Ao Ashi- A realistic view of soccer and sports.
The representation of sport and soccer in the anime and manga industry is very varied today, where you have works that take many disciplines for their stories, but Yūgo Kobayashi has shown a different style with his manga Ao Ashi, the which is currently receiving an anime adaptation produced by the I.G studio and that you can see legally through the Crunchyroll platform.
But why say that Ao Ashi is different?
And the reason lies in the specific vision of representing soccer through the systems that make up the game itself. To understand the previous sentence, we must first touch on a couple of key points and recurring topics in sports anime.
The fantasy of sports anime. Sports anime and manga, or "Spokon" as it is often called, are often preceded by fantastic topics in their sports, and I'm not talking about the well-known "Power of Friendship", I mean literally special powers that make some players stand out above of the others.
Is it wrong to do it like this? Of course not, each work is free to develop as the author wishes and we have been given great works in different sports which we will talk about later, but it is also nice to be able to appreciate series that focus on the development of the sport without resorting to skills "superhuman".
Some examples of anime that represent this in their works can be:
Although Haikyuu borders heavily on the line of fantasy, it remains in the normal development of a volleyball match attached to the logic of the sport, only exaggerating the vision and interpretation of the plays by the characters.
Fantasy in soccer animes.
Now let's focus on soccer anime, those that represent the most practiced sport in the world and where no matter where you look, you will always find content about it, content that highlights great works such as Captain Tsubasa, Days, Inazuma Eleven, Area No Kishi, among many others who have given us their different interpretation of football.
But in such animes most of the time they focus on the goals and not so much on the means, but in order not to lash out with information overload, we are going to touch on each point separately.
Student Soccer: The best time to grow as an athlete is school according to the animes, where in most cases the school is the axis of the story, with a student who applies to a new team that can be good or bad depending on the situation. history requires it.
A protagonist like a lot of talent or none: There is no middle ground here, either you know how to play too much or you don't know anything and you will have to learn to do it, this offers the two perspectives of the sport.
Start specified, general development: To close with the points we will talk about a somewhat special topic, but that loses importance shortly after, where at the beginning of the series they explain the basic concepts of the sport, in this case, soccer, this includes formations , positions and some other specific action, but which eventually ceases to be explained.
Now, let's talk about the vision that Ao Ashi proposes in all these points.
The harsh reality of professional sport.
Sports animes accustom us to see the path of a player on his way to professionalism, and Ao Ashi is no exception in this because we are witnessing Aoi Ashito's path to the top, but we will not see it in the normal way, with a new team of unknowns in a high school where they will have to reach the top, but something much more complicated, skip these stages and try to enter a professional team.
In sports, only around 0.01 of athletes succeed, applied to soccer, an example is where out of 260,000 youth only 200 reach high performance, or even less depending on the country, which is reflected in Ao Ashi where everyone who shows up for junior tryouts knows that the odds lean more toward failure than success.
Which means that only the most prepared in body and mind can reach the top by conventional means, but this alone is sometimes not enough, which leads us to the next point represented in Ao Ashi.
The development of the game in all its dimensions.
Soccer, like any sport, is made up of several systems, but we will not talk about them specifically here, instead let's talk about how Ao Ashi includes them in his argument, explicitly explaining the conditions that a player must have to aspire to professional football. , including the technical skills that Aoi mentions or the tactical skills that the Tokyo City Esperion team demonstrates.
This adds to the condition that best represents Ao Ashi.
The all or nothing.
In soccer stories, we generally see the protagonists in stable living conditions, allowing them to take soccer with a little more prudence or relaxation, but in Ao Ashi an image is shown that shows the reality of many athletes where they have to risk everything for the sport.
Environments that do not allow people to make a decision, whether due to social, economic, territorial conditions or other factors that force the individual to give everything of himself in a single option, in this case, soccer.
The protagonist recognizes the situation of his family and all that they must make an effort for him, for which he falls on the responsibility of corresponding to said effort with his own, making his way to professional football.
The anime is not a faithful representation of reality, and it does not have to be, but it is good that reality can be portrayed from time to time in this type of series, which are not few. Ao Ashi has shown to have the conditions to be a story that contributes to soccer from a critical perspective and not so much from fantasy.
So far today's article has come, and I say goodbye not without first asking for your opinion, which sports anime represents reality in your opinion? Leave us your answer in the comments
Very nicely penned down