National

'Captain Tsubasa' and friends from popular soccer manga take over Yotsugi Station in Tokyo

Kyodo

A local train station in Tokyo has been covered from floor to ceiling with images from the famous soccer manga and anime series “Captain Tsubasa,” and the train arrival chime now features the show’s theme song.

The new interior of Keisei Electric Railway’s Yotsugi Station was unveiled Monday at a ceremony attended by “Captain Tsubasa” author Yoichi Takahashi and Spanish soccer superstar Andres Iniesta, who is known to be a big fan of the manga.

The Vissel Kobe midfielder revealed at the ceremony that he had watched the anime as a child before going to school.

“I remember the characters’ unique playing styles and am happy to be playing in Japan, where the anime was made,” he said.

The station in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward is seen as a mecca among “Captain Tsubasa” fans because Takahashi hails from the area.

Huge murals of protagonist Tsubasa Ozora and his friends adorn the concourse walls and station signboard, while goalkeeper Genzo Wakabayashi is featured blocking a goal on the stairs while urging passengers not to rush onto the train.

In addition, Tsubasa’s voice is featured in station announcements, and the anime’s ending theme song “Moete Hero” (“Hero on Fire”) is used as the platform chime.

The “Captain Tsubasa” manga series, first published in 1981 in Shueisha’s Weekly “Shonen Jump” comic book, is a worldwide hit. It has been adapted into video games in addition to the anime. It remains popular about four decades on and is still broadcast on television.