Characters: Eyeshield 21

The majority of the main characters in Eyeshield 21.

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    Deimon Devil-Bats 

Founded by quarterback Yoichi Hiruma, centre Ryokan Kurita, and kicker Gen "Musashi" Takekura, the Deimon Devil-Bats have traditionally been a last place team due to a shortage of dedicated players, a situation that was only escalated when Musashi had to drop out of school. With the recruitment of running back Sena Kobayakawa, however, the Devil-Bats fortunes begin to turn around, with the team adding more members and evolving a highly offensive playing style based around trick plays and Sena's nigh-superhuman running speed. Their ultimate goal—to make it to the Christmas Bowl before the founding members graduate.
Tropes applying to the Devil-Bats as a whole:
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Deimon's offense is among the best in Kanto (possibly the very best by the end) and Hiruma favours a highly aggressive playing style focusing on trick plays. In part, however, this has less to do with personal preference, and more to do with the fact that, until Musashi's return, the only way the team could score was by getting touchdowns.
    Hiruma: If we can always score a point over our opponent, then one point is all we need to win.
  • Badass Crew: Every single one of the Devil-Bats is a topflight football player by the end, which makes them very badass by the standards of the series.
  • Battle Cry: "Butsubusu! YA HA!!!" Translated as "Crush Them! YA HA!!!"
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Whether it's knocking the nine-time Kanto champions out in the first round of the tournament, breaching Ojo's impenetrable defense, taking down the strongest lineman in their age group, or besting the never-defeated Alexanders, the Devil-Bats make a habit of doing this.
  • Determinator: The Devil Bats believe that hard work can make anything possible. This belief allows then to pull off the craziest of plays, simply because they believe that it will work, and do everything possible to make sure it does.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The team was once considered one of the joke teams at the start of the series, then they become legitimate contenders throughout the course of the story, finally culminating with them being Japan's champions.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: The Devil-Bats' members include an insane quarterback, a scaredy-cat turned star athlete, a catching-obsessed former baseball player, three reform school candidates, a midget who only speaks in grunts, and a scrawny geek with no athletic ability whatsoever.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Subverted, if it's a team that clearly outskill them they'll lose and barely qualified in Tokyo tournament. They are a dark horse team during Kantou but after adding Yukimitsu they are the best offensive team In-Universe
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: At the start of the series, their only option for scoring touchdowns was Eyeshield 21's runs, since nobody is capable of catching Hiruma's passes. Monta then adds a passing game and for the longest time, these were the only viable options for Deimon to score. Taki's entrance into the team provides a new catching option until Musashi's return adds another scoring option through field goals.

Sena Kobayakawa

"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
  • Jersey: 21
  • 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.
  • Adorkable: Scrawny, sweet, and apologizes when he doesn't have to.
  • Apologises a Lot: Part of his Extreme Doormat characterization, especially at the beginning.
  • Badass Adorable: Evolves into this after growing more confident in his football skills.
  • Bash Brothers: With his Lancer Monta.
  • 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.
    Hiruma: He's a guy who will say he absolutely can't do something... right before doing it.
  • Curtains Match the Window
  • Distaff Counterpart: Shares an almost identical recruitment and character traits with Karin from Teikoku Alexanders.
  • Dramatic Unmask: In front of Mamori, just before the match with Bando Spiders.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Starts as this, but he's determined to become a real ultimate hero, for his team at least.
  • Fragile Speedster: For all his speed he's still a wimpy little runt so he's easily sacked when he's cornered. This is minimized towards the end of the series, where he learns techniques to defend himself and starts building up a little bit of muscle from all the training he's done.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: The eyeshield is only to hide identity, and it even does that pretty poorly. Later arcs have him keep his eyeshield this simply out of habit and Rule of Cool.
  • He Is All Grown Up: A subtler take in that it's more about his emotional than physical growth.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: At the beginning he just wants to be a manager... If only it wasn't for this crazy quarterback shooting his guns all over the place. He does eventually learn to enjoy football, however.
  • Just a Kid: The reason why Mamori doesn't let him join the team, and why she can't imagine Eyeshield 21's true identity.
  • Nice Guy: Aside from being a bit spineless at times, he's a good kid.
  • Shonen Hair: With some pretty strange spikes. Given the fact that he had it as a kid it seems natural.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: With each game, Sena learns a new way to improve his speed and even increase his strength.
  • 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.

Youichi Hiruma

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.

  • Position: Quarterback/Strong Safety/(really bad) Punter
  • Jersey: 1
  • 40 yard dash: 5.1 seconds
  • Bench Press: 75 kg (165 lb)
  • Height: 176 cm (5' 9")
  • Weight: 67 kg (147 lb)
  • 2nd Year Student (Grade 11)

