The Kickers are first and foremost a football team. Actually, they're only playing for their school, but haven't exactly covered themselves with glory. When the new player, Gregor (Daichi Kakeru) arrives at the school, they just had faced a resounding defeat again. However, thanks to Gregor, things are going to change. Highly motivated, they'll try to get rid of their "always-loser-team" image. Their strongest enemy are the Devils, who Gregor provokes right from the start. However, it's not all about football. When the captain, Mario (Hongou Masaru), is not pursued by his female fans, the Kickers often hang around and do stuff together.
Why are Germans better than Americans at football or "soccer" as we say here in the US? The largest reason is not simply that they care a little more about it (understatement of century), but that it is so much a part of their popular culture that they are actually weened on poorly drawn soccer cartoons. In 1986 a poorly received soccer anime was on the verge of being scrapped, but the Japanese ported it to the Germans hoping that maybe it would find an audience there. It became one of the most massive anime hits in German history. On facebook the MAJORITY of Die Mannschaft admitted to being big fans of this anime growing up! A single video of the German intro on youtube has over 4 million views! Lets take a look at this cheesy 80s classic that none of my fellow Americans have heard of, but my European friends never stop talking about!
The story is about as generic a sports story as you can get. It is every kids sports movie ever made compiled into 26 episodes. Just think of The Little Giants, the Mighty Ducks, The Big Green, and the Bad News Bears all morphed into an anime.
The art is TERRIBLE! However, it was the 1980s, so most anime without huge budgets like Akira and Ghost in the Shell looked pretty shoddy by today's standards. The art also adds a cheese factor that makes the show more enjoyable honestly.
The 2 main characters are the generic good guy Daichi and the big bad guy Harry, who groups together a bunch of thugs to defeat Daichi's Kickers. I forgot what they were called in the German version. Any German voters can help me out by posting their local translation names on my wall and I will edit this review. If you liked the characters in Shaolin Soccer, you will like these characters. Although personally I prefer Shaolin Soccer because Stephen Chow is one of the funniest human beings on the planet.
DAT OPENING DOE
This is a very silly series that will amuse modern viewers in the same way that other cheesy 80s movies are amusing.
My friends, it has often been said that I like Kickers. My friends, I like Kickers. I like the terrible animation. I like the nostalgic 80s cheese. Whenever a cliche' plot device is used I am in ecstasy. When I have to view an episode devoted to a forced romantic sub-plot, it is simply an exquisite feeling. Do you want to see more Kickers? Do you wish to see A German live action movie as I do? Let us remind those other euro countries in the 2016 Euro Cup what it is like to live in fear of our Mannshaft. Let them remember what it is like to feel our football cleats on their throats!