1.5 (both eyes)
Shitenhōji (2nd year)
Dotonhori First (Dai-ichi) Elementary School
|Japan U-17 Camp||
BRIDGESTONE (APX Courtbreeze MS)
Hirofumi Araki (Japanese)
Hikaru Zaizen (財前 光, Zaizen Hikaru) plays as a regular for Shitenhōji, joining in his 1st year after being recruited by the tennis regulars. In the OVA, he tells the Shitenhoji tennis team members that he applied for the school because it was nearby, and that if he had known that it was a school where comedy and laughing was encouraged, he would not have enrolled.
Zaizen is the only 2nd year regular on the Shitenhoji tennis team. Just as Kaidoh Kaoru and Hiyoshi Wakashi have been cited to be the next captains of Seigaku and Hyotei Academy (both confirmed in the New Prince of Tennis), respectively, many believe Zaizen to be the next Shitenhoji captain after the 3rd year regulars graduate similarily to how Akaya Kirihara is expected to lead Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku.
Zaizen has several ear piercings- so far it has been confirmed that he has three on his left ear and two on his right ear. He has fair skin and dark, fine, and spiked hair. His brown eyes are sharp and intense, but they are portrayed as a dark green in the anime.
Zaizen is rather disrespectful, calling Kawamura Takashi as Seigaku's extra baggage and insulting Chitose Senri after his loss to Kunimitsu Tezuka. He did shown a little concern when Tezuka and Senri were playing singles as he tried to intervene in fear of the extreme stamina-centric games draining Chitose but was ignored, thus he selflessly sits out for the remainder of the match. He is quite calm and serious when unrelated to tennis. When Zaizen's introduced in Another Story II as a freshman, his unhumorous, emotionless responses irked his seniors. However through the Shitenhoji arcs his remarks are shown to have grown into mocking sarcasm while Zaizen himself opts to engage more frequently with his team. He's more open to sharing his emotions not only through blunt criticism but with laughs when a Shitenhoji member provides a humorous routine (e.g. Kenya's stumble in Another Story I).
He shows little tolerance for his teammates Koharu Konjiki and Yūji Hitōji. Despite this, Zaizen remains to call each of his members (apart from Kintarou Tooyama) 'senpai', acknowledging their seniority. Kenya and Zaizen are frequently seen beside each other in during matches and the New Prince of Tennis' Mountain Arc. Whether this is noted as a coincidence or not, Zaizen's self-sufficient, arrogant mentality accepts his teammates into his protective self-conscious (one of the few peoples he can tolerate).
One Year Prior To The Storyline
Shown in the 1st episode of the Prince of Tennis OVA: Another Story II ~The Times We Shared~, Shiraishi notices Zaizen as the first year during the opening ceremony that did not laugh at the principal of Shitenhoji's joke. While the rest of the classmates in his year were dying of laughter, Zaizen just stood staring that principal.
The Shitenhoji tennis club members (everyone in the main series except for Kintaro, who had not entered middle school yet) are told that they must recruit at least one new member or else their club cannot participate in activities (in other words, they can't compete, practice, etc.).
The members start panicking because they had zero new recruits this year. However, Osamu Watanabe informs Shiraishi, who was recently promoted to captain as well, that there is only one student that hasn't join the club yet and it was Zaizen Hikaru. They decide that the best way to get Zaizen to join was to make him laugh. All of the members fail, though, until the vice captain Koishikawa Kenjirō directly asks Zaizen directly to join the club. Zaizen agrees, much to everyone's surprise.
When he arrives, he plays a doubles game against Shiraishi and Kenya, while paired with Koishikawa. However, Zaizen dominates his side of the court, returning all of Shiraishi and Kenya's shots though he claimed he had only played tennis a few times. Zaizen tells Shiraishi that his "Bible Tennis" was actually "Textbook Tennis"- thus it was really predictable, and that for Kenya: there was no point in speed if he could not control his accuracy. This shocks everyone, but Shiraishi and Kenya do not get angry. Shiraishi hits a Entaku Shot against Zaizen, realizing that his teammates can grow even more without limits.
At the end of the game, Shiraishi says his saying for the first time: Ahhh...Ecstasy. The whole team laughs at Shiraishi, but surprisingly, Zaizen laughs as well though he claims he did not when his teammates asked him if he had just laughed with them.
Zaizen officially joins the tennis team the next day, where Osamu presents him with a gift.
As the Kansai Regional Tournament winners, Shitenhōji advanced directly to the second round. In the Second round, because it was their first official match-up, they were required to play all 5 matches. They easily defeat Okakura as 5-0, as shown in the databooks, advancing to the quaterfinals.
Tensai Zaizen was originally scheduled to play Doubles 1 with Oshitari Kenya against Seigaku. Right before the match, Osamu Watanabe "dragged" Chitose back onto the team and replaced Kenya with Chitose. Because Chitose's Saiki Kanpatsu no Kiwami does not work in doubles, Zaizen agreed to sit this one out. Although he tried to intervene early on, Zaizen immediately realized that the match was out of his reach.
Zaizen and the rest of the Shitenhouji tennis club were part of the audience to the Nationals Final between Seigaku and Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku and is shown accepting his 3rd place medal along with his teammates.
Prior To U-17 Camp
Shown during the Another Story OVA, Zaizen and the rest of the Shitehoji tennis club welcome Seigaku to their school for a joint training session between the two schools after the nationals while the Seigaku tennis club stay in Osaka.
Zaizen along with Hitouji and Konjiki help Kaido Kaoru realize what is needed to become a good captain for Seigaku through making him cook takoyaki for them. Despite the unusual method, this works, and the training camp is a success. Afterwards, everyone gets involved in long rallies and has fun playing tennis.
