Kickers (Anime)

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Original title が ん ば れ! キ ッ カ ー ズ
transcription Ganbare! Kikkāzu
Ganbare, Kickers.png
Logo of the anime
genre Shons , sports , drama
country JapanJapan Japan
author Noriaki Nagai
publishing company Shogakukan
magazine CoroCoro Comic , Bessatsu Coro Coro , Shōnen Sunday
First publication 1985-1989
expenditure 20th
Anime television series
Country of production JapanJapan Japan
original language Japanese
year 1986
Studio Pierrot
length 24 minutes
Episodes 26 in 1 season
Director Akira Shigino
production Yûji Nunokawa
music Jun Irie
First broadcast October 15, 1986 on NTV
first broadcast
May 5, 1992 on Tele 5

Kickers ( Japanese が ん ば れ! キ ッ カ ー ズ , Ganbare! Kikkāzu ) is a manga by Noriaki Nagai from 1985, which was implemented as an anime television series in 1986 . It can be assigned to the Shōnen genre and, like Captain Tsubasa , who was created at the same time , is about football. Accordingly, it belongs to the sports genre .


The series is about twelve Japanese students whose passion is football. Gregor, a young boy with a lot of talent and great enthusiasm for football, is moving to a new city with his family. He immediately wants to join the school's team, the Kickers (Japanese 北 原 キ ッ カ ー ズ , Kitahara Kikkāzu ). When he finds her, Gregor is horrified to discover that the Kickers lost their last game with 0:21. He also learns that the Kickers have lost all their games so far and are about to be disbanded. But Gregor does not give up. He motivates the kickers and arranges a game against the devils ( 南陽 SC , Nan'yō SC ), the best team in the district. Here the Kickers achieved a respectable success: After falling 0:10 in the first 10 minutes, they not only conceded no more goals in the rest of the game, but even scored the honorary goal at 1:10 through Gregor.

In the following time the kickers increase more and more and achieve better and better results. After some notable draws, they finally celebrate their first victory. On the way to their big goal, participation in the national championship, the kickers also overcome larger obstacles such as B. a ball ban. A strict coach who trains the kickers for a short time takes the team a long way by letting them train hard.

Finally the national championship begins. Despite tough games, the Kickers overcome the first two rounds until they finally meet the devil again . This time the game seems much more balanced than when they last met. Nevertheless, despite their self-sacrificing game, the Kickers have to admit defeat 1: 2 after Gregor missed the great opportunity to equalize in the last second, as he failed to Viktor, the outstanding goalkeeper of the devils . The initial disappointment quickly gives way to pride. The Kickers have improved enormously within six months and despite the defeat they can feel like winners, as they really stood up to their opponents.

But the story doesn't end there. In a friendly game that followed, Gregor was injured and had to be replaced. Since Sascha cannot be used either, Harry, a new student, offers himself as a substitute. With three hits, he almost single-handedly leads the Kickers to victory after falling behind. Harry is now accepted as a new player in the team. But it quickly becomes clear that Harry is not a team player. Due to his extremely selfish style of play and his arrogant manner, there is friction in the team, which is why some players even break away from the kickers for a short time. When it comes to a discussion with Harry, he leaves the team, offended, to form a competing team. A test match between this team and the Kickers shows that his entire team, like him, consists of players who have been kicked out of their old teams for disciplinary reasons. The referee of the game is Viktor, of all people, the goalkeeper of the devil , who always stood by the Kickers as a friend and advisor. The game itself shows that individual passable players do not form a good team. Ultimately, the Kickers win with their team spirit.

The team

  • Masaru Hongō ( 本 郷 勝 , Hongō Masaru) / Mario:

He is the goalkeeper, captain and the most important player on the team. He also leads the training and gives all tactical instructions. Mario was the first goalkeeper to fend off the famous "devil threesome". Away from the field, he is always followed by a horde of girls, which is very uncomfortable for him, as he is rather shy and, moreover, is only in love with Gregor's sister Elsa.

  • Kakeru Daichi ( 大地 翔 , Daichi Kakeru ) / Gregor:

Gregor is new in town and motivates the Kickers to carry on after all the failures. He quickly became the center forward and the driving force behind the team. He scores the most goals by far, also because he never thinks of giving up, gets the most out of himself in every match and fights selflessly for the team. Gregor also has a sister named Elsa. She has a rather small role in this anime. He is in love with Viktor's sister Conny.

  • Kenta Ishii ( 石井 健 太 , Ishii Kenta ) / Kevin:

The hot-headed Kevin is on the offensive next to Gregor and animates the game with quick attacks and especially with passes to Gregor. However, his irrepressible stubbornness is often his undoing. Kevin doesn’t do any tussle during the game and likes to go overboard, which often gets the kickers into trouble. However, this only expresses his absolute will to win.

  • Taichi Ōta ( 太 田 太 一 , Ōta Taichi ) / Sascha:

Sascha is a nice guy, but far too overweight to play football. Accordingly, he usually only presses the bank, but is often brought in as a joker, as his long throw-ins in particular put the opponent in danger. Sascha also has a certain share in the team's success.

