Captain Tsubasa (2018) Episode 29 & 30

Episode 29

This episode was pretty chill which can definitely be forgiven considering the mad run of it we’ve had the last few episodes. And chill does not necessarily mean bad. The big introduction of the day is Nitta, the talented young upstart who’s burst onto the middle school scene with an impressive elementary school record under his belt. Whoaaaa he can score on Morisaki I’m so scared, what a powerhouse. And he gets pictures of animals (falcons, to be exact – wow, could this be paralleling someone else?) to go along with some of his shots so you know he’s a big deal. I can’t bring myself to get too excited about him because you know he’s just a placeholder meant to keep our interest until the nationals start up again, but he’s fun enough. Also appearing today is Katagiri, Japanese National Football Higher-Up/next in a long line of Captain Tsubasa’s Cool Sunglasses Men.

I am actually loving the new OP and ED, they are both complete bangers (I’m glad they didn’t actually change the core ED song or I would have been very disappointed). The OP visuals are great, too – it’s nice to see the vintage ‘80s manga art every so often.

I’m semi on the fence about whether or not I like New Anego. I guess I still like her.

Timeskip Anego Cons:

  • has slowly morphed from bratty tomboy to basic bitch
  • is no longer cheering with the lads

Timeskip Anego Pros:

  • is middle school team manager
  • has her own band of lackeys now and they’re all uncomfortably into Cute Football Boys together. Is that a pro? They’re reasonably amusing, so I’m calling it one.
  • talks to footballs now as well (just how many people does Tsubasa have doing this?)
  • actually getting screentime (for now at least)

The results are in and I have decided that Anego is still cool.

One of my favourite things this episode is Tsubasa having a psychotic break over the thought his middle school might not win the nationals three years in a row and starts shitting on his teammates left and right, pointing out everyone’s flaws. Yes, give me diva Tsubasa. I wish he was like this all the time. You forget sometimes that he’s actually incredibly high-strung. Like a champion racehorse.

I still can’t get over the fact that Misaki is fucking ghosting Tsubasa over here. This is another plot point that doesn’t really hold up in the smartphone era. There’s literally no good reason for him not to have been in touch. Wakabayashi’s managing.

I don’t know why but this shot of the Nankatsu boys sitting outside a shop eating their snacks and shooting the shit makes me laugh. Ishizaki here looks like that one Railgun screenshot that got memed in like 2011.

‘Member that?

Notice that Tsubasa is the only one not having junk food. It’s possible he doesn’t eat at all any more. Tsubasa only drinks Soylent now.

Also oh my god did Tsubasa actually get a live-in Portuguese teacher? This is an innovation of the 2018 version (as far as I know) and I think it’s hilarious. I wonder if he’s using him as, like, a budget Roberto replacement, emotionally speaking. My headcanon is now that Tsubasa desperately latches onto men as potential father figures because his own father is constantly absent. And is there a name for the Portuguese version of Engrish? Because this is definitely it.

Final thought of the episode: I want to frame this haphazard Roberto collage and put it on my wall.

Thank you, that will be all.

Episode 30

I can’t say I find the prefectural finals match particularly thrilling (the eagle/falcon clash between Tsubasa and Nitta was cool as hell though), and I think it’s a shame that this has to be where we meet Nitta. I’m sure he could be an intriguing character under some circumstances, but because of the nature of the prefectural tournament he just comes off as a placeholder. They keep trying to build him up as the most exciting player Tsubasa’s encountered in years, but his play is nowhere near as strong as Hyuga at his best, or as fun to watch. It rings a little hollow. And that’s not to say Nitta’s without any strong points. He’s got a lot of flair and his design is cute. I love his entrances. He always comes in like he’s about to break into a West Side Story number or something. But I find myself willing his match to be over barely after it’s begun.

One thing I do like, though, is hearing Tsubasa’s former teammates on Otomo’s side venting about how everyone who isn’t Tsubasa gets completely eclipsed by him, which if you think about it is actually a serious problem. The Japanese Football Federation, seeing him as Japan’s only hope to be a real contender on the world stage, are seemingly concentrating all of their efforts on this one prodigy, even going so far as helping their family ship him out to Brazil, which doesn’t appear to be happening with anyone else in the country (unless you count Wakabayashi who really left more of his own volition). And yes, he’s the greatest, but in reality, the raw talent gap between him and, e.g., Hyuga, is relatively small. And by funnelling all of your funds and resources into this one child, all you’re doing is making that gap wider and discouraging talented players from putting themselves out there. Why would they bother when the best they can be is a supporting character in the Tsubasa Show (literally)? This also affects Tsubasa’s teammates, whose impulse to coast on his incredible talent is very understandable – why try? You’re only going to embarrass yourself anyway. It’s really best if Tsubasa leaves for Brazil as soon as possible before he cannibalises the entire Japanese football scene.

But yeah, wasn’t completely bowled over by this episode, and I don’t really have much to say about it. It was just… standard. Even Tsubasa’s goal was completely by the book. It is what it is, though, we’re just killing time until them Nationals. I assume next time around we’ll get our mid-match struggle so that Otomo can look like they’re a respectable team, followed by an eventual hard-earned win for Nankatsu, as is the natural order of things. And then, then, we can finally get to the good stuff (though I assume we’ll have a few more episodes of messing around first).

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