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Team Japan

Team Japan's starting line-up

Team Japan is Japan's representative in the American Football Youth World Cup. The team consists of various players from the Devil Bats and other teams that Deimon has encountered. Team Japan is an extremely strong team and proceeds all the way to the finals of the Youth World Cup, where they face Team USA.


Team japan consists of the best American football players that are eighteen or younger in the entire country, with no regard for previous team divisions. The Kanto league chairman took various steps to prepare the formation of the team, such as asking Masaru Honjou to become the Kansai American Football League chairman and appointing Sena Kobayakawa, Monta, Takeru Yamato, and Taka Honjō in charge of recruiting the team's players. Masaru Honjou justifies this by pointing out that the Teikoku Alexanders, a team formed by adults, was defeated by the Deimon Devil Bats, a rookie team formed by the players themselves.

Recruiting Players

After meeting with Shin Seijuro, the four appointed students decide to recruit players from their respective regions - Sena, Monta, and Shin from Kanto, Yamato and Taka from Kansai. Agon Kongo demands to be recruited to the team upon learning that the tournament MVP will receive an NFL contract from Morgan worth 3 million dollars. The four Kanto players meet Rikiya Gao at a fast food restaurant to discuss possible recruits before splitting off. Gao enlists other linemen, including Ryokan Kurita, Mamoru Banba, Gondayu Yamabushi, and Makoto Otawara. Agon demands that Ikkyuu be part of the team as well, and Sena and Monta additionally recruit Mizumachi, Kakei, Riku, Sakuraba, Tetsuma, Akaba, Kotaro, and Musashi. Shin states that the team should have two quarterbacks - Kid for passes, and Hiruma for trick plays. Hiruma himself calls Marco to act as the team's second safety along with Riku.

In Kansai, Yamato and Taka hold tryouts under a condition that their teammate Heracles suggested jokingly - a player will pass if they are able to defeat Yamato and/or Taka in a manner of their choice. Heracles and Achilles are able to win a match based on cooperation, and the only other player to pass the tryouts is a middle school student named Nakabou, a.k.a. "Chuubou", who defeats Yamato using his "Delta Dynamite" technique.

Final Tryouts and Agon's Recruits

Sena requests that other players, such as Takami, be given the chance to join the team, and while Hiruma initially dismisses this suggestion as "soft-hearted", he and Shin agree that a final tryout should be held as a method of recruiting bench players. The Kanto league chairman is in charge of determining what players pass, and in the end, only a single player is capable of doing so. While his identity is masked by bandages that cover his entire body, Hiruma appears to recognize him.

Following the failure of many players, Agon approaches with the reluctant permission of the Kanto chairman to let them join the team; 13 players who were unable to make the cut and offers them the chance to join the team. These players include Takami, Jumonji, Kuroki, Togano, Komusubi, Taki, Onihei, Kisaragi, Buffalo Ushijima, Ganjo Iwashima, Hiroshi Ohira, and Ken Kamaguruma. Though suspicious of his true intentions, the players agree to join without the knowledge of the team's starters.

Participation in the Youth World Cup

Team Japan departs for America mere days after the tryouts are held, with the masked player being revealed as the only one to pass even as the team boards their plane. Agon and his recruits take a later flight, so as to hide their participation.

Match With Russia

During the cup's opening ceremony, Gaou cheats the random draw system by ripping open the large lottery machine used to determine each team's position in the tournament ladder. He does this in order to ensure that Japan's first match will be against Team Russia, because of his desire to battle the large lineman Rodchenko, who holds the world bench press record. However when the starters arrive to play the game, they discover that their uniforms are missing, and at the same time, Agon's recruits arrive in their own uniforms. Hiruma and Kid immediately realize that Agon must have stolen and hidden the uniforms, while concealing his own. The team is forced to allow the surprise reserve players to compete against Russia, and Agon's plan is to reveal his uniform near the end so as to lead them to a comeback victory, and gain an advantage in the MVP competition. The masked player reveals where Agon has hidden the uniforms, having witnessed his action, and Sena, Riku, Shin, and Yamato rush to retrieve them as the game begins.

Fortunately, Japan's backups prove more than a match for Team Russia, and Takami is able to lead the team to consecutive touchdowns to begin the game. Only Rodchenko proves dangerous, as he manages to break through Japan's offensive line and sack Takami despite both Jumonji and Onihei attempting to block him. Chuubou manages to knock away Rodchenko using the Delta Dynamite, and from that point on repeatedly uses the technique to hold back the weight-lifter. Japan is able to hold onto their lead for the rest of the game, and win 34-20 without the starters having to play. Chuubou's display catches the interest of Gao, who tries to challenge Chuubou to a battle when the game ends. That evening, the battle occurs, and Gao defeats Chuubou without any problems, leading to Chuubou training hard to improve himself.

Confronting Agon and Match With Militaria

Prior to the second round of the cup, Agon steals a car while Sena and Suzuna, who are secretly following him, sneak into the trunk. Agon intercepts the team as they are preparing to go to the stadium, and demands that Hiruma and Kid get into the car. Once the two quarterbacks do so, Agon speeds off and drives recklessly through the streets of New York. He demands that the two surrender the quarterback position to him or he will crash the car. Kid quickly agrees, but Hiruma refuses under the logic that Kid is a better quarterback than Agon and thus increases their chances of winning. Hiruma instead proposes that should any member of Team Japan be named the MVP, he will have the winner give the contract money to Agon. Agon agrees, but is surprised when Hiruma refuses to also agree to give Agon the NFL contract, as Hiruma considers it his only chance to play in the NFL.

After all the members of Team Japan arrive safely at the stadium, Sergeant Gomery of Team Militaria mocks Agon's hairstyle and uses an electric razor to shave of a chunk of his dreadlocks. Agon responds by using the razor to shave himself completely bald and vowing to completely crush Militaria's players. Team Japan plays against Team Militaria at full strength from the beginning, and completely dominates the match 77-0.

Match With Germany

Team Japan faces its first real challenge against Germany in the semi-finals. Germany's ace Heinrich Schultz proves to be the greatest challenge, having analyzed Japan's strength throughout the entire tournament leading up to the match, and he is even able to stop Sena's Devil Bat Ghost. However, as the match nears its end and Japan pulls to a 24-17 lead, Schultz concludes that Japan's individual all-stars are too strong for Germany to defeat. He calls for Germany's defensive strategy to change from zone to man-to-man, in order to compete with Sena one more time before the match ends. Sena defeats Schultz using a new branch technique of the Devil Bat 4th Dimension, and Japan wins 34-24 to advance to the final round.

Preamble to the Finals

Prior to the final match with Team USA, various members of Japan take part in confrontations with the different members of the Pentagram. Bud Walker appears immediately following the Japan vs Germany match, and demonstrates his abilities by brutally knocking away Yamaoka, Tetsuma, and Banba while receiving a pass from Clifford. Monta responds an instant later by using Marco's Screw Bite to steal the ball away from Bud, and proclaims that he will defeat Bud in order to become the strongest receiver in the world. Sena, worrying about his ability to defeat Panther after observing how much he has improved, tests his own 40-yard dash using Panther's running style, only to discover that he cannot use it effectively due to his height. After learning that one of the members of the Pentagram is a lineman, Gao tracks down Mr. Don and finds him in his limo. Gaoh tries to drag Don out of the limo in order to have a match with him, and eventually succeeds by flipping the vehicle over. Agon appears and tries to stop the two from fighting each other so that Gaoh will not be disqualified, but only manages to slightly deflect Mr. Don's first attack. Gao is briefly knocked out by this attack, and Agon surmises that if he had not attempted to stop it, Gao would have been unable to compete in the finals due to his injury. The members of the Pentagram later appear at a casino, and Yamato confronts Don. Yamato declares that he knows Don is responsible for his being forced to leave Notre Dame middle school, and he intends to defeat Team USA as revenge. Hiruma plays a game of Texas Hold 'Em against Clifford, and nearly loses a large sum of money before seeing through Clifford's bluffing strategy and wisely leaving the game; this sparks Clifford's contempt, as he sees this as an example of Hiruma having made a fool of him.

