Eyeshield 21

 EYE2   (Viz, 2005-2011)

™ and © 2002 Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata
Reads right to left; black and white.

On his first day at high school, life–long loser Sena gets the attention of Hiruma, the demonic–looking captain of the football team. Once he learns of Sena’s incredible speed, Hiruma uses a combination of blackmail, intimidation, and torture to compel him to be on the team. On the surface, Sena’s just their manager, but really he’s their secret weapon, the running back code–named Eyeshield 21.

Anyone who knows anything about American–style football or takes it seriously would be well advised to give this goofy slapstick manga, oddly told in a mostly serious art style, a wide berth. It’s overwhelmingly silly, which helps defuse some of the striking cruelty; readers discover Sena’s speed is the result of years of sprinting to fetch snacks for older boys. At least Sena has one good friend, Mamori (who states the obvious when she identifies herself as his “beautiful childhood friend”). Naturally, she believes in him for no apparent reason, offering Sena the slimmest possibility that there actually could be romance in his future.

— S.A. Bennett

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#1

Date: 3/1/2005
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 Riichiro InagakiYusuke Murata

#2

Date: 5/1/2005
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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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