In order to claim victory in the World Cup, the Japanese Football Association decides to enlist the help of an eccentric coach called Jinpachi Ego. He decides that the proper course of action is to raise an egotistical striker with unparalleled hunger for scoring goals.
His plan? Confine 300 players from all over the country into a prison-like facility called Blue Lock and pit them against each other until only the strongest one remains. Those eliminated will be banned from playing football in a professional capacity, while the sole survivor will become the national teams striker.
Enter Yoichi Isagi, a striker who failed to bring his high school soccer team to the national tournament because he chose to pass to a teammate (who missed) instead of scoring on his own. He then receives a letter of invitation to Project Blue Lock, and he decides to join and chase after his dream of joining the national team and becoming the worlds best striker.
This unlikely blend of sports and survival game manga is penned by Maneyuki Kaneshiro (of As the Gods Will fame) and Yuusuke Nomura (Dolly Kill Kill) and is currently serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine.
Blue Lock provides examples of:
- The Ace: The goal of the eponymous project is to make one. Several participants were also the aces of their teams.
- Artistic License Sports: High-school footballers display skills even professionals would gawk at.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Nagi Seishiro skips training and pretty much only plays football because Reo tells him to. His loss to team Z spurs him to put in some actual effort.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: One of them even gets mistaken for a girl.
- Cast Of Snow Flakes
- Career-Ending Injury: Chigiri. He almost got one in the past, and its the fear of finally getting one such injury that prevented him from giving it his all.
- The Chess Master: Rin Itoshi. He manipulates the other players in their matches. Yoichi is also this to a lesser extent.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Lets just say Team Zs first match ends in disaster.
- Defeat Means Friendship
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Characters routinely enhance and expand their abilities during heated matches.
- Hot-Blooded: All of them, in one way or another.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- It's All About Me: Ego believes that the road to victory in football is to have a star player who treats his teams as tools to help him score, and to this end he actively encourages his strikers to become more selfish.
- The Rival
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Subverted. Zantetsu is not the sharpest tool in the shed.
- The Smurfette Principle: Theres only one significant female character.
- Tournament Arc
- Underdogs Never Lose: Subverted. In particular, Yoichis team loses twice against Rins team.