At the hotel, the members of the team that did not go to the casino have a tremendous pillow fight before going to sleep the night before the match. Several members of the team have trouble sleeping for various reasons, primarily anxiety. Sena and Sakuraba talk about the limits that hamper those not born with natural talent and abilities, and Sakuraba compares his feelings about being inferior to Shin to Sena's worries about defeating Panther. Hiruma spends some time researching Clifford, to learn as much as he can about the other quarterback's bluffing technique. Chuubou trains for several hours with Doburoku to refine the Delta Dynamite, and asks Gao for a rematch. Having improved his timing with the Delta Dynamite, Chuubou is able to blow Gao backwards, and Gao asks Chuubou to teach him the technique so as to use it against Don. Finally, Mizumachi catches a glimpse of a bald-headed player walking the halls, and comes to the conclusion that the masked player is Unsui Kongo.

Final Match With America

Team Japan enters the match with all of its players proclaiming their determination to win against Team USA despite the overwhelming odds in America's favor. Japan starts on offense, and Mr. Don immediately shows himself to be a tremendous threat when he temporarily knocks Kurita out of the game on the first play. Gao replaces Kurita, but even with help from Yamato, Gao is easily knocked to the ground by Don. Japan also has trouble passing the ball, as even though Monta manages to block Bud's Grappler Bump and effectively run his route, Tatanka deflects nearly all of Kid's passes with the Human Dome technique. Sena eventually breaks through the line on a running play, leading to a one-on-one confrontation with Panther. Sena manages to pass Panther by combining the Devil Bat 4th Dimension with the Devil Stun Gun, Devil Light Hurricane, and a stiff-arm, which leaves Panther on the ground. However even when Yamato arrives to block Panther and buy Sena some time, Panther is able to get up, chase Sena from behind, and force him to fumble the ball, which Team USA recovers.

Japan is at first completely incapable of stopping Team USA's offense - Gao cannot break through Don's block, Ikkyuu and Agon cannot stop Clifford's tremendous running and throwing speed, and Shin is unable to catch Panther even with the Trident Tackle. Musashi and Kotaro are able to score on kicks for Japan, but Japan can neither stop USA from scoring touchdowns nor answer with touchdowns of their own. Team USA leads 28-6 near the end of the first half when Kurita finally recovers and returns to play on offense, which allows Hiruma and Agon to use the Dragonfly in an attempt to make a comeback. Kurita's strength increases as he is tasked with protecting two different quarterbacks, and he is able to hold back Mr. Don well enough for Agon and Hiruma to effectively use the Dragonfly. Agon eventually scores a touchdown to end the first half 28-13. The effectiveness of the Dragonfly prompts Agon to begin playing more effectively on defense as well, as he defends his assigned zone rather than recklessly blitzing Clifford.

Clifford counters Japan's strategy by leaning on Panther's abilities in the beginning of the second half; Panther repeatedly rushes the ball on offense, leading to another USA touchdown (35-13), and blitzes on alternate plays on defense to disrupt the Dragonfly. Hiruma responds by sending Sena, Agon, and Shin on a reckless triple blitz against Clifford, and Shin is able to sack Clifford with the Trident Tackle and force him to fumble. Sena recovers the ball and runs it in for a touchdown, narrowing the game to 35-20. Mr. Don is angered by this feat, and on Team USA's next play, deliberately charges through Japan's defense to attack Shin and injure him. Shin is able to play on, but realizes he will be unable to play the entire rest of the game. Several plays later, Gaoh is finally able to use the Delta Dynamite to knock Don backwards, and Yamato finishes the job by using the Caesar's Charge to knock Don on his back while he is off-balance. As Japan reaches the red zone on the succeeding drive, Tatanka grows frantic, but effectively shuts down all of Japan's passing efforts. To surpass Tatanka's height-based defense, Takami enters the game, and together with Sakuraba uses the Twin Tower Arrow to score a touchdown.

