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Title (English) Aim for the Ace #1
Title (Japanese) Ace o Nerae

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Eur.= "Jenny Jenny", "Jenny la Tenista"
From a manga by YAMAMOTO Sumika, published in Margaret magazine.
The series was continued in 1978-9 (25 eps), and in two series of OVAs (1988, 13eps, 1989, 12 eps). There is also a movie (1979). These details have been carefully researched by the Technogirls, who have traced the original materials, and are believed correct.
The Italian TV series 1988-90, 26 eps? is possibly adapted from the 2nd TV series, or probably the Japanese OVAs which were made as a sequel to the 1978 Japanese TV series.
There were 2 Italian dubs, the first made in 1982 and the second in 1995.
[Shoujo Anime List]
Classification shoujo
Synopsis At the Nishi High School tennis club, Oka Hiromi makes friends with chatty Maki Aikawa, becomes an admirer of tennis star Reika "Madame Butterfly" Ryuuzaki, and an enemy of former team member Kyouko Otowa.
Oka Hiromi, initially a poor player, succeeds though determination and the hard work of coach Ohka. (GC)

A high school freshman, Hiromi Oka, joined its renowned tennis club mainly because she was among many admirers of elegant Reika Ryuzaki. But the new coach, Jin Munakata, names inexperienced Hiromi as one of team members to play in coming tournament. Depressed with hatred by other members and relentless training by Munakata, Hiromi considers to quit playing tennis. Yet, she finds deep down in her soul, she loves tennis after all. So, she comes back to the club and her hidden talent starts to bloom under Munakata's coaching. And Hiromi develops a strong, emotional bond with her coach, not knowing that Munakata is risking his young life due to chronic illness...(AAK)

Review A classic shoujo tennis anime, in which Oka Hiromi, initially a poor player, succeeds though determination and the hard work of her tennis coach.
Hiromi is picked out for mysterious reasons by the new tennis coach, and despite being a beginner is put in the school tennis team in place of the experienced Kyouko Otowa. Nobody understands why the coach did this, and poor Hiromi attracts the enmity of the disagreeable Kyouko Otowa and the suspicion of the other girls. Even school tennis star Reika "Butterfly" Ryuuzaki, who had been quite friendly to Hiromi, becomes cool. Hiromi reacts by making repeated attempts to resign from the school team, in between 'doing her best'.

In style this series (on the basis of volume #1) is notably different from the 2nd series and the OVAs. The artwork is elegant but typical shoujo style of the 1970's, but with an almost psychedelic use of pastel colours. The credit sequences show characters in 1970's costume of flares and big sunglasses. There is a fair amount of humour in vol #1, not least when Hiromi is playing with her cat.
Hiromi herself is a likeable character, ordinary, enthusiastic and energetic, but scared of almost everybody. She is not at first interested in being a tennis star. Her friend Maki is a typical anime "best friend", loyal and supportive. There is an older boy, a good tennis player, whom Hiromi admires, though she is initially too nervous to have a conversation with him, and who encourages Hiromi.
Those who have seen Brother Dear Brother (Onisama e) will notice the prototypes of Miya-sama in Reika and of nasty schemer Aya Misaki in Kyouko Otowa.

All things considered, I like the characters and the ongoing story and would really like to see more of this. (GC)

This manga, created by YAMAMOTO Sumika, ignited huge tennis popularity in `70s. Several anime series were made from manga, all by director DEZAKI Osamu and animator-in-chief, SUGINO Akio. The first series seems rough production, but next "Shin Ace o Nerae!" is vintage of this team. Later, OVA series "Ace o Nerae! 2" and "...2:Final Stage" were created to cover the story after Munakata's death. The ending of these series is a bit abrupt, but otherwise, dramatic and impressive anime, as usual. (AAK) Rating ****

Credits Dir: Osamu Dezaki
Des: Akio Sugino
Episodes 26
Release Jap:LD, Jap:VHS
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1973 October 5 - 1974 March 29
Production TMS, Mainichi Hoso
Broadcaster Mainichi Hoso (MBS)
Animation Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS)
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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