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The Best Weapons in BLUELOCK to Build The Perfect Team

by John Segura,


Unlike other sports anime, Bluelock's central theme doesn't revolve around teamwork and self-sacrifice. This, nevertheless, is to be expected considering the series' plot. For instance, when Jinpachi Ego introduces himself to the 300 personally curated prospects meant to participate in his battle royal-esque experiment, he clarifies the predetermined goal perfectly. As a facility, Bluelock intends to manufacture the perfect soccer "egoist": a striker who's explicitly trained to not rely on others but also possesses all the talent and skills to finally take Japan's national soccer team to glory by winning the World Cup. This notion, of course, not only goes against Japan's cultural identity, which relies on cooperation and unity, but this is by the mastermind's design. Seeing the country's intrinsic collaborative playing style as a weakness preventing them from being the best, Ego argues that the country's strikers must evolve and become more like the world's top players, who happen to exhibit attributes that favor self-centered interests over comradeship, to achieve what's considered the impossible. As a result, he lays out his terms clearly and concisely: only the top remaining contender will be allowed to experience their dream of playing on the world stage. The rest are banned for life from ever joining the national team.

Not only are these immensely high stakes for high school athletics, but Ego has no reservations about the decision. The way he sees it, having one extremely talented striker obtain their status as the country's savior by outpacing and ruining the careers of those around him who couldn't cut it is the only way Japan can ever move forward if they desire to bring home the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Thus, Ego questions what soccer is really about. In his mind, it's not about a team of 11 players battling as a unit for the win. Instead, Ego believes the sport's only focus is to score more goals than their opponent -- nothing more, nothing less -- and only a star with extreme narcissism, capable of disregarding his teammates and successfully shooting without indecision, can pull it off. However, whether Ego's assertions are accurate is another discussion, primarily since a professional soccer team is always comprised of 11 players, regardless of their personalities. Bluelock's remaining egoist, as a result, will undoubtedly have to compete alongside 10 others once they make it out into the real world. This circumstance, and the fact that there's so much talent illustrated within the series, raises two interesting questions: What would a perfect team of 11 players from Bluelock's roster look like, and which positions should they play? To answer this, viewers must weigh the most noteworthy candidates' abilities and envision how they'll work together, so let's dive in.

Yoichi Isagi, Meguru Bachira, and Rensuke Kunigami are Players Who Stand Out in Bluelock


In the first episode, "Dream," audiences are shown exceptional examples of prowess on the pitch. Rensuke Kunigami, for example, displays a killer left foot, which not only swiftly sends the ball careening to its target but is strong enough to knock the wind out of anyone who gets in the way. His strengths are highlighted further during Team Z's match against Team V in Episode 9, "Awakening," when he demonstrates the capacity to take technical and accurate shots, even out of his usual 28-meter range. More impressive, however, is that his goal has virtually no spin, which is hard to accomplish. Even so, Kunigami is only one of the many outstanding athletes who illustrate their talents in the anime.

Meguru Bachira, for instance, is quick and can steal a ball pretty well. Additionally, he can kick and pass on a dime because of his agility and flexibility. This makes him a fierce competitor, mainly since his dribbling is unparalleled, so he can maneuver the ball however he wishes, as initially illustrated in Episode 2, "Monster." This is handy, particularly during Team Z's second match of the first selection against Team Y. Bachira can cut across the pitch and evade opponent presses with ease because of it. However, the formidability of his skill isn't fully revealed until the squad's match against Team V in Episode 9. Bachira can improvise almost instantaneously, which is demonstrated through his use of multiple stepovers, a roulette, a lob, an air elastico, and a heel kick in one offensive press, making the player almost unstoppable.

Nevertheless, due to Bluelock's nature, the eccentric striker only improves as time progresses, which viewers can see later in Episode 20, "Super Link-Up Play." As the final stage in the second selection, there's a lot on the line, but Bachira's performance is in rare form as he battles against Isagi. Not only does he again display an excellent execution of scissor dribbling, but also a backward false kick and a quick turn. Even after seeing how much Team White has improved since their last encounter, Bachira doesn't hold back, which is emphasized by the immediate change in his strategy and includes actions like a no-look pass. He, more importantly, also begins to display ball control on par with Nagi's by creating a pass that shifts from being a "daisy-cutter" with backspin into a long, high vertical spin that only Aryu can reach with his jumping height. Regardless, the zenith of his talents isn't revealed until Episodes 22 and 23, "Voice" and "Luck," respectively. Due to the fear of being left behind, Bachira awakens and begins to trust himself over the monster that's guided him for so long. This changes his playing style, which becomes more aggressive and allows him to behave erratically. Hence, the opposition can't keep up with him, but he also manages a triple nutmeg and recklessly rampages his way toward the goal. Although Isagi partially blocks his shot, which sends it Rin Itoshi's way to score the final goal, it's clear that Bachira isn't a player worth ignoring. Incidentally, the same is true of the highly driven Yoichi Isagi, who seeks victory regardless of the circumstances.

