Blue Lock episode 22 gave us all great moments and questionable ones as well. While the episode did its classic Blue Lock job of keeping us on the edge of our seats the entire time, the twist at the end felt bittersweet and some moments during the episode felt like they weren’t needed whatsoever.
The Questionable Moments
Let’s start off with the fact that this was supposed to be Bachira’s big character-defining moment only to have half of the episode focusing on Isagi and his obsession with defeating Rin. Sure, it had some quick moments with Bachira here and there in the first half, but it still never once felt like a build-up to “Bachira’s big moment” like I expected it to be after the past few episodes. And what occurs during the build-up in this episode is what felt kind of out of place.
That first thing would be Nagi talking down to Bachira mid-game and treating him like a lesser. Not only was the timing completely odd, it just felt like it was adding insult to injury simply to add insult to injury. It was completely out of character for Nagi and unnecessary. Bachira’s self-doubt and inner fear were already established at that point. So there was no need for an extra push. The second is the incredible superhero spin that Bachira hit to get Nagi off of his shoulder towards the end of the episode. I understand that Blue Lock is over-the-top in terms of the beast moments for each character in the series. But having Bachira doing a superhero spin in mid-air before trying to score a goal almost killed his entire beast moment for me.
Then at the very end with Isagi stopping Bachira’s goal just felt bittersweet. It wasn’t a moment like in previous episodes that end on a moment of that caliber that left me jumping up and down in excitement. Rather, I sat there and just said “Really?” It felt like all of Bachira’s backstory and build-up to this point was for nothing. While some could make the argument “but that’s what Blue Lock is about”, my argument is about consistency.
When Isagi was down, he had nobody to stop his big moment and the same goes for others such as Baro, Chigiri, Nagi, and Kunigami. But when Bachira is about to have his big moment, Isagi comes out of nowhere to stop him? I’d understand if it was a lesser character, but being a major player from the very beginning, stopping Bachira’s beast moment just felt bittersweet. Watching Bachira nutmeg everyone to putting on moves nobody else has done in this series was hype as it gets. His inner monologue was fantastically savage and became a huge, sudden moment of growth right in the mix of a heated match. Then in comes Isagi and of course he “knew” Bachira would keep the ball for himself.
The Great Moments
Continuing with Bachira, I’d say the moment when Bachira gets the ball in the final moments of the episode and having his mom literally narrate everything happening was a wonderful touch. It added that extra “something” to the moment we didn’t receive with anyone else and it was unique to Bachira’s character. The flashbacks and seeing his “monster” completely fade away as he finds his own soccer independence was done perfectly. No other character in this series could’ve had a moment better suited for them than Bachira did in this episode.
While it’s not so much a moment but rather a production choice, I love how the theme with Bachira chasing Isagi is consistent and Isagi’s number is 15 while Bachira’s is 16. It seems to me like a little detail that was well thought out when regarding Bachira’s character and the current dilemma he’s in and being one step behind Isagi but also taking the focus on himself and “making his own number great”. The visuals for these moments were well executed with repeated camera angles that end up showing two different perspectives of the same match.
Blue Lock Episode 22 Wrap-Up
All in all, this episode had the potential to be the best of the season so far but fell short of the expectations I had for it. Maybe things will shake up this week but episode 22 of Blue Lock was definitely a ball-buster for me in more ways than one. It had its highlights as does every Blue Lock episode and credit deserves to be given where it’s due. But if I came away with anything from this episode is that it was such a waste for who could be argued as Blue Lock‘s best character. I hope episode 23 flips the switch on this because Bachira deserves better.
Episode 22 rating: 7/10
Blue Lock episode 23 will air on Saturday, March 18. If you enjoyed Blue Lock episode 22 and then make sure to vote for it in our weekly poll!
© Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura, Kodansha/”Blue Lock” Production Committee