Sena is like any other shy kid starting high school; he's just trying to survive. Constantly bullied, he's accustomed to running away.
Surviving high school is about to become a lot more difficult after Hiruma, captain of the school's American football team, witnesses Sena's incredible agility and speed during an escape from some bullies. Hiruma schemes to make Sena the running back of his school team, The Devil Bats, hoping that it will turn around the squad's fortunes from being the laughingstock of Japan's high school leagues, to title contender.
To protect his precious star player from rivaling recruiters, he enlists Sena as "team secretary," giving him a visored helmet and the nickname "Eyeshield 21" to hide his identity.
The Devilbats will look to make their way to the Christmas Bowl, an annual tournament attended by the best football teams in Japan, with "Eyeshield 21" leading the way. Will they be able to win the Christmas Bowl? Will Sena be able to transform from a timid, undersized freshman to an all-star player? Put on your pads and helmet to find out!
Eyeshield 21 was original scheduled to stream in North America on Toonami Jetstream and NFL Rush in collaboration with the National Football League, but the plan fell through and the anime made its debut only on Toonami Jetstream, which later dropped the series. It would then become available in its entirety on Crunchryroll. Sentai Filmworks later licensed and released the first 52 episodes on DVD from 2010 to 2011.
#01: "Breakthrough" by Coming Century (eps 1-35) #02: "Innocence" by 20th Century (ep 36- 64) #03: "Dang Dang" by ZZ (eps 65-103) #04: "BLAZE LINE" by BACK-ON (ep 104-126) #05: "Hanno no Runningback" by SHORT LEG SUMMER (eps 127-145)
#1: "Be Free" by Rikken'z (eps 1-13) #2: "Blaze Away" by TRAX (eps 14-35) #3: "Goal" by Arashiro Beni (eps 36-64) #4: "Run to Win" by Mamori (Aya Hirano), Sena (Miyu Irino), Kurita (Koichi Nagano), Rimon (Kappei Yamaguchi) (eps 65 - 100) #5: "A day dreaming..." by BACK-ON (eps 101-116) #6: "Flower" by BACK-ON (eps 117-126) #7: "Song of Power" by SHORT LEG SUMMER (eps 127-144) #8: "Dang Dang" by ZZ (ep 145)
How long is it? 145 episodes. What’s it about? American Football. All of it? Yes. (And if you liked this series but found it either too long, or a bit childish, definitely check out Cross Game, a highly underrated sports series that is on a whole different maturity and story level.)
Eyeshield 21 is definite shonen sports anime. Heck, its even sponsored by the Japanese NFL and received backing in the United States as a football series on a sports channel. And now,…don’t get turned off. Because if you do, you’re missing out on one of the most entertaining series people disregard just because of its non-traditional anime content.
Please, please, don’t dump this series just because its football. I cannot but regret that I did put off watching this and suffered my way through crap series like Blade of the Immortal. My 2 cents on why you should watch (if you don’t want to slog your way through the rest of this):
• Typical plot (yet this works perfectly fine for this series), interspersed with drama, comedy, and laugh your head off antics of its marvelous characters.
• Marvelous characters (I said it but I will say it again), You will love the characters of Eyeshield, because even Sena isn’t as annoying as it seems. And…Hiruma will send you to hell if you don’t watch this.
Now that you’re here:
Characters: To put it simply, there is nothing bland about Eyeshield’s cast. From Sena’s traditional shonen perserverance, to Hiruma’s demonic avarice (and he will become your favorite as well), Eyeshield 21 does a masterful job of designing to characters to both appeal to viewers and to transition their interactions with each other smoothly. The rivalry between Sena and Shin is also nonclichedly carried out, and all the supporting characters get their own backstory as well. To tell the truth, I don’t even think that the supporting characters were even ‘technically 2nd tier’. You cannot but feel for the other characters such as the quarterback of the Zokugaku Chameleons whose delinquent team cannot hold themselves together. And so yes, the characters of Eyeshield are not just comedic, but serious, dramatic, and all the time flawed in some way or another. There’s not fun in watching perfect characters now is there?
Plot: Well, its straightforward enough: team has a dream, team wants to go to Christmas Bowl, team must defeat rival teams, team must work together, team must train, then team must win. But this is all you need to watch Eyeshield. It’s 145 episodes does more than enough to advance the adrenaline pumping scenes of the matches. Between moments of drama and football action is raucous comedy which borderlines on the absurd (cough Hiruma gun toting blackmailer), yet makes it more funny all the same. Now come to think of it, you don’t watch a sports series too much for the plot as more for the character development and anime action.
