Inazuma Eleven is the hit football/soccerRPGVideo Game then Anime then Manga series from Level-5. It follows the story of Mamoru Endou (or Mark Evans, if you don't like Japanese names), the spirited goalkeeper of Raimon Junior High's nearly-disbanded football team consisting of only seven members. Although Endou inherits his deceased grandfather's goalkeeping skills and love for soccer, his teammates are somewhat less motivated. Things take a drastic turn when legendary ace striker Shuuya Gouenji moves to Inazuma Town. Desperate to recruit more members before the school shuts down the soccer club and also hoping to participate in the celebrated national Football Frontier tournament, Endou tries to convince Gouenji to join his team. However, Gouenji's arrival has also caught the attention of Teikoku Academy, the champion of Football Frontier for 40 consecutive years, who then proceed to arrange a "friendly match" with Raimon.As of now, there are two main series: Endou's story, and Tenma's ten years later entitled Inazuma Eleven GO.Inazuma Eleven
The first focuses on the Raimon team's quest to become the best in Japan, facing off against several other schools in the country including Teikoku and the mysterious Zeus Junior High.
The second takes place soon after the first, when three black footballs appear from the sky and destroy all the main schools in the region. The Raimon team must battle against the superior soccer players of Aliea Academy to save Japan from destruction. There are two versions: Fire (Firestorm in the EU release) and Blizzard.
The third game/season follows Endou and his friends as they strive to become the best junior team in the world by playing in Football Frontier International, a World Cup-like tournament set on the fictional Liocott Island. There are three versions: Spark, Bomber, and Ogre.
An Updated Rerelease has been slated, which compiles all six NDS games into one 3DS package. It's been entitled Inazuma Eleven 1・2・3: The Legend of Endou Mamoru.
Inazuma Eleven GO
The first in the series to be released on the Nintendo 3DS. It occurs 10 years after the events of the first three, with new characters and returning ones as a supporting cast. The enemy is soccer itself. There are two versions: Shine and Dark.
Inazuma Eleven GO 2: Chrono Stone is the second in the series of GO games. El Dorado, an organization meant to decide the fate of the world, has decided to alter history to erase soccer. And it's up to Tenma with the help of kid from the future Fey Rune and talking bear Wonderbat to stop them. There are two versions: Neppuu (Scorching Wind) and Raimei (Thunderclap).
Inazuma Future is a mobile phone game co-developed by Roid about Endou's great-grandson Kanon. It seems to have entered Development Hell as it was not released when promised.
Inazuma Eleven Strikers is a multi-player spin-off on the Wii, trading off the RPG experience to become purely a sports game; additional elements such as training through mini-games and Relationship Values between each player were also included. It had Early-Bird Cameos of characters from GO, and got an Updated Rerelease.
A new Strikers game is being developed for 2013, updated up to the point of the Chrono Stone cast and mechanics.
Inazuma Eleven: The Strongest Army Ogre Attacks is a movie loosely based on the plot of the version of the third set of games with the same name.
Inazuma Eleven GO The Movie: The Ultimate Bonds Gryphon is the second Inazuma Eleven movie, and the first for GO.
Inazuma Eleven GO vs Danball Senki W is a crossover movie slated for release in Japanese cinemas December 2012.
This series features examples of:
A God Am I: All of the Zeus players, but most prominently Aphrodi. He gets better.
Agent Peacock: Aphrodi, what with the long hair and eyelashes, effeminate movements, fashion sense, hell, his name. He can also stop hissatsu techniques with one hand without using any hissatsu of his own, and he isn't even a goalkeeper.
Subverted, as it seems that the aliens were actually kids given the power of the Aelia meteorite to be physically superior.
All in a Row: Up to three party members can follow Endou (or in the plot developments in the third game: Kidou or Kazemaru) in this way, and sometimes an NPC also tags along at the back. The three can be swapped out with the other twelve field members at any time, unless the story requires certain members to accompany Endou.
