Ready Set Hut (Eyeshield 21 #37) (Final) ★★★★★

readysethut (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission  
Title: Ready Set Hut
Series: Eyeshield 21 #37
Author: Riichiro Inagaki

Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The Power of Team Work. Every single player on Japan’s team begins to really play their strengths as part of a team instead of as the “ace” of the team. And they tie the game at 45-45 and no time left. Instead of going into overtime, the NFL player who called the game decides to call it a draw. Nobody from either team is happy and they all go back on the field to play, unsanctioned, to decide who is the best. We never find out the outcome.

The book and series ends 2 years later, when all those players are now in college. Hiruma, Kurita and Musashi have all gone their separate ways, bent on fighting each other as only best friends can. Sena actually was accepted at the Notre Dame Highschool for his last year and makes his comeback to Japan as the fastest runner out there. Everyone else has gone to their various colleges and become stable members of their colleges’ football teams. And now the focus of everyone is The Rice Bowl.

The End.

 

My Thoughts:

I am glad that they didn’t show the ending of the game between Japan and America. No matter the outcome, it would have been the wrong way to end the series. We got to see 2 great teams battle it out and the battle was what we were supposed to see.

The final chapter, 2 years later, was just so full! Trying to fit in double digit characters lives was well done but it felt very rushed and I for one would have appreciated just a bit more of their personal lives being shown. However, it was good to see so many characters shown and the people I’ve grown to know over 37volumes moving on to their secondary education.

 

Thoughts on the Series as a Whole:

This series had NO bad volumes. Some weren’t quite as good as others, but not a single one left a bad impression in my mind. I think the manga-ka did a great job of balancing the individuals, especially Sena as Eyeshield 21 with the group. Football is a team sport and no ONE person is good enough to drag the team to victory. I would have like to see a bit more outside of the football stadium but considering what I got inside it, I’ll be thankful instead of wishing for something else. It was good.

I thought I would be writing a lot more when I decided to do this “series as a whole” thing, but honestly, I don’t have much to say. I’m a casual football fan and this still got me excited and entertained me. I read this series for a whole year from start to finish. I’m not sure what else can be really said.

I think the following picture really encapsulates what I liked about this manga. Its self-determination and can-do attitude.

Eyeshield21_330_15_RH

Sena has come a LONG way from the little boy who ran away from bullies

 

I am also including ALL the previous volume reviews down below.

★★★★★

bookstooge

 

  1. Sena vs Panther (Vol. 36)
  2. The World is Mine (Vol. 35)
  3. The Last of the Deimon Devilbats (Vol. 34)
  4. The Devil’s Mistake (Vol. 33)
  5. The Christmas Bowl (Vol. 32)
  6. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  7. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  8. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  9. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)
  10. Shin vs Sena (Vol. 27)
  11. Rough N Tumble (Vol. 26)
  12. The Perfect Player (Vol. 25)
  13. The Indomitable Fortress (Vol. 24)
  14. Then Came the Showdown (Vol. 23)
  15. Time Out 0 (Vol. 22)
  16. They Were 11 (Vol. 21)
  17. Devils vs Gods (Vol. 20)
  18. The Successor (Vol 19)
  19. Sena Kobayakawa (Vol. 18)
  20. The Drive to be the Best (Vol. 17)
  21. Dawn of the Time Out (Vol. 16)
  22. The Toughest Warriors in Tokyo (Vol. 15)
  23. Demons vs Gods of the Sea (Vol. 14)
  24. Who is the Real Eyeshield 21? (Vol. 13)
  25. Devil Bat Ghost (Vol. 12)
  26. Open Season (Vol. 11)
  27. Is There A Loser in the House? (Vol. 10)
  28. Hell is for Devil Bats (Vol. 9)
  29. True Warriors Seek Out Strong Foes (Vol. 8)
  30. Musashi (Vol. 7)
  31. Devil Bats Take Flight (Vol. 6)
  32. Powerful (Vol. 5)
  33. Intimidation (Vol. 4)
  34. They are called the Devil Bats (Vol. 3)
  35. The False Hero (Vol. 2)
  36. The Boy with the Golden Legs (Vol. 1)

Sena vs Panther (Eyeshield 21 #36) ★★★★☆

senavspanther (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Sena vs Panther
Series: Eyeshield 21 #36
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The Final All-Star Game is here. There are several confrontations between players of each team as they test the other out in various ways. And all the outcomes are the same: the Americans win.

