Captain Tsubasa, aka Oliver Atom, aka Los Super Campeones, made a long-awaited return to video game consoles last week with the release of Captain Tsubasa: Rise Of New Champions.
I haven’t gotten my hands on the game yet but I did take the time to dive into the history of the world beloved franchise featuring Japan’s most famous & fictional superstar athlete for Gamecrate.
Takahashi’s original manga series ended in 1988 with Tsubasa and the Nankatsu youth squad winning various youth tournaments, including the U-17 World Championship as a member of Japan’s national youth squad. The series ends with his decision to travel to Brazil to continue playing soccer.
Through various sequels, fans watch Tsubasa grow from aspiring pre-teen soccer hero to a globe-trotting professional adult soccer player. The first sequel, World Youth, featured Tsubasa joining Brazilian club Sao Paulo/F.C. Brancos and winning the FIFA World Youth Championship with Japan.
In Road To 2002, Tsubasa has moved to Spain to play for FC Barcelona/FC Catalunya, though he is temporarily relegated to the team’s B squad. He is reintegrated into the main team in time to help them defeat their eternal rivals, Real Madrid, in a thrilling 6 – 5 victory. The series continues with Golden 23 in which Tsubasa, still playing for Barcelona/Catalunya, also helps the Japan national team qualify for the Olympics.
The manga’s current run is titled Rising Sun and focuses on Tsubasa’s and Japan’s exploits in the Olympics where Japan has made it past the group stage and is facing off against Germany in the quarterfinals. One can assume that they’ll defeat Spain the semifinals and move on to win the final versus the winners of the quarterfinal matches between France, USA, Brazil, and Argentina.