The main character, Matsukaze Tenma tries out for the Raimon soccer team and passes, but soon finds out that soccer has changed. Tenma, along with the other members, now aim to free soccer so everyone can enjoy it freely.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mitsuki Saiga ...  Shindou Takuto
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ayumi Fujimura ...  Kageyama Hikaru
Seth Leslie ...  Jude Sharp (2012)
Hirofumi Nojima ...  Ishido Shuuji / ...
Takashi Ohara ...  Tsurugi Kyousuke (as Takashi Oohara)
...  Ichino Nanasuke / ...
Hinako Sasaki ...  Otonashi Haruna
Ayahi Takagaki ...  Aoyama Shunsuke / ...
...  Nishizono Shinsuke
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The main character, Matsukaze Tenma tries out for the Raimon soccer team and passes, but soon finds out that soccer has changed. Tenma, along with the other members, now aim to free soccer so everyone can enjoy it freely.

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4 May 2011 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Inazuma Eleven Go  »

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Join the Soccer Rebellion
4 June 2018 | by See all my reviews

Inazuma Eleven GO is ridiculous. I'm just gonna get that out there right from the start. It took Inazuma Eleven, and made it a whole heck of a lot weirder, which is saying something given how weird it was in the first place. But does it being so ridiculous mean that it's also bad? Not by my book, although I can see why it wouldn't be for everyone.

Inazuma Eleven GO takes place ten years after the original series, and the world of soccer has been plunged into total communism. No, seriously. Soccer is now under the total control of an organization called "Fifth Sector". Soccer is slowly begun to be used to as a means to consider people's worth, and so Fifth Sector distributes soccer equally among people; basically, it doesn't matter if you're good or bad. Everyone who wants to play soccer, and puts the effort into it, gets equal glory on the field, thanks to pre-decided match outcomes. Soccer matches have basically become acts, and soccer teams only put up with all of it because, once in a blue moon, if they're lucky, they might be given a chance to play a proper match. It's made all the worse by the fact that any school or club who refuses to play by Fifth Sectors rules will be destroyed, and they even go so far as to train children using totally brutal methods. But hey, at least all of this means that no one's gonna be left out of soccer, and no-one's gonna feel like crap for not being a star player, right?

If there's one thing GO doesn't skip out on, it's the heavy handed political undertones. Yes, it isn't difficult to get what this huge soccer metaphor is about, and while it is kind of heavy handed, it's also interesting to see something like this explored with something like makes it easy for young audiences to get their heads around.

GO is incredibly grim from the offset, more so then the original series. There's a surprising pessimistic attitude that pours from the first number of episodes, and the new protagonist, Matsukaze Tenma, is really put through the emotional wringer. Part of the incredibly grim atmosphere mostly comes from how soccer itself is the enemy. In the previous series, most problems, no matter what they were, could be looked passed, if you just shouted "I love soccer" until you were blue in the face. Here you can't do that, because that itself is the problem, and it makes for a very, VERY strange beginning to the series, where you feel like you're watching a totally different show to "Inazuma Eleven".

This isn't a bad thing, mind you. This fresh approach is preciously what makes GO stand out. It is very easy to look at GO and think of it as melodramatic. And yes, to an extent it is, it's an anime about some organization that controls soccer after all. But on the other hand, the series is superbly written. It's a well written story about a political rebellion, with excellent character development, fun characters and interactions, and genuine emotion, it just happens to have a soccer theme tying it all together. Yes, some of the emotional pandering can feel pretty melodramatic, especially when you take a step back to think about the fact that this is about soccer, of all things. But the fact that the series actually got me emotionally invested in what was going on is saying something, given the fact that I can't give a flying crap about soccer in real life.

As well as a shift in tone and theme, GO also introduces a new concept called "keshin" (or "avatars"). Keshin are mythical beings that soccer players can summon from out of their bodies. They summon them to help during matches. Yes, really. Once a player's learned how to summon their keshin, they just call upon them during a match, but only for short bursts. To be honest, I'm indifferent when it comes to keshins, since although I don't think they're a very great concept for something like this, I don't think they harm anything including them either. They provide some interesting confrontation during matches, and seeing the variety of the keshins (from both old folklore and original concept) can be pretty awesome. I'm more just wondering how the heck soccer players all seemingly get this innate ability to summon a mythical being from their body. Is that just something everyone in the Inazuma Eleven universe can do? Do other sports have these keshin, do people use them for stuff outside of sports too?

Anyway, GO is an interesting journey, that's definitely a departure from how it's father series was like. But at the same time, it treads a lot of the same ground as the original series too. As great as the new cast are, they're basically there to copy the same character archetypes that existed before: Tenma is Endou, Shindou is Kidou, Tsurugi is Gouenji, ect. It's not a bad thing, per say, but it can make you feel a little nostalgic for the original cast a lot of the time, and it gives the impression that these guys are just second rate in comparison. On the plus side, their character arcs are generally unique, although I would have liked it if they maybe focused a bit more attention then they did onto certain members of the Raimon team. I don't even remember some of their names, which is a shame since they're all good characters, and they all play their role in the matches, Some of them just aren't given the time to develop out of their shell as characters.


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