"Little by little... it's as if the lies are becoming true."The titular character of the series, Sena (alias: Eyeshield 21) entered high school always running from and running errands for bullies, with his remarkable foot speed. Of course, his talents are spotted by the school's resident Shadow Dictator and captain of the two man American Football team and Sena is promptly blackmailed recruited into the team.
Position: Running back/Free Safety
40 yard dash: 4.2 seconds
Bench Press: 45 kg (99 lbs)
Height: 155 cm (5' 1")
Weight: 48 kg (105 lb)
Blood Type: A
Birthday: December 21
1st Year Student (Grade 10)
Nickname: Eyeshield 21
Accidental Athlete: His abilities would have gone relatively unnoticed had it not been for a certain someone.
Becoming the Mask: Originally was a coward who, while fast, did the running AWAY from his problems instead of solving them. Eventually, he becomes an inspiration to his teammates and surpasses the ORIGINAL Eyeshield 21.
Beware the Nice Ones: An absolute doormat who will run your errands and never complain about being called names. But do not, repeat, do not try any of that with his friends, because he will ruin your shit. In particular, Kongo Agon discovered to his detriment that insulting the dreams of Kurita, Hiruma, and Musashi was an excellent way to hammer Sena's Berserk Button.
Or, in a filler episode of the anime, when Habashira kidnaps Mamori. Sena hands him his ass so hard its hard to believe that it's the same Sena.
Butt Monkey: Is subject to this throughout the series, though admittedly, most of the Devilbats are when they're subjected to Hiruma's various schemes.
Clark Kenting: Subverted; the eyeshield and helmet (along with a self-modified "deeper" voice) don't make his true identity glaringly obvious, it's just that he never bothers to check his speed when out of uniform. Not helping matters is that due to Hiruma, Eyeshield 21 has two VERY different personalities on and Off-field.
Cowardly Lion: He is the Ace running back of the Deimon Devilbats. And of course, starts out as a complete wimp, who'd rather run from fights than face them head on.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: At the end of the rematch against Ojou, nearly all the ace players of the previous arcs declare this in their minds that THEY will be the ones to take down Eyeshield 21.
Older than They Look: Though to be fair, he's constantly near people who look WAY older then their actual age.
Worthy Opponent: It'd be easier to name the characters he wasn't a worthy opponent to.
If they score 99 points on us, we score 100 points on them! In football, offense wins!Undoubtedly the most memorable character of the series, Hiruma is the demonic, gun-toting co-founder and captain of the Devil Bats who will do anything short of outright cheating to help his team win (and get away with it, too). "Anything" includes blackmail, threats (with guns, lots of guns), psychological warfare, trick plays, Training from Hell, and that's just to his own team. A brilliant chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, Hiruma seems to care little for his teammates other than their abilities to win football games. But through Character Development, he shows that he does care for and believe in his friends. In his own special way.
Blackmail: He is the God of it and has blackmail material for most people on Earth, including the security guards at the Tokyo Dome, a few cops in Houston, and a motel owner somewhere along on the Death March.
Poker Master: His ability to strategize, bluff and manipulate his opponents is so great, it is literally the only thing that keeps the Devilbats from getting crushed by teams that surpass them in sheer athletic ability.
Eagleland: An interesting example. Although he's ethnically Japanese and has lived in Japan his entire life, he spent a lot of his childhood hanging out at an American military base (and it shows). As a result, he exhibits nearly every type 2 trait, such as:
Loudness, lack of personal space, rudeness, crudeness, violence, sadism, trigger happy, militant leadership, boisterousness, use of intimidation, a "might-equals-right" mindset, ruthless ambition, fluency in English, cheerful psychoticness, and, of course, an undying love of football.
Hyperspace Arsenal: He carries innumerable pistols, rifles, and bazookas and other items of various uses on his body without it ever being discernible. And then he showed up with a tank. During a sports festival.
Intelligence Equals Isolation: Well, there are severalreasons why people would steer clear of him for the most part, but the fact that he'd rather hustle money and write football strategies than actively seek friends is pretty telling.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He doesn't show it often, but it's there. It's also been stated after the last chapter that he financially helps Kid start his own stunt company...probably not without ulterior motives of some sort...
Especially with regards to his team. The only permanent members of the team he blackmailed ended up glad that they were able to be something more than punks. He also passed Yukimitsu Manabu at the Hell Tower, despite him arriving with no ice and obviously unable to run the tower again, purely because he showed the tenacity Hiruma wanted. On the other side of things, he also released the Zokugaku Chameleons from their debt to him well in advance of the fall tournament, giving them plenty of time for training and showing that he stops short of the spirit of cheating, not just the letter.
Despite his generally callous attitude towards Mamori, when Gaou invaded the stands after the Dinosaurs-Sphinx match, Hiruma put himself infront of Mamori and Suzuna, pulling out a handful of tasers with the full intent of protecting them.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Two varieties: in the early days, he packs up to go home once there's a zero percent chance of winning, later on he uses the tactical retreat to his advantage (and to piss off his opponent).
During the Seibu game, when Tetsuma does not go down from a bump, Hiruma shows Kid the entire playbook he'd planned, and says that its useless now.
Never Tell Me the Odds: Played with, as he always knows and often announces the odds, but will not give up unless the possibility of success is an absolute zero. What happens in that situation is part of his Character Development.
The Nicknamer: He calls a number of characters, including his team-mates, "Fucking (something)" (changed to "damn (something)" in the English translation).
