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Manga / Farewell, My Dear Cramer

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From front to back: Sumire Suo, Midori Soshizaki, Sawa Echizen, and Nozomi Onda.

It begins with a middle school girls soccer match, where short-haired fifteen year old Sumire Suo shows off her overwhelming talent, but during a counterattack, her beautiful dribble to her shot at the goal gets blocked by a twin-tailed girl named Midori Soshizaki, ending the game.

With their middle school soccer careers over, these two rivals, Sumire and Midori, rather then going to a powerhouse school with a well-known girls soccer team, choose to attend Warabi high school, whose struggling girls soccer team has never made it out of the qualifiers. There they meet the odd, if not overconfident, Nozomi Onda. Going on to play in a scrimmage game, they all must now work together on the same team if they are to succeed.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer (さよなら私のクラマー, Sayonara Watashi no Cramer) is a Shōnen sports manga by Naoshi Arakawa, creator of Your Lie in April, and published in English by Kodansha Comics USA. It originally ran in Monthly Shōnen Magazine from 2016 to 2020.

It acts as both a spinoff and sequel to Arakawa's then-previous work, Sayonara Football, with the protagonist Nozomi Onda becoming part of the main cast of Farewell and taking place approximately a year and a half after that series ended. The title itself refers to German footballer and manager Dettmar Cramer, who's considered the father of Japanese soccer.

Currently available for purchase via Comixology and Kindle, or via a subscription to Crunchyroll.

In September of 2020, a TV anime was announced for Farewell, My Dear Cramer. It premiered in April of 2021 and it's animated by Liden Films, with Sayonara receiving a film adaptation from the same creative team in June of 2021.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer contains:

  • A-Cup Angst: Sumire and Tsukuda get into an argument via text message, trying to out-insult each other, where Sumire taunts Tsukuda about her small boobs and how the boy she has a crush on only likes girls with big boobs. These taunts succeed at getting under Tsukuda's skin quite a bit.

  • Apathetic Teacher: Coach Fukatsu is very much this. In chapter 21, his background is explored, which gives reasons for his apathy towards coaching soccer.

  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Coach Fukatsu is also this, where despite not really caring about coaching the girls, he is shown to be brilliant when it comes to soccer tactician and countering rival team's strategies.

  • Callback: Being a sequel, the series has a few call backs to Sayonara.
    • In the first chapter, Midori quotes Sepp Herberger's famous soccer phrase to Sumire "Der Ball ist rund/The Ball is Round", which is a callback to when Nozomi also quoted the same phrase.
    • It's mentioned again how Nozomi was banned from playing in some soccer tournaments after she previously kung-fu kicked a heckling audience member.