Ascended Extra: Ichinose Kazuya, he joins as a secret character where there's no plot left for him to take. He doesn't even have any dialogue with his old friend Kino Aki. Then comes the second game, where he must be recruited to continue to story, the third game where his rivaly with Endou develops a whole arc of the game, and finally, the anime has him one of the key members of Raimon and has outright shown his relationship development with Aki.
Tachimukai, being Endou Mamoru's fan and developing similar skills he has, becomes a part of the heroes who fight Aliea Academy and play for Japan's national team. In the second game, he also happens to have the BigFan technique.
Winners of the official Inazuma Eleven 2's tournaments became secret character in Inazuma Eleven 3, too. The bands who composed the intro and outro themes for both games and animes were also featured as secret players.
The Movie, which starts out as a recap of the first season then things start swerving off of continuity; and the events of The Movie never seem to be mentioned again. An Alternate Continuity where Endou could easily point at certain people he just met and exclaim they came from the future to help him win the Football Frontier sounds pretty confusing.
Also, Episode 100 when Hiroto and Kogure get lost in the woods, and are challenged to a match by a pair of Kappas, no character development happens, no new techniques are learned, and it's only mentioned in a blink and you miss it scene during a flashback.
The Kappas surprisingly enough make a brief cameo in Go's movie.
Bowdlerize: In the game, the Otaku Junior High arc dealt with Otaku hacking into the Football Frontier computers to make it look like Raimon lost as well as giving your team (sans Endou who refused to eat and Gouenji who refused to go in at all) food poisoning at a Maid Cafe. The anime changed their dastardly plan to pushing a goal out of the way of the ball.
In the second season, Kazemaru undergoes self-confidence issues and leaves the team. In-game? He is specifically targeted for being the only one who could keep up, and is hurt to a point of being seriously injured from the match with Genesis, and consequently gets Put On An Ambulance.
Chess Motifs: GO's Final BossDragonlink has one. All of the members of the team have avatars that are based off of chess pieces, with their captain Senguji having The King. They also operate like a game of chess.
Some members of Dark Forest in GO's movie also have a chess motif with avatars that are dark themed chess pieces.
Delinquents: Tobitaka. He kinda gets better as the series progresses. Tsurugi is implied to be one, too, what with him never wearing the school uniform and being found alone in an arcade in the Chrono Stone alternate continuity.
In the European translation. Because nothing says Japan like having every kid in town have an English name. See the character page for details.
Scunthorpe Problem: The latin american dub. Mamoru and Kageno were changed to Satoru and Sombra note Shadow in spanish, It Makes Sense in Context. The first one sounds similar to slang for oral sex and the second sounds along the lines of "shit, no"; thinking some people might get offended.
Duels Decide Everything: Is there anything that isn't solved with football? Justified in GO, where soccer is an actual symbol of power as a consequence of the first series.
The EU version of the first game has been upgraded with the 3D models and other enhancements of the second Japanese game, including techniques obtainable only via Action Replay (the x99 All items code), normally from the second game.
Playable Professor Layton characters. They could be challenged only in the JAP version of the first game; but their data is present on the cartridge in the first two games, even the EU version (albeit buggy, but playable after hacking)..
Tenma is a kind-hearted, determined, motivating, cares about others more than himself and a soccer-loving freak, which makes him extremely similar to Endou. This is also lampshaded by some characters in the series.
Tsurugi has a cool, calm and quiet personality, and he is hostile towards soccer at first because his older brother is involved in an accident just like Gouenji, who also has the same personality and being hostile towards soccer at first because his little sister is involved in an accident, and he also raises up his collar just like Gouenji (justified in that he's a Gouenji fanboy). Taken even further in the game, where even their stats are similar.
Shindou is from a rich family and thinks that Tenma suits better to be the captain than him, same like Kidou who also from a rich family even though he's adopted and he thinks that Endou suits better to be the captain than him. Also, Shindou's commanding skills is similar to Kidou's.