  • Hideo Obata ( 小 畑 英 夫 , Obata Hideo ) / Tino:

The little player with the number 6 plays in midfield, although his father would much rather see him in the center forward position and has therefore banned him from playing football for a short time. Now Tinos father has come to terms with his son's style of play and supports the team wherever he can. Tino is very strong on the ball and hits a lot of long passes, especially on Gregor and Kevin.

  • Mamoru Ōtaka ( 大 高 守 , Ōtaka Mamoru ) / Tommy:

He's a tall defender, so he has a very strong header. Mostly he plays on the libero position. However, he is often accused of not being tough enough to play football. When it comes down to it, however, Tommy is usually an important support in covering the kickers.

  • Naoto Hamamoto ( 浜 本 直 人 , Hamamoto Naoto ) / Christoph:

Defender Christoph is similar in size to Tommy, which is why his specialty is headers. Since he is not a gifted technician, the Kickers would do well to use the giant in defense.

  • Takeshi Hara ( 原 た け し , Hara Takeshi ) / Jeremy:

Jeremy is Charlie's twin brother and plays as the right winger. From there he can show his speed very well and is also characterized by a strong offensive urge. Jeremy's crosses always put the opposing goal in danger.

  • Kiyoshi Hara ( 原 き よ し , Hara Kiyoshi ) / Charlie:

The other of the two twins plays on the outside left. The brothers are not only like each other like peas, but are also extremely well-coordinated, as both play an identical style of play. Even off the pitch, you can always see Charlie at his brother's side, they are a conspiratorial duo that helps kickers to succeed.

  • Tetsuya Takada ( 高田 哲 也 , Takada Tetsuya ) / Daniel:

Like Tino, Daniel is rather of a slim stature, but compensates for this with his speed and his first-class feel for the ball. He always gives impulses from the defensive midfield, is to be found in front and behind and thus an important focal point of the game of the kickers.

  • Shinsuke Koga ( 古 賀 信 介 , Koga Shinsuke ) / Benjamin:

Benjamin defends the Kickers with Christoph and Tommy. But also his long passes to the top characterize the defensive route. Sometimes he has disagreements with hothead Kevin.

  • Manabu Noguchi ( 野 口 学 , Noguchi Manabu ) / Philipp:

Philipp also acts more on the defensive. Because of his glasses he is limited at one point or another, but makes up for this disadvantage with his clever mind. In his free time he also likes to play the piano, where he is also very popular.

Other important characters

  • Hikaru Uesugi ( 上杉 光 , Uesugi Hikaru ) / Viktor:

He is the outstanding goalkeeper of the devils, the best team in the district. Viktor occasionally gives the kickers valuable tips. As Conny's brother, he has not lost sight of the fact that Gregor is interested in her.

  • Akina Uesugi ( 上杉 明 菜 , Uesugi Akina ) / Conny:

Viktor's sister, whom Gregor falls in love with. Plays the piano just like Philipp.

  • Ayumi Daichi ( 大地 歩 , Daichi Ayumi ) / Elsa:

Gregor's sister that Mario falls in love with. Save his honor when he surprises her in the locker room.

  • Shun Hyōdō ( 兵 藤 俊 , Hyōdō Shun ) / Harry:

A fiery striker who plays way too selfishly. Belongs to the Kickers for a short time towards the end of the series. He's also played for the Tornadoes. After leaving the Kickers, he founds his own team called 'The Jackals'. However, they never act as a team and thus lose their only game, which takes place against the kickers on the school sports field of both teams.

  • Yū Mizushima ( 水 島 雄 , Mizushima Yū ) / Simon :

He plays for the Black Blitzers and virtually replaces an entire team due to his excellent footballing skills. In contrast to Harry, he is a team player, but he also often uses unfair means. His older brother, who suffers from a heart defect, is called Ronny. Ronny is also the reason why Simon even plays fair now and then.

  • Tsuyoshi Yoshida ( 吉田 つ よ し , Yoshida Tsuyoshi ), Minoru Ikeda ( 池田 み の る , Ikeda Minoru ) and Yūsuke Kishi ( 岸 祐 介 , Kishi Yūsuke ) / Gordon, Eric and Steve :

Outstanding striker of the Red Devils. They form the dreaded "devil threesome", which was considered invincible until Mario was the only goalkeeper to defuse him.

  • Thomas

Thomas is a reporter who reports on the Kickers games.


A pattern recurs almost over and over again in the kickers' games. In almost every game they initially fall behind (be it 0: 1 or 0:10) before they find a means against their opponent in the further course of the game. In this way, the kickers often achieve a draw or a win.

Furthermore, the focus is not as much on football itself as in comparable manga and anime. The action away from the football field takes up a lot of space with the kickers . Therefore, the games themselves never drag on for too long (only the games against the devils stretch over several episodes) and the plot relates to a large extent to the characters' everyday problems.



Kickers appeared in Japan from 1985 to 1989 in individual chapters in the manga magazines CoroCoro Comic , Bessatsu Coro Coro and Shōnen Sunday . Shogakukan also published these individual chapters in 20 individual volumes.

In Spain, Banzai Comics has published the manga every quarter since 2007 in a total of ten volumes and under the local title Supergol .


