large range of characters, I am not going to do a prince of tennis review because that is too troublesome. But it can be a very touching story (I was actually crying at one of the matches cause it is so touching…)

Totally random facts for anyone who knows the story: my favourite character is Shiraishi Kuranosuke from Shitenhouji, my second favourite character is Kawamura Takashi from Seigaku, but my favourite school is actually Fudomine. I'll talk more about this some other day.

So…big as apology to albatross-sis for thinking that she is crazy to read prince of tennis, since I thought it is just all about tennis. Actually the tennis bit can be quite bizarre…you’ll know if you have read any of the tennis bit. But my sister seems to have got me quite into it, I’ve been listening to prince of tennis songs and some of them are really nice. I do quite like it. I really hope that my favourite character can have character songs too, although albatross-sis says that they probably will because any character who is important enough will be able to have singles. I really want to see the new prince of tennis OVA properly because that is when my favourite character will finally come out on…TV? (The curse of liking a not very important character, he first came out in volume 29 and then 31 but his first proper appearance really only begin in volume 35). I’ve watched the OVA episodes he appears in on your tub (having had an attack of insomonia), although there was no translation but I don’t care!!!

Ok…so that’s enough today, just random thoughts. I will try to continue my weekly fan fiction entries on my blog. By the way I’ve finally put up my Genbu Kaiden fan fiction on fan fiction net. I’ve got quite a lot of fan fictions now.  I think about fifteen.

I must…update my blog more often.

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Gosh…the first day of university have started and to an extent I am almost rolling on the ground like a little kid… “I don’t want to go back to school! I don’t want to go back to school!” I guess not everything change with age.

Well…being a year older certainly haven’t stopped me from doing stupid things again, like drinking…I swear, I seem to do this once a year, for me that is pretty bad a trend. But basically it was my friend’s birthday and so I naturally went!!! I am not sure exactly what happened cause I was so sure that I wasn’t drinking much, but before I knew it I was at the tipsy stage, the world has not moving but it look as if it was going to. I wasn’t sure how but I somehow seemed to have ended up walking to my friend’s sofa and just laid there for about an hour in this half sleep-half awake trance. But I guess I am lucky, I don’t really embarrass myself when I get drunk, I just seem to crawl into somewhere and sleep, and since the party I go to aren’t really…they are really private, with just my friends from high school, it doesn’t really matter if I get drunk/tipsy.

But anyway…maybe one of my friend foresee that this might happen to me as she gave me a cushion for my birthday- which for anyone who wants to know, was at the first of July.

once more...to make sure...
遠山 金太郎 Tooyama Kintarou(1年)(CV:杉本優)
白石 藏之介 Shiraishi Kuranosuke(3年)(CV:細谷佳正)
千歲 千里 Chitose Senri(3年)(CV:大須賀純)
忍足 謙也 Oshitari Kenya(3年)(CV:福山潤)
石田 銀 Ishida Gin(3年)(CV:高塚正也)
金色 小春 Konjiki Koharu(3年)(CV:內藤玲)
一氏 裕次 Hitouji Yuuji(3年)(CV:熊淵卓)
財前 光 Zaizen Hikaru(2年)(CV:荒木宏文)

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