Ashito Aoi is a young, aspiring soccer player from a backwater town in Japan. His hopes of getting into a high school with a good soccer club are dashed when he causes an incident during a critical match for his team, which results in their loss and elimination from the tournament. Nevertheless, he catches the eye of someone important who happened to be visiting from Tokyo. How will things turn out for Ashito?
Aoi Ashito is an ace of a weak soccer team at a junior high school in Ehime. His play almost gets the team to the semi-final in his last tournament in junior high, but provoked by the opponent’s goalie, Ashito receives a red card and is removed from the game. While Ashito is running on the beach to forget the frustration, mysterious Fukuda Tatsuya, who calls himself the manager of Tokyo City Esperion Youth team, approaches Ashito.
At Fukuda’s invitation and with the support of Shun, Ashito goes to Tokyo alone for the tryouts of Tokyo City Esperion Youth team. Thoroughly impressed with Esperion’s facility, Ashito is escorted to the tryouts by Hana Ichijo, Fukuda’s sister-in-law. Among the 86 candidates of notable achievements, Ashito has no outstanding records. Nervous as he is, Ashito is excited to be able to play soccer on the beautiful field.
The final test turns out to be a game with the Esperion Youth team. Fukuda tells the candidates that he will give a piece of information to them during the game. While other candidates feel overwhelmed, Ashito is eager to beat the Youth team so everyone can pass the test. The candidates feel good about the game, but start to feel uneasy at the Youth team's sluggish play.
While the candidates are overwhelmed by the youth team, Fukuda rubs salt into the wound by telling them a piece of information. Unable to recover from the shock, the candidate team allows more goals to the youth team, making it a one-sided match. While his teammates feel completely beaten and lose their fighting spirit, Ashito, still feeling the pain from Akutsu's attack, starts to lose his will to fight.
The letter of acceptance arrives to Ashito in Ehime. Ashito and his friends are overjoyed at the news, but Noriko, Ashito’s mom, looks at the celebration with mixed feelings. Hana tells Ashito to have a heart-to-heart with Noriko, but he never gets the chance until the day of his departure.
Ashito arrives at Esperion's base, meets fellow test participants and meets future teammates. However, the team's coaching staff promises not to give an easy life to the players' desires.