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Wimpy Sena Kobayakawa has been running away from bullies all his life. But when the football gear comes on, things change--Sena's speed and uncanny ability to elude big bullies just might give him what it takes to become a great high school football hero! Enjoy all the bone-crushing action and slapstick comedy that this heartwarming coming-of-age story has to offer.
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And I meant that! I used to think that Slamdunk was the best sports manga but this, THIS really knocks it down HARD! No, I am not bragging. I am dead serious. This manga is so good, that even you guys who are not American football lovers would enjoy it to the max!! Why is this so? First of all, I would say its because of Hiruma's very existence. He is the EPITOME of humour in this manga and keeps this story going. Other than that, the character developement in this manga is by far the best of the best. You don't just learn to love the characters but you tend to actually grow with them and understand how they feel most probably because the mangaka portrays their personalities so vividly and is reasonably logic to human behavior.
The main character is not the typical weakling-to-strong protagonist. He is actually quite firm at times but usually the 'cool' moment backfires with him denying himself...-,-" But throughout the story you'll see him change his goals and his ways to the point that you just can't wait to see what he's going to do next!
Just so you know, ALL the other characters in this story is just as fun and strong-willed as the main character. Everyone has their traits, their own weakness and their own goals. It is exceptionally fun to see all of them fight each other. The training, battles and obstacles is to me, the most well organized out of ANY other manga. This manga may be fictional but it just feels so damn realistic!
In terms of relationships, the friendship and trust is fulfilling. There are a few hints of romance but it was never finalized so let's just leave it at that! Last but not least, if you read this manga and not laugh, you're either not human or you don't understand English. Enough said.
My rating for this manga will never change even if someday I do find something better because this manga deserves it so much that I wish that the ratings were higher than a 10... I am proud to be one of those who have finished this manga because for those who haven't, you have no idea what you're missing!!
Oh yeah, wanna know how much I liked it? I did not stop reading it for 2-3 days straight. Trust me on this. Read it, laugh, and enjoy the awesomeness.
... Last updated on June 20th, 2012, 9:09am
Awesome from start to middle, becomes average near the end.
Now, I'm a big American Football fan. I know all the rules, and watch every game that I can. When I first found out that there was a manga about American Football, I was excited yet curious to whether or not the manga would actually do it justice. The answer to that is that it get the rules right most of the time, but whenever they mess up, it's always one of the rules that even a newcomer would pick up if they sat down and watched a game.
Now don't get me wrong, I liked this manga a lot. But there were certain parts of it that would make anyone who knows the rules scratch their head in confusion. Since I don't want to crowd up this comment with the examples and reasons why, I'll put two examples in spoiler tags that I can think of right now that made me confused as to why they didn't know it already.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
1) When Panther put the ball in his hand over the goal line when that huge dust cloud came up, the referee was about to signal a touchdown. But Panther pulled it back saying that Sena got him before he could cross the goal line and it was decided that it wasn't a touchdown. Even though Panther says he didn't cross the goal line, the referee can't take his word for granted because he couldn't see anything due to the dust cloud. The first thing the referee saw after the dust cloud dissipated was Panther having the ball cross the goal line, which should be counted as a touchdown no matter what Panther says.
2) During the Deimon/Bando game, Kotarou lands the kickoff just out of bounds right by Deimon's endzone and they have it to where the place where it landed out of bounds is where Deimon had to start. The ball is actually supposed to be placed at the 40 yard line because in went out of bounds during the kickoff.
Now as you can see, the title pretty much tells you what I thought of this manga. Personally, I think the manga started to go downhill a bit right when the Kanto Tournament arc started.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
During that arc, I noticed two things. One was that the four games Deimon played always took at least 20 or more chapters to finish. Now seeing how there were other matches before and after those four that were shorter, it seems that they were needlessly stretching out those matches (One of the best examples is the Ojo/Deimon match which went on for 29 chapters). The second thing is that even though the games were good enough to make you want to read them again, they were also anticlimactic. When Deimon beat Ojo, I noticed in that game and the Deimon/Shinryūji game that Deimon was trailing at halftime but then came back and won. When I noticed that, it became disappointing because when they trailed in the other two games with Hakushū and Teikoku, I already knew they were going to come back and win. Even with these two reasons, the games were still enjoyable to read, just not as enjoyable as they could have been.
