Captain’s Seat #5 – Sanada Genichirou

Sanada Genichirou is the vice-captain of Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku. Rikkai has been the National Champions in the last two years. Rikkai’s regular members are all National-class.

In most of story arc, Yukimura is absentee captain due to his illness. Sanada became the central figure in Rikkai and is shown in the capacity as captain. His leadership style and personality are the most similar to Tezuka in principles, except that Sanada’s methods make Tezuka gentle by comparison. However, like Tezuka, Sanada leads by example.

Sanada is unforgiving of failures, prideful that Rikkai had gone unchallenged for two years. Nicknamed the Emperor, he is one of the three Demons of Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku which consists of Yukimura Seiichi, Sanada Genichirou and Yanagi Renji. He appears proud and noble, meting out capital punishments for losing even a game. He also subjects himself to the same standards and rules, winning great respect from his team members.

Watching Kirihara Akaya’s match and loss to Fuji in Kantou Finals, I can’t shake off the feeling that Sanada is cultivating/mentoring Kirihara like Tezuka is doing with Echizen. Sanada pitted Kirihara against a stronger player, Fuji, to test his mettle and to see if Kirihara could rise above his limits. Harsh lesson indeed. Similarly, Tezuka arranged with Ryuzaki-sensei for Echizen to play Sanada (manga), who was a much stronger player, to challenge him and bring him up to the next level.

Watching the interaction between Yukimura the captain and Sanada, Yukimura and Sanada have a similar interdependence form of leadership, similar to Tezuka-Oishi partnership. Personality-wise, Yukimura-Sanada have a reverse-roles to Tezuka-Oishi. Yukimura, like Oishi, is warm, nice and friendly in personality. Sanada, like Tezuka, is cold, stern and serious, typical of the strong silent type.

When it comes to leadership styles, the two pairs are different. Yukimura-Sanada follows a gentleman-captain and tough-sergeant pattern. Yukimura is, without doubt, the one who holds the reins in Rikkai. He sets the visions, standards and rules of conduct in the team. Sanada enforces them according to his (Sanada’s) methods. Despite Sanada’s knowledge and imposing demeanor, Sanada does not appear to be comfortable with making decisions nor is he farsighted and willful enough to push the members on his own. He makes a good lieutenant but not a captain.

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