Ryoma's personality is not a loud and obvious one like many of his teammates, and when he has become emotional (check out the anime where this is more obvious) his teammates are quick to point this out. He actually becomes animated and talkative when this happens. I also agree about the Karupin episode. Until this happened I did not realize how attached to it he really was, and got a big hoot out of Viper's relationship with the cat.
I would like to see him in the rest of Jr high, or skip ahead to high school. They drop hints towards the end of what is available that make me wonder if he might actually go pro when he has embraced and perfected his own style. Up until now he has basically mimiced his dad and the players around him, but we are starting to see Ryoma's style peek through the cracks. I just hope they don't cut this off at the Nationals.
Make time every day to have a bit of fun.