The BLUELOCK manga has officially sold over 20 million copies of its current volumes, making it one of the fastest growing mangas.
The ‘Hunger Games’ style soccer manga and anime has really set itself apart from the rest of the sports genre, and the manga sales have proven it. BLUELOCK has officially surpassed its 20 million print goal in physical and digital copies, as they have been tracking their progress on Twitter. The announcement was made on the morning of Thursday, February 9, 2023.
The Muneyuki Kaneshiro-written and Yusuke Nomura-illustrated manga series’ Twitter revealed earlier in the month on February 2 that 19 million copies printed (physically) and sold (digitally) had been sold. And a week before that on January 27, hit the 18 million mark. The sales have continually grown since the second half of the anime series kicked off. A lot of this made sense as the show began alongside the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 games, where Japan had a strong showing in the group stages.
The BLUELOCK manga began its series run in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine back in August 2018 and even won the 45th Kodansha Manga Award in the category of shonen in 2021. Now, there are 22 volumes published in Japan, and Kodansha Comics has already released 14 volumes in English. Crunchyroll has currently been streaming the anime adaptation and described it as such:
“After a disastrous defeat at the 2018 World Cup, Japan’s team struggles to regroup. But what’s missing? An absolute Ace Striker, who can guide them to the win. The Japan Football Union is hell-bent on creating a striker who hungers for goals and thirsts for victory, and who can be the decisive instrument in turning around a losing match…and to do so, they’ve gathered 300 of Japan’s best and brightest youth players. Who will emerge to lead the team…and will they be able to out-muscle and out-ego everyone who stands in their way?”
The show has been well-received for its dystopian style take on the sports genre where there really is not a ‘good character’ as the protagonist since the whole point of the Bluelock program is to grow the ego in the strikers. Also, the anime has 4.9 stars out of 5 on the Crunchyroll website. The show has been a genuine favourite of mine for its different approach to the sports anime genre, but still keeping the trope of having these high school soccer players with god-level skills—similar to Kuroko’s Basketball and Haikyu!!.