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Eiichiro Maruo

Eiichiro Maruo
 (丸尾栄一郎), also called Ei-chan, by his friends is the main protagonist of the manga, Baby Steps. He later becomes a member of Southern Tennis Club on his mother's suggestion to fulfill his lack of exercise. His current aim is to become a professional tennis player.


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Eiichiro praticing tennis at STC

Eiichiro has an average stature for a tennis player. He has an odd hairstyle with short hair on the sides and spiked hair in the middle. He has a superior eyesight as compared to dsa normal person. After training hard for becoming a professional, he has muscled up a bit and his body has become totally tennis oriented. He usually wears uniform at the school and tennis clothes at the club. Another noticeable feature is that he always carries a bundle of notes with him, be it for studying or for tennis.


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Eiichiro analyzing the players via taking notes

Eiichiro has a perfectionist personality and is also called All-A, referring to his perfect grades. He tries to achieve perfection in every task that he performs, be it studies or tennis. He works very hard to achieve his goals to an extent that it even surprises his friends and tennis club members. He is sometimes referred to as a high-school boy who sounds like an old man due to his habits of trying to do everything in order to be perfect.


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Eiichiro habit of taking copious notes during class

During his second week at high school, Eiichirou continues writing his study notes. When E-Chan was eating his lunch, Natsu Takasaki from class 2 appears to borrow his world history notes. After Natsu describes E-Chan as weird (as his notes look excessively perfect), she accidentally falls down and ruins his notes. After school, Kojirou Kageyama invites him to the shougi club, but E-Chan rejects him and explains that he wants to participate in some exercise. Upon arrival at home, his mother persuades him to visit the neighborhood tennis club, Southern Tennis Club. At first he refuses to go, but his mother snaps and forces him to visit. As he arrives at the Southern Tennis Club (STC), he is amazed by the size and facilities it

Eiichiro and Takuma's altercation

consists. He notices Natsu Takasaki playing tennis in one of the indoor tennis courts, but is discovered by Kajima Yuuki. Yuuki immediately believes that he is spying on them and yells loudly, hence bring everyone's attention to E-Chan. After being discovered, Nacchan introduces him to the players of the Southern Tennis Club. He reluctantly joins the warm-up exercises which involves running 10 laps, 10 line touches, jump and dashing, 5 sets of side-steps, dashing, and etc. Unfortunately, E-Chan collapses after doing all the exercises and is called pitiful by the elementary school student Yuuki. Afterwards, he finds an

Eiichiro determined to return one of Takuma's serve

excuse to leave, but is questioned by Natsu of whether studying is fun. Natsu reveals her intentions to become a professional tennis player, which causes E-Chan to reflect on his life. When he was riding the bus home, he decides to get off half the journey and run back home. He later collapse again whilst running, and asks his mother to pick him up. The next day, Natsu passes a message from coach Morimoto, to him. He is invited to the Southern Tennis Club again to practice playing tennis. After a few days, he decides to visit the tennis club again and successfully finishes the warm-up exercises without collapsing. Whilst waiting for coach Morimoto, E-Chan

Eiichiro falls on hands and knees with rear protruding upward after Takuma defeats and humiliates him

decides to observe A court. He is introduced to Takuma Egawa who demonstrates a powerful serve which intimidates him. After Nacchan teaches him the basic stance to hit the ball, he successfully hits a light serve from Takuma. After his successful hit, he begins to practice playing tennis, even though he is unable to produce the same shot. He also develops a Tennis Edition of his notes, just to feel the great sensation again, from his first successful shot. Following his hours of practice he discovers Nacchan and Takuma, and believes that they were dating. To his appreciation, he discovers that it was a misunderstanding. Soon after, Nacchan finds him hiding in the bushes and
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she joins his tennis practice. As she leaves, Kageyama perceives that he likes Nacchan, hence causing E-Chan to feel flustered and confused. At home, he looks up at a dictionary for the definitions of like and love. The following evening, he spends approximately 6 hours practicing tennis. Even when Nacchan calls his name, his concentration prevents his from realizing her. For the first time, Natsu says that E-Chan will become a strong player, but Takuma shows his doubts.


Eiichiro initially had very little athletic ability, but after working hard continously to achieve perfection, he developed a higher stamina and more advanced tennis skills.


One of Eiichiro's notable traits is his constant notetaking.  Eiichiro is known for writing down his obervations during matches in great detail, making probablilty charts for shot-selections, service placement, and habits as well as shot by shot replays of each point the games.  This allows him to collect his thoughts and come up with strategy to beat his opponents. 

Basic Form

According to many tennis players and coaches, Eiichiro's shot hitting form is perfect.  This is because he used to practice his form by hitting against the wall and wrote down how he needed to adjust his body to create an ideal swing.  Eiichiro's mastery of the basics is the foundation of his all-court style, using a variety of basic shots to win points.

Superior Eyesight

Eiichiro's eyesight is noted to be extraordinary, being able to follow the trajectory of fast balls.  Even during his beginner days, Eiichiro was able to see all of Egawa's serves clearly and see their path. Its due to his superior vision and the ability to distinguishly notice it at such high speeds.  Eiichiro later becomes able to use his eyesight along with his analysis of his opponent to predict where the ball will go by looking at the opponent's body.

Ball Control

Eiichiro has developed a great control over his shots and can hit with a very high accuracy to any part of the court. He started with using a 9 square division, but has increased its accuracy to 81 square division.

Fast Serve

After his match with Egawa, he realised that he needed a fast serve in order to keep the flow of game with him before starting a rally using control skills. He copied the movements of Egawa in order to learn a fast serve.

Tennis Oriented Body

After deciding to focus his whole year to his goal of winning the Nationals and becoming a pro, Eiichiro practiced with the coach regularly, using many different routines.This helped him break his body and develop it into a body which is totally aimed for tennis.


After suffering any defeat in tennis, Eiichiro always assumes a similiar position, laying on his hands and face with his rear sticking up. 

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