The recently released Blue Lock anime adaptation is without a doubt one of the most intriguing sports anime of the decade. Unlike many other series of the genre, which often focus on the importance of fair play and teamwork, Kaneshiro’s franchise gives priority to the individual. As such, Isagi and the other strikers inside the facility do not think of each other as friends.
This is the cause of many issues in and out of the court since none of the chosen strikers can help but distrust everyone around them. While the concept has been amazingly executed, it can be hard for some fans to understand what the Blue Lock project is truly about.
To help them get familiarized with the idea and where it came from, we will discuss everything about this experiment below.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers for the Blue Lock series.
Only the biggest egoist can win the Blue Lock project
What is the Blue Lock project?
After ending in 16th place during the 2018 World Cup, Japan’s government began to research experimental training regimes that would help them find the best players. All of this was done to win the next World Cup and prove Japanese pride and might to the world.
A man named Ego Jinpachi approached the directives at the Japanese Football Union to pitch them his idea, the Blue Lock project. This experiment consisted in pitting Japan’s best and brightest strikers against each other to find the best of them all. However, they would not determine who the best was based on their skills, but rather on their ego.
Jinpachi is a firm believer in the idea of a football striker being the biggest egoist in the team. He needs to find a player who will do his best to outshine everyone else on the field, disregarding his teammates. To find this promising player, Ego created the Blue Lock project, with the ultimate goal of forcing the strikers to embrace their egotism.
The 300 players selected to be a part of the experiment will be forced to live together inside a facility only known as Blue Lock. There, they would have to interact daily with their competitors, knowing well that each day could be their last. According to Ego’s plan, the weakest participants would slowly begin dropping out, leaving only those whom he believed to be worthy.
What challenges did Ego create?
From the beginning of Blue Lock, players who partake in the experiment were tasked with eliminating another competitor. The young men were divided into 25 teams of 12 players each. Sadly, one member of each team will be eliminated by the end of the day. The strikers were forced to play a game of tag, where the last athlete to be hit by the ball would leave the competition.
At first, this punishment did not seem so bad, as the young men simply lost their chance at winning Blue Lock. Unfortunately, Jinpachi thought about this and created a rule which stated that every eliminated player would lose their chance to ever join a professional team. Knowing that losing a game would strip them of their chances of becoming professionals motivated each striker.
The second challenge, which we will get the first glimpse of when Blue Lock episode 2 is released, consists of a tournament between the 25 teams. There will be five groups, each with five teams that will compete in a round-robin tournament. Only the best two teams from each group will get to advance to the next challenge. However, the best strikers from each eliminated team will get to advance.
Is the project effective?
Blue Lock may seem like a weird and cruel experiment to force young athletes to go through. Jinpachi is not ignorant of the incredible stress and anxiety his test subjects suffer from.
Nonetheless, at least for now, his project does seem to be showing promising results. Despite what most of the strikers who entered the program claim, they do want to be the stars of their teams.
Isagi, for example, regrets not having scored a goal during the regional tournament his high team participated in. The young man wishes that he had allowed his egotism to take over and make his shot at goal. Since entering the Blue Lock project, Yoichi’s egoism has become stronger, pushing him to do things he would have never been capable of before.
Ego receives criticism for his unconventionally cruel methods, but they do seem to be working just fine. The man truly thought about the project before pitching it to the Japanese Football Union. Only time will tell if the experiment provides Jinpachi with the results he expected.
Blue Lock’s approach to the sports genre is uncharacteristic and a little weird when compared to other anime. The show is trying to pit every character against each other from the beginning. The idea of teamwork is almost non-existent, as even if you team up with another player, you are in danger of being betrayed.
Fans are loving the concept, considering that something like this has not been seen in a long time. As the series progresses, we will see many more intriguing challenges and players. Only then will we understand Ego’s motivation for creating the project better.