With their lead shortened to 42-27, the entire Pentagram begins to play with uncharacteristic frenzy. Japan's defense holds strong, as they have faith in Shin's ability to protect the middle of the field. Shin's injury overcomes him, and he is forced to leave the game until the final two minutes. Hiruma calls upon the masked player to replace Shin, and the player reveals himself to be Rui Habashira of the Zokugako Chameleons. It is revealed that Habashira disguised his identity so that his teammates with the Chameleons would not believe he was sacrificing practice time to play in the tournament, and so they would not slack off in his absence. Habashira is unable to play at nearly the level of Shin, but his persistence eventually distracts an American ball-carrier enough for Sena to force a fumble. This time Riku scores a touchdown after recovering the ball, pulling Japan to within a single score, 42-34.

With the tide shifting evermore in Japan's favor, Panther asks to be given the chance to take on Sena again. Team USA once again relies on Panther on their offense, and he proves practically unstoppable. After several failed attempts, Sena finally manages to tackle Panther through sheer persistence by jumping up after falling to the ground and headbutting him. With their drive stopped on the 5-yard-line, Team USA kicks a field goal to make the score 45-34. Team Japan responds with Kotaro kicking a field goal with less than five minutes left, and Shin returns to the defense on Team USA's final possession. Clifford throws a long pass on a draw play in an attempt to sink Japan's chances to come back, but Taka does not fall for the running feint and is able to defend the pass and even flip it to Shin for an interception. Japan is able to march down the field, and Hiruma dives into the end zone to pull the score to 45-43 with thirty seconds left. In order to tie the game, Japan attempts a two-point conversion using the Golden Dragonfly, with Agon, Hiruma, and Kid all lined up as quarterbacks. This line-up is actually a decoy, and even though Clifford assures Mr. Don that Sena will ultimately be the one to receive the ball, Don is unable to defend against Kid, Hiruma, and Sena all diving across the line to perform the Cerberos Dive and score.

With the score tied at 45-45, Team USA tries desperately to score in the final thirty seconds, but fails. Time runs out and the game's officials declare that an overtime rule was not put in place, so the game is declared a draw. However, neither team is able to accept this result, and Team Japan and Team America continue to play the game. The result of this unofficial overtime is not shown, and is left ambiguous. The only known result of the game is that Panther is declared the MVP due to getting the most total votes during the game, and he is signed to play in the NFL. Officially, both teams are declared the champions of the tournament.

Legacy

The performance of Team Japan in the Youth World Cup exceeds the expectations of nearly all who witness it, and does not go without reward. Clifford contacts Sena a year and a half after the end of the tournament to inform him he has earned the chance to play for Notre Dame's high school, and Sena does so for the second half of his final year in high school. In addition, several of Team Japan's members who were previously from different teams later become teammates after graduating high school and joining college and semi-pro teams. Because of this, these players gained experience working together for the first time as members of Team Japan. They also brought home a trophy along with America for winning the World Cup but the MVP trophy was recursed America's World Cup trophy while Japan got the actual one. Because of Japan's technical victory in the World Cup, it encouraged more international teams to play American football, which was the initial goal for the Youth American Football World Cup. Afterwards, Shin, Sena, Hiruma, and Yamato were scouted out by many colleges and NFL teams because of their performance at the world cup that impressed the NFL judges and the NFL higher ups. They choose Japanese players who could play in the NFL, which included most of Team Japan. These players were allowed to come to the combine when they were ready, which would eventually propel at least five Japanese players into becoming superstars which they became in there rookie years in the NFL. These players were Shin as a linebacker, Taka as a CB, Sena and Yamato as running backs, Shun as a safety, Hiruma as a quarterback,  and sakurba as WR, as shown in the Eyeshield anime.

Players

Only one new character is introduced as part of Team Japan's roster. All of the other players have previously appeared playing for other teams.

Starters

Back-Ups

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