This is an article not related to the Captain Tsubasa in-universe series but to other Takahashi's works.

Soccer Shojo Kaede

Soccer Shojo Kaede cover.jpg

Yoichi Takahashi

Soccer Shojo Kaede (サッカー少女 楓, soccer shoujo kaede), translated as Football Girl Kaede, is a light novel written and illustrated by Yoichi Takahashi. The titular character, Kaede, and her story are modeled on Japanese footballer Homare Sawa, the former captain of Nadeshiko Japan and winner of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

The novel was originally released on 2011-08-30 by Kodansha. The book itself includes an introduction in manga format and most characters have a portrait drawn by Takahashi at the beginning as well.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The stage is Shonan in the Kanagawa Prefecture.

Kaede is a high school student who loves football and dedicates her youth to football. Such a girl connects the bonds of friends and family through football, joining the feelings of everyone. The people that surround her get courage and hope from Kaede's straight way of life, some people become a big circle, and can overcome any kind of difficulty gradually with that strength...

The novel follows her life since her school years, when she dreamed of winning the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Despite setbacks, the sport heroine never gives up on her hopes and ambitions.

Development[edit | edit source]

Takahashi had always been a supporter of all football activities in Japan, including Women's football. He became particularly interested in Nadeshiko Japan after watching their qualifying match for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China against Mexico in the AFC-CONCACAF Play-off.[1]

After Beijing 2008, where Nadeshiko Japan placed fourth in the Women's football tournament, and with interviews of Homare Sawa and Yuki Nagasato, he decided to create a different story with the world view of Captain Tsubasa.[1] Thus, as part of his efforts to support Nadeshiko Japan, he created Kaede based on Nadeshiko Japan captain Homare Sawa.[2]

Takahashi chose Sawa because whenever there was talk about women's football in Japan, Sawa was always mentioned, and he had seen in Sawa the personification in real-life of the characteristics of his character Tsubasa Ozora.[3] Takahashi interviewed Sawa several times after Beijing 2008. In these interviews he learned several details of her life with football, such as playing football with boys in her childhood.[2]

Kaede, affectionately called Kaede-chan, was a mascot of Nadeshiko Japan even prior to the publication of the novel. She was first announced on 2011-05-13 in a press release of the Japan Football Association (JFA). [4] Kaede's official presentation was at a press conference held by the JFA on 2011-06-08[5] and made her first appearance with the team in a friendly match of Nadeshiko Japan against South Korea ten days later. It was in this press conference in June where Takahashi revealed that Kaede was based on Sawa.

The original plan was to publish the novel when Nadeshiko Japan qualified to London 2012,[2] where it was thought the team would achieve an important result. Against all odds, however, Nadeshiko Japan became world champions in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup held in Germany, with Sawa being the top player and scorer. This rushed the release of the novel.[2]

Takahashi originally intended to make a manga, but chose instead the novel format as it was faster to deliver than the two to three years it would've taken him to complete the manga, and decided to draw the introduction and characters in comic format at the beginning of the book.[1]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Novel images[edit | edit source]

Promotional images[edit | edit source]

Kaede images[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "漫画家・高橋陽一が、あえて“小説”で伝えたかったこと。~『サッカー少女 楓』執筆の理由~" [What comic artist Yoichi Takahashi wanted to convey in a daring "novel": The reason to write 'Soccer Shojo Kaede' (in Japanese). Number Web. Bungeishunju. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tada, Akiko (2011-08-31). "Nadeshiko Japan captain stars in new manga novel". The Asahi Shimbun | Asia & Japan Watch. The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  3. Yoshihiro, Iwamoto (2011-10-18). "A Soccer Hero Adored Around the World". Nippon Communications Foundation. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  4. "なでしこキャラ「楓」誕生!" [Nadeshiko character Kaede birth!] (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports News. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  5. "目標は世界制覇!なでしこジャパン、ドイツW杯メンバー21人を発表" [Aiming for the world championship! The 21 members of Nadeshiko Japan for the Germany World Cup are announced] (in Japanese). Gekisaka. Kodansha. 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2014-10-27.

External links[edit | edit source]

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