Holly and Benji - Two champions: the boundless love for football

The journey among the souls that kept us in company in our childhood in the eighties and nineties continues. Anyone who loves the round sphere that every week makes thousands of people rejoice cannot fail to know Holly and Benji - Two champions. Many professional footballers have admitted that they started playing thanks to the exploits of the heroes on the green rectangle. Often out of the ordinary but capable of making endless games full of twists and turns. Each match is a battle that goes beyond football, but represents a life lesson.

Holly and Benji: Oliver Hutton's Dream

The story begins when Holly, a Japanese boy lost in love with football, moves with his family to the Shizuoka region, to be precise in Fujisawa. Holly has a specific goal: to become a professional footballer. Once he arrives in his new hometown he has a meeting with Arthur, who plays for Newppy, the school team he will join. Holly immediately runs into Benji Price, a very strong goalkeeper who up to that moment has not conceded even a goal. In training they challenge each other: Holly starts from midfield, overtakes everyone in dribbling and scores in the door of Benji who remains stunned. The winning assist is provided by Roberto Sedinho, former center forward of the Brazilian national team and of San Paolo. Roberto agrees to become Newppy's coach and promises Holly to take him to Brazil if he wins the championship.

Julian Ross and heart problems

The school tournament, the traditional challenge between Newppy and San Francis ends at 2-2. The tournament is awarded a tie. A city selection takes part in the Regional Championship, made up of the best players from Nankatsu's teams: the New Team, which includes both Holly and Benji. The two are a formidable couple and reach the final where they meet strong Stanton. Benji is injured, remains in the field and with a hat-trick Holly gives the victory to the New Team (3-0) thus gaining the right to participate in the National Youth Championship. In the opening race we witness the only defeat in the history of the New Team against the very strong one Muppet driven by Mark Lenders.

To continue this adventure the New Team must win all the remaining games with the aggravating circumstance of Benji's injury replaced by Alan Crocker, a reserve that is absolutely not up to par. Despite everything, the New Team beats the Hot dog of acrobatic twins Derrick and the Norfolk of the gigantic doorman Sellers. The semifinal is against the Mambo di Julian Ross, one of the strongest players in the competition, who suffers from heart problems and is forced to abandon the challenge at some point despite his great willpower.

The final between New Team and Muppet

The final sees the New Team again facing the Muppet, reinforced by Ed Warner, acrobatic goalkeeper who uses martial arts. The team led by Mark Landers overcame the other semifinal Flynet of captain Philip Callaghan which is all about teamwork. After a historic and emotional match, with Tom Becker playing injured.

The New Team took the lead with a two shot from Tom and Holly that leaves no way out Warner, suffered the comeback (2-1) of the men of Landers, equalized with Holly in the 89th minute and with others on the two goals in the fourth overtime he went on to win with the final result of 4-2 thanks to a brace from Holly. Roberto Sedinho does not respect the promise made to Holly by leaving without him because he believes that his protégé can grow well in Japan as well. While Benji and Tom leave for Germany and France respectively, leaving Holly alone in Japan.

The challenge between Oliver Hutton and Mark Landers is renewed

Three years have passed and the boys are attending the eighth grade. Holly is still captain of the New Team, which has won two more National Championships despite the farewells of Tom e Benji. To reach the final, the team runs into teams led by various protagonists. The protagonist's team overcomes the attacker's Otomo Patrick Everett, the Artic of the tough defender Ralph Peterson, Norfolk, the Hirado of the rocky Clifford Yuma, the hot dog of the acrobatic twins Derrick, and the Flynet.

The final is with the Toho di Mark Lenders e Warner with the former having undergone special training to beat his historic rival. Meanwhile, Holly arrives injured in the match but decides to play anyway. The historic final ends in a draw: 4 to 4. But the joy of Hutton and Lenders is enormous since both, together with the best of the tournament, are called up for participate in the Juniores World Championship.

The national team arrives

The Japanese team goes to France to play the youth world cup (under 14) with Japan who loses the first friendlies due toabsence of Holly, injured. Holly's return totally changes the music on the pitch. Together with old friends like Tom and Benji, Japan begins its climb to victory. Surprisingly beats the goalkeeper's Italy Dario Belli-Gino Hernandez and Argentina's Diaz e Pascal. In the semifinals, Holly and her team face the big favorites, France led by Napoleon e Pierre LeBlanc. Here the penalties favor Japan for 5 to 4.