And the managers, too. Aoi is like Aki, Midori is like Natsumi, and Akane is like Haruna and/or Fuyuka.
Enbro, Broenji, Kibro, Ichibrose... you get the point.
One by the seiyuu themselves is Zenda (Fidio). Since he's like a complete Handa.
Another unfortunate one invented by the seiyuu is Sakuma as Kidou's "goldfish poop".
Fantastic Racism: In GO Chrono Stone normal humans fearing and rejecting Second Stage Children lead them to try to Take Over the World in retaliation and start being racist to normal humans back. El Dorado's solution is basically to erase them from history because of their fear of Second Stage Children.
Finishing Move: All the flashier shoots can fall under this, but the one that really takes the cake is The Earth in season 2.
Mixi Max causes a type of fusion that gives the target to gain certain physical traits of the person they are Power Copying from. One example is Ranmaru turning blonde and gaining glasses when Mixi Maxing with Jeanne d'Arc.
Gang of Hats: Most of the rival teams, especially in season 1. Let's see, we have the occult team, the sci-fi team, the otaku team, the ninja team, the god team...
It is later revealed about the reason Kidou using goggles which is because it makes him being able to concentrate just on the vital parts on the field, as stated by Kageyama. The other reason is because it's been his trademark.
The Ganymede Proton Hissatsu technique uses a Hand Blast for soccer of all things; the user stands behind the ball, facing the opposing team's goal, and directs the beam at the ball to send it flying at the goal. Apparently it's technically not a handball if you don't directly touch the ball with either hand, or maybe Rule Of Cool just takes precedence over the other rules.
Tsurugi's Death Sword in GO. At least there's some kicking involved...
The whole point of Special Practice system; pushing a noodle cart, making snowmen, kicking trees, etc.
Informed Ability: Played straight, then subverted. In the first game, a lot of boys are seen fawning over Haruna for her "beautiful smile". However, her in-game sprite only shows her in a neutral expression, until the second game comes along, and her smile actually is pretty adorable.
Naturally for a sports genre, notably skillful characters get titles. Ichinose "The Magician Of The Field", Fubuki the "Bear Killer", Gouenji the "Flame Striker", Mac Roniejo "King of Fantasista" of Brazil, and Fidio "The White Meteor" of Italy.
One involving Endou, Aki and Natsumi. Later when Natsumi is put on a bus, Fuyuka takes her place. Natsumi comes back later and the ship tease between her and Endou is amped up to eleven.
Quite confusing in GO: Strikers' bonus page (showing GO artwork, no less), the anime and Inazuma Eleven Go - Shine show Endou married with Natsumi, wherease Go - Dark has Fuyuka instead.
This was because Natsumi was the only love interest Endou would marry as planned by Hino but negative reaction from Aki supporters (of all things) persuaded him to release a second game where Endou married Fuyuka instead. They believed that the Endou/Fuyuka dynamic would be similar to a potential Endou/Aki one. Fuyuka being a last minute throw-in becomes glaringly obvious when you realise the GO anime aired before the games were released to see how people would react to the romantic choices. Fuyuka had an important role to play in the storyline as a nurse while Natsumi was only one of the several members in the Resistance. Her major role would of been as Endou's wife. So if this were something like a dating sim, Natsumi would be considered the "true end" or "main heroine". In the Chrono Stone game, Endou is married to all three girls in order to please the shippers.
The goal nets. They were first broken by Reize in the second season, then Fubuki's Eternal Blizzard sliced through them, and then Edgar from England got to them. Three moves in over a hundred episodes.
As of nearing the end of Chrono Stone, it's still three moves in now over two hundred episodes.
The balls. They rarely break even they take direct impact from special moves.
Manly Tears: Kazemaru after being released from the effects of the Aliea Meteorite.
Meaningful Name: Most, if not all, characters. Nearly every single name in the English translation also doubles as a Punny Name. Shawn Frost and Axel Blaze anyone?
