Twenty things about Yukimura. (Because Konomi lost his thread completely and I don’t find Yukimura’s Svengali Tennis the least little bit convincing.) Character Sketch, I-2, manga continuity

Character(s): Yukimura Seiichi

At first he thought it was strange, playing tennis in teams, but he’s come to like the school club. It makes inside and outside clear.

People on the inside are the ones who see him smile, who hear him shout. People on the outside only see his calm.

His team makes him smile the same way his garden does, to see subtle and bright colors unfurling in harmony, to see the fierce, unrelenting desire all things have to grow. He loves that.

He thinks Akaya might have gotten a bit frost-nipped at the start, but he seems to be recovering, finally shedding dead leaves and putting his energy into new ones.

Then there are the ones like Yagyuu, his morning glory—charming and ruthless. Only trees are strong enough to bear up a morning glory and not be strangled.

He’s sure few people would imagine Niou anything as firm and solid as a tree, but he thinks it’s appropriate.

He thinks he will come to his art after he’s done with tennis. Mathematics, though, he keeps with him at all times. That isn’t a career; it’s the underpinning of his world.

Sometimes tennis and art tangle in his mind. Jackal reminds him of the Impressionists—solid and everyday, but always striking in the texture of his existence, in the way light falls on him.

Marui, on the other hand, reminds him irresistibly of Mondrian, all stark, strong lines and cheery, primary colors.

The time his class was assigned a self-portrait, he used dark outlines and intense colors for the background. His image looked at the sky, though, and he painted that a pale, clear blue.

All things have a pattern. All things can be described and understood. He shares that conviction with both Niou and Renji, though they show it in three very different ways.

His own technique is really quite simple. He fills the space that the game creates—whatever that is. Renji says he’s like water, pouring into different shaped containers. He likes the image.

The shape that his games with Sanada make is brutal and complex and fine as the edge of Sanada’s sword. Sanada makes him think of the stone and earth that plants grow out of.

For Sanada, muga no kyouchi is an extra step into concentration, discipline, purity. For Seiichi it’s like pulling muscles out that last bit into a full stretch.

When he stretches out on the court, no-self exists in the spaces between his breaths.

As an artist, he knows, a blank sheet is not empty; the moment eyes and intention touch it it holds color and line that the artist must find. His tennis is like that, too.

It was not his strongest opponents who named him Kami no Ko. The strongest can throw off his domination, keep their will to fight. It’s only the weak that he stuns simply by uncovering his spirit.

Renji teases, gently, that Seiichi’s spirit is the sun of this garden, his team. Seiichi says that, if so, Renji is the rain. He isn’t teasing; without rain, the sun would only scorch.

He knows he will stay with his club and his team through high school. He loves the competition that runs down the years, woven tight and intimate. And only here is there the devotion that saw him through months of slow terror and helped him stand at the end of it.

He knows the love and pride of these years will live on in his heart even after he leaves. But he’s never let go of anything he’s truly wanted. He sees no reason to start.