While Isagi may not have the same level of athleticism or skill with the ball as his contemporaries, he makes up for it with his acute spatial awareness, ability to "smell a goal," top-notch direct shooting, and capacity to "coordinate people." Still, these talents don't make Isagi unique, especially since other characters like Ikki Niko and Itoshi have similar skills. His most significant strength, as a consequence, is his ability to run "simulations" in his head and foresee the current and future state of play. Pair this with his innate sense of adaptability and inclination to change instantly to reach his goals on the pitch, and Isagi can easily be recognized as one of Bluelock's biggest monsters. This is only made more apparent in Episodes 15 and 18, "Devour" and "The Stage for the Lead," when Isagi depicts how quickly he can learn to emulate Asahi Naruhaya's footwork and his ability to get behind the enemy to improve his off-the-ball movements to "become a stronger player."

Bluelock's Shouei Barou, Hyoma Chigiri, and Nagi Seishrio are Worth Noting


Despite Shouei Barou's stubborn, selfish personality on and off the field, there's a reason why he's called the "King." Barou not only has the physique to break free from dozens of defenders, but he also has the aptitude to dribble - an excellent example of this is his heel kick over Isagi and the two nutmegs he does as he passes other defenders while running down the pitch in Episode 3, "Soccer's 'Zero.'" Furthermore, as Episode 8, "The Formula for Goals," exemplifies, Barou also has a keen understanding of his equation for scoring, so as long as he's in the center of the field at around 27 meters (or roughly 27.5 yards) away from the goal, he's guaranteed to score. Still, it isn't the player's technical mastery that makes him noteworthy.

Instead, Barou's genius as a striker comes from his tenacity and unpredictability. In Episode 18, for example, Barou slowly accepts defeat due to his selfishness and Isagi's complete control of the pitch. However, the prospect of wasting his potential by simply playing a supporting role reignites his passion for becoming the best in the world. Consequently, he unlocks talents no one knew he had in the match's final minutes by executing a chop feint and acute-angle dribbling to weave a path around Rensuke's defense. He also evades Reo Mikage's attempt at stopping him by using Isagi as a decoy to use a consecutive chop and a cutback to push up the field and awaken his true "twisted path." This makes Barou very dangerous, which is given further credence by his actions in Episode 21, "I'm Not There." For instance, noticing how the opposition is reading their movements, Team White attempts to change their traditional tactics, but Barou feels left out and charges in and steals from Isagi to confuse Rin since he'd never be able to imagine a person irrationally stealing the ball from his own teammate. This allows the king to score and reclaim his "royal status" on the field. Nonetheless, Barou isn't the only unexpected, powerful anomaly in Bluelock: there's also Hyoma Chigiri and Nagi Seishrio.

It may take a while for Chigiri to come out of his shell, but once he does, everyone else is stuck playing a game of catch-up. When he finally unleashes his speed at the end of Team Z's third match against Team W in Episode 7, "Rush," everyone (including his teammates) is awe-struck by the striker's quick feet, especially since he has the pace to pass to himself. Granted, he's not the only fast-running candidate out there since Zantetsu Tsurugi possesses "explosive acceleration" that technically makes him faster than the redhead, but as Episode 9 shows, Chigiri doesn't need to be quicker. As long as he has the room to roam, he can use his stamina to outrun anyone else on the field at top speed over a longer distance. This becomes even more problematic for his opponents once he learns to develop his ability to control the ball at that rate in Episode 17, "Donkey." This allows Chigiri to avoid losing momentum and makes him a profound prospective asset.