Kurita is knocked out for the first half of the game and the Americans are winning 28-8. Sena is outrun. Monta is outcaught. Gaou is outpowered. Even Hiruma is outmaneuvered!

 

My Thoughts:

This volume, while good, was lacking in both heart and humor. I didn’t laugh nor did I feel that rush of emotion, either up or down. THIS is what I was expecting from this story arc and sadly, it gave it to me in spades. We’ll see how the final volume plays out.

One of the characters said it best. There has never been a japanese player in the NFL. I’m not sure if there has been since this manga was written, circa 2009, but honestly, it is no surprise. Football players are some of the biggest people in this country. Trickery and feints and whatnot will only take you so far.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. The World is Mine (Vol. 35)
  2. The Last of the Deimon Devilbats (Vol. 34)
  3. The Devil’s Mistake (Vol. 33)
  4. The Christmas Bowl (Vol. 32)
  5. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  6. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  7. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  8. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)

The World is Mine (Eyeshield 21 #35) ★★★★★

worldismine (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The World is Mine
Series: Eyeshield 21 #35
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The All-Star games turn out to be another championship set of games from top players all across the world. Not just American and Japan. And the NFL player who is sponsoring the whole thing is offering a $3million reward to the MVP of the championship AND a signing contract to his team.

The Japanese team is assembled and includes Agon. He does his sneaky stuff and gets a bunch of second stringers on board and then in the first game makes it so they play and not the actuall All-Star Japanese team. His purpose? To look good and win the MVP so he gets the $3million. Things work out and Japan blows past Russia, Militaria (yeah, what a name right?) and then Germany. Lots of fun and giggles.

Japan makes it to the finals, where they are facing off against the American Team, the “gods” of highschool football.

 

My Thoughts:

Ok, I was totally wrong. I thought this All-Star story-arc would suck but it was probably one of the most humorous volumes yet. There was no serious emotional moments like in the previous volume, just fun moments where each player shows their talent and the manga-ka have fun. I laughed quite a bit.

Each game leading up to the finals simply showcased a couple of players and how the overall Japanese team played. I didn’t think it could work but it totally did. I kept being surprised by goodness left and right and my star rating kept creeping up a half star at a time. I started it at 2 stars because I was just unhappy with the whole concept but the manga-ka just kept making things better and better. I absolutely LOVE it when low expectations are blown away completely and you end up with something fantastic. The thing is, this volume would not stand on it’s own. It relies on the whole of the previous series so far. Much like a real football team, one player may shine for a moment, but it is only due to the collective work of the whole team. This volume shone spectacularly but only because of the solid foundation of the previous 34 volumes!

Not much else to say beyond the fact that I am impressed. I now am looking forward to the final 2 books again. Much like a football game with its ups and downs and setbacks and comebacks.

★★★★★

bookstooge

 

  1. The Last of the Deimon Devilbats (Vol. 34)
  2. The Devil’s Mistake (Vol. 33)
  3. The Christmas Bowl (Vol. 32)
  4. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  5. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  6. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  7. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)

The Last of the Deimon Devilbats (Eyeshield 21 #34) ★★★★ ½

lastdevilbat (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Last of the Deimon Devilbats
Series: Eyeshield 21 #34
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 216
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The Christmas Bowl is completed.

The Devilbats pull off miracle after miracle. Sena outruns Yamata. Monta outcatches his opponent. They catch up 34-42. Then the Alexanders score 2 points and make it 44-34. 10 Point difference. Impossible to overcome. Fans leave the stadium.

And Hiruma, who has finally believed in each player this game, lies his ass off about a grand plan he has and everyone believes right back at him, even while knowing it is a lie. Only thing is, he wasn’t lying. They make another touchdown, then grab the ball from a short kick off and now, everything rests of Musashi’s shoulders, or really, his foot. Can he do the Magnum Kick, 60 yard kick, something no one in a highschool league has done? Of course!

And the Devilbats WIN!!!

And then things rush through the post-game celebration and suddenly there is an All-Star Game on the horizon versus some American players. Well, at least I know what the final books will be about.

 

My Thoughts:

Holy smokes!!!!! What a volume!!!!! [please notice all the exclamation points. I mean every single one]

This was a seat of your pants will they/won’t they kind of storyline. Right to the last second everything was in doubt. I mean, even when Musashi kicked, the manga-ka drew things out so you weren’t sure, with the ball hitting the goal posts. Whooooo!

