Anime like Blue Lock is quite a few, not because it is a sports anime but because it is a sports anime with a psychological and thriller aspect to it. This is one of the reasons the anime had gotten popularity from the get-go, although Manga had the same response when it was first got released. And as episodes go on, you will see that the first few episodes are just icing on the cake.
And if you are someone who is coming to it after watching Ao Ashi, drop whatever expectations you have, as they are nothing alike. But for football anime fans, it is looking up to be a great year as they keep getting soccer anime one after another, as for those who have gotten into the sport after watching this show and want to watch something similar. You have come to the right place.
But if you like the anime that much, you might want to check out the Manga as well. It is one of the better sports manga in recent years that isn’t seen quite often. There will be a tiny bit of spoiler for the series that will be listed but nothing major or anything beyond the first two episodes.
Top 25 Anime Like Blue Lock That Are Must For The Fans
Furthermore, while most of the entries will be football based, not all will be. The show is multifaceted and ties in with the thriller and Psychological genres.
1) Ao Ashi
There is an ongoing debate between the fans on which series is better. Ao Ashi takes the traditional Shounen route that focuses on growth and teamwork and slowly moves towards darker tones with a mix of romance. Blue Lock, on the other hand, rejects teamwork and develops aggressively in character development. These two stories are fundamentally opposites of each other, and this difference in theme is what makes both of them unique. The other main difference is the protagonist. Aoi is an unskilled but talented footballer who is learning skills as he goes. Meanwhile, Yoichi is giving up all sense and learning to overcome his limits and reason.
In any other list, Haikyuu would have been the first mention, but due to competition between Ao Ashi and Blue Lock, Ao Ashi had to be mentioned first. That aside, Haikyuu stands on the top of the hill when it comes to sports anime. It is an anime that anyone can relate to, even young athletes. The show is grounded and has a realistic touch to the matches and character development. But the way it develops character is astonishing and groundbreaking. You will learn to love the team as the story progresses. That being said, the Fourth season is least liked due to the visuals.
3) Slam Dunk
Basket Ball was a game that wasn’t well-liked in Japan back in the 90s; this series made it popular among the whole youth. Though the series is less like Blue Lock, you cannot go wrong with watching the show. The character motivations are simple yet relatable, and the plot progression is just right as it neither goes fast nor slow. And character development is great and rivals many sports anime of all time. The series is getting a new movie this December, and the screenwriting is done by the author of the Manga. Is it starting to become of original Mangaka coming to work on their movies for decades-old series?
4) Kuroko No Basket
The best way to describe the series is Basket Ball with superpowers. This is a piece of common knowledge among the fans of the series, as there are some pretty wild things happening episode after episode. The show has a power scaling rather in the form of skills, which was a unique take on a sports manga. What made the series unique, though, is the focus on ex-team members who have joined different schools and are waiting to compete with each other. And among them is Kuroko, who disagrees with the way they play and wants to defeat them with his style of play.
5) Ace no Diamond
This show is less like Blue Lock and closer to Ao Ashi. But the way the story progresses is a good contrast to how Blue Lock works. It makes you appreciate the series in a way you never thought you would. This was one of the things that we discovered when we sat down to make a comparison between the different and learned how the same type of characters under different circumstances turn out completely different. Though Blue Lock is relatively the newest on the list and has a lot of potential going up. And it has some gut-wrenching moments like Blue Lock.
6) Captain Tsubasa
Captain Tsubasa will always be brought up, no matter which sports anime it is. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the country, more popular than Baseball even. And it has some aspects like Blue Lock that deal with individuality, but it does them like Kuroko no Basket (although Tsubasa came before). The show was the first introduction to many people into the world of anime in the earlier decades, and there are still a good number of fans to this day. Though it doesn’t have that harsh aspect of Blue Lock, the matches and tournament are one of a kind.
7) Clean Freak! Aoyama-Kun
Soccer is the only thing that makes the anime similar to Blue Lock; everything else is slack. There is something to be said about intense shows when they are done right, but when there are too many of them, a break is necessary. And Aoyama Kun is the best kind of anime to relax, along with some soccer fun. Aoyama is the best mid-fielder in his school, with no one to rival him, which has made people put him on a pedestal. This is a great misunderstanding; he is a good midfielder because he doesn’t want to get dirty. And despite that, he plays Soccer.
