Monday, June 16, 2008

If you like Shusuke in The Prince of Tennis, then you might also like...

Shusuke Fuji is one of the members of Seishun Academy's tennis club. He usually appears calm, with a pleasant expression and seemingly closed eyes. When something or someone actually does manage to provoke him, however, or when he decides to play seriously, his eyes are more fully open, revealing a sharp, serious gaze. When Shusuke plays, he generally appears to be relaxed and in control, leading others to conclude that he is a genius tennis player who can play well and knows how to conserve his energy and/or that he doesn't really care too much about tennis and whether he wins or not.

Shusuke Fuji is one of my favorite characters in Takeshi Konomi's manga, Prince of Tennis, which has also been adapted into an anime. I've recently thought of a few characters in other manga/anime who are similar to him. I had considered adding these titles as read-alikes/watch-alikes when I created my entry on The Prince of Tennis volume 25, but I ended up deciding to write up a separate post just for this character, since none of these titles can really be considered read-alikes/watch-alikes for The Prince of Tennis in general.

At the moment, this is a short list, but I may eventually either add to it or create an additional post.
  • Peacemaker (anime TV series) - In this historical action series, a young boy named Tetsunosuke wants to become a member of the Shinsengumi in order to become a stronger fighter and avenge the deaths of several members of his family. He fails to become a full-fledged member, but he does manage to become a page. Fans of Shusuke may enjoy Okita Soji, a character in this anime series (there are also several manga volumes, but I haven't read them yet, and I think the series has had some publication problems). Soji is usually a pleasant, smiling person, with wide eyes and an open expression. However, when he fights seriously, Soji's eyes narrow and he becomes a dangerous fighter, capable of hurting someone even with a practice weapon. Like Shusuke, Soji has hidden power and strength that are only displayed under certain circumstances.
  • Rurouni Kenshin (anime TV series); Rurouni Kenshin (manga) by Nobuhiro Watsuki - Coincidentally, this action-oriented historical manga/anime series takes place at nearly the same time as Peacemaker, and has a few of the same characters. During the violent Bakumatsu era, the assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai paved the way for the Restoration, killing many. Years later, this man, now known as Rurouni Kenshin, has given up killing and chooses to wander from town to town. After he helps a woman named Kamiya Kaoru, his wandering life becomes more rooted, at least temporarily. Kenshin is willing to fight to help others, but he does whatever he can to avoid having to kill. Like Shusuke, the changes in the intensity of Kenshin's focus and his personality show themselves in his eyes. Although they are usually wide and gentle, when Kenshin decides to fight seriously they become narrow and dangerous. Kenshin's usual personality and behavior may lead others to believe that he's a bit of a goof, or that he doesn't really notice what's going on around him, but they find out otherwise once they see him fight.

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