The World Cup is underway and Japan’s city streets are full of excitable-looking young people wearing blue soccer jerseys (sorry Dad, I mean “football shirts”). If you’re looking for somewhere in Tokyo to watch the game that’s a bit different – somewhere, for example, that’s got soccer-manga merchandise, weird themed food, and blue drinks that aren’t just beer with blue food-colouring in them – we’ve got just the place for you! When the staff at our Japanese sister site heard that a pop-up Captain Tsubasa Cafe was opening in Tokyo’s Ueno district, they couldn’t resist heading down there to take a look!

Captain Tsubasa, for the uninitiated, is a soccer manga (sometimes called Flash Kicker in English) created by Yōichi Takahashi in 1981. As is typical with popular Japanese manga series, Tsubasa and his team have since spread their wings into anime, video games, spin-off merch… and now this sports bar!

Realising that the temporary café is located only a stone’s throw away from The Ueno Royal Museum that’s currently hosting a Captain Tsubasa Exhibition, our reporter wonders if there might be a clever tie-up going on here. On arriving at the café, however, he threw all skepticism out the window, because who cares, when what’s welcoming you at the front door is a Nankatsu Shooters uniform just like the ones from the manga!


▼ Even the chairs were kitted out!


▼ And the table-tops are themed around characters from the series, too.


As we’d expect from a bar that’s been made-over for the World Cup, there’s a projector screen set up to show matches. This wasn’t the most impressive thing about the bar, but the screen was a good size, at least. No more standing on the bar trying to peer at a tiny TV screen.

▼ The anime version of Captain Tsubasa was showing on the big screen, but on match days they show the games!


Of course, if you’re more into soccer in its illustrated form (Tsubasa’s epic moves are better than the real thing anyway), you could enjoy the manga selection available for customers to read.

▼ What, you don’t keep your Jägermeister on the shelf with your comic books?


But we can’t very well just enjoy the manga, decor and big-screen football without eating or drinking anything. Our reporter was keen to sample the special Captain Tsubasa menu!

First up was a Wakabayashi SGGK omuraisu, which might just be the greatest best-worst Japanese rice omelet we have ever seen. The floating hands might’ve been a step too far…

▼ Weird but tasty. Wakabayashi is the team’s Super Great Goal Keeper, by the way.


Next, we move into slightly more normal territory with a non-alcoholic cocktail, in the Nankatsu Shooters‘ white and blue colors.

▼ If you feel like supporting Japan’s non-fictional team instead, you could always pretend this is a Samurai Blue drink.


▼ All customers get one of a series of character beer-mats, which our reporter was very excited about.


Tiger Shot dessert, named after Hyuga’s awesome move. This one’s too cute to eat, really!


▼ It’s worth pointing out that the real Tiger Shot is a lot more epic and a little less cute:


Image: Oyajimm

Of course, our reporter wasn’t the only one enjoying the fun at the Captain Tsubasa Cafe. There were plenty of other fans there too:


▼ I guess they must be brothers?


Captain Tsubasa Cafe is open until July 7 at two locations in Tokyo:

Pasela Resorts Kouenmae, 2 Chome-14-30 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005

Pasela Resorts Akihabara, 1-13-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0021

Images: RocketNews24 unless otherwise stated.
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