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The other day, faced with another bleakly overcast, freezing cold day, we wife and I decided that the local video store was as far a trip as we were willing to brave the elements for, and came back with a stack of Attack on Titan DVDs. After watching a dozen episodes of the biggest anime hit in recent memory, the only time I’m not bugging her with my rendition of the show’s opening theme is when she’s singing it herself (thankfully, she does a much better job of staying on-key than I do).

There’s just something infectious about the show’s anthem, “Guren no Yumiya.” It’s helped its performers Linked Horizon get famous, thousands of fans get pumped up, and even one soccer fan get a job.

For a long time, sports fans in Hiroshima didn’t have much to cheer about. The local baseball team, the Caro, have one of the most dismal records in Japanese professional baseball overt the past decade. The city’s soccer team, Sanfrecce, had continually struggled since its inaugural season in 1993, and things hit rock bottom when the club was relegated to the lower J2 division in 2007.

But while Sanfrecce may have been down, the team was far from out. Hiroshima dominated the J2 league in 2008, fighting its way back up into the top-tier J1, and in 2013 captured its second consecutive league title. Fans are riding an emotional high, and no one is happier than Twitter user Tanyu Tokyoguma, whose passion for soccer is seemingly only rivaled by his love of anime and enthusiasm for video editing, all of which combine in the awesome video he created, titled Attack on Sanfrecce.

First, for everyone who came late to the party (or those who just can’t get enough of it), here’s the original Attack on Titan opening:

And here’s Attack on Sanfrecce

As you’d expect, the opening logo is spot on, with the bluish purple of Sanfrecce’s uniforms standing in for Attack on Titan’s signature bloodstain vermillion.

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Both sequences open with scenes of tragedy. In the anime, we see the monstrous Titans attacking a city. In Attack on Sanfrecce, we’re shown fan reactions to the result of the game that knocked the team down to the J2 division.

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Tanyu Tokyoguma’s attention to detail is remarkable, with placement of onscreen lyrics matching exactly, and even the font used for the names of players and coaches being identical to those used for the anime’s staff.

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There’s even a bit of bilingual fun at the point where the flag of the Survey Corps is replaced with that of the Hiroshima team. In Japanese, the word kantoku is used for both professional sports coaches and film directors, so where the anime opening flashes the credit for director Tetsuro Araki, the soccer video gives us manager Hajime Moriyasu.

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Just as Attack on Titan’s protagonists turn the tide of battle against the giant invaders in the show’s opening, the second half of Attack on Sanfrecce is filled with clips from the team’s heroic rise to the top of the Japanese soccer world.

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The rousing video quickly became a hit with Sanfrecce and Attack on Titan fans alike, and even attracted the attention of Koji Nishio, a cameraman for the Hiroshima team. Nishio was so impressed that he tweeted Tanyu Tokyoguma, asking the video maker to get in touch with him. When the creative fan did, Nishio, speaking as a representative of the team, made him an official job offer to create the opening sequence for the team’s upcoming season-in-review DVD.

So now soccer fans in Hiroshima have two things to look forward to, the continued strong play of their local club, plus some slick editing on the commemorative DVD many are sure to buy. Now, about those Carp….

Related: Tanyu Tokyoguma Twitter account, Koji Nishio Twitter Account
Source, images: YouTube (1, 2)
[ Read in Japanese ]