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Captain Tsubasa by Yoichi Takahashi - Anime Soccer game merchandise store

How the 1978 FIFA WORLD CUP soccer games inspired a Japanese Author to write and create one of the most successful animation soccer series EVER.


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Yoichi Takahashi was delighted by association football after seeing the 1978 FIFA World Cup. The matches, players and fans' love towards the sport inspired him to write a manga about football. Another relevant aspect on this decision was the fact that Takahashi liked football more than baseball because he considered the players to have more freedom during matches. Despite football not being popular in Japan, Takahashi aimed to depict it through his manga and to reach the general public. Because of the non-popularity of the subject, getting the approval to write the manga by its publisher, Shueisha, took between 2 and 3 years, which was also difficult since it was his first manga. Rather than using professional players, the manga author instead used children as protagonists, hoping readers would identify themselves with the cast. Nevertheless, Takahashi already had in mind that through the series the main characters would grow up and become professionals.

In the making of the cast, Takahashi designed multiple characters with different traits in order to deliver multiple traits that would serve as obstacles for Tsubasa to surpass. The large number of characters made Takahashi careful with their designs and he wanted to give each of them recognizable features. One of Tsubasa's early rivals, Jun Misugi, was given skills that surpassed the protagonist's. As a result, he gave Misugi a heart condition that would balance the match between their teams. When asked why Tsubasa's teams always win, Takahashi stated it was because he aims the manga to be long and thus a defeat would reduce its length. While the series was initially aimed at children, Takahashi was surprised at how, across the years, it has also attracted adults, as well as at the impact it had on Japan's football. When talking about its themes, Takahashi stated the main one is honor, which is meant to be superior than money, something which people value more.

As Takahashi liked European football due to its competitive level, he decided to make Tsubasa leave São Paulo and join Spain's F.C. Barcelona at the age of 21. In 1998, Takahashi traveled to Barcelona and enjoyed the Camp Nou stadium so much that he was inspired by it to make the Barcelona team Tsubasa's future team. Nevertheless, Takahashi asserted it was a decision taken at random and joked that Tsubasa would have joined the Real Madrid if he had visited Santiago Bernabéu. For this part, Takahashi started using professional players inspired by real-life football stars, most notably Rivaul (inspired by Rivaldo) who would mentor Tsubasa in Barcelona. Due to Tsubasa's inexperience in his debut as an adult, Rivaul becomes his mentor.

Since 1988 Temco developed Captain Tsubasa video games and released a first version for the western regions in 1992 under the name Temco Cup Soccer Game. A long line of development of the Captain Tsabusa game series is history now resulting in an ever growing multi million user fan community. With it's 2020 release CAPTIAN TSUBASA - RISE OF NEW CHAMPIONS this arcade anime sports game is ready for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

(Source: wikipedia:

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