The sports anime genre has seen a revival of late as numerous new anime and continuing series continually add to anime producers willingness to make more and newer anime’s. However, Eyeshield 21 is an anime that is often forgotten about amongst the ranks of those who remember Kuroko No Basket, Hajime Ippo and Yowamushi Pedal.
The manga ran from 2002 to 2009 in Weekly Shonen Jump and then was adapted to an anime in 2005. Of course, the anime ran 145 total episodes in its time, however, it wasn’t released in English.
The series opens up with us seeing our main character Sena Kobayakawa entering high school, little does anyone know, he’s lightning quick.
Hiruma learns of his speed by chance and forces Sena to join the Devil Bats football team under the name Eyeshield 21. Don’t get your hopes up early on the team, there is nothing that Deimon can do in spring football tournament.
You’ll feel the team is lacking throughout the tournament and it’s evident that the team is under-manned. When the team loses to Ojo, that’s where the real anime begins.
The pursuit of the Christmas Bowl is on and the Devil Bats will begin a journey through the first season of building a team. There you’ll meet more characters that’ll keep the anime feeling fresh and less repetitive.
Do expect a few filler episodes as there was a lack of action in the middle of games but the summer training camp, which was the Death March, an 8 episode journey with tons of development for all characters involved.
In the end, the final episode does feel a bit rushed but still satisfying to watch and enjoy.
I rate Eyeshield 21 a solid A-. Sports fans will love it. (Just ignore the obvious running for 5 yards looks like the 50-yard animation style.)