Inazuma Eleven Ares will be set in a parallel world, taking place after the events of the first game, and develop the story from the perspectives of three protagonists—Ryouhei Haizaki, Asuto Inamori, and Yuuma Nosaka.
The story revolves around a group of boys living on an island who love to play soccer. Their soccer club is suddenly abolished, and the only way they can regain it is to win the Football Frontier. Protagonist Asuto Inamori and company leave the island for Tokyo to attend Raimon Junior High School and take on the Football Frontier. But their first match is against the number one-ranked Seishou Gakuen.
Ares no Tenbin is an incredibly strong comeback for the series.
A lot of the context for this review is back in my Inazuma Eleven Reloaded review, so don’t forget to check that one out too.
The series mainly revolves around Inanuki Raimon, a team of transfer students that have been brought in the replace the separated Raimon. As far as standout characters go, none of them really do, it’s always been one of the curses of the series where the characters from the first part of any iteration are destined to be replaced for more likable and established characters as it goes on. One thing
this team has going for it is their head coach, Zhao Jin Yun, Inazuma Eleven has mainly relied on having hardass serious coaches who usually have a reason behind their harsh methods, this man breaks this tired tradition by having a weird and interesting backstory involving him mastering a bunch of sports, being comedically aloof and teaching using things like drawing parallels with soccer strategies to confessing your love to a girl for example, he always manages to match every match feel fresh in regards to how Inanuki Raimon plays and is key to making their fast improvement feel very believable.
The real draw to the series really is in the opponents they face and the ones they set up to eventually join Inazuma Japan in the next Orion anime. After the first few couple of matches, excluding the ones involving Haizaki, Ares hits its stride and has powerful character arcs in every single match, in a sense, the opposing team ends up feeling more like the main characters than Raimon do, some of the already existing characters have their arcs fast forwarded while others have been fundamentally altered but still stay interesting in their own way. While not absolutely necessary, Outer Code is definitely something that should be watched as a supplement to Ares, it does a good job of hinting at what sort of dilemmas some characters will face and how the dynamics have been altered because of the retcon.
Haizaki is arguably more of a main character than even Asuto, his development is something that lasts both cours, essentially revolving around coming to like soccer even though he has only been using it as a tool to get revenge on Nosaka and the Ares no Tenbin system. What starts off as a self absorbed madman turns into an inner struggle over the idea of motive, meeting his arch-rival plants the idea of soccer being something he does because he actually likes it and the viewer gets to witness it slowly grow as he faces people with stronger convictions and as he starts to wonder what being strong even means, it all comes to a head at the final match of the first season where decides to face all these thoughts head on, making it an powerful climax purely through all the new characters its featured.
Though not given as much weight and attention as some of the other antagonists, Kidou and Gouenji play their role as those who help the new set of characters find themselves really well, how the former easily earns the trust of his new team and the way he leads Haizaki and the way the latter helps an Inanuki player find his true calling as striker re-establishes them for a new generation of fans, one’s way of strategically drawing out the best of his teammates and the other’s seemingly unbreakable confidence in himself and his skills sell why they’re going to be key members in the new national team so well.
Afuro might have very little impact in terms of plot, but he does embody makes this show incredibly valuable to the franchise, after his crushing loss to Endou, he has a conversation with an old lady over the nature of his self-proclaimed godhood and where he went wrong in the way he viewed soccer, through it, gives him a reason for his metaphorical rebirth that the original show never gave him, which he carries into the match against Inanuki Raimon. The match ends up being one of the most unique ones thematically, where it’s the main characters who end up being taught something important rather than the ones they face. Zeus, by extension because of their captain, encapsulate how revolutionizes everything: in the same way it did it with Afuro, Ares is meant to shorten arcs and make characters relevant in ways they weren’t before, yet still keep the core of what made them so special, like Aphrodite becoming a compelling figure who learns that caring for others is what makes him who he is and why he has so much fun.
The Fubuki twins were another interesting aspect of the series, the rumored unbeatable duo was mainly used to convey how they can always improve through the help of others. Atsuya initially only relies on Shirou, having very little communication going on with his other teammates, works with Nae to bring out her hidden potential and, in turn, his too, symbolized with the already powerful Double White Impact being upgraded to Triple Blizzard by her lending a hand. In essence, it keeps the core theme of drawing the best out of someone that the character of Fubuki is known for, but adapts it to make use of multiple characters with just a couple of episodes instead of making something with a long tragic backstory that requires multiple tries and a heavy dose of angst.