This is also present in the original Japanese. Fubuki Shirou literally means "Blizzard White", Touko means "Battle Child", Tsunami is a pun on the eponymous natural disaster, Tenma means "Pegasus", Taiyou means "Sun", Tsurugi means "Sword", Kazemaru in kanji means something like "Whirlwind", Mamoru means "Protect"... The original is actually even worse than the European dub.
My God, What Have I Done: Tenma says this word by word (without the my god part) when his plan against Dragonlink backfired horribly and caused all of his teammates to fall to the ground because of their injuries.
Nerf: When the second game was localized, the move Southern Cross had its cost increased from 20 TP to 50. Originally it was an Aliea Academy move, so it cost less than half as much as it should have for its power level. Since that was balanced out by having Aliea Academy players have half as much TP, this nerf caused players who used the move to burn through most of their TP with just one use.
No Communities Were Harmed: Inazuma Town bears a striking resemblance to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The area around Raimon and the riverbank plaza is reminiscent of Asakusa and its surrounding area, and the place where Endou does his tire training seems be based on Shiba Park.
No Export for You: Europe already received the anime series, the first two games, and the Strikers spin-off. It's been so successful that the third game has been announced for release as well. North America, on the other hand, is still waiting.
No Pronunciation Guide: The title itself counts in the European dub. In-game it is pronounced with a long "u", while in other official instances (eg. Nintendo Direct) it's pronounced with an accent on the first "a".
Official Couple: Inazuma Eleven GO (Shine), anime, manga and supplementary material have Endou and Natsumi married.
While not considered the official couple, it is possible in the Inazuma Eleven Go (Dark) alternate continuity for Endou to marry Fuyuka.
In the Inazuma Eleven GO Chrono Stone game in a parallel universe, Endou is married to Natsumi, Fuyuka AND Aki! Yes he has three wives.
From Chrono Stone we have Gillis and Meia of the team Giru. While not as major as the former example, it's still the only other official couple on the show so far.
Natsumi is a terrible cook. This carries on in GO when she regularly cooks for Endou as his wife.
Also Endou getting distracted while training with a tire tied to a tree and consequentially getting hit by it.
Rika regularly lies in the show's third season.
In GO, Kariya's bad naming of hissatsu techniques, and Tsurugi's dodging Tenma's (sometimes with Shinsuke) attempts to glomp him.
In Chrono Stone, the same poor guy kidnapped to be commentator in the matches.
Also in Chrono Stone, Wonderba always getting his coach position stolen by someone else (human or not, mind you)
Replacement Goldfish: Hiroto is a replacement for the dead son of Kira Seijirou, the leader of Aliea Academy. A minor example are the various antagonist teams that Kageyama creates over the seasons to fight Raimon. However he plays it straight with the introduction of Demonio, a Kidou Expy, in season 3.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Most of the glasses wearing BigBads get them, with the most prominent example being Kageyama. Megane has this also, but it's subverted, being used for comic relief and hamming it up.
Scenery Porn: Like everything else Level 5 does, backgrounds are intricately detailed and quite colorful.
It's bad enough Nintendo put an embargo on Inazuma Eleven's UK release (Never mind the fact it was LOCALISED THERE) such that the game was unavailable in the UK until the anime aired. But Disney XD really didn't give a rats ass about the series, punting it on at 8:30am in the morning (albeit in the summer but still) and then pulling it off air 26 episodes in. If not for how they treated Naruto when they were Jetix, this would be considered one of the most egregious examples of screwing a show over by any UK Television company.
Even more Egregious in Latin America. ZAZ(all Latin America)note the channel is about to die., VivaSports (México)note is private and ETC TV (Chile)note and stays there. The series is very popular there too are the only ones consistently airing the series with a decent schedule, also in Brazil where the series is a huge success. But what about other countries's networks in the region? Every one of them screwed the series, airing it at 5:30 A.M in Ecuador and Perú, eventually pulling it off air; inconsistent airings and schedules in CityTV in Colombia, also pulling it off air in favor of a block with only Nickelodeon showsnote but they will never put off air Dragon Ball Z.
