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Viz Media Poised to Score With Soccer Anime Series ‘Captain Tsubasa’ (EXCLUSIVE)



Viz Media has picked up a wide collection of rights in North America and Latin America to animated Japanese sports series “Captain Tsubasa: Junior Youth Arc.”

The series is adapted from a popular manga by Yoichi Takahashi and is licensed by Shueisha Inc. The deal includes digital streaming, TV, electronic sell-thru, home video and merchandise rights for North and Latin American territories.

The new series is currently being produced by Studio KAI, with the official main staff including: director Ono Katsumi; character design and executive animation director, Watanabe Hajime; and series composition, Tomioka Atsuhiro. The voice cast includes Sanpei Yuko as Tsubasa Ozora, Gukuyama Jun as Karl Heinz Schneider and Suzumura Kenichi as Wakabayashi Genzo and Hyuga Kojiro as Sato Takuya. It is set to launch October 2023.

The “Captain Tsubasa” manga is the creation of Takahashi Yoichi and was first serialized in 1981 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. To date, the manga series has reached worldwide sales of over 90 million volumes on paper and in digital format.

The narratives center on main protagonist, Tsubasa Ozora. He is joined by a team of distinctive players who grow as characters through their intense rivalries and on-field battles. The manga series is credited with having helped make soccer more popular in Japan and to have inspired many players to take up the sport. As it expanded, the manga also started depicting many thinly-disguised players and teams from the real world.

In “Captain Tsubasa: Junior Youth Arc” the International Junior Youth Tournament in Paris, is about to begin and Tsubasa, Misaki, Wakabayashi, Hyuga, and Wakashimazu are ready. Japan’s team of elite players is to face off against the best the soccer world has to offer. Germany’s Schneider, France’s Pierre, Argentina’s Diaz, and Italy’s Hernandez await, along with a host of other new rivals.


The manga has previously been adapted for the TV, the big screen and as a video game. A first anime series ran by Tsuchida Production ran 1983-1986 on TV Tokyo. Another “Shin Captain Tsubasa” was produced by Shueisha and CBS Sony Group as 13 original video animation (OVAs). Others followed in 1994 (“Captain Tsubasa J”), 2001 (“Captain Tsubasa – Road to 2002”) and 2018 (“Captain Tsubasa”). The preceding series is currently available in North America on Amazon Prime Video, Pluto TV, and Roku and for purchase on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

“Captain Tsubasa” was the first manga creation by Takahashi, who achieved his breakthrough by winning the 10th Fresh Jump award in Weekly Shonen Jump. Some 40 years later, Takahashi also serves as club president of the soccer team Nankatsu SC in his hometown of Katsushika City.

Source: Variety

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