Rough ‘n’ Tumble (Eyeshield 21 #26) ★★★★ ½

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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: Rough ‘n’ Tumble
Series: Eyeshield 21 #26
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The game between the Devil Bats and the White Knights continues. Each team feeds off the other and individual players keep increasing the tempo of the game as a whole. This volume is mainly about the battles between Shin & Sena and Monta & Sakuraba.

The Kantou League President shows up to watch the game and it’s Monta’s old baseball Idol, which of course whips him into a frenzy.

The volume ends at the 3minute mark with the Devil Bats at 29 and the White Knights at 34.

 

My Thoughts:

In the previous volume, Perfect Players, Shin crushed everyone and anything in his way. This time, both Sena and Monta return the favor and simply go around, over and past anything the White Knights throw up as defensive measures.

The Shonen Influence is very visible, with each possession practically being a martial arts fight in spirit. Murata, the artist, does a fantastic job of showing the fighting spirit on the players faces and in their stances and actions. He made me feel like I was actually witnessing a battle between 2 armies. It was fantastic!

Even while this game is being written across multiple volumes, it hasn’t felt dragged out. That was my biggest concern going into this game, that things would be boringly stretched out and I’d lose interest. That has not happened, not even close. I cannot wait to see how this concludes because it feels like it is going to be epic!

On a side note, I believe I have found a good way to manage my manga reading without burning out. I’ve simply added an empty “Manga” collection on my kindle. Every time it goes down the list and reaches the 6th position [I have 25 collections], I simply read another volume on my tablet and move the Manga Collection up to the 1st position. Rinse and repeat. It keeps my manga reading synchonized with my other readings, allows some time between volumes and prevents me from feeling pressured that I have to read a volume on a certain date. For whatever reason, I don’t feel the pressure if it’s just part of the collection list. Part of that is that my reading of it isn’t tied down to a date or day, but simply to when I get to it. Isn’t it odd how the mind works? But I’m glad I’ve found a solution, because I LIKE reading manga and that last burn out kind of scared me. I’ve got too much manga still to read to burn out, you know? *grin*

★★★★ ½

bookstooge

  1. Review of Vol. 25

The Perfect Player (Eyeshield 21 #25) ★★★★ ½

perfectplayer

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 Perfect Player
Series:      Eyeshield 21 #25
Author:     Riichiro Inagaki
Artist:        Yusuke Murata
Rating:      4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre:        Sports Manga
Pages:        208
Format:     Digital Scan

 

 

Synopsis:

The Epic Game we’ve been waiting for, the Devil Bats versus the Oujou White Knights. Things start at 100% and go up from there. This deals with the first half of the game and Shin just dominates. He blocks, he runs, he moves Kurita, he keeps pace with Sena. He IS the perfect player.

The Devil Bats have 20minutes during half time to figure out a way to stop Shin. With the White Knights leading 13-6, a solution must be come to or the game is already over. Everything now rests on Sena’s legs. Will he be strong enough to face Shin down and overcome his rival?

 

My Thoughts:

Much more enjoyable than the previous book. It is almost sad to see how Shin just crushes everything in his path but watching a player become almost perfect is a joy in itself. It was very revealing when he matched speeds with Sena and Sena’s world comes crashing down. He is no longer the fastest player and he’s built his identity around that idea.

This volume did not feel drawn out at all and when it ended, with the faceoff between Sena and Shin just beginning in the Second Half, I almost wanted to immediately start Vol. 26 as well. Thankfully, I was able to throttle that desire, as it will lead to manga burnout. But now I will be looking forward to the next volume 🙂

★★★★ ½

bookstooge

  1. Review of Vol. 20
  2. Review of Vol. 21
  3. Review of Vol. 22
  4. Review of Vol. 23
  5. Review of Vol. 24

The Indomitable Fortress (Eyeshield 21 #24) (Manga (non) Monday) ★★★★☆

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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 Indomitable Fortress
Series:     Eyeshield 21 #24
Author:    Riichiro Inagaki
Artist:      Yusuke Murata
Rating:    4 of 5 Stars
Genre:     Sports Manga
Pages:     200
Format:   Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The Oujou Highschool is hosting a festival and the Devil Bats attend. Some to have fun, some to spy. With all that they see, the Devil Bats go for a quick 3 day counter-training program to hopefully deal with what they learned.

