Friday, July 28, 2006

Manga Feature: Eyeshield21

Hehe, so by now, everyone probably knows that I like to read romance... but I also love manga., probably because most contain romance. In addition, most of the time, you have nice drawings and good comedy. LOL. I mean, everything is pretty much acceptable in manga because it will be considered as overexaggeration while in books, it wouldn't come out the same way. So I'm a HUGE fan. Some ppl think that manga or even comics are for kids, but I beg to differ, they are soooo wrong. They're for everyone and thanx God for it.

People have been complaining in the past few years that manga and anime are getting boring and repetitive... i don't think so... true, not all manga are good, but every mangaka tries to personalize their own story, so :D Manga are categorized in two, well actually, 3 classes: shounen and shoujo. Shounen are usually for boys and shoujo for girls. One style that you often find in shounen are sports manga, i.e. a manga focused on a sport... such as Eyeshield21

Let's start by a confession: I never liked American football (at least, watching professional) So I was reluctant to read this manga. However, my good friend Sam recommended it to me and since we usually have the same taste, I give it a try... and never regret it. The manga is not finished yet and so far, I think there's about 19 volumes out (20th coming out this summer) and the story is far from finished...

Story: Sena is the young hero of this manga; he is shy, small and has pretty much been over-protected by his childhood friend Mamori, who is two year his senior. So Sena new life starts when he enters high school where he wishes he won't be bullied anymore, won't run errands for others anymore and where he'll make new friend. Meanwhile, Hiruma, the devil of the school, and his good buddy Kurita are looking for new members to join the football club as they are only two. Their dream is to participate to the Christmas Bowl and this is their last opportunity.

One day, Sena is being bullied and stumbled in the football clubroom. Kurita thinks that Sena wants to join up, but of course not. Then, he is won over by Kurita's enthusiasm and love for football and decides to become the secretary of the club. However, Sena has a secret skill: he's an extremely good and fast runner which he developped by running errands for others... and unfortunately for Sena, Hiruma sees him and from then, Sena had no choice then becoming a player... with a code name: Eyeshield21 (can't let Mamori know that Sena is playing, or she'd forced him to quit)...

So that's the beginning of the story and as a typical sports manga, they find new players to join the team, everyone evolves so much that you don't know where's the limit. However, it's interesting... really, it is ;D I love the characters :D Hiruma is so devilish! Basically, he blackmails ppl into doing stuff for him and the way he carries guns and other weapons and just fire is hilarious. Kurita is the sweet and nice senior - but he is huge. Sena is a nice character as well :D Anyway, it has a good mix of comedy, drama, sports and romance. What I especially like is that you learn a lot about american football - its rules, but also strategies and stuff like that.

Drawing-wise, the manga is quite appealing. Characters designs are quite simple, but it works and the mangaka's style improves with time.

So on my manga scale: 8.5/10. In other words, pretty good stuff and my next buy for manga.
(licensed in English by Viz and in French, by Glénat.)