How would you rate episode 22 of
Community score: 4.3
Man, there's so much happening in this episode that I do not know where to start! Not only do we have Isagi finally understanding Rin's weapon and developing counter-actions, but we also have a surprising climax to Bachira's character arc. The former goes a bit into that overanalysis territory that we often see in many sports anime. Have you ever watched a show where a character has absurd foresight to the point where they're practically predicting the future? How do you beat somebody like that? Well, you just have to outsmart and think even farther ahead in the future or introduce elements that no reasonable person would assume. It boils down to, “Oh, you were thinking three steps ahead of me, so I just have to think four steps ahead of you!”
But I'm more interested in the emotional climax of Bachira's character. Bachira was the prize for this entire half of the season. Isagi and Bachira were best friends at Blue Lock, and Isagi said he would improve to get Bachira back. However, the path that Isagi took to be the better player that got him to this point ironically might be the thing that causes him not to choose Bachira if they win. Think about it; these guys chose the selfish asshole king Baro to join their team because of his skill and the potential for growth on the field. Bachira isn't throwing the game necessarily, but he's getting so caught up in the excitement of everything that he's neglecting his personal growth. It's funny that a lot of sports anime will sometimes focus on the idea that it doesn't matter how good or bad you are as long as you're having fun, but Blue Lock is condemning Bachira for wanting to make friends by playing soccer. If he wants to continue playing and catch up to the people he admires, he needs to play as if he doesn't care about them, like Rin and Isagi are currently playing.
I like how this is represented visually as the “monster” that Bachira manifested is just an extension of the types of people he wants to play soccer with. He's such a skilled player that he thinks only monsters can compete at his level. But if he wants to evolve as an individual, he has to go back to playing by himself and for himself. Seeing him resist the urge to pass to his teammates because he sees the monster manifest as them is very cool, and I like that Bachira's movements become more erratic as he evolves. Bachira underwent his own evolution, allowing him to take on the entire imposing team on his own. Now that Isagi has blocked those efforts, how will this match end? And, more importantly, who will advance to the next round when this is all over?
BLUELOCK is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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