Blue Lock Manga: A Meaning Beyond Sports

This is a spoiler-free review, so rest at ease.

Blue Lock is a Japanese sports manga written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. It was published in 2018. Blue Lock will get an anime adaptation in the year 2022. It has 150 episodes, the 150th episode has yet to be released.

“Abolish the idea of winning by “Chance,” and claim victory as a logical consequence.”

From the manga, Blue Lock.

As someone new to the anime/manga community, Blue Lock was one of the few that sucked me into the story. It goes to show that this manga is both a friendly start for manga starters, but also something that community veterans might enjoy! This manga is practical but also pure action with even more action being the cherry on top.

The story is set after Japan’s elimination in 2018’s World Cup. Frustrated by this loss, officials group 300 soccer teen strikers from youth teams for a challenge. Putting them in a battle royale for the title of the best striker in Japan. Different stages, different players getting eliminated, a whole new different concept of power. Behold the unique challenge of Blue Lock. Additionally, the plot makes this manga different. Teamwork is what makes a great soccer team. However Blue Lock demolishes the whole idea of believing in your teammates, instead, they have them all fight with their egos clashing. Blue Lock promises a youth player an amazing soccer career, but what if their career is at risk of getting snatched away? This is how egoism is incorporated into Blue Lock. The plot is what makes this manga different from other sports manga, which portrays the positive importance of teamwork and friendship. Blue Lock takes on a cynical approach to a team sport. The manga, Blue Lock has a similar theme to the Hunger Games but a bunch of raging soccer-obsessed boys which was the concept I didn’t know I needed!

I adore the appeal of how all characters aren’t overpowered in any way and just have a special quality that makes them stand out. Personally, the character development in Blue Lock is part of the reason this manga is so charming. The opponents, teammates and overall everyone are very interesting because although they share the same goal, the ways of how they respond to the pressure of losing everything are different! Using this is how the readers figure who they like as a character. The protagonist, Isagi isn’t overpowered either, and is also humanly selfish at times. As the story progresses, we perfectly see the protagonist develop and become more confident.

“You Shouldn’t aim to be the one that gets chosen, but, instead the one that chooses.”

– Isagi, Chapter 68

However the story isn’t only focused on the protagonist but also those surrounding him. This makes it harder to get bored reading Blue Lock. The clean art is spectacular and is alone one of the reasons to read this manga. The illustrations bring out the passion of the players through different perspectives and keeps you on your toes for every panel.

To highlight the concept of egoism in a team sport, the manga sometimes misses out on soccer itself; it doesn’t have the sport element of the told genre. As someone who has no clue about soccer, this doesn’t bother me much and likes the gimmick of soccer. So for those that are specifically looking for the soccer element in this manga, there isn’t much of it to like. There are not any noticeable references to the world of soccer in the real world excluding allusions to the World Cup. The manga has the players go through creative and innovative ways to train, but this might not be satisfying because it is not actual football. Blue Lock can arguably be called the “Emo Child,” of the Sports Manga genre family because of how edgy it is compared to other spirits of sports manga.

Blue Lock challenges their players even more by using a flawless hologram to have players realize their level individually.

I would say that the manga Blue Lock belongs more in the Action genre. The theme of survival and rivals is similar to Muneyuki Kaneshiro’s other manga, “As the Gods Will.”

Although Blue Lock doesn’t have much to do with the sports department, it has many more aspects to enjoy, the characters, the plot, literally everything! Perhaps those who have read the positive themes in sports manga and loved it, could try out for the bittersweet contrast of it! This manga could be loved by readers that also loved Haikyu(u)!!, Kuroko’s Basketball or anyone that is looking for an action-packed manga. I hope this review allows you to realize your next favourite manga! 😉