Ao Ashi: Anime Lover’s Journey Explored

Coaching Frustrations and Team Support

At long last, we finally witness some genuine coaching happening! While we deeply respect the concept of “teach a boy to fish” behind Fukuda’s coaching philosophy, it has been disheartening to watch Ashito struggle without receiving proper guidance, with the only real input coming from his teammates. Peer support is valuable, but it is vital to acknowledge that teenage soccer players, and even spectators, may not always be the most qualified individuals to provide effective teaching. When we ask a young player to learn a completely new position, is it so unreasonable to bend the rules a little and explain how it’s done? We can clearly perceive Date-san’s discontent with the treatment Ashito has received, and it is evident that he possesses wisdom to impart. It would have been ideal if he shared his knowledge much earlier in the process.

Challenges for Ashi in His Return

Fortunately, there was a match before Tokyo Musashino (which had previously gone unnoticed), and this proves to be a blessing in disguise for Ashito, as it would have been a significant demand to expect him to perform flawlessly in his first game back after a month. Kaneda, on the other hand, proves to be quite a difficult character to handle. His teammate Nakano-kun finds himself in the position of having to apologize on Kaneda’s behalf. Kaneda’s tendency to blame the tryout winners, particularly Ashito, for his own shortcomings is clearly unjustified. Moreover, his demeanor is simply appalling. However, Keiji seems to have a good grasp of Kaneda’s psychology. Some individuals require anger as their fuel for motivation. They need to view themselves as victims and direct their rage at an enemy. Kaneda perfectly fits the profile of such an individual, and naturally, he happens to be a right-sided forward.

A Serving of Hope for the B-Team

In the hour of need for the B-team, a glimmer of hope emerges in the form of Yoshitsune Kenta (Okitsu Kazuyuki). Yoshitsune is the striker whose injury led to the promotions that shook up the B-team, and now, as he makes his way back, he is receiving significant playing time with the Bs. For Tachibana, the king of insecurity, this situation is a mixed blessing. It is inevitable for him to compare himself to Yoshitsune and feel inadequate. However, for a struggling team, the presence of Yoshitsune serves as a lifeline. Date-san has announced an “aggressive lineup,” which includes shifting Eisaku to the left and reintroducing Ashito as the left back. Some teammates may not be thrilled about Ashito’s inclusion, but to be fair, he has yet to provide them with valid reasons to doubt his capabilities.

Ashito’s Pre-Match Antics

Several teammates express concern as Ashi-kun sets off on a two-hour run before the match. However, the level-headed Yoshitsune, who wears the captain’s armband, remains unperturbed and understands the need for each individual to find their own way to clear their mind. Anri, on the other hand, is anxious and desperately follows Ashi on her bike, pleading for him to stop. It is only when she mentions Hana’s name that he finally acquiesces, reflecting on his happiness about playing left back and feeling perplexed by it. From my perspective, it’s not simply about Ashito being pleased with playing fullback, but rather about his happiness in playing football, regardless of the position.

Learning the Defensive Role

Despite his contentment, Ashito still appears out of his element, and his opponents are keenly aware of this. Fukuda-san’s vision of Ashi as a natural defender clashes with reality—Ashito needs to learn the defensive role from scratch. As always, when he constantly has to contemplate his actions, he cannot react quickly enough to execute them precisely in the right place at the right time. Interestingly, it is Hana’s encouraging words that snap Ashito back into the moment and activate his “magic eyes.”

The Importance of Space in Defending

Here we encounter another of Ao Ashi’s cherished fundamental soccer truths. Defense revolves not just around the ball or the opponent but also the space on the field. Skilled attackers have a keen sense of how to exploit space, while adept defenders know how to deny them those opportunities. Ashito experiences great success by maneuvering Eisaku into space on the wing (although he doesn’t need to do so with the defensive midfielder, who is already positioned correctly), effectively closing off any remaining spaces for the attacker and successfully stealing the ball. However, on a subsequent occasion, Ashito fails, leading to a near goal for the opposition. The reason for this failure lies in his independent actions, which result in him being left behind when the spaces shift due to the movement of other players.

Date’s Overdue Instruction

At long last, Date-san decides to provide Ashito with some specific in-game instruction. Yoshitsune has already noticed the potential that Fukuda saw in Ashito, and this sheds light on Akutsu’s attitude, which I’m not entirely convinced is justified. Yoshitsune clearly stands above the others in terms of skill (as it should be), and it’s only natural for Ashito to aspire to be like him (even though Tachibana has already accepted that he can never achieve such a level). However, it’s crucial to remember that every soccer player is unique. Trying to imitate others, even elite players like Kuribayashi and Yoshitsune, will only take you so far. It is only when Ashito embraces his own identity as a fullback that he can truly begin to thrive and grow into the role.


In conclusion, Ashito’s journey as a left back has been filled with challenges and moments of self-discovery. Despite the absence of proper coaching initially, he manages to find moments of brilliance and embrace his new role on the team. With the guidance and support of teammates like Yoshitsune and the eventual instructions from Date, Ashito’s potential as a defender starts to shine through. It remains to be seen how he will continue to evolve and contribute to his team’s success in future matches.


1. Can Ashito become a top-tier left back in the future?

While it is still early in his development, Ashito shows promising potential as a left back. With continued guidance, practice, and experience, there is a possibility for him to excel in this position and become a top-tier left back in the future. However, it will require dedication, hard work, and a willingness to continuously improve.

2. Are there any other players on the team who exhibit similar bursts of brilliance?

Yes, apart from Ashito, Yoshitsune stands out as a player who consistently showcases moments of brilliance on the field. His skill and understanding of the game are remarkable, and he serves as an inspiration for his teammates. Additionally, there may be other players on the team who have yet to fully unlock their potential, leaving room for more bursts of brilliance in the future.

3. How does Ashito’s struggle to adapt to the left back position affect the team?

Ashito’s initial struggle to adapt to the left back position creates a level of uncertainty within the team. This uncertainty can impact the team’s defensive stability, coordination, and overall performance. However, with proper coaching, support, and Ashito’s determination to improve, the team can work together to overcome these challenges and grow stronger as a unit.

4. What role does Date play in the development of the team’s players?

Date plays a crucial role in the development of the team’s players, particularly in providing guidance, instructions, and individualized coaching. While his delayed intervention in Ashito’s case was a setback, his eventual involvement and specific in-game instruction highlight the importance of his role as a coach. By leveraging his experience and knowledge, Date can help shape the players’ skills, confidence, and overall growth.

5. How does Ashito’s passion for football contribute to his development as a player?

Ashito’s passion for football serves as a driving force in his development as a player. It fuels his determination, motivates him to overcome challenges, and fosters a continuous desire to improve. By embracing his love for the game, Ashito can tap into his potential and make significant strides in his journey as a left back.