The strongest and slowest player in the Deimon Devilbats by far, Kurita lives with his father, who is a leader of a Buddhist sect. As a boy, he was overfed by his father who believed that a young boy had to eat a lot. A soft and kind fellow, he contrasts sharply to Hiruma, the devlilish captain of the team. His battle cry of "Funuruba" is shouted often on the field. He loves American football and is passionate about the sport, to the point of sometimes attending morning practice as early as 2:00am. He originally wanted to attend Shinryuuji, but Agon, disliking the fact that a slow player like Kurita could get into Shinryuuji, took the athletic scholarship despite being talented enough to enter the school normally. Hiruma and Musashi left with Kurita and instead attended Deimon.
Covered In Scars: For some time after his training with Banba. They fade after the timeskip though.
Determinator: Less obvious than many others, but Kurita's a perfect offensive lineman. It's been shown that his strength actually increases the more people he has to protect, to the point where he stopped Mr. Don singlehandedly just before Agon would have been broken in two.
Likewise when he first awakened against Rikiya Gaou, who had never faced an equal on the line before that moment, and who had spent half the game overpowering Kurita and breaking his spirit. But when he realized that Gaou was just going to obliterate every single person on his team unless he stopped him? That would not stand.
This is evident in the creation of the Devilbats. Kurita was pressured to give up football by numerous factors: not making it into Shinryuuji because of Agon, being the only one at Deimon who practiced, and the faculty then telling him to stop playing. But he never gave up the sport. And eventually convinced the captain of the Devilbats to play as well. Hiruma is the how of Deimon's founding, but Kurita's spirit is largely the why.
Stout Strength: Built like a sumo wrestler; easily one of the strongest characters in the series.
Took a Level in Badass: For the Christmas Bowl. He became the only person in Japan capable of stopping, and even topplingGaou. Banba notes that this was an increase in technique and mental fortitude than strength.
Position: ManagerSena's childhood friend, she's always been there to protect him. Sena originally keeps her in the dark about his identity as Eyeshield 21 to stop her worrying (and to prevent friction between her and Hiruma).
But Not Too Foreign: While Hiruma is American by osmosis, Mamori had an American grandfather. Her mother thinks that this is where she gets her interest in football. Word of God is that the author came up with it after color art showed her with brown hair. Blackmailing quarterbacks can dye their hair; managers who are on the discipline committee (which is worse than being the Class Rep)? Forget it.
To the point where she'll even stand up to Hiruma or Gaou to protect someone!
My Beloved Smother: Has some shades of this in the start towards Sena, though she eventually lets go of it.
The Not-Love Interest: An interesting example as it was hinted that Mamori was supposed to be Sena's love interest in the beginning, but became a not-love interest when it became clear their relationship was too much like that of a mother and son (and the fans found her relationship with Hiruma to be much more interesting).
Ship Tease: With Hiruma. Nothing came out of it since no romance in this manga. Though it's pretty telling that she chose to go to the same college with Hiruma instead of Sena when everyone, including the Hiruma, Kurita, Musashi combo, went their own separate ways.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: With Suzuna. Though interestingly, which is which depends on the context. On the field, Mamori is the perceptive, football-savvy manager dressed in a t-shirt and track pants while Suzuna is the cutesy cheerleader in a mini-skirt. Off the field, Mamori is the ladylike Team Mom in frilly clothing while Suzuna is the snarky shorttank who hangs around Sena and Monta.
Position: Full BackA plain (very plain) fellow who was recruited by Sena from the track team as a helper. Though not an official member of the team, as he's only loaned from the track team, he plays in every match and is more or less accepted as a permanent member. Paradoxically, his lack of remarkable features is the only thing remarkable about him; his lack of presence occasionally lets him slip through the opposing line and gain some yardage, but that's about all you can say about Ishimaru. Wait, who were we talking about again?
Butt Monkey: Everyone calls him plain. Like everything else, he's alright with this.
Demoted to Extra: As more characters got introduced, he became less and less represented in the show and manga because, let's face it, he's by far the least interesting member of the team. Or any of the teams for that matter.
Took a Level in Badass: Sets the tone for how far the entire team progresses in between beating Hakushuu and facing Teikoku by successfully doing the Rodeo Drive to start off the match, taking the Alexanders (briefly) by surprise.
Taro "Monta" Raimon
A hot-headed first-year student with an uncanny resemblance to a monkey. Originally a member of Deimon's baseball team, he always wanted to be a great baseball player like his hero, Masaru Honjo of the Shuhei Bears. But while Monta's skills weren't well-rounded enough for baseball, he was still an excellent catcher, and was eventually convinced to join the Devil Bats as a receiver. Eventually develops the "Devil Bat Backfire", where he catches the ball from behind his head.
Position: Wide Receiver / Cornerback
40 yard dash: 5.0 seconds
Bench Press: 50 kg (110 lb)
Height: 155 cm (5' 1")
Weight: 51 kg (112 lbs)
Birthday: August 31st
1st Year Student (Grade 10)
Alternate Character Reading: He got his nickname from Sena misreading "Raimon Taro" as "Kaminari Montaro" on the baseball team's roster. He didn't like it at first, but changed his mind once Hiruma told him that the name came from Joe Montana.
Position: LinemenKazuki Juumonji (the one with the scar), Kouji Kuroki (the one with dark hair), and Shozo Togano (the one with sunglasses who's always reading manga) were originally just three delinquents who targeted Sena on his first day at Deimon. However, Sena managed to dodge them, and Hiruma managed to get some embarrassing pictures, using them to blackmail the trio into leaving Sena alone. While scouring the Devil Bats' clubhouse for the negatives of those photos, they got dragged into an exhibition game with the Zokugaku Chameleons, and from then on were blackmailed into acting as linemen. However, they gradually built up a camaraderie with the rest of the team and start taking the sport more seriously as time goes on.