  • Badass Bookworm: While no stronger than an average high-schooler, he is a brilliant (if unconventional) strategist, has incredible stamina, and is the god of blackmail.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Something like this is implied to be the deal with him and Mamori, though by the end of the series they bicker considerably less... which can be taken as even more Ship Tease.
  • Berserk Button: His Hair-Trigger Temper is just to scare people and keep his team focused, he is usually coolheaded against the opponent's taunting. But when his chance of going to the Christmas Bowl like Agon stealing Kurita's scholarship or Musashi leaving to take care of his family business, he his clearly angry.
  • 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.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: He's not a natural blond, but is Genre Savvy enough to invoke this trope.
  • Censor Box: His, uh, colorful banter requires it sometimes.
  • The Captain: He's an extremely strict and violent one, but people put up with it because they see he pushes himself at least as hard as he pushes others.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: One of his default expressions, especially when he thinks of a risky gambit to try during a game.
  • The Chessmaster: 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.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He nicknames everybody he knows as "fucking something". For example, Sena is the "fucking midget" while Monta is the "fucking monkey".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The embodiment.
  • Determinator: He needs to be this to complete with extraordinarily gifted athletes, as he has average physique and reflexes.
  • Deuteragonist: He gets almost as much focus as Sena during major matches.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: He deliberately invokes this to unnerve opponents. He's been described as "the complete opposite of a poker face".
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The way he chooses to train his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
  • 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. 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. He's even blonde and pale skinned!
  • Evil Eyebrows: Part of his Devil in Plain Sight appearance.
  • Evil Genius: Is either this or The Smart Guy depending on how you look at it.
  • Evil Laugh: Kekekekekeke...
  • The Gambler: Not exactly a straight example, though he does gamble a lot and has gambling as one of his motifs. He doesn't doesn't depend on luck, instead uses his intellect and friendly personality to adjust things to his advantage.
  • Glad He's on Our Side: Definitely, and lampshaded during the school festival.
  • High School Hustler: The principal of his school is one of his favorite blackmail targets.
  • 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. Always Played for Laughs.
  • I Can Still Fight: He keeps playing with a broken arm, even making it part of his gambits.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Lampshaded when he throws lighters at fireworks to ignite them from a distance.
    Sena: What's with his useless accuracy?!
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Just about all we know about his past is that he has a strained relationship with his father, has been living in a hotel since he was in middle school, and used to spend his time hanging out at a military base. None of this explains his endless supply of firearms, ability to blackmail people on an international level, or even why he has elf ears and fangs. His existence is simply crazy awesome.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Well, there are reasons 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.
    • Very notable 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 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.
    • After the last chapter it's stated that he financially helps Kid start his own stunt company...probably not without ulterior motives of some sort, though.
  • 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.
  • The Leader: A Mastermind, Headstrong and Charismatic one for Deimon.
  • Lean and Mean: Part of his Devil in Plain Sight appearance.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Has the kanji for "devil" in his name. His name can be read as Devil in Broad Daylight.
  • 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)" or "damn (something)", depending on the translation.
  • Nightmare Face: Frequently shows this, and one of them is the trope image of Blond Guys Are Evil.
  • Noble Demon: Will always play a fair American football game, but he's also a foul-mouthed, manipulative, psychotic gun maniac.
  • Pointy Ears: Part of his Devil in Plain Sight appearance.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After the Death March, he collapses in his hotel room.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: He likes his gum sugarless, thank you.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Most of his antics end up being this.
  • Save Our Team: A dark example. Kurita is a good player and very passionate, but he needs someone like Hiruma to make his championship dreams come true.
  • Scary Teeth: Has unusually sharp teeth, just in case you still weren't sure that he's not a nice person.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Well, he prefers Blackmail but it's been stated that he's the richest character in the series and his most expensive possession is an island.
  • Sergeant Rock: Whatever crazy training he imposes on his teammates, he's doing it too. While carrying a lot of weight in weapons on him.
  • Sir Swearsalot: It's hard to find a sentence where he isn't cursing or saying something filthy.
  • Slasher Smile: His default expression.
  • The Smart Guy: Plays this role for his team, coming up with strategies and gambits.
  • Sociopathic Hero: He loves his teammates in his own way, but he has very strange views on how to interact with people.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Even his ears are pointy.
  • The Strategist: The main reason he's ever considered for MVP at all. If you look at his stats above, they're all pretty much average across the board.
  • Supporting Leader: His role as a quarterback is to create an opening for the runners and receivers of his team to score points.
  • Take a Third Option: His preferred strategy is to do the one thing the opponents would never think of doing in his situation.
  • Team Dad: In his own violent, abrasive, bullet-ridden way.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chewing gum.
  • The Trickster: He often provokes his opponents as part of his strategies. He says that it's worth provoking the opponent if this decreases his efficiency even by 0.1%.
  • Trigger Happy: Kurita an Musashi mention that when Hiruma is happy, he tends to randomly shoot while thinking, in the way that a sane person would play with a pen.
  • Troll: Used in two ways: to rile up his opponents (which surprisingly fails a lot) and to enrage people to fight the Devil Bats' opponents (which is more successful; it's how Monta got on the team.)
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: He could play poker like a pro at age 10 and proceeded to hustle a bunch of soldiers out of their money.
  • Unusual Ears: Part of his Devil in Plain Sight appearance.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Agon used to be friends, or as close to friends as a guy like Agon can get. It's broken now though.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The greatest extent of friendship one can hope to achieve with this guy.

Ryokan Kurita

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.

  • Position: Center / Nose Guard
  • Jersey: 77
  • 40 yard dash: 6.5 seconds
  • Bench Press: 160 kg (352 lb)
  • Height: 195 cm (6' 5")
  • Weight: 145 kg (319 lb)
  • Birthday: July 7
  • 2nd Year Student (Grade 11)

  • Bear Hug: If he's happy to see you, you'd better run away or make him hug something else.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Quite possibly the friendliest, kindest person in the entire series. He's also the premiere lineman of Japanese high school football, and is willing to kill to protect his team.
  • Big Eater: The reason why he's so big. He actually needs this in order to be The Big Guy of the team.
  • Big Fun: He's extremely fat and the friendliest and nicest character.
  • The Big Guy: He's a sumo wrestler-sized centre/nose tackle, and leads the other big guys on the line.
  • Blood Knight: Not as obvious as the other Blood Knight but when Gaou evolve from violent brute to actual lineman he is ecstatic and want to go all out not just to protect his friend but because he can finally go into power contest with another player, he also wished to have a rematch against Banba for the same reason.
  • Catch Phrase: His battle cry of "Funnuraba!"
  • Covered in Scars: For some time after his training with Banba. They fade after the timeskip though.
  • Determinator:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • He's less flashy than many other players, 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.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: When he's happy, he likes to Bear Hug his teammates.
  • Fat Best Friend: Justified, considering the sport.
  • Gentle Giant: His Worthy Opponent Gaou does his best to shake Kurita out of this, as he believes a lineman needs "killing istinct" to be really effective.
  • Gonk: But in a really adorable sort of way.
  • Morality Pet: For Hiruma, especially during the flashback.
  • Stout Strength: Built like a sumo wrestler; easily one of the strongest characters in the series.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Before and during the game against the Dinosaurs. Bamba notes that this is an increase in technique and mental fortitude rather than strength.
  • World S Best Warrior: Lineman variation, he is too experienced and determinated to lose to Gaou and even mr.Don and too strong for everyone else. By the Christmas Bowl match he can guarantee 2 points conversion since if it's just pushing a few millimeter for a touchdown no one in Japan can stop him .

Mamori Anezaki

Position: Manager

Sena'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).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: One reading of her relationship with Yoichi Hiruma. She's one of the only characters who can actually see through his act, and as a result they tend to butt heads a lot.
  • 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.
  • Cool Big Sis: She acts like one to Sena, and sometimes gets a bit too overprotective of him. It's stated several times both In-Universe by several characters and out of universe by Word of God that their relationship is not romantic.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: She plays this role along with Suzuna. Some players from other schools are pretty jealous.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: While having a discussion with Doburoku-sensei about supporting Hiruma, Doburoku mentions that Mamori supports Hiruma in various ways, 'for example, as his girlfriend'. Mamori unthinkingly replies 'Yes' to his comment-- the look on her face when she realizes what was just said is priceless.
    Mamori, sweating and glaring slightly: I am doing my best as a ma-na-ger.
  • Mama Bear: Not a literal mother, but plays this role as a Team Mom, to the point where she'll even stand up to Hiruma or Gaou to protect weaker players.
  • My Beloved Smother: Again, she's not a literal mother but her Team Mom role has some shades of this in the start towards Sena. She eventually lets go of this.
  • 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).
  • Selective Obliviousness: About Sena being Eyeshield 21. Afterwards, she notes the obviousness of it all and how childish it was of herself to think Sena would never outgrow his wimpiness.
  • 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.
  • Tareme Eyes: To Suzuna's Tsurime Eyes.
  • Terrible Artist: Art is Mamori's weakest subject in school, and it's easy to see why.
  • Tsundere: Mid-series, Mamori behaves a little like this to Hiruma.
  • Team Mom: At the beginning only towards Sena, but as time goes on she acts like one towards all Deimon players. Except Hiruma, of course.
  • 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.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cream puffs. It's mentioned she can eat more than Kurita, as long as it's cream puffs.
  • Women Are Wiser: Though really, considering the cast, it's not that hard.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She's very good at traditionally feminine tasks, and hides a very sharp mind and an iron will under her polite attitude.

Tetsuo Ishimaru

Position: Full Back

A 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 or just forgets about his existence. Like everything else, he's alright with this.
  • Catch Phrase: "It's alright, it's alright..."
  • 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. It's even Lampshaded several times by other characters.
  • The Generic Guy: He has no notable features other than being a Nice Guy, and seems fine with it.
  • Nice Guy: His second most prominent feature is that he's ridiculously nice (it's pretty much impossible to anger him), which Hiruma exploits mercilessly.
  • Running Gag: "I always like this moment before a match. It feels like your blood is running cold."
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: Mercilessly Lampshaded by pretty much everyone.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: His entire family looks the same,that is plain.
  • 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
  • Jersey: 80
  • 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)

The Ha-Ha Brothers

Position: Linemen

Kazuki Juumonji (the one with the scar), Kouji Kuroki (the one with dark hair and fishlips), 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.

