Blue Lock Is the Sports Anime Everyone Needs to Watch

Blue Lock Is the Sports Anime Everyone Needs to Watch

I literally cannot stop talking about Blue Lock, the sports anime that was pitched to me as “Big Brother meets soccer.” When I say Big Brother, I mean the trashy reality TV show run by an all-seeing mastermind, filled with challenges and treacherous tactics to win. Yes, you could swap in any old reality show to make the same point, but I love Big Brother (go easy on me — it’s a cultural phenomenon in Australia) and my partner knew that the mere mention would pique my interest.

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Well, he was right and now I’ve asked all my weeb friends to go and watch it, I’ve begged my co-workers who like anime to give it a shot, and now I’m here to demand that the friendly folks of the internet who are reading this go and do the same.

To get you up to speed, Blue Lock is about Japan’s desperate plan to try to win the World Cup. They know they have little hope of claiming the trophy, so they take 300 upcoming players and pit them against each other in a ruthless training program called Blue Lock to create the world’s best striker (think the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, and Maradona).

The catch – those that get eliminated from Blue Lock will never be allowed to play soccer for their country. Ever. With their sporting careers on the line, the stakes are do or die. The punishment might not be literal death, but to an athlete, it may as well be. Blue Lock captures this tension perfectly, showcasing the despair and elation that accompanies the loss or fulfillment of such a lofty dream.

Blue Lock Is the Sports Anime Everyone Needs to Watch

With such an intriguing hook, becoming invested in the series is incredibly easy. But where Blue Lock absolutely soars for me is in the way it portrays our inner “monster.” Early on, we meet a character named Bachira who very casually explains to the protagonist, Isagi, that he has a monster inside him. He tells Isagi that it takes control, consuming him and telling him what to do when on the field. As the monster monologue progressed, I found myself aggressively nodding at the screen to the point where I just started yelling my affirmation as if Bachira could actually hear me.

What he was describing was a feeling that I know intimately, and I was captivated to see my own experience reflected back on the screen in a way that my partner could understand — who at this point was starting to get very concerned with how much I connected with a character describing an inner monster.

For context, my life outside of video games is fitness. When I don’t have a controller in hand, you can find me on a stage with a microphone at the gym, exercising along with and coaching my participants. In that setting, a more fitting gamertag would be CardioQueenAmy, known for my aerobic endurance and notoriously intense classes that still manage to leave people with a smile on their face. And when it comes to my unusually high stamina, you better believe that it’s because my monster takes hold to push me beyond my limit. Blue Lock articulates the ego, passion, tenacity, and ferocity that merge to create that monstrous voice in our heads, the same one that drives me to be a better fitness instructor every day.

Blue Lock Is the Sports Anime Everyone Needs to Watch

To portray this concept throughout the series, the very talented Eight Bit animation team utilizes visual effects in a masterful way. As a monster is uncaged or evolved, flames and celestial auras encompass the character to highlight their power. Exceptional music and sound choices underpin each of these moments, elevating them to land with perfect impact.

In addition to brilliant art direction, the way the writing manipulates its cast to tell the story is just tantalizing. They use Isagi as a pawn to convey complex sporting ideas rather than having him act as your emotional anchor to the story, which keeps you invested in the concept no matter what happens to the core characters.

In other words, Blue Lock is a show with such finesse that it commands and deserves your attention. To me, it is perfect. The drama. The intensity. The immersion. Every element works together to create something special that I truly believe can show people how to unlock their fullest potential. Now please excuse me while I go and find some more people to tell how much I love Blue Lock.


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Author
Amy Campbell
Amy Campbell is a contributor for The Escapist. She spends her days behind the scenes, helping develop video games as a Producer within the Australian game development scene. By night (or very early morning), she turns her attention to celebrating and discussing the latest wonders of the industry she loves. Having started her career in games with OnlySP back in 2018, Amy has continued to engage and critique a wide range of indie and AAA games over the years in written, video, and live-streamed formats. Highlights of her work include interviews with composer Austin Wintory and actor Michael Mando, as well as Adventure Is Nigh! – the D&D series exclusive to The Escapist. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media, Diploma of Game Design, and a Certificate IV in Fitness, making her the most game-obsessed fitness instructor you’ll ever meet.