Divergent Character Evolution: All three started out as typical delinquents, but eventually became a smart guy who ran in the wrong crowd (Juumonji), big fan of manga and aspiring artist (Togano), and an avid Video Gamer( Kuroki)
A diminutive but powerful first-year student who looks up to Kurita. Communicates almost exclusively in "Power-Speak", a language of grunts and one-word sentences that can only be understood by strong men such as Kurita (and Mamori, for some reason).
A second-year student who had grown tired of being pressured by his mother, and everyone around him, into spending all his free time studying. He joined the Devil Bats in search of something more, and managed to stick with the team through all the hellish training. While he wasn't good enough to be more than a benchwarmer, he eventually got to prove himself during the Fall Tournament.
Position: Wide Receiver (occasionally a lineman or assorted defensive position)
40 yard dash: 5.6 seconds
Bench Press: N/A
Height: 179 cm (5' 10")
Weight: 67 kg (147 lb)
Birthday: February 29th
2nd Year Student (Grade 11)
Awesomeness by Analysis: Yukimitsu is capable of making very good split-second decisions during play—he's the only receiver in the series that runs the option route because he's the only one who can observe and calculate as quickly as Hiruma, and he figures out Ojou's plan in time to keep them from running the time clock out by letting them get a touchdown.
Badass Bookworm: He becomes this eventually, putting his eidetic & photographic memory and fast thinking to good use.
Bald of Awesome: He starts out as a balding teenager to enforce his frail body. He gets a full head of hair on the last third of the manga to show his new, healthier build, but his forehead is still as big and shiny as before.
Determinator: It's how he goes from bookworm to athlete. Yukimitsu may very well be the biggest one in a series that could be called a World of Determinator—one of the chapters focusing on him is named "First in Tenacity."
Geek Physique: He's the only one who can rival Hiruma in skinniness.
Heroic Second Wind: During the last match of Deimon vs Ojou, Yukimitsu has completely run out of stamina and is lying on the bench, lacking the strength to even sit up. But when Sena is injured and Hiruma needs a replacement for just one play, Yukimitsu realizes it has to be him, and puts on one hell of a Death Glare as he forces himself to his feet to help his team by taking on Shin and making a comeback possible for Deimon.
The Smart Guy: Even before he started playing physically he helped Hiruma and Mamori make calls from the bench; easily the smartest guy on the field once he gets out there.
Took a Level in Badass: A top contender for this trope's poster child. He went from stick-thin bookworm who couldn't remotely keep up with the rest of the Devil Bats, to getting a touchdown on two undisputed athletic geniuses.
A good-looking, flamboyant idiot with a highly exaggerated sense of his own skills. After flunking out of a football team tryout in America during the Death March arc, he decides to go back to Japan with the Devil Bats and play for them.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Taki can come off like a jackass, what with his colossal ego, but he's a remarkably nice guy under it all, and he certainly brings a lot of enthusiasm to the team.
Notably, unlike most people with an ego, Taki never compares himself to others. Most characters with an undeserved ego are all about how much better they are than others, but Taki only thinks in terms of how awesome he is, without comparing himself to others or others to himself, which makes it easy for him to acknowledge how amazing his teammates are, while still thinking of himself as the best thing since sliced bread.
The third founding member of the Devil Bats, he has the stone-faced demeanor of a man at least twice his age. He was forced to leave school and help the family construction business after his father fell ill, but he finally returned as the Devil Bats' kicker during the game with the Seibu Wild Gunmen.
Position: Kicker / Punter / Linebacker
40 yard dash: 5.6 seconds
Bench Press: 90 kg (198 lb)
Height: 177 cm (5' 10")
Weight: 77 kg (169 lb)
Birthday: April 2nd
2nd Year Student (Grade 11)
Badass: Makes kicking look very cool. This is frequently lampshaded.
In the game against Shinryuji, it was his kicking that gets the first Oh Crap reaction from them.
Chekhov's Gunman: Introduced as a carpenter long before we had any idea he was the mysterious Musashi.
Jerkass Fašade: Has habit of giving insensitive statement to cover much more noble intention. He saying that Kurita's and Hiruma's dream are stupid to dissuade them from rerecruits him, since his father is sick and he had to take care family business by himself. He also smokes in front of Mamori for this reason. He later states that he should be the quarterback after Hiruma got sacked since he had stronger body than the first years, and rubbing their weakness in their face, while actually it is his way to saying that he should be one who risked getting broken than the first years, who still had their future in front of them.
Rated M for Manly: Stubble and general hairiness? Check. Muscular physique? Check. Manly occupation? Check. Mangst? The source of his inner turmoil. Also, his name is ''Musashi''.
Was even voted manliest (over Kid and before Gaou came along), by the fans.
Position: CoachAn old man with a weakness for drink who taught Kurita, Hiruma, and Musashi a few things about football. Back in college, he played football alongside Gunpei Shoji, coach of the Ojou White Knights.
Two guys from the basketball team who were blackmailed into acting as support players. Not much to say about them, but Satake once stole underwear from the girls' swim team locker room (which turned out to belong to the cleaning lady), and Yamaoka is a fanboy of Ai Kago from Morning Musume.
A sumo club member who is so lazy, he can't even be bothered to open his eyes. When Sena and Natsuhiko took the wrong bus to the game with the Amino Cyborgs, he was dragged in as a stand-in, and has since stayed on as a support player.
The man widely regarded as the best defense player in the high school league. Shin is a hard-working genius who is constantly training to improve himself. At 4.4 seconds, he used to hold the record of the fastest 40 yard dash, until Sena surpassed him. His signature move is the spear tackle, which he later evolves into the trident tackle.
Position: Linebacker / Fullback / Running Back
40 yard dash: 4.4 seconds in the Kanto Tournament, 4.2 seconds
Genre Savvy: He doesn't usually display elements of this, but in one memorable case he left the Deimon-Kyoshin game early while Deimon was behind — because he knew Eyeshield 21 would use some crazy new technique to win it all like he's done so many times before.