Tatsuya and Hiroto are arguably the best set of characters in the whole season, they have the most thought put behind their backstories, the attention to detail regarding their plays and presentation, their difference in personality. Tatsuya, formerly known as Hiroto until the retcon, has been affected the most out of anyone because of the changes, he no longer has to carry the burden of trying to be someone else, symbolized by his Ryuusei Blade not looking like The Explosion does, rather his dilemma is now trying to pull that person along with him until they're ready to run on their own. He’s still the earnest kind-hearted character he’s always been, but seeing more of him as a captain than we ever had makes him so much more than that cool dude who came back as a friend in the original Inazuma Eleven, it makes everyone from the orphanage putting their trust in him and why they rely on his presence so much understandable and something to empathize with. Hiroto, formerly known as that one kid who died, has an arc that mostly boils down to being very similar to Haizaki’s, the differences in how they’re handled is what makes it engaging. Once all is said and done, their conflict resolving results in the best moment from the whole run of the show, Hiroto learning his dad’s always cared about him in his own way and him willing to work with Tatsuya to fire off Cosmic Blaster, the best looking cut of animation in all the 26 episodes. Out of any of the characters featured in Ares, they are the ones who have seemingly reached the clearest starting line when it comes to their dream, so what they can possibly offer in Orion is nothing short of exciting.
Endou is the 2nd best thing this show has to offer, but only by very little. We’ve seen him as the main protagonist, as a supporting teacher figure, and now as an antagonist, which he pulls off in such a great way. The match against Tonegawa Tousen was in essence very different from the other matches in the series: because many of the teams didn’t have defense as strong as their offence, most of the matches ended up with over half a dozen points being scored, though only 3 goals were scored in the match with Endou. Taking what has always been the main supporting pillar of morale for the entire series and turning him into someone who our protagonists have to overcome is something most franchises can’t really hope to get far enough to pull off, so him being used this way is surprisingly gratifying. While it may just seem like a simply cool move at first glance, Fuujin Raijin carries so much more weight thematically than it seems, prior to Ares, Endou had followed his grandfather’s teachings until he was pushed to come up with Ijigen the Hand in the FFI arc, but the changes here manage to circumvent that and justify it too, Endou faced one of the best players in the world and felt the weight of it firsthand, so him wanting to come up with a power capable of going up against that is what makes that move feel so heavy, it’s him acknowledging his place as one of Japan’s representatives and how much harder he’ll have to push himself to catch up, also acknowledging his status as legend, both in universe and arguably in a meta-narrative sense too. Although not the match I’d consider the best, it’s great to see him back this way.
With this season making so many interesting protagonists to follow, Orion no Kokuin already has so much going for it, hopefully it manages to make use of them. Even if it doesn’t this season alone has been a wonderful set of gripping personal matches that showcased a bunch of varying and nuanced views about what makes soccer fun and the mindsets one can have to improve. I’m really glad Inazuma Eleven is still something I can look forward to even after all these years.
Oh no, no more football. Oh no, my mother died. Guess I have to play football because she's dead.
Let's also add a chinese man with slanted eyes and he also does kungfu. A guy that says gosu in every sentence because, uh, unique speech pattern. The dude also scrubs a good wall. Oh and that chinese looking fella boyo, key man, I guess? Maybe he is the leader of the kungfu tribe where these weird chinese coach that uses emojis is part of, at this point I am just saying stupid shit because the review needs to be longer.
What can I say I fuckin
I'm a huge fan of original Inazuma Eleven and i have seen every series/movie/ova of it and this one is worst of all. I mean it literally uses the same Soundtrack, they didn't even bother to make few new tones. The story just starts with a random death. The character AND their designs both suck, they are below generic I mean if they made Ace of team a 3 foot fatass what would become of others ? All the other guys on opposite teams are just kids with headphones/glasses not even a unique hairstyle let alone a personality. Now the Hissatsu Techniques has always been
the strongest point of this series imo and as expected Ares fails in there too. There's literally a guy who performs summoning jutsu (no joke) even performs the hand signs. Yes original had some ridiculous moves too i mean that's the charm of series but it never got this weird, even if they were weird at least they were well animated even a minor shot. Ares one has just so many lags/frame skips, The whole anime seems in 12 fps. As i said earlier they literally use the same OST, Voice acting is terrible too nothing like the old enthusiastic Endou voice. Overall i did not enjoy this and would suggest every Inazuma fan to avoid it.
