How does the manga Eyeshield 21 end

Manga presentation: Eyeshield 21 (+ anime adaptation!) Manga presentation: Eyeshield 2 ...

of baguette
17.01.2015, 18:13

Sometimes, when I'm bored at university, I start writing manga shows. Today is such a day. And because we all sit around so lazy and laying our legs on the table all day, it should be about sport! III.

The somewhat special species of the sports genre is - not without reason - a little disreputable among the connoisseurs of the manga world. The premise is also very bad: you want to present something that is based on movement more than anything else, attractively in still images. Often enough it ends miserably.
Well, every jubilee year, a particularly talented pair of hands succeeds in the unlikely feat of creating a little masterpiece. In this case, even with the most unthinkable sport that a Japanese comic could cover: American football.

How on earth can that work? You're not interested in football at all, but you're kind of tempted to peek in? Read on

Title: Eyeshield 21
Mangaka: Richirou Inagaki (plot) & Yusuke Murata (illustrations)
Genre: Sports; comedy
Demographics: Shounen
Magazine: 2002-2009 in Weekly Shounen JUMP (summarized in 37 individual volumes)
Availability: Published in English in the USA, but tw. out of print
Scanlations: Complete

Fifteen-year-old Sena, a shy boy with very fast legs, is finally entering high school. Typically, there is an abundance of different extra-curricular activities - i.e. working groups, clubs and the like - that one can join. But when the quarterback of the American football team sees Sena running like an oiled bolt of lightning, he “recruits” him as a running back for the team that otherwise only has one other member, the lineman Kurita. Initially still unmotivated and rather looking to the post of (not playing) manager, Sena begins to support the other two in their goals, to build a team capable of playing and to fulfill her great dream of playing at the Christmas Bowl - the most prestigious Match of the year.

Themes and motifs
The setting and “red thread” of the plot follow the classic and simple pattern of many sports manga: A rather clumsy protagonist has the big dream of one day playing in a big game (or becoming a professional, advancing to the top division, world champion etc.pp. ). In this respect, the common motifs such as emotional / physical maturation processes, overcoming one's own limits, team spirit, but also individual superiority are also encountered with Eyeshield 21.
The actual topic is of course particularly interesting: American football. Even if you don't have a clue about the sport, you won't be at a disadvantage when reading. In fact, ES21 was a reason for many to deal with the sport in reality. Just as Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk caused a basketball boom in Japan, Eyeshield 21 also triggered a (smaller) wave of football enthusiasts. In addition, it should be noted that - as in other well-known sports manga - the sport itself is alienated and made more appealing through various stylistic devices (such as attack names for certain [crazy] moves, exaggeration of skills). You really shouldn't let that put you off. And before it is mentioned anywhere else: The humor - first class from my point of view (and I attest to myself having a good understanding of humor) - is omnipresent. The individual games are also saturated with comical, even inappropriate moments, which show that the manga does not take itself entirely for itself.

Because what all really good sports manga have in common is an abundance of creatively designed, very individual characters. And Eyeshield 21 is anything but an exception.
The handsome cast is outshone by the quarterback Hiruma mentioned at the beginning, a devilishly malicious gun fanatic who only wants one thing: to win. With his black notebook, in which he collects all sorts of fateful data, he blackmails everyone from classmates to the school principal who stands in his way. Whenever something strange is going on, you can be sure that Hiruma is the puller. Psychological warfare is his primary weapon on the field as well. Seeing this man on the side of the good guys actually only makes the character all the more interesting. Even if the protagonist lacks corners and edges, especially at the beginning, Sena also grows into a good figure of reflection for the reader. Without naming any other names, I can promise that otherwise there is everything that the sport has in reality - be it opponents like the training pig Shin and the once-in-a-million natural talent Agon or a gang of Delinquents who join the team almost out of spite. Each character has its very own quirks, which range from inviolable arrogance to strange tics such as the spontaneous desire to get rid of one's clothes.

A good sports manga naturally needs a draftsman who is able to bring a good measure of dynamics (but also the humorous parts) with the necessary finesse on paper. With Murata, Eyeshield 21 definitely has a suitable illustrator. Although the drawings initially took a little more time to develop their full potential, overall one can definitely speak of an above-average artwork. Three aspects that could be mentioned here would be: the creative and extremely dynamic close-ups of the duel in the games; the also aptly sketched comic relief scenes; and finally the very memorable character designs. In addition to the cover picture above, here are a few examples for your own impression (I can tell a lot):

Anime adaptation
I haven't seen much of the anime myself - I'm not a great anime watcher, especially not when I'm already reading the original work, i.e. the manga. My sparse impression, however, was quite good and I heard from many quarters that the implementation is quite reasonable for WSJ conditions. Of course, the many praises are more for the actual work than for the quality of the animation; But if you prefer to watch your sport in moving pictures, you will undoubtedly have a decent alternative here. However, the 145 episodes do not include the entire storyline (which is, however, tolerable). Here you can watch the Japanese opening to get a little insight.

Own opinion
Next to - or maybe just behind - slam dunk (basketball) and rookies (baseball), Eyeshield 21 is probably the best shounen sportsman I know. More than any other, it's because of the characters and the humor they carry - which, I can only repeat, is why people keep falling in love with this manga even though they don't understand anything Have football on your hat. I would like to point out that football is actually a very interesting, tactical sport - for all those who see it as just a primitive, brutal, hard-hitting pleasure. To be honest, it must also be said that the quality decreases towards the end, but there are more than 250 chapters to read by then, so that you can cope with it and continue reading anyway.