8) Shoot: Goal to The Future
We are getting a lot of old animes readapted for the modern audience. We recently had Urusei Yatsura adapted, and the show had a good reception in the first episode. And this entry on the list is no different as it adapts 90’s Manga for the modern audience. Even though there is an old anime version of this anime, you can watch both as the two have the same content with not much difference. However, you may miss out on the story if you just watch the modern as the full story has yet to be adapted, unlike the old version.
9) Yowamushi Pedal
The anime is a wild ride of fun and sports development. Cycling in manga/anime is not explored as much and has yet to be fully explored. But then you have this series that subverts your expectations at every step for what you know or understand about the sports Genre. This makes it very much like Blue Lock, as the two series always have something in store to get you off guard in the story and keep you interested no matter what your expectations you were. However, while Blue Lock took the thriller approach, Yowamushi Pedal did it with comedy.
Compared to everything else on the list, this one is pretty mild compared to everyone else, but it has great sports at play, like Blue Lock. Like Aoyama Kun, this anime is more on the relaxing side than on the training to become a better player and achieve your goals. It is there, but not in a new or revolutionary way, and it’s mediocre at best. But there is nothing wrong with that; this shows a good grasp of how things happen normally and shifts your perspective to look at things differently. This is one of the biggest reasons Blue Lock became famous and continues to do so.
11) Ping Pong the Animation
This series may not have football, but at heart, it is very much like Blue Lock. Why? The protagonists of both series are someone who suffers from an inferiority complex and suffers as a result. And the whole series can be attributed to developing them to unleash their full potential. Where it differs is in the number of characters and the scope of the story. Ping Pong is grounded and focuses on the psychological growth of one individual. Meanwhile, the main purpose of the characters in Blue Lock is to become the next world champions.
12) One Outs The Anime
If you like Blue Lock, you can not go wrong with One Outs anime. The anime was a revolution when it first came out. Adding thriller and psychological to a game of baseball made it one of the well-known series not only for Sports anime fans but thriller and psychological ones too. Although they have similar elements, the execution is completely different. Moreover, the setting and character intention are different as well, as we are introduced to a world of greed be the main drive rather than passion for the game. But you will soon see, at heart, it is very much about learning to love the game and those who come with it.
13) Hajime no Ippo
Hajime no Ippo is a classical story of the underdog rising to the top. The series is beloved by fans even to this day, and the Manga has yet to conclude. Ippo was a bullied kid without a father and a mother to take care of. He was saved by a professional boxer one day when he was getting bullied. The two went to his gym afterward, and there Ippo vented out his anger on a punching bag until he was exhausted. He soon learns he likes the feeling of boxing and convinces the boxer to coach him. It is his story to rise to the top.
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14) Inazuma Eleven
Not to be confused with Inazuma from Genshin Impact. The story is about a team of Japanese players who are tasked with the mission of saving the world from an invasion by beating them in a soccer game. Think Premise is weird? It is, but the story is well crafted and a good way to get many into the sport through anime or gaming. Unlike others entries on the list, this is a franchise that has more than one medium where you can find it. Although, if you like watching anime more than playing its game, you won’t go wrong with it. It holds up to today’s standard.
15) Be Blues
Not every story is a happy one, and some are cruel but realistic. This is one of the reasons people like Blue Lock, and for those reasons, you might also like No Blues! Despite sharing the blue in their name, the two series have a protagonist who is working on going to a higher stage in football. But where the two differs is in the story and characters. Ryu, the protagonist of Be Blues, is an aspiring football player who has the skills and talent to it to Japan’s nationals. But he is struck by an accident while saving his friend and has to go through rehabilitation for two years before he can start again.
16) Future Diary
This list is about animes like Blue Lock, and the good thing about the series is that it has multiple aspects. One of that aspects is fierce competition among friends as alliances and rivalries change; a similar happens in Mirai Nikki or Future Diary. We are also making this entry on the list because no one seems to talk about the show as much. Just a decade ago, it was one of the animes people would be crazy about and talk all over, along with other great titles. Give this one a shot, for it is a tale of survival with life on the line.