I think my favorite part was when the most useless player, the school nerd, who only ran pass formations, was ignored. He had never caught a pass before. He only stayed in the formation, distracting other players. But this time? He was ignored. And he got a touch down!!! It was great.

This was the perfect volume of the series so far. It had tension, it had great plays. It had players overcoming their natural weaknesses. It had the emotions.

So I had to ding a half star when the volume ends with an All-Star game coming up. I don’t like All-Star games. An All-Star game is where the best players get together, form 2 teams and then play each other. I was in this for the Devilbats, not the other star players from other highschools. Throw in that their opponents seem to be Americans and well, it just isn’t appealing. I am suddenly not looking forward to the final volumes.

I wish the series had ended here. It was perfect.

★★★★ ½

bookstooge

  1. The Devil’s Mistake (Vol. 33)
  2. The Christmas Bowl (Vol. 32)
  3. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  4. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  5. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  6. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)

The Devil’s Mistake (Eyeshield 21 #33) ★★★★☆

devilsmistake (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Devil’s Mistake
Series: Eyeshield 21 #33
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The Alexanders predict that they will conquer the Devil Bats 42-0. By the second half it is 35-0 and things seem impossible for the Devil Bats. Everything they do, the Alexanders can do better. But suddenly the Devil Bats make 2 consecutive touchdowns and accomplish what no other team has done: score against the Alexanders.

But while that is good, it’s not good enough to win and the Alexanders don’t lie down and die. They push back and score a touchdown. With only 5 minutes left in the game the score is 42-16.

 

 

My Thoughts:

For the first time in this series, I am in doubt whether the Devil Bats will win or not. That is a rather delicious sensation. It is also a bit unsettling.

After all my belly-aching last time about Karin the girl quarterback, this time I’m going to complain because she was a total non-entity in the game.If you’re going to try to completely switch things up, then make use of the change. Her being a girl quarterback had zero impact on the game so far and for all the trumpeting and fanfare that she was introduced with, I was expecting more.

Monta continues his fight to become the #1 Receiver, even while being pummeled. He does make one catch and completely throws his opponent. It was a thing of beauty to watch. Sena keeps on running. The Devil Bats keep on being the Devil Bats. It is really nice to see the team work. And when I think back to how these guys started out, seeing them now, it is great.

I like how the manga-ka’s walk the line between great feeling and sappy sentimentality. I have never felt that this series was a sloppy sappy feelz fest. But neither has it been a cold, emotionless stating of the facts. Inagaki and Murata have created something serious yet funny, emotional yet not sappy that is good. Both teams up through the tournament have had goals and dreams and no team is evil incarnate. Everyone is striving FOR something and I like that a lot.

I am seriously thinking of taking next week and reading the successive volumes one a day until I finish. I want to see how this resolves and not stretch things out. I am enjoying these final volumes and it seems fitting to read them quickly.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. The Christmas Bowl (Vol. 32)
  2. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  3. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  4. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  5. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)

The Christmas Bowl (Eyeshield 21 #32) ★★★★☆

christmasbowl (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Christmas Bowl
Series: Eyeshield 21 #32
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The special training happens and all the other top players from the defeated team help the Devil Bats train so they can beat the Alexandres, who have won the Christmas Bowl ever since it started. Of course, Agon, that paragon of evil who I’d throw under a bus, doesn’t honor his agreement and goes to the Alexandres. What a bastard.

Then, the Christmas Bowl. The Devil Bats take the immediate offensive and begin a huge drive. Only to have the Alexandres stop them cold, stone cold! Everything the Devil Bats try fails. Monta realizes that he is simply out-talented by Taka Honjou, son of his baseball idol and that Honjou has been training his own son for years as a catcher.. It almost breaks Monta. Then it’s the Alexandre’s ball. Their quarterback is a girl named Karin.

The volume ends with Karin throwing a perfect pass to Yamato, the Alexandres running back. Sena catches him, is blown off, catches him again and is blown off again.

 

My Thoughts:

So, this game is going to be 5 volumes long, or maybe just 4 if they do the last volume as a wrapup, but I doubt that.

