Ganbare, Kickers!

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Ganbare, Kickers!
(Ganbare! Kikkāzu)
Genre Sport, Comedy, Drama
Written by Noriaki Nagai
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Kodomo
Magazine CoroCoro Comic
Original run 19851989
Volumes 20
Anime television series
Directed by Akira Shigino
Produced by Haruhiko Akamine
Kunitaka Okada
Takaichi Matsumoto
Yuji Nunokawa (Planning)
Written by Sukehiro Tomita
Hiroshi Kaneko
Isao Shizutani
Mitsuo Aimono
Music by Jun Irie
Studio Studio Pierrot
Network NTV
Original run October 15, 1986March 25, 1987
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga portal

Ganbare, Kickers! (がんばれ!キッカーズ Ganbare! Kikkāzu?, roughly translated Fight, Kickers!) is a romantic soccer kid manga drawn by Noriaki Nagai. It was published by Shogakukan in CoroCoro Comic magazine from 1985 to 1989. The series won the 1987 Shogakukan Manga Award for best children's manga.[1] The story is usually classified as Comedy, Drama, Shōnen and Sports. Cover art can be seen here.

The manga was turned into an anime series by Studio Pierrot during 1986–1987. It ran 26 episodes and one 40 minute special, but only 21 episodes were aired in Japan. In 1990 the anime arrived to EMEA in its dubbed version and had some success in the Middle East (الهداف Al Haddaf), Iran (فوتبالیست‌ها), Italy (Palla al centro per Rudy), Spain (Supergol), France (But Pour Rudy), Poland (Piłkarze) and especially in Germany and Austria (Kickers). In Indonesia, the anime was aired on Bali TV in 2004-2005.


The story is about an enthusiastic kid soccer team at the Kitahara elementary school, who struggle without a competent striker, when little Kakeru Daichi's (大地翔 Daichi Kakeru) family moves in to the town. He immediately applies to join the team, keen to use his skills gained in the kid team of famous soccer club "The Falcons". With Kakeru the team becomes complete in every sense and he motivates the team to challenge the "Red Devils", a strong secondary school team whose goalkeeper Uesugi is considered undefeatable. They lose 10 to 1, but Kakeru's scoring a single goal is still a small miracle. Under the strong leadership of their own goalkeeper Masaru Hongo, Kickers then enter the kid championship and fight their way up through hard won victories. Meanwhile, Hongo falls in love with Ayumi Daichi (大地歩 Daichi Ayumi), Kakeru's cute, sporty sister. In turn the striker enamours Akuna Yukie, a fragile, angelic pianist girl, who happens to be Uesugi's much younger sister. These affairs lead to some embarrassingly funny situations as well as numerous complications with the team's devoted and jealous cheerleader trio.

For a short while, Kickers gain a professional trainer whose instructions help them win their way to the semi-finals, just to meet the Red Devils once again. After a dramatic match, that spans two 20 minute episodes, Uesugi fends off Kakeru's final freescore and so the Kickers are out! The devastated team is soon divided by the arrival of Harry, a famous junior talent, who has been fired from three big name teams already for subversive behaviour. He infiltrates and splits Kickers, but his rudeness and Hongo's strong leadership re-unite the team. Harry then seduces Ayumi and assembles a faux team out of the school's scum so he can defeat the Kickers almost alone. Although the naive Kakeru is no match for the older and much stronger Harry, the Kickers's teamwork spirit and Uesugi's support secures a victory in this dirty match and Harry is devastated. The anime series ends with a redeemed Harry reconciling with the Kickers, before leaving the town to play overseas.


Original story: Noriaki Nagai
Director: Akira Sugino (alternative spelling Akira Shigino)
Senior script writer: Sukehiro Tomita
Junior script writers: Hiroshi Kaneko, Isao Shizutani
Art Director: Satoshi Miura
Character Design: Takeshi Ozaka
Background art: Satoshi Miura
Composer: Jun Irie
Producer: Yuni Nunokawa (alternative spelling Yuji Nunokawa)

Voice actors[edit]

Yuko Kobayashi - Akuna Yukie
Ikue Ohtani - Kiyoshi Hara
Kazue Ikura - Masaru Hongō
Tarako - Taichi
Michie Tomizawa - Tetsuya
Urara Takano - Mamoru
Chieko Honda

Episode List[edit]

101 Ball in the center for Rudy - 01 - A New Arrival

102 Ball in the center for Rudy - 02 - Begin The Workouts

103 Ball in the center for Rudy - 03 - A Father trope Ambitious

104 Ball in the center for Rudy - 04 - A goal at minute

105 Ball in the center for Rudy - 05 - Buddy Injury

106 Ball in the center for Rudy - 06 - Captain Gentleman

107 Ball in the center for Rudy - 07 - Away In Match

108 Ball in the center for Rudy - 08 - A very special shoot

109 Ball in the center for Rudy - 09 - A new type of training

110 Ball in the center for Rudy - 10 - A Great Game

111 Ball in the center for Rudy - 11 - Danger of marriage

112 Ball in the center for Rudy - 12 - Challenge msicale

113 Ball in the center for Rudy - 13 - A team programme

114 Ball in the center for Rudy - 14 - opponents incorrect

115 Ball in the center for Rudy - 15 - A cocky champion

116 Ball in the center for Rudy - 16 - for love or honor

117 Ball in the center for Rudy - 17 - A life lesson

118 Ball in the center for Rudy - 18 - An adventurous day

119 Ball in the center for Rudy - 19 - A strange coach

120 Ball in the center for Rudy - 20 - The valentines day

121 Ball in the center for Rudy - 21 - Thank you mister

122 Ball in the center for Rudy - 22 - An Unlucky Draw

123 Ball in the center for Rudy - 23 - Start the championship

124 Ball in the center for Rudy - 24 - Fight relentlessly

125 Ball in the center for Rudy - 25 - The last game

126 Ball in the center for Rudy - 26 - A grand finale


  1. ^ 小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 

External links[edit]