As for Nagi, well, he's on a whole other level. The striker has ultimate ball control, so as long as he's in range, the player can manipulate the ball any way he chooses. More significantly, though, after watching Reo falter in Episode 10, "Just the Way It Is," Nagi finally demonstrates initiative for the first time, which shows just how much of a monster he is. Not only does the candidate illustrate how versatile his control is through his use of gentle or forceful passing and complete handling of the ball, Nagi's true genius shines through during his two-man battle against Barou and Asahi in Episode 14, "The Geniuses and the Average Joes." For example, his ability to utilize one touch to stay ahead of his opponents is unmatched. Even more impressive, Nagi is proficient in analyzing the field (albeit less well than Isagi). Sensing the imbalance between Rin and Isagi's athleticism in Episode 20, for instance, Nagi fills in the gap by augmenting the future the other two players envision and using a "mid-air feint with a spin" to set up a "two-stage fake volley" to score a goal over Rin's inherent ability to read the play every step of the way.

Rin Itoshi, Jyubei Aryu, and Aoshi Tokimitsu Can't Be Left Out When Discussing Bluelock's Star Potential


If constructing the best 11-person squad from Bluelock's roster is the goal, then Rin Itoshi must be a part of the conversation - there's no way around it - his introduction after the first selection in Episode 11, "The Final Piece" is proof of that. He conveys a sense of finesse and accuracy that the other remaining contestants can only envy by kicking two balls consecutively and having them strike each other mid-air. Even better, after Team White's first goal in Episode 13, "Top3," Itoshi shows off his range as a shooter by making a goal at the starting point mid-field, which is as impressive as it's tough to do. Still, his capacity to spin the ball at will makes him a beast, which Itoshi indicates particularly well during his corner kick goal with a vertical spin. Nevertheless, what makes him such a fearsome opponent is that he shares the sense of space and awareness as Isagi. To make matters worse, Itoshi can also manipulate everyone on the field to his agenda, which only further cements his number-one ranking at the facility to no surprise. That aside, though, Itoshi's runner-ups are no joke, either.

Although ranked second and third, Jyubei Aryu and Aoshi Tokimitsu's skills shouldn't be taken lightly. Aryu's vertical leap, for instance, is outstanding, considering that he was able to gain a touch over Nagi, whose height is over 190 centimeters (around 6 feet, 3 inches). Moreover, he has incredibly long legs, which allows him to score a goal over Isagi from behind him in an unforgettable display of athleticism and maneuvering. Aryu's effectiveness is emphasized further in Episode 22 as the game's last play becomes a battle between one-on-one talents. For example, as Rin passes high to Aryu, Nagi realizes he won't be able to intercept the ball mid-air due to the latter's unbelievable jumping skills, so he plucks it away after he makes the touch. Aryu's lengthy legs, however, let him steal it back over his head, which is impossible for smaller-statured players. Either way, the neurotic Tokimitsu also deserves some contemplation when building the ideal dream team.

Despite Aoshi Tokimitsu's nervous disposition, he has an overabundance of strength and speed, which makes him an unexpected force to deal with since he can stop Bachira's dribbling and power through Isagi's defenses, as illustrated in Episode 13. Still, his endless supply of stamina and monstrous physique make him unique, particularly since they're unmatched. This not only makes Tokimitsu the unexpected variable in the match within Episode 21, but it also puts Barou and Chigiri in a position where their only option is to take a foul to stop him, basically a freight train.

Gin Gagamaru and Jingo Raichi: Bluelock's Other Honorable Prospects


Granted, on the surface, Gin Gagamaru and Jingo Raichi don't stand out as much as their companions. Still, they executed some critical plays during pivotal points in the matches, which helped them achieve a few memorable moments. Gagamaru, as Episode 4, "Premonition and Intuition," indicates, " has amazing "body control." Moreover, the striker has some fantastic agility, which gives him a unique reach that allows him to touch and get a hold of the ball no matter how far away he is from it. This circumstance is shown again through his use of a scorpion kick in Episode 9, despite Gagamaru ultimately missing the goal (but that's only because Zantetsu blocked the ball's path). Either way, his weapon is significant since possession is crucial when scoring goals.

In that same vein, Raichi's defender talents are equally important. Although the athlete would much rather be shooting goals, as Episode 9 displays, the striker is a walking brick wall with a mouth when on defense, and that's a good tactic for drawing out unnecessary fouls. Raichi's physique allows him to crowd opponents with the ball, which plays well into his mouthy style, especially since it gives him a chance to whisper in the enemy's ear, throwing them off their game. This is highlighted the most during his one-on-one battle against Reo in the second half of Team Z's final match of the first selection with Team V. It's clear that he manages to get under his skin, considering that the latter throws an elbow out of anger and receives a yellow card. Moreover, as Reo frustratingly points out, Raichi has good stamina, which allows him to stay on his opponents throughout the game.

