Are the moves in Prince of Tennis realistic?
There is no universal answer, but generally the moves in Prince of Tennis ARE realistic (contrary to what other people have said in response to your question). I'll illustrate using Seishun Gakuen's tennis regulars and their special moves as an example.
Jack Knife-This is a classic example of how the PoT series takes existing concepts that aren't that big of a deal and exaggerate them into something so incredible. In the show, Jack Knife gains power through Momoshiro keeping the ball on the strings as long as possible. This exists in real life, too, except the way to influence this is by adjusting the string tension in a racket.
Dunk Smash-It's a jumping overhead smash. Pete Sampras was great at these. Real.
Super Momoshiro Special Dunk Smash-Overhead that has spin to make the ball linger on the ground. Balls don't do that. And that wouldn't be a good tactic anyway since it would give your opponent time to prepare and hit a rising shot. Fake.
Boomerang Snake and Buggy whip shot-I'm grouping these two moves together since they operate under the same concept. Basically Kaidoh uses sidespin to make the ball change its horizontal trajectory in the air. This is based on a physics principle called the Magnus Effect. Sidespin exists in real life, but you can't hit it to such an extent that the ball will loop around the netpost. However, it is not unheard of in real life tennis for players to hit a shot around the netpost rather than over the net. I've seen it happen, and it counts as a legal shot.
Data Tennis-Basically every professional tennis player and every seasoned recreational player plays like Inui. Of course, they don't have to keep notebooks about their tennis matches, but competitive tennis is very much about predicting where your opponent will most likely hit the next shot.
Haodukyuu, and all its variants-This is based on an anime concept and not on real physics. Kawamura charges chi to give a shot more power. Fake.
Kikumaru Beam, Kikumaru Smash-They're trick shots, they're possible, but they're unreasonable. There's no need to hit the ball from behind your back in a tennis rally.
Acrobatics-I was impressed by PoT for including one acrobatic move that is actually usable. In more than one episode, Kikumaru does a diving move where he hits the ball while diving and plants his free hand on the ground, then rolls. I've seen a professional tennis player do this. The roll helps you avoid injury. This dive is used to save a shot that couldn't otherwise have been saved. Best used in doubles.
Swallow Return-Slicing a ball in tennis can make it skip really, and I mean, really low. But having absolutely no bounce won't happen in real life.
Bear Drop-Fuji is returning an overhead smash by lobbing it back. This is real.
Hakugei-Fuji uses this shot in the presence of wind, but in all seriousness, it would take a tornado to make it happen in real life. On a side note, there is a real life shot that makes the ball bounce in your opponent's court, and then in your court before your opponent even hits the ball. If you can pull it off, you win the point. I've done it once or twice. It requires an extreme amount of backspin.
Dragonfly Illusion-Fuji turns a ball with spin into a flatshot. The anime series exaggerates this to seem like some crazy ultimate counter move, but it's just a good, flat stroke.
Disappearing Serve-This serve really exists. I've practiced it quite a bit myself, but I'm still a beginner at this serve. Like the Kaidoh's Buggy Whip Shot, you serve the ball underhanded, adding backspin and sidespin to the shot. The ball will float to the side in the air, and after it bounces, suddenly leap away to the side. In the anime, it's called the disappearing serve because if you looked straight forward when receiving this shot, you wouldn't see it. So it "disappears." Of course, human eyes have more peripheral vision than that, so people should be able to see it hop away. But that doesn't mean they'll return it. :P
Moon Volley-It's a topspin lob. The topspin is a nice trick against novice players to make them see the ball up high and think it will go out, but due to the Magnus Effect, the ball drops in the air and barely lands in. Real.
Moon Drop-It's just a drop shot. Granted, it takes some time for an intermediate tennis player to learn a drop shot, but it's still just a drop shot. Real.
No-touch-ace-serve: This is a topspin serve. In real tennis, topspin serves generally aren't no-touch-aces, but are reliable second serves. In any case, this is real.
Tezuka Zone-Tezuka puts such heavy spin on the ball that his opponent can't change the spin, and the ball always comes back to him. This isn't real, but I should point out that when playing against a novice tennis player, hitting heavy shots can force your opponent to hit the ball straight back to you. This is because beginners have the hardest time aiming shots away, and the easiest direction to hit the ball is straight from where it came.
Type Zero Drop Shot-Tezuka's infamous drop shot that doesn't bounce. Like the Swallow Return, this shot doesn't exist. No shot in tennis makes the ball not bounce (unless it hits the net). In theoretical physics, however, if the ball spun enough, it would land without dropping. All the kinetic energy would become rotational. This is just at the theoretical level though. Kind of like absolute zero temperature, or a perfect circle. We can imagine it, but it doesn't occur in nature. That being said, a good drop shot in tennis will come pretty close to Tezuka's Type Zero, barely bouncing.
And last but not least, Echizen, the protagonist of the series.
No bounce lob-Echizen used this move once in the first episode. A lob has too much mechanical energy behind it to land without bouncing, so this is fake.
Twist Serve-Actually a kick serve in real life, this serve is very high level and a great surprise serve. I've never seen anybody my age (18) do it, though I'm sure there are athletes out there who can.
Drive A-Just a flatshot smash. Real.
Drive B-A drive volley. It's real, but the whole sliding on his feet thing is ridiculous.
Drive C-I haven't watched these episodes in a while, but if I recall correctly, the ball "walks around" on the ground? Fake.
Super Rising-It's a rising shot. Rising shots are difficult to time but very useful in tennis. Hitting a ball on the rise gives your opponent less time to react, and it also avoids you having to figure out how your opponent spun the ball.
Cyclone Smash-Ryoma hovers in the air, twists his body around, and whips it forward to add power this a smash. Obviously fake.
I know other teams in the Prince of Tennis series have a lot of other moves, but this should just give you an idea.
Most of the shots in Prince of Tennis are real, and nearly all of them, if not real, are at least based on real physics principles.
For dramatic purposes, the animation is just exaggerated a lot. A jumping overhead, for example, is real, but a player doesn't float in the air like Momoshiro does in the series.
For every 4 or 5 shots you see in Prince of Tennis, 3 or 4 can actually be done, and the 1 that can't be done is not "real" as in occuring in nature, but "realistic" in that it is based on real science.
In conclusion, just about everything in the show is "realistic."
A lot of that stuff is made up so people are not bored by actual tennis.
But some of it is real, but not to the extent they make it seem.
Like in the first or second episode he puts this amazing spin on this serve/shot that it twists and spins on the ground a million times.
That could never happen.
And the more the series goes on the more ridiculous it gets.
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