Sound and Graphics: Nothing too shabby here. The BGMs were great, the Ops and EDs were equally great. Eyeshield does a decent job of fitting its sound to its action scenes. The animation is more than adequate for the heart pumping football action scenes. Of course its NOT realistic. Who would want to watch realistic football for 145 episodes? Nah, this is where you see special moves like those in DBZ like Sena’s Devil Bat Ghost, Kid’s Rapid Fire Throw. (No fantastical equipment, mind but enough specialty to make you want to continue watching.) That said, animation is definitely decent for this series.
Entertainment/Replay Value : This is something I wouldn’t mind watching more than once. The one bone I have to pick with the series is its sometimes slightly traditional fillers, which it has to have in its 145 episodes. But even with that, Eyeshield 21 is hilarious, action packed, and a touchdown for us viewers.
Eyeshield 21 - Japan's take on American Football. It's actually quite interesting.
Ok, so for a review on this anime. As far as sports-driven themed anime series, Eyeshield 21 does not disappoint its audience. In a nutshell, Eyeshield 21 is the story of Kobayakawa Sena and his rise from a scared little kid to a full-fledged ace running back that looks down linebackers and defensemen 20x (no joke) his size.
The story is pretty simple. Our protagonist team (Deimon) wants to make it to the championship game (in Japan known as the Christmas Bowl) and needs to make it this season because all of the seniors will be retiring the season after. The anime does a good job on giving a lot of background information on each of the characters as well as the characters on the other teams Deimon faces. And the good part is that they don't give it away all at once, but in bits and pieces which wets your appetite a little more each time, in a good way.
Character development is key in this series, because essentially, that is what you are witnessing as you watch this anime. The rise of Deimon, from a really bad team to one of the elite among Japan. And with that rise to the elite, comes the development of each character - Sena, Monta, the "Ha-ha" brothers, and yes, even Hiruma. It's really fascinating to watch all of these characters develop their skills and "special abilities" so to speak.
And where would the fun go if we couldn't see these skills animated in their full glory. Eyeshield 21 manages to do that quite well. Sena's super speed is portrayed well (although it's kind of weird at times to see him run for what seems like 30 yards, but ends up with 4 or 5).
There are enough twists and plot surprises in this anime as far as sports anime goes (I know, I'm keeping up with the manga) to leave you interested and wondering exactly how will Deimon get to the Christmas Bowl and how will they win....and *if* they win.
The music could be better, but there are a few insert songs that are amazing (i.e. Be Survivor by ZZ) and a few other pieces of music in there. read more
At first glance, there are a lot of reasons why one might not want to watch this show. It's about American Football (narrowing down its audience that might even know what is going on down to just the United States). As stated, Eyeshield 21 is a sports anime, another thing many potential viewers might not like. Lastly, it's shonen, meaning everyone and their brother has probably heard of it before. So why should you watch it? I'll tell you.
This is easily the weakest point of Eyeshield 21. The story isn't anything that will blow your mind, it isn't anything that will capture you and it's constant struggle. It's just about going to the Christmas Bowl (basically a football championship game). That's all you are going to get. Some characters that like football wanting to play a game on the highest stage of their highschool careers. As I stated, this is the weakest point of Eyeshield, but it still fits the show. You wouldn't expect a Neon Genesis "my mind is blown!!!" moment, and you wouldn't expect a Death Note "Wow!" either.
I found myself rather impressed with the art of Eyeshield. It isn't necessarily that every character is incredibly detailed, but the details that were added are very impressive to just sit and look at. For instance, Hiruma (my personal favorite character of the show, but we will go over that later) is always described as a manipulative, devil like character. The author could have just stopped there, but instead of being lazy, do you know what they did? They made the football team called the, "Deimon Devil Bats" for one. But also, they made him LOOK like a devil. He has pointy ears, a huge devilish grin, incredibly spiky hair and the like. That being said, the art styles for all the characters fit them very well (Hiruma is just the most obvious where it fits). After noticing how Hiruma looked, I found myself analyzing other characters to see if I could find any particular art style that fit there character. The conclusion was, every character has some little thing that fits them, and it is done very well!
Another weaker point of Eyeshield is the sound. It isn't bad by any means, but just be ready to hear the same things a lot. Some examples would be when Sena runs, sometimes you will hear a weird buzzing sound, like he is some sort of rocket at take off. Some of these sounds are great, like before a game when Hiruma yells his special battle chant. On the other hand, other noises you will get tired of VERY quickly. Monta, a star receiver on the Devil Bats, has a catch phrase where he yells "MAX!!!". This gets annoying quickly, because he uses it for almost every conceivable situation. Also, being that you should watch this subbed, whenever he yells said catchphrase, it is usually something like this:
Intended: Catch Max!
