Blue Lock emerged as an indisputable sports manga and anime this year. It peaked in terms of popularity and circulation, overtaking popular manga like One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen in terms of sales figures. Beyond the commercial success, the manga has appealed to fans by incorporating soccer into the battle shounen genre.
But what makes it interesting is the sheer number of exciting Blue Lock characters with their motivations and stories. From the fierce Barou to the goofy Igaguri, every character has a unique contribution to the story of Blue Lock.
One particular group of fans Blue Lock attracted is the football fanatics. The fans could recognize the technicalities behind the fancily named powers such as the Meta Vision and the inspiration behind different characters.
Blue Lock characters in real-life
While fans came close with the character inspirations, the creator of Blue Lock participated in the conversation by confirming the real-life players Blue Lock characters are based on. Let’s find out who they are.
Yoichi Isagi – Filippo Inzaghi
Isagi is based on Filippo Inzaghi. Inzaghi was known to be a professional with average skills but his ability to score goals was admired by the experts and even his fellow players. He always surprised his opponents by taking them off guard. He could play whenever it was needed.
Now if we look at Isagi, despite his inferior skills he always gave his opponents a hard time on the field, always surprising them with his puzzles. Many believed that Inzaghi had a phenomenal goal sense, he could see the gaps on the field and make goals out of nowhere. This is precisely what Isagi has been doing since day 1 to the current manga chapters.
Shoei Barou – Mario Balotelli
For the longest time, fans believed that Barou was based on Ronaldo. Rightfully so, given the similarities between Barou and Ronaldo’s personalities. They both are hard workers with a lot of discipline and similar playing styles. Albeit Barou isn’t based on Ronaldo but Balotelli.
First off we have the names Barou and Balotelli (the Japanese pronunciation of r makes their name sound similar). They have an identical attitude about owning the field and doing things their way. In the manga, Barou takes off his shirt and gets a yellow card. This screams Balotelli. In Blue Lock’s character book Egoist Bible, Balotelli is also Barou’s favorite character.
Bachira – Ronaldinho Gaúcho
Bachira’s dribbling skills give away his resemblance to Ronaldinho. Fans were able to see the resemblance early on. Some also believed that Bachira was based on Neymar to some extent. Both Ronaldinho and Bachira like to put their skills on display.
The extravagant goals and the incorporation of tricks are entertaining. It feels like they’re pouring their personalities into the game. Their moves have a playful tinge to them as well.
Hyoma Chigiri- Miyaichi Ryo
Miyaichi Ryo was speed himself, but he couldn’t fully utilize his potential because of the injury-prone nature of his career as a professional. He is tricky on the field as well. The older football fans have fond memories of Ryo Miyaichi’s initial plays at Arsenal.
In Blue Lock, Hyoma Chigiri is based on Ryo. Chigiri’s main weapon is his speed. He challenges his opponents on the field with his speed, as we have seen with Barou. Despite the injuries, Chigiri pushes through just like Ryo is doing at Yokohama F. Marinos it seems.
As the manga goes on and the characters grow, their initial impressions become more intense or start to wane. An example of this would be Isagi turning into Thomas Müller as opposed to his initial impression of Inzaghi. Blue Lock becomes a more valuable experience for the soccer/football geeks when they can see glimpses of their favorite professional players in the characters.