So, when the Kanto arc ended, most of us thought it would be over...
...until the World Youth Cup arc rose its' ugly head. I can't speak for anyone else, but this was one of the worst arcs I've read in ANY manga. It was like more like a bad fanfic or some "What If?" story than actual canon. The stereotypes, the uselessness of every country except America and Japan, the constant hyping up of America being the team no one can beat (Making it more than obvious that Japan was going to give them a tough challenge), and even the end result were all horrible. I agree with most people that say it should have ended with Deimon winning the Christmas Bowl.
In conclusion, this is a manga that's entertaining and funny from beginning to end (The only manga I've read that's funnier is One Piece), but it suffers from the constant misuse of basic American Football rules and poor writing from the Kanto arc onwards.
... Last updated on August 1st, 2009, 9:36pm
Sports manga with a very well-written cast.
There is one thing that ES21 does better than all other sports manga I've read: characters.
To date, I have yet to find another sports manga that did character development as well as Eyeshield 21. ES21 took the characters and gave them growth - not through tacking on more ridiculous skill sets, but through actual growth in their personalities. You see Sena growing from that wimpy little guy in the beginning to the little guy who somehow ends up standing against giants without backing down (too much), and the growth happens in a believable manner.
Aside from the awesome main cast, the manga had another thing going for it: it's very well-written. No, I'm not talking about the rules to the game - I have essentially zero knowledge of how american football is played. I'm talking about story and execution - the pacing, the timing, the buildup... it's great. It's very well put together and planned out - plot points get pushed forward and wrapped up at just the right times, which makes it a quite enjoyable read.
I won't say there are no flaws with this though - the last arc, in particular, really just reads like the team got forced to write an extra ending arc to the series and wanted to end it as soon as possible - it was rushed and didn't feel like it was sketched out very well. But nevertheless, that doesn't negate that the main tournament (or plot, if you will) was really good. And to be honest, this particular arc wasn't actually horrible - on any other manga I would've accepted it without thinking about it too much, but it just wasn't to ES21's standards.
ES21 is really a rare breed as far as sports manga goes - it manages to fit good writing, characters, actually funny moments and pretty awesome art into a really ridiculous, done-to-death genre. I very rarely give out such overwhelmingly positive reviews, but this is definitely worthy.
... Last updated on June 30th, 2011, 2:50am
I don't know if it's realistic in its depiction of AF, I don't care - though I'm definately more interested in watching real football since having read ES21.
But a standard sports manga? I've only read Captain Tsubasa and a few Adachi's, but this was far from. It focused a lot more on the characters than the former, and a lot more on exciting battles [matches] than the latter, which made for an extremely entertaining read.
The stuff I enjoyed the most is the standard-shounen "Will trumphs all" that the japanese are so fond of (and are actually one of the few personality-traits of that country I thoroughly like). Thing is, its execution was extremely well-written. Hopes, ambitions, dreams, the desire to stand at the top - things that any self-respecting male has. The Devil Bats had them, but they were not alone. The opposing teams had them too, and whichever team's dreams were crushed, I felt it, both in the emotional script and the vibrant drawings. I usually prefer if a manga's author and artist are the same, but these were on the same page throughout.
Proper Bromance. Hopes, ambitions, dreams and desire to stand at the top are always more entertaining and Beautiful than "S/he loves me, s/he loves me not."
As a side-note, ES21 contained some of the more entertaining, albeit clichéd, characters I've seen. Again, it's not about originality, it's about EXECUTION.
I hate when people give out tens to everything. But for me, this was perfect. Maybe I will change my mind after reading more sports - I know more experience led me to conclude that Devil & Devil was not quite as good as I had remembered- but for now, for me, this is the ultimate sports-manga. One I enjoyed non-stop from beginning to end in more ways than two.
P.s. It was really fucking funny.
... Last updated on November 5th, 2010, 12:59am
Team play, heroic play, strategy play, climax after climax, nice drawing style, postive & clean. Nice shounen sports manga, filed under the "Giant Killing" subcategory. The balance between tension & fun is good.