Final Product: CATCHEEDUH MAXXXOOOOOH!
I understand that this is a different language, but I do thing a better catch phrase could have been made, to at least be less annoying. Those are my only gripes with the sound, as the voice acting is rather good. All the voices perfectly fit the character they are trying to portray.
The strongest point of Eyeshield 21, the characters. Every character has something to like, something to hate, or something that will at least make you FEEL for that character. Whether it is a positive or negative feeling, it is much better to feel negative towards a character than to simply not care. You will most likely find one character that you can relate to in every situation. Also, before we go into this any more, Hiruma will end up being your favorite character. You will see why as the show progresses, but just know and be prepared. Anyway, every character has some sort of different trait that makes them different from any other character. Sena, for instance, has the Shonen persistence that every main character seems to have. That always present drive to get better, get stronger, get faster, what ever the situation. Kurita has more compassion than his weight in Valentine's Day chocolates. Mamori has the motherly caring and protective instincts (especially towards Sena). That is why every character in Eyeshield is so great. Every character, from the main character Sena to a supporting character like Taki, has something there. There are no wasted characters. While some shows like Bleach have a large cast but don't do anything with half of them, Eyeshield uses it's large cast perfectly. Just when you think they have forgotten about Taki, he catches a pass for a 13 yard gain. Just when you think the Devil Bats will never throw a pass in this game, they throw a touchdown. Nothing is left wasted, and anyone can put themselves in any other characters shoes.
This show is very enjoyable over all. You will find yourself with boring parts though. Sometimes there is a 3 episode wait between games, and sometimes there is a 20 episode wait. The show is paced very well, but it does have the Shonen filler sometimes. There are also a lot of episodes where something is wrong with one character or group of characters, and the entire episode is spent trying to fix whatever happened.
Overall there are no gaping flaws that make this show unwatchable. This is one of the only Shonen I'd recommend to anyone, just because there is something for everyone, whether you like football or not. I hope you decide to try this show out, and to hopefully finish it one day, because it really is worth your time.
Thank you for reading my thoughts, and hopefully you found this review helpful.read more
Eyeshield 21 is indeed an outstanding anime. From the very beginning and maybe up to the very end of the anime, it will still be very outstanding.
I might make a review about the characters of Eyeshield 21. From my own observation, each of the characters found in there have their own distinctive and outstanding personalities. I will also say my deepest thanks to Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata for creating the characters of Eyeshield 21.
Here are some of the behaviors of the characters in Eyeshield 21 (I only mentioned 10 characters):
1. Youichi Hiruma - In his appearance alone, you can really tell that he is a vampire/demon perhaps! Yet, all Eyeshield viewers definitely like this character (even me). Hiruma carries a lot of guns. I love his Devil's Handbook! He even was the one who created the team's chant: "YA-HA!"
2. Nurse Oka - In the later episodes of the show, you can see a very scary nurse! This nurse is indeed ugly! Yet, she hates being called by that word. This nurse does not even rely to medical technologies to cure people but uses witchcraft and black magic. (When she talks, a scary background music covers).
3. Sasuke Kanagushi - The team captain of Dokubari Scorpions. This guy can really predict your team's strategy. Although he has this kind of skill, I find it useless because Hiruma is more powerful than him. Later he became Hiruma's slave.
4. Rui Habashira - The team captain of Zokugaku. He has a very weird long tongue.
5. Ha-Ha Brothers - One of the linemen of Deimon, they like to say "Huh". Preferably getting stronger and louder.
6. Monta - The word MAX! is definitely from the vocabulary of Monta. He uses that everyday. Catch MAX, Effort MAX, and etc.
7. Kurita - The fattest in Deimon, he looks really like a chestnut. But who cares, Kurita is a little cute. He likes to say Funnuraba to exert more strength when he pushes an enemy lineman or player.
8. Tetsuma - Character from Seibu. When he is being commanded to do something, he'll definitely do it without stopping. He is good at routes.
9. Agon Kongo - Character from Shinryuuji. He envisions himself that he is a football genius (actually for me, he is not). He treats everyone other than himself as worthless trash.
10. Leonard Apollo - He is the coach of the Nasa Aliens. He alone is a racist! He doesn't want Panther-kun to play.
For more of Eyeshield 21's whackiest and funniest characters, I advise that you watch the show from Episode 1 up to the very last.read more
How do you make an anime character unforgettable? Well, just let it repeat a catchphrase over and over until the anime ends! It will surely leave a lasting impression on the viewer... and it may even end up as a ringtone.