REVIEW: ‘BLUE LOCK,’ Episode 1 – “Dream”

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Blue Lock Episode 1 - But Why Tho

Blue Lock Episode 1 brings about the start of the much anticipated new anime produced by Eight Bit. An adaptation of the manga of the same name by Muneyuki Kaneshiro, BLUELOCK is a soccer-based sports anime poised to take the world by storm.

From the very beginning, Blue Lock Episode 1 sets the record straight that this is not going to be your ordinary sports anime. This isn’t a show about teamwork coming together to beat the odds. Isagi Yoichi, the main character, seems to be an established player from the start too, so this won’t be a story about a player with low skill ability working hard to bring his team to Nationals. Instead, Isagi is called in by the Japanese national team to join a mysterious new program called “Blue Lock”.

The country of Japan has long been known for having a national soccer team based on teamwork and hard work, but Ego Jinpachi has been brought in to give the Japanese side what they have always been missing; a start striker to score goals. It’s fitting that his name is Ego because his very first speech is all about how strikers need to have a massive ego if they want to be the best. There are even some references to real-life players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, and Pele, some of the greatest players of all time. The idea of the Blue Lock program is to put 300 of Japan’s best young strikers all together, lock them in, and make them face off to eliminate each other until the best young forward is found.

Japanese culture and soccer in general both place a massive influence on the concept of humility, placing others above someone’s individual needs.  Blue Lock Episode 1 smashes those concepts and presents a completely warped view of how soccer should be approached, and it is incredibly difficult for the young Japanese strikers to choose themselves over others. I love the conflict here, it’s clear that Isagi and the other members of Blue Lock are going to struggle to break through their upbringing and develop the massive egos that Ego is requiring them to achieve.

Blue Lock Episode 1 also hits it out of the park when it comes to animation. Eight Bit took the time to bring out every detail, and the movement of the players is exquisite. I particularly love the blue flame effect that appears around Isagi when he is making a decision on where to kick the ball, and the look in his eyes when he is struggling to choose himself or others is haunting. Speaking of Haunting, the facial animations for characters like Ego really help drive home that this is the darker side of soccer. Trying to develop an ego in a team sport is counter to every conventional wisdom, so showing that even in the faces of those going through the process makes a big difference.

Blue Lock Episode 1 is an excellent start to what is sure to be a top-notch sports anime. It throws viewers right into the action from the start, with beautiful animation and compelling characters that I can tell I’m going to be sad to see kicked out of the Blue Lock program. I can’t wait to see the rest of Isagi’s journey as he strives to reach the top of not just Japanese soccer but become the best striker in the world.

Blue Lock airs October 8th on Crunchyroll.


Blue Lock Episode 1 - "Dream"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Blue Lock Episode 1 is an excellent start to what is sure to be a top-notch sports anime. It throws viewers right into the action from the start, with beautiful animation and compelling characters that I can tell I’m going to be sad to see kicked out of the Blue Lock program. I can’t wait to see the rest of Isagi’s journey as he strives to reach the top of not just Japanese soccer but become the best striker in the world.

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