  • Kazuki Juumonji:
  • Position: Offensive Tackle / Defensive Tackle
  • Jersey: 51
  • 40 yard dash: 5.5 seconds
  • Bench Press: 85 kg (187 lb)
  • Height: 175 cm (5' 9")
  • Weight: 71 kg (156 lb)
  • Birthday: October 1st
  • 1st Year Student (Grade 10)

  • Kouji Kuroki:
  • Position: Offensive Guard / Linebacker
  • Jersey: 52
  • 40 yard dash: 5.1 seconds
  • Bench Press: 85 kg (187 lb)
  • Height: 175 cm (5' 9")
  • Weight: 70 kg (154 lb)
  • Birthday: September 2nd
  • 1st Year Student (Grade 10)

  • Shozo Togano:
  • Position: Offensive Tackle / Defensive End
  • Jersey: 53
  • 40 yard dash: 5.5 seconds
  • Bench Press: 85 kg (187 lb)
  • Height: 175 cm (5' 9")
  • Weight: 74 kg (163 lb)
  • Birthday: October 13th
  • 1st Year Student (Grade 10)

  • Accidental Athlete: They get blackmailed into joining the footbal club, where they find they can be more than just some thugs.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Juumonji is quite popular with the ladies.
  • Badass: All three by the end, but especially Jumonji who for his size is a stunningly effective lineman, tossing the likes of Kasamatsu, tanking punches from Ikari, and making a regular habit of sacking quarterbacks, while also doing things that no lineman is expected to do, including running lead blocker for Sena, and scoring two touchdowns.
  • Badass Biker: All three own motorcycles to complement their initially thuggish image.
  • Bash Brothers: One of their main strength during games. They've been with each other so long that they have a perfect teamplay.
  • Batter Up: Their Weapon of Choice outside of football.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Juumonji as a mean bully, before Character Development.
  • Catch Phrase: Their collective surprised reaction of "Ha?" "HA?!" "HAAAAA?!"
  • Cool Shades: Togano.
  • Delinquents: They start as these, and even use their experience in street fights during some games.
  • Determinator: The trio go from second-string garbage to starting linemen on the basis of stubbornness and sheer perseverance. Jumonji takes it a step farther, going so far as to drag Agon into the endzone with him to complete a touchdown.
  • Dirty Coward: Kuroki refers to himself as one, stating that this is why he always carries a bat and makes sure to hit from behind.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • All three started out as typical delinquents, but eventually became a smart guy who ran in the wrong crowd (Juumonji), a big fan of manga and aspiring artist (Togano), and an avid Video Gamer (Kuroki).
    • Their skills also began to diverge somewhat, with Kuroki being the fast one, Togano the strong one and Jumonji the skilled one.
  • The Drag-Along: Up until the showdown with the Nasa Aliens.
  • Genius Bruiser: Juumonji, surprisingly enough, has the highest grades on the team, after Hiruma, Yukimitsu and Mamori.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kuroki.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: They become this after some Character Development.
  • The Leader: Juumonji is the leader of the trio, and is mentioned to be one of the very few Deimon players that at least partly understand Hiruma's strategies.
    • Number Two: Juumonji is also this on the line. While Komusubi may be Kurita's apprentice, when Kurita needs both hands free for his start in the final play against Hakushu, it's Juumonji who takes responsibility for the snap from him. Later, when the national team's second-string plays against the Russians in the World Cup, he again takes over as centre, making the snap to Takami.
  • Rated M for Manly: Juumonji after character development become more mature and strong, Musashi sees him as the warrior type.
  • The Rival: Within the team, all three share a rivalry with Komosubi. Outside of it, Jumonji and Ojo's Ikari Daigo swiftly become rivals for the title of most effective thug on the field.
  • Terrible Trio: With Juumonji as the central, more intimidating figure. This even lasts after their Heel-Face Turn, as Juumonji is a far more dedicated player than the other two, and is considerably more skilled.
  • That One Player: Kuroki is supposedly really, really good at fighting games. Although he cheats a lot.
  • Took a Level in Badass: They start out as completely useless, but they take a lot of these during the series. Especially notable with Juumonji.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Komosubi.
  • X Marks the Hero: Juumonji has an X scar on his cheek, and is easily the most important of the trio.

Daikichi Komusubi

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).

  • Position: Offensive Guard / Defensive End
  • Jersey: 55
  • 40 yard dash: 5.2 seconds
  • Bench Press: 110 kg (242 lb)
  • Height: 150 cm (4' 11")
  • Weight: 64 kg (140 lb)
  • Birthday: October 1st
  • 1st Year Student (Grade 10)

  • Badass Adorable: His adoration for Kurita is pretty endearing, and he's the second physically strongest player in the team.
  • Born Lucky: Played for laugh as part of a joke about his name meaning lucky star. The reason why he was accepted at Deimon despite mostly grunting is because the P.E teacher was part of the interview and could understand power speak
  • Gonk: In a cute way.
  • Hot-Blooded: Noted In-Universe as the reason why he's probably better in defense than in attack.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His lack of height can cause him problems during games, but he compensates with his strength.
  • Stout Strength: As Kurita's disciple, this is his style.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Feeling that his shortness makes him a liability to the team, he runs away from home before the game with the Poseidons.
  • Translation: Yes: The translations of his Power-Speak can get pretty verbose. At some points, one grunt can translate into whole paragraphs.
  • The Unintelligible: You can understand what he says only if you're an Hot-Blooded warrior type too.

Manabu Yukimitsu

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)
  • Jersey: 16
  • 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.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: When his Education Mama finally found out he'd joined the football team, Hiruma was able to use some smooth talking to convince her that his participation in the Devil Bats would look really good on his college application,note  so she gave him her full approval.
  • My Beloved Smother: His mom is obsessed with making him study harder and harder, to the point that he has to keep the fact he's a football player hidden to her for most of the series.
  • Photographic Memory: The result of his life spent studying, and his biggest weapon as a receiver when he runs the Option Route.
  • Secret Weapon: Hiruma uses him as this against Shinryuji and Agon.
  • 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.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He's so weak that he can't play offense for a whole game while his teammates play offense and defense, but he's so skilled that when he plays, he's very useful even against top team.

