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Review: Eyeshield 21 (Volume 7) My Reviews 30 JUN 2011

We continue the story of one wimpy Sena Kobayakawa who has assumed the on-field identity of one “Eyeshield 21” as he comes of age by trying his hand at American Football, thanks to his gift of super fast legs, honed by all the years of running away from bullies and being a gopher in order to avoid getting beaten up.

Volume 7 takes a bit of a back seat from the on field action of an American Football game and instead starts to lay the groundwork for what is sure to be an action-packed volume 8 in the series by focusing on the introduction of the American NASA Aliens football team, covering their rascist coach, Hiruma’s underhanded tricks in getting them on Japanese soil, and their most under-utilized player with the most amazing of abilities, Panther.

Outside of the Americans, time is handed off to the Hah trio of delinquents as the leader Jumonji begins to have more background and motivations pencilled in, and even more time is allocated to Sena and Monta’s mission of identifying and locating the mysterious Musashi, the legendary kicker that the Devil Bats so desperately need back on the team. (Hint, you’d never believe who it actually is, but will most definitely enjoy the soccer-related hijinks in finding that out!)

Writer Riichiro Inagaki is in fine form as he weaves more depth into his Eyeshield 21 universe, and as per usual he has plenty more gags and surprises for us to enjoy. On top of that, he manages to insert the necessary drama and characterization to keep us interested and in the end we have a fairly enjoyable if a little laid back entry into the series thus far.

Artist Yusuke Murata is also once again in fine form, delivering beautifully detailed backgrounds to act as the perfect backdrops for his wonderfully animated and exaggerated caricatures that are always such a pleasure to take in. Again he captures Inagaki’s over the top silliness in a spectacularly humorous way, making for yet again, another fun visual journey.

In summary this is by far one of the more sedate entries in the entertaining coming of age, schoolboy American Football series, but still has the requisite number of laughs that makes it such an enjoyable series to pick up and read for all those young of heart. It entertains, deepens the Eyeshield 21 universe and far more importantly, builds up a strong case for what is sure to be a very action-packed next volume!

Related Link: Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyeshield_21

Review: Eyeshield 21 (Volume 8) Manga | My Reviews 23 JUN 2011

We continue the story of one wimpy Sena Kobayakawa who has assumed the on-field identity of one “Eyeshield 21” as he comes of age by trying his hand at American Football, thanks to his gift of super fast legs, honed by all the years of running away from bullies and being a gopher in order to avoid getting beaten up.

Volume 8 is devoted in its entirety to the big game with rather big consequences that was being built up to in the previous volumes, that of the Deimon Devil Bats versus the visiting American school, the NASA Aliens. Instantly the boys are up against the wall thanks to the Alien’s quarterback, Homer’s immensely strong “shuttle” passes, and instead of an even race, it quickly becomes an immense uphill battle to contain the fiercely strong and muscular Americans who completely overpower and dominate the Devil Bats in each and every way.

And then of course there is the added threat of the Aliens’ best player by far, the under-utilized Panther with his zero gravity running ability, who has the potential to single-handedly run the entire Devil Bats team ragged! (Thankfully though, the rascist of a coach Apollo doesn’t like the idea of sending in a black kid to play).

Hiruma will have to dig deep within his tactical prowess in order to come up with something that can bring the Bats back into the game. And he had better do it fast because the scoreboard is already racing away from them!

Admittedly by volume 8 of the series I’m beginning to tire a little of the story, which is beginning to feel very much of the same. That said, there is not denying that this is an action-packed volume from start to finish, and properly captures the exciting and tense game between the Devil Bats and the Aliens. As per usual writer Riichiro Inagaki delights in finding a good balance between the serious, the funny and the absurd, and makes for a very entertaining read that should pull more than a few laughs out of even the staunchest of readers.

Similarly, the wonderfully detailed and hilariously exaggerated caricatures and elongated poses flow naturally from artist Yusuke Murata’s pen as he puts forward both delightfully pule-pounding action sequences mixed in with some very laugh out loud imagery indeed.

In summary, a very humorous and action-packed coming of age sports title that will entertain and delight those young at heart – just as the series has done right from the get go – and is definitely another winning entry into what has been up to now quite an enjoyable, if a little silly, title.

(That said, if you have been following from volume 1, don’t be surprised if you are starting to feel like you’ve seen it all before. I’m not all that sure what more they can do in the current format other than keep increasing the roster with over the top characters and taking on teams stronger than themselves and coming out on top. Might be time to let this one go for a bit methinks…)

Related Link: Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyeshield_21

Eyeshield 21 (Volume 6) Manga | My Reviews 09 DEC 2010

Devil Bats Take Flight: 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!

The Devil Bats are going to feel like dancing for joy if they can beat Banba and his hulking team, the Taiyo Sphinx. Sena and crew have held their own in the first half, but they’re going to have to come up with something really special to defeat this bunch of bruisers. And don’t forget, the winner of this game gets to play against a championship team from the United States!

Writer Riichiro Inagaki and artist Yusuke Murata are back with their smash hit coming of age sports comedy action title, and as per usual Eyeshield 21 volume 6 simply doesn’t disappoint!

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