Episode 3 – “The Final Stage of Assessment Begins” – April 23, 2022
From the preliminaries, only 11 candidates move on to the final stage of the tryout. To his amazement, Ashito Aoi has made the cut.
Learning the lesson from the preliminaries, Ashito tries to get to know his fellow candidates. Although some choose to ignore his gesture, there are a few who join him. Ashito realizes that most everyone here sees these tryouts as their last opportunity to play professional soccer. Therefore, everyone wants to prove themselves.
But then the coaches reveal the final assessment. The candidates will need to play a match against the current Tokyo City Esperion Youth line-up. For most everyone, this task seems impossible. However, Ashito can’t wait to start.
At first, it seems like the candidates might actually have a chance of winning. Unfortunately for them, the opening of the match was only the calm before the storm. The main team proves why they were chosen for this elite squad. In particular, one of the numbers, Nagisa Akutsu, takes a disliking to Ashito’s optimism.
At every point, Akutsu demonstrates the massive difference in skill between him and Ashito. Except Ashito doesn’t know how to give up. Then Coach Fukuda makes a disheartening announcement.
The main team has been playing with a severe handicap the entire match. No one from the main squad has been playing their usual positions.
What a surprise; Ashito made it to the next round.
Like I said last week, that little cliffhanger wasn’t that much a tension builder. This show really needed to set up something for Ashito to overcome. Well, this episode did just that.
Unlike before, I’m not sure how this match will play out. I am confident Ashito and a few of the other candidates will make it onto the team. But as for this game, it can go in any direction.
Be that as it may, Akutsu’s run-of-the-mill jaded player personality wasn’t impressive. In fact, it was pretty average, even for a sports anime. Luckily, Ashito’s attitude in response to Akutsu is helping balance things out.