To answer the titular question: no, the Blue Lock manga is not yet finished. With the current success of Blue Lock, both in terms of anime and manga, it is safe to say that the story is far from over.
Sales of the Blue Lock manga has frequently topped the charts, with 16 million copies sold as of the end of last year. Having been serialised since August 2018, Muneyiko Kaneshiro’s magnum opus has been in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Jump for nearly four years, but Isagi Yoichi’s dream is far from being realized.
Blue Lock follows the story of Isagi Yoichi in his journey to channelize his inner egoist and become the best striker in the world. He enrolls in a unique training camp, makes friends and rivals (more rivals than friends), and attempts to bounce off each other in order to reach the same goal. Along his journey he is joined by other prominent characters with their own dreams, backstories, and reasons of motivation as they fight to the top.
Where is Blue Lock manga currently?
The uniqueness of each character (who feels like a protagonist in their own right) has ensured an enduring popularity of Blue Lock among both manga readers and anime viewers. Several manga series get cancelled mid-way, with Shonen Jump’s competitive landscape. However, that is unlikely here. If the story continues to ride the rising hype-train, it is not only going to reach the end of its narrative but will continue getting more anime adaptations and anime and manga spin-offs.
Currently, the Blue Lock manga is in its Neo-Egoist Arc, where Isagi Yoichi is fighting against both his teammates in Bastard Munchen, as well as the Ubers, for his chance to shine on the world stage. Jinpachi Ego declared at the opening of the Neo Egoist League Arc that the U-20 World Cup will begin in 100 days. During that period, the applicants, along with the previous, defeated U-20 Japanese members, will form the second portion of Blue Lock.
The second phase will include 45 players and one wild card player, who will practice alongside the U-20 players of the finest teams in the world, including England’s Manshine City (based on Manchester City), Germany’s Bastard Muchen (based on Bayern Munich), Italy’s Ubers (based on Juventus), France’s Paris X Gen (based on Paris Saint Germain), and Spain’s FC Barcha (based on FC Barcelona). The finest strikers from each club are accompanying them.
As the candidates prepare and compete in the Neo-Egoist League, facing off against other candidates both local and global, the greatest players will be chosen for the U-20 World Cup. Having said that, the manga is still in the third match of the Neo Egoist League. Following the conclusion of the arc, we will witness Japan enter the World Cup. This means the story has quite a while to go, and ideally shall continue for the next five years or so.
What are the arcs in Blue Lock manga?
The most recently released chapter in Blue Lock was chapter 231. According to the premise, Isagi Yoichi is initially an underdog who fails to make it to the nationals because of a mistake by his teammate. The story begins in 2018 when Japan was eliminated from the World Cup after finishing in 16th place. As a result, the Japanese Soccer Union hires a strange and bright man named Ego Jinpachi to enhance their national football team.
Ego devises a training camp resembling a prison where bright young men can work together in order to become the world’s best striker. In a battle royale style, a portion of these young men are ejected if they do not finish each level of the programme, with the final person declared the winner as well as the best striker Japan has ever seen. Those who fail will never be able to represent their country. The anime ended after the World’s Best Arc.
Here are all the Blue Lock manga arcs:
- Introduction arc (chapters 1-4): During the Introduction Arc, 300 senior class strikers arrived at the Blue Lock Project to hear Ego Jinpachi discuss his plans to alter Japanese football. During this arc, Isagi displayed his first indications of ego, after which he established a friendship with Meguru Bachira, his future rival and ally. Meanwhile, his actions kicked out the seemingly hinted-at main character Kiras Ryosuke.
- First Selection arc (chapters 5-38): This arc gave the candidates the opportunity to strategize to rank better in the project. The remaining 275 individuals were sorted into 25 teams representing five industries. These teams were to compete in a five-team stage-robin event, with the top two groups and scores qualifying for the next round.