Then the fateful game between the Devil Bats and the Oujou White Knights begins. It will be an epic battle between individuals and between 2 teams that have simply dominated to this point. There are no more tricks, no more time to do special training, no more people to pull in at the last moment. It is now Mano E Mano and one team is going to go on to the Christmas Bowl and one team will have its dreams crushed forever.

 

My Thoughts:

It’s been quite some time since I read Then Came the Showdown! [Vol 23] and I was just in a manga slump. So today I decided that after church, I was going to sit down and read this volume,no matter what. It also helped that I needed something much lighter than the Deadhouse Gates Readalong that I’ve been participating in with Dragons&Zombies. I also wanted to sneak in one more book before April ended so I could at least list a double digit number instead of a single number 😦

[Yes, as much as I may naysay and decry, I am VERY aware of my numbers]

The Festival was fun. The kind of humor that Eyeshield 21 excels at. The stupidest guy from the White Knights and the stupidest guy from the Devilbats end up in a quiz show against each other and it was just so perfect that I laughed my head off.

Which was good. Because the game is going to be intense and drawn out. This is one of the battles that we’ve been waiting for since the earliest books. It is raining and the atmosphere is appropriately gritty. Things start off explosively, with both sides immediately giving it 100% from the get go and leaving no reserve for later. This will be a game of stamina and whoever folds first will be crushed.

I am preparing myself for this game taking at least 3 books. The other time a long drawn out game was shown, I did find myself getting bored so we’ll see if that happens again.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Review of Volume 19
  2. Review of Volume 18
  3. Review of Volume 17
  4. Review of Volume 16

Then Came the Showdown! (Eyeshield 21 #23) (Manga Monday)

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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,, Booklikes & Librarything and links at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 

Title: Then Came the Showdown!
Series: Eyeshield 21 #23
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 210
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The Devil Bats win against the Naga, at great physical cost to each player. Then we follow the other 3 games of the day and watch new teams and new techniques come to light.

The volume concludes with the Devil Bats taking a day off to rest,but they all end up at the clubhouse anyway, so obviously Hiruma uses that time to get some stuff in. The next battle is agains the White Knights and as things stand, the Devil Bats do not stand a chance against them.

 

My Thoughts:

After having drawn out the game against the Naga for 3 volumes, the last 4 seconds of the game, and the win, felt rather anti-climactic. It did come down to a battle between Hiruma and Agon and Hiruma’s year of practice and 1/10th of a second paid dividends. Agon ate dirt and I was pretty happy. He was a scumbag and I wished he’d been broken instead of just beaten in the game. I wanted his soul crushed, his spirit destroyed, his very will to live extinguished. As you can tell, I didn’t like him.

The short little episodes showing the highlights of the games by other teams just didn’t work for me either. After a 3 book game, it felt very rushed and like it was a scheme for getting info to the readers without telling a good story. I know that Sena/Eyeshield 21 and the Devil Bats are the main characters, but for goodness sake, a little balance wouldn’t hurt things.

There was nothing wrong with this volume at all beyond the imbalance, but it was noticeable enough for me to ding a star off.

star40full-custom

 

 

bookstooge

  1. Review of Volume 11

  2. Review of Volume 12

  3. Review of Volume 13

  4. Review of Volume 14

  5. Review of Volume 15

Time-Out 0 (Eyeshield 21 #22) (Manga Monday)

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 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 and links at Booklikes, & Goodreads by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 

Title: Time-Out 0
Series: Eyeshield 21 #22
Author: Riichiro Inagakii
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 210
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The battle for the game continues between the Devil Bats and the Naga.

Monta wins the catching game against both Ikkyu AND Agon, thus allowing a crucial 4 seconds to remain on the clock. Sena’s legs are done. He has one play left in him and that is it. Hiruma is pulling out every single trick he can think of to keep the dream of going to the Christmas Bowl alive.

