Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo (flash forward)
- Alex O'Brien (flash forward)
- Kevin Morland (flash forward)
- Krishna Ramesh (flash forward)
- Atsushi Taira (flash forward)
- Marcia O'Brien (flash forward)
- Pedro (flash forward)
- Christopher (flash forward)
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Mike Mcguire
- Marcia O'Brien
- Krishna Ramesh
- Atsushi Taira
- Alex O'Brien
- Yukichi Fukazawa
- Yuki Tajima
- Natsu Takasaki
- Takuma Egawa
- Soji Ike
Eiichiro arrives at Florida for his short-term training in tennis and gets amazed on how the facilities are dedicated for tennis. As Eiichiro meets new people, he is starting to realize the difference of the tennis ability as well. Due to Ike's suggestion, Eiichiro has acquired the chance to face many tennis players in FTA.
Eiichiro arrives at Florida Tennis Academy and is given a tour around the facility by Coach Mike Mcguire. As they checks the place, Eiichiro is surprised on everything he sees as the academy seems to be "town that is made for tennis". Eventually, Coach Mike introduces Eiichiro to Marcia and asks Marcia to give Eiichiro a 30-minute refresher course in order to acclimate him again to the game.
As the rally continues, Eiichiro observes that Marcia hits her shots with lots of depth and pace for a girl of smaller build. He also notes that her playing style feels rough and is emphasized further by her slightly abrasive and annoyed personality. After the practice, Marcia asks Eiichiro if he is aiming for French Open but Eiichiro tells her that he only aims for All-Japan Junior. With Eiichiro's answer, Marcia makes fun of him and leaves so Coach Mike explains that her attitude is due to her brother's struggles after he has just started his professional career.
In the evening, Eiichiro is introduced to Taira and Krishna, who will be his roommates. Taira accompanies Eiichiro to the dining area and together, they eat dinner. After dinner, with Alex being present, all four are formally introduced and Eiichiro learns that Alex is Marcia's older brother who just become a professional tennis player.
At STC, Yukichi and others talk about Eiichiro's short stay in Florida. Yukichi worries how difficult it will become as the environment is different but Natsu and Takuma assure that Eiichiro will be fine. Natsu leaves them and takes out her phone to ask Ike a favor.
Back in Florida, Eiichiro is together with his roommates when he is approached by Ike to eat breakfast with him. His roommates are surprised on how close Eiichiro is to Ike and wonder if Eiichiro is actually a strong player. After breakfast, they do some warm-up and a meeting to evaluate his own body's condition. After Eiichiro's practice, Coach Mike shows the video during Eiichiro's practice in order to help him improve his form. Coach Mike also shares that they also have some specialists in case Eiichiro wants to know something. Eiichiro is amazed on how good his current environment is to improve his ability.
In the afternoon, Eiichiro and the others are having image training while waiting for their turns for the practice match. Taira is wondering what Eiichiro is writing his notebook and its use. Not only Taira but Krishna and the others check some of Eiichiro's notes and comment on how diligent Eiichiro is in taking down notes.
Eiichiro's turn has come and he will face Alex in a match. But Alex refuses as he wants to face someone similiar to his professional level. Ike appears out of nowhere and is asked if he can face Alex instead, which causes a commotion as a lot of players want to play against Ike. Ike, then, gives a suggestion that whoever defeats Eiichiro in a match will have the chance to face Ike in a match. Turns out, Ike creates an opportunity for Eiichiro so that Eiichiro can face a lot of strong players which is a favor asked by Natsu.
Back in the match, Alex is currently leading against Eiichiro. While Alex is thinking of the reasons he initially rejected the match against Eiichiro, Eiichiro is busy analyzing the data he had. He finds some difference between his and Alex's attack pattern and formulates a plan. In the match, Eiichiro tries to change his attack pattern which is also realized by Alex. Things are not easy for Eiichiro as he has to deal not only with his slow serves but also with the heavy shots by Alex.
In the end, Eiichiro is forced to go on defense but is easily defeated by Alex. Upon experiencing a different standard of technique, this even motivates Eiichiro more to improve. On the other hand, Alex comes to Ike to report the winner and Ike gets surprised when he learns the results. Alex wonders the reason Ike has high expectations on Eiichiro and surprises when he learns that Eiichiro started playing tennis almost 2 years ago.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The flash forward scene before the title image features the first match between Eiichiro and Alex.
- In the manga, Eiichiro's bowl of rice is on his upper right while his spoon and fork at the bottom left with the tip facing at Eiichiro. In the anime, his bowl of rice is at the bottom left and his spoon and fork at the bottom right with the tip facing outside.
- While in the anime, Taira mentions that he sometimes craves for burger, in the manga, Taira also mentions that he craves for mashed potatoes and carbonated drinks as well.
- The manga introduces Taira, Krishna and Alex in a more detailed manner (like what tennis open they are aiming for). Only the anime mentions the current standing of Alex in the tennis rankings in the world.
- When Alex thinks how Japanese tennis players seem to underestimate the tennis world in the West, he thinks about it while hitting shots in the manga while in the anime, he thinks about it during the break.
- The scenes only shown in the manga:
- Eiichiro enjoying the view he sees from the window of the airplane.
- The logo of the international airport and the events when Coach Mike picks up Eiichiro at the airport.
- Eiichiro and Coach Mike's conversation while on the way to Florida Tennis Academy.
- A more detailed facilities inside the Florida Tennis Academy
- Court No. 3 was used during Eiichiro's "30-minute refresher course" with Marcia.
- Marcia's comments on how she feels like hitting a ball from a machine during her play against Eiichiro.
- Taira about to eat the hamburger before Coach Mike and Eiichiro enters the room.
- Alex's question regarding Taira's popularity in Japan.
- Practice matches started at 1 in the afternoon.
- Pedro's and Christopher's comments on Eiichiro's tennis style.
- The scenes only shown in the anime:
- Eiichiro's monologue about his first day in America
- Conversation at STC regarding on Eiichiro's two-week stay in Florida.
- It may not be noticeable in the anime (since all of the characters are speaking in Japanese) but Eiichiro actually needs a translator during his stay in Florida Tennis Academy. Eiichiro's paraphernalia and handouts are all written in Japanese while the rest of players have it in English (more or less). He can interact with the players due to his limited knowledge in English (based on what he learned in school) or through Taira or Coach Mike (and later, Soji).