  • Career-Ending Injury: While it's hinted at early on in the series, it's eventually revealed that Coach Fukatsu was on track to become a major star in the world of soccer, but had his career cut short due to a leg injury, which led him to start coaching.
  • Chromosome Casting: Soccer (or even sports manga in general) tends to be very male dominated. However, Farewell, My Dear Cramer focuses almost exclusively on girls' soccer, so most of the main cast consists of girls.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: When the girls soccer team is meeting to discuss getting money for new uniforms, Midori lifts her leg up onto a desk to reveal her plan, only to expose her skirt and accidentally flash all of the girls with her underwear.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Nozomi is generally a rather dumb and clumsy girl most of the time, going so far as to accidentally kick the ball into her own teams goal during two separate games, but despite this, she's also one of the Warabi teams most talented and determined players.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: One of the first things Noako Nomi does when she is hired as the assistant coach for the Warabi girls soccer team is to set up a scrimmage game against Kunogi high school, who happens to be one of the best girls soccer teams in Tokyo. They proceed to lose the game 16-0.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first chapter introduces us to the rivalry of Midori Soshizaki and Sumire Suo, giving the reader the impression that the series will focus primarily on the two of them. Rather, Nozomi Onda herself gets more focus than either of them, with many scenes being shown from her perspective.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Midori always managed to beat and outplay Sumire in their middle school soccer matches, but ever since they began playing on the same team together, the two of them have grown into close friends.
  • Driving Question: "Is there any future for women's soccer?" Many players and figureheads acknowledge the comparitive lack of monetary support and enthusiasm for women's soccer, and many of the girls want to make their way up the ladder to breathe new life into this section of the sport.
  • Ensemble Cast: Not only does the series focus on the main quartet of girls, it also spends a lot of time exploring the various other members of the Warabi girls soccer team, as well as the rival teams they play against.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Nozomi has a tendency of getting boys to develop crushes on her, but even Ito seems to have a thing for her.
  • Evil Laugh: Sumire does this when she gets excited about crushing a rival team.
  • Female Misogynist: Downplayed — Onda initially wants to play on a boy's team because she regards girls' soccer as being too low-skilled to be worth her time. She changes her mind after meeting other girls who are as talented and passionate as she is.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: In chapter 20, Tase smacks Nozomi in the butt in a non-flirtatious way to get her to calm down after she accidentally scored a shot into their own teams goal during an official game.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Midori Soshizaki, Sumire Suo, Nozomi Onda, and Sawa Echizen.
  • Freudian Threat: An angry Midori jokingly threatens to castrate the rather perverted Kaoru of the boys soccer team after her team lost an important match 0-2 and he managed to win their game 2-0, scoring both goals no less.
  • Geeky Analogy: In chapter 18, when Midori is talking with some of the girls from Urawa Hosei, she quotes the Heartthrob Kaikoku anime saying "The fires of revolution always ignite in the provinces", to which Alice immediately gets excited at recognizing the oddly specific quote.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Nozomi insists she can keep playing with a hurt ankle after she kicked a softball back at Shiratori during a PE game.
  • Idiot Hero: Nozomi has kicked the ball into her own teams goal, during not one official match, but two.
  • Improbable Weapon User: In chapter 20, when Nozomi and Sumire are waiting in the bushes to ambush a man who appears to be stalking them, Sumire uses a bolas to tie-up and subdue the man. When Midori asks her about it, she responds by saying she uses it for "self-defense" and "for fun".

  • In-Series Nickname: Many of the characters refer to each other with various, sometimes demeaning, nicknames.
    • Yasuaki refers to Nozomi as "Boss", while Nozomi refers to Yasuaki as "Namek".
    • Nozomi was nicknamed the "Eric Cantona of Fuji First Middle School", after kung-fu kicking a heckling audience member.
    • Nozomi refers to Fukatsu as "Baggy Eyes".
    • Coach Fukatsu refers to Nozomi as "Oaf", Sumire as "Surly", Midori as "Otaku Brows", and to Sawa as "Shorty".
    • Sumire has Tsukuda's name in her phone as "Swamp Thing", while Tsukuda has Sumire in her phone as "Sourpuss".
    • Tae refers to Echizen as Golgo in reference to her having the number 13 on her jersey and because Echizen is very sharply adept at preventing her from scoring a goal.

  • Japanese School Club: The girls and boys soccer clubs.

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Coach Fukatsu always has a bored and uncaring look on his face and even admits he doesn't want to be the girls soccer coach, but he does go out of his way to advise the team and lead them to victory, even going so far as to help each of them improve their individual skills.