He's almost like a serious version of Genius Ditz, where football is his area.
Genius Ditz: He's the real captain of Ojo, and when he wants, he can be a very good captain. He's really at the most Book Dumb with a little lack of common sense. Whenever he's serious about football, he will give good advice and be a much more approachable guy.
Heroic BSOD: Just as he thinks his efforts have finally paid off, he's told that the scholarship he had worked so hard for was meant for his brother. In contrast to other break downs, he doesn't work any less harder afterward, he simply stops seeing his own self-worth.
Position: Many; typically Linebacker or QuarterbackUnsui's brother, whose fast nerve control caused him to become brilliant but lazy, as well as a smug, arrogant jerk. He worked with Hiruma prior to the events of the story.
Ambiguously Brown: Although anyone whose read or watched Eyeshield past the Taiyou match will know there's no point basing a character's ethnicity off their physical appearance, a lot of newcomers to the series assume Agon's black.
Not to mention in the colored illustrations his skin color varies from being the same shade as everyone else's to being the token brown guy. The anime went with him being tan.
Broken Ace: He gets the best grades out of the entire cast, is popular with girls, has great social skills (when he bothers with that sort of stuff), and is the most talented athlete of a century. He's also a huge douche.
Although it doesn't make his actions any more excusable, his huge ego and superiority complex are somewhat more understandable when you consider he's been called a prodigy and a "once-in-a-century" genius his entire life with nothing to prove him otherwise.
Character Development: Never really stops being a smug, insufferable jerk, but in the final match against America, he actually starts to enjoy playing football. He also seems to understand Kurita's true strength at long last when Kurita singlehandedly saved him from Don, not holding a grudge at all when Agon himself admitted he had every right to. It's enough that Agon trusts Kurita as a lineman from that point on.
Chekhov's Gunman: Introduced during Deimon's second ever match; later outed as one of the worst villains in the series.
Disc One Final Boss: In the Kantou Regionals. Given the amount of build-up they get one could be forgiven for expecting Agon (and by extent, the Shinryuuji Naga) to be the main antagonists of the Kantou Arc. Instead they're knocked out in the first round and Marco Reiji and his Hakushuu Dinosaurs take over as the Climax Bosses of the arc.
The Dreaded: During the build-up to the Kantou Arc. Sena (and everyone who isn't Hiruma) are terrified of him, and even his own teammates shake in his presence. During the Youth World Cup Arc he instills that same fear in a number of opposing players, and is the on the recieving end of it from Mr. Don.
Dreadlock Rasta: Subverted. Despite constantly being referred to as "the reggae head", he attends a Buddhist school.
Enemy Mine: During the World Cup. Really, Agon is a lot easier to deal with when he's calling the other team trash, especially against Clifford.
Evil Duo: Used to work together with Hiruma years ago. They weren't exactly on good terms even back then, and claim they were pretty much just using each other.
Evil Former Friend: Is implied to be this with Hiruma. Of course they've both always been evil.
Evil Is Petty: Aimed a football at Sena's right eye, threw a football at the knees of a kid in a wheelchair, stole a car, threatened injury on Kid and Hiruma while driving a stolen car, stole Kurita's scholarship, shoved Mamori to the ground, calls you a fat loser when you're feeling down and gives his older brother noogies. PURE EVIL.
Lets not forget his underage drinking and promiscuity.
For the Evulz: He doesn't especially like football, he just likes "putting people in their place" (according to him).
Freudian Excuse: From day one, he's been told he's special. His coach threatens horrific retribution on any team member who mimics Agon, but lets him get away with his behaviour solely because of his talent. Is it any surprise he turned out the way he did?
Identical Twin ID Tag: Although he doesn't like to admit it, without his dreads and sunglasses he and Unsui are difficult to tell apart.
I Have You Now, My Pretty: A mild example. During his first appearance, he quite bluntly tells Unsui that he wants to get into Mamori's pants (while leering at her through goggles, no less). During his second appearance he's a bit too touchy when hitting on Mamori and shoved her to the ground when she rejected his advances.
Laser-Guided Karma: When the Devil Bats make their final two-point coversion, knocking him and his team out of the tournament, it's Kurita who pins Agon down before he can grab Sena.
Lightning Bruiser: Agon's frighteningly strong, and while he's not as fast as Sena or Shin, his incredible reaction time means he might as well be.
That being said, Always Someone Better is still in full effect here, surprisingly enough. Shin and Yamato are both explicitly stronger and faster than Agon, while most of the American Pentagram outclass him. Don and Clifford very specifically are not bothered by his presence, and he never even clashes with Panther, but Panther passed both Yamato and Shin.
Mutant: Pretty much. His reaction time is explicitly stated to be inhuman.
One-Man Army: Fast enough and strong enough to play any position and with his ridiculous reaction time and high intelligence he can both read opposing plays at lightening speed and cover the entire field in time to halt them. He's a One Man Opposing Sports Team.
Position: Cornerback / ReceiverAnother Shinryuuji powerhouse, Ikkyu tends to be the butt monkey of his own team and can be very shy around women. However, once he enters the field, he becomes an arrogant kung fu guy who can run backwards at high speeds and is unstoppable in the air.
Position: Center / LinebackerA third-year and the eldest of the Shinryuuji players. Despite entering Shinryuuji on a sports merit scholarship, he's quite humble and tries his best to be the mature one of the team (with mixed results).
Bruiser with a Soft Center: Rivals Kurita in sensitivity. He sheds manly tears when he realizes Agon's slowly becoming more of a team player. He later sheds tender tears when he realizes he can finally play football with Agon as a serious teammate, right before the Japan vs USA game. On the cover of volume 23 he's even shown sharing tears with Kurita.