Studio Pierrot produced the 26-part cartoon series for the manga. This was broadcast from October 15, 1986 to March 25, 1987 on the Japanese television channel Family Gekijō . The series was canceled due to poor audience ratings (especially the simultaneous running Captain Tsubasa turned out to be too strong competition) but after 22 of 26 episodes. The 15th episode was skipped on the first run and only aired on August 26, 1987.

The 3 "Harry Episodes" that took place later in the series were only broadcast on January 5, 1988 in Japan. Later, when the series was published there in a DVD box, all 26 episodes were included, the "Harry episodes" were added as a subplot in the middle of the series (17-19) instead of at the end (24-26) , built-in.

After it was first broadcast on Tele 5 in May 1992 , the series ran several times on German television on RTL II , tm3 , Tele 5 and Premiere-Fox Kids . All 26 episodes were broadcast.

Most recently, a cut version of the series was broadcast for the first time on RTL2.

In addition to Japan and Germany, the anime was also broadcast in Italy ( Palla al centro per Rudy ), France ( But Pour Rudy! ), Spain ( Supergol ) and Poland ( Piłkarze ). The series was also broadcast in Iran under the name "Footbalistha" (فوتبالیستها), the name of which was also used for the Iranian adaptations for the series Captain Tsubasa . Although Captain Tsubasa is similar to Kickers in terms of style, the two football series do not belong together because they come from different authors and studios. The Iranian first broadcast took place in 2010 on the 1st channel of state television .


In addition to the television series, there is also an original video animation that deals with the game of the kickers against the devils at the state championships. This OVA, which was basically cut from the respective 23 episodes, has an alternative ending. Here Gregor hits Viktor in the last second and both teams now have to compete on penalties, which ultimately leads to the triumph of the Kickers (as Viktor is weakened by a head injury). This ending has never officially appeared outside of Japan for a long time, in 2018 it was released by Kazé on Blu-ray (May 25) and on Anime on Demand (December 22). For the German release, the synchronization of the cut was reconstructed from old episodes, but the alternative ending only has German subtitles.

Home theater publication

Anime Virtual (now Kazé) released the entire series on four DVDs from April 28, 2006 to July 24, 2006. In addition, a box with all 26 episodes was released on April 28, 2006. The DVD release took place, among other things, due to the 2006 World Cup .

The DVD box appeared again in 2014 with a new logo ("Kazé" instead of "Anime Virtual"). The box was reissued on February 12, 2016. This time with a revised design in slim case boxes.

Kickers was released on Blu-ray on May 25, 2018. In addition to the German version, the box offers the original Japanese sound including German subtitles for the first time. The box also contains the Japanese intro and outro; before that, only the German was always included on the DVDs. As a bonus there is the 90-minute OVA for the first time.

Episode list

Akira Shigino directed all episodes and Takeshi Ôsaka was responsible for the character design.

number German title First broadcast in Japan
01 The new Oct 15, 1986
02 Morning grouch against early risers Oct 22, 1986
03 Trouble in midfield Oct. 29, 1986
04 A hopeless game Nov 5, 1986
05 Baptism of fire Nov 12, 1986
06 The captain and the girls Nov. 19, 1986
07 Gregor's airmail Nov. 26, 1986
08 Kevin offside Dec 3, 1986
09 Ball ban Dec 10, 1986
10 Victory for Ronny Dec 17, 1986
11 Marriage plans Jan. 7, 1987
12 Sport with music Jan. 14, 1987
13 Computer soccer Jan. 21, 1987
14th Unfair game Jan. 28, 1987
15th Daniel in danger Aug 26, 1987
16 Not with us, coach Feb. 4, 1987
17th The game of chocolates Feb 11, 1987
18th Weighty opponents Feb. 18, 1987
19th No getting through Feb 25, 1987
20th Fight for the next round 3rd Mar 1987
21st The team from the coast 11th Mar 1987
22nd The third round 18 Mar 1987
23 Fight against the end 25th Mar 1987
24 A superstar shoots across Jan. 5, 1988
25th The Rosenkavalier Jan. 5, 1988
26th Victory for team spirit Jan. 5, 1988
OVA Our legend August 21, 1987


character Japanese speaker ( seiyū ) German speaker
Gregor Tomiko Suzuki Nadja Engel
Harry Hidehiro Kikuchi Alexander Doering
Kevin Noriko Tsukase Petra Kelling
Ronny Nobuo Tobita Asad Black
Alex Francis
Trainer Scott Bernd Schramm
Mario Kazue Ikura Gerald Schaale
Sasha Klaus Bergatt
Viktor Eiko Yamada Gunnar Helm
police officer
Thomas Rainer Büttner
Tinos father Keisuke Yamashita Kaspar Eichel
Philip Kyōko Tongū Joachim Kaps


In 1987, Noriaki Nagai was awarded the 32nd Shogakukan Manga Prize in the children's category for Kickers .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Report at AnimeDigital about the processing
  2. Jump up ↑ DVD overview on dra-
  3. Kickers Blu-ray Complete Edition with OVA on
  4. ^ Kickers entry in the German dubbing index