Cover Image: Blue Lock 1

Blue Lock 1

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I’m going to start off with I don’t even like soccer but I’m a sucker for sports manga. This surprised me I really think it might make me like soccer.

The beginning is explaining how Japan wants to make the best soccer team in the world due to losing so much. They basically hunger games style these kids (not killing but killing their dreams so close enough?) In true manga/anime fashion they main character starts out in the lowest group. In the first round they play a simple game of what I would say it hot potato with the ball and if you get caught at the end last person to touch the ball you are out.

I really like the premise of this where they will have to continue to get better and better throughout their time there to move up and make it to become the championship team. I really want to know what happens next so hopefully the next book is also on netgalley.

You also meet other characters and its very much of oh I’m the best on my team but there is always someone better then you and a lot of the ones you meet in the lower teams are shocked they are on the bottom rung. I think that is going to create an interesting dynamic as well.

If you are a fan of soccer or like me, a sucker for sports manga this is for you for sure.

Arc given by Netgalley.

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This was a fun read, even as someone who doesn't even like football haha! I am a sucker for a sports manga, and thought I would give this a try. While I thought the story was interesting enough, I didn't like the almost chaotic art style and found it hard to recognise who was who, especially during scenes where there was a lot of action (which being a sport manga, was a lot). So while I did enjoy the premise, I wasn;t so sold on the execution. I will give the anime a try as I feel I may prefer it in this format.

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falou de esporte eu ja to lendo adorei o manga, simplesmente perfeito, tanto a arte como a historia, irei começar a ver o anime em breve. me lembra um pouco haikuu.

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Cool, fun sport manga! I definitely like it and look forward to read next volumes. At this point football looks even more interesting as it in the real life.

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Bluelock is a manga series about a new experiment being undertaken by the Japanese Football Association to find the country's best striker in an attempt to rebuild the National Football Team and win the next World Cup.

It felt to be like a football version of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 300 of the nations best teenage strikers are together in "Bluelock" a facility built just for this experiment. They are separated into groups where they need to learn to work as a team to win matches against the other groups to avoid elimination.

I really enjoyed this introductory volume. The story is very engaging and I love the art style; it showcases the fast past action of a match really well.

This is a series I will definitely be continuing; I'm intrigued on how the rest of the series will develop.

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Blue Lock is a sports manga that takes a different take on teamwork. Instead of working as a team they have to rely on themselves. We follow the protagonist Isagi as he is invited to program that is looking for the best football players.

I liked the manga because of how different it is to other sports manga. I was able to feel the intense atmosphere that was surrounding the characters. I can't wait to read the next volume.

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Thank you NetGalley and Kodansha Comics, for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts are my own and left voluntarily.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Even though I have seen all available Blue Lock episodes on Crunchyroll - I also wanted to start manga at some point. In my opinion, Blue Lock is somewhat psychological sports story, where instead of strengthening overall teamwork, the main focus is on individual character development. Be selfish, be hungry! This manga serves as a great introduction for those unfamiliar with Japanese manga or the sport it portrays, as author explains the concept in a straightforward manner, ensuring readers don’t feel overwhelmed or confused. Some cringy dialogues aside, even if you are not a hardcore sports fan - I think everyone will enjoy this quite unrealistic but eye catching manga series. Also, Isagi is so relatable in regards of overthinking and semi-spacing out haha

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Knowing that it is one of the mangas that made the Japanese more enthusiastic about soccer... I had to read it.

Clearly this is just the beginning of a great story and I was able to enjoy it. I don't know how many volumes there are but there must be many.

Clearly sports mangas and animes are works of art from another planet. I think there is no one better than the Japanese to tell us sports stories.

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Definitely a super particular manga.
The story is not the usual narration of sports manga, here everyone is a little crazy and obsessed with the victory of Japan who hasn't won the soccers' national for many years.
So this selection is created which involves absurd training sessions in which only one will become the strongest player.

It's a nice story, it intrigues you and above all thanks to the anime, it had an incredible success.

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Great start to the series that was incredibly engaging. I can’t wait to see how this story progresses, definitely picking up the rest of the volumes.

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I have been interested in this book for a while and I will be honest I would not be continuing the series. It’s a subject that I am not interested in. #BlueLock1 #NetGalley

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Okay, honestly i'm always way too excited about sports manga, especially when i was younger i devoured everything!
Haven't read a soccer one in a while so of course i needed to dive into Blue Lock and i wasn't disappointed! I have all the clichees i want, from the goal driven main character Yoichi Isagi who is probably destined to be my fave to very weird characters like Bachira who i also immediately fell in love with. These kind of manga live off of very weird coded character and it looks like Blue Lock has it al!

