The football year is incoming
2022 is a year for football, and I’m not just talking about the highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup taking place at Qatar. It’s a big year for sports anime fans as well. Fans can expect anime adaptations of Ao Ashi and Blue Lock to debut next year.
Till now, we have had many notable sports animes, but the ones that considerably stood out where Haikyuu! and Kuroko no Basket, which were about volleyball and basket ball respectively. But now, it’s football’s turn.
Ao Ashi is written by Yuugo Kobayashi and began serialization in 2015, with new chapters still coming out on Japanese magazine Big Comic Spirits. The story revolves around aspiring high school soccer player Ashito Aoi, whose big dream is to go pro. His dream gets shattered when his team gets eliminated from a tournament. But despite the defeat, his potential was noticed by Tatsuya Fukuda, the young coach of Tokyo City Esperion FC.
Similarities with Haikyuu!
The manga flew fairly under the radar in the initial years, but got a sudden surge of readers after that. And whenever something gets popular enough, discussions of adapting it to anime rise. It has similarities with Haikyuu!, such as how well they explain the tactics of football.
We not only get to see some intense competitions, we can watch in awe as the coach assigns player positions, and how they attack, defend, pass, and goes through hefty training drills in Ao Ashi.
One other notable aspect of Ao Ashi is how they scout newbies on to their teams, and make them feel welcome without criticizing them too much. The third similarity is that they will be getting animated by Haikyuu!‘s own studio, Production I.G.