BLUELOCK BD+DVD Anime Series Review

BLUELOCK BD+DVD Anime Sequence Evaluation

Unrequited sports fans—passionate supporters who follow their teams through the occasional highs and lowest lows, earnestly believing that this year—this year—is going to be the year they go all the way—have a certain sad but beautiful quality. It’s a common sensation among sports fans everywhere, particularly for those who were born into the unfortunate situation of always rooting for underdogs and chokers, such as White Sox, Bills, and, of course, Samurai Blue supporters—the Japanese national soccer team. Japan’s men’s squad has never even approached the grandeur of regional competitions, despite having one of the world’s most ardent soccer fandoms and exporting one of the most influential soccer franchises ever produced (Captain Tsubasa).

However, there was a brief moment of optimism during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when it seemed as if things may be different. After pulling off significant shocks against Germany and Spain, they gained confidence going into the Round of 16. However, as they say, hope is what kills you. Their hopes faded in the most disappointing final match—the limp whimper of failed shoot-outs—despite clinging on in a close game against Croatia.

However, there was a single, magnificent moment when it seemed possible for David to defeat Goliath and go to the quarterfinals. Enthusiasts jumped on Twitter to discuss Blue Lock’s prophecy in a conspiratorial manner, even making jokes about the possibility that the program’s aggressive play style and brutal, Battle Royale-inspired training regimen are true. It also helps that Yūsuke Nomura, the creator of the Blue Lock manga series, and Giant Killing’s Tsujitomo collaborated officially with the squad, presenting the protagonist of the story wearing the 2022 Adidas shirt with real players.

The anime Blue Lock, which is based on the popular manga series of the same name by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Nomura, centers on Isagi, a self-loathing and indecisive high school soccer player who misses his team’s prefectural finals. He gets an invitation to an enigmatic soccer camp as he mopes about. Upon his arrival, he is greeted by 300 of the top forward soccer players in the nation, players whose skills might easily be considered superpowers. However, they are faced with an impossible decision: they would never again be granted the opportunity to be considered for the national team if they withdraw from the camp or are removed during it. If they win, they will not only secure a berth but also be regarded as the greatest striker to have ever represented Japan. Japan has never advanced very far on the international scene, as the mysterious and a little too direct program director Ego reveals, since they just lack the bloodlust necessary to rule. They don’t have egos. Thus, his goal is to completely dismantle the sport and start over from scratch, beginning with attackers who will stop at nothing to succeed, even if it means crushing their teammates’ hopes.

Because Blue Lock is an anime about sports, it may be considered a sports anime in some ways. Playing soccer, practicing for soccer, or discovering the reasons behind the players’ passion for the game take up almost every minute. You may see the national soccer federation debate about soccer from time to time. However, there are also lighthearted jokes tucked in between, such as making fun of a player’s gorgeous hair or lamenting the bland food served on the show. There’s also a good deal of navel-gazing, although it usually centers on soccer as well. Aside from the topic matter, however, the show functions more like a shonen combat tournament program, with each character’s ability receiving its own showcase segment. By the end of the season, many of the very large ensemble of characters have unlocked even greater and badder abilities. Each character has a special talent.

These superhuman skills make for a good laugh, but they also greatly increase the series’ appeal to anime viewers who may not be familiar with or interested in soccer. It sometimes reminds me of other over-the-top sports shows, such as Yowamushi Pedal, in which characters do unbelievable, physics-defying stunts that would demand more suspension of disbelief if the general tone weren’t so delightfully campy. Even while at times it seems like they were ran through a Shonen Side Character generator, the characters are also very different. If there is sometimes a strong feeling of déjà vu, it’s because some of the characters seem like they might have been taken straight out of previous television shows. There’s the sophisticated long-haired one, the shark-grinding one, the one who refuses to communicate, and the one who sees monsters.

The series is an intriguing examination of uniqueness behind the Hunger Games backdrop of the soccer camp. At one point, Ego makes the claim that the reason Japan is so successful at baseball is because each player has a designated position to play. Soccer demands more improvisation and ego since it’s a more fluid and dynamic sport. Examples of this include understanding when to take the shot or take control of the play rather than passing. It’s entertaining to consider from a sociological angle, but it’s also entertaining to see as the preamble to a drama about competing egos. The “If you’re not first, you’re last” mentality of ego is strong, so it’s understandable why soccer fans were so excited when Japan began to dominate in the Cup.

The Season One boxset is rather basic in terms of its physical distribution. That’s pretty much all. There are clean versions of the opening and closing themes—the latter of which is an incredibly underappreciated hit. Naturally, it also has music in both Japanese and English, as well as changeable subtitles. Although language preferences are purely subjective and hardly worth debating anymore, it is important to note that certain voice directions in the English language are… choices. As Isagi, Ricco Fajardo exudes enthusiasm and intensity, while some of the other characters are a touch sketchy. Drew Breedlove’s portrayal of Bachira is unimpressive; instead of his innocent charm, something sly and somewhat eerie takes its place. Aaron Campbell’s portrayal of Raichi sounds like he’s working a little. It’s a respectable production overall, albeit sometimes unsettling as the characters’ enthusiasm seems to contradict the directing decisions.

Aside from minor voice-directing issues, Blue Lock is a really entertaining game. The large ensemble may be a bit too much at times, particularly towards the end of the season when the action slows down and Isagi begins acting more arrogant and irritable, but the plot is always unpredictable. The results of the games are unclear until the very last whistle since the player’s abilities are so ridiculous and used in unexpected ways. Some of these youngsters are so good at sniping their shots that even Messi would be pleased. It’s entertaining for soccer enthusiasts to attempt and figure out which real-life figures inspired some of the fictitious heroes mentioned in the series.

The series does a rather good job of artistically capturing action situations, particularly some of the more complex set pieces throughout the matches. The plays are very exciting to watch because of the use of 3D modeling, dynamic camera angles, and keyframes, however sometimes the consistency and quality falters. It’s not always the most visually appealing program, and your experience may differ according on how well you get along with the large array of people, but at least it’s never dull. Not to mention the feet. There are a lot of exposed, scruffy feet at Blue Lock, and the feet are the center of attention. Nobody can argue they didn’t put the “foot” in football, even if at times the feet don’t even look nice, making it needlessly annoying.

All in all, Blue Lock is a great experience, particularly if you don’t mind camp and ridiculousness. This is the type of program that will make you grin while rolling your eyes at some of the situations. Soccer lovers will adore this passionate and even irrational love story to the sport, which is akin to armchair quarterbacking come to life. Action fans will love the strategy sessions and head-to-head matchups. Regarding the Blue Lock initiative itself, it’s understandable why supporters were happy to welcome it. Hope is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *