‘BLUE LOCK THE MOVIE -EPISODE NAGI-‘ Review: Nagi Finally Takes the Spotlight


We’ll have to wait until this fall for the premiere of the second season of the ego-fueled, high-octane sports anime, BLUE LOCK. But in the meantime, fans can take a deep dive into one of the show’s titular characters with the upcoming film, BLUE LOCK THE MOVIE -EPISODE NAGI-.

As first introduced partway through the first season, Seishiro Nagi is a natural-born soccer prodigy who would far rather stay home playing video games. However, after the second-year high schooler’s classmate, Reo Mikage, discovers his hidden skills, he finds himself swept up in the world of the sport alongside his new friend — whether he likes it or not.

It’s important to note that the film, which is based on the manga spin-off series of the same name, functions as both a standalone but can also be seen as a recap of the first season from Nagi’s point of view. The timing of its release works well for the upcoming approach of season 2 by refreshing viewers on the overall plot of events at the BLUELOCK facility that have played out thus far — albeit from the perspective of a different, intriguing character.

While it may be a calculated move to walk back through the show’s events from the very beginning with a spin-off, Nagi is the ideal protagonist who makes this work because his personality and relationship with soccer are so different from that of Yoichi Isagi. Whereas Isagi started playing soccer as a toddler, spending his life driven by his desire to succeed, Nagi didn’t enter the sport until he was almost finished with high school — and only because Reo forcefully drug him into it. Tidbits of Nagi’s life prior to entering the BLUELOCK training program were initially shown in the show, and the film does an even deeper dive from his perspective, showcasing just how hard he dug his heels in time and time again.

Seeing the full depth of Nagi’s apathetic attitude through his eyes with his own internal monologue, which had him ready to walk away from BLUELOCK before the program even began, makes the gradual shift in his feelings on soccer feel that much more profound — particularly his subsequent fallout with Reo that was shown in the first season. Viewers are able to further appreciate Nagi’s newfound motivation to play and win. Given that Nagi starts off the program in an entirely different group than Isagi, it’s also fun to see how the various game stages played out elsewhere in the facility (and how Nagi and his fellow teammates approached those challenges and the variety of strong-willed egos that they encountered along the way).

Overall, the film is enjoyable (and gives Seishiro Nagi the spotlight he deserves), and the animation feels about on par with the first season, though the pacing does stumble into a bit of a rush near the end as the film’s runtime is at odds with finding a succinct way to reach the eventual timing of the post-credits scene.

BLUE LOCK THE MOVIE -EPISODE NAGI- will hit North American theaters on June 28.

Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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