Ganbare, Kickers!

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Ganbare, Kickers!
Ganbare, Kickers.png
Anime logo
(Ganbare! Kikkāzu)
GenreSport, Comedy, Drama
Written byNoriaki Nagai
Published byShogakukan
DemographicKodomo, Shōnen
MagazineCoroCoro Comic
Original run19851989
Anime television series
Directed byAkira Shigino
Produced byHaruhiko Akamine
Kunitaka Okada
Takaichi Matsumoto
Yuji Nunokawa (Planning)
Written bySukehiro Tomita
Hiroshi Kaneko
Isao Shizutani
Mitsuo Aimono
Music byJun Irie
StudioStudio Pierrot
Original networkNTV
Original run October 15, 1986 March 25, 1987
Wikipe-tan face.svg 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 1988 the anime arrived to EMEA in its dubbed version and had some success in the Middle East (الهداف Al Haddaf), Iran (فوتبالیست‌ها), South Korea (내일은 축구왕), 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 Indosiar in 1995-1997, TPI in 2003, Bali TV in 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 into 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
Series Director: Akira Shigino
Series Composition: Sukehiro Tomita
Script: Hiroshi Kaneko, Isao Shizutani, Mitsuo Aimono, Sukehiro Tomita
Episode Director: Akira Shigino, Harumi Tamano, Kazu Yokota, Minoru Shinbayashi, Roku Iwata, Shigeru Morikawa
Storyboard: Akira Shigino, Harumi Tamano, Kazu Yokota, Makoto Moriwaki, Minoru Shinbayashi, Roku Iwata, Shigeru Morikawa, Takayuki Kaneko
Art Director: Satoshi Miura
Character Design: Takeshi Ozaka
Animation Director: Takeshi Ozaka, Katsuichi Nakayama, Masami Shimoda, Mitsuo Shindo, Takafumi Hayashi
Composer: Jun Irie
Director of Photography: Hitoshi Kaneko
Editing: Masanori Sakamoto
Sound Director: Naoko Asari
Sound Effects: Kazutoshi Sato
Producer: Haruhiko Akamine (NTV), Kunitaka Okada (I&S), Takaichi Matsumoto (Pierrot)
Executive producer: Yuji Nunokawa

Voice actors[edit]

Tomiko Suzuki - Kakeru Daichi
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 (October 15, 1986)

102 Ball in the center for Rudy - 02 - Begin the Workouts (October 22, 1986)

103 Ball in the center for Rudy - 03 - A Father Trope Ambitious (October 29, 1986)

104 Ball in the center for Rudy - 04 - A Goal at Minute (November 5, 1986)

105 Ball in the center for Rudy - 05 - Buddy Injury (November 12, 1986)

106 Ball in the center for Rudy - 06 - Captain Gentleman (November 19, 1986)

107 Ball in the center for Rudy - 07 - Away in Match (November 26, 1986)

108 Ball in the center for Rudy - 08 - A Very Special Shoot (December 3, 1986)

109 Ball in the center for Rudy - 09 - A New Type of Training (December 10, 1986)

110 Ball in the center for Rudy - 10 - A Great Game (December 17, 1986)

111 Ball in the center for Rudy - 11 - Danger of Marriage (December 24, 1986)

112 Ball in the center for Rudy - 12 - Challenge Msicale (January 14, 1987)

113 Ball in the center for Rudy - 13 - A Team Program (January 21, 1987)

114 Ball in the center for Rudy - 14 - Opponents Incorrect (January 28, 1987)

115 Ball in the center for Rudy - 15 - A Cocky Champion (August 26, 1987)

116 Ball in the center for Rudy - 16 - For Love or Honor (February 4, 1987)

117 Ball in the center for Rudy - 17 - A Life Lesson (Unaired)

118 Ball in the center for Rudy - 18 - An Adventurous Day (Unaired)

119 Ball in the center for Rudy - 19 - A Strange Coach (Unaired)

120 Ball in the center for Rudy - 20 - The Valentine's Day (February 11, 1987)

121 Ball in the center for Rudy - 21 - Thank You Mister (February 18, 1987)

122 Ball in the center for Rudy - 22 - An Unlucky Draw (February 25, 1987)

123 Ball in the center for Rudy - 23 - Start the Championship (March 3, 1987)

124 Ball in the center for Rudy - 24 - Fight Relentlessly (March 11, 1987)

125 Ball in the center for Rudy - 25 - The Last Game (March 18, 1987)

126 Ball in the center for Rudy - 26 - A Grand Finale (March 25, 1987)


  1. ^ 小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2008-06-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]