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Known for his lovingly drawn renditions of physics-defying goals on the pages of soccer manga “Captain Tsubasa,” series creator Yoichi Takahashi was unexpectedly forced to play defense last month — in an intellectual property battle with a Singapore-based startup of murky origin.

On June 17, Takahashi took to Twitter in order to denounce plans by Football Metaverse Pte and its partner Mangaverse Foundation to sell a series of non-fungible tokens — which serve as certificates for digital items such as art and music — themed around “Captain Tsubasa,” describing the project as “illegal” and urging fans not to participate.

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