OP: 「Start Dash」 by Johnny’s West
「大空にはばたけ!」 (Oozora ni Habatake!)
Sports anime fans of Japan, South America, and Europe, your time has come! A sleek and alluring reboot of Captain Tsubasa is finally here, and with David Production on-board, your fond memories of reading the manga or watching the series decades ago are brought back to life in glorious HD. Although many have been antsy about the status of David Production’s plans with Part V of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, their investment in Captain Tsubasa is looking very promising so far as it takes the attention to detail, quality, and passion of the original manga and distills it in the same polished way their JoJo adaptation has been handled. No expense was spared as Wakabayashi (Suzumiya Kenichi) tears through an entire cavalcade of school clubs by blocking everything they lob his way, and Tsubasa (Sanpei Yuuko) delivers powerhouse kicks to any soccer ball that dares to cross his path. Every kick, punt, and boast is emphasized with high caliber energy and dynamic lines to do justice to the intensity and tenacity of the players’ actions.
And if there’s any series that deserves to have the David Production flair behind it, Captain Tsubasa has definitely earned it. The grand standing that Wakabayashi does as he claims the field as his own after utilizing his goalkeeper skills to beat all of the clubs vying for the practice area as well as the spark that Tsubasa has as he is impulsively gravitated towards soccer is animated on-point to reflect the bombast behind their athletic abilities. A series with as much dedication to excited soccer players kicking, blocking, and shouting fits perfectly within the artstyle and direction that this 2018 reboot has going for it. Those who are following it knowing what happens next will be happy to know that it captures the spirit of the original manga down to a T with the eccentricities behind both Tsubasa and Wakabayashi’s talents.
On the flip-side, those coming into this reboot as their introduction to Captain Tsubasa may notice that there are some things that can be a little dated. Infant Tsubasa deflecting Truck-kun’s affection with a cushy soccer ball and Tsubasa’s tendency to walk up flights of stairs and navigate crowded streets kicking his beloved soccer ball has a level of corniness to it that is a lot of fun, yet might leave some yearning for a more nuanced soccer series puzzled. However, the charm of Captain Tsubasa does come from the traditions and tropes it carries with it, and it’s the eccentricities that make Captain Tsubasa such a worthwhile series to dive into for any sports fan. And who can resist the idea of Tsubasa sending a challenge to Wakabayashi by punting a soccer ball off a cliff into his backyard? We might be looking into a long series with several cours given how much source material David Production has to work with to tell the entirety of Tsubasa’s journey, but those in it for the long haul will be happy to hear that it’s starting out as an awesome soccer anime that captures the spirit of the story that will continue to inspire and give rise to new legends on the field.
ED: 「Moete Hero」