Having squeaked past their previous game with a last-minute draw, Team Z has managed to keep their hopes alive. But they are now up against the strongest team in their grouping. With Kuon refusing to play they are short a player. Can they make a miracle happen in Blue Lock Episode 8?
As the title of this week’s episode indicates, one of the big themes of this story sees Isagi and Team Z confronted by the notion that there is a formula to scoring goals. True strikers, according to Ego, have a set formula they can recreate to score goals repeatedly. If they cannot craft their own formulas for scoring goals, they cannot hope to survive Blue Lock. While I’m sure pro players of any sport have preferred plays they like to create to get their best results, acting like scoring goals can be as cookie-cutter as creating X situations and then scoring goals is a bit overly simplistic. It completely reduces the other team’s presence on the field and assumes the opponent is an impotent challenge that can’t possibly affect the outcome. Whether accurate or not, once Ego has dispensed this latest food for thought, Isagi finds himself once more mulling over how to grow with this new information to keep his soccer dreams alive.
Along with its exploration of this concept, Blue Lock Episode 8 also takes some time to explore some of the characters’ backstories. Along with revealing why Kuon betrayed his team, we also learn about two of the star players of their upcoming opponents, Reo and Nagi. While Kuon’s story feels a bit weak, Reo and Nagi’s story delivers some unexpected twists. How the duo met and how they have achieved what they have feels like a fresh setup. It doesn’t completely sell me on Nagi’s presence at Blue Lock, but Reo’s motivations are handled superbly.
Even though flashbacks and strategy sessions dominate Blue Lock Episode 8, there are also a few moments on the field. The biggest of these sees Isagi puzzling out what he thinks is a competitor’s formula for goals as they scrimmage for a few shots. This sequence dives into the analytical side of Isagi’s character. Like another current anime protagonist, Isagi’s greatest weapon isn’t his body, but his mind. This sequence does a great job of reinforcing that, while also raising the question of how he can set up a proactive formula for scoring goals when his greatest strength is reactive in nature.
Despite the largely preparatory nature of this week’s narrative, production house 8-Bit does a strong job of keeping the intensity of the show’s emotions high. Every one of these players has come so far, and the concept of never making it any further is palpable in the way 8-Bit delivers the visuals in this episode.
When all is said and done, Blue Lock Episode 8 delivers a solid, if not stellar, narrative. With the next game starting, the coming episode will hopefully deliver on this week’s foundation.
Blue Lock Episode 8 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Blue Lock Episode 8
Blue Lock Episode 8 delivers a solid, if not stellar, narrative. With the next game starting, the coming episode will hopefully deliver on this week’s foundation.