... Last updated on November 6th, 2010, 5:41am
Don't pass it up.
Eyeshield 21 is one of the best shonen manga running. It's funny in a fresh way. I love when serious moments are downplayed with completely offbeat comedic timing. And you gotta love Hiruma, the team quarterback. He first comes off as violent, blackmailing, gun-happy and, well, just batshit insane. And while some things never change, you soon perceive other surprising aspects to his character: he's brilliant, dedicated, a great strategist and an amazing leader.
Looking for romance in ES21? What you will find is a fascinating relationship between Hiruma and Mamori (team manager): threats with brooms and guns, a secret hand language, support with a side of teasing, and mutual understanding. It's fun and crazy and unexpectedly sweet. Also, Sena (running back) and Suzuna (head cheerleader) have a great friendship with hints of something more.
There's something to love about every team member of the DevilBats, as well as the members of other teams. Note, there is no "bad" or "villainous" character in ES21. Rather, you'll find (mostly) multifaceted rivals who you don't want to see lose either. Speaking of losing, someone below me mentioned how he/she thought it was boring how the DevilBats win every game. If I'm not mistaken, they lost a couple and tied once...Each match is really unique (play-wise) and I always anticipate Hiruma's secret moves and the growth of individual DevilBat players.
Other things you'll love about this manga: beautifully detailed art, the themes of teams (complete with cosplaying cheerleaders), football made simple though not unrealistic, Hiruma's crazy stunts (for example: confiscating everyone's passports and practically kidnapping the team) and blackmails, hilarious omakes/"investigations," gambling in Las Vegas, underage drinking (lol!) and much more.
... Last updated on September 28th, 2008, 2:55am
I have enjoyed this manga to the fullest (not to mention the occasional doujinshi possible moments that are made). It is both inspiring and educational. Whenever I read it, I have the tendency to find my own football and throw it around...sadly I don't own such a ball and they are really expensive (at least for me at the moment).
I recommend this to anyone interested in sports or need something to get their blood going.
Great Sports Manga
About these supposed "magical moves". They're not magical at all, the mangaka exaggerated the art in the movements to create more appeal and give readers who aren't familiar with the sport a clear glimpse of some moves difficulty, because quite frankly in real life it would appear much easier. Basically... Devil Bat Dive = A dive Devil Backfire = A overhead catch Devil Shotgun = A arm block I won't go and explain the rest just because some of you are too dumb to realize the artist was dictating the difficulty of these moves through his art. I see nothing magical here. Not to mention this is a manga, like most forms of media things are exaggerated.
Anyway, the manga is great, even if you're not a fan of the sport(s) its easy to get into. The mangaka did a pretty good job considering American Football is only really common in America.
*Sidenote: Prince of Tennis started off with really fantasy moves very early, as with E21 which is pretty far along now as yet to create a single one. Everything introduced is something normal prettied-up. I don't doubt they'll introduce another special move, but I doubt it'll be anything out outrageous like a super 900 twirl devil catch (or PoTs boom-a-rang snake). Prince of Tennis wasn't bad though it had a fantasy element to it, if you want real tennis... watch real tennis...
... Last updated on July 9th, 2007, 10:29am
Very good sports manga. Solid plotline but above all amazing set of characters. Definitely one of my favorites now. Only thing I'd have liked was for the mangaka to describe Hiruma's background more. Oh and contrary to what everyone else said I actually enjoyed the last arc but the final chapter did feel a little...flat.
... Last updated on August 28th, 2013, 9:14am
Much has been said about the greatness of this manga, and I don't disagree. The action is awesome, Hiruma Youichi is a spectacular character, etc. pp. I'm just sad about the bad aftertaste the last 3 volumes (the "World" arc) left in my mouth. They were just not up to par. Before that arc, the manga should have ended; instead, it ended up with 3 more volumes that featured far too many characters to go as in-depth with each one as it had before. It's much better when a manga has a slow start and then rapidly becomes better... So, essentially a perfect manga for the first 34 volumes, but so (comparatively!) disappointing in the last 3 volumes that I'm not sure I recommend actually reading them (despite a few good moments).