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Blue Lock refers to a manga and anime series written by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and illustrated by Yusuke Nomura. The story follows the efforts of the Japanese national team trying to hone their football skills after they finished 16th in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The manga was first released as part of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in August 2018, and the anime adaptation was released on October 9th.
On August 1st, 2018, the first chapter of the manga series began being serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine. Chapters have since been collected into individual tankōbon volumes, with twenty-one volumes having been released by October 2022.
On October 9th, 2022, the first episode of the anime adaption, produced by Eight Bit and directed by Tetsuaki Watanabe, was released on TV Asahi. On May 28th, 2022, YouTube channel Crunchyroll Collection posted a trailer for the anime, gathering over 430,000 likes in nearly six months (seen below). 
The story follows the Japanese national football team as they undergo training at the hands of Ego Jinpachi. His strategy is to use the "Blue Lock" training regime, which is designed to create the world's greatest egoist striker. The show also focuses on Yoichi Isagi, a high school soccer player trying to become the best player in the world.
As of August 2022, Blue Lock the manga has nearly 10 million copies in circulation. It was commended by Hajime Isayama, the writer of Attack on Titan, won the 45th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2021, and was nominated for a Harvey Award in the Best Manga category in 2022.
"Blue Lock Is Real" / Japanese Football Team Comparisons
Comparisons between Japan's team and the Blue Lock manga/anime grew popular on the internet during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Japanese team's jerseys were designed by Adidas in collaboration with illustrator Yusuke Nomura.  TikToker @tipedxts posted an edit featuring Blue Lock on November 23rd and gathered over 11 million plays and 1.3 million likes (seen below).
@tipedxts Blue Lock really worked!!! But seriously massive congratulations to Japan for beating Germany 2-1! #bluelock #bluelockanime #worldcup #footballtiktok #isagiyoichi ♬ original sound – TIPEDXTS
On December 1st, 2022, the Japanese football team won their group-stage match against Spain 2-1. The event gave rise to comparisons between Blue Lock and the Japanese football team, with people pointing out the similarities between the manga/anime and the match. On December 1st, Twitter user @Medianimes posted two videos comparing a goal in the real-life game to a scene from the manga, gathering over 22,000 likes in a day (seen below).
LE PROJET BLUE LOCK EST REEL ! pic.twitter.com/LFTGL5vlHe
— アラムドゥーリッラー 🇯🇵 👺 ✨️ | Anime & Manga (@Medianimes) December 1, 2022
Also on December 1st, Twitter user @UK_Connorr posted a comparison of Japan's goals against Spain, noting that they were nearly identical to events in the anime. The post gathered over 6,000 likes in a day (seen below).
Operation Blue Lock is REAL. BTW Japan vs Spain goals were nearly identical👀 pic.twitter.com/EMtMuOZqNC
— Connor (@UK_Connorr) December 1, 2022
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