Blue Lock is a popular soccer manga with the potential for an anime adaptation. Here’s what you need to know about it.
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With major manga series coming to their respective conclusions from the likes of Demon Slayer, Haikyuu!!, and The Promised Neverland, some other series will need to fill in those spaces in the anime/manga medium’s fan base. Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen are gaining popularity, the latter now with an anime. Sports manga/anime series are becoming more popular within the community, with Haikyuu!! being beloved from all corners of these mediums’ fan base. One that’s been publishing consistently for two years now–and not on WSJ–could be the next big thing in that subgenre.
Blue Lock is an exciting, fresh soccer series coming off the back of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that’s blending a variety of shonen aspects to make this a binge-worthy read for those who are completely new or not caught up. It’s been accruing steady, impressive traction in Japan, getting great reception and selling impressively, and even piling popularity in the west. Fans are now heavily lobbying for an anime adaptation, so here’s what you need to know about Blue Lock.
10 Among The Most Successful New Sports Manga
Blue Lock has proven to be the most exciting and successful, or at the very least one of, modern sports manga–after Haikyuu!!. Its timing was great, considering that the series started in 2018 and its events are heavily inspired by the real-life 2018 FIFA World Cup won by France.
There’s–at the time of writing–104 chapters out, consistently published, in Japan and 10 volumes released, with an eleventh just around the corner. With just the first 10 Japanese volumes in circulation, Blue Lock’s already sold over 1.9 million copies. This suggests that localization and anime adaptations could be in the foreseeable future. Sales alone don’t guarantee quality, but its positive reception suggests high quality is indeed there and worth checking out.
9 No ‘Slice Of Life’
Haikyuu!! is the current talk of the town with the manga recently concluding and the anime ongoing in its fourth season–and deservedly so given the quality. However, Blue Lock could succeed as the next big sports manga and among the best sports anime, should one release, in the future for tackling different genre approaches. The hit volleyball series does a great job of providing a great story with universally-lovable characters and exciting, tense sports action.
But Haikyuu!! does so through the lens of being a “slice of life” anime in following a grounded story of passionate high-school athletes. Blue Lock doesn’t take that approach, choosing wilder, more aggressive ways to show sports action and character developments–and it does these in the best ways.
8 ‘Battle Shonen’ + Sports
Expanding on the last point–and more details to be expanded on later on–Blue Lock’s approach in terms of genre is that it blends the high-octane action of traditional ‘battle shonen’ in a sports setting. Like with shonen generally, for better and worse, there’s the typical shonen protagonist and supporting cast–high schoolers–determined to the best X in the world by doing Y because Z.
But in terms of how it shows viewers soccer-based action and premise, it takes the best aspects and absurdities of both genres/subgenres to make each match a thrilling spectacle. Every play, skill-move, tackle, shoulder-to-shoulder challenge, shot, and goal carries weight similar to combat-based shonen like Tanjiro’s fights in Demon Slayer and the tactical/strategic, sports-based plays of Haikyuu!!.
7 Battle Royale + Manga/Anime + Soccer
Blue Lock applies inspirations from other fictional works’ premise to create this refreshingly-crazy world and plot. It takes the insanities of Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and sports, and mixes it all together with manga storytelling and art.
Shortly after Japan was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup, Jinpachi Ego is hired to create/coach a prison-like facility for 300 invited athletes–all of whom only know how to play forward/striker–to create the ultimate “egotist” striker by subjecting them to grueling, cutthroat training regimens/elimination-based competitions where only one will be allowed into the Japanese National Team for World Cup 2022.
6 Bleach-Inspired Art
A big pull of Blue Lock, like any manga or anime, is how well-executed the art style is. A good way to elaborate is through a comparison of Tite Kubo’s. He’s extremely well-known for Bleach during the era of WJS’s “Big Three.” Despite the series’ diminishing story and premature anime ending, it was a hit for a long time and the art style was one reason why.
With characters like Rensuke Kunigami, the Ichigo inspiration is clear, but with interesting, sleek new character designs with others in particular. Also, Bachira is basically soccer-player Suzuya from Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul:re, but, if anything, that’s a pro.
5 Grand Scope
Another plot-difference between Blue Lock and Haikyuu!! in how they tell sports-themed stories is the scope. The latter does eventually undergo a time-skip in the manga where we see a core of the main cast playing professionally in Japan. It’s a great way to advance the plot in a tidy manner, though it was more of an epilogue part of the story since the majority is their high school careers.
This is by no means a negative, but Blue Lock takes a different route with its story’s scope by having the start of the series be set up for the professional stage. No one’s objective here is to win a regional or national high school tournament. Instead, it’s to take the most coveted prize in the entire sport. For that, the plot’s scope is more akin to Hajime no Ippo.
4 Will Surely Translate Well Into Anime
It should be apparent by now that it has the potential to easily translate into an anime. One of the biggest reasons for this is the aforementioned point of how well the art–outside character designs–conveys the intensity and physical impact of everything that happens in matches.
The art isn’t done in a way that it would be too gargantuan a task to animate well. Ufotable proved this with Demon Slayer, but there are other great studios like MAPPA, Production I.G, Madhouse, David Production, and Wit Studio that tackle high-profile series and should prove versatile enough to adapt Blue Lock’s action.
3 Addictive Read For Soccer/Football Fans
Given the quality in which it portrays the sport through manga, this should easily prove to be an addictive read for manga/anime fans and of the sport itself. It’s heavily-fictionalized and isn’t grounded in reality like the revered Haikyuu!! or Hajime no Ippo, but the actual strategic depictions are surprisingly well-done for a manga with an insane premise.
It’s mainly due to the main protagonist, Isagi, whose biggest and growing talents are his spatial awareness, off-the-ball runs, ability in reading the game to predict both teams’ plays, and adapting to constant waves of new opponents–and teammates–all of which are genuine, real-world skills. Some flashy, actual skill-moves are even thrown in like rabonas, rainbow-flicks, and scissor-stepovers.
2 Makes Overused Tropes Exciting
Blue Lock certainly has beaten-to-death shonen tropes. But it takes those tropes that show their mileage in certain other series and makes them compelling through this world’s context.
Sure, there are ambitious high-schoolers all competing to be the best for different reasons, but it leans into those aspects in a way that’s exciting and makes the best of its absurd premise with the hyper-competitive, brutal, cutthroat nature of the setting. As far as teenagers go, it still makes sense since, in the real world, a lot of the best footballers start professionally as–basically–young adults.
1 Potential Long-Term Run
The incredibly-high-profile, long-term manga or anime series ongoing are One Piece and Hajime no Ippo with almost, or more than, 1,000 chapters and counting. This is obviously not the case with series going forward, but even the lengths of Naruto, Bleach, and Dragon Ball Z are alien now. Haikyuu!! is the modern long-term series with over 400 chapters.
Perhaps that’s for the best, and given the story so far in Blue Lock, it could be able to tell a complete, satisfying story in just over 300 chapters–like around where My Hero Academia could end up–should Muneyuki Kaneshiro choose. This could be the next “long-term” fix.
Link Source : https://www.cbr.com/blue-lock-manga-facts-trivia/