Fast summary is: that after Japan's failed in the FIFA cup some people came up with the idea to start scouting high school players for the ultimate team for the next world cup! Because Japan didn't usually suceed in soccer they wanna kinda scout the best players that ever were to show everyone Japan's soccer team can acutally win this. The program is called Blue Lock so we have a very early title drop here.

It's obviously not the most unique concept in the world but honestly it absolutely does it for sports manga because in the end you're supposed to be excited for all their progress, if they are gonna make it, if they are gonna bond, how many rivalies there will be and we already got a taste of it, some enemies are already in the making and some deep bonds are gonna happen and i absolutely can't wait to see all these cuties bonding and not hating each other anymore, the whole program is like: oh you need to care less about your teammates to succeed but guess what the main character ain't gonna have that because he already feels like the softest team player ever and i'm sure he can woo a lot of his team mates over and be the very best like no one ever was.

Honestly i wanna dive right into the next volume, first volume was absolutely promising, we saw how the trainee camp is supposed to be working and booyyyy this is gonna be hard and rough, can't wait who will make it to the actual team in the end.
Love the drawings, they are so so dynamic, absolutely fitting for a manga like this one.

So let's go team!

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I'm not a sports fan in general but this was entertaining enough to hold my attention.
Japan is taking 300 of their most promising center forward soccer players to mold the top one into the worlds best striker to win Japan the world cup. It was extremely intense and ridiculous but super entertaining.

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Thank you, NetGalley and Kodansha Comics for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
The premise of this series is about the main character Isagi, whose main goal is to make it to the national championships. after he loses his chance to compete, he receives a letter from the Japan Football Union inviting him to this elite soccer training camp 'BLUE LOCK' that aims to produce the number #1 best striker out of the 300 chosen elites. the training camp provides intensive training and ranks them based on their talent, and the one to lose every elimination round loses the chance to play soccer professionally. the training camp focuses on building up their 'Ego' and their 'Selfishness' because they believe every top soccer player out there thinks about themselves first rather than their teammates.
I love sports Japanese mangas and animes because of their depiction of cutthroat competition and high stakes, which makes it all the more interesting and keeps the reader/watcher engaged. Having played soccer (if only at the state level), makes me feel nostalgic and makes me happy to be back in the world.
This also works as a good introductory manga for someone who has no experience with Japanese manga or the sport in itself because they explain the concepts in such an easy manner without making you feel stupid.

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I’ve never read any sports manga before and so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My husband has recommended it for some time, and I knew it was about soccer but knew ZERO about the plot. This was a fantastic manga. The art is incredible and I found myself reading slower just to pay attention to the details of the illustrations. The story is such a neat concept, and the first volume was packed with action. I am hooked and cannot wait to jump into volume 2 right away!

Thanks for NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Background characters' commentary made me laugh. Jinpachi's ruthless experiment did not disappoint. Bachira's monster is an interesting concept that I hope is divulged further. Clippy dialogue that lacks momentum. Fast-paced plot lacks substantial connection to the characters. Entertaining premise that has potential. Fiercely unapologetic. Overall, an average read.

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Yochi Isagi is a striker in his high school club soccer team, and his team’s hopes for nationals are dashed by a loss Isagi might have been able to prevent if he had taken the shot instead of passed. But soon, he and 300 other high school soccer stars are summoned by the Japanese Football Union. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Jinpachi Ego, a lanky, unsettling man with a premium soccer mind. He has devised Blue Lock, an enclosed facility with a Hunger Games/Squid Games style, cutthroat, elimination element designed to train and turn out Japan’s best striker. Ego’s main theory is that Japanese soccer lacks the egotism to produce the best striker, that Japanese soccer players are taught to cooperation above all else. Isagi and the 299 others are drawn in, and they enter this strange world of battle-soccer. Team Z - Isagi and his roommates - must train together, compete with each other, and somehow (not) work together to defeat 25 other teams to become the best striker in Japan.
There is a lot of manga out of Japan that has the lessons of cooperation, friendship, trying your best, always being positive… this is definitely not one of them. This fits more in line with sports training from other countries, where super stars are encouraged to leave others behind, where they sacrifice friendships and their personal lives for the sake of their game. This isn’t the best message to be putting in front of impressionable young people, but darn it if this story isn’t engaging and addicting. This title has already done well with digital sales, so the print release is sure to be successful with teen readers.

