Eyeshield 21 (Japanese: 21, Hepburn: Aishīrudo Nijūichi) is a Japanese manga series written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Yusuke Murata. The series tells the story of Sena Kobayakawa, an introverted boy who joins an American football club as a secretary, but after being coerced by quarterback Yoichi Hiruma, becomes the team's running back, whilst wearing an eyeshield and the number 21, under the pseudonym of "Eyeshield 21". Inagaki chose American football as a central subject of Eyeshield 21 after realizing that it fits perfectly with his idea for the series. The manga was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 2002 to June 2009. The series consists of 333 chapters collected in 37 tankōbon volumes. An anime adaptation consisting of 145 television episodes was co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Gallop. The television series first aired on Japan's TV Tokyo network from April 2005 to March 2008. The Eyeshield 21 franchise has spawned two original video animations (OVAs), audio albums, video games, and other merchandise. In North America, the manga was released by Viz Media from April 2005 to October 2011. The anime series was later licensed in North America by Toonami Jetstream as a joint effort with Viz Media and aired in December 2007, on its site, but before its completion, the streaming service was shut down. The whole series was streamed in English by Crunchyroll, while Sentai Filmworks licensed the series, with distribution from Section23 Films on DVDs. In Japan, the Eyeshield 21 manga has sold over 20 million volumes.
Sena Kobayakawa enters the high school of his choice-Deimon Private Senior High School.
The manga and anime have been featured at various times in weekly top ten lists of best-selling in their respective media. The anime has been watched by a large number of television viewers in Japan, helping to raise American football's popularity in the country. Publications for manga, anime, and others have commented on Eyeshield 21, which received positive comments for its artwork and characters, and negative responses to its non-football scenes. Sena Kobayakawa enters the high school of his choice-Deimon Private Senior High School. Sena's only remarkable physical abilities are his running speed and agility, which are noted by the school's American football team captain Yoichi Hiruma. Hiruma forces Sena to join the Deimon Devil Bats football team as its running back. To protect his identity from other teams who want to recruit him, Sena is forced to publicly assume the role of the team secretary and enter the field under the pseudonym of "Eyeshield 21" wearing a helmet with an eyeshield to hide his features. The makeshift team initially takes part in the spring football tournament hoping to win through the strength of their new "secret weapon". However, the extremely weak team is eliminated early by the Ojo White Knights, one of the best football teams in Japan.
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After Deimon's defeat, the spring tournament is revealed as secondary in importance to the fall tournament, where the teams compete for the chance to play in the Christmas Bowl-the high school football league championship. Hiruma, Ryokan Kurita, and Sena regroup and slowly build a real team from misfits and students looking to define themselves, such as Tarō "Monta" Raimon-a baseball player who can only catch-and the Ha-Ha Brothers. Other characters slowly join the team, and the series follows the building and growth of the Deimon Devil Bats and its members, and rival teams as they all strive to achieve their goal of playing in the Christmas Bowl. Some time after the Deimon Devil Bats win the Christmas Bowl and they become the best team in the country, Japan begins to gather the best football players to form a team to represent it at the American Football Youth World Championship, where a Most Valuable Player ( MVP) will be awarded an NFL contract and $3 million. Team Japan reaches the final against Team America, in which the game ends as a tie, and both teams are declared winners. Both teams are unsatisfied with this and return to the field for their own, improvised "overtime", causing chaos with officials. It is unclear which team wins the unofficial extra period, but Panther of Team America holds the MVP trophy aloft, winning the professional contract with the San Antonio Armadillos. The series concludes with Sena becoming the captain of the Devil Bats after Hiruma and Kurita leave school to attend college. In his final year of high school, Sena is invited to Notre Dame High School.
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In the final chapter, the main characters are in college or playing amateur-league football while employed. Before the series was published regularly, Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata published two one-shots called Eyeshield Part 1 (前編, Zenpen) and Part 2 (後編, Kōhen) on March 5 and 12, 2002 in Weekly Shōnen Jump. Murata to be the illustrator. Before being asked to work on Eyeshield 21, Murata had read some of Inagaki's manga and noted that they "had many cool design concepts of uniforms and equipment". He said, "it could be turned into a great manga story" and he would "be happy to take the challenge"; eventually he was chosen. National Football League games. When originally creating Eyeshield 21, Inagaki said he was wary because he did not want his manga becoming "a simulator of football". The fact that football is not a popular sport in Japan also worried Inagaki. As last resort, he thought to turn the series into a "Kamen Rider-style masked hero story" if it could not meet the popularity required for the magazine. However, it was such a popular series that online commentators said that, considering the series' final length, the editors may have insisted that Eyeshield be kept going due to business reasons. Murata also seconded it. Eyeshield 21 has also been published as part of the Shueisha Jump Remix series of magazine-style books.
The second OVA, titled Eyeshield 21: Christmas Bowl e no Michi - Minami no Shima de Tokkun da!
Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing. Two original video animations (OVA) based on the Eyeshield 21 manga series were developed. The second OVA, titled Eyeshield 21: Christmas Bowl e no Michi - Minami no Shima de Tokkun da! The two OVAs were later released on DVD; the first was released with the second OVA of Naruto in a compilation called Jump Festa 2004 Super DVD. The other was released by Bandai Visual as an extra track on the sixth DVD of the Eyeshield 21 anime series. The series of 145 television episodes aired in Japan from April 6, 2005, to March 19, 2008, on TV Tokyo. Some changes were done in comparison to the manga; for example, swearings and guns or gambling references were reduced. Initially, Viz Media and Cartoon Network planned to air a dubbed version of Eyeshield 21 on the internet video streaming service Toonami Jetstream, and on NFL Rush site as a joint effort with the National Football League (NFL). However, it was not completed due to Toonami Jetstream's cancellation and shutdown.
The last episode was available on November 1, 2009, for premium users, and on March 7, 2010, for free users. On February 26, 2010, Section23 Films announced that Sentai Filmworks received the license to the anime. The music for the Eyeshield 21 anime adaptation was composed by Kō tani. The series use twelve pieces of theme music, five opening and seven ending themes. A number of audio CDs linked to the anime series have been released in Japan. The original soundtrack was released on two discs by Avex Mode on March 5, 2008, under the title Eyeshield 21 Complete Best Album. Three compilation albums, Eyeshield 21 Original Soundtrack Sound Field 1, Eyeshield 21 Sound Field Especial, and Eyeshield 21 Song Best, featuring opening and ending themes, insertion songs, and character and team songs were released on August 31, 2005, December 21, 2005, and March 23, 2006, respectively. Six maxi singles containing character songs have also been published. Konami produced Eyeshield 21 games for Sony video game systems; it released Eyeshield 21: Let's Play American Football! Another game was scheduled for release on the Nintendo GameCube, but it was later canceled. Two non-football games, Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars, released for the Nintendo DS, have featured characters from the series. Various Devil Bats, Shin and Sakuraba from the White Knights appear in support cameos. Two art books based on Eyeshield 21 were released. A pair of light novels were launched; the first, written by Katsumi Hasegawa, based on and named for the first OVA, was published on March 24, 2004. The second, Eyeshield 21: Netto no Hundred Game!
Eijima Jun, was published on May 26, 2006. The only original creator of the series who worked on these light novels was Murata, who illustrated them. Konami also released a collectible card game series. Individual volumes have appeared in Diamond Comic Distributors' lists of 300 best-selling graphic novels in North America several times. Shōnen Jump titles that the readers did not want to continue reading, Eyeshield 21 ranked twentieth. 7.5 percent television viewership rating. Moreover, Eyeshield 21's series is credited with increasing the number of Japanese teenagers playing American football. Critics have generally given the Eyeshield 21 manga positive reviews. In that same year, Pop Culture Shock's Sam Kusek elected it the best continuing manga series. Scott Campbell of Active Anime commented it is an "action-filled" series with great artwork and humor, and that it "has managed to continually get more and more dynamic with each volume". June Shimonishi, reviewing for the School Library Journal, wrote that it "delivers a fresh and entertaining take on all the standard sports clichés". Zac Bertschy from Anime News Network (ANN) declared Eyeshield 21 "defies convention" by turning what most might consider "a really ridiculously bad idea" into "something most everyone would be able to enjoy". Carlo Santos from ANN called it a "typical sports story", writing that what make it an above average series are its characters and artwork.
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However, overall, he considered the story has good art, action and pace, featuring "pure sports storytelling at its finest". The anime adaptation of Eyeshield 21 received positive and mixed responses. Bobby Cooper from DVD Talk praised how the rules of American football are "explained to a foreign audience that has no clue what it's all about", adding that instructions at the commercial breaks "were informative and similar to the Go lessons of Hikaru No Go. " He also said the explanations were "hilarious", but that "Eyeshield 21 is an excellent introduction to football". The on-field action was also praised, with he saying the sports action is "where Eyeshield 21 truly shines", although he criticized the scenes away from the football field, "the pacing slows to a crawl and the storyline gets a little boring". Inagaki said that Eyeshield 21 is set in Tokyo, "but perhaps not in the center of the city-more in the suburbs." He added that this is "not very significant" and that aspects of the two creators' hometowns are reflected in the setting.
21! YES-HA-!! , Aishīrudo Nijūichi Kurisumasu Bouru e no michi Minami no Shima de Tokkunda!21! YES-! HA-!21, Aishīrudo Nijūichi: Nettō no Handoreddo Gēmu! Shonen Jump. Viz Media. Japanese). Jump J Books. Weekly Shnen Jump (in Japanese). Weekly Shnen Jump (in Japanese). Inagaki, Riichiro (April 17, 2007).(下) (in Japanese). Chang, Chih-Chieh (August 20, 2009). "Interview: Riichiro Inagaki & Yusuke Murata, Creators of Eyeshield 21". Anime News Network. Inagaki, Riichiro; Murata, Yusuke (2006). Eyeshield 21, Volume 9. Viz Media. Inagaki, Riichiro; Murata, Yusuke (2010). Eyeshield 21, Volume 31. Viz Media. O'Mara, Sean; Schley, Matt (January 6, 2014). "Riichiro Inagaki Interview". USA otaku. Sovereign Media. Rattray, Tim (November 27, 2019). "Interview: Dr. Stone Creators Riichiro Inagaki and Boichi". Weekly Shnen Jump. Eyeshield 21 (in Japanese). Green, Scott (July 25, 2014). "Artist Celebrates 12 Years of "Eyeshield 21"". Crunchyroll.21 (in Japanese).