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Baby Steps  
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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.


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Associated Names
เบบี้ สเต็ป

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Latest Release(s)
v.22 c.208 by Imangascans (4d ago)
v.22 c.207 by Imangascans (10d ago)
v.22 c.206 by Imangascans (18d ago)
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Status in Country of Origin
29 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (531 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.78 / 10.0
 42% (222 votes)
 24% (128 votes)
 19% (103 votes)
 9% (46 votes)
 4% (19 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (3 votes)

Last Updated
February 27th 2014, 2:33am PST

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Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #65 decreased(-31)
Monthly Pos #67 increased(+9)
3 Month Pos #111 increased(+42)
6 Month Pos #128 increased(+21)

List Stats
On 2856 reading lists
On 653 wish lists
On 46 unfinished lists
On 257 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Baby Steps Gets Anime Next Spring 159 days, 4 hours, 59 minutes ago
more life 257 days, 11 hours, 14 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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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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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Don't trust the bad reviews so easily.   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by bekyuubi
December 15th, 2011, 9:23pm
I got thrown off by some of the bad reviews from the start, but this is a manga that has none of the superfluous BS from POT.

The main character has quite a bit of charisma once you get to know his nature of working hard towards his goals. Not many people dislike others who work hard and doesn't brag about it. In regards to Liquidsin comment, I read up to volume 14 so I will like to point out some things.

- Ei works hard and manages to get a reasonable body that lasts just enough for 1 full tennis match. He even lost a long match due to lack of stamina.
- He has a great personality. He told his parents he wanted to stop studying for cram schools for a full year to concentrate on Tennis alone. How many 16-17 year old teens you know will do such a thing?
- He does gather data outside of the matches, but more than anything he does it in game against a strong opponent to reflect upon his mistakes and come up with a strategy for lack of experience.

Reading until this far, I felt that the pace is slightly slow and think that the rivalry section isn't right there yet. Looks like it will be really baby steps for a pretty long while.

Edit: Read up to volume 19 (with some really shoddy japanese knowledge). This manga is really quite awesome and makes you sort of cheer for the main guy. Can't wait to see more. Ahh, but it best be reading 10 volumes in 1 shot. This manga is slow...

... Last updated on December 16th, 2011, 10:23am
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Love it   
Rating: N/A
by BlackOrion
November 23rd, 2011, 2:22pm
The only problem is that we only have, almost, 6 volumes to 17 that exist T_T

I'm not the kind of guy who thinks he has the right to actually hurry the scalation, but i wish there would be more.
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Love it   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by LovinManga
May 9th, 2011, 8:45pm
I thoroughly enjoy this manga! It's one that I'd love to buy just to have it if I could get it here in the States. I like reading it so much that I go back and forth (much easier if it's on paper) between the pages and read them again and again. This is a very well written manga.

Responding to the main character being "weak", as one reader wrote:
I read the comment that one reader wrote that he/she thinks the male protagonist is 'weak'. I completely disagree. Just because someone takes notes and follows those notes does not make them weak. This is the same character that immediately started physical training so as NOT to be weak in the game, so I have to disagree with you. Look up V.A.R.K. Some people learn by seeing something (Visual). Some by hearing (Aural). Some by reading &/or writing the information (Reading/writing). And others by hands-on (Kinesthetic). Most people are able use all of them to some degree but most lean to one or two preferred styles - because that's the way we're made. It's how our minds are wired to learn and process information and everyone's brain is wired differently. It has nothing to do with weakness. Ei-chan (Maruo) would be a Visual and Reading/writing learner. He learns by seeing and by reading/writing. And he internally processes the information learned. It's why he does well in school. A Kinesthetic learner would have to do what that other reader suggests because he would have to externally, physically, 'do' the plan first to visualize it and learn it because that's how he learns and processes information - externally. Have you ever met someone who's great at sports and terrible in class? That person is probably not lacking in ability to learn nor in intelligence. He/she is probably just a Kinesthetic learner and unless they receive help, Kinesthetic learners frequently struggle in school regardless of their level of intelligence. So the next time you encounter someone whose learning style is different from your own, remember that a particular learning style doesn't have anything to do with either intelligence or strength.

... Last updated on May 9th, 2011, 9:28pm
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My Only Sport Manga   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by McCasper
April 23rd, 2011, 9:39pm
I don't mean to say that this is the best sports manga (probably far from the truth) but something about this one just struck out at me. I think it was the main character actually. In an age of manga where main characters are either endearingly stupid or scary smart Ei-chan is somewhere in the middle and its refreshing. He's actually very smart compared to most characters but he's far from super geniuses like L and Akiyama. The tennis is also interesting and creative playstyles abound in sport which I thought was pretty cut-and-dry. Over-all I think this manga hinges on the main character, if you like him keep reading, if you hate him drop it.
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Excellent and charming   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by enaikelt
March 3rd, 2011, 4:56pm
This manga is enjoyable and simple; very laid back but pretty exciting as well at times. Ei-chan is responsible, sweet and serious, a rare commodity in shounen manga, and I like that he doesn't automatically win everything; he works hard for everything he gets. He's also smart. Perfecting everything you put effort into is an ideal I feel good about applauding.

... Last updated on August 6th, 2013, 12:35am
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Ei-chan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by liquidsin
February 9th, 2011, 4:31pm
The mangaka absolutely and undeniably failed when he created the main character. Within every chapter, his image and personality grind away at my mind to the point where I wonder why I even read this series.

Main Character: Maruo Eiitirou

  • Unique, in other words he has a fugly hairstyle that makes his face look like a fish.
  • Baby face and oversized eyes which only add to the problem. They also destroy any possible hope of masculinity in the main character though that's another issue entirely.
  • Weak physique that contradicts him ever being competitive in the sport of tennis. I also don't see how the mangaka expects the readers to believe that his endurance cane keep up with the perseverance aspect.

  • Meticulously annoying. He carries the same style of data tennis as Inui from PoT while having none of his redeeming qualities.
  • Weak. Like his physique, he has a meek personality.
  • Rather than gather data before the match, crunching the numbers, and then forming a strategy, "Ei-chan" does it all in the very game he's playing.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
One of Ei's opponents uses tennis to recreate paintings on the court... Yeah... Skipping over that issue, Ei records each of his opponent's seemingly random shots, somehow comes to the realization that they form paintings, and then forms a winning strategy all during one match.

Biased or not, I have come to despise this potentially good manga because of a single character. Unfortunately, this character can't be killed off or pushed to the sidelines which he rightfully deserves. Test this manga though it's not one I'll recommend to friends.

... Last updated on June 18th, 2012, 8:26pm
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