I have to admit, I was feeling a bit bored. It was still good football, but still, you can only draw things out so much. How many times have the Devil Bats been immediately shut down? How many times have they been outclassed? How many times has Hiruma played mind games and Sena run faster than anybody else? I really hope the rest of the game doesn’t bore me.

Now, Karin. I’m sorry, and I’ve mentioned this before, but a girl playing American Football? No. She’s obviously going to be a big part of this game, as she’s the quarterback for goodness sake. But it is so inconceivable that the whole idea throws me out of the game. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger, back in his Terminator days, entering a Miss Busty Bikini Contest and be given real thought to by the judges and the crowd. It would be ludicrous. So I’m just switching off my brain for this and hope it doesn’t get too much more unbelievable.

EyeShield 21 v32 c286 extraA Real Tom Brady  /sarcasm

 

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. The Winner Is… (Vol. 31)
  2. This Is American Football (Vol. 30)
  3. Second Quarterback (Vol. 29)
  4. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol. 28)

The Winner Is… (Eyeshield 21 #31) ★★★★ ½

winneris (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Winner Is…
Series: Eyeshield 21 #31
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The final 5 minutes between the Devil Bats and the Dinosaurs. The Dinosaurs make a touchdown and kick the ball for a 7point lead. Now there is only 2 minutes on the clock. Kurita MUST face, and overcome, Gaou if he is going to open a path for Sena to run through. Sena makes the touchdown and so the Devil Bats are only 1 point behind.

Their choice is to kick the ball for 1 point and go into overtime or to try for a 2 point conversion by running the ball and winning the game. With Hiruma’s fractured arm, Sena’s worn out body and the rest of the team utterly exhausted, the Devil Bats don’t have a hope in hell [ha, “Devil” bats & “Hell”, get it?] of winning in overtime. So a 2 point run it is. Hiruma does his tricky stuff and Kurita and Gaou faceoff for the final showdown and the Devilbats win.

The rest of the volume is Sena and Monta and Suzuna scouting out the competition for the Christmas Bowl. And what they find is an All Star Team with a female quarterback [at least, I think she’s the quarterback, it was hard to tell if that was what was said]. And not only that, their running back receiver is the son of the man who inspired Monta. Fighting against his idol’s son might more than Monta can bear.

Hiruma is aware of ALL the dynamics and has asked various members of the defeated teams to help train the Devil Bats.

 

My Thoughts:

Excellent. A fantastic volume.

Kurita’s battle against Gaou was great. It was everything he’d fought for and cried for and trained for and in the end it was Kurita’s experience AND strength that overcame Gaou. That was a pleasure to see.

The end of the volume with the 3 characters scouting out the opposition was kind of weird. The opposition was so confident that they gave them their play book of 1000 plays. I’m still a bit confused if the girl who carried luggage around was the quarterback or not. Sadly, reading this on an 8in tablet made some of the text rather small and hard to read. I’m getting older and diabetes sure isn’t doing my eyes any favors. After this series, if I read any more manga or comics on a tablet, I’m going to have to buy myself a 10-11in tablet. So part of me is hoping that she is, because that’ll add a really weird mix into the game. But on the other hand I don’t want that to happen. No woman should be placed in that situation, period.

I don’t know if the emotional punch I experience from this series is deep enough to stand up to a re-read. Honestly, I’d rather not find out. I think that I’ll read this, enjoy it immensely and move on. But my goodness, this initial read is SO GOOD!

 ★★★★ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. This is American Football (Vol. 30)

This Is American Football (Eyeshield 21 #30) ★★★★☆

americanfootball (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: This Is American Football
Series: Eyeshield 21 #30
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

Sena takes over being quarterback for a couple of plays and allows the Devilbats to make a touchdown. Kurita is just sitting around numbly from his failure to protect Hiruma and it takes his apprentice getting the stuffing beaten out of him to bring back his fierce, protective spirit.

Hiruma comes back in the game and no one can tell, except Sena and Musashi, if he’s ok or faking it. Either way, Hiruma gets in the heads of the Dinosaurs and really messes them up. So much so that the score is tied at 35-35 with only 5 minutes to go in the final half.

 

My Thoughts:

Much better than the previous volume. Gaou is stopped by Komusubi, who gets the heck beaten out of him time and time again. Just when it looks like he’s done for, Kurita finally wakes up and realizes it is up to him to protect the whole team from Gaou. And he does. Gaou’s power drives are stopped cold and the Devilbats begin to make inroads.

