8 Anime to watch if you like Ao Ashi

anime to watch if you like Ao Ashi
Ashito and Ohtomo from Ao Ashi (Image via Production I.G)

As the first season of Ao Ashi draws to a close, fans of the show have begun to lament the void it will leave. Fans have watched Ashito move all the way to the city to pursue his professional football career. He overcame many challenges and put in a lot of effort to stand tall among his peers.

Fans of the series will be left wanting more once the season concludes, given how used to they are to the adrenaline-pumping sports action series. So, if you enjoy Ao Ashi, we've compiled a list of sports anime for you to watch. Not all of the anime on this list are about football, but they are similar to Ao Ashi in other ways.

Giant Killing and 7 other sports anime to watch if you like Ao Ashi

1) Haikyuu!!

Fans of Ao Ashi would simply love Haikyuu!! While its focus is on volleyball, a completely different sport, both anime have a similar plot focus. Hinata from Haikyuu!!, like Ashito, is a young boy with big dreams. He, too, is unfamiliar with the basics of the game.

In both Haikyuu!! and Ao Ashi, the protagonists use their raw talent to compete against the best. They put their all into improving their basics in order to compete with them. Fans are drawn to the series because of the protagonist's character development.

2) Blue Lock

Blue Lock, like Ao Ashi, is an anime which is based on football. But unlike the previous entry, which has already released four seasons and some OVA, Blue Lock has yet to premiere. The anime will begin airing in the Autumn 2022 anime season on October 8, 2022. It may serve as an excellent substitute for fans, as Blue Lock arrives just as Ao Ashi's season 1 concludes.

The plot revolves around Yoichi Isagi, a striker who fails to lead his team to victory. He believes that his team's defeat was due to his selflessness. Meanwhile, under coach Jinpachi Ego, the Japanese Football Association established the Blue Lock Project to develop the most egoistically selfish striker for the Japanese football team. Yoichi decides to seize this golden opportunity in order to realize his ultimate goal.

3) Ahiru no Sora

Similar to Ao Ashi, Sora Kumumatani from Ahiru no Sora wants to compete in the big leagues. Sora has always wanted to play competitive basketball. However, his short height kept him from fulfilling his dream. So, when Sora first arrived at Kuzuryuu High School, he was excited to join the basketball team, but he soon discovered that the club was a retreat for punks.

Sora, who wanted to satisfy his mother's wish, went against the punks. He played against them as he showed his quick feet and skills. Seeing this, the team members who had lost their passion for the game decided to give it another go.

4) Giant Killing

Tatsumi Takeshi (Image via Studio Deen)
Tatsumi Takeshi (Image via Studio Deen)

Like Ao Ashi, Giant Killing is based on realistic football. Unlike Ao Ashi, which focuses on the gameplay, the latter focuses on the team management aspect of the game.

East Tokyo United had been struggling just to stay in the league. When the fans became aware of this, they began to abandon the team. Coach Tatsumi Takeshi, the manager of a lower division club in England, was hired by ETU as a solution to this predicament. Even though the job is difficult because other clubs have better players and higher funding, Takeshi knows how to take down giants. Fans of Ao Ashi would love this anime considering how it delves deep into the intricacies related to team management, which is a very crucial part of any sport.

5) Hajime no Ippo

The character development of Ippo Makunouchi in Hajime no Ippo is similar to that of Ashito in Ao Ashi. He was frequently bullied, and one day he was rescued by Takamura Mamoru, a professional boxer. After rescuing him, Takamura took Ippo to his gym. There, Ippo was instructed to blow off steam by punching a punching bag with a picture of his bully on it.

Surprisingly, when Ippo began swinging, the punches did not appear to be ordinary. They had Ippo's raw strength from working for his family's fishing business. Ippo's mentor, seeing the former's potential, began mentoring him as his boxing career took off. Another similarity between the two anime is the presence of a student-mentor relationship.

6) Days

Days (Image via MAPPA)
Days (Image via MAPPA)

Both Ao Ashi and Days are based on realistic football. However, unlike Ashito, who is a good player in general, Tsukushi Tsukamoto from Days isn't nearly as good. Tsukushi is a newbie to the sport and, on a fateful night, ends up meeting a football prodigy, Jin Kazama. While they are polar opposites to one another, they get dragged into the world of football together.

Like Ashito, the protagonist of Days also possesses a unique skill in the game, and it is entertaining to watch him hone other game-related abilities. Fans of Ao Ashi will like this anime since it is similar to Days in terms of the protagonist's character development.

7) Ace of Diamond

Ao Ashi and Ace of Diamond are very similar in terms of their plots. While the sports are different, with Ace of Diamond being a baseball anime, both the anime begin with the protagonists causing their matches to go against them. Ace of Diamonds' Eijun Sawamura threw a stray ball, causing his team to lose, but looking at his talent, he was scouted by the reputed Seidou High School in Tokyo.

After careful consideration, Eijun decided to accept the offer and relocate to Tokyo. He had to hone his abilities in order to become the team's ace there because he was surrounded by stronger players.

8) Slam Dunk

Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slamdunk is well-known for his fiery temper, red hair, and towering stature.When he enrolled in Shohoku High, he was hoping to finally get a girlfriend. He'd been rejected 50 times in middle school and was desperate to find love. So, when Haruko Akagi asked Hanamichi if he liked basketball, Hanamichi, who despises basketball, muttered yes.

Haruko took Hanamichi to the basketball court so he could demonstrate a slam dunk to her. Hanamichi, who had no idea about his own skills till then, overshoots, and Haruko learns about Hanamichi's physical abilities. The rest is history. When the club captain found out about this, Hanamichi's basketball journey took off.

Ao Ashi and Slam Dunk are quite similar in terms of the protagonists' skill development.