Younger than They Look: Apparently the one with the worst case of it out of all of Team Japan. And that's saying something.
The Saiyuki Brigade
Position: Line (Gojyo, Goku, and Hakkai) and Runningback (Sanzo)As the name implies, four players in the Nagas who resemble the main characters of Journey to the West. Mainly act as the plucky comic relief.
Pet Homosexual: While we never see him flirt with other players, the extras show he's very open about his opinions on other players. (Evidently the only player he doesn't find the least bit attractive is Monta.)
Shout-Out: To the TV show Monkey more than the original story. For example, Sanzo being a transvestite is a reference to Sanzo being played by a woman in Monkey.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: He was pressured from a young age to be no less than a perfect marksman, which explains how he has such an analytical look to football.
Position: Wide ReceiverAn old friend of The Kid, Tetsuma is a stone-faced powerhouse who plows through the defensive line like a freight train and always sticks to his route. He hardly ever says a word, and tends to take orders a bit too far: when his coach reminded him not to overeat before a game, he fasted for three days. However, this literal-minded dedication is part of what makes him a great receiver.
Extreme Doormat: To Kid, at least at first. In the beginning he seemed barely sentient, doing ONLY what Kid told him to do. After Monta defeated him in a catching battle he began to develop his own ambitions.
Position: Running BackA childhood friend of Sena's and the one who taught him to run. Although Seibu mainly works on their passing game, Riku can be an unstoppable force on the football field. His signature move is the Rodeo Drive, which adopts the goose-step from rugby to cause a sudden burst of speed.
The Ace: He's mature, smart, studious, brave, heroic, cool, good looking, popular with girls, and taught Sena how to run. Almost any scene that features him prominently will be about him leaving everyone impressed. Needless to say, he'd make an incredibly boring protagonist.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Much like Sena himself. When Gaou threatens to beat up everyone within a section of the stands in order to get the one guy who made fun of Banba, Riku takes the blame and prepares to fight Gaou.
Do Not Go Gentle:After Kid and Tetsuma are benched due to injuries, and painfully aware Seibu is about to lose to Hakushu, he refuses to let his team just throw in the towel against Gao and even plays till he drops. Riku has balls.
Break the Haughty: Twice. The tie with Deimon was embarrassing but beneficial to his character development. The defeat by Hakushuu (and seeing his best friend get hurt protecting him) elevated him to woobie status.
The Casanova: Not as bad as Agon, but he isn't above taking advantage of his popularity.
Fake Ultimate Hero: Is a mediocre quarterback at best, yet is perceived as the team's ace.
Position: Running BackA jovial fellow who keeps a positive attitude despite the many hardships he's had to face. Desires to join the NFL so his grandmother no longer has to work. Originally forced to be a ball boy by his racist coach, he eventually wins him over and becomes the Aliens/Shuttles' ace running back. Would later join Team America for the World Cup.
All-Loving Hero: Kind and caring towards everyone? Check. Believes the best of others? Check. Repaying cruelty with kindness and forgiveness? Check. Redeeming a bad guy with the power of friendship? CHECK. Lets face it, if this were a shonen adventure series, Panther would be the hero.
Berserk Button: Messing with his sweatband. Presumably, messing with anything related to his grandmother.
Super Speed: Deconstructed. While he's no Flash he isone of the few people on Earth with a 4.1 second 40-yard-dash. It isn't actually impossible - Deion Sanders ran a 4.1 without even stretching, though to this day it's the fastest 40 ever recorded at the NFL Combine.
Occidental Otaku: Though unlike most, he's doesn't appear to be an anime otaku, and likes the culture as a whole (though his ideas about Japanese culture are a bit...off.)
Teen Genius: It's obvious that he's a very bright kid when it comes to non-Japan related stuff — for instance, he does the legwork for the Shuttle Pass by calculating where it'll end up and being there to catch it.
The Gonzales Brothers (Nathan "Big Shit" Gonzales and Otto "Piss" Gonzales)
Positions: LinemenTwo linemen who are ridiculously muscular (even by the standards of the team), the older being the tallest on the team and the younger being the shortest. Both pride themselves on being "useful", which translate...oddly into written Japanese, to say the least.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's arguable whether you say he has a heart of gold (maybe bronze...), but he does become a great trainer to Panther out of respect for his skill and work ethic. But as a person, he's still a blow hard and a bit racist.
Loophole Abuse: By renaming the team to the NASA Shuttles, he feels he technically lives up to the stipulation that the NASA Aliens wouldn't go back home.
Pet the Dog: When he puts Panther in the game and becomes a good coach and mentor to him.
Put Me In, Coach!: Unfortunately, Apollo's coach didn't listen and he never got the chance to prove himself on the field.
Muscles Are Meaningless: Somewhat justified, as Munakata (and all of Amino) got their muscles through drugs and other forms of artificial stimulation while Deimon actually got their muscles naturally through an incredibly straining training regimen.
Thus the difference between Amino and Deimon could be compared to the difference between a weight lifter and body builder, while the body builder is more likely to be bigger and toned, the weight lifter has more pure strength and stamina.
As Ikari best put it, "Are those muscles just for show?" Yes. Yes they are.
Position: Tight EndVoted Tokyo MVP the year prior, Akaba is the ace of the Bando Spiders. Obsessed with music, he often strums his electric guitar when thinking and uses musical metaphors to state his opinions. Claimed to be the real "Eyeshield 21" until Bando was defeated by Deimon, where he then passed on the title (and blue eyeshield) to Sena.
