Inazuma Eleven (イナズマイレブン, Inazuma Irebun) is a Japanese RPG sports video game franchise developed and published by Level-5. Starting with the first game's release on August 22, 2008, most of the main games were released into the Nintendo DS as trilogy installments, until it reached the English markets authorized by Nintendo and was released on January 29, 2011. Since the first game's release, the rest of the sequels were distributed as different versions with exclusive game content, similar to Pokémon. Mitsui has also created a collectible card game tie-in.
The first Inazuma Eleven trilogy consists of the first game, the second sequel entitled Threat of the Invaders (脅威の侵略者, Kyoui no Shinryakusha), and the second sequel entitled Challenge to the World!! (世界への挑戦!!, Sekai he no Chousen). The game is followed by three Nintendo Wii spin-offs: Inazuma Eleven Strikers, Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 Xtreme, and Inazuma Eleven GO Strikers 2013. The 3DS game trilogy was eventually re-released into an updated compilation titled Inazuma Eleven 1-2-3: Endo Mamoru's Legend for the Nintendo 3DS, released on December 27, 2012, physically and digitally exclusively in Japan with updated stereoscopic 3D and updated graphics. Following the game's popularity, a manga based on the games began serialization in CoroCoro Comic on May 15, 2008.
The second trilogy installment entitled Inazuma Eleven GO was also released on December 15, 2011 for Nintendo DS, taking place 10 years after the events of the first trilogy. Following the same chronological release pattern, the second sequel entitled Chrono Stone (クロノ・ストーン) and Galaxy (ギャラクシー) followed afterwards. The manga adaptation based on the trilogy began serialization in CoroCoro Comic from November 2011 to April 2014.
The anime adapted from the games was produced by OLM, and premiered on October 5, 2008 to the GO Trilogy which aired from May 4, 2011 to March 19, 2014. The game served as the debut of J-pop groups, Twe'lv and T-Pistonz+KMC, where they composed most of the theme songs. Three anime films were premiered.
An original OVA entitled "Reloaded" was released on April 5, 2018 as an insert episode after the original anime's "Football Frontier" arc as a prequel for the new Inazuma Eleven series announced. The first entitled Balance of Ares (アレスの天秤, Ares no Tenbin) began premiering on April 6, 2018 a day after the OVA.
Mamoru Endou (Mark Evans in the European version), is a very talented goalkeeper and the grandson of one of the strongest goalkeepers in Japan, who supposedly died before Mamoru was born. Even though his skills and enthusiasm are incredible, his school lacks a real soccer club, as the six other members don't appear very interested even in training. One day, when a mysterious forward named Shuuya Gouenji (Axel Blaze in the European version) moves to Endou's town, the young goalkeeper sets out to find and recruit members for his soccer team. There are nearly 1000 playable characters with varying skills that will determine the success of the team. As you play through the story, Endou can recruit various characters on the team and help achieve his ultimate goal of competing!
Inazuma Eleven GO
Taking place 10 years after the original series, the Inazuma Japan's victory in the FFI has greatly influenced Japan's soccer which has boomed to the point that a school's worth is directly proportional to the skill of their soccer team. The weak schools are forgotten and forced to close down due to lack of public interest and applicants. An organization called "Fifth Sector" was established and led by the "Holy Emperor" Ishido Shuuji, whose commands balance the continuing influence of soccer saving all of Japan's schools from shutting down based on set scores. But a price had to be paid: "real soccer" didn't exist. The story focuses on Tenma Matsukaze, a freshman who enrolls into Raimon Middle School to join its renowned soccer team just like the Inazuma Japan. His presence soon stirs a revolutionary wind that brings true soccer upon new opponents between Japan, the Earth and beyond!!
Ares no Tenbin
The story follows the first trilogy in an alternate timeline after the "Football Frontier" arc. The Raimon Eleven was disbanded and its members sent to different soccer teams across Japan in the hopes of strengthening Japan's soccer at a national level. Moreover, in the modern world of Japanese youth soccer, sponsorship has become a vital aspect for every youth team to partake in matches, or otherwise face disbandment. Three protagonists from three different school soccer teams: Inamori Asuto from Inakuni Raimon, Haizaki Ryouhei from Seishou Gakuen, and Nosaka Yuuma from Outei Tsukinomiya.
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