18 July 2024
Animated young man kicks in Blue Lock the Movie: Episode Nagi 

Anime Review – Blue Lock the Movie: Episode Nagi (2024)

Recap films are widespread in Anime. From Code Geass to Haikyu to Attack on Titan these anime have all had some form of recap film over the years. I am not entirely against recap films. It can be a great way to hype the fanbase for an upcoming season of a show or to celebrate an anniversary. Blue Lock the Movie: Episode Nagi is unique when it comes to a recap film.

The film is based on the manga of the same name which tells the Blue Lock story from a fresh perspective. The film uses a variation of the Rashomon effect, so we see the first half of the anime from Seishiro Nagi and Reo Mikage’s points of view. We see how they join the Blue Lock facility and see how things play out for them. This perspective is its biggest strength and weakness. It is a strength as Nagi and Mikage are way more fleshed out as characters. When we first introduced to them in the anime you could view the scene to be comedic in tone. Simply put Nagi is lazy and Mikage make sure Nagi plays.

However, once we approach this scene in the film the scene is less comedic. We see the highs and lows that our characters have been through. It allows you to see the brotherly bond between the characters which is not present in the anime. The film allows for the side characters to be way more fleshed out and gives more depth to their dynamic in the anime. What allows for the dynamic to be so believable is the voice acting. Bryson Baugus as Nagi and Kamen Casey as Mikage do a fantastic job as our 2 leads in the English dub. Their performances are top-notch and bring their characters to life.

However, it is also its biggest weakness as you know where this narrative is heading and while we are seeing the events from their perspective it is not drastically different enough to be truly gripping. An example of this is the first challenge when they enter Blue Lock. They essentially play tag but with a football. If you have seen the anime, then the tension is non-existent in the film. We know the characters aren’t going to be eliminated. So, the film in a way kind of drags as the major story beats are identical to the anime.

Animation is reused which is not a shock as it is common with recap films, but I feel what annoyed me more was reusing the CGI animation which noticeably stands out. There are a few moments which feature new animation, and it is at times utterly gorgeous which makes the use of CGI even more annoying.

Blue Lock the Movie: Episode Nagi is a unique film. I feel if you haven’t seen Blue Lock since it aired or want to get a taste of what the franchise has to offer, I feel it is worth the watch. However, if you watched the show recently, I would say that it is kind of lacklustre and not worth it.

★★★

In Cinemas July 3rd / Bryson Baugus, Kamen Casey, Ricco Fajardo, Matthew Elkins, Drew Breedlove / Dir: Shunsuke Ishikawa / Crunchyroll / PG


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