Sports anime are a dime a dozen, and soccer is probably one of the most popular sports in the genre. To stand out in this oversaturated market, you must go to certain extremes, and Blue Lock has taken the risk.
Has the risk benefitted the series, though? Now that is something you can know only after watching the anime.
Blue Lock, the anti-teamwork sports anime, premiered on October 9, 2022. You can find its first episode streaming on Crunchyroll, and it is listed with a total of 12 episodes.
In a quest to find the most quirky way to approach a soccer series, the creator of Blue Lock has decided that he will go against the core values of the sport, teamwork and camaraderie.
At first, the anime points out the sorry state of Japan in soccer World Cup matches. This is where Jinpachi Ego enters, a guy who thinks that only the biggest egoist can be the best striker.
The best strikers from all over Japan have been invited to join a facility called the Blue Lock. This crazy place is designed to crush the dreams of 299 teenagers just to nourish a single player who will emerge as the best striker in the whole world.
Blue Lock bends more toward death games than the sports genre. All 300 participants have been divided into groups, and they will go through grueling elimination exercises every day to reach the top.
The first episode shows the protagonist eliminating the only guy he was familiar with, so the seed of distrust has already been sown. This anime will give you the same high that a gambling match or a brain game deals with.
With a whole cast of people who are willing to go to any length to save themselves, I’m afraid that the audience can’t relate to anyone for a long time. Oh, and did I mention the show has its own Bakugo? (Kunigami Rensuke) Ironically, he is probably the only person who wants to play ‘fair.’
Episode 1 carried a dramatic introduction of Blue Lock, with Ego attempting some backbreaking poses to establish his psychopathic character. The games are only going to get more and more brutal with every episode.
About Blue Lock
Blue Lock is a Japanese manga series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since August 2018. Blue Lock won the 45th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2021.
The story begins with Japan’s elimination from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which prompts the Japanese Football Union to start a program scouting high school players who will begin training in preparation for the 2022 Cup.
Isagi Youichi, a forward, receives an invitation to this program soon after his team loses the chance to go to Nationals because he passed to his less-skilled teammate.
Their coach will be Ego Jinpachi, who intends to “destroy Japanese loser football” by introducing a radical new training regimen: isolate 300 young strikers in a prison-like institution called “Blue Lock”.
Source: Official Website