Home > Chinese Dramas > Prince of Tennis Live Action: Episode 5

Prince of Tennis Live Action: Episode 5

Saturday, October 18, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

The live action is officially AU now, I think. I much prefer this version to the anime, though Long Ma needs some work. (By work I mean a large hammer and lots of humility, but character rewrites will do.)

Correction: The coach’s name is actually Lin Qi, not Tian Qi as previously assumed.

Episode 5: In Which There is Yet More Angst, Will It Never End?!?

Tao Chen Wu and Hai Tang exercise at the same time, as much as to snark at each other as to actually build muscles. Cheng Wu urges Hai Tang to retry the match, while Hai Tang looks down on him for being too enthusiastic about everything and everyone. (Yeah, but how else is Long Ma’s cold, neglected little heart going to melt?)

In the school caf, Xiao Peng grabs Long Ma for an interview, only to have him walk off when it’s apparent Xiao Ying won’t show up. Xiao Peng is chagrined. (Serves her right.)

In English class, the rest of the team muses on whether they like having Long Ma around (answer: obvious no) – angst about Inui and Kaidoh ensues. The two don’t really help, as they do their soulful gazing thing in the gym. I would like to remind them that it’s not the end of the world – just one ranking match, dudes! There will be others, like, next semester. Aww, brotherly bonding (or not, you slashers, you) totally occurs.

zOMG Zhen Zhi breaks down and says that data isn’t everything. OMO. Hai Tang feels cheated, and super under pressure. Also, he dislikes Long Ma. What a newsflash.

There must be a large thundercloud hanging over the changing rooms on the day of the ranking match, dude, everyone’s depressed. Especially Zhou Zhu, for a reason not related to either Zhen Zhi and Hai Tang. Awww.

Guo Guang and Zhen Zhi share a glance, Zhen Zhi musters a smile and exits. The team doesn’t move from their respective spots.

(Note to self, kill Xiao Peng for being an airheaded trouble-monger.)

The match, it begins. Everything’s so tense, am surprised the ball doesn’t spontaenously combust. It starts off badly for Hai Tang, with Zhen Zhi predicting his every move. Hai Tang gets tenser and tenser. Long Ma and Tao Chen Wu watch off to the side, and unknowingly agree with Zhou Zhu in predicting Hai Tang’s imminent loss.

Dude, since when have you known drama to go by the expected? Guo Guang gives himself wrinkles, but I’m pretty sure Hai Tang will win. (Lol, he also has canon on his side.) They’ll make him work for it, of course.

Wow. Even as Hai Tang is losing stamina, Zhen Zhi offers support and tells him to do the best he can. In his own mind, only Hai Tang can help the team win against Bing Di. Whatever it is going through Hai Tang’s head, he’s improving to Zhen Zhi’s expectations. 😀

The experts in tennis exposition (aka Tao Chen Wu and Zhou Zhu, and possibly Long Ma, by virtue of facial expression) go all smiley at Hai Tang.

Matchpoint, and it looks like Zhen Zhi wants Hai Tang to win. Um. He just lets the serve fly past? Awww. That was sacrifice, that was team spirit, that was lurrrrrrve! (Sorry. The InuKai overcomes me sometimes.)

Everyone watching recognizes this (and if Long Ma isn’t touched, I’ll whack him). Hai Tang demands to know what the hell Zhen Zhi thought he was doing, but the other only tells Hai Tang to keep fighting. Angst ensues. (Oi, Teniboys, we can only take so much.)

Aww, Hai Tang, don’t cry. Not alone, and not in the locker room after the game. That just fulfills too many cliches (someone hide the razors away nao). Oh good, captain Guo Guang to the rescue. The team members (Chun Long, Ju Wan and Da Shi) go to Coach Tian to protest, they don’t want to leave Zhen Zhi behind, but she’s firm.

