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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.

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


Related Series

Associated Names
เบบี้ สเต็ป

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.26 c.244 by Imangascans (43d ago)
v.26 c.243 by Imangascans (79d ago)
v.26 c.241-242 by Imangascans (82d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
35 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1,Chap 1 [Season 1] Vol 8,Chap 72 [Season 2]
Ends at Vol 8, Chap 71 [Season 1]

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.8 / 10.0 (622 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.69 / 10.0
 42% (259 votes)
 23% (141 votes)
 20% (123 votes)
 9% (59 votes)
 4% (22 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (6 votes)

Last Updated
May 17th 2015, 7:26am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #510 increased(+2)
Monthly Pos #432 decreased(-123)
3 Month Pos #328 decreased(-56)
6 Month Pos #246 decreased(-71)

List Stats
On 3328 reading lists
On 752 wish lists
On 58 unfinished lists
On 328 custom lists

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Forum Posts
2nd Baby Steps Season Slated to Premiere on April 5 126 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes ago
Baby Steps Gets Anime Next Spring 567 days, 22 hours, 15 minutes ago
more life 666 days, 4 hours, 30 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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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A page turner...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by JHax9999
September 26th, 2010, 11:42pm
Can't tell if the main character is a genius or if he's awesome because he works hard. I guess it's a combination of the two. Certainly, you can't deny that he trains his ass off to improve his skills, so first you think, "Oh, he's just an average kid who surpasses expectations because he puts in the effort." But then you see the way his mind works during matches and you're like, "What the hell is he? Nobody can think like this in these situations." But that's what makes Maruo so unique. He's kind of a genius when it comes to processing large amounts of data and analyzing what they all mean and organizing them in way that allows him to form plans of attack against his opponents (sometimes on the fly). On the other hand, he's not physically gifted, so he has to train his average body to be able to do the things his superior mind knows he needs to do during matches.

So yeah, this is a manga where you get to see the main character train hard to improve himself and sweat and bleed to earn his victories, as well as see him blow the minds of spectators with his one-of-a-kind, almost machine-like mental ability.

Makes for an interesting read.

... Last updated on June 20th, 2014, 3:57am
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very good!   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by palabasa
August 26th, 2010, 6:26pm
i have been looking for a very good tennis manga and so far this one did not disappoint me. IMO this is the best tennis manga out there.. the mangaka is either a tennis player or he interviewed real tennis players unlike some mangakas out there who uses out of this world shots or powers to make a story happen..

personally i have been playing tennis for 20yrs or so, and this manga brings back a lot of memories as a beginner and also about competing as an unseeded player..and being amazed by what seeded can do, hehe..but at the same time learning a lot from them..

again, a must read for tennis players, it has a realistic approach to tennis and also it has a good plot..thanks for the scanlators as well for taking on this one...keep it up guys! btw, just a comment on the translated term, when you're able to keep your serve the right term would be "service hold" not service keep...its either you hold your serve or your opponent "breaks" it, hence the "breakpoint" as opposed to "gamepoint".

... Last updated on August 26th, 2010, 9:32pm
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Unique Sports Manga   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by tamariskw
July 24th, 2010, 9:41am
I find CrimsonRuby's comment really misleading. The main character isn't meant to come off as being precocious. You just don't understand japanese culture enough to get what they mean by 'old'. The way he simply accepts the ideology that working hard equals success and does everything very methodically and routinely represents a 'traditional' approach to life. In the old days people laughed at you for having a dream that was seemingly out of reach. You were supposed to know your place in life and work hard at the things in front of you. This is very much unlike his classmates who either like to slack off and play around which is pretty normal these days, or the modern version of E-chan which is represented by Nat-chan: having a dream and striving for it. I also find it hypocritical to say that Nat-chan has barely met E-chan and is a busybody for calling him weird and giving him advice... seriously... you've only just read 1 chapter and you think you have the right to judge her?? If you seriously think the characters are so off then maybe you should just quit reading this manga. It's obviously lost on you.

The main character is unique because unlike other shounen manga protagonist he isn't all powerful, he's not a genius, he doesn't have a huge ego or the self-confidence to believe that he can be the best. He's a traditionalist who is discovering for the first time in his life something he enjoys doing. He's made it his goal (he had none previously) and strives to achieve it the old school way: through meticulous hard work and training, in the hopes of reaching perfection through routinely practicing and studying the basics. This is reminiscent of guys who trained in dojos for years and years hoping to perfect the form and principles of a particular school of sword style.

Obviously this is a shounen manga so it's not supposed to be super realistic, so of course he progresses quite far in a short amount of time. It's better than dragging it out... I especially hate it when sports mangas take 10 chapters to finish one game and fortunately this one doesn't do that.
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Pretty good so far   
Rating: N/A
by Gensoku
March 27th, 2010, 11:35pm
Very good manga.
Main character isn't a genius, which is great. You feel like the main character has attained skill through hard work, and that his success is deserved.
It's also realistic, because it also shows that you can't always win but through hard work you can still have a chance.
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Great so far.   
Rating: N/A
by tiankioo
March 25th, 2010, 9:22pm
Its not really romance in general that ruins sports manga imo, its just lack of mature romance. I'd like to see one with the romance portion not so... beating around the bush. Unfortunately I don't think there will ever be one like that. ;_;
Anyways, pretty good manga so far, but this is coming from the pov of a tennis player.
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best manga ~   
Rating: N/A
by secsuey
March 14th, 2010, 6:49pm
seriusly like this manga it is fresh and fun to read
I like the original main character and his development till now
actually I only made this account to thanks imangascans for it biggrin
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good yah   
Rating: N/A
by itachi187
February 10th, 2010, 5:04pm
i hope the romance doesnt come into play forr a loooonnnggg time, that shiz almost always screws up sports manga, just give a lil dash and focus on the rivalry. all in all i like his focus and strategies, good story ya.
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Great and Entertaining   
Rating: N/A
by asutedjo909
February 9th, 2010, 7:33am
Sports manga recently has become bland and typical, but not Baby Steps. The fact that the main protagonist is not somebody with godly genius or a beginner with godly talent, instead having a strong work ethics and dedication is very heartwarming. It's entertaining to see how the E-chan works very hard and dedicate himself so much in things he likes, without getting swayed from his original purpose as a student. I bet this manga could be a lesson for all of us, to do what we love and to finish what we started. I can't wait for this manga to be updated. It is really good and a must read for everybody. It is not pretentious and very fun to enjoy.
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i like it   
Rating: N/A
by turnip head
January 27th, 2010, 6:09am
this is so good! it's simplistic in its goodness.

the level of intensity with which he works at something he doesn't love is not normal. i love that she wants him to find something he does have a passion for- imagine the amount of effort he puts into schoolwork going into something he honestly enjoys! (i've only read a couple chapters so far)

that seems to be a common theme in manga- do your best in what you love. the boy loves a girl who does her best, the boy is admirable for always doing his best, etc, etc. i love that. this is a really good one.
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