Ao Ashi Might Be One of the Great Sports Anime: Review

Ao Ashi Review

Ao Ashi Review

Many sports anime come and go over the years, some barely staying in the memory of viewers. However, every so often, something appears that grabs viewers' attention. Ao Ashi has achieved that this Spring 22 season, but does it stack up? My Ao Ashi review attempts to dissect the series so far.

For a bit of context, I generally think most sports anime are okay. I enjoy most sporting series and agree that Haikyuu is a great anime generally.

However, I think most sports anime tend to drift into coming-of-age teen dramas where the sport itself is of less importance. That can work, but most sports anime lack the substance required to effectively portray such a topic.

I am also a football/soccer fan from the UK, so to say I’ve been waiting for a good soccer anime is a bit of an understatement.

Ao Ashi Review

Ao Ashi
Ao Ashi feels like a classic sports anime in the making, delivering an excellent level of realism alongside classic tropes for a hugely enjoyable experience.
8 out of 10

On the face of it, Ao Ashi looked like just another sports anime. However, it’s shown enough to suggest it could be something much more special.

The first thing you notice with Ao Ashi is its realism. Many sports anime dramatise the sport itself while simplifying everything else around the players and teams.

You can tell very quickly that Ao Ashi’s author Yūgo Kobayashi genuinely loves soccer. There is great pride taken in the details, from positions and tactics to the tough realities of any kid trying to go from school football to the professional ranks.

However, Ao Ashi hasn’t just pleased soccer fans like myself; the series has reached out to all sports anime fans, and much of that is down to the main character.

In Ashito Aoi, the series has one of the great sports anime protagonists. He’s no unbelievably optimistic, nor does he just continuously speak about his joy of playing soccer. Instead, he is a likeable and determined character grounded by a poor upbringing that makes him feel incredibly genuine.

However, sports anime thrive in moments of dramatic entertainment. It’s not enough to just be realistic; many of the best sports anime find a way to inject passion into otherwise simple moments.

Thankfully, Ashito Aoi isn’t so ordinary that he can’t bring the fire when the show needs it most.

Ao Ashi frames itself as kind of a rags to riches story. Ashito Aoi is clearly talented; he and everyone around him know that much. However, he has to climb more obstacles than most due to his familial situation, competing against people who stand in the way of his road to success.

Ashito Aoi’s story is one that is incredibly easy to get behind, making those moments when he does rise to the challenge feel special.

Related: Ao Ashi’s Success Draws Blue Lock Comparisons

Is Ao Ashi Actually a Good Sports Anime?

Is Ao Ashi Good Review
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Overall, Ao Ashi shows all the signs of being not just one of the best soccer anime, but a great sports anime up there with the best in the genre.

Ao Ashi delivers the sporting realism that appeals to soccer fans, but it also doesn’t shy away from dramatising certain moments for impact. It also has one of the great sports anime lead characters, complete with a genuine backstory that creates an instant relationship between character and viewer.

Despite the great start, there are big challenges on the horizon that Ao Ashi will need to overcome to reach the pantheon of the best sports anime such as Haikyuu.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is whether the series can develop the rest of the cast to match Ashito’s energy and pull. If the rest of the team is left emotionally in Ashito’s shadow, the series will lose its shine.

There is also a question of how long Ashito can play the underdog once part of an elite team, although that shouldn’t be as big of a problem. Many sports anime find a way of putting even bigger opponents in the road, and I expect Ao Ashi to do the same.

Ultimately, at the time of writing, it’s probably too early to definitely say whether Ao Ashi will be a great series. However, I don’t remember being as hopeful about a sports anime’s success as I am with this series.

There is so much pointing towards this series being great. I would wholeheartedly recommend sports anime fans watch Ao Ashi, as it delivers everything you want from a series like this!

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