Tag Archives: deimon devilbats

Eyeshield 21 (Volume 3) Manga | My Reviews 18 APR 2008

Eyeshield 21And They’re Called the Devil Bats: Sena faces a brick wall in the form of hulking uber-athlete Shin, of the White Knights. Rather than run away, Sena runs full speed, straight at this exciting new challenge! But will Sena’s frail body hold up to all the brain-jostling tackles that Shin dishes out?

Wimpy Sena Kobayakawa has been running away from bullies all his life, but when the football gear comes on and the persona of Eyeshield 21 emerges, it is a whole different ball game. Sena’s amazing speed and uncanny ability to elude big bullies may just be enough to make him one fine schoolboy American Footballer and as the main playing card for the rather rubbish Deimon Devil Bats led by the demon-like Hiruma and loveable meat tank Kurita, Sena has already led them to their first ever victory!

However, things aren’t going quite as well in their second game against the mighty Ojo White Knights, and try as he might, Sena can’t seem to break through the unbelievably talented and powerhouse that is Shin. The game is already out of their hands, but if they are to go out in a blaze of glory, then somehow the Deimon Devil Bats need to produce yet another touchdown against the unbeatable White Knights.

And of course the Devil Bats will never grow if they do not ever attract new blood, as hard as it may be. Enter Raimon Taro, the baseball player who has bet his life on his catching glove but still can’t make the team…

Eyeshield 21 is a popular sports comedy shonen manga title that has been running since 2002 and is currently still going strong at 28 volumes consisting of 272 chapters or so. The series has proved to be a surprise hit for creators Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata and spawned a well received 145 episode long TV anime series that kicked off in 2005 and ended in March 2008.

As with the previous two volumes, Riichiro Inagaki continues with his non-stop action, drama and comedy mix that he does so well, kicking off this volume with the completion of the White Knights game and the subsequent growth of Sena’s character. The story then shifts gears down a little to the aftermath of the game and the hunt for new Devil Bat blood as Sena gets to meet an unlikely comrade who may just become one of his best friends in the future. This plot line pretty much dominates the second half of this volume until an explosive last chapter which sets us up for an exciting fourth volume that is to come.

As formulaic as the story is, Riichiro’s smooth writing and impeccable sense of humour, be it physical or situational captures your attention and he is as adept at capturing some of the more serious and poignant moments as he is at pulling a laugh from you.

Yusuke Murata continues to handle the art chore on Eyeshield 21 and as always all of his panels are absolutely jam-packed with detail. He tends to put a lot of line work in and although sometimes his perspective and proportions let him down a little, his artwork is always clear and focused enough that you have to be a complete moron not to follow what is going on. His characters are all marvelously unique in their design and presentation, no matter how exaggerated a feature he needs to employ to get there. He is also a genius when it comes to facial expressions and his grasp of displaying the comical whether it be through deformed imagery or simple exaggerated expressions is masterful.

Of course, it isn’t just his grasp of the comical that is his main strength as he is just as adept at portraying the more poignant and dramatic sequences as well as the plentiful action sequences that litter the book. Visually Eyeshield 21 does not disappoint and will keep your eye from start to finish.

Volume 3 of this typical sports comedy about the talented loser who grows in stature and ability as the series progresses is as enjoyable a volume as what you will find anywhere else in the sports genre and Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata look like they can’t put a foot wrong. Humorous, serious and action-packed, Eyeshield 21 is a must read for all sports loving manga fans and should be picked up ASAP.

(Besides, it revolves around American Football in Japan. I mean, how crazy is that!)

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

Eyeshield 21 (Volume 2) Manga | My Reviews 09 MAR 2008

Eyeshield 21The False Hero: 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 second volume in Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata’s Eyeshield 21 series pits the Deimon Devilbats against the almighty Ojo White Knights. Fresh off their first ever victory (against the Koigahama Cupids), Sena and the boys scarcely have a moment to breathe before being whisked off to their next bone crunching match.

The Ojo White Knights are reigning champions with a fearsome reputation and an almost spotless win record. They feature a number of stars in their ranks, including teen heartthrob Haruto Sakuraba and football sensation Seiiuro Shin. Their name is enough to strike fear in the hearts of Hiruma’s team, with even big old Kurita feeling the pressure.

However, as afraid as he is, Sena is not about to let the rest of his team down – after all, they are all just as afraid as him – and together with some very sneaky plans from the devilish Hiruma, the Devilbats may just have a surprise or two in store for the White Knights! (Of course, it does help that Shin is currently on the bench though…)

If you missed out on Volume 1 of Eyeshield 21, then you missed out on wimpy Sena’s forced introduction to the bone-crushing world of school American Football. Basically years of running to avoid getting bullied has made the lightweight Sena superfast, something the devil-like Hiruma picked up on and got Sena drafted into the team. Lacking in every sporting aspect whatsoever, apart from running of course, Sena now has to prove his worth to the rest of the team – even if he doesn’t want to be playing in the first place!

