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 Seigakus 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 slashers 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. Im 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.
Its Yuutas 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 doesnt utilize them often, being somewhat lazy. He appears relatively easy going and smiles a lot. However, its 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, hes 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 isnt 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. Its another instance of Syuusukes 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 dont 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.Im 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, Yuutas 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 brothers shadow. His stubbornness to achieve this goal has lead him under the sway of Mizuki Hajime, manager of St. Rudolphs. Yuuta has been traumatized by his first 6 months at Seigaku where people constantly referred to him as Fujis little brother and this has caused a rift between the brothers. Its 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 Yuutas personality develop and mature within a fairly short space of time, namely the St. Rudolphs 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, Yuutas 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 Ryomas 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 Yuutas 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.