Genius Bruiser / Muscles Are Meaningless: The genius part? After his contract cancelling with Teikoku, he spends almost entire season becoming technical advisor for his team, developing Spider Poison, which he taught to almost every player of his team, turning the team from mediocre kick- team into decent team. The bruiser part? Well, he can stop Kurita in his track singlehandedly. The "muscles are meaningless" thing is somewhat justified in that the Spider Poison was specifically designed to overcome opponents with greater physical strength.
Large Ham: Despite his reserved personality, he's every bit as dramatic as Kotaro.
Meaningful Name: Aka means red. Kotaro refers to him as Aka-baka, which means "red idiot".
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted then parodied. When the Devilbats first encounter Akaba he comes off as frightening but is actually a pretty nice guy. In the bonus material, the principal reveals they're just contacts.
Position: KickerThe ace kicker for the the Bando Spiders said to have a success rate of 100%. Declared himself Musashi's rival even before actually meeting him due to his (false) reputation as the "60-yeard Magnum". Takes kicking very seriously and wants to prove that it's every bit as important as offense and defense in football. Is perpetually combing his hair back.
Position: LineA fun-loving, extremely lanky lineman who came to Kyoshin from the swimming team. His special ability is "The Swim", where he uses his height to push down opponent's linemen. Takes his clothes off a lot.
Position: LinebackerA very serious lineman and the other half of Kyoshin's aces. Also very tall, but he failed to put this to use back in middle school, ignoring his coach's advice, and was crushed by American players when he moved to the US to play. Met the real Eyeshield 21, Yamato while playing and this inspired him to new heights (so to speak).
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Used to have little drive in using his height to his advantage in football. When he started to play in America and saw just how outclassed he was, this trait died out quickly.
Berserk Button: Don't try to sully the original Eyeshield 21's reputation in any way.
The Comically Serious: Continues talking placidly about Akaba's running style as Sena and Monta attempt to take down Mizumachi at the bathhouse (long story). Kobanzame lampshades this by noting that he's too used to this.
Position: Quarterback/Team CaptainKyoshin's quarterback and over-shadowed team captain. Generally unremarkable save for his ability to dump the ball fast enough that he's never had an interception. Never actually "leads" the team, just sort of... agrees with Kakei.
Position: Quarterback/Safety/QB SpyA shifty, well-dressed fellow with a penchant for colas and secrecy. Marco wants to lead a team to victory in the Christmas Bowl to impress his would-be girlfriend, the team manager, and to do that strengthened Hakushu's football team immensely. Has the ability to follow the ball unflinchingly, and he can pry the ball out of a back's hands with his "Screwbite".
Animal Motifs: The raptor to Gaou's T-rex, and Kisiragi's Pteranodon.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: Played with. Marco, like Hiruma and Kid, advocates an all-offense strategy, focussing on using Gaou as a bludgeon and forcing his way down the field in a north-south game. Yet he also makes sure to recruit a very good cornerback in Kisiragi, and is himself one of the best safeties in Japan, serving as the only quarterback spy that the Devil-Bats encounter in the series.
Big Bad/The Heavy: Comes very close to being this during the Kantou Regionals, particularly after Agon's defeat and the revelation that Hakushuu is nobody to be screwed with during the Taiyou match. It's a sports series, but Marco's scheming drives much of the plot during the Kantou Arc, and leads to a whole lot of upsets, with his team serving as the Climax Boss of the arc. He's also this in a Five-Bad Band sense, given his position as leader of Hakushuu.
Chekhov's Gunman: The only thing that distinguishes Marco from the other throwaway captains at the start of the Kantou Arc is the fact that he comes over to speak to Sena, and is given some small focus when he draws the team he'll be facing. He's the closest thing the arc has to a Big Bad.
Cowardly Lion: Marco may be prone to panic, and he talks a lot about how he prefers to avoid facing strong teams, and finds the likes of Hiruma, Kurita, etc. to be terrifying, but he has no problem putting himself in harms way, and is in fact one of most active quarterbacks/safeties in the series.
Determinator: One who's gone way too far. Marco's inability to Know When to Fold 'Em is what has turned him into the screwed-up person he is today. He's also one on the field, recovering from a tackle by Kurita of all people, and returning to play.
Evil Counterpart: Hiruma's first one. They both compensate for lack of physical ability through intelligence, lead darkhorse teams built around a couple of key players, favour winning by any means necessary, Determinator their way through serious injuries, are much Younger than They Look, and want to take down the Alexanders/go to the Christmas Bowl no matter what it takes.
Maybe not so much evil counterpart. Hiruma admits with a grin on his face that if he had been in Marco's position, he would have done the same thing by unleashing Gaou.
Love Makes You Evil: Or at least a very brutal player. He wants to impress Maria badly enough that he's more than willing to use Gaou as a weapon, turn Kisiragi into a psycho, and break other team's quarterbacks in order to win.
Made of Iron: Recovers after having Kurita land on him at full speed, picks himself up and keeps on playing. Despite being somewhat shaken, he shows no visible damage, and gets right back in the action.
Somewhat justified, as his father is a former Mafia member turned investor and his mother is a fashion designer. Flashbacks for him and his teammates show that the pinstriped suits are Hakushu school uniforms to go with the theme.
Opposing Sports Team: Leads the Dinosaurs, who are likely the most brutal team in the series in terms of play style. The reason they play like that? He trained them to be that way.
Save Our Team: A dark take on the trope. Marco is explicitly stated to have massively improved Hakushuu's team, saving them from being just another also-ran. He did it by advocating Unnecessary Roughness, allowing Gaou off of his leash, turning Kisaragi into a Psycho Supporter, and injuring several of his own players. And making Maria go the Emotionless Girl route, VERY ironically since he did this to impress her.
