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!

For the most part, volume 6 continues with the epic battle against the formidable pyramid line of the powerful Taiyo Sphinx American football team. The Devil Bats are fighting a seemingly losing battle, but fighting they are – and no matter what tricks they’ll resort to in order to keep up, you can’t put a good Devil Bat down until right after the final whistle!

For a change, focus is shifted off Sena as the main protagonist of the story and is instead handed first to the up to now rather background players, the Hah trio of delinquents, followed by some time in the limelight for everyone’s favourite monkey catcher, Monta. But never fear, there is as to be expected some big moments and revelations for Sena to go through, never mind the thrill of some rather unexpected plays!

The second half of the volume steers clear of the Devil Bats as it gives them a break and instead plays on the action experienced between Shin and his Ojo White Knights versus the newly revealed star-studded championship team, the Shinryuji Nagas. Although a lot of time is spent on the game itself, there is a fair bit of effort gone into some off the field happenings – things which will no doubt be useful in setting up a rather epic clash in the future… One word: Agon.

As to be expected, Riichiro writing remains as fresh as it has been up to now, capturing the essence of a (true, greatly exaggerated) football game and mixing it all up with elements of comedy and drama to great effect, and in general just bringing this fun little sports story to life. His central characters continue to get more and more fleshed out as the story continues, and the further development of the Deimon Devil Bats unit as a whole continues unabated.

Scrawny Sena versus the Ginormous Banba - no contest really!

Yusuke Murata continues to apply his deft and detailed hand to the pages and once again comes up with a terrific mixture of styles, forced exaggerations, stretched proportions and in places, just plain silly caricatures, bringing the perfect over the top, action-packed visual style needed to make this story work.

In summary, Eyeshield 21 volume 6 continues the good work where the preceeding volumes left off – there is loads of humour to enjoy, a little bit of drama to build interest just that little more, and just an overbearing amount of sports action to take in and appreciate. Loads of fun and difficult to put down, meaning that if you fall within Eyeshield’s target demographic, you are guaranteed to enjoy!

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