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EP. REVIEW: BLUELOCK


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NeedMoreCats
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Joined: 06 Oct 2018
Posts: 218
Location: Westchester, NY
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 12:14 pm Reply with quote
I’m surprisingly into this show. It’s got all of the fun parts of a death-match show without any of the gruesome gory death bits (all the stuff that kept me away from this genre). And it’s got some great face game, too. I’m strapped in, hands inside the car, ready to go on this roller coaster ride!
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3328
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 1:40 pm Reply with quote
So haven't tried it but sorta watching the reaction. I generally dislike sports series because they tend to say that the character success comes from hard work and team work when in almost all the case the main character only succeed because of incredible talent (they often just started playing the sport the sport and put very low amount of effort into it compare to even most high schooler) and they tend to have the main character be way better than the rest of the team, who are just there to kinda support him. Is it actually going in a different direction or doing the same thing as usual but with different presentation.
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Kelohmello



Joined: 17 Oct 2013
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:48 pm Reply with quote
The only thing I knew going into this show was that it was essentially a sports anime with a death game twist, which sounded cool. It's a good looking show with good animation and good direction overall, so so far I'm into it to some extent, but the core theme at least currently seems like it's "Being self-absorbed is Good, actually" and that's kind of turning me off. No idea if it stays that way of course, but I sure hope it doesn't.
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Jindujun93



Joined: 25 Feb 2019
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:55 am Reply with quote
After the first two episodes, I can say this is a hard skip, people who were actually saying this could match up with Ao Ashi or Giant Killing were just straight up delusional. A blogger I follow for his anime reviews once wrote that if Ao Ashi is a football manga for people who love football, then Blue Lock is a football manga for people who hate football, and now I get what he meant by that. Away with this abomination.
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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 483
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 3:00 am Reply with quote
@jindujun

Nah, blue lock is for football fans who love the sport a little too much.

In most sports series, there are characters who are extremely into the sport to the point of aggression towards even their own teamates. In Bluelock those characters are the majority rather than the minority/outliers. Like a team of Season 1 Kageyama's ( Haikyuu)
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FiendHunter



Joined: 02 Dec 2019
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:31 am Reply with quote
Jindujun93 wrote:
Blue Lock is a football manga for people who hate football


May I ask what you mean by that? Is bllk somehow doing a disservice to the sport?
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 851
Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:35 am Reply with quote
To me, Blue Lock is written by someone who doesn't understand football. "Why they don't score MORE goals?", "Why do they bother with "defenders" or "goalkeepers"? All I want is MY PLAYER scoring goals!"

Maybe the author should have look at how many World Cups Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi have won -zero so far- before using them as the epitome of football "egoism".
Also, it's ironic they use defeat of Japan in WC2018 to justify why they need egotism. They lost because they kept attacking "egotistically" instead of bid their time and wait for the penalty shootout.

Visually impressive, ideologically wrong.
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Jindujun93



Joined: 25 Feb 2019
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2022 9:38 am Reply with quote
FiendHunter wrote:
Jindujun93 wrote:
Blue Lock is a football manga for people who hate football


May I ask what you mean by that? Is bllk somehow doing a disservice to the sport?


How to best put this... perhaps I might start by explain the opposite, a football manga for people who love football. If we take the two examples I mentioned, Ao Ashi and Giant Killing, those are manga written by people who clearly know how the sport works, and focus on the stuff that those who are into the sport would appreciate.

For Ao Ashi, that's things like how youth development actually works, as well as the fact that it takes plenty of time to actually delve into the tactical side of things rather than just name dropping players from overseas in hopes that people will thing the writing is so smart because of this. And yes, while some of the tactical stuff Ao Ashi mentions is rather elementary (like why triangle formations are such a big deal in the sports, why off-the-ball movement is so important, or the difference between individual tactics vs team tactics), most football manga don't even do that.

Giant Killing is the other end a good manga could take - despite focusing on a coach as the main character, the tactical side isn't as deep here, but what the manga absolutely nails is everything surrounding the sport. The fan scene, relegation battles, local rivalries for clubs having a derby against each other, the stuff that management does behind the scenes, how journalism and coaches for national teams factor into everything, transfer season, and so on. Basically, both of these give football fans something they can really appreciate, is one way of putting it, I guess. What these manga show and tell is logically sound, and the mangaka are so good at depicting the sport that it's just really easy to get into it as a consequence.

On the flipside, a football manga for people who hate football would basically be... basically a manga that has to be a spectacle, even if it goes against all common sense and logic (because that's absolutely what Blue Lock does). A common comparison for another sport might be Slam Dunk vs Kuroko no Basket, or Baby Steps vs Prince of Tennis - one side a realistic depiction of the sport, and one that's only barely grounded into the sport, if at all. Mind you, that doesn't always have to be a bad thing - some people really appreciate how off-the-walls-silly something like Prince of Tennis can be, and enjoy it as a groupwatch while getting hammered with friends or something. And there's a place for this kind of silliness. But Blue Lock isn't even that. In a way, it's kind of like a pizza cutter - all edge but no point, and if it does make a point, it goes against any kind of logic for the sport. But it tries to present itself as a spectacle to get those people watching who at best care about the sport at a surface level.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2022 10:56 am Reply with quote
Jindujun93 wrote:
On the flipside, a football manga for people who hate football would basically be... basically a manga that has to be a spectacle, even if it goes against all common sense and logic (because that's absolutely what Blue Lock does). A common comparison for another sport might be Slam Dunk vs Kuroko no Basket, or Baby Steps vs Prince of Tennis - one side a realistic depiction of the sport, and one that's only barely grounded into the sport, if at all. Mind you, that doesn't always have to be a bad thing - some people really appreciate how off-the-walls-silly something like Prince of Tennis can be, and enjoy it as a groupwatch while getting hammered with friends or something. And there's a place for this kind of silliness. But Blue Lock isn't even that. In a way, it's kind of like a pizza cutter - all edge but no point, and if it does make a point, it goes against any kind of logic for the sport. But it tries to present itself as a spectacle to get those people watching who at best care about the sport at a surface level.


This kind of argument always falls apart because of a simple fact that's always ignored: The over-the-top, spectacle-focused sports manga & anime inspire people to take up the sport just as much as the realistic ones do, if not even more in some regards, and are generally created by people who truly do love the sport showcased.

Perfect example, especially in regards to the sport Blue Lock is about: Captain Tsubasa. Without a doubt, Tsubasa is a spectacle-focused soccer manga, where characters have over-the-top special shots & the pitch is often portrayed as miles long for dramatic effect. However, Tsubasa is also one of the most inspirational manga in the entire world, with literal FIFA players (& even some World Cup winners) admitting to getting into soccer BECAUSE they read Captain Tsubasa. However, by Jindujun's logic, that shouldn't be possible, because Tsubasa can't possibly be a soccer manga/anime for love soccer, because it's a spectacle. Therefore, it has to be a soccer series for those who hate soccer.

This is despite Tsubasa Oozora himself literally being someone who loves soccer (almost) more than anything & anyone in the entire world.

Same thing with Prince of Tennis, which inspired readers to take up tennis, or Kinnikuman, which has had moves from it literally performed in real wrestling matches, or Ring ni Kakero, which numerous MMA & wrestling legends loved reading when they were young (even though this is a boxing manga). Hell, even Ashita no Joe, one of the most influential sports manga of all time, was known to go into spectacle territory at points, especially later on. These were all made by people who absolutely love the sports that they made their manga around, yet still went with more of a spectacle execution, which goes 100% counter to the argument being made.

Honestly, the only actual example that I can think of that honestly follows your argument would be Team Astro from the 70s, which was created by people who really didn't know much about baseball, but in turn wound up setting the initial groundwork for modern shonen action manga. But, wait, want to know something funny? When artist Norihiro Nakajima wasn't sure if he should take on drawing Team Astro, he went to a fellow artist for advice: Noboru Kawasaki, who drew the legendary Star of the Giants. Turns out Kawasaki also had known absolutely nothing about baseball when he drew Star of the Giants, yet that wound up becoming another one of the most influential sports manga of all time in Japan.

It's fine to not be a fan of spectacle-focused sports manga & anime, or feel that they can't be taken seriously in any way & are only good "for the lulz" (everyone's entitled to their opinion), but don't go trying to argue that they're only for "people who hate those sports" or that the creators don't actually care about the sport in any way, because that's just projecting. Yes, some of them might not be super fans of the sport they're making a manga about, but most of them actually are & simply want to show that love for the sport in a way that's not just portraying them realistically. And, in turn, there are plenty of readers & viewers who wind up enjoying these series in a way that isn't simply "for the lulz", but instead actually wind up wanting to try those sports for themselves, and possibly even fall in love with them just as much as those who were inspired by more realistic takes.

And even if the creators aren't necessarily fans of the sport, that doesn't mean that the manga itself still can't inspire & influence readers in their own ways, as seen with Star of the Giants & Team Astro.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 10568
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:16 am Reply with quote
Is there not a middle ground between Jindujun93's and Lord Geo's position? That a spectacle series is not only for people who hate the sport, but can draw in people who hate the sport, and maybe end up making them love it a little, or a lot? While still being a just-for-fun watch for those already steeped in the sport?

