Just when you thought Episode 23 of Blue Lock would give Isagi the big break he always wanted, Rin’s sudden victory places him in the awkward position of being the one member of the losing team to travel with the victors. Luckily, Isagi is in good company as the team he fought manages to get him invested in improving himself as he faces off against some of the world’s up-and-coming success stories.


It was pretty funny how all of that build-up towards both Bachira dribbling across the field and Isagi blocking his goal kick was completely thrown through a tail-spin as soon as Rin recovered the ball. Like it was an open-and-shut case the moment Rin’s feet touched the ball. Even after being swept up by Rin’s team, Isagi still won’t stop bombarding him with constant jabbering over what Rin must’ve done to win.

A majority of Isagi’s mindset in this episode is how devastated he was to lose, and how he refuses to accept that there isn’t a calculable reason why Rin’s team beat them in a narrow 5-4 victory. But Rin’s explanation was that he was lucky to grab it because he was the only player aside from Isagi who wasn’t stumped by Bachira’s charge forward.

Ego’s meeting explains this much given that “luck” in the Blue Lock world is tantamount to taking on high-risk/high-reward opportunities. That way, if you take a risk and it works, then you use your luck well. If your risk is unlucky, then you’ll have to reflect on why that particular risk didn’t work as well. Again, this is treated like life-or-death stuff, but it’s just a game. If you mess up, that’s an opportunity to work on improving your approach.

It’s no different from fighting game logic. Match-ups are great to learn, but it’s all split-section improv and luck that can cause some windows of opportunity to open up. Not taking chances or hedging your bets on a given movement is how you don’t learn. Each mistake is a learning lesson and every successful risk is a good way to play mind games with your opponent. Again, if you’re playing sports or video games, this is more valuable to keep in mind. You might not want to use Blue Lock as your Art of War if your risks involve real life-or-death situations.

Think of the infamous Wayne Gretzky or Michael Scott quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Rin hedging his bets on being the only dude on Isagi’s side of the field off of the assumption Isagi couldn’t recover the ball was the chance he took. It’s funny because this way of winning makes Rin the angriest because it’s not quantifiable.

Rather than having the ball the old-fashioned way, he had to use his own personal desire to win to take a risk and rely on his luck for an asspull victory that made him feel like he personally lost. It’s why Isagi and Rin are so similar in mindset and talents; they’re both incensed that they were stumped by the other, but Rin acts as the sore winner who is bitter to have been dunked on throughout the match, while Isagi is upset that he has a difficult time comprehending the same innate talent on the field that Rin has. Isagi can’t devour Rin’s talent if his only tool is using the same luck that he fails to understand to his advantage.


I am biased so this section is dedicated to Isagi’s dynamic with his new team players. Now that Isagi is a part of Rin’s team, it’s had me quickly realize that I actually like these players more than Isagi’s 2nd Selection team. While all of Isagi’s old teammates had their reservations about sharing the field with one another since they’re all geniuses by their own definition, Rin’s team (aside from Rin himself) checks their ego at the door and lets their talents speak on their behalf.

Arya’s height gives him an automatic advantage, but because he channels his ego towards vanity, he comes off as pretty well-adjusted and can see the beauty in his opponents. Even with how quickly he hit it off with Chigiri, he is still captivated by the stunts Isagi pulled and encourages all of his teammates to find the details about themselves that are as glamorous as he is.

Tokimitsu is surprisingly the coolest dude now that he’s not a rival to be beaten. Rather than seeing him channel his anxiety into the adrenaline he builds up on the field, he’s very kind and chill in normal settings. It was pretty wholesome to see how enthusiastic he was to have Isagi on his team since he was also in agreement with Bachira and Rin on wanting him aboard and playing with him.

The most heartwarming scenes of the episode were dedicated to Bachira’s excitement as he wound up being the one to snatch up Isagi. After this entire Bleach Rescue arc was dedicated to Isagi wanting to catch up with and take back Bachira, the irony wound up being pretty funny as Bachira shedding his monster made him not only catch up with Isagi and Rin but allowed him to enjoy his time with Isagi even more.

Bachira just really wants to play with his closest partner again after his mind fog finally cleared, and he can truly appreciate his time on the field with Isagi now that he doesn’t have to rely on his monster. Isagi mutually sharing this sentiment makes it all the more adorable to see how they hit it off now that they’re reunited on the field and back to practicing and playing with one another.

Much of the joy and excitement of making it to the next round is short-lived, though, with the Third Selection pitting Rin’s team against some of the world’s top players. It appears many of them are based on real players considering how many have been comparing Julian Loki with French soccer player Kylian Mbappé. Personally, I’m curious who Pablo Cavasoz’s inspiration is because his freckles and multicolor hair are adorable.

It’s funny how video games and anime wind up directing me toward researching sports on a more thorough basis. By the time I finish this manga, I might just use a soccer player as an avatar like the rest of the bros. Get ready for even worse anime takes once I switch my Gravatar to Zico.

Aside from the impressive English that the VA’s managed to pull off, there isn’t as much to recall about the final battle since Blue Lock has a bad habit of throwing the beginning of a match at the end of an episode. But it should be exciting to see how the final episode pulls off this last grand battle.

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