We arrive at the final against Germany made up of many samples. Goalkeeper Reiner Bauer, of Karl Heinz Schneider, Hoffman, Shester, Magath, Muller who beat Ruben Pablo's Uruguay in the semifinals. A goal at the end of Mark Lenders on an assist from Holly gives the historic victory to Japan. Roberto Sedinho reappears this time keeping the promise made years ago. The Brazilian champion brings Holly to Sao Paulo where he will play for three years. Here ends the episodes aired on Italian television.

Holly and Benji, friendship and loyalty as key points

The adventure of Holly and Benji, beyond football, highlights many aspects such as sacrifice, respect and friendship. Holly will meet many champions on her way with particular stories. The main character of the story always shows great respect for his opponents, despite meeting some incorrect footballers. With his class and his love he always highlights the true values ​​of this sport: respect for the opponent and friendship. A striking example is the constant encouragement for Alan Crocker, goalkeeper who is intentionally hit by Mark Landers on the face from the ball in a match. Episode that marks the goalkeeper who is no longer able to parry. Holly, however, succeeds in making him regain confidence by showing him that the ball is his friend. A gesture that makes us understand how values ​​in sport must always triumph over everything.

Holly and Benji, the many differences with the manga

Holly and Benji differs greatly from the original manga for several reasons. Here are some of the most important.
Holly's initial S. Francis inscription (later changed to race) is an invention of the anime, and in the manga the only member of the Newppy that Holly knows on the day of arrival in the new city is Bruce, while in the anime on the same day she also runs into Patty and Arthur. In the anime Roberto arrives at the place of the challenge between Holly and Benji following Holly, Bruce and Patty, while in the manga, to follow the trajectory of the ball launched by Holly from the hill towards Benji's garden, Roberto sneaks into Benji's house by stealth. attacked by the dog, and later follows Benji and his personal trainer to the venue.

The meeting with Roberto Sedinho

In the manga, when Roberto scores in a bicycle kick after the ball hits the crossbar, Holly trains all day trying to reproduce the same technique, while in the anime this sequence is replaced by a dream in which Holly performs that technique against Benji. In the match between Newteam and Muppett, Mark Lenders' second goal is different between anime and manga: in the manga Lenders overtakes Tom with a feint and then scores despite Benji having tried to nip his shot in the bud, while in the anime he scores. power with a shot that enters the net overwhelming Tom (who had tried to intervene in a slide) and knocking Benji's glove to the ground.

During middle school, two new characters were introduced in the manga, the boxer Kanda (in love with Patty) and Carlos (who gives private Portuguese lessons to Holly), but they were not included in the anime. Always in the arc of middle school in the manga Arthur is the fixed reserve of the Newteam, so he attends the games from the bench, while in the anime he is a simple fan as in elementary school. The roles of Mason and Carter in Newteam's 4-3 goal against Hirado have been reversed: in the manga Carter overtook Yuma and Mason scored while in the anime the opposite happened.

The main characters of Holly and Benji

In Italy, the anime made its debut in July 1986 on Fininvest's Italia 1 (later Mediaset), with the title of Holly & Benji and with the names of players and teams changed. With rare exceptions, such as Shimada, Otomo, Hirado and Toho) by explicit request of Reteitalia to the dubbing company (CAR Film). All this according to their policy of Italianising or Englishising Japanese names for reasons of cultural simplification.

Oliver Hutton (大 空 翼 Ōzora Tsubasa) - Midfielder-striker number 10 in the New Team, in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, in San Paolo, in Barcelona B and number 28 in Barcelona.

Benjamin Price (Wakabayashi Genzō)
Goalkeeper number 1 in the Saint Francis, in the New Team, in Hamburg, in the Japanese U-20 and U-23 national team, and number 22 in the Japanese U-15 national team.

Tom Becker (Misaki Tarō)
Midfielder number 11 in the New Team, in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, and number 38 in Júbilo Iwata.

Mark Lenders (Kojiro Hyūga Kojirō)
Attacker number 10 in Muppet, in Toho, number 9 in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, number 18 in Juventus and number 78 in Reggiana.

Bruce Harper (Ryo Ishizaki Ryō?)
Defender number 14 in the New Team and in the Japanese National U-15, number 4 in the Japanese National U-20 and U-23, and number 36 in the Júbilo Iwata.

