I think part of what makes Blue Lock so engaging is its many dynamic phenomena, such as the Wild Card. Like, it wouldn’t be a sports anime if it didn’t have some slight absurd, mostly convoluted dynamic that makes a sport go from the usual mundane to Dragon Ball levels of hype. That’s exactly what makes the genre special and stand out. Otherwise, you know, you’d just watch the sport itself. But Blue Lock takes that concept to a whole different level, as per usual.
The best way to explain what a Wild Card is is to term it similar to the Blue Lock Project created by Jinpachi Ego. It’s still very early to discern exactly what it will entail, but oddly enough there are a lot of shared similarities already. Just like Blue Lock, the Wild Card is a survival game created to single out the best player. However, in this case, it’s between those that didn’t fully make it into the original Blue Lock project at the time but still showed potential in a more unpredictable manner. But that is never the whole story of this series.
Welcome to Blue Lock, easily one of the most overcomplex sports manga we have seen in a long, long time. Like, there’s a reason why it’s such an outlier in its genre, with a heavy focus on the competition and individuality of the characters rather than the team build-up we had grown accustomed to seeing. Like, genuinely, one of the only comparable anime to Blue Lock that I can think of, would be Kuroko No Basket. But that uniqueness is also part of its appeal.
So, while there are a lot of theories floating around about what the Wild Card could truly be in Blue Lock, we don’t have enough to go about and give it a definitive answer. All we know is that it’s similar to the Blue Lock project but much more secretive. However, what is it exactly hiding, and what are Ego’s plans with it? Let’s break that down in another segment of Lore Analysis!
Wild Card: Blue Lock’s Secret Twin?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information Blue Lock tends to unload on its viewers, without any warning. One might even say that it’s downright wild, because of how complicated all of its various mechanisms can get. But I also understand that it is because of these difficult dynamics, that fans keep returning.
So, let’s discuss the Blue Lock Training Program first. The Blue Lock project was also coined by Jinpachi Ego, and it was made to create the World’s Best Striker. It was a Battle Royale style training regime, where the last one standing would be termed the champion. Think of it as a Survival-Of-The-Fittest Boot Camp, with the winner becoming a legend and leading a new wave of Japanese Football. Of course, that was the plan, with over 299 participants. However, we’ve entered the Neo-Egoist League and it feels like the whole ‘last man standing’ deal has been dropped for the time being.
Instead, those who didn’t make it into the top 10 of Blue Lock, were left with very few options. One of them was Rensuke Kunigami, who was ranked 50 amongst all the players in Blue Lock but left after Team Z’s defeat. However, when this happened, he was invited back into the mysterious Wild Card program, whose aim was to make a ‘Hero’. And one of Kunigami’s goals? It was to be a ‘Football Superhero’. So, when he is reintroduced by Ego to his past teammates, he has evolved.
The Wild Card is a separate project from the Blue Lock project where it aims to create a Hero that could be comparable to someone like Noel Noa, an Egoist with no holds barred.
What Jinpachi Ego Might Be Hiding:
But this raises two questions. One, what is a Wild Card in Blue Lock? And two, why do we need two separate programs for essentially the same result? Now, here’s what we believe: the Wild Card program isn’t just a sister project. But rather, it’s a contingency plan for Ego.
Now, why would Ego need a backup plan? Because he’s the kind of person that would go to any lengths to ensure his benefit. He wants to create the Striker that could rival the best of the best, but he wants the glory of shaping that person himself. In his eyes, the Ego principle is his winning formula. When you create a Striker that cares for nothing but scoring goals, no matter what their emotions are, you’ve got a literal Ace up your sleeve.
And we see this with Kunigami, who always used to be quiet and aloof. But ever since he set foot through the Wild Card door, he’s become much more introverted. Yet, he’s a beast on the field, with his despair fuelling him into the scoring as many goals as possible. He’s an echo chamber for what Ego thinks are the best qualities in a player.
One might even say he’s a mirror for Ego’s Ego. Which, well, feels a little more insidious. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past Jinpachi Ego to forward his plans, even if it’s in a roundabout way.