Michael Kaiser or Rin Itoshi: Isagi's true rival in Blue Lock, explored

Understanding who is a better fit for the role of Isagi
Understanding who is a better fit for the role of Isagi's rival in the series (Image via Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura)

Blue Lock was an instant success when the anime adaptation was announced. So far, one season has been completed and the manga has progressed considerably since then. Isagi, the protagonist of the series has developed his skills immensely as he is constantly pitted against some of the most technically sound players in the world.

Every single player who has been chosen for the project is incredibly hungry and wants to become the best striker in the world. Isagi has competition, but fans believe that one out of the two characters could be his biggest rival.

Both Michael Kaiser and Rin Itoshi are exceptional players that can be considered Isagi’s rival, but still, who among the two would be considered a better rival?

Disclaimer: This article contains massive spoilers from Blue Lock manga chapters.

Blue Lock: Determining the elements of a good rivalry and understanding why Kaiser is a better rival

Despite Rin Itoshi’s importance in the Blue Lock series, we believe that Michael Kaiser would be a better fit for the role of Isagi’s rival. A good rivalry isn’t just about skills as a football player. There are plenty of things that account for a great rivalry.

Isagi and Kaiser are two extremely different sets of people in the series. The protagonist is far weaker compared to Kaiser. His dribbling and shooting aren’t up to the same level as Kaiser's. The personalities also differ to a considerable degree.

While Yoichi Isagi is a lot more egotistical at the current stage of the manga, there are moments where he acts as a team player. Michael Kaiser, on the other hand, has a superiority complex who doesn’t even consider Isagi to be on the same level. He is so self-centered that finds people around him to be small-time actors compared to himself. Michael Kaiser is also perceived as an antagonist in the Blue Lock series.

Another interesting aspect of this potential rivalry is their play style. At first, it might not seem similar, but both Kaiser and Isagi’s play styles are comparable. Both Isagi and Kaiser are prime examples of a handful of players that are known to play the position of a Raumdeuter.

A player in this position is responsible for identifying the space in the opposition’s side, and then exploiting it with efficiency and speed. Kaiser’s play style can be compared to a mix of both Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, and Isagi’s play style has been compared to Thomas Muller by plenty of fans.

The difference in personality, varying degrees of skill, similar play style, and the fact that Michal Kaiser is perceived as an antagonist are some of the reasons why he is a better fit for the role of Isagi’s rival.

Rin Itoshi is an incredible player that detests Isagi and wishes to destroy him. He was also the first player to serve Isagi’s first defeat, which was thorough and caused excruciating pain. However, as of now, it seems like Isagi would grow at a faster rate if Kaiser was his rival.

It will be interesting to see Rin Itoshi’s impact on Isagi in the long run. But for now, the rivalry between Isagi and Michael Kaiser is far more exciting.

Stay tuned for more Blue Lock anime and manga news as 2023 progresses.