An example of a sports anime that's both a tutorial on the basics and strategies of the sport and a spectacle of over-the-top absurdity is Yowamushi Pedal. It's all about the teamwork (so much so that competing teams even team up together during the race), and details why bicycle racing is the way it is, while having batshit crazy characters like the guy who names and talks to his pecs and the shape-shifting Midousuji.

I bring this up because Ego is clearly the alter ego of a post-high school Midousuji, who has traded in his bike for a soccer ball. Smile Just look at those dead shark eyes. That smile. Those teeth!

.
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chronium



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 256
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 9:14 am Reply with quote
The funny thing about people bringing up Aoashi is that Ashito has the ideal ego that they're looking for in Blue Lock but he just lacks the skill to back it up fully at this point in the story.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 2165
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 10:40 am Reply with quote
Quote:
...how would a self-serving philosophy work in a team-based game?
Simple, alpha-alpha male rises to the top, beats the others into submission and the team operates like a yakuza gang working for him. Win with the power of love and friendship?? F that! The opposition is out to hurt you, humiliate you and kick your "love and friendship" in the teeth. This anime gets it right.

Surprisingly like real life "team" sports that I've experienced. Teamwork is for chumps, there can only be one star and the others have to back him up (run interference from the opposition, clear his shot, feed him the ball if it gets away somehow) if they want to stay on the "team", get the second-hand glory and avoid wrath from him, the coach and the public in general because that is how the "team" wins... Mad
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Kirki



Joined: 11 Jun 2019
Posts: 245
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 11:45 am Reply with quote
Well, soccer IS a team sport, no matter how selfish the protagonists are. If they want to play a match, they have to rely on some sort of teamwork by default. The thing is, this is not a project to put a team together, it's a project to produce a single superstar, so ultimately the team doesn't really matter as long as they are 'cultivated' right. Of course they need to provide results (like winning) but even that isn't necessary, since the top scorers will move on anyway.

I'm starting to think that Blue Lock will be best consumed through binge-watching. 25 minutes feel like 5 minutes, they are perfectly engaging, but it doesn't immediately give you the answers it sets up, and you need to wait weeks until the pay off. I'm not complaining, I'm praising it. I wish I had discovered it completed.
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Kirki



Joined: 11 Jun 2019
Posts: 245
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:10 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Is there not a middle ground between Jindujun93's and Lord Geo's position? That a spectacle series is not only for people who hate the sport, but can draw in people who hate the sport, and maybe end up making them love it a little, or a lot? While still being a just-for-fun watch for those already steeped in the sport?


I'm guessing it's something like a doctor seeing a medical show or a lawyer seeing a legal show and being unable to enjoy it because they go "Nooooo, it doesn't work like thaaaat!" But then it's not for the people who hate the subject, it's for the people who don't know a lot about the subject. I imagine that for someone who plays basketball, it could be frustrating to see Kuroko no Basuke and it's over the top ridiculousness and super powers at play. On the other hand, if you can ignore how unrealistic it is, it's still plenty entertaining.

The thing is, I would get that if we were talking about technical details that don't add up or that are obviously false, but this is a psychology experiment. No training, no ball advice, no explanations on how the sport works beyond the players' state of mind. This is not the show you come in to learn about football or enjoy seeing on screen what you already know about football. Maybe that's what they mean when they say (let's paraphrase) it's not for those who love football. And still, the same premise wouldn't work for a lot of sports except for football. It's a very particular exploration of a very particular role that shines through a football game, and whether that role has such a great importance for the sport as they claim or not. This is why it can be easily watched by anyone without a particular interest in the sport. But "hate" football, no, not in any way.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 10568
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 11:53 pm Reply with quote
kgw wrote:
Maybe the author should have look at how many World Cups Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi have won -zero so far- before using them as the epitome of football "egoism".

Spoke too soon? They pointed out exactly that in episode 3. Smile

I think what won me over this ep was the examination of how baseball fits the Japanese psyche like a glove, while soccer does not. I've always wondered why they latched onto that sport so hard, and this finally offered some insight. Not only the fixed jobs to do, but every player still gets chances to score, so it's kind of the best of both worlds? Now I understand why Ace of Diamond hammers that nail several times a game, with the players trying to focus only on the job they've been given to do, the role they're expected to play.

I think it's sort of an unfair criticism in the review that the episode didn't fully answer the question it raised. Like that's the very thing the players need to figure out. I've often complained about sports anime where the coaches don't coach, but Ego's not there to coach them. In fact, I wondered if he gave any of the other teams even that much spoon-feeding of what they should be thinking about. If not, why not? Because he liked that Isagi had been thinking about it and was on to something?

I really like Bachi the best so far, though I don't trust him as far as I can throw him. I could do without the Bakugo character (Raichi?) screaming all the time though.
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