Captain Tsubasa print run ends, will continue online, Latest World News - The New Paper

Captain Tsubasa print run ends, will continue online

TOKYO – After 43-years, the final whistle was blown for the print run of an iconic football comic which inspired superstars like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

But it is not full-time yet for “Captain Tsubasa”, whose stories will continue online.

The comic about an 11-year-old football prodigy was created by cartoonist Yoichi Takahashi in 1981 with over 80 million copies of the books sold in Japan and overseas.

Known as “Super Campeones” in Spanish-speaking Latin America and “Holly e Benji” in Italy, the story has also been adapted into cartoons and video games.

The final installment of Captain Tsubasa Magazine hit the shelves in Japan on April 4, tightly sealed at bookstores to protect against spoilers.

“Burn the bravery of Tsubasa and the gang into your hearts!” the magazine said on its cover, beside an illustration of main character Tsubasa Ozora wearing a Japanese national team kit.

“To new challenges!” another banner headline said.

Mr Takahashi said earlier this year that the series would end in April, citing his worsening health and changing conditions in the manga industry.

“Now I have finished drawing the last episode of the series, I am relieved to have finished everything and feel liberated to finally lead a life without deadlines,” the 63-year-old wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on April 3..

The author said he would continue the story in sketches published online and would try new “forms of expression” unbound by the constraints of the publishing industry.

“The story of Captain Tsubasa is not over yet! That is a fact,” Mr Takahashi said.

“Please continue to support Captain Tsubasa just as you have in the past.” – JAPAN NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK