EEsu-wo Nerae (=Aim for the Ace!)
This manga was really sensational. Like bowling, every one of the Japanese nation wanted to be an Oka Hiromi (the main character). In this manga (1973 – 1975 in “Weekly Margaret”), Hiromi is depicted as an ordinary high school girl, who was interested in playing tennis for fun. Coach Munakata saw a glimpse of ‘diamond’ in Hiromi, however. So, Hiromi is going to turn into a ‘Tennis Queen’ along with ‘Mrs. Butterfly’ with merciless boot camp training by Coach Munakata. This is the whole plot of this manga.
(a.k.a. Mrs. Butterfly)
The writer/illustrator, Yamamoto Sumika (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumika_Yamamoto), was not such an excellent illustrator as Ikeda Riyoko (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riyoko_Ikeda), who wrote “The Rose of Versailles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rose_of_Versailles).” Still, this manga was aired on TV and became so popular, the sales of tennis rackets skyrocketed. My mother guided my half-sister to play tennis when she was an elementary school student. Their passion for tennis was definitely accelerated by this manga. So, my sister went to college because of her caliber in tennis! On the contrary, unlike bowling, I was never interested in tennis (I got ‘elephant legs’ and couldn’t wear such a short skirt to play tennis!?) in my life. As a result, I didn’t read its manga in Weekly Margaret, nor did I watch it on TV. Tennis could NOT be a part of my life!
(The Rose of Versailles by Ikeda Riyoko)
Although I didn’t care a bit about this TV animation, I learned so many interesting episodes of real star professional tennis players, such as Billy Jean King (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Jean_King), Chris Evert (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Evert), Margaret Court (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Court), Rod Laver (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver), Bjorn Borg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rn_Borg), and Evonne Goolagong (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evonne_Goolagong_Cawley). Finally those names became so familiar to me because of my mother and sister. They used to talk about them all the time when I didn’t even listen to them. They didn’t care if I was listening to them or not, they really had fun in those days, comparing ‘real tennis heroes and heroines’ with Oka Hiromi or Ocho Fujin (Mrs. Butterfly) in Eesu-wo Nerae!
(Billie Jean King)
(Evvone Goolagong Cawley)
Enjoy episode 1 and episode 2 (https://youtu.be/1QSJgqFMCKk?list=PL97bof25BLuBtAd_eNVbcKC-9-dREdi_r)!
GOOD OLD DAYS!
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