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Eyeshield 21 is a manga about American football written by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Yusuke Murata. It has been adapted into an anime movie in 2004 (shown at Jump Festa), an anime television series in 2005, several video games and a trading card game from Konami.
The manga is serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump. The thirty-seven volumes have collectively sold over 16 million copies in Japan, and the number of children playing American football has almost quadrupled and still grows after it was over.Mainichi: American Football Popularity on the Rise The manga is published in English by VIZ Media.
The anime version, produced by Nihon Ad Systems, or NAS, and animated by Artland, premiered across Japan on TV Tokyo from April 6, 2005, and ended March 19, 2008, with episode 145. The anime is sponsored by NFL Japan. The English dub "aired" on the free on-demand Toonami Jetstream as a joint effort with NFL Rush December 17, 2007,Japan's Top Anime Series Eyeshield 21 Brings a New Concept, Sports Anime, to the Forefront of the Cartoon World with Its Global Debut on Toonami Jetstream however it is currently on hiatus, likely waiting dubbing production. It is also aired in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The plot of Eyeshield 21 revolves around a physically unassuming and non-assertive boy named Sena Kobayakawa who enters the high school of his choice, Deimon Private Senior High School, where his childhood friend Mamori Anezaki, one year older than Sena, already attends. His only remarkable physical abilities are his running speed, dodging techniques, and intense agility (perfect for football), the result of a school life spent complying with the demands of bullies (later on it is revealed that he went through training with a classmate in elementary school for running), quickly catch the eye of the high school's American football team captain Yoichi Hiruma who then forces Sena to join the team (Deimon Devil Bats) as the running back.
To protect his identity (on the premise that other school sports teams will try to recruit Sena upon discovering his athletic skill) Sena is forced to publicly assume the role of team secretary, and enter the field wearing a helmet equipped with a green-tinted eyeshield in order to hide his features under the pseudonym of "Eyeshield 21." The makeshift team initially takes part in the Spring football tournament (at the beginning of the Japanese school year) hoping to win with through the strength of their new "secret weapon." But the extremely weak team is eliminated early on by the Ojo White Knights, a powerhouse football team. Others see the skill of the current White Knights as having declined from the previous "Golden Generation" but the team members are trying to prove that they have the ability to surpass their predecessors. It is in this game that Sena meets the man he will acknowledge as his ultimate rival, Seijuro Shin, a talented linebacker.
After Deimon's defeat, the Spring tournament is revealed as a 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, Kurita and Sena regroup and slowly build a real team from other misfits and students looking to define themselves; like Raimon Tarou, a baseball player who can only catch, the three Ha-Ha brothers; punks; and many others with the goal of reaching the championship. The series follows the building and growth of the Deimon Devil Bats and its members, as well as various rival teams encountered through their games and tournaments, as they all strive to achieve their goal of playing in the Christmas Bowl.
Deimon Devil Bats (泥門デビルバッツ Deimon Debiru Battsu)
- Logo: Red Devil Bat, a nonexistent breed that bears a striking resemblance to Yoichi Hiruma.
- The protagonist team of the manga and anime series, this team represents the Deimon High School. At first, there were only three members in the Deimon American Football Club. However, after its inaugural year, there were only two members (Yoichi Hiruma and Ryokan Kurita) after Gen "Musashi" Takekura left. This remained so until Hiruma found Sena Kobayakawa and his amazing running ability.
- Their team's chant is "Kill 'em! YA-HA!"
- In the manga; ブッ殺す! YA-HA!! (Bukkorosu! YA-HA!!)
- In the anime; ブッつぶす!YA-HA!! (Buttsubusu! YA-HA!!)
- Main article: Deimon Devil Bats
- Breakthrough by Coming Century (Episodes 1-35)
- Innocence by 20th Century (Episodes 36-64)
- Dang Dang by ZZ (Episodes 65-103)
- Blaze Line by Back-on (Episodes 104-126)
- Honoo no Running Back by SHORT LEG SUMMER (Episodes 127-144)
- Be Free by Rikkenzu (Episodes 1-13)
- Blaze Away by TRAX (Episodes 14-35)
- Goal by Beni Arashiro (Episodes 36-64)
- Run to Win! by Sena, Mamori, Monta, Kurita (Episodes 65-86, 88-100)
- Dang Dang by ZZ (Episode 87)
- A Day Dreaming... by Back-on (Episodes 101-116)
- flower by Back-on (Episodes 117-126)
- Song of Power by SHORT LEG SUMMER (Episodes 127-144)
- Innocence by 20th Century (Episode 145)
- Be Survivor by ZZ
- Chain of Power by V6
- Midnight Sunshine by Ojo White Knights
- Chain of Power by Deimon Devil Bats
- Light by Ma-Kiss
- Crispin Freeman - Seijuro Shin
- Grant George - Tetsuo Ishimaru, Unsui Kongo
- Kate Higgins - Mamori Anezaki
- Neil Kaplan -
- Yuri Lowenthal - Sena Kobayakawa
- Dave Mallow - Stadium Announcer
- Tony Oliver - Haruto Sakuraba
- Derek Stephen Prince - Yoichi Hiruma
- Sam Riegel - Kaoru Hatsujo, Number 58 (ep. 1)
- Michelle Ruff - Kaoru Hatsujo's Girlfriend
- Patrick Seitz - Makoto Otawara
- Roger Craig Smith -
- Michael Sorich -
- Steve Staley -
- Wally Wingert -
- Tony Oliver - Voice Director
Konami appears to have the rights to produce Eyeshield 21 games for Sony video game systems. They have released Eyeshield 21: Portable Edition for the PlayStation Portable and Eyeshield 21: AmeFoot Yarouze! Ya! Ha! for the PlayStation 2.
Nintendo secured the rights to the Eyeshield 21 video game license for their systems in December 2004. They have released Eyeshield 21: MAX Devil Power for the Nintendo DS and Eyeshield 21: Devilbats Devildays for the Game Boy Advance. Another game was scheduled for release on the Nintendo GameCube, but it was later canceled.