Echizen and the rest of the Seigaku tennis club are taking a break from their usual training regimen and are spending the day hiking up to a mountaintop tennis resort for some special training. However, things don’t go quite as planned when a college tennis team shows up and steals the courts the team had reserved. Of course, Ryoma is more than happy to challenge the captain of the team to a quick match to show him how “real” tennis is played.
summary by Gatts
Highs: Improved animation; the usual Prince of Tennis fun
Lows: An extended filler episode
Rather than trying to break new ground, this Prince of Tennis special sticks to the tried and true formula that has made the television series so popular. There are no new plot developments or major revelations, so this thirty-minute OVA has little impact on the events from the series. Still, it is a fun romp through familiar territory, and fans will no doubt enjoy seeing their favorite characters out on a brand new adventure.
Over the course of the television series, Echizen has had a few run-ins with the Sasabe family’s rude tennis players. This OVA continues this subplot by introducing a new member of the family for Ryoma to face, but this new match-up ends up all too familiar. The battle feels more like a rehash of the Prince of Tennis episodes and lacks the excitement and intensity of the larger tournaments. At times it seems like the only purpose of the match is to show off the players’ trademark moves.
On the bright side, the animation is a step up from the series. While it isn’t a drastic change, movements are more fluid and is a noticeable improvement. Also, even though the actual tennis match is a bit of a disappointment, the rest of the special is typical Prince of Tennis fun. There are quite a few humorous segments, and all the Seigaku regular members get a decent amount of screen time.
Potential viewers should note that Prince of Tennis: A Day of the Survival Mountain is not a standalone OVA. If you haven’t seen the series, you probably won’t get much enjoyment out of it. But for fans, this is a fun, if not slightly forgettable, addition to the series. It doesn’t provide much new material, but instead provides a few laughs and is an enjoyable break from the norm.