PoT2 ep 01- Re-enter the Kingdom of Pot

If you are expecting an objective review, I guess it is only fair to caution you early rather than waste you time. The following words (and screencaps) will probably be the happy marriage of the squealings of a long lost fangirl and the mocking of a weathered cynic. I quite liked the first half of the first season of the Print of Tennis (herein PoT) and then it just exponentially degenerated in quality because most of the important characters were introduced and well developed, and the tennis just became ridiculous. My hope for PoT2 is that they pace the development (if it can be called that) of the characters better so that they're not relying on ridiculous tennis in even more ridiculous matches in a desperation to maintain reader interest. There is such a thing as too much crack and PoT definitely went deep into that territory. Hopefully, PoT2 shall learn moderation.

Obviously, the first and foremost will be Fuji~!
So far, I can't tell how shallow or deep PoT2 will be. (Well, I know from reading a few chapters of the manga many a year ago, but it seems unfair to judge the anime series on the manga's traits.) This episode was basically a recap of the Seigaku characters and the return of Echizen, without whom the series would not be about the Prince of Tennis. The Minions of Tennis doesn't have the same allure to it, now does it?

Of course not. After all, his wif-- uh comrade is challenging him to prove himself. He needs to save face.
I felt slight shock (read: jaw-dropping surprise) when Fuji's first solo screen presence had him with his eyes open. Although there has been enough time since PoT to erode my dull memory, I seem to recall that Fuji opening his eyes insinuated the wrath of God himself plummeting towards his opponent(s) in form of violent lightning. I was slightly annoyed that PoT2 has taken liberties with these character quirks. In fact, it's not just Fuji, most of the Seigaku characters (And had the other characters gotten any screen time, I surmise the same fate would have awaited them.) wildly exaggerate their PoT quirks in PoT2. Echizen is probably the worst offender, followed by Eiji.

Our little Ryoma is all grown-up and manly and biker-like nao~
Take the opening scene for example: Echizen needs to catch a train and he's running late. Instead of running down the stairs, realizing that it is inevitable that he miss this train and then patiently wait for the next one (like a normal human, might I point out), he serves a tennis ball towards the station master (Considering this is set in NYC metro, I'm certain they are past the concept of station masters in this generation.) so that he can't blow the whistle on time. Then he leaps from the stairs and hurls his tennis racket at the closing doors. The racket reaches the doors perfectly in time to hold them open and Echizen performs (And yes, I mean performs.) a running slide to make his way into the compartment, grabbing his racket as he slides by it. It is, by every definition of the word, excess and the New Yorkers on the metro love him and shower him with applause for it. What an snide jab at America for being a country in love with unnecessary excess. I was momentarily amused. Nonetheless, Echizen's suave coolness is much too exaggerated for my liking. I like the child appropriate personality he had in PoT.

He didn't even put his rackets down before climbing that tiny pole!!! o.o;
Likewise, Eiji takes his circus act to the next level by climbing security camera poles and unnecessarily flipping around for needless showmanship. To be an apt half of the Golden Pair, Oishi's is promoted from a worrying, doting mother hen to a slightly more obnoxious and loud helicopter parent. As I've said many times, the character eccentricities from PoT are amplified. I don't know why it annoys me when I half expected it, but I think I've deluded myself into believing that the more I whine the easier it will be to deal with while watching subsequent episodes.

Tokugawa Kanata - He who strikes fear in the heart of Echizens everywhere. Yeah, that's right - fear.
Of importance are three new characters: Oni Jujiro, Irie Kanata and Tokugawa Kazuya. Based on the court system used to rank them, they are listed in reverse order of skill. Irie seems to be the Fuji/Jiroh-like character of this series while Tokugawa seems to fill the purpose of the Tezuka/Yukimura-like character. So far, there has been nothing much to fangirl over, except perhaps the fleeting glimpse you may get of your favorite(s) from PoT. PoT2 is shaping up to be a show of aggravating frustration and OMGWTFBBQ, which you will occasionally find yourself laughing with or more than likely laughing at. T - 6 for ep 2.

Lastly: what could you possibly be doing in a tennis match that you get flung against the court wall?