Episode 16 of Blue Lock anime aired on Saturday giving us a great set-up episode for the next match in the second selection between Kunigami’s team with Chigiri and Reo versus Isagi’s team with Nagi and Baro… Or should I just say Baro’s team? This episode gave us some laughs, downtime with our very characters, and a little more 1 on 1 time with the king himself. But all of that building up to a match between close friends could prove to be the most exciting match of the series so far. And that’s what makes Blue Lock entertaining—each match always manages to be more exciting than the last.
Isagi the Student
I’ve recently criticized Isagi and the constant need to have inner monologues during critical moments during a match. And while I did recognize why it’s necessary, it’s a style I just can’t get on board with. However, what I’ve come to know about Isagi is that he’s the only one in all of Blue Lock who has an interest in getting to know everyone around, not just when he’s playing against them. We never really see other people getting to know one another unless Isagi is involved. And that could also be chalked to his awareness ability.
Isagi is the type of player who benefits from information, or in this case scouting. And while other players show their abilities through their personalities, Isagi’s is the most notable. And it’s something I’ve come to realize that gives these slower episodes that touch of character they would usually miss. Otherwise, it’d just be a bunch of muscular teenagers staring at each other, talking smack, and eating food while barefoot in the cafeteria. So even though Isagi doesn’t come close to being a favorite character of mine, this episode showed why he’s undoubtedly the main character of this story. Blue Lock still revolves around Isagi’s perspective and that’s how it should be.
Reo the Disturbed
I’ve never wanted a character to disappear from a series this bad since Sakura and Ino from the original Naruto series. I’d rather see Kuon come back in place of Reo because at least Kuon added a nice twist to the story. Reo is like the one ex who can’t let go and will ruin everything for everyone else just to “have that person (Nagi) back.” And frankly, I don’t think he adds anything special to the story in the first place. His background story cried “whoa is me” and his reasoning for acting the way he does is hollow. The “he wants to work for something instead of being handed it to him by his parents” argument went right out the window when he developed the “I deserve this other human being” attitude. He doesn’t want to work for what he wants. He just wants to be handed what he can’t have, which in this case is a literal human being.
Nagi, on the other hand, does bring forth an interesting character. But Reo’s constant possessiveness is making this “friendship” with Nagi annoying more than anything at this point. I rather see more of Baro in a maid outfit than I would any more of Reo doing anything at all. Even Kunigami, the least judgemental and selfish person in all of Blue Lock, reached a point in this episode where he stops and thinks Reo is absolutely nuts. And for the love of God, someone please wake Nagi up to this realization. We already had Ego go off on Kuon in the past, please let Nagi tell Reo off once and for all. I’m praying at this point we at least see Baro throw him up against the goalpost or elbow him in the throat just as Reo did to Raichi.
Baro the King
Baro was a favorite character of mine from the moment we met him and he just continues to prove why he’s a favorite—and the fact Junichi Suwabe is the perfect casting for him. Nobody knew anything about Baro until this latest episode other than the fact he was the most physically gifted of the bunch and was the most selfish of all of them. But as you start to peel back the layers, it’s more so Baro doesn’t like being thrown off of his routine which he thinks will earn him the top spot on Japan’s National Team. Can’t blame him for that, right?
Of course, he’s selfish. So selfish to the point Nagi is even amazed at how selfish he is. But even he’ll know at some point that he’ll need to work together with Nagi and Isagi if he wants to possibly move on to the next selection. His “my way or the highway” attitude won’t get him to where he wants to be. But the thing about Baro is that he’s a lot more intelligent than he lets on. And while the idea of him losing this next game on purpose to join Kunigami, Chigiri and Reo did cross my mind, he also probably knows he’s on the more talented team with Nagi and Isagi. So at some point, he has to work with Isagi and Nagi to win, especially now that Kunigami has figured out a way to stop him. And that’s where Baro is going to go above and beyond what he’s used to—running people over like a runaway freight train that’s trying to score a goal.
Blue Lock Episode 16 Wrap-Up
All in all, episode 16 of Blue Lock was as enjoyable to watch as the other slower parts of the series. And what amazes me is that what’s considered a slow episode for Blue Lock would be looked at as a faster-paced episode for plenty of other anime. Although, I’m not looking forward to more Isagi monologue in the middle of the game again. But I’ll always overlook it because Blue Lock just knows how to make hype moments hype and every match comes with its own set of shocking, and character-developing, moments.
Blue Lock episode 16 rating: 7.5/10
Blue Lock episode 17 will air on Saturday, February 4. If you enjoyed Blue Lock episode 16 then make sure to vote for it in our weekly poll!
Images via Crunchyroll
©Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura, Kodansha/”Blue Lock” Production Committee