Natsuhiko Taki

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.

  • Position: Tight End / Linebacker
  • Jersey: 37
  • 40 yard dash: 5.1 seconds
  • Bench Press: 90 kg (198 lb)
  • Height: 182 cm (6' 0")
  • Weight: 72 kg (158 lb)
  • Birthday: April 10th
  • 1st Year Student (Grade 10)

  • Bishie Sparkle: Constantly, especially when he's feeling happy.
  • Brainless Beauty: He's quite good-looking, but the first thing people notice about him is just how dumb he is.
  • Camp Straight: He's very flamboyant (he likes to call himself a gentle prince), but never has his sexuality questioned or mentioned like Kisaragi or Sanzo.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "My success rate is 100%!" when things are going well for him, and "That's impossible!" when they aren't.
    • Also "Ah ha ha!" whenever he wants to draw attention to him.
  • Gratuitous English: Refers to Suzuna as "Mai Sistah!"
  • Gratuitous French: In the English translation, less so (but still there) in the original.
  • Important Haircut: Although it's more like "important hairband". He still does all the weird moves and speaks the same way, but with a more stoic expression.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Despite his Small Name, Big Ego attitude, he's genuinely surprised both when he's chosen as a regular player and when the crowd actually starts praising him. This implies that his antics are probably his way to hide his insecurity.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Being a tight end, he makes a point of being this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Taki can come off like a jackass 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, 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.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Midway through the Bando game.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He sets up an autographs booth before a game, despite basically nobody in the stands recognizing him.
  • Younger than She Looks: Despite how he looks, Taki is only a first-year high school student (the Japanese school year cutoff point it the end of March and he was born in April, while Suzuna was born almost exactly a year after him in March, which is why they're in the same grade).

Gen "Musashi" Takekura

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
  • Jersey: 11
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: What the first years thought he was.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Whenever he bothers joking, this is his style.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Has an habit of giving insensitive statement to cover much mobler intentions.
    • During the flashback, he tries to dissuade Hiruma and Kurita from recruiting him by saying that their dream is stupid, because he knows his father is sick and he'll have to take care of the family business by himself.
    • During the Bando game, he cruelly rubs Taki's weakness in his face, leading him to his Let's Get Dangerous moment.
    • During the Dinosaurs game, after Hiruma gets sacked and injured by Gao, he taunts the other first year players by saying he's the only one tough enough to take his place, which simply means he'll be the one getting injured by Gao next instead of them.
  • Nerve Of Steel: No pressure will shake him, he kicks and if you don't snap it, he scores, even if you snap it he might still score.
  • 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''. He was even voted the manliest by the fan.
  • The Stoic: Part of his Rated M for Manly attitude.
  • Straight Man: He's this to Hiruma's antics, though it's pretty clearly amused by them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: He sometimes offers emotional guidance for the first year players when they need it, nicely complementing Kurita's enthusiastic leadership and Hiruma's strategic one.
  • Younger Than They Look: Lampshaded. Hiruma's nickname for him is "fucking geezer".

Sakaki Doburoku

Position: Coach

An 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.
  • The Alcoholic: Played for Laughs, despite being the reason he can't hold on to his money or his job.
  • Career-Ending Injury: During his college days he inflicted some kind of horrendous strain injury on his knee while on the Death March with Shogun (he was trying to push the truck by himself and refused to give up) which ended his football career and left him with a hideous scar on his leg.
  • Cool Old Guy: During his more serious moments. Despite being a Dirty Old Man and The Alcoholic, he's extremely good at what he does.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The team had doubts about his training ability at first, but he quickly proved them wrong.
  • Dirty Old Man: He's introduced teaching beach football to hot girls instead of searching for good football players for Hiruma as he should have done.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender: He seems to be taking it well, though.
  • Old Master: Plays this role for the team, complete with twisty and outlandish (but extremely effective) training methods.

Suzuna Taki

Position: Head Cheerleader

Natsuhiko's considerably smarter younger sister. A petite, perky girl with a fondness for roller skates whose patience is constantly tried by her idiotic brother. She becomes fast friends with Sena, and eventually becomes Deimon's head cheerleader, recruiting a sizable number of girls to back her up.


A fierce mongrel dog who sleeps outside the Devil Bats' locker room. Not quite Hiruma's pet, but the two use each other for mutual benifit.
  • Angry Guard Dog
  • Bad Ass: One graph shows his power as being above [[Godzilla]].
  • Big Eater
  • Butt Biter: To Monta.
  • Team Pet: He is a wild dog who stays with Hiruma because it's easier for him to get food that way and not a pet, he still fits the part.

Satake and Yamaoka

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.

Futoshi Omosadake

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.
  • Big Eater: His only notable trait as a sumo wrestler, other than his laziness.
  • Catch Phrase: "What a pain..."
  • Eyes Always Shut: And pretty strange eyes, as he's a Gonk.
  • Gonk: Makes it very clear he's not a serious or important character.

