Ao Ashi Anime: A Captivating Series Comes to an End – A Review

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Network: NHK Educational TVGenre: AnimationSeasons: 1Episodes: 24

Ashito Aoi is a young, aspiring soccer player from a backwater town in Japan. His hopes of getting into a high school with a good soccer club are dashed when he causes an incident during a critical match for his team, which results in their loss and elimination from the tournament. Nevertheless, he catches the eye of someone important who happened to be visiting from Tokyo. How will things turn out for Ashito?

The Anticipation of Rebooting Rurouni Kenshin Anime

Today was a day filled with a mix of excitement and disappointment for anime enthusiasts worldwide. The highly anticipated news finally broke – the new Rurouni Kenshin anime would indeed be a reboot from the first chapter. Details regarding the length of the reboot, particularly the crucial “Jinchuu” Arc, are yet to be revealed. As an avid anime fan, I’ve been eagerly waiting for this announcement for an extended period. The complexities surrounding Rurouni Kenshin make this reveal a significant milestone for fans.

The Hope for a Sequel Announcement in Ao Ashi Anime

However, today’s episode of Ao Ashi failed to deliver the news I had been hoping for, though it could still be on the horizon. Sequel announcements for NHK series have proven to work both ways, so there’s still a glimmer of hope. Considering the success of both the manga and the existing adaptation, a sequel for Ao Ashi seems like a no-brainer. The manga has garnered high sales and received positive feedback from critics and fans alike. Ao Ashi holds enormous commercial potential, and in the past, a long-running anime adaptation would have been a given.

Unfortunately, the current production committee system has changed the game, and not for the better. Financial models that allow the possibility of debating whether an extended anime for Ao Ashi is feasible and sustainable are inherently flawed. Although there’s still a chance for Season 2 to materialize and transcend the limitations of the system, the odds are not in our favor. For now, we must be content with 24 episodes and an ending that encourages viewers to explore the manga. Nevertheless, those 24 episodes have been nothing short of exceptional.

Emergence of Ao Ashi as an Outstanding Soccer Anime

Ao Ashi deserves a place among the top three soccer anime of the past 15 years, standing alongside Giant Killing and Ginga e Kickoff. While baseball has traditionally dominated the anime sphere as Japan’s most popular sport, soccer has received comparatively less attention. However, these three series, despite their differences in style and focus, offer meticulous details on various levels of soccer with a profound understanding of both the technical aspects of the game and the art of storytelling. As a devoted soccer fan, witnessing the successful portrayal of the game in both its technical and narrative aspects is a true delight. To be honest, Ao Ashi is nearly flawless, and there is very little I would change about it.

The Growth of Ashito’s Tactical Mind and Playmaking Abilities

Ashito’s development as a player with exceptional mental prowess is nothing short of breathtaking. As Esperion establishes dominance over Musashino, Ashito’s growth accelerates exponentially. While zonal marking has become prevalent in modern soccer and diagonal runs by fullbacks can pose challenges, Ashito realizes that causing chaos is the key to unlocking a defense. He effortlessly assumes the role of a conductor on the pitch, instinctively moving his teammates. Luring opponents out of position and exploiting the vacated spaces is a fundamental yet exceedingly difficult aspect of attacking football, requiring both skill and the right players. This is why the legendary Johan Cruyff is considered a genius in the sport.

Ashito’s influential presence within the team even pushes the self-proclaimed “safe and sensible” Asari to embrace improvisation and become a threat from the right back position. This style of play reflects Fukuda’s vision for Esperion. Ashito’s contribution to the third goal exemplifies his hard work and leadership on the pitch. Additionally, he has gained a deeper understanding of defenders’ mindset and weaknesses, leading to thoughts of a potential transition from midfielder to striker. However, such hopes may be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Acknowledging the Role of Date and the Growth of the Relationship Between Ashito and Hana

It was gratifying to see Ashito express his gratitude towards Date-san, who played a pivotal role in his promotion to the A team. Date, along with Kuroda, Togashi, and Eisaku, have been instrumental in Ashi-kun’s journey. The life of a B team coach can be challenging, especially when your exceptional players are frequently promoted to higher levels. Despite occasional frustrations, it is evident that Date has always had Ashito’s back. Overcoming his lack of self-confidence and stepping out of Fukuda’s shadow is Date’s greatest need, but his role within Esperion leaves little room for personal growth.

Furthermore, the relationship between Ashito and Hana takes center stage, as expected. The chemistry between them is undeniably strong, and their interactions feel authentic within the context of their complex situation. While the fact that Ashito reminds Hana of the person she loves (who happens to be her step-brother) initially poses a significant obstacle, their bond continues to evolve. What Ashito gains from this relationship is unconditional support and concern, while Hana’s perspective and growth may require more time to fully manifest. The hug they share signifies a beautiful culmination of their journey in the anime, yet it is the kiss on the forehead that truly accentuates the depth of their connection.

Ao Ashi’s Approach to Providing Closure in an Ongoing Manga Adaptation

Many series that adapt ongoing manga could take a valuable lesson from Ao Ashi in terms of closure. Although this episode does not mark the end of the story, it exemplifies a harmonious ending that sees the characters poised to tackle their next great challenges. Ashito, a remarkable protagonist and a genuinely great kid, undergoes substantial growth while staying true to his core identity. This is what a compelling character arc should look like, and it is precisely how an anime should conclude.

An Appreciation for Ao Ashi’s Exceptional Adaptation

As fans, we can be naturally greedy, but that should never overshadow our capacity for gratitude. Ao Ashi received an outstanding adaptation, albeit one that took an unusually long time to come to fruition. The anime remained faithful to the manga while making necessary adjustments. The performances by seiyuu outside the usual roster were brilliant, and the animation and music, as expected from Production I.G., were of the highest quality. In summary, Ao Ashi delivered on every level, providing the soccer anime fans have long yearned for and doing justice to the exceptional manga. It’s just unfortunate that there isn’t more of it.


Ao Ashi’s captivating story, complex characters, and detailed portrayal of the beautiful game of soccer have earned it a well-deserved place among the best sports anime. Despite the disappointment of not receiving a sequel announcement, fans can still appreciate the incredible journey of Ashito and his team. The powerful bond between Ashito and Hana adds a layer of authenticity to the narrative, while the anime’s ability to provide closure while leaving room for future challenges is commendable. Overall, Ao Ashi has left an indelible mark on the soccer anime genre and will undoubtedly remain in the hearts of fans for years to come.


1. Will there be a sequel to the Ao Ashi anime?

While a sequel announcement has not been made yet, there is still hope for a potential continuation of the series. The success of the manga and the positive reception of the adaptation make a strong case for a follow-up season. Fans will have to stay tuned for any official announcements from the production committee.

2. How does Ao Ashi compare to other soccer anime?

Ao Ashi stands as one of the best soccer anime of the past 15 years, alongside series like Giant Killing and Ginga e Kickoff. Each of these shows offers a unique perspective on the sport and excels in capturing both the technical aspects of soccer and the art of storytelling. Ao Ashi’s attention to detail and its ability to portray the game with authenticity make it a must-watch for soccer enthusiasts.

3. Is Ashito’s transition from midfielder to striker a possibility?

While some may entertain the idea of Ashito evolving into the role of a striker, such speculations are purely wishful thinking for now. The focus of Ashito’s growth has been on his playmaking abilities and strategic mindset. Fukuda, the team’s coach, seems to value Ashito’s contributions in midfield. However, soccer is full of surprises, and one can never predict how a character’s journey will unfold in the future.

4. Where can I read the Ao Ashi manga?

The Ao Ashi manga is available for reading online through various platforms and websites that offer