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Eyeshield 21 vol. 17 by Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 4, 2007 by  



eyeshield21-17

It’s the conclusion of the of the the Deimon High School Devil Bats vs. the Seibu Wild Gunmen. Behind by 20 points, an the Devil Bats stage a comeback? Find out in another exciting “Eyeshield 21” Vol. 17!

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© 2002 by Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Eyeshield 21 vol. 17

STORY BY: Riichiro Inagaki

ART BY: Yusuke Murata

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2007

With their former kicker back on the team, the Devil Bats have a real shot at closing the gap against the Seibu Wild Gunmen. But Seibu is still a major threat. Can the Devil Bats hold on for the victory?

The Deimon Devil Bats are the underdogs but yet they have made it into the semi-finals to take on  the Seibu Wild gunmen.

But the Gunmen are an explosive offense and the Devil Bats are behind by 20 points in the first half.  But when Hiruma and Kurita’s friend, ace kicker Musashi has come to join the team, will it give the team what they need to defeat the Gunmen?

Find out in vol. 17 of “Eyeshield 21”!

What is “Eyeshield 21”?

In Japan, American football may not be too popular compared to the international futbol (soccer), but there are a few high schools that have football teams and the NFL does have a game played in Japan, helping to spread the game’s popularity.

But in 2002, writer Riichiro Inagaki and illustrator Yusuke Murata introduced American football to a broader audience through their manga “Eyeshield 21″ which has been featured on the very popular Weekly Shonen Jump, has led to several videogames and also a 145-episode anime series which lasted from 2o05-2008. And now for 35 volumes, “Eyeshield 21” continues to entertain masses through its manga series currently available from Viz Media as part of their Shone Jump Advanced line.

“Eyeshield 21″ revolves around a young teenager named Sena Kobayakawa who has passed his entrance exams at his local high school, Deimon Private Senior High School. The school where his childhood friend Mamori Anezaki attends. Both Sena and Mamori are close because all throughout his life, Sena has been bullied and Mamori has been there to protect him.

Living his life as a gopher for other friends, Sena hasn’t had any true friends until he meets the devil-looking Yoichi Hiruma and the very huge Ryokan Kurita who try to get Sena to join their football team.

Of course, Sena doesn’t know how to play football but being the new kid at school, once again, he gets bullied but this time, the huge Kurita ends up taking care of them. Out for revenge, the bullies start to pick on Sena once again but Sena is sick and tired of getting beaten up and when they go after him, he demonstrates a skill which he has had for a long time, speed. Because Sena has lived his life running away, he is very quick and immediately, Hiruma wants to utilize him on the Deimon High School Devil Bats football team.

Sena just wants to become a team manager but Hiruma wants Sena to be the team’s running back. And because Hiruma wants to make sure that no one can steal him for their high school, he plans on a disguise that no one but he, Sena and Kurita will know and that is putting an eyeshield on a football helmet and giving Sena a #21 jersey and the nickname “Eyeshield 21″.

And considered the underdogs, the team has managed to beat other teams with similar strengths or were not that good, while against other powerful teams, the Deimon Devil Bats were simply overpowered. But the team has made themselves known as unpredictable, making it into the semifinals against the Seibu Wild Gunmen.

But with the second half taking place and the Devil Bats are 20 points behind, do they have what it takes to win the game?  Or will they be eliminated from the tournament?

For any longtime reader of “Eyeshield 21”, you can’t help but feel the excitement as the underdogs, Deimon High Devil Bats continue their goal of making it into the Christmas Bowl.

And their opponent are the Seibu Wild Gunmen, a team that is known for their ace quarterback Shien “The Kid” Shien Mushanokoji, their ace receiver Jo Tetsuma, ace defensive/offensive line with Buffalo Ushajima and their ace speedster Riku Kaitani.

And the Gunmen have shown that their offense is excellent, putting up 20 points in the first half.

But can the team find a way to exploit any weakness they can find about the Gunmen and what happens when ace kicker Musashi finally decides to join the team?  Will they finally have a chance to mount a comeback and move up in the tournament?

I have been a big fan of sports-based manga and in Japan a lot of their sports manga and anime are big hits. From the soccer-driven series “Captain Tsubasa”, the basketball series “Slam Dunk”, the baseball series “Touch”, the tennis series “Tennis no Oujisama” (Prince of Tennis) and many of them have this underdog vs. the better team type of mentality.

Yes, there is a banality when it comes to sports manga series but there is often this side of supernatural element that an athlete has. A super kick, a special tennis serving or hitting ability and with “Eyeshield 21″, what makes the series so exciting is that every team has its special individuals with unique talents. But when it comes to the Deimon Devil Bats (the protagonist team), these guys are like a group of misfits put together in hopes to accomplishing their goal of making it to the Christmas Bowl. But they are surely talented. Sena (Eyeshield 21) has this special ability of his running and in this latest volume, he hones that talent and makes himself even better. We also see new characters pop up and joins the team and definitely see how everyone works together, faces adversity together as a team. But for Deimon High School, these bunch of misfits have pride and also have what it takes to surprise everyone they have come up against.

Similar to other sports anime in which there is an underdog getting involved with sports and displays a tremendous skill, “Eyeshield 21″ definitely showcases that into the storyline but with the characters, in this case the team is more like the “Bad News Bears” and with the “The Devil Bats”, the team consists of characters that are just wild and crazy. Actually, all teams have characters that are wild and crazy and I suppose that is what makes “Eyeshield 21″ so interesting and enjoyable.

But volume 17 is definitely an exciting volume and the conclusion to the Deimon Devil Bats vs. Seibu Wild Gunmen is not what everyone thinks will happen.  So, it’s a pivotal storyline that I recommend reading if you are an “Eyeshield 21” fan!

If you are looking for a sports manga series, “Eyeshield 21″ vol. 17 is definitely a manga worth checking out! Recommended!

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