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Baby Steps  
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Description
Maruo Eiichirou (Ei-Chan), a first year honor student, one day decides he's unhappy with the way things are and lacks exercise. His mother gives him a flyer for the local Tennis Club and he decides to check it out. He's instantly captivated by it. With no prior experience and poor physical conditioning, join Ei-Chan as he embarks on a tennis journey using his smarts, dedication and work ethic.

Note: Won the 38th Kodansha Manga Award in the Best Shōnen Manga category in 2014.

Type
Manga

Related Series
N/A

Associated Names
ベイビーステップ
網球優等生
网球优等生
เบบี้ สเต็ป

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.29 c.279 by Angelic Scanlations (15d ago)
v.29 c.277-278 by Angelic Scanlations (30d ago)
v.29 c.276 by Angelic Scanlations (93d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
43 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1,Chap 1
Ends at Vol 19, Chap 181

User Reviews
N/A

Forum

User Rating
Average: 8.8 / 10.0 (672 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.7 / 10.0
10
 40% (269 votes)
9+
 23% (157 votes)
8+
 20% (137 votes)
7+
 9% (63 votes)
6+
 4% (26 votes)
5+
 1% (6 votes)
4+
 1% (6 votes)
3+
 0% (2 votes)
2+
 0% (1 votes)
1+
 1% (5 votes)

Last Updated
January 17th 2017, 7:39pm PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2007

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)
No

English Publisher
N/A

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #517 increased(+107)
Monthly Pos #500 decreased(-184)
3 Month Pos #399 increased(+40)
6 Month Pos #402 decreased(-92)

List Stats
On 3471 reading lists
On 787 wish lists
On 74 unfinished lists
On 392 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Season 2 end. 504 days, 23 hours, 39 minutes ago
2nd Baby Steps Season Slated to Premiere on April 5 727 days, 11 hours, 32 minutes ago
Baby Steps Gets Anime Next Spring 1168 days, 14 hours, 11 minutes ago
more life 1266 days, 20 hours, 26 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Don't be put off by bad reviews   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Blood_Wolf
September 1st, 2012, 10:15am
This manga is great. It has alot of realism, which I didn't expect to enjoy. Romance in this manga is slow, but it is there. Don't expect much to happen between volumes though since the main focus is the tennis, and Maruo's route to becoming a pro.

Art
The art is very good. At first I couldn't help but keep staring at Maruo's hair everytime it had his face in it. All I could think of is "why a rooster??" But after you get over that (or maybe it's just me) The art in the matches really gives you a sense of the speed and power of the shots or player's movements, or the speedcut for a drop shot.

Characters.
There are some great characters, with a variety of playing styles that Maruo goes up against. [From d3m0naras] "Every time he encounters a new tennis character, he'll lose. After training alot, he tries it again and wins by "luck" "
I disagree with this comment. Maruo comes across a new player with a different playing style. Ofcourse he's not going to always win the first time. You need to gather some information on the other person's playing style, and learn to read the moves. Maruo trains to come up with countermeasures (As would any tennis player in real life) and then applies them to his matches. That is Maruo growing as a player, not him being "lucky". But aswell as bringing in new characters, we get to look into their lives a little, and find out how important the match/tournament is for them, and their career aswell.

Story:
The story is amazingly engrossing, though this may differ from person to person. If you enjoy some realism, the character over coming obstacles (whether they be other players, or his own physique), comedy, a story where the matches will soak you in to the point that you may end up on the verge of yelling "cmon!!" when the Maruo makes a break at a crucial point, or just enjoy tennis. Then this is the manga for you. And if you don't like tennis, then give this manga a shot, since it may just get you into it like it did me.

Looooong story short. This is a GREAT manga. Just because it wasn't to the taste of a few others, doesn't mean you won't like it. So give it a read for a few chapters atleast.


Update:

As of chapter ~200 it seems the mangaka is developing the romance side of things a little further. Tbh I thought the slow development in this area would be something I would mark the manga down for, but the tennis action and story is good enough to have made me not care for that as much.

Art, Story, and Characters are all still well done. There are some long arcs (arcs may take the form of a tournament or in some cases a match) but they are deeply engrossing enough to prevent you being bored (for most of the arc at least). All else from the previous review still holds true.

... Last updated on May 19th, 2014, 3:29pm
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I like it so far   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by CowTail
August 1st, 2012, 12:08pm
Main character improves at an unbelievable pace due to his hard work. It almost feels unrealistic to think that he's at the level he is after only 2 years, but if anyone put that much effort into it and had his tenacity then it'd probably be the same.

I'm at Ch.111 now, and even though the main character grows a lot, the matches are starting to all feel the same. There isn't any fancy, flashy shounen-ish combat moves in this tennis manga, thankfully, but I'm hoping the author manages to put some more variety in there to keep the matches interesting.

