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[Captain Tsubasa R2 Japan v14 box art]
AKA: キャプテン翼, Super Campeones (Spanish), Olive et Tom (French), Captain Majid (Arabic), Holly e Benji (Italian)
Genre: Shounen sports anime
Length: Television series, 128 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: PG (some violence)
Related Series: New Captain Tsubasa, Captain Tsubasa J, Captain Tsubasa Road to 2002
Also Recommended: Captain Tsubasa Road to 2002, Slam Dunk, Whistle
Notes: Based on the manga by Takahashi Yoichi.

Captain Tsubasa


Oozora Tsubasa has always wanted one thing: to be the greatest soccer (well, football everywhere else) player in the world, and to play in the World Cup, which is held every four years. The story centers on Tsubasa and his teammates, friends, and opponents as they attempt to become the best soccer team. Finally they must determine the eleven talented players who will fill the vacancies in the Japanese National team for the World Cup.


To start off, this anime isn't as obscure as it may seem. The United States is just about one of probably three or four countries that has never run it on national television. Why? Simply because soccer (regarded as the most popular world sport) isn't popular in our rather secluded nation. The characters have international appeal, and could represent just about any country, and that is remarkable, in my opinion. Tsubasa is known around the world as Oliver (Mexico / South America), Majid (Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia), and in video games, he even featured the name Andrew in Tecmo World Cup (our version of the Captain Tsubasa video game on the Nintendo Entertainment System).

The animation was good for its time (early 80's) but it pales compared to recent anime. Still, the campy nature and compelling storyline are enough to get you hooked on it even if soccer isn't your cup of tea.

The story is intriguingly addictive, although after awhile, there's only so much zany physics a man can take! The soccer balls take shapes that defy logic and curves and speed that physics don't allow for when kicked with "Spiritual Energy". But the anime will keep you guessing which teams will have the upper hand in each match, and they graciously take the time to develop all the main characters, from the brash and violent, but misunderstood Hyuga Kojiro (Steve / Bassam in other cultures), to the determined but stubborn Wakabayashi Genzo (Benji / Waleed), whose cap always remains put as he tends the Nankatsu goalpost, and the carefree, hidden agenda-type bad-ass Wakashimazu Ken (Richard / Rashad). Heck, they even have the token underdog, the token sidekick, AND the girl with rival suitors!!! So even shoujo fans can stick around for a while and enjoy this title! If you can pick this gem up, it may be well worth your time! Just don't try doing those stunts at home with a soccer ball. ^_^

How I wish some distributor would pick this up and market it. (Anyone will do!)

I have a hard time not giving this more, but Fushigi Yuugi's rating came to mind for a split second. The animation and the hairdos on these guys ARE pretty dated. ^^; Gomen ne, Misaki Taro, or, Tom, Carlos, Yaseen, whatever your name is now. — Eric Gaede

Recommended Audience: Nothing objectionable at all in this one. The whole family can enjoy the games on the field. Kojiro's background and violent nature may be distasteful to some though. And his trainer drinks sake...big whoop.

Version(s) Viewed: Television, Spanish dub
Review Status: Full (128/128)
Captain Tsubasa © 1983 Yoichi Takahashi / Shueisha / Tsuchida Productions / TV Tokyo
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