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Title: The False Hero
Series: Eyeshield 21
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Scan
After celebrating their first win, ever, the Devil Bats must now face the toughest team in Highschool, the White Knights. Sena still carries on his Eyeshield 21 alter-ego and nobody suspects. However, while he maybe super fast, he's still a skinny kid and that makes a difference when playing football.
Shin, from the White Knights, is introduced and appears to be one of those characters which will become Sena's Frenemy. The guy is the top player in the league, does handstand pushups with his thumbs and can read the opposition's skill level at a glance. Yet he's brutally honest and wants nothing to do with the limelight.
The rules of football are introduced in little bits and are illustrated in the manga story itself, so it is easy to follow along and not get lost with what is going on.
Not nearly so funny as the previous book but just as good. Sena begins the process of becoming part of a team and realizing that he can depend on others, which completely contradicts his personal life experience so far.
Considering that most of the players are learning the rules as they go along, ie, 10 yards completed to get another first down, it is a surprise that they can play at all. But for all the cliche of "the rookie team with heart and talent" it still really works. The Devil Bats have a great disparate group of characters to work with and I hope the creators make full use of the others even while keeping Sena in the foreground.
My one beef is how Mamori just doesn't realize that Eyeshield 21 is Sena. She's his childhood friend, is smart enough to have memorized the rulebook and quote them back at the quarterback and is organized beyond belief. But she can't see the connection between Sena mysteriously "going to get batteries for the cam" and Eyeshield 21 suddenly showing up? I understand it is a plot point and while it might work for the rest of the team, she doesn't seem like a dupe.
And the title of the book. This is referring to Sena as he realizes that his Eyeshield 21 personna just isn't enough with speed alone or by himself. Right at the end he quits and then comes back when he realizes how hard the rest of the team is working to support Eyeshield 21, even if their skills aren't that good. One of those fuzzy, feel good moments. Kind of like this series' version of the Yugioh's "Friendship" schmaltz.