- Second Selection arc (chapters 39-86): Because the concept of snatching comrades from the teams you defeat is highly dramatic, fans of the franchise frequently place the Second Selection Arc on a pedestal. Friends can quickly become possible rivals as a defeat can completely destabilise your team’s balance. This is the first arc in which fans saw Isagi demonstrate his true egoism, all while creating a rivalry with Rin Itoshi and leveraging his previous enemies Nagi and Barou to grow even further.
- World’s Best arc (chapters 87-92): Whatever happened in the match among the Blue Lock teams and the World’s Best team, each of the seven teams were destined to advance to the next round. Despite being viewed as non-essential to the overall plot, the arc featured the French prodigy Julian Loki, who was indicated to be roughly the same age as the Blue Lock members. The only effect of the arc was that the genius Rin Itoshi and the demon Ryusei Shidou were ranked first and second, respectively, due to their ambitions and scored goals against the World’s Best.
- Third Selection arc (chapters 93-108): After announcing the game between the Blue Lock XI and the Japanese U-20, Ego Jinpachi was faced with the difficult challenge of selecting a starting lineup among the 35 eligible strikers. So he organised a tournament to determine whether players were suitable with the project’s top six players, namely Rin, Shidou, Karasu, Otoya, Yukimiya, and Nagi.
- U-20 arc (chapters 109-151): Blue Lock XI faced Japan U-20 in a National Representation match at the U-20 Arc. The match was too significant since the winner would be granted secure control of the Japanese National team, providing a strong opportunity for the project’s nominees to participate in the same.
- Neo Egoist League arc (chapters 152-155): With each player moving to a new location and meeting a new mentor, fresh rivalries and confrontations have actively kept the arc moving forward. The Neo Egoist League Arc is presently ongoing in the manga, with all project candidates and Japan U-20 team players being permitted to join one among the five U-20 teams from the world’s top five leagues. The best players from this group will be chosen for Japan’s U-20 World Cup squad.
What happened in Blue Lock chapter 232?
Blue Lock chapter 232, High Evolution! began with World XI striker Michael Kaiser and his supporting player Ness continuing their fight for Bastard Munchen. Barou and the Ubers players closed in on them immediately after they launched their attack. When Ness noticed this, he used his dribbling talents to go past them. He then transferred the ball towards Michael Kaiser, who immediately went insane in chase of a goal. He dribbled the football through the centre of the field, ignoring every other teammate.
Kaiser shot the ball using Kaiser Impact when he saw an opening. The New Gen XI defender of Ubers, Don Lorenzo, however, blocked the shot, which bounced to Isagi’s position. Oliver Aiku knocked the ball away just as he was about to take control. The ball was subsequently passed to Hiori Yo, who was under pressure from another Ubers player. When Hiori was about to launch his attack, Barou appeared and pressed him. Ikki Niko, unbeknownst to him, pressed on him likewise and stole the ball.
Isagi was taken aback by the match’s developments, as Barou and Ubers had found the right balance. Despite the fact the Ubers had some brilliant minds, all they needed to do was pass the soccer ball to Barou, who would strain himself to the limit to score the goal.
Hiori Yo was taken aback by the match’s ferocity as Barou kicked the ball towards Bastard Munchen’s half. He was astounded by the level on which the other players had been playing up to this point. He couldn’t believe Isagi, Kaiser, as well as Barou had scored in such circumstances. As a result, Hiori became enthused as he started following the ball.
What to expect from Blue Lock chapter 233
With him and Isagi tracking around for the ball, Bastard Munchen has a strong opportunity of regaining possession and launching a counterattack. However, Isagi and Hiori will not be able to do anything on their own, and Raichi Jingo will have to step up to fulfil his defensive tasks. Given how long Yukimiya and Kunigami have been promoted, one may anticipate them to be factors in the equation as well. Unfortunately, the Kurona appears to be out of the picture for the time being.
One thing is certain: With familiar faces both old and new vying for the shot, it is undeniable that history will be made on the field. Our favourite characters will continue to soar even higher, because, to borrow egoist Isagi’s words, they are still in “mid-development”.