Story - 5/10 - The story for The Prince of Tennis is based upon a young boy named Ryoma, who is the son of a former tennis super star, and is taking on the task of joining the school's tennis team and attempting to lead his team to victory when he is only a freshman (This would generally be un-heard of).
Ryoma is considered one of the elite prodigy's of tennis and while he isn't accepted at first by his team, the chemistry eventually comes along through several charming and funny scenes. Unfortunately the series tends to follow a pattern of the team winning, than having off-the-court battles in which the team members are re-inspired or lose, but learn from their mistakes. While this makes the anime interesting at first, it gets old pretty quickly.
My problem with the story of The Prince of Tennis is that it is predictable, repetitive and generally it fails to make the tennis matches entertaining once it reaches the middle of the series, almost as if the writers started the series wanting to show all the tennis matches that the team would have to go through, but then once they reached the more competitive matches it almost seemed as though the creativity fizzled out.
I felt that Prince of Tennis never found its identity. It seemed as though the producers didn't know if they wanted to make a comedy, realistic sports series, drama, or an unrealistic sports series. As a result the series never really presents any characterstics that many other series would provide.
Animation - 7.5 - Not much to talk about here. Its your classic late 90's early 00's style that isnt too flashy but gets the job done. The animation or art style of this anime isnt really all that special and I wouldn't watch this series if you're looking to be impressed by a beautiful or interesting artistic perspective.
Sound - 9.5 - The sound was nice, definitely suitable for the anime and the swooshing of rackets and bouncing of tennis balls is quite enjoyable to listen to when backed with dramatic music.
Characters - 10 - In my eyes the characters are the gem of this series. There is plenty of character development, both in talent, and some short but effective backgrounds. The characters are charismatic and funny, simply put, its hard to not enjoy watching the team win and feel awful for them when they lose.
Overall - 6.5 - Overall the series really lacked for me. I enjoyed the first 30 or so episodes before the plot felt linear and unsatisfactory. I stuck with the anime through the entirety of it, as I was hoping it would climax towards the end and become more interesting again, unfortunately I was wrong. I recommend people interested in tennis, or people who want to see an anime with an older style to watch this, but if you're looking for something with artistic feeling, emotion, complicated and well though out plots, then you're looking at the wrong anime.