Aug 6, 2013
deleted4555778 (All reviews)
Eyeshield 21 is a sports manga that focuses on high school students and American football. That fact alone often turns people away usually because they are not interested in sports and understandably assume a manga about sports would be uninteresting. This is far from the truth. Eyeshield 21 has such a wonderful story, good pacing and length, well developed and in depth characters, and fantastic art style that whether or not the viewer likes football is irrelevant. Those who dive into Eyeshield 21 and stick with it will most certainly have a nice payoff and will remember the series for years to come.

The focal point of the series is the Deimon Devil Bats team as a whole. Technically Sena Kobayakawa is the main character however almost all of the other team members are treated equally in level of importance of development. The writer, Riichiro Inagaki, also takes the time to show the other rival teams, their back stories, and what they're all about. Aside from the Deimon Devil Bats, rival teams usually only have 1-4 characters that will be named and have any sort of dialogue or back story. Throughout the series' course it introduces a wide array of characters but not too fast or too numerous that you would be overwhelmed.

Eyeshield 21 is a mixture of drama, action, and comedy. This series generally avoids ecchi, fan service, and romance. The story is deep but also simple. It's centered around a tournament and the characters walk you through it as well as walk you through each individual football match so you'll be able to moderately follow even if you're not football savvy. There are many unexpected turns and twists not just during the matches but also with the characters themselves. Riichiro Inagaki does a fantastic job at delivering a completely believable cast and world. The pacing and overall length of the series is excellent. It's not too long or too short. It gives you everything it has and doesn't overstay it's welcome. The ending is satisfactory and even gives you some bonus pages that tell you the fates of the characters.

The artist of Eyeshield 21 is Yusuke Murata. His art style starts off a bit rough and sketchy but still pleasant. Throughout the course of the series it evolves and becomes more cleaner and sharp. Murata is skilled in being able to draw different faces and body types and is able to create memorable and unique designs making the world of Eyeshield 21 all the more believable. Murata's art really makes the comedic scenes pop out and is able to so skillfully illustrate different emotions that can range from downright silly to dead serious or anything required of him. His color spreads are absolutely breath taking. Full of detail and life. He always puts all his effort into every panel of Eyeshield 21. A possible way to describe his style is "pretty shounen" or maybe "cute shounen". There's enough for those who desire a shounen look as well as those who are drawn to a sort of shojo style.

Eyeshield 21's strongest attribute is probably it's colorful characters. They come from all different walks of life all with their own goals, weaknesses, and strengths, some of which you may even be able to understand on a personal level. Some characters that you may have thought were one dimensional and easy to read will end up having more depth than you first assumed. Eyeshield 21 tackles on many different types of personalities and mindsets. You'll see examples of inferiority complexes, egotistical monsters, a strong desire to achieve, and much more. Some characters have more depth than others who sometimes just serve as support but they are just as likable as any of the fleshed out ones. The entire cast is likable and even the most cold hearted villains you'll learn to love for one reason or another. Watching these characters grow and having different kinds of people come into contact with one another and seeing who triumphs is one of the great joys of the series.

I think this series will be a nice surprise to anyone who gives it a fair shot. It provides so many desirable attributes for a manga that I wonder how someone couldn't possibly enjoy it. Great art, good story, fantastic and memorable characters, what more could you want? In comparison to every other manga I've read this has made the greatest impact on me. It will always be in my mind. I simply cannot ever forget what this series has given me. I've re-read it several times already and I will continue to do so. Most manga I don't care if I physically own or not but with this series I simply need it in physical form. Eyeshield 21 will always be that manga I recommend to all my friends and consistently praise above all else. I don't personally like football....but Eyeshield 21 managed to become my favorite manga of all time and it always will be.