Inagaki continues this enjoyable sports comedy romp in the traditional manner, sticking pretty much to the established formula but at the same time keeping it fresh, dramatic and full of humour. As always his sense of timing of physical humour is impeccable and he keeps the action on the field moving fast enough so as not to allow you the opportunity to get bored. That said, he now shifts into the dragging a game out mode (a prevalent feature of this genre), meaning that we only get to see one half of this titanic clash in this volume.

Murata’s artwork retains his trademark detailed background work and his lines are as clear and well defined as ever. His cartoonish characters continue to exhibit loads of character and each character becomes pretty distinct and instantaneously recognizable. In fact, this is one of the better drawn sports manga out there and you quickly see why if you bother to pick a volume up.

Overall, Eyeshield 21 continues to be a thoroughly enjoyable, humorous read with all the necessary tension and drama required of a good sports manga. It tells a good story and sets up for a great next volume, so if you are slowly becoming an Eyeshield 21 fan, don’t miss this one.

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

Eyeshield 21 (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 16 DEC 2007

Eyeshield 21The Boy With the Golden Legs: What does a wimpy kid who’s been bullied all his life have to depend on but his own two feet? Sena Kobayakawa is about to start his first year in high school and he’s vowed not to get picked on anymore. Unfortunately, the sadistic captain of the football team already has his eye on Sena and his lightning-fast speed.

Eyeshield 21 is a manga revolving around Sena Kobayakawa, a cowardly but good-natured guy who has always been picked on throughout his school years. Years of running around for bullies have made him quick, and it is this speed that catches the attention of his new high school’s American Football captain. Using underhanded tricks, the captain gets him to kind of ‘join’ (he thinks he is team manager) and in order to hide his identity from the other sports clubs, Sena gets given a shielded visor and is dubbed, Eyeshield 21. From this point on it’s a story about how Sena learns the sport of football, grows up and begins to carve his very own mark on this very testosterone dominated sport.

It is written by Riichiro Inagaki and drawn by Yusuke Murata, and proved so popular that it spawned a highly successful, ongoing anime series in Japan. Volume 1 pretty much focuses on introducing the manga’s diverse cast of characters as well as showing Sena’s possible potential for greatness by thrusting him into his first game for Deimon High School.

If you’ve ever read Slam Dunk, Initial D or any other of the plethora of coming-of-age sports manga out there, then you’ll immediately know the story of Eyeshield 21. It has all the aspects of this type of story: the protagonists who has skills he is unaware of who is thrust into a sport not out of his own choosing and who then proceeds to become the best there is, beating a number of unlikely scenarios in order to come up tops. It is a successful formula and Riichiro sticks as close as possible to it. It has all the action and drama such a title needs, but its extremely generous helping of comedy and oddball characters gives it that extra little push to make it to the big time.

Of course it helps when the artwork is as detailed and easy on the eye as Murata’s work is. The characters are distinctively and well drawn, and while much of the comedy employs super-deformed work, the lines remain clean and you are never lost as to what is going on. The characters are all pretty distinctly drawn, and it is quickly apparent that the artist went to a lot of effort to personalise and …cartoonise’ the characters in order to fit in with the tone of the book. Of course, that isn’t to say that Murata can’t hit a feel of realism as you’ll quickly pick up on in the backgrounds of the work.

As I said, although pretty formulaic, Riichiro’s writing is strong and his sense of flow is good. He also seems to understand the passage of time a little better than most, giving us football games that don’t draw out longer than absolutely necessary (anyone remember the agonisingly long basketball games found in Slam Dunk!?). His take on physical comedy and his vivid imagination (just look at the duo of Cerebus and Hiruma – an absolute classic) is refreshing and to be honest, Eyeshield 21 is easy to read and will have you grinning to yourself every now and then, despite the well-tread formula that it so carefully follows.

Of course, perhaps another reason just why the book proved so popular is the fact that it is based on a fairly unknown sport in Japan, namely American Football. Combined with the Japanese’s legendary consumption of all things American (actually, who in the world does not consume American culture by the gallon), Eyeshield 21 provides a brand new playing field for the sports formula manga – and has been justified in its immense which is extremely well deserved.

You can get Eyeshield 21 pretty cheaply online which is always a good thing, and if you are looking for a decent, fun read and have an inkling about what American football is all about, then Eyeshield 21 will definitely not disappoint!

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