The art style is as intense as the storyline. Nomura utilizes a lot of dark lines, and tons of action zoom lines. Many of the characters are drawn rather creepily when they are being overtaken by their egotism, and none more so than Ego himself, who is often drawn with an increasingly elongated body akin to a squid. He is rather inhuman, which fits with the inhuman things he asks these high schoolers to do to one another.

Kodansha rates this for Older Teen, and it's probably for the intensity and battle aspect. No one dies in this tournament (they are only expelled from Blue Lock), but some bodily injuries have already occurred, and Ego can be a little creepy. Aside from those things, this would probably be an OK title to give to any high schooler.

Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12

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I picked up Blue Lock because I love a good sports manga, and the setting for Blue Lock certainly is "soccer". But I was surprised and delighted when I realized that what it really is, is progression fantasy. Most sports manga focus on a high schooler trying to make it to nationals in their sport of choice. Blue lock has 300 boys locked in a massive concrete facility, pitted against each other to become the #1 striker in Japan. The coach makes them do weird things like kick the ball directly into their teammates faces while playing barefoot on a concrete floor. If a player gets eliminated in a match or one of the coach's weird tests, they're banished. Losers react with tears and shrieks of rage. The whole manga is one long Battle Royale, but is also, somehow, about soccer.

Players with higher ranks get better living facilities and food, which you see a lot in progfan stories set in schools. Of course, our main boy starts off ranked #299/300, so he's stuck sleeping on the floor and eating nothing but rice, miso soup, and natto. He's got to level up and beat down the other players to make it to the top! Only one can win- the others will be forbidden from ever joining the Japanese National Soccer Team (this threat is taken very seriously). Characters spring to their feet and shout about their passion for soccer, or winning, or friends, or not wanting to take over the family business, at the drop of a hat.

In terms of sports realism, I'd put Blue Lock on the more fantastical side of the scale. It's not quite as out there as Kuroko's Basketball, but it's close. You have people backflipping to kick the ball on occasion, but it's not quite to the superpower level of skill you sometimes see in sports manga.

As for the art, it's as if the author of Haikyuu decided to use character designs from Yowamushi Peddle. Ego (the so-called coach) has a strong resemblance to Yowapeda's Midousuji- long and skinny limbs, weird contortions, lots of panels showing his teeth, etc. Characters have very expressive faces, and the action shots are dynamic.

I finished the first volume, and definitely plan to keep reading. I'd recommend it to any progfan enjoyer who also likes manga, tournament arcs, or military schools, and who enjoys (or can tolerate) a certain degree of absurdity.

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Rating: 4/5 stars

I downloaded this translation right away when I saw it on NetGalley, because I watched the first few episodes and thought the premise was interesting. Unsurprisingly, I felt that the manga was more engaging and provided more context than the show.

This volume follows the main character, Isagi, in his journey to make it to the national championships. He gets drafted by the Japan Football Union to join a special training program, Blue Lock, that focuses on “ego” and “standing out” as a football player. This “winner-takes-all” mentality forces the participants to think outside the team mindset, with a goal to become the world's best striker.

Overall, this first volume of Blue Lock provided a great set up for the overall plot. The purpose of the setting was explained well, the art is nice, and the characters are very interesting. I can't wait to see what comes next for Isagi as he battles everyone around him for the winning position!

Thank you NetGalley and Kodansha Comics for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the Blue Lock anime, so when I stumbled upon the 1st volume of the manga on Netgalley, I knew I had to dive right in. The art style of the characters in this manga is truly captivating. I appreciate how the manga artists skillfully depict emotions through the panels. The introduction of Jinpanchi Ego was a standout moment for me. Right from the beginning of Blue Lock, his quirky personality had me chuckling and saying 'then piss off'. The dynamic action sequences within the panels are executed with precision. Bachira exudes confidence and a hint of cockiness from the get-go. The incorporation of various food levels to represent different abilities is a brilliant concept that ignites envy among rivals, adding an extra layer of intensity to the storyline. This unique approach truly sets Blue Lock apart from other sports manga series, making it a compelling read for fans of the genre.

#bookreview #mangareview #bluelock #BlueLock1 #NetGalley #KodanshaComics

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