How Captain Tsubasa Inspired a Generation of Football Fans
What is Captain Tsubasa?
If you are a fan of football, anime, or both, you might have heard of Captain Tsubasa, a popular long-running Japanese manga, anime, and video game series created by Yoichi Takahashi in 1980. The series revolves around the passion, dreams, and challenges of a young boy named Tsubasa Ozora, who is determined to become the world's best football player and win the FIFA World Cup for Japan. Along the way, he meets many friends, rivals, mentors, and opponents who share his love for the sport and help him grow as a player and a person.
Captain Tsubasa is not just a simple sports story. It is also a thrilling adventure, a heartwarming comedy, a touching drama, and a inspiring tale of friendship, teamwork, perseverance, and courage. It is a series that has captivated millions of fans around the world for over four decades, and has influenced many professional footballers, such as Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Fernando Torres, Alessandro Del Piero, Andrés Iniesta, Neymar Jr., and many more.
In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of Captain Tsubasa, from its origin and history to its adaptations and spin-offs, from its fan base and reception to its future and prospects. We will also give you some recommendations and reviews on how to enjoy this amazing series. Whether you are a newcomer or a veteran fan, we hope you will find this article informative and entertaining.
The origin and history of Captain Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa was born from the imagination of Yoichi Takahashi, a manga artist who loved football since he was a child. He was inspired by the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, where he witnessed the legendary performance of Diego Maradona. He decided to create a manga that would depict the excitement and beauty of football, as well as the dreams and struggles of young players who aspire to become world-class stars.
The first chapter of Captain Tsubasa was published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on April 13, 1981. It introduced the protagonist, Tsubasa Ozora, an 11-year-old elementary school student who moves to Nankatsu city with his mother. There, he joins the Nankatsu SC football team, where he meets his best friend and rival goalkeeper Genzo Wakabayashi. Together, they face many challenges from other teams and players, such as Kojiro Hyuga from Meiwa FC, Jun Misugi from Musashi FC, Ken Wakashimazu from Toho Academy, Hikaru Matsuyama from Furano FC, and many more.
The manga was an instant hit among readers, especially young boys who were fascinated by the dynamic action scenes, the realistic football techniques, the charismatic characters, and the dramatic storylines. The manga ran for seven years until May 9, 1988, spanning 37 volumes. It followed the journey of Tsubasa from elementary school to high school, as he competed in various tournaments such as the National Junior Championship (U-13), the International Junior Youth Tournament (U-15), the National High School Championship (U-18), and the International Youth Tournament (U-20).
However, Takahashi did not stop there. He continued to write sequels and spin-offs for the series, such as Captain Tsubasa: World Youth Saga (1994-1997), Captain Tsubasa: Road to 2002 (2001-2004), Captain Tsubasa: Golden-23 (2005-2008), Captain Tsubasa: Kaigai Gekito Hen (2009-2012), and Captain Tsubasa: Rising Sun (2014-present). These sequels and spin-offs depict the adventures of Tsubasa and his friends as they pursue their professional careers in various clubs and national teams, such as Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, England, and Japan. They also introduce new characters and rivals, such as Carlos Santana from Brazil, Natureza from Brazil, Shingo Aoi from Japan, Ryoma Hino from Japan, Gino Hernandez from Italy, Mark Owairan from Saudi Arabia, and many more.
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As of 2021, the Captain Tsubasa manga series has sold over 80 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It has also been translated into many languages, such as English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, and more.
The adaptations and spin-offs of Captain Tsubasa
The popularity of the Captain Tsubasa manga series led to various adaptations and spin-offs in other media forms, such as anime, video games, merchandise, and more. These adaptations and spin-offs have expanded the reach and influence of the series to a wider and more diverse audience.
The anime series and movies of Captain Tsubasa
The first anime adaptation of Captain Tsubasa was produced by Tsuchida Production and aired on TV Tokyo from October 13, 1983 to March 27, 1986. It covered the first 25 volumes of the manga series, from the elementary school arc to the high school arc. It had a total of 128 episodes and four movies. The anime was directed by Hiroyoshi Mitsunobu and featured the voice talents of Nobuo Tobita as Tsubasa Ozora, Kojiro Hyuga as Kojiro Hyuga, Hirotaka Suzuoki as Genzo Wakabayashi, Eiko Yamada as Sanae Nakazawa, and many more.
The second anime adaptation of Captain Tsubasa was produced by Group TAC and aired on Fuji TV from October 21, 1994 to December 22, 1995. It was titled Captain Tsubasa J and covered the World Youth Saga arc of the manga series. It had a total of 47 episodes. The anime was directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi and featured the voice talents of Takehito Koyasu as Tsubasa Ozora, Hikaru Midorikawa as Kojiro Hyuga, Nobuyuki Hiyama as Genzo Wakabayashi, Yuko Nagashima as Sanae Nakazawa, and many more.
The third anime adaptation of Captain Tsubasa was produced by Madhouse and aired on TV Tokyo from October 7, 2001 to October 6, 2002. It was titled Captain Tsubasa: Road to 2002 and covered the Road to 2002 arc of the manga series. It had a total of 52 episodes. The anime was directed by Gisaburo Sugii and featured the voice talents of Takashi Fukutomi as Tsubasa Ozora, Masaya Onosaka as Kojiro Hyuga, Shinichiro Miki as Genzo Wakabayashi, Akiko Yajima as Sanae Nakazawa, and many more.
The fourth anime adaptation of Captain Tsubasa was produced by David Production and aired on TV Tokyo from April 3, 2018 to April 2, 2019. It was a remake of the original manga series, with some changes and updates to the story and characters. It had a total of 52 episodes. The anime was directed by Toshiyuki Kato and featured the voice talents of Yuko Sanpei as Tsubasa Ozora, Kenichi Suzumura as Kojiro Hyuga, Yuto Suzuki as Genzo Wakabayashi, Ayaka Fukuhara as Sanae Nakazawa, and many more.
In addition to the anime series, there have been several anime movies and OVAs based on Captain Tsubasa, such as Captain Tsubasa: Europe Daikessen (1985), Captain Tsubasa: Ayaushi! Zen Nippon Jr. (1985), Captain Tsubasa: Asu ni Mukatte Hashire! (1986), Captain Tsubasa: Sekai Daikessen!! Jr. World Cup (1986), Captain Tsubasa: Saikyo no Teki! Holland Youth (1994), Captain Tsubasa: Hasha no Shogo Campione (2002), and Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team (2018).
The video games and merchandise of Captain Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa has also been adapted into various video games and merchandise, such as console games, mobile games, card games, board games, toys, figures, clothing, accessories, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and more. These video games and merchandise have allowed fans to enjoy the series in different ways and platforms.
The first video game based on Captain Tsubasa was released by Tecmo in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was a role-playing game that combined football simulation with turn-based battles. The game was very popular and spawned several sequels and spin-offs for various consoles, such as Super Nintendo Enter