When was the last time you saw a promising soccer anime? For us, it was a long time ago. And then Ao Ashi came along, giving our soccer anime itch the scratch it needed. The synergy and energy between characters while playing soccer and the drama outside are all too captivating. The show has a good balance of realism and ambition with a unique take on the hot-headed protagonist. And what set Ashito apart was his having to think of a solution by himself. The show from to end is a joy ride, making it worth a rewatch. But in the end, we wondered, are there anime like Ao Ashi?
However, we wanted to watch more anime like Ao Ashi we were done watching and reading it. Thus the binging of classics began. So we dug into Manga and found some more promising stories that are worth mentioning. And if you are having the same problem, you come to the right place. We will list some anime that are like Ao Ashi. One of them is not about soccer, but you can already guess which one it might be!
Anime Like Ao Ashi
Shoot! Goal to the Future
Similar to Ao Ashi, the main character of this show is noticed by a well-known soccer player. But that is where their differences start. The main protagonist is concerned about his team. And his mentor in this show is someone who used to have ties with the same team. The show follows a similar chance encounter but a different approach and vibe to Ao Ashi. Similar to Ao Ashi, this show came in 2022.
Here, the protagonist is not a skilled prodigy that gets noticed by a professional. He is just a run-of-the-mill soccer lover who dreams of being a soccer pro. It is a coming-of-age story where hard work is the key to achieving your goals. Though, the anime is like Ao Ashi as both the protagonist have to build their skills from scratch and be recognized by others. If you like underdog protagonists who work their way up, you will love this show.
Though the show has yet to air, it is still worth mentioning in this list. Blue Lock is similar to Ao Ashi as both of the series have characters that want to play internationally. But the approach is completely different from Ao Ashi. Here the entire focus is to develop an astonishing striker for the Japanese. Failure and you can never be part of the Japanese soccer team. With cranked-up characters letting their ego overtake them, the series is a great read/watch.
The series takes a different approach compared to Ao Ashi. In this series, the main character is the coach who had once abandoned his team to be scouted by another. He comes back after years to bring his former team to the top. The show is similar to Ao Ashi as the main character is a coach who is similar to Fukuda.
Ace of Diamond
Ace of Diamon is like Ao Ashi, not about sport but their main character and circumstances. Eijun, like Ashito, is energetic and gets scouted by a famous team to play on a higher level. And just like Aoi, Eijun moves from the countryside to the big city and tests their metal.
Clean Freak! Aoyama-Kun
Not every series on this list is a serious take on football. This show is similar to Ao Ashi in regards to it being based on football. Unlike Ao Ashi, however, the main character is a mid-fielder rather than a striker. And his skill at it is unrivaled by any. But it has to do with germophobia rather than his skill. If that is the case, why does he play football? Watch out to find it for yourself!
Also read: Top 15 Most Popular Anime Characters Of All Time
This show is a meme these days, but back in the day, it was THE sports anime of the industry. Though that title was soon taken by Slam Dunk, the anime still holds up and is very similar to Ao Ashi when it comes to sports. But where the modern anime focuses on pragmatic aspects of the sport, this show was somewhat mystical. Give it a watch; you will enjoy it for the laughs.
Haikyuu is gonna come up every time a recommendation for sports anime list is up. It’s the epitome of what a sports anime is these days, and it is similar to Ao Ashi. Both of the shows have the same motif of crow and talented characters that are aiming for the top. But where Haikyuu was an underdog story, Ao Ashi is the story of a team making a name for themselves.
Where Can You Watch Ao Ashi?
Crunchyroll is the only OTT platform licensed the series for international audiences. The sport, Coming of age anime, aired on NHK education TV in the Japanese region. You will need a subscription to online services to watch the episodes of the series on Crunchyroll. Ao Ashi can be viewed on NHK Educational TV in Japan as the networks do reruns now and then.
What Is Ao Ashi About?
Ao Ashi is a coming-of-age sports anime whose main protagonist is Aoi Ashito. He is well known for his soccer skill in Ehime City Middle School in his third year. One day after practice, Aoi is approached by Tatsuya Fukuda, who recognizes his talent and asks him for tryouts in the Esperion Youth club. Fukuda is a former football player who has retired and turned into a coach; he aims to make a team that will further Japanese football. Moved by the older man’s frenzy, he tells his family of this newfound ambition and, with their blessing, makes his way to the Espirion Youth club. What kind of people will Aoi meet? Will they be his friends and rivals?
The anime is an adaptation of the manga by the same name. Yūgo Kobayashi is the creator of the series. He is the writer as well as the principal illustrator of the manga. Production IG adapted the series into anime.