In his final game in the middle school football tournament, Aoi Ashito scored a superb hattrick. Unfortunately, Ashito was red-carded after getting into a fight with the opponent’s goalkeeper. Because of this, he’s labelled as a temperamental player and failed to get a scholarship recommendation from a football school. However, his talent is noticed by the youth manager of J1 club Tokyo City Esperion, Fukuda Tetsuya, who is interested in Ashito’s ability to remember the position of all players on the pitch.


Among its fans, Aoashi is known as a sports manga that delves deep into the tactical aspect of football. It often discusses about technical aspects like formation, passing triangle, or positional football. The mangaka Yugo Kobayashi must’ve done a lot of research here because they aren’t something that many football fans are familiar with. If you think Giant Killing and Farewell, My Dear Cramer are already tactical enough, Aoashi will ask you to go even deeper.

Maybe you’re thinking, “an anime about theoretical stuff. Boring”. Fortunately, the first two episodes haven’t get to that kind of discussion yet. Instead, they’re focused on the main character, Aoi Ashito. Living in a cash-strapped family, Ashito wants to become a professional player and helps his single mother. He may be a temperamental player, but Ashito also has a unique skill that differentiates him from other players: a wide field of vision.

At first, Ashito’s ability doesn’t seem important. However, the second episode shows how a player like Ashito could be an asset to a team. By understanding the other players’ positions, Ashito knows where he should position himself and lure the opposition out. Like a chess player who thinks ahead of their opponent, Ashito manipulates the spaces around him and creates a chance for another player.

When it comes to animation, the execution is solid. There’s a lot of character animation during the football match. I also enjoy the bird-eye shoot that shows the whole pitch during the match. It creates the sense of environment inhabited by the characters. Other football anime often shows the match situation through medium or wide shots from inside the pitch. Usually, they look flat because it’s hard to create a sense of depth with this angle. Aoashi manages to avoid that problem. Compared to other football anime, the actual football match in Aoashi definitely looks better.

There is a lot to like from the first two episodes. But in the end, the main selling point of this anime is still its tactical aspect. I notice the discourse about football tactics has been growing in the last few years, but not many titles have targeted this niche. Among those that try, Aoashi is the most visually appealing. Aoashi is not just another sports anime. It’s a sports anime with a big brain.

Facts and Figures

Source material Manga by Yugo Kobayashi
Casts Chikahiro Kobayashi as Tatsuya Fukuda
Hiroki Yasumoto as Nozomi Date
Junya Enoki as Yūma Motoki
Kentarō Kumagai as Ryūichi Takeshima
Kouki Ohsuzu as Aoi Ashito
Seiichirō Yamashita as Sōichirō Tachibana
Shun Horie as Kanpei Kuroda
Shunsuke Takeuchi as Nagisa Akutsu
Taku Yashiro as Keiji Togashi
Tatsumaru Tachibana as Eisaku Ōtomo
Wataru Katō as Martis Jun Asari
Director Akira Sato (Release the Spyce)
Scenario Masahiro Yokotani (All Out!!, Free! series)
Character Design Asuka Yamaguchi
Manabu Nakanate (Sket Dance)
Saki Hasegawa (True Cooking Master Boy)
Toshie Kawamura (Hugtto! Precure)
Opening Song “Mushin Hakusū” (Innocent Beat Count) by Alexandros
Ending Song “Blue Diary” by Rinne
Studio production I.G
Official Site
Twitter @aoashi_pr
Broadcast Date 9 April 2022 (0925 GMT, 1625 WIT, 1825 JST)


Screenshots and Trailer

© Yugo Kobayashi / Shogakukan / “Aoashi” Production Committee
© Yugo Kobayashi / Shogakukan / “Aoashi” Production Committee
© Yugo Kobayashi / Shogakukan / “Aoashi” Production Committee
© Yugo Kobayashi / Shogakukan / “Aoashi” Production Committee
© Yugo Kobayashi / Shogakukan / “Aoashi” Production Committee

The Indonesian Anime Times

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.