One of my favorite genres in anime and manga is undoubtedly sports. Why do you ask? Well, probably because growing up I played a lot of sports so it was an easy genre to gravitate to when it came to anime. There have been plenty of sports series that have released over the years some more popular than others. For instance, we have Haikyu, Ace of Diamond, Baby Steps, Kuroko no Basket, and even some off the wall series like Keijo. However, all of these series have a lot of the same premise to them. You know the Hey I’m a weak character with some kind of flaw but I’m really good at this one particular thing. Or we build up this incredible team to lose in the summer tournament so now we look towards the fall to take the top spot.
I’m saying all of this to say its time for this amazing genre to get a breath of fresh air and Blue Lock is it. To give you some brief information on the story: “After reflecting on the current state of Japanese soccer, the Japanese Football Association decides to hire the enigmatic and eccentric coach Jinpachi Ego to achieve their dream of winning the World Cup. Believing that Japan has lacked an egoistic striker hungry for goals, Jinpachi initiates the Blue Lock—a prison-like facility where three hundred talented strikers from high schools all over Japan are isolated and pitted against each other. The sole survivor of Blue Lock will earn the right to become the national team’s striker, and those who are defeated shall be banned from joining the team forever.
Selected to join this risky project is Yoichi Isagi, a striker who failed to bring his high school soccer team to the national tournament. After choosing to pass to a teammate who missed instead of scoring on his own, he could not help but wonder if the results would have been different had he been more selfish. Using this golden opportunity given by the Blue Lock Project, Yoichi aims to clear his doubts and chase his ultimate desire—to become the greatest striker in the world and lead Japan to World Cup glory.
This series was the breath of fresh air that I personally was looking for in the genre. So far it has everything that I could want in a series. A likable main character, great side characters as well as the psychological mind games that Jinpachi Ego puts the players through. However, that’s not all. The character development of the characters are also really well done, and how could I not mention the amazing artwork the series has. Along with all of these things, Kaneshiro Muneyuki and Nomura Yuusuke- the authors of the series, also have given every character an amazing back story that turns you from hating some of the characters to feeling bad for them and wanting them to succeed despite the consequences it could have in the story.
Now some of you who may be reading this may ask ok this sounds good but what about an anime? Well, rumors are circulating that Blue Lock will receive an anime adaptation. However, there is nothing concrete as of yet, but we will be sure to let you know when it does get announced. All and all if you adore sports series and would like to try out one series that’s taking a different route, this is definitely one you should check out. If you are interested in checking the series out for yourself it is being published in Weekly Shonen Magazine and currently has 63 chapters released as of the writing of the article. If you do happen to give it a chance let me know in the comment section below or on Twitter @TheOtakuFix to share your thoughts on the series.