Position: LineHakushu's ace, a massively beefy freshman who holds the high school record in the bench press. Up until their game with Deimon, Hakushu relied on Gao to smash through the opponent's line and break the quarterback's arms. However, Gao refuses to break the rules of football (i.e. he won't tackle quarterbacks if they don't have the ball) and is generally an honorable opponent...for what good that'll do.
Affably Evil: In a bizarre way. Gaou doesn't actually have a malicious bone in his body, and off the field is a cheerfully crazed Boisterous Bruiser who considers Banba and Kurita (two guys he nearly killed on the field) to be his buddies.
Animal Motif: Tyrannosaurus, though he looks like a caveman.
Large and in Charge: Subverted. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that Marco is quite scared of Gaou, creating the impression that Gaou is really leading the team. However, we also discover that Gaou has nothing but respect for Marco and has no desire to challenge his leadership, meaning that Marco really is the one in charge.
Pet the Dog: His honest admiration for Marco and open liking for anybody (Banba, Riku, Kurita) who is willing to stand up to him help to humanise Gaou. His absolute belief that Marco will get up after getting tackled by Kurita is oddly touching in a way.
Running Gag: Gaou does not open doors. Gaou knocks doors off their hinges.
Testosterone Poisoning: Cranked up to 11. He's 6'7 (2m), has muscles that would make the cast of DBZ jealous, eats nothing but meat, looks like a cave man, and punched a car head on when he was in grade school.
Position: CornerbackA wilting pretty-boy with an enormous man-crush on Gaou. He's impressed with "strength" in general due to Gaou saving him from bullies and tends to wax eloquent on how wonderful strength is. He's not one to overlook, though, as he can knock the ball out of a back's grip with his slender arms (known as the "Ptera-Claw").
Affably Evil: Self-deprecating, unfailingly polite, and willing to break a reciever's arms if it will impress Marco and Gaou.
All of the Other Reindeer: Relentlessly bullied by the other kids due to his girliness. He became a member of the football a) because Gaou saved him at one point and he wants to impress him, and b) because Marco, Gaou, and the other players were among the first to accept him for who he was.
Ambiguously Gay: Comes off as very, very gay for Gaou, though it's at least partly hero worship.
Blood Knight: He's not as obvious about it as Gaou is, but given that he sees football as a place to prove his own power—while crushing other people—definitely. He's this short of being a Psycho for Hire.
Co-Dragons: To Marco, along with Gaou. He's the team's Left Hand.
Hidden Badass: Completely average or weaker than average in terms of his stats, but psychotically determined enough that it doesn't matter. Hiruma and Monta both lampshade this long before we see Kisiragi play, noting that he must have some sort of hidden talent.
Ill Boy: If his constant fevers are any indicator.
Made of Iron: Wierdly, yes. Tackled by Gaou along with Hiruma, Kisiragi is out of action for a few plays, but breaks nothing. He then returns to play and finishes the game, seemingly fine. For all his Ill Boy status and lack of stamina, he's got one hell of a skeletal system.
Psycho Supporter: Of Marco and Gaou. Kisiragi is devoted, fanatically loyal, and very quietly insane. He's fairly pleasent off-field though.
Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: With Gaou. Though he's obviously the sensitive one, he would probably rather be the manly man (or at least date one).
Sissy Villain: Played very straight (he's an Ambiguously GayPsycho Supporter), but also nicely justified. Before joining the football team, Kisiragi was constantly bullied due to his girly interests, weak body, and feminine looks. Inspired by Gaou, he joined the team, and let Marco turn him into a Psycho Supporter so that he could be as strong as his hero.
Position: LinebackerHakushu's former ace, a Dirty Coward who tends to overreact to everything and generally regarded as the "bottom of the top". Did they score a touchdown? We're doomed! Did we score a touchdown? Ha! They're weak!He also resembles a tengu.
The Brute: Was supposed to fill this role, being the team's best linebacker and the centre of their defence, but made the mistake of ticking off Gaou. Marco has to take his place on defence.
Position: Running BackThe real Eyeshield 21. He's friendly and plays along with the other team, but he won't hesitate to tell them he's going to crush everyone. His special ability is the "Caesar's Charge", where he flat-out refuses to be tackled.
The Ace: Frequently hailed as being the "perfect runner" LONG before he actually appeared and completely lived up to this expectation when he finally revealed himself; on top of being good looking, charming, and honorable.
Determinator: His greatest skill is simply that he refuses to be tackled.
Implacable Man: Yamato has places to go. You will not stop him. You may slow him down. You may impede his progress. But he will get there, even if he has to drag you with him.
Also, an oddly unique example of the trope, which is usually used to describe someone who is coming after you. In Yamato's case, it's more like he wants to get away from you, and something as simple as failing to get away from you isn't going to deter him one bit. He plays the trope straighter when he's trying to stop kicks.
Jack-of-All-Trades: He's a very well-rounded player but he he's not the best in any particular area other then possibly determination.
Akaba: On the other hand, Yamato has everything. Speed. Power. Technique. Body balance. Height. Kinda good-looking.
Unsui: What has the last one got to do with the rest?
Lightning Bruiser: He's pretty much a Shin clone playing on a different position, with less speed but more power.
Position: Wide RecieverA stone-faced, utterly bored wide reciever, Taka's also the son of Monta's favorite baseball player Masaru Honjo. His well-deserved nickname comes from his ability to jump ridiculous distances.
Genre Savvy: Possibly the only player in Japan (besides Hiruma) to have this quality, Taka is able to counter Clifford's trick plays in the Japan vs. America match. As he himself pointed out, he learned from his match against the Deimon Devilbats, and as a result, never defends against the obvious play, instead tightly marking receivers no matter what.
Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: His eyes have a notably blank look to him before befriending Monta at the end of the Teikoku match.
