Blue Lock, vol. 1 | Review
Blue Lock, vol. 1
Writer: Muneyuki Kaneshiro; artist: Yusuke Nomura
Kodansha; published 6/21/2022 (print), 2021 (digital)
Age rating: 16+
After a crushing defeat in the 2018 World Cup, Japan’s soccer team needs to regroup. In hopes of regaining that competitive edge, the Japan Football (soccer to us Americans) Union gathers 300 of its best players in a no-holds-barred training (more like prison) to select the best of the best. One of those players is Isagi Yoichi, a forward whose team recently lost a chance to play Nationals. After receiving an invitation to this unorthodox ”player improvement” program called Blue Lock, Isagi finds himself literally playing for his life to make the team.
I found this story to be a mix of Haikyu!!!, with a dash of Deadman Wonderland, Squid Game, and every other Battle Royale (points if you get the reference) setting ever made. These players are literally in a prison-like setting, with Jinpachi Ego being their overseer who gives off villainous vibes (ex. he’s extremely creepy and egotistical *no pun intended*). While no one is killed (yet?) in the first volume, Blue Lock tends to be leaning towards a sinister agenda. Anyone who fails the Blue Lock program will no longer be allowed to compete for Japan again.
The artwork is very reminiscent of Haikyu!!!, with the action beautifully illustrated. The story, like the sport, is high octane and easy to follow. There’s never a dull moment within Blue Lock and as a reader, you hope for the best for not only Isagi but also the players he becomes close to, especially Rin Itoshi, who Isagi admires despite the fact that Rin was on the team that defeated Isagi’s. Definitely some compelling storytelling to be had with these two. I must note that the f-bomb is used pretty frequently and there are references to female characters’ breasts that will annoy some readers.
Overall, Blue Lock is a fun, action-packed story that I highly recommend. With an anime set to be released in October 2022, Blue Lock is set to become the next best sports story.
Filed under: Manga, Reviews, Young Adult
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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