Volume 31 of Ao Ashi Manga, which released on Feb 28, 2023, had a surprise in store for the fans as it featured the legendary Spanish football player Andrés Iniesta.
The obi of the volume highlighted Iniesta’s special message for fans, whilst recommending Ao Ashi manga. Here is a rough translation of what the obi read:
Former Spain representative, the “living legend” Iniesta recommends!!!! Member of Vissel Kobe. “Together with Ao Ashi, I will focus on soccer for children and education to function as a person.“
Ao Ashi is also the sponsor for Iniesta Academy, which was established to nurture young boys and girls with a passion for soccer, as revealed by the latter’s official Instagram account on Nov 14, 2022.
“We are very proud to announce that AOASHI is the new sponsor of Iniesta Academy Japan! Surely together we will go further in training boys and girls who are passionate about football, which unites our academy and the creators of this anime.“
The manga’s contribution to the football field doesn’t end here as they had also launched scholarship program, to support children and families in Japan who have difficulty continuing to play soccer due to economic poverty and social disparity.
Aoashi is a manga written and illustrated by Yugo Kobayashi. It has been serialized in Shogakukan‘s seinen manga magazine Weekly Big Comic Spirits since January 2015. The manga has over 17 million copies in circulation.
The series involves youth football player Ashito Aoi and his journey and experiences in the Tokyo Esperion youth academy.
In 2020, the manga won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award for the general category. An anime adaptation by Production I.G. aired on April 2022 in Japan.
Source: Ao Ashi Volume 31