Guo Guang makes Hai Tang pick up the team photo he’s ripped and cast on the floor. Moar angst. Mr. Captain dude is so awkward at comforting, though he’s much better at yelling than in the anime. He calls Hai Tang stupid for not respecting Zhen Zhi’s decision. (Interestingly, Zhen Zhi has the same photo taped to his locker door. Oh, my dorky teniboys.)

Guo Guang tells Hai Tang to keep going, if only for Zhen Zhi’s sacrifice, (and he can’t do it, either) and uh, basically tells him to stop angsting and get his butt in gear.

*grabs baby boy Hai Tang and hugs him*

Later that night, Zhen Zhi is still at the courts, hugging his racket and smiling into the distance. Long Ma watches him curiously, and asks if he is regretting his decision yet. In his brusque, unwavering style, Long Ma asks him if he is still 100% committed to only playing tennis – because as he sees it, a real tennis player would have won the game – not due to pride or anything, but solely out of respect to both his opponent and the sport itself.

Zhen Zhi replies that the need to bring home the trophy is bigger than just him. It’s for all of Qing Xue. He also explains that sometimes giving up is the only way to acquire hope. (Of course, plot devices aka Tezbot’s elbow will ensure that everyone plays. :D)

Coach Lin comes in search of the errant Zhen Zhi (who ended up staying there the entire day) and talks with him. Long Ma leaves before they start talking, but he does soften visibly, and comments that Qing Xue isn’t looking so bad.

OMG I THINK I HAVE A NEW OTP. AWWW.

Xiao Bo has arranged the tennis balls in the characters that mean ‘regular’ (on the tennis team) out on the street court and greets Long Ma with a huge smile and sweetness that has me picking myself off from the screen. 😀 And, to think, that Long Ma may have learned yet another life lesson.

At least give him a hug! (It must have taken him ages to do that, come on!) Long Ma explains to Xiao Bo that he’s not feeling so well, and the guy’s smile immediately vanishes in favour of concern. Long Ma really doesn’t get the complexities of the team (ahh, human nature), and lobs a ball at the ‘win’ sign he wrote last night.

He claims to be very simple-minded, and only seeks victory. Xiao Bo only looks at him meaningfully.

The next day, Hai Tang stares depressedly at Zhen Zhi’s empty locker, and then gets up in a hurry when the other regulars (Tao Chen Wu, Da Shi, Ju Wan, Chun Long and Zhou Zhu) come in, all boisterous and happy. There’s a dinner party going on at Chun Long’s family restaurant, and everyone’s invited.

The teniboys discreetly (for them, this means hitting with a stone hammer and not a steel one) tell Hai Tang to bring Zhen Zhi along. (I can’t take the pairing hints in this show much longer. One day you will find me twitching madly at the screen – in a good way.)

Just as Hai Tang argues the number of regulars with Tao Cheng Wu (8 vs 9), Long Ma walks in, Guo Guang behind him in a really unsubtle bodyguard detail sort of way. Tension in the air, oooh. Guo Guang announces that no matter how many regulars there are, their duty as a team is to practice as hard as they can – and Long Ma just changes balefully. (Don’t ask me how, but the guy manages it.)

Everyone receives their jerseys, Hai Tang with a more purposeful grace than the others. Zhou Zhu has a moment of ‘I-look-at-Tezbot-in-pain-b/c-my-little-bro-isn’t-here’. Tao Chen Wu’s exuberance thaws the captain and he smiles a little at the younger guy’s antics.

When Long Ma reaches out for the jersey, Hai Tang antagonistically yells for him to take it with both hands. So of course, he just snatches it out of Coach Lin’s hands. He’s so easy to read, this lad. All his earlier progress flies away in the face of this unwelcoming attitude, which appalls Guo Guang and angers … basically everyone.

Coach Lin gives him some sage advice (but, teenage boys are statistically shown to be bad listeners) about being humble and not inviting trouble.

Gah, Zhou Yu of the Taiwanese actor histrionics comes to interrupt the ceremony (well, mini-ceremony in the indoor courts). Someone keep this guy away from the self-pity feed baskets next time, okay? Great, now the even-tempered Zhou Zhu is freaking.

