Although he is only a fictional character, thousands of young boys wanted to be like him. Captain Hawk, or simply Tsubasa – the football idol from the Japanese cartoon is almost 30 years old!
The cartoon character himself was created in 1981 by Yoichi Takahashi, but the first television episode of Captain Hawk’s adventures didn’t air until two years later. And it is 1983 that fans of the series recognize as the year of his birth. Tsubasa Ozora – as the main character is called – is a teenage Japanese football player and captain of the school team Nankatsu. An extremely talented and charismatic striker, whose adventures we follow in nearly 140 episodes of the anime football saga.
The world of youth soccer in the series is presented in a very exaggerated way. It’s not even about full stadiums during junior matches, but about the almost supernatural abilities of teenage Japanese soccer players. Balls deforming after atomic shots, broken crossbars, or several meters long “Shaolin soccer” style slides are commonplace for Tsubasa and company.
Not to mention that all the fields on which they fight seem to be a kilometer long, and the opponent’s goal is far over the horizon. But if you’ve watched at least one episode, you’re probably well aware of this.
Anime “Captain Hawk” was a huge success in many countries. It was known as “Kyaputen Tsubasa” in Japan, “Flash Kicker” in England, “Capitão Falcão” in Portugal, “SUBASA” in Vietnam and “Die tollen Fußballstars” in Germany. Young viewers, regardless of the latitude, watched the exploits of Tsubasa with flushed faces as he led his teams to successive victories.
Using the nomenclature from the fan’s treasury, about the young footballer we can say that he plays with number 10, and most often he plays in the position of “classic ten”, that is, he is an offensive midfielder, sometimes playing in attack. Of course, he scores the most goals for Nankatsu.
Tsubasa is a boy marked by soccer. When he was one year old, he almost died under the wheels of a speeding truck. He was saved by a ball held in his hands, which reduced the momentum of the impact and minimized injuries. Since then, the boy has not parted with the soccer. He kicks it constantly – even running to school every morning.
Hailed as the golden boy of Japanese soccer, he ends up in the city of Nankatsu, known for its excellent youth training. There he meets great playmates, with whom he achieves considerable success. Tsubasa’s most famous teammates are goalkeeper Genzo Wakabayashi, Taro Miyaki, and Ryo Ishizaki, while his biggest opponent is Kojiro Hyuga of the Meiwa FC team. The only soccer player who managed to beat Tsubasa on the field.
Roberto Hongo is also an important figure. A former Brazilian representative, a friend of Tsubasa’s father, and later the boy’s fubtol mentor. In large part thanks to Roberto’s help, Captain Hawk develops his talent and gets into successive Japanese national teams, then moves to FC Sao Paulo, and finally ends up in Europe – in the great Barcelona (called Catalunya in the series).
However, the animated adventures of Tsubasa end with the Catalan adventure with Barca. Fans of Captain Hawk have been waiting for new episodes for ten years, hoping to find out what will happen next in the life of this amiable Japanese footballer, and Japanese fans believe that they will see such a player in the real national team. It is not so unrealistic. Since April, the extremely talented 11-year-old Takefusa Kubo has been training at La Masia nursery. Who knows. Maybe he will fulfill the dreams of fans and become the “Second Tsubasa”?