Fuji Syuusuke/Fuji Yuuta (Prince of Tennis/Tennis no Oujisama
Title: Always With My Brother
Author: rkold
Spoilers: Through the Rikkai arc of the anime/ the Rokkaku arc of the manga, 10.5 and 20.5
email: sales@yamanote-line.net
Semi-Personal website: www.kyoudai-ai.net
Notes: This is an incest pairing, I am not going to sugar-coat this fact, both boys know they are brothers. Since this is a Japanese series, all names are written family name first. This essay will hopefully contain some graphics. Comments are always appreciated, lol.

Prince of Tennis Background:

Prince of Tennis is an extremely popular anime and manga dealing with the trials and tribulations of Seishun Gakuen in their quest to win Tennis Nationals. It heavily focuses on Echizen Ryoma, the arrogant and obnoxious first year genius who has just started at Seishun Gakuen. In their journey to win Nationals, Seigaku (A shortening of Seishun Gakuen) plays against many interesting and challening rival schools in tennis including St. Rudolph Gakuen, where we are first introduced to Fuji Yuuta, the younger brother of Seigaku’s Fuji Syuusuke.

Despite fangirl desires there are no yaoi couples canonically in Prince of Tennis. However with an ever growing cast of attractive male characters, Prince of Tennis is a slasher’s paradise.

The relationship between Fuji Syuusuke and Fuji Yuuta plays out slightly differently in the manga and in the anime and so I hope to try and incorporate some of those difference within this essay. I’m also going to share some of the merchandise that has been released featuring the brothers as it almost seems at times like the merchandisers are catering to the over-active fangirl imagination.

“It’s Yuuta’s Turn to Shine”

Fuji Syuusuke is one of the better players on Seigaku and is known as a “tensai” (prodigy). (Usually referred to as Fuji, since both Syuusuke and Yuuta are Fujis, in this essay he will be referred to as ’Syuusuke.’) Famous for his triple counters, Syuusuke doesn’t utilize them often, being somewhat lazy. He appears relatively easy going and smiles a lot. However, it’s later revealed that he is amused by seeing other people suffer, or at the very least is amused by claiming he enjoys seeing other people suffer. Either way, Syuusuke is not the nice boy he might first appear to be. Merciless on the court if he feels offended, he’s a player to reckoned with when he wants to win.

Yet despite his obvious tennis skills, Syuusuke is not the “buchou” or “fukubuchou” (captain or vice-captain) of Seigaku, those positions are held by Tezuka Kunimitsu and Oishi Syuuchirou. In fact, when Tezuka is injured and is forced to take a leave of absence, Syuusuke isn’t even promoted to fukubuchou. Syuusuke is not a team player and this keeps him from holding a leadership position. For Syuusuke tennis merely seems to be an end to a means, or perhaps, a way to be closer to his younger brother Yuuta, who is committed to beating Syuusuke at tennis.

Syuusuke has a jealous and possessive streak a mile wide, which particularly comes into play in regards to his brother Yuuta. Fuji thinks about his little brother a lot, and this is actually pointed out in the series by Tezuka. Though oddly enough, someone following Prince of Tennis/Tennis no Oujisama would not know Syuusuke has a younger brother until Episode 28/volume 06 when Yuuta appears seemingly out of nowhere. While some might argue this shows the distance to between them, to me, instead this shows how precious Yuuta is in fact to Syuusuke. It’s another instance of Syuusuke’s possessive streak, refusing to even share his brother's existence with other people and another example of how Syuusuke refuses to let other people into his personal life.

From this description, one might think I don’t like Syuusuke, but I find him a fascinating character. His obsessiveness and darker personality make him a more interesting character than a more cardboard character who is perfect.

“I’m not a Tensai”

When Fuji Yuuta first enters, he appears gruff and somewhat mean, as well as suffering from serious sibling rivalry issues. While a talented player in his own right, Yuuta’s only goal in life is to beat his older brother in tennis so that people can see that he is his own person and escape from his brother’s shadow. His stubbornness to achieve this goal has lead him under the sway of Mizuki Hajime, manager of St. Rudolph’s. Yuuta has been traumatized by his first 6 months at Seigaku where people constantly referred to him as “Fuji’s little brother” and this has caused a rift between the brothers. It’s important to note that Syuusuke nearly always refers to Yuuta as “Yuuta” and only calls him “my little brother” when trying to make a very specific claim on Yuuta.

Unlike Syuusuke, we get to see Yuuta’s personality develop and mature within a fairly short space of time, namely the St. Rudolph’s arc. Yuuta is actually protective of his brother and will not allow his teammates to speak dismissingly about him, despite his personal unresolved issues. As the arc progresses, Yuuta’s dream to play Syuusuke and thus finally achieve the recognition he deserves is dashed and instead he has the misfortune to be duped into playing Echizen Ryoma. Thus dooming him to lose, as Ryoma, being the main character, always wins. Fortunately, the loss proves to be a growing experience for Yuuta as he attempts albeit temporarily, to set another goal besides beating his brother. It also highlights how sensitive and innocent Yuuta in fact is. Mizuki has knowingly taught Yuuta a tennis move that can seriously damage his arm, which if Yuuta continues to use will make it impossible for him to continue playing tennis.

In a final reckless attempt for victory, Mizuki encourages Yuuta to purposely aim his balls towards Ryoma’s left eye, the eye that was recently injured when his racket broke during a previous match. Despite his faith in Mizuki, Yuuta completely balks and refuses to do something he finds morally repugnant. Proving both the strength of Yuuta’s determination to win on his own terms and the fact Yuuta is a “good” person.

As should be clear from this description, I absolutely adore Yuuta. I find his innocence and overall sweetness enchanting.