Captain Tsubasa Rising Sun THE FINAL: Chapter 1 & 2 Review

Hey there! So I just finished reading the first two chapters of Captain Tsubasa Rising Sun: The Final, the final arc of the manga, and let me tell you, it’s intense! The Madrid Olympics semi-final between Japan and Spain is heating up with the score tied at 2-2. Both teams are giving it their all to win, and the rivalry between Tsubasa and Michael is getting fiercer with each action.

Chapter 1

In the first chapter, Tsubasa starts off the match with the his rival’s signature move, the segway dribble. While doing it, Tsubasa finally understands one of the reasons why his rival was doing it in the first place. As it turns out, the segway dribble helps the player raise his line of sight so that he can read the field situation better. The Spanish forwards Torres and Rail try to tackle Tsubasa, but he passed the ball to Misaki before they could get him. Misaki then sends the ball straight back to Tsubasa in a neatly executed one-two combination.

Tsubasa and Michael clash heads with the ball, and we get a flashback with Tsubasa’s mentor, Roberto Hongo, who tells him that sometimes you have to play dirty to win and that if the referee doesn’t see him, it’s not a foul. While in the air, Tsubasa extends his arm to prevent Michael from reaching him, Tsubasa tries to pass the ball between Michael’s legs, but Michael anticipates it and sends it to the Spanish side back, Del Horeno.

Chapter 2

In the second chapter, the Spaniards use their favorite tactic, the tiki taka, and Nitta and Aoi keep pressuring the Spaniards to make mistakes, just like coach Kira instructed them during half-time. Of course, this will cause the two to be tired quickly but Kira intends to substitute them once they’re depleted of energy.

The Japanese keeper, Wakashimazu, also participates in the pressuring by telling Jito and Izawa to raise the defensive line to put more pressure on the Spanish. Payol steals the ball from Nitta’s bad throw-in and sends it to Michael, who passes it to Torres, bypassing the Japanese centerbacks. Fortunately, Wakashimazu got out of his cages and clears the ball away from Torres. The ball goes to Ishizaki who wastes no time to send a high pass to Tsubasa and Misaki. These two are preparing their high-speed sky tornado alpha shot but then Michael and Raphael try to prevent them with a skylab to the Tachibana brothers’ obvious surprise. Well, not really for the readers since we know just how skilled the spanish duo are.


These chapters were full of action and strategy. Kira’s pressuring tactic made the match less about individual actions and more about overall strategy. Although this tactic does leave me with a few questions such as who’s going to replace Nitta and Aoi? If I have to guess, it’s probably going to be Misugi as Kira has signaled his intent that he might use him at some point, although nothing is 100% confirmed so far.

But the most surprising part is that here, Tsubasa had another big character development, when he decided to break the rules in order to win. Throughout the entirety of the series’ existence, one of the main themes was always about playing fair, so the fact that the main character is now going against this tenet is quite mind-blowing. And I quite like it. People say Tsubasa is a mary sue character, but I never found that to be the case. He’s the kind of character who would go above and beyond to win. He’s not the “I only play football because it’s fun” loser type, he plays to win, and win it all he shall, fulfilling some kind of prophecy for the gods of football. However, I must say I do not care about the story about the journalists. It was only like 2 pages, but it feels totally unnecessary. Otherwise, these two chapters were a great start o the finale of Captain Tsubasa. I do not want the manga to end, but at the same time, ending it all on an epic international contest is the right way to go.

Read my other Captain Tsubasa articles

Captain Tsubasa Manga Reading Order
Captain Tsubasa Rising Sun THE FINAL: Chapter 3 & 4 Review
Abandoned characters of Captain Tsubasa
Exploring Tecmo’s Captain Tsubasa video games and their enduring appeal