The team responsible for the Prince of Tennis musicals announced via Twitter earlier this week that a special graduation memorial video for the musical’s third season is in the works. No other information was given, although the project’s webpage will soon have more news regarding the cast, staff, and music.
The musical, known by its fans as TenniMu, had wrapped up a series of shows detailing the manga’s Nationals arc back in February. The staff and cast were about to unravel a line of Dream Live 2020 concerts, with setlists consisting of tunes picked out from previous shows. That was until Coronavirus forced them to cancel their shows at Osaka’s Castle Hall and Yokohama’s Pia Arena MM.
In the world of Prince of Tennis musicals, graduation shows are typically celebratory send-offs to members of the cast who have since “graduated” from their roles and are ready to move onto bigger and better acting roles. However, perhaps because of their enduring popularity, many of these performers are given the opportunity to come back for a show or two. Such was the case with Dream Live 7 in 2010, where members of the original cast performed alongside the newer one.
Prince of Tennis’s first musical came in 2003, just four years after the manga’s initial release. Much like the Takarazuka Revue’s renowned performance of The Rose of Versailles before it, the theatrics and attractive leads of Prince of Tennis proved quite popular with the ladies.
This sudden popularity inspired more Prince of Tennis musicals, as well as laying the groundwork for a ton of other successful anime-to-musical adaptations. As of 2020, there have been 35 different musicals and 16 Dream Live concerts, with the recently-cancelled Dream Live 2020 being the seventeenth.
Since Coronavirus has prevented the TenniMu team putting out a live show in a traditional venue setting, it will be interesting to see all of the flair and pomp compressed into a digital format. Will it be a live stream or a pre-recorded performance? Will there be canned audience reactions made to replicate authentic concert vibes, just like there are now in sports? Hopefully we’ll get to know soon.