The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series has a large cast of fictional characters created by Takeshi Konomi, many of whom have also appeared in the adaptations of the story such as the musicals and films. The cast of the series is largely made up of the members of the various tennis teams for the schools portrayed in the series, as well as their coaches and various family members and supporters.
The main character of the series is Ryoma Echizen, a 12 year old tennis prodigy who joins the Seishun Academy tennis team at the beginning of the series. The main cast is rounded out with the other 8 regular players for Seishun, all of whom have various special abilities at playing tennis. Beyond them, there are many rival schools whose players reappear during the course of the series.
The protagonists of the series all attend Youth Academy (青春学園, Seishun Gakuen?), or Seigaku (青学?) for short. It is a school famous for its talented tennis club, thus the series' leading protagonist, Ryoma Echizen, is enrolled into the school by his father, Nanjiro Echizen, a former professional tennis player and also a former student of Seigaku. Although Seigaku is well known for their tennis skills in the past, the absence of Nanjiro Echizen throws the team into somewhat of a slump, leaving them unable to make it to Nationals over the next several years until a first year, Tezuka, joins the Regulars. The team slowly reforms, and Seigaku manages to pull off its first National victory after Ryoma joins.