Serial Escalation: Soccer teams that seems to have spent their whole lives in a jungle, players that summon penguins, hands and gods out of nowhere, and abilities to get away from intently injury other players without triggering a foul or a red card, etc...
Plotting the murder of the opposing team just to get an easy win. A bit much don't you think, Kageyama?
How ten years later as a result of the first series, soccer became the determinate factor of a school's worth; resulting in Fifth Sector's controlled soccer.
In the first movie and Chrono Stone, what is essentially time police is ordered to erase the existence of football from the universe or at least undermine its importance, and the heroes have to protect it.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: A substantial part of Chrono Stone. The protagonists have to restore the "true" timeline from all the tamperings of Protocol Omega.
She-Fu: The CCC Osaka Girls. The third game has Touko and Rika lead what is essentially an all-female version of Inazuma Japan during a practice round. And Strikers has even the managers become playable.
Miyasaka is changed into a girl named Miles (which oddly enough, is a boy's name) in the dub.
This is not the case in the games; Miyasaka is definitely still male according to his profile.
GAZELLE, of all people, is a girl in the dub.
The Latin-American dub subverts this. Gazelle's voice is still that of a girl, but Rebeca Gomez sounds and speak so tough that audience can tell that Gazelle is a guy, and the other characters properly refers to him as a man. You can hear him (or her) here.
The ship tease between Natsumi and Endou builds up throughout the series and it becomes apparent near the end that they are the Official Couple.
A little bit with Tsunami and Touko, but it doesn't get anywhere. Some with Ichinose and Aki too. Inazuma Eleven Go hints at Aki and Ichinose dating.
Season 3 gives us Natsumi and Rococo as well as Endou and Fuyuka.
Depending on whether one follows the games or the anime, Haruna get a lot of ship teasing with Kogure (video games) and Tachimukai (anime). note In fact, the anime seems to insert scenes that diverge from the video games just to do this.
Stepford Smiler: Accidentally invoked by Endou's mum in the games. Her sprite, which shows her widely smiling, never changes, including when she's scolding Endou, or talking about touchy subjects such as Endou's grandfather. Needless to say, this can unintentionally be very creepy at times.
Of any hissatsu that has its own background. They don't even try to hide it. Justified in that the techniques look like they have to be pulled off in a certain way to work.
Played with by hissatsu which don't have their own background. The foreground is reused each time, but the background is reanimated. God Hand in particular has the camera swivel around the user, which tends to really show off the Scenery Porn.
Subverted with Nishiki in GO. During the Hakuren match he's set up to be the key forward that'll complete Double Wing, only to reveal that his skills are a bit rusty due to playing in a completely different position overseas.
Kidou (academics/sports), Ichinose (sports), and Otomura (music). Interestingly enough, they all play as midfielders.
GO! has Shindou (music, like Otomura). He also plays as a midfielder.
Teens Are Short: Players you would have pictured pretty tall are probably still at least half a head shorter than any adult.
Temporal Paradox: The reason why El Dorado doesn't have Protocol Omega 2.0 just use brute force to destroy Raimon in the past. Instead they attempt to manipulate or influence things without altering history to crush Raimon.
Kidou as coach in GO, to the point that three (... or two with one dragged along) rebelled and didn't come to practice the next day. Turns out Kidou did it so he could run diagnostics on their limitations, then adjusted their individual training menus to their maximum capabilities.
Also in GO, Fifth Sector's training menu in God's Eden. In Chrono Stone, the Avatar users of Raimon, who are unaffected by the brainwashing, go there to learn how to activate the Armed mode
True Companions: Of course. The former name for this trope: nakama, pops up in just about every other Inazuma Eleven theme song.