Eyeshield 21 vol. 34 by Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 3, 2011 by  


It has now come down to the final quarter of the Christmas Bowl pitting the best high school from the East (Deimon High School) vs. the best high school team in the East and consecutive champions, Teikoku High School. With Teikoku with an overwhelming lead, can the Deimon High School Devil Bats make a comeback? Find out in an exciting volume 34 of “Eyeshield 21”!

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

MANGA TITLE: Eyeshield 21 vol. 34

STORY BY: Riichiro Inagaki

ART BY: Yusuke Murata



RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2011

Struggle as he might, Sena has been completely unsuccessful in his attempts to defeat Takeru Yamato’s ferocious Caesar’s Charge tackle. If the Devil Bats are to stand even the remotest chance of winning, their Eyeshield 21 will need to find a new way around Teikoku High School’s ace. Will Sena’s newest approach, one that appears to come straight from the fourth dimension, overwhelm Yamato and keep Deimon’s hopes for victory alive and kicking?

It’s what the Deimon High School Devil Bats have been working so hard for. They dreamed about this moment and that is to compete at the final Christmas Bowl.

And now the underdogs, Deimon High School Devil Bats will take on the unbeatable Teikoku High School which have dominated the Christmas Bowl for years.

And for Sena Kobayakawa, the “Eyeshield 21” of the East, he finally gets to compete against Takeru Yamato, the real “Eyeshield 21” of the West. But Taro Raimon also finds his greatest competition yet, Taka Honjo.

And now it’s the fourth quarter with Teikoku with an overwhelming lead of  41-15.  Does Deimon High School even have a chance of a comeback?

Find out in volume 34 of Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata’s “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″.

Earlier in the series, we have watched as the Deimon Devil Bats grow as a team and do all they can to make it to the Christmas Bowl.

And now they have finally made it!

But this time, they take on the great Teikoku High School and in volume 34 of “Eyeshield 21”, no one thought that any team can score against the awesome defense of Teikoku but the Devil Bats have managed to score two touchdowns. But they are still behind 41-15.  And as the team tries to find a weakness in Teikoku, can they find a way to make a comeback in the fourth quarter?

The exciting conclusion of the Christmas Bowl!  Who will become the victors…Deimon or Teikoku?

We have watched and read as the Deimon High School Devil Bats have become this lucky football team who have come together, used their skills and have become this underdog team that has managed to fight hard until they win the match.

And in the Christmas Bowl finale featured in “Eyeshield 21” volume 34, it’s no different.

The team is far behind with a 41-15 lead but the do not want to go out without fighting.  Whether or not they win or lose, they will put everything in the line as they fought long and hard to make it this far!

But what makes this volume so fun is to see the strategy employed by both teams.  How will Sena managed to beat Takeru Yamamoto’s defense? How will Taro Raimon beat Tako Honjo who manages to beat him to the ball during a long pass?  If these two can figure how to beat their rivals, they will be the most impressive duo that may turn this game around.

While I’m not going to spoil you with discussion of who wins the game and how they do it, I will say of all matchups, this is one of the best I have read in “Eyeshield 21”.  I’m very impressed of how things conclude for the Christmas Bowl but something also comes up right at the end, which will make fans of the manga series even more excited.

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.

For so long, we have read of them taking on all these awesome football teams, each with their own special players. And it was a long hard battle for these guys but they made it to the final match and what is most exciting about this volume is that its an opponent unlike they have ever faced before. And it’s become my favorite volume yet!

If you are looking for a sports manga series and enjoy football, “Eyeshield 21″ volume 34 is definitely a series worth checking out! Recommended!

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