The latest adaptation of sports manga The Prince of Tennis奋斗吧，少年 (formerly 网球少年) begins airing today. As with most dramas airing this summer, there’s little new promotional material other than one set of photos. But I did take the time to match up the characters with the manga names this time so it’s easier to figure out who’s who.
The series by directing duo Zhao Xiaoxi and Zhao Xiao’ou (Let’s Shake It) airs two episodes a day every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays on Hunan TV / MGTV.
Nowadays dramas can be pulled 10 minutes before airing (ahem Novoland, although that’s probably more to do with the fact that it’s a period drama), so don’t get too excited about the shows with unconfirmed dates.
Shows that dropped with little notice: The Untamed, Love and Destiny, The Longest Day in Chang’an, Novoland: Eagle Flag
Despite being filmed a decade apart, the two adaptations’ leading actors (Qin Junjie and Peng Yuchang) are only three years apart in actual age.
From the bro-duo directors Zhao Xiaoxi and Zhao Xiao’ou of Let’s Shake It comes the latest adaptation of manga The Prince of Tennis 网球少年. I’m guessing the script must be solid since the cast is quite impressive for an online drama, featuring Peng Yuchang (Our Shining Days), former fencer Dong Li, Song Yiren (Ever Night), Zhang Yijie (Untouchable Lovers), Xie Binbin (Love Through the Millennium), Liu Yongxi (Our Shining Days), and Zhu Zhiling (My Classmate from Far, Far Away ). Famed tennis player Li Na will also guest star. The series has already finished filming and hopefully will be online sometime this year.
I can’t think of any competitive sports-themed drama lately out of China, so I’m really hoping that there is at least one good one among the many, many sports-themed dramas coming soon. This is probably the best bet given the directors.