Ao Ashi – Episode 4
This episode had me on the edge of my seat! These tryouts are certainly far from the toughest experience he will have in his journey, but they emphasized that it was all or nothing! Shout out to everyone trying out, you put everything on the line and hopefully that paid off for most of you!
Well, I mean, we can pretty confidently guess who has passed the selection exams, but that doesn’t mean the battle to be accepted wasn’t well fought. It must have been so stressful for them… just not only are many of their futures riding on these tryouts, but to find out that none of their opponents have played their positions before. It probably wouldn’t have packed much of a punch if the group were on an even playing field, but to be absolutely overtaken by them and this is how strong they are with something with which they are unfamiliar? Yeah, I would get pretty dejected too. On the one hand, the Youth team is really strong with their fundamentals, so it makes sense that they would be good regardless of what position they play. But on the other hand, it must really sting. Most of the people trying out are pretty confident in the positions they were playing and are now realizing that they are completely outclassed. Definitely a recipe for participants to breakdown.
And I’m glad that they show some of the characters breaking down! Had it not been for the opening and ending themes, I would have thought there would have been more characters that might have stood their ground to pursue the final round. It was really nice to see who came to the conclusion that going pro is not for them, and who decided that they would continue to struggle and fight. There were some big talkers at the beginning of these tryouts, but now they are nothing more than zombies. Including Aoi!! I really thought he would be the one who would be up for the challenge, but the revelation had just as much of an impact on him as the others that completely lost their fighting spirit. If he hadn’t looked over at the coach, would he have regained that spirit? Or would the outcomes still have been the same?
I really appreciate how much Aoi cares about his family. Even though he seems like a selfish kid, he does consider how his actions affect his family members. In the first episode, he got into an altercation with an opponent because he was talking smack about his mom, and in this episode, he really focuses on not letting his family down. Shun is supporting him in coming to these tryouts, and if he were to come back empty handed, it would definitely take a toll. Looking back to when he was younger, his mom bought him the cleats so he could play (and he still uses them today!) commenting on how expensive they were. Aoi declares that he will make it big one day in order to repay her. They all want what’s best for each other, but sometimes that doesn’t always line up! I really want to know what she means when she says it feels like soccer is taking him away from her. I hope the two of them have a heart to heart soon.
But before that, I just want to say, CONGRATS ASHITO YOU MADE IT WOOOOOO!!!! You worked hard in these tryouts so I can’t wait to see everything you’ll learn as an official member! I’ll also give my preemptive congrats to Ohtomo and Tachibana! Those two also didn’t lose hop when things were looking down. I hope you’re able to become a trio of legends!