Episode 2 – “Tokyo City Esperion” – April 16, 2022
Ashito Aoi has made it to Tokyo and eagerly waits to prove himself at the Tokyo City Esperion soccer club. Instantly, Ashito knows an insane amount of talent surrounds him; it will prove challenging to stand out. Not only that, despite his invitation to participate, there is no guarantee he will be selected to join the team. Esperion’s standards are incredibly high.
Before tryouts begin in earnest, Ashito gets on the wrong side of Hana Ichijo, the sister-in-law to Tatsuya Fukuda. Given Ashito’s massive ego and arrogance, Hana can’t understand what Tatsuya keeps on talking about him. And at the start of the first round, Ashito’s skills fail to leave much of an impression.
The Esperion coaches split the hopefuls into a sudden match, and the team Ashito ends up on is laughably inferior to the other. As such, Ashito can’t perform his usual magic.
However, Ashito is determined to play soccer at this high level. Therefore, he takes a step back and survives the game around him. Seeing an opening, he leads his team to an incredible goal, one that gets Tatsuya and many of the more experienced coaches excited.
Still, Ashito’s future with Esperion remains up in the air, and the results have come in.
Do I really think this show will have Ashito fail to advance? Of course, not; I think this series is trying to build up tension in a cliffhanger, and it doesn’t need to.
Now, something was worrying about this episode. The big climax where Ashito demonstrated his genius as a player felt more overblown than impressive. It didn’t help that plenty of people didn’t seem to know what had happened.
Also, I find it strange that some of the coaches in this prestigious soccer club failed to see the brilliance of Ashito’s play. You would think our hero’s placement would be a shoo-in. After all, this show literally said the practice match was a way for players to demonstrate their intelligence rather than their strength.
This wasn’t the strongest of follow-up episodes, but Aoashi remains standing in a solid position.