The Blue Lock season finale aired on Saturday and ended on a perfect note. It wasn’t because of one single thing or another, though. It was because this season finale was a culmination of a lot of moving pieces that made it great. I wouldn’t so much say it was a perfect finale in the broader sense, but it definitely ended on the perfect note for Blue Lock — proving me wrong yet again after what I said last week.
The Blue Lock season finale was extremely fast-paced for the most part, as it should’ve been. After introducing a new match (World Five vs Isagi’s Team) just one week before the season finale, it left me wondering how they were going to end the season. But as it turns out, the match was over in a blink of an eye, giving way to everything that needed to come afterward.
Blue Lock has been an experiment based around these teenagers’ egos, and it was finally time for them to experience a humbling moment, even for Rin. But this took them down a notch just for Ego to build them back up at the end and it was wonderfully executed simply because it wasn’t planned to go that way for everyone in the series.
Not only did the match end quickly, but so did the introduction of a whopping 19 new characters we have never seen before. Can someone remind me of an anime season’s finale that introduced that many new characters at once? Because I can’t remember. Not only was the introduction of the new characters interesting — as for most of their designs — but a new villain, Shido Ryusei, at Blue Lock has risen, one that not only kicked Kunigami to the curb but also regarded him as a pathetic waste of field space. It’s not just Isagi and Chigiri that hate him, he also got on Bachira’s bad side which can only lead to some payback moments later down the line.
The match against the World Five felt like a teaser in a way. Something that made me think “we’re going to see these guys again way further down the road.” Adding that to the quick introduction of all of the new characters, especially the new villain at Blue Lock, it gave us everything we could want in a season finale. It made me feel like I should be excited for what’s to come and that’s crucial for a series finale of an anime that has plenty in store, like Blue Lock clearly does.
To add just that little bit of extra excitement, seeing Kunigami at the very end gives us yet another part to be excited about in the next season. The episode wouldn’t have shown Kunigami at the very end if he wasn’t coming back. Whether it’s by player vote or because of one of the 35 currently dealing with an injury, Kunigami is undoubtedly going to come back better than ever at some point and I cannot wait!
A Speech Unlike Any Other
But what takes the cake for me in this episode over all of the introductions is Ego’s speech to the remaining 35 players at Blue Lock. Up until now, Ego has been that strict teacher everyone hates at the beginning, but then they grow to understand why he’s that way and that it’s for their own benefit, not downfall. But this episode, seeing him turn into that pissed-off coach who thinks his team is counted out before they even step on the field made me more excited than anything else.
Not only was the speech brilliant, but the fact it was set up at the beginning of the episode and we didn’t see him again until the very end is my kind of style of writing with a series. I don’t need one scene to always lead to the next. If Ego’s meeting with the committee ended and went straight to his speech, it would’ve felt completely out of place and the timing would just be weird.
That attitude of “we aren’t going to lose to these money-hungry [explicative] and I’m going to make sure we build up a team that crushes the U-20 Japan team” gave me chills. That common sarcastic, smart-ass tone from Ego was nowhere to be found in his speech. There was nothing but anger and motivation to prove the entire country wrong. What I liked the most about it all is that he had faith in those at Blue Lock. It wasn’t a mind trick or lecture this time, it was him declaring he is with them and nobody else outside of Blue Lock. It was Ego finally showing his trust in his players and their abilities.
Blue Lock Season Finale Wrap Up
An underrated aspect of the season finale was its humor. Seeing Rin get frustrated at everyone, especially Bachira, trying to learn English was downright hilarious and was even funnier the second time around watching it. The timing of it couldn’t have been any better. It was right between the downfall of the match with the World Five and the motivational speech from Ego. Having humorous moments being a bridge between two serious ones is hard to pull off but this episode’s directing was fantastic.
All in all, it was a perfectly fitting season finale for Blue Lock. It wasn’t the best finale from the Winter 2023 season, but it was definitely up there. We were introduced to 19 new characters including a “villain”, Ego is pissed and determined to win against the U-20 Japan team, Rin will be facing his brother in the U-20 match, Kunigami is currently out of Blue Lock, and Bachira is still trying to learn how to pronounce the days of the week in English. Now bring on Blue Lock Season 2!
Season finale rating: 10/10
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Images via Crunchyroll
© Muneyuki Kaneshiro, Yusuke Nomura, Kodansha/”Blue Lock” Production Committee