    Oujou White Knights 

Widely regarded as the best team in Tokyo, the White Knights are renowned for their impenetrable defense, which has made them the kings of the Tokyo Tournament, and perpetual runners-up to Shinryuuji at the Kanto Tournament. Following the graduation of most of their best players (the so-called "Golden Generation") a year prior to the events of the series, the White Knights are in the process of rebuilding their strength and improving both their offense, and their already formidable defense.
Tropes applying to the White Knights as a whole
  • Battle Cry: "Glory to the Kingdom!!!"
  • Foil: To Deimon, putting all their emphasis on defense instead of offense. In general the two teams mirror one another, with each improvement in Deimon being countered by one at Ojo.
  • Friendly Rivalry: To the Devil-Bats. The teams are on fairly good terms, and off the field there is little, if any, rancour between them.
  • The Rival: The White Knights are, as a group, the Devil-Bats ultimate rivals throughout the series, from the spring Tokyo Tournament all the way to Kanto.
  • Stone Wall: The exact opposite of the Devil-Bats, the White Knights focus defense to the exclusion of offense. At the start of this series this has left them able to resist almost any offensive play, but struggling to score.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Spring Tournament they are still reeling from the loss of the Golden Generation. By the Fall Tournament, they've evolved into the best iteration of the White Knights to date.
  • The Worf Effect: Hit with it in the Spring Kanto Tournament, when their defeat by Shinryuuji is used to advertise just how dangerous the 9-time Kanto Champions are.
  • Worthy Opponent: The White Knights are this to the Devil-Bats, with both teams eagerly anticipating their match-ups and awaiting rematches after the fact.

Seijurou Shin

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
  • Jersey: 40
  • 40 yard dash: 4.4 seconds in the Kanto Tournament, 4.2 seconds
  • Bench Press: 140 kg (308 lb)
  • Height: 175 cm (5' 10")
  • Weight: 71 kg (156 lb)
  • Birthday: July 9th
  • 2nd Year Student (Grade 11)

  • The Ace: He's Oujou's best player and Japan's overall best linebacker.
  • Alliterative Name: Seijuto Shin, the Best Linebacker Ever.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He doesn't seem very socially adjusted or able to make any friends outside of football.
  • Badass: Defenders usually have to tackle runningbacks with their entire body to stop them. Shin stops them with one arm. He killed a boar during his training with his bare hands
  • Bash Brothers: With Sakuraba, after the latter's Character Development.
  • Bruce Lee Clone
  • The Comically Serious: When you put him around technology...or normal social situations for that matter.
  • Expy: Of Kenshiro. In a dream sequence, Sena even says that dream Seijuro takes Hokuto Shinken.
  • The Dreaded: Shin puts the fear of god into anyone who gets hit by his spear tackle, as some players even refuse to carry the ball when they know he's going to be after them.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Sena, after their first match. They're not really friends, but they greatly respect each other.
  • Genius Bruiser: Although it doesn't show much, he's quite smart. When it comes to football, there are only a few people who can outsmart him.
  • Genius Ditz: He doesn't seem to know much, outside of football. When it comes to football, though, he's very good.
  • 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.
  • Implacable Man: Shin can and will get to his target at lightning speed. Trying to stop him from getting to his target is like trying to stop a truck.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's formerly the fastest football player in Japan, and after being surpassed, trained himself to have the same speed as the current fastest. He's also strong enough to lift Kurita with ease.
  • The Quiet One: He only speaks when he think he has something worth saying. Even then, he uses as little words as possible.
  • Rated M for Manly: He's a Kenshiro expy after all.
  • Running Gag: Both his Walking Techbane tendencies, and the fact that whenever he shows up, it's always in one of two poses: either sitting with his arms crossed, or standing and tightening his glove.
  • The Rival: To Sena.
  • The Stoic: It's not because of effort on his part, it's just his natural state.
  • Walking Techbane: Capable of wrecking a vending machine because he presses the buttons too hard.
  • Worthy Opponent: He and Sena are this to each other.
  • Shirtless Scene: Loads. His coach even calls him out on it in the gag chapter.
  • Signature Move: The Spear Tackle, later evolving to the Dual Spear Tackle, and finally the Trident Tackle.

