The Contrasting Worlds of Ao Ashi and Blue Lock
In the realm of soccer adaptations, the divergent paths taken by Ao Ashi and Blue Lock stand out. While both share the word “Blue” in their titles and revolve around the sport of soccer, their similarities end there. These two adaptations couldn’t be more different, each presenting its own unique take on the beloved sport.
Visual Dichotomy: Hand-Drawn vs. CGI
One notable distinction between Ao Ashi and Blue Lock lies in their visual styles. Ao Ashi predominantly utilizes hand-drawn animation, evoking a more traditional and classic feel. In contrast, Blue Lock incorporates CGI prominently during its action sequences, adding a modern touch. This divergence in visual presentation contributes to the distinct atmosphere conveyed by each series.
Seinen vs. Shounen: Realism vs. Absurdity
Ao Ashi targets a more mature audience with its seinen demographic, emphasizing gritty realism in its storytelling. The narrative seeks to capture the essence of the sport authentically. In contrast, Blue Lock caters to a shounen audience and takes on a trope-surfing approach, bordering on an “absurdist” interpretation of the sports genre. It embraces peculiarities and revels in pure, unadulterated absurdity.
The Divide in Audience Appeal
One critical factor in distinguishing these two series lies in their intended audience. While Ao Ashi appeals to fervent sports enthusiasts, Blue Lock takes a different route, seemingly targeted at those who may not typically find soccer compelling. It attempts to entice viewers who may find the sport mundane by providing a fresh take on the subject matter. Blue Lock caters to those who think soccer is boring and offers an alternative narrative to capture their interest.
Personally, as someone who falls into the category of passionate sports fans, I found Ao Ashi to be the better fit for my preferences. However, it is essential to approach Blue Lock with an open mind and embrace it for what it is – a departure from conventional soccer series. Rejecting it for its inherent silliness would deny its intended purpose and unique appeal.
Blue Lock reminds me of Dandadan in the realm of sports anime. Although I have no issue immersing myself in the absurdity of Dandadan, it proves easier due to my lack of attachment to the sport in question. Blue Lock, on the other hand, fully embraces its inherent silliness, with its exaggerated character designs, and mirrors the distinct visual style often associated with Studio Trigger’s works.
The Tale of Isagi Youichi: A Protagonist’s Journey
The central character in Blue Lock is Isagi Youichi, a second-year high school student. We meet him at a critical juncture, wherein his team is on the verge of elimination from the regional competition. Despite having an opportunity to take the decisive shot himself, Isagi chooses to pass to a teammate, resulting in a missed opportunity. This choice leaves him devastated. However, upon returning home, he receives a letter from the Japan Football Union, notifying him of his selection as a certified athlete. Intrigued, he visits the specified address and finds himself among 299 other high school strikers.
An Element of Reality: The Striker’s Dilemma
Blue Lock incorporates a captivating notion rooted in reality: the idea that strikers must possess a selfish and egoistic attitude to excel in their role. Though the series approaches this concept in an elementary manner, it serves as a gateway to a fantastical journey, departing from any semblance of realism. The character Jinpachi, portrayed by the talented Kamiya Hiroshi, proposes an unorthodox method to find the world’s greatest striker. According to his plan, the 300 participants must undergo an intensive survival game, culminating in a single victor proclaiming mastery.
Embracing the Absurd: The Survival Games Begin
The first elimination round introduces a peculiar adaptation of soccer tag. Players aim to avoid being tagged as “it” by their opponents, with expulsion awaiting the individuals still “it” when the clock runs out. Undeniably, this illustrates the level of absurdity Blue Lock embraces. However, there is a fascinating underlying theme. To succeed in these survival games and move forward, the participants must abandon their national identity and dissolve their consciousness of being Japanese players. This entails betraying even the top-ranked player, like Isagi, ranked 299th, who must eliminate the kindly-ranked first player to initiate his journey toward embracing his inner outsider.
In Search of the Source of Popularity
The intriguing question arises: to what extent does Blue Lock take its core premise seriously, and which side of the fence does the mangaka lean towards? While deep analysis may not be the primary focus, this narrative hook and the series’ widespread popularity compel exploration. Blue Lock’s distinctiveness and its ardent fanbase drive me to challenge my own biases and dive deeper into the series.
Ultimately, the popularity of Blue Lock underscores its unconventional nature and inherent appeal. It encourages us to revel in its peculiarities and embrace the unexpected. Though reaching a definitive conclusion may prove elusive, embarking on this captivating journey is undoubtedly worthwhile.
In the realm of soccer adaptations, both Ao Ashi and Blue Lock stand apart from the conventional narratives typically associated with the genre. While Ao Ashi adheres to tradition, encompassing the essence of the sport, Blue Lock ventures into uncharted territory, defying expectations and embracing absurdity. Each series lures viewers with its unique approach and aims to cater to distinct audiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does the visual style of Blue Lock differ from Ao Ashi?
The visual style of Blue Lock prominently features CGI during its action sequences, adding a modern touch to the series. In contrast, Ao Ashi primarily utilizes hand-drawn animation, evoking a more traditional and classic feel.
2. Is Blue Lock targeted at soccer enthusiasts?
No, Blue Lock takes a different route and aims to captivate viewers who may not typically find soccer compelling. It seeks to provide a fresh take on the sport, appealing to those who may consider it boring.
3. How does Blue Lock incorporate elements of reality?
Blue Lock introduces the concept that strikers must possess selfish and egoistic attitudes to excel in their role. While this notion is handled in a simplistic manner, it serves as an underlying premise within the fantastical narrative of the series.
4. What makes Blue Lock stand out from other sports anime?
Blue Lock stands out due to its departure from conventional sports narratives and its embrace of absurdity. Its distinctive visual style and exaggerated character designs distinguish it from other series in the genre.
5. Is it necessary to have a deep understanding and appreciation of soccer to enjoy Blue Lock?
No, Blue Lock caters to both soccer enthusiasts and those who may not have a deep understanding or appreciation for the sport. Its unique narrative and unconventional approach make it accessible to a wider audience.