  • Market-Based Title:
    • The Japanese manga covers clearly show the English title as being Good-bye Cramer. However, Kodansha chose to release the series in English under the title Farewell, My Dear Cramer.
    • While the tite remained the same in the digital editions, the physical US releases were given the Franchise-Driven Retitling Sayonara Football: Farewell, My Dear Cramer.
  • Meaningful Name: Nozomi means rare or seldom in Japanese.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Sumire mistakes Midori's request for the two of them to play on the same soccer team as a love confession.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Shiratori does this on the regular.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite Your Lie in April focusing heavily on the characters and their romantic feelings towards one another, Farewell has virtually no romance in it, with the exception of some small hints with a few of the characters.
  • The One Guy: Coach Fukatsu is the only male character who regularly appears in the series.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: After their 16-0 loss to the Kunogi girls soccer team during a scrimmage match, many of the members of the Warabi girls soccer team will get angry with each other if any of them say they're going to be the ones to defeat them.
  • Otaku: Midori and Alice for the anime Heartthrob Kaikoku. Midori always plays soccer wearing a Kaikoku themed wrist cuff she got from a special edition blu-ray set of the anime, which Alice notices during a game.
    • Alice even wonders if Midori is a "shishi" or a "taishi", which is in reference to two separate groups of fans on the anime.
  • Own Goal: Nozomi does this not once, but twice, in two separate games, the first occasion of which caused her team to lose.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Most of the main cast. In fact, the attitude is justified in this setting; there's a huge emphasis on the girls needing to remain motivated and dedicated if they want to move on professionally, but even then it'll be up in the air over whether or not it's worth staying in the sport.
  • Real-Place Background: In chapters 17 and 18, Midori accidentally runs into some members of the Urawa Hosei girls soccer team at the Animate store in Ikebukuro and later are seen near the owl statue in Naka Ikebukuro Park. Both of which are real life locations.
  • Recognition Failure: When Noako Nomi is introduced as the assistant coach to the Warabi girls soccer team, she is shown to be a famous Japanese soccer player who played in the professional leagues when she was only 17 years old. While many of the other team members are well aware of who she is, Nozomi claims to have never heard of her. Nozomi is also unaware of who the Korenkan soccer team is, despite the fact that they won second-place in both the Inter-High and the National Championship.
  • Reused Character Design: Some of the character designs in Farewell take design cues from all of Arakawa's previous works, but most noticeably Your Lie.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: In chapter 20, when Kazuo Takahagi appears to be creepily stalking Midori, Sumire, Sawa and Nozomi as they're walking down the street, the group (sans Sawa) play a quick game of rock-paper-scissors to determine who is going to be the bait and who will wait in ambush to subdue him, thinking they're going to be given a reward for catching a "pervert".
  • Show Within a Show: Both Midori and Alice are obsessive fans of an in-universe anime called Heartthrob Kaikoku, to the point that they both refer to people as "ducky" in reference to the tagline of the show.
  • Shoutout:The title itself is a rather obscure reference (at least to non-Japanese/German people) which refers to German footballer and manager Dettmar Cramer, who's considered the father of Japanese soccer.
  • Shown Their Work: Similarly to both the attention to detail for the classical music performances and referencing real classical musicians in Your Lie, Naoshi Arakawa really puts in a lot of effort to show not only proper and correct soccer tactics, but also displaying its history as well, making many references to specific players and events within the history of the sport.
    • Nozomi is told about Pelé leading Brazil's team to victory when he was only 17 at the 1958 World Cup.
    • When having ankle problems during a game, Nozomi references how Franz Beckenbauer continued to play after dislocating his shoulder during a game at the 1970 World Cup.
    • Discussions of "Defensive" vs "Possession" soccer are had several times throughout the series.
    • In chapter 23, Fukatsu mentions how Pep Guardiola helped popularize possession (aka "Tiki-taka") style soccer.
  • The Stoic: Sumire Suo tends to be pretty expressionless most of the time and doesn't show much emotion, unless she's angry about losing or excited about crushing an enemy.
    • Coach Fukatsu also counts as this.
  • Suggestive Collision: Happens in chapter 19 during a practice match between the girls and boys soccer teams, where Nozomi and Namek accidentally bump in each other and fall over, where Namek pins himself on top of Nozomi in a rather intimate pose. Despite the romantic tension, Nozomi is not happy about it.
  • Sweet Tooth: Ito really enjoys pastries, while Yu enjoys eating candy.
  • Time Skip: Takes place a year and a half after Sayonara.

  • Tomboy: While many of the characters in the series are fairly masculine in appearance and personality, Sumire Suo is pretty firm in her tomboyishness.

  • Took a Level in Badass: Echizen goes from being the girls soccer teams manager who never played in games, to being able to hinder a rival teams ace shooter from being able to score.