In his recent interview with Gendai, Blue Lock author Muneyuki Kaneshiro talked in depth about the manga, and the lack of egoists in Japanese Football team in particular.
Kaneshiro has always wanted Japan to win the World Cup. He would sit glued to the TV, even as a kid, rooting for the national team. At that time he wished for the Japanese team to have a proper striker, and it is from this wish that the idea for Blue Lock was born.
However, as he started to think more about the story, he identified the root cause of the problem that the Japanese Football team faced, i.e. a lack of egoists.
“The Japanese have a tendency to cooperate and respect harmony, and I think the root of the problems the Japanese soccer world is facing is a lack of egoists because of this excessive cooperativeness,” Kaneshiro said in the interview.
He put all of these thoughts into the story of Blue Lock. However, before he started serializing the manga, Kaneshiro talked to a lot of people involved in the football field. And the feedback he got surprised him.
“I was scared that they would be very angry with me, but many of them said, ‘You are right!’, Kaneshiro said.
The more he talked to them, the more he realized that the direction he took was the right one.
Additionally, talking to these people made him realize that football as a sport is very systematic.
“Players have data, systems, discipline, and team rules in their heads, and they enforce them for 90 minutes. I used to watch a game and easily think, ‘Shoot there!’ But the more I learned, the more I thought, ‘Well, as a team, we don’t shoot so easily there, do we?’ But as for the forwards, I still want them to shoot! I wanted the forwards to hit it,” the author said.
This was one of the reasons why he chose to make Blue Lock manga with lot of egotistical, ad-libbed players. But, at the same time, Kaneshiro wanted everyone, those who don’t have any knowledge of football, to be able to enjoy the manga too. So he wrote the manga in a way that it didn’t go deep into the complex rules, terms and tactics of football.
“I still haven’t even given it a proper offside,” the author said.
Blue Lock is a Japanese manga series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. It has been serialized in Kodansha‘s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since August 2018. A spin-off manga focusing on Seishiro Nagi has also started serialization in the July issue of Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.
An anime adaptation by Eight Bit studio and directed by Tetsuaki Watanabe aired in October 2022.
Blue Lock had started trending after Japan’s historic win over four-time world champions Germany at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Fans were quick to jump to the bandwagon claiming that Blue Lock is real!