I’ve been a huge Inazuma Eleven fan since 2010, initially watching it on my own TV with the English dub, only to find the Japanese original later on Youtube. This show has been my staple, my starting point, my humble beginnings of anime, and it brings me so much joy to see it on air once again since the end of it’s last season (Inazuma Eleven GO Galaxy).
So, what are my thoughts of Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin so far? This review has been posted since the airing of episode 13, and it will get updated later on as more episodes continue to air.
move on to the review proper, I must explain to you all that the story of Ares takes place a year after the events of the Football Frontier arc of the original Inazuma Eleven, in an alternate timeline where the Aliea arc never happened (and the FFI arc as well) and certain characters are revived from the dead. Events of what had occurred in between the time of the Football Frontier arc of the original Inazuma Eleven series and Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin are explained with both Outer Code (a compilation of short videos that give us a glimpse of what happened to our beloved cast from the original series) and Inazuma Eleven: Reloaded, a retelling of the conclusion of the Football Frontier arc that will give way to the path of Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin.
I highly recommend you watch both the Outer Code episodes and Inazuma Eleven: Reloaded before moving on to Ares no Tenbin, as it might be confusing for some people on why certain characters are here or there. I’ve seen a lot of people who start out with Ares already without watching both Outer Code and Reloaded, and they always end up confused about certain things.
With that out of the way, let’s move on right to the review!
Story: As of 13 episodes, the story has been quite…interesting so far. I’m really intrigued about certain things and seeing how the characters have grown over time have touched me somehow.
However, I feel like the story rushes at times and focuses too much on the soccer matches than the off-times of the characters. Off-times have been reduced to flashbacks instead and while it works sometimes, it sometimes doesn’t feel proper for others. I love watching the characters struggle in their training and trying their hardest to perfect a hissatsu or a play, but instead of seeing it happen in real time or even dedicate an episode on it, they’re nothing more than flashbacks and right after, we see the results of their training.
I hope this will change (probably not) as we continue on with Ares, because their new formula on how to tell a story doesn’t often work out well for certain episodes, and it ends up feeling rushed in the end.
Art: Oh I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m digging the new artstyle that Inazuma Eleven is going for! It looks more clean and modern and bright, which is a really nice change! Animation is also different especially for certain hissatsus, and while the new animation of the old hissatsus I’ve seen before works, it sometimes doesn’t as well.
I want to share examples on old hissatsus that don’t work with the new animation, but I think that comes down to personal tastes really.
Sound: THE OPENING AND ENDING IS SO SO SO SO GOOD. I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO IT. However, I feel like the OST of Ares doesn’t stand out much to me. The only time I remember the OST playing is in a certain event in Episode 6, but that’s it really.
Characters: Related as well to my point previously about Ares rushing the story, this applies mainly to the character development, particularly the members of the Inakuni Raimon.
In all honesty, I do love all of them. They’re good children who are doing their best, but I feel like their development is being rushed or isn’t highlighted so well, that it makes them feel…pale.
Aside from that though, I do love all of the characters, especially Haizaki, who’s development to me stands out the most. He’s good, he’s interesting, and I can’t wait to see more of him later on!
It also makes me happy to see the old characters in this series, and their development is interesting and very…brand new, as well. It’s interesting seeing how different their circumstances are, compared to how they were in the original Inazuma Eleven series.
Enjoyment: Despite it’s flaws, I’m really enjoying Ares so much! Watching it is like taking a breath of fresh air, it’s different and new and really exciting. Seeing the old and new characters is so nice, and I’m excited to see how Ares will go on as more episodes air!
Overall: Inazuma Eleven: Ares no Tenbin is good…not great, but it’s pretty good. It has it’s flaws but they don’t stand out so much, but hopefully they improve on it later on. Nonetheless, I’m sure fans old and new will find themselves to be enjoying Ares for what it is!