Hiruma coming back was something else. It was supposed to show his grit, his determination, his pure will power. But my only thought was, “grow up kid, you have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t waste it by destroying yourself right now”. Back in my teens or even 20’s I would have been eating up Hiruma’s attitude with two spoons! I guess I’m mellowing.

I kept wondering if they were going to end this game in this book but as soon as the page came up all dramatic about “Only 5 Minutes Left!!!” I knew another volume was on the way. Sure enough, 3 pages later the volume ended. It didn’t actually bother me, which surprised me. I think it is because it brought home to me that I am nearing the end of this series. Only 7 more volumes to go!

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Second Quarterback (Vol 29)

Second Quarterback (Eyeshield 21 #29) ★★★☆ ½

2quarterback (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Second Quarterback
Series: Eyeshield 21 #29
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The game between the Devilbats and the Dinosaurs begins. Kurita has gone through some special training allowing him to stop Gaou for 5 seconds, giving Hiruma the chance he needs to throw the ball. But when the other members of the Dinosaurs start showing their abilities, it becomes apparent that this will become more than just a contest of strength between Gaou and Kurita.

As the Devilbats refuse to break or lose their spirit, Marco, quarterback of the Dinosaurs, sacrifices one of his players to give Gaou a chance to destroy Hiruma. Gaou breaks Hiruma’s right arm and the Dinosaurs expect the Devilbats to fold, like all the previous teams have done. Instead, Sena, Eyeshield 21, steps up and takes over as Quarterback.

Thus ends the volume.

 

My Thoughts:

I still do not like Gaou as a player breaker. That is not how football is played. So that just sunk my enjoyment of this volume.

Seeing Sena step up at the end was really good though. While I’m not looking forward to more Gaou in the next volume, I AM looking forward to Sena as Quarterback.

★★★☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Vol 28)

Showdown at Tokyo Dome (Eyeshield 21 #28) ★★★★☆

battleatthetokyodome (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Showdown at Tokyo Dome
Series: Eyeshield 21 #28
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The game between the Hakushuu Dinosaurs and the Seiba Wild Gunmen. This game will determine who will play the Devil Bats. On the Dinosaurs side there is Gaou, a musclebound destroyer who breaks quarterbacks, either physically or mentally. Facing him are The Quickdraw Kid and Riku, who is equal to Sena in terms of speed. Things appear to be going the Gunmen’s way with the Kid’s ultra fast passing, which doesn’t allow Gaou time to lay a finger on him. Unfortunately, all it takes is one slow pass and the Kid is toast, with a broken arm. Riku rallies the Gunmen but it just isn’t enough. They are crushed 14-72.

The rest of the book is about how Kurita, Hiruma and Musashi all meet and eventually come together to create a football team.

 

My Thoughts:

This started out as a 3 star volume. Gaou as a player breaker was just beyond the pale of what I could accept as “real” in this manga. In the NFL (National Football League -American pro level) there is something called “unnecessary roughness”. If it becomes obvious that a player is physically beating on another player, that can be used. Depending on what is going on, it can be a warning and I believe, eventually lead to expulsion from the game. Needless to say, any player that consistently went around breaking bones in opposing teams would be banned pronto. So that dragged my enjoyment of the game down. It was as if Sena could suddenly run 100 yards in 1 second. That is just impossible and would destroy any enjoyment.

Thankfully, things were better with the memory montage. Kurita, the big fat lineman for the Devil Bats is going to be only guy able to deal with Gaou in the next game when it comes to pure power. But he’s not full of confidence so Hiruma sets up some stuff at the Tokyo Dome, a baseball game of all things and in the process Kurita remembers how they all came together and Hiruma kept his dream for an american football team alive.

For me, the most moving part was when Kurita had been told by the club directors that since he didn’t have 3 members, he couldn’t have a football club and that he couldn’t use the grounds and that he’d have to get rid of all his equipment. He’s burning it all and crying and Hiruma walks up to him and asks him if he’s giving up. Kurita turns to Hiruma with tears streaming down his face and says that he’s not giving up but that he doesn’t know what to do. Murata, the artist for the manga, just makes Kurita’s face express the palpable determination mixed with despair. If you’ve ever been in a like situation, you’ll want to cry right along with Kurita. Thankfully, it doesn’t end there but that was the high point of the book for me. It was poignant and moving.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Shin vs Sena (Vol. 27)