Distaff Counterpart: Recruited against her will? Check. Considered the best in her specialty? Check. Low self-esteem and highly apologetic? Check. The only difference between her and Sena seems to be apparance and gender.
Lampshaded during the Deimon-Teikoku match, when Yamato points out that Karin would need to watch out for Sena's blitz. Karin spins on her heel, and she and Sena face each other down...before simultaneously bowing repeatedly at each other, clearly not wanting any hard feelings between them.
The Idiot from Osaka: His dream is to be a famous Osakan-style entertainer so he does all he can to invoke this trope. In reality, he's actually a very capable leader who simply likes to keep the atmosphere lighthearted.
The Leader: Of the Alexanders. On the surface he looks like a Type III, but he's more of a Type II, leading on the basis of his cheerful nature and level-headedness.
Reisuke Aki ("Achilles")
Position: LineA hot blooded, but gullible player with a strong desire for a girlfriend.
Big Bad Duumvirate: With Mr. Don. Unlike the rest of the team, Clifford isn't scared of Don, and provides the field leadership, strategy, and cool-headed calculation to Mr. Don's brutal play and charismatic leadership. He's also one of the best players on the field, and his intelligence coupled with his speed makes him one of the two biggest threats to the Japanese team's survival.
Evil Counterpart: Hiruma's had a few of these before, but Clifford has so much in common with him it's not even funny. The only notable difference in their play is that Clifford isn't quite as fond of trick plays and is much quicker.
Big Bad Duumvirate: At times he and Clifford seem to form one, given the level of independence that Clifford has and the fact that most of the plans are his. Clifford is the mastermind and field leader, Mr. Don the face and the charismatic leadership.
Defeating the Undefeatable: More than any other opponent Sena & Co. face, Mr. Don is played like this. No one has ever moved him before, let alone knocked him down. When Gaou and Yamato finally pull it off, everyone, including Mr. Don himself is stunned because it's honestly never happened before.
The Dreaded: Mr. Don manages to put the fear of God into Agon of all people. In fact the only characters who aren't frightened of him on some level are Clifford, Gaou, and of course, Hiruma (who seems to be missing the fear gene).
Even Evil Has Standards: When Panther refuses to cheat (despite Bud's suggestions to the contrary) Mr. Don agrees that it's better this way. After all you don't prove anything if you win by breaking the rules.
Hero Killer: He's only mentioned in whispers and his face is kept unrevealed even after the rest of his team has been revealed. During his first appearance he beats up Gaou and terrifies Agon of all people. During the actual match he steamrolls over Gaou, Kurita, Banba, Agon, Yamato, and Shinn in rapid succession, frightens Sena half to death, and worries even Hiruma.
Honour Before Reason: Surprisingly yes. For all his other flaws, Mr. Don has no desire to win through cheating.
Jerk Jock: With the ultimate "rich dad who gets him out of trouble".
Pet the Dog: Stops a stampeding crowd of fans so he can sign a little kid's football and give him a speech about what it means to be an athlete. He passes up on the opportunity to hit on a very attractive girl in the process, and it's not so he can showboat—the kid was honestly first in line and that matters to Don.
Possibly more of a Patriotically Incorrect Villain, as any time he refers to the Japanese as inferior, it's comparing them to Americans, not any particular race. Recall that his father is the President, as well.
Rousing Speech: Gives one to both his team and the crowd when the game starts going against the Americans.
Position: LinebackerCaptain and only dedicated player of the Zokugaku Chamelions, Rui is a delinquent who appears to be "threatening" in order to motivate his team. Grudgingly respects Hiruma and occasionally helps out the Devilbats.
Also got it the worst. He was considered the most experienced lineman in the high school league, to the point that people were lining up for his autograph, in his first appearance. He doesn't even rank high enough to go to the World Cup as an alternate lineman. (He does, however, show up as part of the third-string team that beats Russia.)
Position: Running BackThe captain and ace of the Misaki Wolves, Kamiya is a long-legged, fast-moving player with a high opinion of himself. In the manga, his team was easily defeated by the Seibu Wild Gunmen; in the anime, he is a far more serious threat, and is only barely defeated, after giving Seibu's ace, Riku, a serious run for his money.
Adaptational Badass: A joke in the manga, the anime turned him into a high-speed powerhouse, capable of matching Riku in terms of speed, and leading a team whom the Gunmen were only barely able to overcome.
Worthy Opponent: To Sena, a fact that both of them acknowledge. On a less personal note, his team serves as the first real challenge that the Japanese team encounters, a fact that Gaou and Sena both state aloud.
A reporter from a sports magazine known for his ridiculously large afro. Has a daughter, Riko, who is studying to be a journalist and sometimes stands in for him.
Straight Man: To his loud and abrasive co-worker "Machine Gun" Sanada.
Daughter of Riku Kumabukuro, she takes her father's place as announcer during the Kanto tournament. Tends to stutter when she's excited or nervous, but is otherwise an excellent announcer and journalist who just wants to be taken seriously.
President of Jari Productions, and somewhat sleazy manager to Haruto Sakuraba. Originally depicted as just a money-grubbing social climber seeking to make a fortune off Sakuraba's good looks, he naturally flips out when Sakuraba quits being a model to focus on sports. However, he shows a softer side after he comes to accept Sakuraba's wishes.
Kick the Dog: When he tries to throw out the sweatband Sakuraba got from a young fan.
Pet the Dog: When he eventually accepts Sakuraba's desire to focus on football, and even starts cheering him on.
Sakuraba's biggest fan, stuck with him even after discovering his actual abilities. One of Sakuraba's biggest motivators for improving himself. Is currently bound to a wheelchair, but desires to become a football player once he recovers.