Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Manga Review: Eyeshield 21 Vol. 17 by Riichiro Inagaki and Yusuke Murata

Every Tuesday I'll post either an anime or manga review. This might be my last manga review as I'll be contributing reviews to Comics Village next year.


It's only lately that I've been paying much closer attention to the detail and extras of Eyeshield 21. The devil bat segments at the end of each chapter is, as usual, funny and gives comedic relief to what can sometimes be a very serious comic. The same goes for the extra strips, such as Shin attempting to break the Nintendo DS Stylus. But moving on to the manga itself, the art is gorgeous as usual although that makes it a tragedy when some of the panels crossover to the next page and it is slightly covered by the binding. The details quite expressive, especially in one scene where half of Kurita's face is crying while the other half is burning with passion. Since this is in the middle of a game, most if not all of the panels are quite kinetic and there's never a dull moment. As far as the story goes, the Devil Deimon Bats are currently fighting the Seibu Wild Gunmen and are trying to make a comeback from a 20-point deficit. There's a quick summary of the events and an introduction to the cast of characters in the page preceding the first chapter but Inagaki has really assembled quite a cast that it might simply be an info dump to the uninitiated. Anyway, if you read the previous volume, this is the action-packed conclusion to the Devil Bats vs Wild Gunmen game and it doesn't disappoint. The strength of Inagaki is that he manages to make both teams impressive and appealing even if the game has a clear winner and loser. When I first read this volume, how the game ended shocked me considering all that our main characters have been through but Inagaki ends it with a satisfying moment. If you've been following this series, Eyeshield 21 Vol. 17 is a must-have. Otherwise, I really recommend starting from the beginning or at least the volume preceding this as there's not much story in this particular title but it's full of explosive action and sports drama.

Rating: 4/5.