With the roster of characters Blue Lock has, such as brothers Rin Itoshi and Sae Itoshi, is it any wonder why people keep trying to see if Yoichi Isagi is better than them? I mean, he is the protagonist of the series, and the other characters are all his rivals. So of course, comparisons are going to be made. Especially when you consider how far Isagi has come in the manga, it feels like he just might conquer everyone. But how close are we to seeing Isagi becoming the best athlete in the game?
Honestly, while we have seen him get one up on Rin, he still isn’t better than Sae Itoshi. At least, not yet. I mean, Sae Itoshi isn’t just his senior in the sport, but also happens to be one of the best players Japan has to offer. He’s a prodigy, and that’s hard to catch up to when you’re just starting. But it’s not like Isagi hasn’t shown a lot of promise lately, beating out other prodigies with his consistent growth. But is it enough?
I mean, that’s the name of the game, isn’t it? Blue Lock is one of those rare sports anime to actually be fully focused on the competition of the sport, rather than building any team friendships and whatnot. In Blue Lock, only your merit as a player matters. And if Isagi isn’t better than the person he is up against, then what’s the point? Of course, considering he’s the protagonist, we will get to see him at his best by the end of everything. Right now, he’s got his peers quaking in their boots, but maybe not his seniors.
But it is something to consider. After all, Rin Itoshi and Sae Itoshi are brothers, right? And Rin was inspired by Sae to start football. Safe to say their playing styles might share more than a little similarity. And if Isagi can grab a win against Rin, well, it’s not hard to see that he might just hold his own against Sae. But is Isagi better than Sae Itoshi? Let’s break that down in another segment of Character Versus!
Sae Itoshi: Better Than Anyone Around?
The one thing about Sae Itoshi that you should know is that he is not in the same league as the player in the Blue Lock Training Project. He doesn’t need the training, because he’s already a part of an exclusive foreign club, Spain FC. If anything, Sae looks down upon Japanese football, saying he rather play in Europe.
And of course, he would, the guy is insanely talented for his young age. But despite his assurance in his skills, leading him to be egotistical, he knows when to reign himself in and not be a loose cannon during matches. Perhaps his patience and high skills are the reason why people look at him as a natural leader, with his ability to command respect in any space. His blunt way of speaking or difficult attitude doesn’t translate into his ability as a player, where he is almost amiable to work and play alongside with.
Even though he originally started wanting to be the World’s Best Striker, he has since changed his goals to become the best Midfielder instead. Sae Itoshi is better described as a Playmaker aka the person that controls the offensive of their team. They take charge of the flow and how they pass the ball to ensure scored goals through their technique and foresight. His style of playing is very calculated, with every move having a purpose behind it. Each strategy he deploys is to make sure that the opposing team is defeated both swiftly and ‘beautifully’.
Of course, when we talk about his abilities, he has plenty. After all, Sae Itoshi is considered a genius in the Professional Football world, with him not going fully pro solely because he isn’t of age yet in Europe. But for the most part, he is already at the level of most pro seniors, while being the best player in Japan. His strongest attribute is his Perfect Kick Technique, where he can maneuver the ball into a goal from any and every angle, with exact precision. His strength and agility are so controlled, that the distance or complexity of the goal doesn’t matter.
We’ve discussed before how Dribbling in Blue Lock works. Where someone like Meguru Bachra has a more active dribbling style, Sae Itoshi is a passive dribbler. He spends his time observing his foes and their movements, before making a move to flow past them. And just in case someone catches on, his reflexes are sharp enough to counter any nasty surprise attack. This also comes in handy when he has to think on the fly to pass the ball to someone.
But maybe his most understated ability is his Metavision, which can be used to take stock of the entire field in a predictive manner. He collects the data on every member of the opposing team, using their playing methods to blindside them whenever possible
All in all, Sae Itoshi is the one to beat, so can Isagi do better?
Yoichi Isagi: Slow And Steady Wins The Race?
When we talk about Yoichi Isagi, it’s best to remember that he happens to be the protagonist of Blue Lock. If Sae Itoshi is coded as the antagonist, then Isagi is the underdog we’re supposed to be rooting for. And as such, we have been following his growth from the bumbling high schooler to the cool and confident top player that he is today.
And make no mistake, his growth has been tumultuous, but consistent. While he started as one of the weaker participants of the Blue Lock Project, constantly in conflict with their main ideology of being a selfish player, he developed his Ego to the point where he embodies it. Sure, he used to have a lot of self-doubts when it came to his abilities as an athlete, but he has grown substantially more assured now, gaining the respect of more experienced players in Blue Lock.
Though, it was Team Z’s win that really boosted Isagi’s Ego, considering how they were the lowest-ranked team in the training program. But it was one of many victories to come Isagi’s way, which shaped him from this overtly friendly persona into someone much more dominant and unafraid to get what he wants, no matter what the cost. Currently, he stands toe-to-toe with his biggest rival, Rin Itoshi.
So, with that being said, how do Isagi and his abilities fare against Sae Itoshi? Let’s discuss how his position is different from Sae’s first. Isagi is a Raumdeuter aka someone who can calculate the free space in a game and use it to their advantage by either distracting the opposing team or confusing them. This means the goal is theirs to score as they level out the playing field. But because they are so focused on countering and diverting their foe, they end up being limited in their dribbling skills. This means they aren’t as quick-paced when it comes to reflexes, but they make up for it by setting up the perfect goal each time.
The strongest asset in Isagi’s corner is his Spatial Awareness, which is the ability to completely analyze the playing field, down to opponents and their weapons. Isagi memorizes their methods and picks out any patterns they might be following, which helps him predict how the game itself will play out. Because of this, he can take advantage of any opening even before it happens, using the skill to get the maximum number of goals possible. Isagi’s Spatial Awareness is also touted as being the most advanced in Blue Lock.
Isagi also happens to be extremely adaptable, and easygoing with the flow even when a curveball happens. His Off-The-Ball skills and Goal Scent abilities are also very commendable, with him hounding goals like it’s second nature to him. Because he can discern his opponent’s moves, he can counter them easily thanks to heightened reflexes. And of course, he also happens to share the same Metavision ability as Sae Itoshi. We haven’t even mentioned his Flow State yet, which is a force to be reckoned with.
But the thing is, he is still learning. As many wins as he has achieved, he’s also had his fair share of losses. Sure, he’s now capable of standing next to the likes of Rin and holding his own, but he’s still got some way to go. However, he has become one of the top-ranked players in Blue Lock. So that is something to consider
Winner: Sae Itoshi Is Better Than Isagi (So Far!)
Look, this was a no-brainer. Yes, Isagi has truly come into his own as a promising football player. We have seen how tremendously he has improved during the Second Selection arc. And now, with the Neo-Egoist League, we can estimate how far he’s going to go. There is no question that he will become a sought-after champion in the future.
But currently, the point still stands. Sae Itoshi is simply better than Isagi in both skill and merit because he’s been doing this for far longer and has had way more experience. While Isagi is much more instinctive and offensive, he still doesn’t have the polish and patience that Sae Itoshi is known for. And remember, we haven’t technically even seen what Sae’s Flow State is, which means we haven’t seen him at his full potential. The ‘Total Immersion’ state, as they say.
So, until he learns to control his power with precision, this win is definitely going to Sae Itoshi!