|Blue Lock 1 (Blue Lock (Manga))
Author: Kaneshiro, Muneyuki
After a disastrous defeat at the World Cup, Japan's team struggles to regroup. But what's missing? An absolute ace striker. The Football Union is hell-bent on creating a striker who hungers for goals and thirsts for victory, so Blue Lock-- a rigorous training ground for 300 of Japan's best and brightest youth players-- is created. To survive this battle royale, the last striker standing will have to out-muscle and out-ego everyone who stands in his way! In manga graphic novel format.
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2022 *Starred Review* Yochi Isagi is considered a great striker among the high-school club soccer teams, but overall, Japan does poorly in every World Cup. The Japanese Football Union hires a twisted visionary, Jinpachi Ego, to help solve this problem. Ego creates “Blue Lock,” a cutthroat, Squid Game–style competition arena and invites 300 of the best high-school strikers to participate, including Isagi. Isagi scores poorly and ends up on the lowest cadre: Team Z. He and his teammates must work together yet stand apart and defeat 25 other teams in order to prove themselves the best strikers in Japan. While the premise may seem ludicrous, this story is addicting and is sure to be a popular one among teen readers. Kaneshiro creates a high-stakes environment where everything feels like life-or-death, even though no one is actually dying when they are eliminated. The premise of egotism and advocating for yourself above all else will resonate and is a departure from most Japanese manga that prizes friendship and cooperation—it's a message that will definitely resonate with Western audiences. Nomura’s artwork emphasizes action with tons of zoom lines and dark outlines, and all the play sequences—illustrated like battles—are easy to follow. This is an exceptionally well-executed, high-intensity sports manga that readers will devour. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.