Despite being invited to the U-17 Training Camp, Zaizen actually rejected his invitation at first. However his friend Hitōji Yūji requested he quickly follow him to the Camp as he wanted to speak with Konjiki Koharu. Eventually they ended up with the Losers climbing the mountain.
In the manga, they join the losers before they get on the bus. While climbing the mountain, Zaizen asks why they were taking part in their tasks such as Drunken Coach's Mountain where Hitouji simply replies Just go with the flow.
In the anime, Hitouji and Zaizen meet the 25 other losers after they fall off a bridge when Hitouji's wolf instincts cause him to attack Ryo Shishido for Shishido's hat. Zaizen shows up with mushrooms and explains how Hitouji relied on his animal instincts after they wandered around for too long with his ultimate goal to be reunited with Konjiki. They then tell the group that the only way to make it to the top of the mountain was to climb a steeper cliff.
Zaizen and the 26 other middle schoolers complete this mountain climbing and end up meeting the High Schoolers who were unable to attain a ball from the helicopter. When they reach the top, they see the eliminated high schoolers training under the Drunken Coach. On the top, Zaizen and the rest of the middle school losers train with the Drunken Coach. Zaizen and the 26 other middle schoolers take part in the drunken coach's weird tasks such as digging an enormous hole just for the Coach to urinate in, a jog through the forest, the 25 middle schoolers against the High Schoolers on the mountain cliff and Survive being chased by eagles within a time limit.
Later on, the 25 middle schoolers steal the Coach's sake, angering him to the point he decides they should all go back to the camp and start a revolution. Upon returning to the camp, it is unknown which of the 25 middle schoolers, but some of them defeat the 2nd Court which angers other High Schoolers seeing them return.
They quickly handle the High Schoolers who have a problem with their return and the Coaches announce they are the new 2nd Court. All of the middle schoolers engage in a pillowfight and then it is announced that the 1st Stringers return to the camp soon.
Genius 10 Challenge
Zaizen is present in the audience with the majority of the camp as the Genius 10 and the Middle School challengers engage in a long and drawn out Player Shuffle.
|2007 Nationals||Semifinals||Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku||Doubles 1||Koishikawa Kenjirō||
|Lost (6-0) (NOTE-1)|
|2008 Nationals||Semifinals||Seigaku||Doubles 1||Chitose Senri||Sadaharu Inui/Kunimitsu Tezuka||Lost (6-1) (NOTE-2)|
- NOTE-1 This match is an anime only match.
- NOTE-2 Zaizen and Inui were asked to sit out during this match to allow Chitose to use Muga no Kyōchi against Tezuka.
Playing and Style and Techniques
Though Zaizen has not yet been seen playing in an official match (excluding his brief cameo in the Chitose/Zaizen and Tezuka/Inui match), Another Story II suggests that Zaizen plays by analyzing a player's style and characteristics.
In contrast to Inui and Yanagi's mathematical approach to tennis, Zaizen quickly interprets the logical aspects of someone's tennis. The brief match between Zaizen/Koishikawa and Kenya/Shiraishi shows Zaizen breaking apart Kenya's accuracy blunders and Shiraishi's inevitably obvious shots due to his Bible Tennis (the basic shots don't camouflage the direction of the ball). With his efficient thinking-skills and hypotheses accumulated, he predicts not only the direction of the ball but techniques to counter his opponents' play.
Zaizen, like Ryoma and Yuuta, is a southpaw.
U-17 Camp Stats
- Speed: 3
- Technique: 3
- Mental: 4
- Stamina: 3
- Power: 2
- Foot Size: 25.5 cm
- Favourite Food: Shiratama zenzai
- Favourite Colour: Carmine red
- Favourite Music: British Indie groups
- Favourite Movies: Amelie
- Favourite Books: Music magazines
- Favourite Date Spot: Trendy cafes
- Preferred Type: A family-oriented girl
- Best Subject: English
- Worst Subject: Classic Literature
- Most Visited Spot on Campus: AV room
- Committee: Library Committee
- Hobbies: Music Appreciation (Western music in particular)
- Father’s Job: Salaryman (commerce)
- Spends His Allowance On: CDs, Internet charges
- Daily Routine: Writes in his blog
- Most Wanted Item: Soundsystem
- Dislikes: The bitter parts on fish
- Special Skill: Composes songs on the computer
- Motto: 能ある鷹は爪を隠す (a wise man keeps some of his talents in reserve; one shouldn't show off; the person who knows most often says least)
- He changes the color of his earrings according to the day.
- His average temperature is only 35.0℃.
- He is very familiar with the latest models of smartphones and tablet PCs.
- He comments on an international music website in English.
- In U-17 Camp, Zaizen and Akaya Kirihara play a video game into the night.
- It is strongly hinted by the databook that Zaizen will be the next Captain of Shitenhouji, along with the fact that he shares a room at the U-17 Camp with all the next captains of Rikkai, Seigaku, and Hyotei which are Kirihara Akaya, Kaidoh Kaoru, and Hiyoshi Wakashi respectively.
- Zaizen dedicates a part of each day to maintain his online blog. Accordingly, Kenya Oshitari set an alarm on his cell to notify him of the updates.
- According to the anime, Zaizen is one of the few middle school players who have been a regular since their first year.
- He did not want to participate at the U-17 Camp because thought it would be bothersome.
- He and Oshitari Kenya sang a character song together titled, "Winning Shot".
- Koishikawa Kenjirō and Zaizen are the only two Shitenhōji regulars that are yet to be seen to play in official tennis match on screen in the manga.
- Zaizen's the second shortest Shitenhoji tennis player; the shortest being Kintarou.
- Zaizen and Fuji Shusuke are the same height.