Philip Callaghan (Matsuyama Hikaru)
Midfielder number 10 in the Flynet, number 12 in the Japanese National U-16, U-20 and U-23, and number 36 in the Consadole Sapporo.

Julian Ross (Jun Misugi)
Midfielder and free number 14 in Musashi and in the Japanese U-23 national team, number 24 in the Japanese U-16 national team, number 6 in the U-20 national team, number 41 in FC Tokyo and with a short stay in Bellmare Hiratsuka.

Ed Warner (Ken Wakashimazu)
Goalkeeper number 17 in the Muppet, in the Yokohama Flugels and in the Japanese National U-20 and U-23, number 1 in the Toho and in the Japanese National U-15, number 51 in the Nagoya Grampus Eight, striker starting from the qualifications for the Olympic tournament.

James e Jason Derrick (Kazuo to Masao Tachibana)
Called the Derrick twins, they are midfielders-forwards numbers 10 and 9 in the Hot-Dog, numbers 3 and 2 in the Japanese National U-16, U-20 and U-23, numbers 40 and 41 in JEF United Ichihara. At school are the champions of the Akita prefecture and the stars of the Hot-Dog,

Alan Crocker (Yuzo Morisaki)
Goalkeeper number 12 then number 1 in the New Team, number 21 in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, number 34 in the Shimizu S-Pulse. Initially he is the second goalkeeper of the New Team and third goalkeeper of the Japanese national team.

Paul Diamond (Mamoru Izawa Mamoru Izawa)
Midfielder number 10 in the Saint Francis, number 8 in the New Team, in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, and then bought by Yokohama F. Marinos.

Johnny Mason (Teppei Kisugi)
Striker number 9 in the Saint Francis and in the New Team, number 20 in the Japanese U-16 national team, number 19 in the U-20 national team and U-23, number 39 in Cerezo Osaka.

Ted Carter (Takiichi Hajime Taki)
Midfielder-striker number 11 in the Saint Francis, number 7 in the New Team, number 17 and 13 in the Japanese National U-15 and U-20, number 6 in the Japanese National U-23, registered by Tokyo Verdy: the role is a winger pure.

Many other protagonists

Patrick Everett (Shun Nitta)
Striker number 9 in the New Team and Otomo, number 18 in the Japanese National U-16, U-20 and U-23, number 35 in the Kashiwa Reysol.

Danny Mellow (Takeshi Sawada)
Midfielder number 15 in Muppet, Toho, in the Japanese National U-15, U-20 and U-23, number 35 in the Urawa Red Diamonds, number 10 in the Japanese National U-19: initially on the same technical level as Tom Becker but more two-year-old young man.

Clifford Yuma (次 藤 洋 Hiroshi Jito) Defender number 5 in Hirado, in the Japanese National U-16, U-20 and U-23, number 90 in Avispa Fukuoka, he also played in the high school team Kunimi Gakuin FC.

Teo Sellers (Taichi Nakanishi)
Goalkeeper number 1 in Norfolk and number 13 in the Japanese Under 13 national team, he also played in the Tatsunami (Osaka school that united students from Norfolk and Artic).

Roberto Sedinho (ロ ベ ル ト 本 郷 Roberto Hongo) Great champion of the Brazilian national team. Due to the detachment of the retina he withdrew completely from the world of football. For this he decided to commit suicide by jumping into the water, but was saved by Holly's father.

Freddy Marshall (Appearing Tatsuo Mikami Tatsuo)
Ex-goalkeeper of the national team and personal coach of Benji, coach of Japan Under 15 and the "next generation" Under 19. Voiced in Italian by Massimiliano Lotti (Captain Tsubasa 2018)

Episodes and theme song

The anime in Italy is broadcast by Italia 1 in 128 episodes, the first aired on July 19, 1986 with great success. It also passed on Canale 5 in 1991. The historical Italian abbreviation is Holly and Benji two champions, in many subsequent reruns it was broadcast with the new theme song entitled What champions Holly & Benji !!!


HOLLY & BENJI TV SERIES 27 FULL DVD ANIME + 4 FILMS 179,00 EUR Buy on Amazon Tagsanime benji price holly and benji Oliver Hutton Holly and Benji - Two champions: the boundless love for football
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