Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and its influence extends to other cultural expressions such as Japanese manga and anime. We all know the classic “Super Champions” -or “Captain Tsubasa” in a more accurate approximation to its original title-, but the country of the ‘Rising Sun’ has had countless sagas about the king of sports such as “Inazuma Eleven”, “Ao Ashi” and “Be Blues!”, among many, many others. But now the manga (and anime) that is making people talk is “Blue Lock”, especially because of the recent and surprising Japan win over Germany in his first game of the World Cup Qatar 2022something that seems taken from the argument of this series.
Written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura, the story of “Blue Lock” is closely linked to the World Cup. In the story, the elimination of the Japanese team from Russia 2018 led the country’s soccer federation to create a program to create the perfect team for the next World Cup and eliminate the idea that the country’s team is weak.
Enter the Blue Lock here, an institution that is half concentration camp and half prison that will serve to create the perfect striker among 300 young people and who will lead Japan to glory. At the center of it all is the enigmatic Ego Jinpachi, a coach who instills the idea of ”going for the goal” at all costs.
Was this the same philosophy seen on the pitch when Japan upset four-time champions Germany 2-1? It’s hard to say, but the Japanese team’s goals came despite an initial domination of the ball by their Teutonic counterparts and their goals came already in the last third of the match with a prodigious offense.
Anyway, Japan’s victory was celebrated by “Blue Lock” illustrator Yusuke Nomura, who shared an illustration of his protagonist Yoichi Isagi in a triumphant pose.
The anime version of “Blue Lock” is available on Crunchyroll.