Blue Lock - What We Know So Far

With a new year comes plenty of new anime, and 2022 has a lot to offer fans. Whether it's a new installment in a long-running series like "Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero," or an old, well-loved manga from the '90s finally getting the screen treatment, like with "Uzumaki," there will definitely be new shows to watch no matter your taste. Of course, there will also be new anime adaptations of recent hit mangas, with one exciting addition to the sports genre of anime called "Blue Lock."

First published in August 2018, "Blue Lock" is written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura, and the series is still ongoing today (Kodansha). The story is set in an alternate world in which the Japanese soccer team's low ranking at the 2018 FIFA World Cup leads to the creation of a huge program aimed at finding the best young striker in the country. The manga has been super popular, even winning the 2021 Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category (Anime News Network). 

For fans of the manga or anyone interested in the upcoming anime, here's everything we know so far about Season 1 of "Blue Lock."  

What is the release date for Blue Lock Season 1?

The "Blue Lock" anime has been steadily moving through the stages of production, and it's well on its way to release. Like many other anime, there isn't an exact release date yet, and there likely won't be for a while. With anime, the exact date usually isn't released until a few months before. 

In the case of "Blue Lock," the only information available about when fans can expect the show is 2022, so keep your fingers crossed that it's earlier in the year rather than later. The production company announced that it would be released next year when they shared the first teaser trailer for the show on the Bandai Namco YouTube channel

Other highly-anticipated anime coming next year include "Tiger & Bunny 2," returning to the screen eight years since the last anime in the franchise, and the "Laid-Back Camp" movie, which is a continuation of the popular relaxing anime series of the same name. 

What characters are in the Blue Lock anime?

While the story is about 300 talented young soccer players all aiming to take the top spot, there is a small group of characters who are the true focus of "Blue Lock." The main protagonist is a boy named Yoichi Isagi, who joins the competition with the same goal as everyone else, but he's a bit more unsure of his skill. As he learns and grows on the field, Isagi becomes more self-assured in himself as well. 

There's also Meguru Bachira, a friend to Isagi who is generally cheerful and energetic and loves having people to play soccer with, along with Rensuke Kunigami, a player who has a strong moral compass and serious attitude towards soccer and life, but sometimes his stubbornness gets the best of him. 

Filling out the main cast of characters in "Blue Lock" — though there will obviously be more important characters as well — is Hyoma Chigiri, a soccer player who suffered a terrible injury in the past, developing a fear of getting hurt that hinders his soccer performance. Thanks to Isagi's encouragement, Chigiri is able to overcome his issues and bring his all to the game.  

What is Blue Lock about?

In "Blue Lock," the Japanese Football Union, in reaction to the national team's poor standing at the 2018 World Cup, decides to build a facility called Blue Lock. The location will house 300 scouted high school soccer players hoping earn a spot on Japan's team for the 2022 World Cup. In particular, the program is looking for the best striker in the country, someone who is so intensely devoted to the game and scoring goals that they will get the job done no matter what. 

Isagi is one of the players invited to take part in Blue Lock. He is eager to prove himself as a capable player after he lost his high school team a chance at the national championship because he passed to his teammate rather than pushing forward to take the shot himself. But once he gets to the Blue Lock facility, Isagi realizes just how strong and serious the competition is. Still, that doesn't stop him from focusing on playing soccer and making friendships. 

The training program at Blue Lock is crazy and intense, led by the narcissistic, victory-focused coach Jinpachi Ego, and each boy there is fighting against 299 others for one spot as striker. And if they get kicked out? The players are not able to try for the national team again — ever.