How would you rate episode 24 of
Community score: 4.4
In terms of excitement and hype, this episode definitely wasn't hitting any major highs in the season that preceded it. However, I think this final episode of BLUELOCK did a phenomenal job of closing out the first stage of this series while setting up the next stage. We're finally going to get out of Blue Lock and have Ego put his money where his mouth is. Now that these diamonds in the rough have had the chance to evolve to limits that they probably never would've thought possible, how does that actually compete against the best of the best?
If we're talking about the world scale, then it's clear everyone is coming up a bit short. Our top genius team got absolutely decimated by some of the world's top players, only making the first goal because the opposing team basically let them. The minute they took things semi-seriously, Isagi and co. never stood a chance against them. I like that in a series where losing a match has the ability to rapidly change the trajectory of the entire series, here we put our characters in a situation where they were technically supposed to lose in order to get a sense of what their difference in skill actually is. This wasn't so much to discourage them with a loss as much as it was to show them that there is a tangible means of climbing the ladder now that they know how long it actually is. Apparently, Rin didn't get the memo, because that boy genuinely thought that he could take on five top players all by himself. I know the point of this facility is to teach kids that they can become Super Saiyan through sheer overwhelming confidence, but I worry that this boy is going to hurt himself one day.
That day is probably going to come sooner rather than later because the setup for the next match against Japan's U-20 is going to include Rin's brother, who has sort of existed as this mythical figure in the background. It'll be nice to see what exactly he's supposed to represent for Rin as a character as well as for the series as a whole. I'm glad I can say that with confidence, considering that it was also confirmed that this franchise is going to get another anime season and a movie. If things just stopped here with nothing else afterward, I would be a little bit miffed, honestly, because it's clearly not the end of the story.
In fact, one of the biggest complaints I can give this episode is the fact that half of the cast introduced here are characters that we've never seen before. Don't get me wrong, I'm digging some of the new designs. I'm just a little shocked that there was so much emphasis on Kunigami not making it to the finals while most of the characters that were introduced in the first half of the season didn't make it this far either. To be fair, I'd be lying if I said Kunigami wasn't one of the only characters on the original Team Z that I cared about. It sucks that he didn't make it through, but I like how that goes against the grain. I spent half of the series thinking this guy was going to be one of the top five main characters, only for him to get viciously sidelined in one of the most brutal ways possible.
BLUELOCK has already made a place for itself as one of my favorite anime of the year so far. The second half in particular might be up there with some of my favorite sports anime moments of all time. It's a series that sticks hard to its philosophy no matter how warped it might be at times. Despite its cynical approach, this is ultimately a story about making use of what you have and constantly evolving as an individual. The monologues can definitely be a bit much, and looking back, the first half could've had a tighter pace. But overall, I am very happy with the new puzzle pieces this show has given me. You can bet your bottom that I'm immediately going to start reading the manga as soon as I'm finished with this review.
BLUELOCK is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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