Captain Tsubasa (キャプテン翼, Kyaputen Tsubasa?), also known as Flash Kicker, or Captain Majid in Arab speaking countries, is a popular long-running Japanese manga, animation, and video game series, originally created by Yōichi Takahashi in 1981. The series mainly revolves around the sport of Association football.
The story focuses on the adventures of a Japanese youth soccer team and its football captain Tsubasa Oozora (大空 翼, Ōzora Tsubasa?), whose name literally translates to "Big Sky Wings". The series is characterized by dynamic football moves, often stylish and implausible. The plot focuses on Tsubasa's relationship with his friends, rivalry with his opponents, training, competition, and the action and outcome of each football match.
The Captain Tsubasa manga series was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump comic book magazine between 1981 and 1988, spanning a total of 37-tankōbon volumes. It was continued onto a sequel, Captain Tsubasa: "World Youth" Saga, which was serialized between 1994 and 1997 in Shōnen Jump, spanning 18 volumes, and another sequel, entitled Captain Tsubasa: Road to 2002, which was serialized between 2001 and 2004 in Weekly Young Jump, which spanned 15 volumes. The latest sequel entitled Captain Tsubasa: Kaigai Gekito Hen En La Liga, serialized in Weekly Young Jump from 2010 to 2012.
The original Captain Tsubasa comic series was adapted soon into an TV animation series, produced by Tsuchida Production, whose first season premiered in Japan on the TV Tokyo network between 10 October 1983 and 27 March 1986. This first series tells only the synopsis of the first 25 volumes. Four animated movies followed soon, between 1985 and 1986, continuing the storyline. In 1989 a new animation series, entitled Shin Captain Tsubasa, was produced by Shueisha and CBS Sony Group inc. and spanned 13 OAV. Shin captain Tsubasa tells the comic book's synopsis from volume 25 to volume 36. The animation series was followed soon after into a second sequel, entitled Captain Tsubasa J, produced by Studio Comet, which aired between October 21, 1994 and December 22, 1995 in Japan on the Fuji Television network and spanned 47 episodes, as well an OVA series, Captain Tsubasa: Holland Youth, which was published in 1994. The animated series was continued on further into a third sequel, Captain Tsubasa: Road to Dream, also known as Captain Tsubasa ~ Road to 2002, the latest animated adaptation of the series, produced by Group TAC and Madhouse Studios, which aired in Japan between October 7, 2001 and October 6, 2002.
All of the versions of the Captain Tsubasa animated series has been broadcast by the animation satellite television network, Animax, across its original network in Japan and later across its respective networks worldwide, including East Asia, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions. It has also been broadcast across several other regions over the world, including South America, Europe and the Middle East. The success of the series also spurred several Nintendo Super Famicom video game adaptations. Enoki Films holds the United States license to Captain Tsubasa, under the title Flash Kicker. In a poll conducted by TV Asahi in 2005, the Captain Tsubasa anime series ranked 41 in a list of Top 100 Anime series.
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