Haruto Sakuraba

Position: Wide Receiver/Cornerback

A Bishōnen model with a large number of Fan Girls. He's hyped up to be Oujou's ace, but really isn't anything special. Suffers from a lot of Heroic Self-Deprecation early on, but eventually decides to Take a Level in Badass, quit being a model, and start training seriously.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: He looks really good as a Meido.
  • Bash Brothers: With Shin and Takami, after going through some Character Development.
  • Becoming the Mask: At the beginning, he's marketed as Oujou's ace playes despite his mediocre talent, which gives him a lot of confidence issues. Once he gets over these, he works himself hard until he truly becomes one of Oujou's ace players.
  • Bishōnen: Acknowledged In-Universe, where he works part-time as a model. He intentionally Subverts it when he shaves his head and grows a stubble to make it clear to the public he's going to be a full-time athlete.
  • Butt Monkey: A rather mild example, but he does put up with a lot of (unintentional) comical injuries from Ootawara, and Shin on one occasion. His rival is Monta, after all...
  • Can't Catch Up: Does angst over an understandable inferiority complex for a bit before Takami assures him just how much he and the team overall needs him.
  • Chick Magnet: He has an army of fangirls.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Once he becomes a genuine ace.
    "What a crowd. I even hear some deep manly voices."
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: At the beginning the press tries to make him pass for The Ace of the team, while he's just a regular player. He eventually grows out of this, though.
  • Groupie Brigade: As a model, he has a pretty big one.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Suffers from this a lot initially, as a backlash for the groundless praise he receives even when he does nothing good in a game.
  • Important Haircut: To show he quit being a model and started taking American football seriously.
  • The Lancer: Once he accepts he's not going to become The Ace of the team, he becomes this to Shin.
  • The Resenter: What pushed him into modeling.
  • Straight Man: He shares this role with Takami, especially when Ootawara is around.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: When he wears a maid outfit, Kurita and Sena become a little disturbed by how well it suits him.
  • The Rival: To Monta, once he becomes an actual star player.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The only thing he had going as a football player was his height, which was ideal for his position as a wide receiver. He trained and practiced hard until he had the skills and stamina to match.
  • Worthy Opponent: Acknowledged as such by Monta after he takes his level in badass and becomes one of the best receivers (and makeshift cornerbacks) in Tokyo.
    Monta: Sakuraba is amazing. It was do or die to the very end.

Makoto Ootawara

Position: Defensive Lineman

A cheerful buffoon who's Ojou's strongest lineman. He considers himself to be Kurita's rival. Has the unfortunate tendency to forget to wear pants.
  • Berserk Button: It's triggered only once when he realizes that Ojo is in danger of losing to the Devil-Bats in the Kanto semifinals, and thus costing himself and Takami their last chance at the Christmas Bowl. He proceeds to completely lose his mind and bulldoze his way through first Kurita, and then most of Deimon's line.
  • The Big Guy: The Ojou's strongest lineman.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Otawara doesn't seem to know how not to have a great time.
  • Dumb Muscle:
    • At least he's aware of it.
      "[Ikari]'s got muscle for brains. That's better than me, I've got no brains at all!"
    • He can rival resident idiot Taki in stupidity. At one point the two are given the question, "The man who invented the light bulb was..." Otowara answered "Smart", while Taki answered "Me". Though to be fair to Otawara, it's not like his answer is actually wrong.
  • Fan Disservice: His tendency to forget to wear pants, as well as him farting.
  • Flanderization: He was markedly less stupid in his first appearance than he became later. His habit of forgetting to wear his pants also eventually evolved into him becoming Mizumachi's streaking buddy.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Kurita.
  • 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.
  • Gonk: He has a very strange physique, especially at the beginning.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: He's the only on the entire team to never miss a practice. Shin comes at a close second, only because he broke the ticket machine at an airport.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By the Fall Tournament he had developed a level of speed that is freaking ridiculous for someone his size. This lets him compete with the physically stronger Kurita.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Later on he goes from forgetting to wear pants, to parading around stark naked just because he can.
  • The Rival: To Kurita.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Kurita, with the two being quite friendly off the field.

Ichiro Takami

Position: Quarterback

Oujou's quarterback and team captain. Takami is Hiruma's intellectual equal. He has a leg wound that keeps him from running fast, but he makes up for it with his height and the accuracy of his passes.

Daigo Ikari

Position: Defensive Lineman

Also known as the notorious "prison chain", Ikari is a delinquent who tends to go completely berserk whenever anyone speaks badly of Oujou (or he thinks they did). He's so out of control, his teammates have to tie him up with chains to prevent him from attacking people.

    Shinryuuji Nagas 

The nine time Kanto Regional Champions (and nine time runners-up at the Christmas Bowl), the Nagas have earned themselves a reputation within Kanto for nigh-invincibility. While the team's power was once thought to be waning, the recruitment of twins Unsui and Agon Kongo and star cornerback Ikkyu Hosakawa put Shinryuuji back on top in a big way. The team has a history with Devil-Bats' founders Hiruma, Musashi, and Kurita, who intended to attend Shinryuuji before Agon—and the team's jackass coach—refused to allow Kurita entrance.
Tropes applying to the Nagas as a whole:
  • Disc One Final Boss: The Nagas get a lot of build-up, and between their status as undefeated Kanto Champions, Hiruma, Kurita, and Musashi's history with the team, and the presence of the utterly detestable Agon, have "final challengers" written all over them. Then they get taken out in the first round of the Kanto Tournament.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is terrified of facing Shinryuuji, and all the other teams present breathe a sigh of relief when they draw Deimon as their first opponent.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Downplayed. Most of the Nagas, including star players like Unsui, Yamabushi, and Ikkyu are pleasant enough, if overconfident. It's only the presence of the nigh-psychopathic Agon that makes them truly detestable.
  • The Worf Effect: Shinryuuji's offscreen defeat by Teikoku during the previous year's tournament is used to show just how powerful the Alexanders are.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Agon was benched partway through the Shinryuuji/Teikoku game the previous fall after punching one of his own teammates. While that might not have been enough to make the Nagas lose, it certainly helps to explain why the score was as one-sided as it was.