I love manga with character growth, and I like this manga.
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Don't follow the bad reviews   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Natsumijojo
July 3rd, 2012, 12:52pm
It's really a good series, especially if your into spots manga, this one is very realistic in what they do, the Main character's personality is very enjoyable and its just an awesome read! Its my favorite spots manga, that's for sure! X3
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Yep, good ^^   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by slykid
March 30th, 2012, 1:39pm
Really good man....and I'm a hard view shoujo fan....because if this I finally realised how senseless all that stuff was and I kinda stopped reading mangas altogether (ok mostly is cuz I ran out).One negative is that It's good but too short, it didn't fill like how many volumes it said it has ...right now in just waiting for this along with my other 'unfinished' mangas .
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Good manga   
Rating: N/A
by goooo
March 16th, 2012, 8:51pm
Starts a little bit slow but once it gets into tennis, it shines. I like how you can basically see all the inner thoughts of the protagonist during a match as he tries to come up with legit strategies and counter-strategies. The character development has been good and am looking forward to reading more. Gratitude for all those scans!
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Can't wait for next chapter..   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by SoY
February 9th, 2012, 10:44pm
It's all about tennis world, like a guidebook from amateur to pro tennis player.
1000% more realistic than POT, it have some good jokes, especially when the ei-chan makes weird faces.. lol, it also have a little bit romance in some chapter, good enough for refreshing..
Overall, a must read sport manga..
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A tennis manga about ... well, tennis.   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Celianna
February 2nd, 2012, 5:42pm
Baby Steps is a great sports manga. That is, if you're only in it for the sports, and not for say, likable characters or drama between them.

Most sports mangas barely even focus on the actual sport, and crank the action up to eleven when they do. It's not about the accuracy of the sport, but it's about the drama of the player, and how their sad little emo back story gives them the will to go through and reach the top.

None of that is in Baby Steps. No drama, thank god. Of course, the drama is what makes a lot of people like sports mangas period, so these people will probably, almost certainly, not like Baby Steps.

I wouldn't compare Baby Steps to Prince of Tennis. POT is one of those 'drama' sports, which cranks up the tennis to eleven, and the further it goes, the more unrealistic it becomes. The story could have picked out any sport and it would still have been the same. Not true for Baby Steps. It's very calculating, smart, and most importantly real. It's about tennis.

The main character is not your typical idiot hero, nor the genius prodigy who excels in everything he touches. No, Ei-chan is someone who's so devoid of any talent, that he's only good at being average or 'good' at whatever he does, but he's not the best or a genius, or excels at something in particular. No, that takes actual effort and training.

No curb stomp battles here, tennis is real and the main character loses quite a bit of matches. Of course he does, he only started playing tennis for a few months, despite his ability to be good all-around (but not anything specific), he still loses quite a bit because he doesn't have anything he's really good at. This is frequently mentioned in the manga, where he's an alright tennis player, he doesn't have any definitive moves, or finishing moves.

About his personality, well he's like an obsessed data miner, and writes everything down in his notebooks. He has big eyes that are always wide open in shock, surprise, or simply from amazement. There's not much to the guy. Really, there isn't.

Any other character doesn't get enough screen time to show their personality, or backgrounds or whatever, just long enough to introduce them to the reader as they have another tennis battle.

Oh, despite what it says as a romantic subplot, that's like saying Naruto has a romantic subplot. I don't even know why they bother with it, because it's so casually mentioned in like a page or two, you wonder if it has any point to it at all.

So yeah, Baby Steps is about tennis. Not about the drama, not about overcoming the battle despite all odds, or about interesting characters, but just tennis.

I personally like it.
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Good, but not for me.   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by JackGrover
January 11th, 2012, 5:20am
his is a very well done manga. The characters each have a unique personality. The subject of tennis is done very well. But the one thing that I would have wanted to see more progress in, after 56 chapters, is a good love interest. No progress there at all! So I'm dropping it for now. Maybe I'll give a look-see after it hits 120 chapters.
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Releases   
Rating: N/A
by way2cuteanimekitty
January 9th, 2012, 11:26am
I really want to read this manga, but at the rate the releases come out I'd have to wait three more years just to get to volume 14. I might consider it if a chapter came out each week or even every 2 weeks, but right now I just don't know.
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Good read   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by meeu
December 22nd, 2011, 6:13am
quite frankly one of my fave sports manga to date. I like how the mangaka explores E-chan's overly meticulous personality as a student, a son, and a tennis player. It's quite intriguing how he used that behavior from being the best in class to being the best in the sport, realizing he found his dream in the attempt of trying to stay fit. The mangaka has managed to keep this one simple yet fun, and the pacing is just about right. . .
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