The rest of the Naga watch as their top players are countered and it shakes them. Agon isn’t shaken, but neither does he learn. He knows that his talent has been enough before and he’s going to stick with that.

The volume ends with 4 seconds on the clock and 8 yards to go for the Devil Bats to tie the game up. Not Fair!

 

My Thoughts:

Holy smokes, another nail biting, adrenalin pumping volume of Eyeshield 21! It was awesome to see the various members of the Devil Bats match the Naga in ability and come back from an impossible point deficit.

Honestly, since this is still the same game started 2 books ago, (or was it three?), I don’t have much to say. There is no resolution and I’m not one to talk about specific plays within a game since it doesn’t mean that much to me. Monta catches the ball, Sena runs the ball, Hiruma throws the ball, The End.

It is kind of a double edged sword, being a social football fan. Since I’m not that into it, I don’t care about the details as much, but if I were into the details, I’d probably give up in disgust as it wouldn’t match real life; this is a manga after all. It would be like me reading a Land Surveying Manga, hahahhaa. Goodness, the very idea makes me cringe, as I could see something like cutting down whole forests with one “power” swing of a machete or bouncing the laser off of multiple objects and getting the info from each bounce, just silly things like that. That wouldn’t be real, but to someone who doesn’t know surveying, it would just be cool.

I actually groaned at the end of this volume, as the manga-ka lets the reader believe the game is lost for the Devil Bats for at least 3 pages. Then I groaned again, and louder, when the volume ended and there were 4 SECONDS left on the clock. All I can say is that they had better finish this game next volume and give me some “slice of life” segments to break up all the “football”. It’s getting pretty danged serious and needs some lightening up again.

star45full-custom

 

 

bookstooge

  1. Review of Volume 6

  2. Review of Volume 7

  3. Review of Volume 8

  4. Review of Volume 9

  5. Review of Volume 10

They Were 11! (Eyeshield 21 #21) (Manga Monday)

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 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 and links at Booklikes, & Goodreads by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 

 

Title: They were 11!
Series: Eyeshield 21 #21
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Sports Manga
Pages: 180
Format: Paperback

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

The Second Half. The Devil Bats begin to grind their way through Agon and his team the Naga’s. Each member begins to give more than they have, as this IS a do or die game. Things are starting to seem favorable after 2 touchdowns, but with it still being 32-14, can the Devil Bats come back?

With a 3point kick by the Naga, bringing the score to 35-14, the volume ends. Ouch.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh man. This was another good volume full of tricks and surprises by Hiruma. I did begin to wonder just when he would run out of tricks though. At some point all avenues are closed and your hand is empty of cards. But so far, he keeps on pulling out more cards and hanging in there by the skin of his teeth.

This time around we see how physical the game is, as Sena’s legs are starting to give out on him. He is relying on time outs to allow them to be iced and to go for just “a bit more”. We’ll see if he can go the entire game. I am also wondering if the manga-ka will deal with recovery between games, as that is a very real thing.

Since the game doesn’t end with this volume, I suspect that the next couple of games are going to be very long and span 4+ volumes. I have to admit, I am not looking forward to that. I have much preferred the volumes that encompass 1 game or maybe 2 volumes that encompass pre-game off field things [slice of life stuff], game and then post game off field action. I am not enough of a football fan to want a game drawn out so long like I suspect the rest will be.

star40full-custom

 

 

bookstooge

 

  1. Review of Volume 1

  2. Review of Volume 2

  3. Review of Volume 3

  4. Review of Volume 4

  5. Review of Volume 5

Devils vs. Gods (Eyeshield 21 #20) (Manga Monday)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 
Title: Devils vs. Gods
Series: Eyeshield 21 #20
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 150
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The Devil Bats begin their impossible battle against the reigning champions, the Naga. Hiruma taunts Agon, the star player but realizes that his tricks will only go so far against the Naga’s huge pool of natural talent.

Every trick, every play that the Devil Bats can come up, the Naga simply surpass them.

Agon is a brute, a believer in Power and Ability above all else. He plays to hurt and he plays by himself. His own team is simply there so he doesn’t have to do everything himself. And as much as Hiruma and the Devil Bats may hate him and his arrogance, he has the ability to back up everything he claims.