After Constructing the Lineup, Let's Determine Their Positioning

While Bluelock has some other notable players within its ranks, some of whom have yet to have the opportunity to showcase their skills, the 11 players featured above are arguably the cream of the crop once their talents are considered. However, more information is needed to answer the question of which positions they should occupy.

For that to be accomplished, Audiences must understand each role's requirements and objectives while on the field. Luckily, plenty of resources are online for reference when determining who should go where. However, the most important thing to remember is that a soccer squad is typically divided into four sections: goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.

Goal Keeper: Gin Gagamaru

As most know, regardless of their knowledge of the game, the goalkeeper is soccer's last line of defense. Their main objective is to keep the team's opponents from scoring, so as a result, they're the only ones who can use their hands. Still, their job is challenging - the goalie must have an incredible reach and intense body control to spring into action on a moment's notice at any point within their area to stop the ball.

That said, there's arguably no other member of Bluelock's training program better suited for the assignment than Gin Gagamaru. While others may have better reaction times, Gagamaru's ability to stretch himself and throw his whole body into a play to touch the ball would make him a natural when defending a pitch's goal area.

The Defenders: Jingo Raichi, Aoshi Tokimitsu, Rensuke Kunigami, and Shouei Barou

Granted, if someone could ask these characters for their opinions on this placement, the majority of them would probably pick a fight about it (Kunigami seems to be the only agreeable one out of the bunch), but in a sense, that's more or less what you want out of a defender. Most teams arguably want someone rough around the edges and aggressive enough to duke it out with the opposition to gain possession of the ball without keeling over in the process. As a result, it's only natural to put Raichi, Tokimitsu, Kunigami, and Barou in these roles, especially since they're some of the more physically domineering players at Bluelock.

Barou, for example, doesn't play by the rules, and he has the strength to back his assertive and forceful style of play. Reichi's methods are identical, so having the pair working defense makes sense. As for Kunigami, well, he's no pushover either. After all, he does manage to give Barou a run for his money in Episode 16, "Tri-Fusion," as Isagi and the rest of Team White go against Reo and Team Red. Then there's Tokimitsu, who exhibits qualities built around strength, speed, and stamina. Despite calling Barou a "scary gorilla man," Tokimitsu's shoulder charge against him in Episode 21 tests the physical limits of the king. Moreover, Barou tries to force Tokimitsu off the floor and into his starting position even before the match in Episode 20 after he tries to convince Team White to postpone the game, but even then, he can't move him. It's a humorous moment, but it also signifies the strength of the third-ranked player.

The Midfielders: Meguru Bachira, Jyubei Aryu, and Hyoma Chigiri

While the trio may seem like they would be better suited up front with the forwards, it's important to note that midfielders must have great "speed, agility, and stamina" and have talents on offense and defense. The great thing is that all three demonstrate an aptitude for these qualities. Aryu's long legs and Chigiri's speed make them perfect midfielders since they can keep up with the opponents while on defense, set up plays, and quickly cut the ball across the pitch during an offensive press. Moreover, their quickness allows them easy access to steals and interceptions.

Incidentally, Bachira's unmatched dribbling skills are also necessary when a squad tries to press offensively up the field. The way he can weave around defenders and keep them guessing is a rare talent that intrinsically aids a player as they're trying to gain ground efficiently and quickly, so it makes sense that he'd be utilized this way.

The Forwards: Rin Itoshi, Nagi Seishrio, and Yoichi Isagi

By definition, a good forward (or striker) must have excellent control of the ball and the capacity for a good first touch. Luckily, Nagi's talents are the pinnacle of those techniques. As a result, he fits the position's requirements on this hypothetical squad. As for Itoshi and Isagi, their sense of spatial awareness and command of the field is perfect for turning a "zero into a one," as Ego would say. While it's uncertain whether the pair could overcome their egos long enough to coexist in the same roles and complementarily play together, the duo would be unstoppable if they managed it.

For instance, since both can foresee the field of play and envision futuristic scenarios that'll guarantee goals, dividing the pitch into two sections and operating in tantum could turn any squad into a scoring titan that can replicate the sought outcome repeatedly until the game becomes a blowout. Thus, these 11 players from Bluelock's list of characters would make an ideal team.

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