Zhou Yu resigns from the team, under the guise of starting over without his brother’s umbrella hanging all over him. The entire team runs after Zhou Zhu, who is running after his brat of a brother, and uh. Long Ma is left to glare at Coach Lin. The poor woman really doesn’t need more headaches at this point.

In the hallways of their school, because, remember, these boys are actually students, Xiao Ying spots Long Ma and sprints after him, offering her sincere congratulations. He’s not so happy, having just come from that scene. (She considers him tennis’s Harry Potter – think Quidditch.)

Oh gosh, dare I say it? I’m starting to like Xiao Ying’s interactions with Long Ma. She quietly bolsters his falling spirits – he actually blames himself for causing this mess. Xiao Ying replies, quite logically, that none of this is actually his fault, and that people will always be coming and leaving the teams. The important thing is what he leaves behind him. (Aww.) And she tells him to stop being paranoid and wear the jersey he’s been given, even if people don’t like seeing him in it.

The other teniboys, quite over Zhou Yu’s existential angst, invades (no seriously, it’s an invasion) Chun Long’s family restaurant, because, food!

There’s a slight pause as everyone notes Long Ma, Hai Tang and Zhen Zhi’s absence. Da Shi, vice captain and mother hen extraordinaire (at least in the manga, not sure about now) assures Tao Chen Wu that he sent Long Ma the address and directions. Hai Tang comes up the stairs alone and immediately defends himself against the crowd of teasing accusations. Zhen Zhi isn’t answering any of his phones (or his emails), and there is no one home, alas.

Guo Guang tells everyone to have patience and wait for Coach Lin to arrive (not sure how she’s going to be able to eat, these boys show no signs of table manners).

Long Zheng Nan is so ecstatic that his son has deigned to come home he cooks for Long Ma personally. Then he notices the jersey. Pause for a moment of fatherly pride as well as vanity. Long Ma shows an uncaring exterior, while his dad hijacks the jersey.

Long Zheng Nan gets a call from coach Lin, but he’s busy pursuing his son so they can have a match, and he flings the phone down.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Oishi/Da Shi has loltastically player hair. Also, on the off-topic ness of it – the actor for Long Ma was in that fantastic visual confectionary of bad-plottism: The Curse of the Gold Flowers. He was the third prince who wasn’t with us very long, I believe.

– Ahh, am finally recovering my love for cardboard!Tezuka. Also, am a fangirl of Kaidoh as of the live action (surprise, surprise). He’s just so much more alive here. For some reason I keep confusing Oishi and Eiji – must be the ski hat. (In the summer, dudes, what are you thinking?)

– If they all sit together during class, that’s not too conducive to … having a life outside of tennis, is it? (I can hear them now: What life outside of tennis?) I mean, right now, I have classes of 700+, you’d think they’d take advantage of small class size and make friends.

– Sakuno’s full name is Lin Ying? (Basically, cherry woods, lol.) On the note of nomenclature, it’s interesting that the super friendly Momo gets called by his full name, while the much crustier Kaidoh is just plain ole ‘Hai Tang’.

– Stats: 2013 words!

Sevenses

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  1. moonytravels
    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Re: Long Ma actor in Curse of Golden Flower
    O____________O For serious!? He must be good at playing these prodigual-son-with-an-attitude types XD

    OIshi and Eiji are easy to recognize. Oishi is the taller, prettier one, and Eiji is the loudmouth b/c sometimes he says things that OMGSHUTUP! O_O

    See? Sakuno is really not bad in this. Tomo actually manages to annoy me more. YAY POTENTIAL! YAY FEMALE CHARACTERS! Wait till you meet Ann and Fudomine! *-*

  2. Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I have to say, I quite enjoyed reading these, even though as a Chinese person I found them harder to follow with the Chinese names vs the Japanese ones.

    I’m really glad they picked Qin Junjie for this, although I don’t know maybe they could have picked someone better since there seem to be more and more child actors in China now. It’s a shame his character is so prickly though.

  3. Anonymous
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 12:53 am

    i hate you

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