Blue Lock: A Severely Underrated, Subversive Sports Shonen

Finn Macdiarmid
3 min readJul 3, 2021


Bachira Meguru (right) pictured with his football “monster” (left).

Mineyuki Kaneshiro’s Blue Lock is a masterpiece of modern manga, demonstrating a well done subversion on the classic sports manga moral of sportsmanship.

The series also plays with the idea of Egoism, a political concept developed by German philospher Max Stirner, which preached the idea of individualism, people devoting their lives to their own goals, using others for the sake of their dream.

In Blue Lock this is adapted to football by the Blue Lock coach, Jinpachi Ego, who believes in the power of Egoism to allow perfect strikers to score goals, and trains his strikers to tap into their ego.

Ego enjoying his favourite food, microwave noodles.

In animanga like Haikyuu! and Kuroko No Basket, teamwork is a constant theme, with the protagonists of both having to work together to achieve their dreams of sports supremacy.

Blue Lock however, displays a unique take on the idea of a sports manga. It shows sport less as a means of demonstrating teamwork and more as a desperate, difficult, painful struggle to become the undisputed number 1 in the world.

Set after the 2016 World Cup, in which Japan lost due to their defensive playstyle, the Japanese Footballs Association brings in a radical coach named Jinpachi Ego, bringing with him a promise to rewrite the world of Japanese football.

The series follows Isagi Yoichi, a high-school player, who is forlorn after losing his regional game by passing to a teammate rather than making a shot himself. Isagi, along with 300 other under 18 hopeful strikers is invited to Blue Lock, Ego’s training facility, where he attempts to teach the 300 to nurture their own egos for winning with spartan methods and extremely high stakes.

Isagi Yoichi.

What makes Blue Lock special apart from it’s interesting themes is the art. The lineart is reminiscent of the late Kentaro Miura’s Berzerk, made all the more impressive by how intimidating these high-school strikers are made to look.

I would recommend Blue Lock to fans of not only sports animanga like Haikyuu! and Kuroko No Basket, but to those who enjoy classic shonen stories of those reaching for the top with only their will and skill, such as fans of My Hero Academia.

A manga sheet from mid-way through the series.



Finn Macdiarmid

A 2nd year journalism student. Interested in Politics, Gaming, Movies, and Most Other Things As Well. My aim is to become a better writer, one day at a time.