It’s not like I am a soccer fan but episode 4 of Japanese sport anime series ‘Blue Lock’ was a banger! Like episode 3, teams in the facility face-off each other again, but the soccer is a lot less chaotic and fun to watch than the first round.
((Read ‘Blue Lock’ Episode 1 Review if you have no idea what the show is about. ))
After their first crushing defeat, Isagi Yoichi and the boys buckle up and come up with a strategy four round two, for if they lose again, it would end their careers. The animation mixes up mediums to make things entertaining, for example, episode 3 has brief sequences resembling artwork from arcade game era of 1980s and 90s.
While the creators slowly reveal more details about different players in each episode, they don’t go into elaborate back-stories like the volleyball themed anime series Haikyu!! (the title has double exclamation marks, and also, not a volleyball fan, but Haikyu!! is pretty amazing). At least not yet.
The carefree, impish Bachira is probably my favorite character already, his casual attitude adds a breezy touch to the exaggeratedly serious show. But the solemn way in which all characters obsess over soccer is both endearing and slightly hilarious. “I want to be a soccer superhero” says a character called Kunigami without batting an eyelid, when protagonist Isagi Yoichi asks him “why do you play?”. Kunigami goes on to clarify that it might sound childish to want to be a ‘superhero’, but he isn’t embarrassed about saying such a thing. Interesting, as viewers you’d think that’s exactly the whole point of the ‘Blue Lock’ program – to create a soccer superhero.
Can Isagi and the boys from Team Z be soccer superheroes for the day? Or will they lose again? Episode three ends on a major cliffhanger and I cannot wait to stream the next one. You can watch it on Netflix.
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