Eyeshield 21 is a story that revolves around the American football experiences of Kobayakawa Sena. Sena is a small guy who has been bullied in school and as a result has gained amazing running speed to keep himself from being beat up. As he begins school at Deimon High, he meets Hiruma and Kurita, the only two members of Deimon's American football club. Their ultimate goal is the Christmas Bowl ¡V Japan's American football high school championships. They convince Sena to become their team's secret running back and play under the name Eyeshield 21. Sena and his new friends struggle towards their goals, encountering new teammates and rivals along the way.
The storyline for Eyeshield 21 was created by Inagaki Riichirou. Because it is a sports story, Eyeshield 21 carries many sports themes and follows a sports tournament timeline, but is unusual in its main character choice, with a seemingly weak character as the focus of his story. This changes the impact of the story and also lends itself towards the team dynamic that Inagaki focuses on, giving each character a change to explore their strengths and weaknesses. 10/10
The character designs for Eyeshield 21 are quite good. Inagaki works to come up with unique characters while Murata Yuusuke creates artwork to match each character's personality. The designs of each team are also interesting as Murata has many athletes reflect their respective team mascots.
The artwork for Eyeshield 21 is done by Murata Yuusuke. Murata is especially skilled at drawing from multiple angles and giving the reader a sense of the action and movement that takes place in the story. Even the backgrounds and peripheral characters of the manga are drawn with detail. Murata's attention to the characters also brings out a lot of the emotion in the story.
Eyeshield 21 is a great manga with an interesting mix of humor and serious storyline. An obvious read for fans of sports manga and even enjoyable for those who know little about the sport, as most of the athletic focus is on individual skills and explanation is provided throughout the story. With many likable characters and a compelling storyline, I highly recommend Eyeshield 21.