The books end at the half time mark with a score of 32-0 in the Naga’s favor.

 

My Thoughts:

After Superbowl 51 last night where the New England Patriots [whoooo!] came back from a huge deficit to win against the Atlanta Falcons, it was very fitting to read an Eyeshield 21 manga today. And to have the book end just like where I gave up watching the game last night, with an impossible gap, well, that is just great drama.

And just like how the Pats came back, with 17 more volumes in this series I KNOW that the Devil Bats will come back. And it will be glorious to see Agon eat the dust of defeat.

Now, for this volume. It was solid. Watching the Naga steamroll the Bats was disheartening but it also drove home the point that football is a brutal sport.

The overall dourness was lightened by little things here and there. For example, in one scene a reporter is interviewing one of the players and in the background you see two little chibi versions of some other players being chased by the team mascot, a mad dog who is carrying a knife and fork. Just silly little things like that keep the tone from getting too dark or serious.

star40full-custom

Bookstooge Wins the Superbowl!

For those of you who don’t follow Football, aren’t in the United States or are heathens of the worst stripe, last night was the Superbowl. The Biggest Sporting Event of the Year here in the States.

My team, the New England Patriots were playing against the Falcons. We were losing, losing badly. It was 9 to 28 in the 3rd quarter and things seemed totally hopeless. That was when I had to step in and pump up my man Brady:

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(Just a little deflate-gate humor there, btw) As you can see, he was totally inspired by what I had to say, as was the rest of the team. Now, how did an apparent nobody like Bookstooge gain access to such a prestigious event and the Quarterback himself?  Easy! I just showed him a couple of my signed books by the likes of Sanderson, Jordan, Correia and the rest was history.

 

trust-the-cat-always-trust-the-cat-13932

So if you are celebrating today, You Are Welcome. If you are a Falcons fan, well, maybe you should have been better read.  Now I have to go to work exhausted. It’s not easy being a secret superstar.

star50-custom-custom

The Successor (Eyeshield 21 #19) (Manga Monday)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 
Title: The Successor
Series: Eyeshield 21 #19
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The second half of the game between the Spiders and the Devil Bats concludes. Hiruma continues to play his games within games and Sena continues his growth as a player.

Then comes an interlude in the form of one page vignettes.

The book ends with the choosing of the teams to compete in the Christmas Bowl. The Devil Bats are facing the Naga, the team that has won the Championship for the last 9 years. This is the same team whose Captain is a football genius without trying and who enjoys hurting people and using his skill to get away with hoodlum acts.

 

My Thoughts:

My enjoyment shot up again. The game was really good even while ending extremely quickly. Hiruma had a plan right from the get go and it didn’t come to fruition until the last 5minutes of the game. That is some serious long term planning.

I continue to be impressed with how Hiruma keeps his crazy, gun shooting ways in the forefront even while scouting and planning ahead. He’s as smart as the other guys who scream “genius” but he keeps it hidden.

What I enjoyed the most about this volume was the little vignettes. They ranged from deeply pathos to highly humorous. I was man-tear’ing up and laughing out loud within minutes, and no, it wasn’t me being manic.

star45full-custom

Sena Kobayakawa (Eyeshield 21 #18) (Manga Monday Part II)

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 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, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.
Title: Sena Kobayakawa
Series: Eyeshield 21 #18
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

The game between the White Knights and the Spiders happens and the White Knights crush the Spiders.

Which leads into the wildcard game between the Devil Bats and the Spiders. The Spiders are a kick team and with their own Eyeshield 21, they dominate the first half of the game. Sena puts off his eyeshield and plays as himself for the first time. If he wants to put that eyeshield back on, he’ll have to overcome the Other Eyeshield 21.

 

My Thoughts:

This was still a good volume, but it lacked some of the humor and some of the passion of the previous books, which is why I knocked it half a star.

This was a very different kind of game from what we’ve seen so far. It made for a good break and introduced some new skills and parts of the game. The Spiders are dominating so far and there doesn’t seem much that the Devil Bats can do. Obviously the Devil Bats will have to change their strategy and each team member will have to improve.

star35full-custom