Blue Lock Episode 7 aired on Saturday proving that its core of overexaggerated moves in soccer that would look relatively normal in real life, or any other soccer anime for that matter, are what actually make it enjoyable to watch. Mix that in with a pinch of solid character development, a splash of wonderful artwork and animation, a killer soundtrack for that extra kick, and a prediction I made last week coming true as a lovely garnish, we got ourselves our first perfect episode of the series.
Chigiri’s Moment Outshines Everyone Else’s
I still refuse to believe that I witnessed a better hype moment in Blue Lock so far than when Chigiri finally overcame his fear of not being who he used to be anymore. And I think something that made me appreciate his epic turnaround, even more, is the subtle teases that led up to this moment. It wasn’t so much like Kunigami where we learned everything about him in one episode after having his big moment. Chigiri’s story was developed. It made us wonder what his ability truly was—even though the process of elimination really could’ve narrowed it down—and it made this big moment for everyone, including myself, that much more shocking.
But it wasn’t just Chigiri’s redemption that’s just awesome in of itself, it was also the use of visual storytelling surrounding it as well. Multiple times we see uses of Chigiri in the same position in both the past and present. And what I find interesting is that all of these main characters in the story have the same end goal of being the best striker in the world but have different paths to getting there. Isagi’s is honing his skill of situational awareness. Kunigami’s is keeping his resolve as strong as his muscles. And now, Chigiri’s is overcoming a personal fear in the face of adversity.
Chigiri is proving to be an all-around interesting character and even a favorite for some fans of the series. His ACL injury is one that many athletes can relate to along with the internal fear that comes with it. And his ability to blow past everyone on the field is a certain skill that can quite possibly shoot him to the top of Blue Lock if situations arise for that to happen. And I also love the allure that his leg could give out again at any moment but now he’s at the “I don’t care” point and it creates a new, exciting character we’ll love to see every week. And if something unfortunate were to happen, fans will have that little bit of attachment to Chigiri from now on that could give way to a heartbreaking moment that I hope never happens. But could there be a moment at some point where his career comes to end and he turns around to Isagi and says something like “It was fun while it lasted”? Absolutely.
I think my favorite thing about Chigiri’s moment is that it was so well-executed on all fronts. It was simply a wonderful piece of writing by Muneyuki Kaneshiro (the original creator of the series) and studio 8bit managed to amplify that all with wonderful visuals as they’ve been re-creating from the manga. Even in the comparison shots above, the past ones are just ever so slightly more desaturated than the ones in the present time. It’s little things like that that make a difference in visual storytelling, especially for a big moment that Chigiri had as a member of Blue Lock and as a character himself.
The Other Little Details
One moment I found interesting in this episode was the x-ray of Chigiri’s torn ACL (yes, I know completely random). While the x-ray in the episode isn’t super detailed, for anyone that knows what an ACL tear looks like, it’s basically what you see below. The ACL ligament runs parallel to what is called Blumensaat’s Line. And as you can tell from the x-ray, Chigiri’s ACL runs anything but parallel to Blumensaat’s line. So that’s a cool little touch from the episode I enjoyed even though all the doctor said in the episode was “He’s got an ACL tear” and nothing more. Did the episode really need to show us an x-ray after we saw Chigiri’s knee do the hokie-pokie? No, but it was still a nice touch.
What I also loved about Episode 7 of Blue Lock that made it a giant ball of epicness is that Kunigami and Isagi both had impactful goals in previous episodes with a loud boom added to their kicks followed by a specific animation. Meanwhile, Chigiri’s “boom” came from his acceleration with his legs rather than a kick. And this constant animation of some sort of wind tunnel stream that takes form in a different shape for each character really is an animation I’m growing to be a fan of in Blue Lock since each is unique to the characters as well. Also, I love how Isagi and Kunigami’s goals come from a boom-kick (yes, I made that up) while Chigiri just lightly graces the ball for his goal. The formers’ kicks felt like a cannonball hitting a gym matte while Chigiri’s had the feeling of a feather slowly falling on a still body of water.
Blue Lock Episode 7 Wrap-Up
Isagi, Kunigami, and Chigiri have now all had their big moments from this season of Blue Lock and that leaves one man left—Bachira. And unlike Isagi and Chigiri, we have absolutely no idea what will come of Bachira and his moment from what we’ve seen. But if the ending theme tells us anything, it’s that these four are the prime players for Team Z and now Bachira, just like in the ending, is the last one to be shown among the four. And while Chigiri undoubtedly had the biggest hype moment of the three so far this season, one has to wonder what is going to happen for Bachira to have his big moment.
I still wish I would’ve seen Endo confront Team Z at the end of their match in this episode and give his opinion on Kuon betraying them and how it was handled, especially after he was literally in Episode 6 wondering how Team Z would handle the entire situation. Having him briefly shown in Episode 6 watching this match closely made me feel like he was going to turn into Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3 at the end of this episode and say “Team Z…ready for another lesson.” But I digress. The episode was hype in every possible way and is the first time I believe Blue Lock touched perfection. Episode 7 is undoubtedly the most hype Blue Lock episode so far this season. Will it be hard to top? Sure. Will it be topped, though? Definitely possible. And meeting three members of Team V at the end set that up.
Episode 7: 10/10
Images via Crunchyroll
©Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura, Kodansha/”Blue Lock” Production Committee