|Shukyuden: Field no Okami Striker Jin!|
|Cover of the magazine where the series debuted|
|Original run||#1999-03-08 ~ #1999-07-05|
|Magazine||Weekly Shonen Jump|
Striker Jin or FW Jin, fully titled either Shukyuden: Field no Okami Striker Jin! or Shukyuden: Field no Okami Striker Jin! (-蹴球伝-フィールドの狼 FW(ストライカー)陣!, shuukyuuden field no oukami FW striker jin, translated as Football legend: Striker Jin, wolf of the field!), or Field no Okami: Striker Jin! Shukyuden or Field no Okami: Striker Jin! Shukyuden (there isn't a single accepted way for the name of the series, although "FW" is meant to be read "striker" as indicated by the katakana in it) is a manga series created by Yoichi Takahashi focused on football.
The comic was serialized in Shueisha shonen magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from issue #13 to issue #30 of 1999, cover dates #1999-03-08 to #1999-07-05, for a total of 17 chapters. The series was compiled in two tankobon volumes.
The story revolves around Jin, a mischievous child that loses his family and decides to fulfil his brother's dream to create the best football team. The ending of the series implies that the story takes places within the same universe of the Captain Tsubasa comics.
Like Sho no Densetsu, this series is considered a failure due to its poor reception in Japan in comparison to Captain Tsubasa, although it didn't have the same expectations that Sho no Densetsu had, and Striker Jin is far more well known than the former. This lack of success in Japan is mostly attributed to its similarities with Captain Tsubasa including the main character Jin, whose face is similar to Kojiro Hyuga, who is also a striker, and that the story is placed in elementary school like the first Captain Tsubasa arc.
Despite this apparent lack of success in Japan, the series was also published in Italy in 2004 by Star Comics where it was titled Striker Jin and was also better received, a situation which repeated itself in France and other French-speaking countries in 2005 when the series was published by J'ai lu under the name Le loup du stade.
Jin is a problem child and a lover of fights, who lives on an island in southern Japan. With the boat of his friend Katsuo, Jin travels to other islands to earn money by challenging other people in football matches.
But one day, upon returning home, he discovers that his parents and his little brother Ryota died in a car accident. Jin decides then to realize the dream of his brother: to create a football team capable of winning the national championship.
This obviously won't be easy, and Jin soon understands the difficulties of such an ordeal. He conceives a shrewd plan to convince the strongest players of opposing teams to join him, that is a bet: they will challenge him, and if he wins, they will have to leave their team to join his, otherwise Jin's squad will disband.
Will Jin succeed in forming the strongest team of Japan?
- Jin Hamukai (刃向陣, hamukai jin), Sejima Football Squad (瀬島蹴球隊), FW #9: The protagonist of the story is a troublemaker and boisterous boy, but with a big heart and an innate confidence in the value of friendship. He can be seen as a mixture of Kojiro Hyuga with Shingo Aoi.
- Ryota Hamukai (刃向亮太, hamukai ryouta), Niihama FC (新浜FC): Jin's younger brother who died in an accident while returning from a match between Kameden FC and Ehio FC.
- Kazuma Shibuki (飛沫数馬, shibuki kazuma), Sejima Football Squad, DF #2: Jin's fight buddy. Bancho of Niihama-Kamikita. Good at karate. Wears a scarf while playing.
- Mitsuo Satsumoto (薩本光男, satsumoto mitsuo), Sejima Football Squad, DF #3: Jin's fight buddy. Bancho of Niihama-Minama. Good at judo.
- Makoto Kaneko (金子誠, kaneko makoto), Niihama FC, later Sejima Football Squad, MF #23, later #8: Team mate of Ryota.
- Yuta Nomoto (野本雄太, nomoto yuuta), Niihama FC, later Sejima Football Squad, MF #4: Captain of Niihama FC.
- Shinichi Hayashi (林森一, hayashi shinichi), Marugame FC, later Sejima Football Squad, MF #10: Captain of Muragame FC, a genius playmaker.
- Shingo Hatori (羽鳥慎吾, hatori shingo), Nio FC (仁尾FC), later Sejima Football Squad, FW #9, later #11: Centre-forward of Nio FC, and a very skilled header specialist who shares Jin's dream to win the national championship. He's called "Big Bird" due to his 170 cm in height.
- Goro Motoyama (本山五郎, motoyama gorou), Kanonji S.S. (観音寺S・S), later Sejima Football Squad, DF #5. Owner of the self-styled "Two-step Defense".
- Shunjiro Haino (灰野俊二郎, haino shunjirou), Takamatsu FC (高松FC), later Sejima Football Squad, GK #1: A formidable goalkeeper despite his small height. He grew in football in England and returned to Japan to become a reliable goalkeeper.
- Natsumi (夏美): The titular heroine. She offered her first kiss to Jin for his consecutive victories.
- Katsuo (勝男): Jin's best friend. He is the owner of the boat with which he accompanied Jin to matches to raise money.
An unintended effect of the success of the Captain Tsubasa series was that the majority of Japanese children who became interested in football due to the series wanted to become midfielder like the protagonist Tsubasa Ozora, which caused that at a professional level there were a lack of players in other positions, particularly natural strikers. In order to address this, Takahashi decided to create a series focused on a forward to inspire future generations to try other positions beyond midfielder. While unsuccessful with Striker Jin, Takahashi managed this objective with Hungry Heart.