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Title: Open Season
Series: Eyeshield 21 #11
Author: Riichiro Inagaki
Artist: Yusuke Murata
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Scan
The Devil Bats make it back to Japan in time to start the Autumn Football season, which will end with the Christmas Bowl, the aim of so many of the players. A lot of character growth goes on and we see the ups and downs as players realize their limits and what they can and can't do.
The Devil Bats first game is against the Amino Cyborgs and their super science football players. Sena is late and it is up to the rest of the team to hold the line until their star runner can make it to the stadium.
This one was not all happy skippy. Some of the devil bats who made it through the Death march weren't picked for the team, as they just weren't good enough. Other members of other teams were having teenage crisis's of their own as they came up against the barriers of their own bodies. It was all very drama'y but in a very shounen way.
Mamori takes one step further toward's becoming Hiruma's love interest, as odd as it is to think of him having a love interest. So much is made of Mamori being like an older sister to Sena that at this point I'm resigned to her and Sena never getting beyond that "sibling" level.
We also see quite a bit of family interaction, at least compared to earlier volumes. Sena's homelife is exactly what you'd expect from someone like Sena in volume one. His mother's a harridan and his father's a weak "yes dear" kind of husband. It is good to see Sena growing beyond the barriers put up by his upbringing.
The game with the Cyborgs starts out very interesting. The Cyborgs just muscle their way through until the Devil Bat's coach reminds them about how they pushed the truck and suddenly, their training comes into play and they just tear apart the Cyborgs. But even with that, the Devil Bats can't score consistently on only a passing game.
And finally, that is where Sena makes his entrance. He gets on the wrong bus, and has to be driven to the stadium by one of the rival teams who want to beat Hiruma. Sena gets catapaulted into the stadium and makes a 3 point landing [foot, knee and hand] and looks wicked cool. It made me smile. Now the game, in the next book, can really begin!