17) World Trigger
Sure, this series has not lived up to the hype and has somewhat fallen from grace. But if you are looking for a battle royale with supernatural and sci-fi in the mix, this show is one to go with. The Manga is still ongoing and not showing any signs of slowing down. While the long-running anime ended, it did get seasonal sequels, with the latest one being in the fall of 2021. World Trigger also includes character development on a deeper level, along with teams who are fighting to survive and move on to the next challenge.
18) Law of Ueki
This is one of the series that got lost in time and the one that every anime should watch once in their life. The story is simple and has to do with supernatural individuals going throw a tournament to become the next god. But the fight isn’t among gods but their candidates who will be given powers. The winning candidate’s god will become king god, and the candidate will be given the ability to have any talent. This puts many characters in a situation like Blue Lock, where the end goal is to win. However, Ueki is someone who wants to win so he can avoid catastrophe caused by such powers. We have a morally responsible protagonist for once.
19) Juuni Taisen: Zodiac War
The story is written by none other than the author of the Monogatari series. Discussing the order of the series is a different subject, but the author’s work has resonated with anime fandom and even gave rise to a subgenre. The one who gave us Bastards don’t dream of Bunny Girls. Now, forget all that when you come to watch this anime. This anime is like Game of Thrones but with zodiacs. The 12-episode show ( ironically) is a fight to the death to have the wish of the winner granted. Among the 12 animal-dressed people, who will win?
20) Darwin’s Game
An anime in which playing a mobile game taps the players into playing it until they win. One of the few animes that did game turned into battle royal justice. Realistically speaking, a crowd trapped in such a game will have similar personalities with not much variation in character. The show throws out assumptions and gives us unique characters, with each having the motive to stop playing the game. One of the great things about the battle royale type of anime is that nobody is innocent. Yuichi displayed his lack of morals in the first episode, and you will see a similar in this series.
21) Fate Zero
Another Battle Royal entry in the list where the characters take part in a competition to come out on top. However, there is a key difference in how anime plays out. People like Blue Lock because it is achieving dreams at the expense of others and the wait that comes with it. On the other hand, Fate Zero is famous because there is no ray of hope in the end.
22) Hunter x Hunter
Now, this is a bit of cheating, but hear us out. Hunter exams are about the toughest and most unpredictable there are. To survive, you have to be above average, and the final round is based on the whim of an old man. However, this is where the similarities but, but you would be wrong. Hunter x Hunter and Blue Lock have characters that go through aggressive changes, which make them a monster. However, Gon had an instantaneous change for which he paid with his life. Yuichi is becoming a monster slowly and internalizing his changes as he goes along the way.
22) Record of Ragnarok
One of the newer entries in the past year, the series deals with a fight to the death between mortals and immortals for the right to Earth. It’s the classic winner who takes it all, and the loser gets nothing. Though we only had one season so far, the show ended up with a cliffhanger, leaving with the possibility of season 2.
23) Deadman Wonderland
Reincarnation has gone completely wrong, and the innocent people caught up in it are stranded in a wonderland that forces them to perform tricks for the amusement of the masses. Like the last entry, the main focus is on the character’s journey to becoming a much more aggressive version of themselves. The anime is like Blue Lock in this aspect but don’t expect any sport in it.
24) P0arasyte the Maxim
Another story where the character is forced to change and leave behind their naïve selves to face the horrors of the world. But where the past two entries were the result of a revelation and their true inner selves, this one is body horror. Shinichi is your typical protagonist who goes from harmless to calculating edgelord in just a few episodes after his mother has been talked over by a Parasyte.
25) Tokyo Ghoul
Last entry on the list and the one where many would say Manga is superior. Despite that, you should still watch the first season of the anime as it has great moments and probably the best character transformation in all of the anime to this date.
But this is important; refer to the Manga after the first season. The events are completely different in Manga and done better. It is one of those series everyone wishes to get a better adaptation.