Eyeshield 21 News

Eyeshield 21 is a franchise comprised of 1 movie, 1 anime series, 1 manga series
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So just like last month I asked everyone what I should dedicate this month on Anime Vice too, and it was a tie between Soul Eater and Eyeshield 21. A friend of mine broke the tie by telling me to do Soul Eater, but then I realized the next month is going to be October, the month of Ghost and Goblins and all that good stuff, so why not save Soul Eater till then since it seemed more appropriate, and concentrate this month on my favorite sports series (and in all honesty the only one I liked) Eyeshield 21.
 
For those of you not in the know Eyeshield 21 is the story of Sena Kobayakawa, a frail young boy who is suckered into joining the American Football team at his school, only to find out he has a real knack for it. With this he begins to grow up and make friends among the wide and crazy cast of characters this show introduces. So I hope everyone enjoys all the adjustments I make to the pages here this month and come back next month for Soul Eater month.
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CRUNCHYROLL SCORES A TOUCHDOWN WITH EYESHIELD 21

Online Media Distribution Leader to Start Broadcasting
 EYESHIELD 21 Episodes in January 2009

San Francisco, CA (December 30, 2008) ­ Break tackles and ³convert² on
fourth down  as American football comes to Japan in EYESHIELD 21, the hit
football manga and anime series. The first eight episodes will be available
for ad-supported free streaming to all users on January 2nd, 2009, while
Crunchyroll Anime Members can enjoy a higher quality ad-free experience.
More information and/or to become a Crunchyroll Anime Member can be found at
www.crunchyroll.com/preorder.

Crunchyroll Anime Membership will begin on January 8, 2009-in conjunction
with the first ever world wide simulcast of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN and has a
SPECIAL pre-order price of $6.95/month.    Fans are encouraged to pre-order
the subscription plan by January 8, 2009 to lock in the special holiday deal
and begin enjoying over one hundred (100) fantastic anime titles in January.
All fans can enjoy all content on the site for free, including EYESHIELD 21,
but Crunchyroll Anime Members will enjoy some additional special privileges.

Crunchyroll Anime Member benefits include higher quality streams of all
shows (in some cases at 720p High Definition Video) with no advertisement
and early access to simulcast shows such as NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, GINTAMA, SKIP
BEAT, SHUGO CHARA!, WEB GHOSTS PIPOPA, LINEBARRELS OF IRON, THE TOWER OF
DRUAGA ­ THE SWORD OF URUK - and additional titles as early as one (1) hour
after their Japan Broadcast. In addition, Crunchyroll Anime Members will be
awarded a special NARUTO Headband virtual item for their avatars in the
famed virtual world of Crunchyland!

About Crunchyroll
Headquartered in San Francisco, California ­ Crunchyroll is hailed as a
leading online entertainment brand with the largest international online
community and destination focused on Asian entertainment including anime,
drama, music in addition to electronic entertainment and auto content.
Crunchyroll¹s distribution channel and partnership program delivers content
to over five million passionate fans worldwide. Crunchyroll is funded by the
premiere group Venrock.  More information can be found at its website
http://www.crunchyroll.com.
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  • Hey! Safety first -- put your helmet on!
    Hey! Safety first -- put your helmet on!
    Title: EyeShield 21 - Volume 1
  • Publisher: Viz
  • Genre: Sports/Comedy

Ratings (out of 5):

  • Story: ♥♥½
  • Art: ♥♥♥½
  • Characters: ♥♥♥♥½
  • Overall: ♥♥♥♥
Thoughts:
It’s phenomenal that EyeShield 21 is as fun to read as it is – high school students dealing with peer pressure, getting in on social cliques and adhering to the worried warnings of best friends should be boring as all hell. However, it becomes hysterically over-the-top, and the deliberately ironic drama is a great vehicle for pushing a story that’s less about coming of age and more about a singular cause: FOOTBALL!

Let’s be blunt: EyeShield Vol. 1 is a stupid manga: the football captain is a deranged psychopath who uses rocket launchers, vicious dogs and brutal beatings to train his consistently terrible gridiron squad. Also, the dude has vampire fangs and a lizard-y tongue. The absurdity, however, is as dumb as it is charming. But this ridiculous nonsense is the crux of the knowingly-silly story about Sena Kobayakawa, a first-year student at Deimon Highschool who inadvertently lands a spot on the Devil Bats’ football field.

When his best friend Mamori urges him to be more socially involved, Sena offers his services to the school’s football team, a traditionally awful club with an embarrassing losing streak. Though he expects to be the ‘gopher’ for the team, he ends up with more duties than deliveries, which is a chore bullies force on him because of his infamous, lightning-quick running speed. But when  Deimon’s frighteningly sadistic and most deceptive student catches wind of Sena’s speediness, he immediately begins suckering him in to joining his team. Since Kobayakawa is a total pushover, (an annoying trait  throughout since it’s the subject of nearly every joke on his behalf) he buys the false offerings of friendship and winds up as the team manager for Hiruma's squad.

Though the actual football action doesn’t, ahem, kick off until the final chapter, the in-between of recruiting, training and meeting the team is surprisingly engaging. The incredibly fast pace of the comic keeps you hooked. While it’s sometimes difficult to tell what’s going on behind the clouds of smoke, speed-lines and cluttered mess of characters, EyeShield manages to maintain an insane intensity throughout that makes it really addictive – Sena’s slow growth from pushover to player is a big component of that, as his aforementioned lightning-quick hustle results in a ton of things happening immediately after each other. A lot goes on in almost-200 pages of Vol. 1 – the last bit of which has perks in the form of info on the sport of football, secondary character bios, a school map, newspaper clips etc. – and every second of it will have you wanting to grab the pigskin and tackle some chumps.

Though the story is predictable (and limited) it’s totally entertaining throughout. Watching the Devil Bats play their first game, and then seeing the climactic finale where Sena – whose identity is concealed behind a the number 21 on his jersey and a tinted eye shield – hits the field runnin’ is as intense on paper as it is on ESPN (if not more so) thanks to some completely badass page-wide spreads of the newly nicknamed “EyeShield 21” emerging from clouds of dust in thick detail.

Where Sena’s awkward and stealthily hidden high-school football career goes from here is pretty obvious. Having to keep secrets from his friends will inevitably backfire, and the road the championship can’t be far ahead. But between the games, the actual goings-on of this awkward loser could actually blossom in to something great. And if the stupidity and combination of unrelenting adrenaline and wacky-go-nuts action keeps up in each and every frame like it does here, you’ll be thirstin’ for EyeShield like Gatorade at halftime.
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