Unsui Kongo

Position: Quarterback

Captain of the Shinryuuji Nagas. A serious, hard-working individual who nevertheless is always in the shadow of his brother.
  • All Work vs. All Play: He's the less talented All Work, while his brother is the genius All Play.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Subverted. He's somewhat aloof, but Agon's the antagonistic, perfect one.
  • Bash Brothers: With Agon.
  • Catch Phrase: "Katsu!", which means something along the lines of "focus" or "concentrate", whenever he feels his team is starting to lose concentration.
  • The Champion: Part of his Character Development is learning to put his own well-being before Agon's.
  • Combat Commentator: During the Kanto arc.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Although he never comments on it, "Unko-Chan" is an incredibly embarrassing name.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He's the responsible one, and suffers a lot because of it.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: The basis of his character.
  • 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. He doesn't work any less harder afterwards, but he completely loses any sense of self-worth.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: When in football uniform, his lack of hair distinguishes him from Agon.
  • The Lancer: Self-appointed to Agon, who doesn't think he needs a Lancer at all.
  • The Leader: He's the levelheaded leader of Shinryuji, although Agon can pretty much take over whenever he wants to.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is a term for someone pursuing enlightenment, usually an apprentice monk.
  • Morality Pet: Somehow to Agon during the World Cup arc, where it's implied that Agon wants Unsui to stand on his own feet and challenge him. They are flashbacks during the game against Deimon too that hint that Agon doesn't like seeing Unsui losing his self-worth.
  • Not So Stoic: There are several moments where he breaks down crying because of his inferiority complex.
  • Only Sane Man: Especially during the epilogue at Enma, where he finds himself surrounded by the crazier characters.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Not surprising, considering he can't be very happy with his life.
  • The Resenter: In middle school, towards Agon. Then he just gives up.
  • Sibling Team: With Agon. The Dragonfly formation they use is based on their istinctive teamplay.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother Agon couldn't be more different if they tried.
  • Straight Man: Both at Shinryuji and at Enma, though in the second case he seems to enjoy himself a lot more.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Well in the case of Shinryuuji, he was surrounded by perverts. At Enma, it seems like he's constantly on the verge of saying this.
  • The Stoic: As he forces himself to be the Responsible Sibling. When he joins Enma in the epilogue, he's starting to be more genuine.
  • The Unfavorite: Pretty much the whole world favors his genius brother Agon.

Agon Kongo

Position: Many, including Quarterback, Running Back, Linebacker, and Receiver

Unsui'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, but destroyed their tentative friendship in order to prevent Kurita, whom he despises, from joining Shinryuuji. Almost totally devoid of empathy, Agon torments his brother and teammates, and looks down on anyone who lacks his natural talents.
  • The Ace: A gifted prodigy in both academics and athletics. He's so good at anything he does he rarely puts effort in anything.
  • All Work vs. All Play: He's the All Play, while his brother Unsui is the All Work.
  • 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.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Every time he's shown on a date it's always with two girls.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: He's very popular with women despite... everything about him.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Inverted. His perfection gives his older brother a raging inferiority complex.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Replace annoying with Jerk Ass and he's basically a twisted version of this trope to Unsui. This was especially noticeable in his first appearance where he came off more as a cocky pervert then a full on Jerk Ass.
  • Archenemy: To Hiruma. Agon's a dick to everyone on general principle, but with Hiruma it's very personal, stemming from their former sort-of friendship, and Agon's decision to keep Kurita from entering Shinryuuji. Hiruma is gunning for Shinryuuji in general and Agon in particular long before the Kanto Tournament, while Agon's goal throughout the Deimon match is to remind Hiruma of just how worthless he and his friends are.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: It doesn't help that he has every right to be arrogant.
  • Axe Crazy: Occasionally. Apparently he believes he's too good for ethics.
  • Bash Brothers: With Unsui and ex-friend Hiruma, dominating the field whenever given the chance.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ignore him. Don't look down on him. Just don't do anything to imply he isn't the best, really. Hiruma takes a lot of pleasure in smashing every single one of his buttons during their match.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted. He picks on his older brother.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When he wants to get into a girl's pants.
  • Blonde Guys Are Evil: He switches between dreads and bleached blonde throughout middle school.
  • Born Winner: And will never let you forget it.
  • Break the Haughty: Losing to Deimon, and then being beaten by Yamato begins the lengthy process of shattering Agon's better-than-thou attitude, a process that is accelerated when Clifford and Mr. Don give him a look in the mirror at the Youth World Cup.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He almost never practices and is often flirting with women or goofing off. Their coach allows it because Agon is really that talented and he's also a frightening man when aggravated.
  • 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. This doesn't make his actions any more excusable, but it's easy to see how he became such a Jerk Ass 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.
  • The Bully: A fairly brutal one, savaging anybody he feels he can look down on.
  • Characterisation Marches On: During his first appearance, spectating the first Deimon vs Ojo match with the rest of the Nagas, he's sarcastic, disrespectful and perverted, but otherwise completely unlike the sneering, thuggish, sociopathic douchebag who was The Dreaded to both opponents and his own teammates. At one point Unsui even smacked him on the head with their pair of binculars when he caught Agon perving at Mamori rather than paying attention to the game, something that would be inconceivable with their later characterisation.
  • 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.
  • Consummate Liar: His complete lack of morals makes it easy for him to lie to anyone whenever he feels like it.
  • The Casanova: The bad, love 'em and leave 'em kind.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Introduced during Deimon's second match; later outed as one of the worst villains in the series.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Friendship is probably too strong a word, but losing to Deimon ultimately (after a period of hating them even more) causes Agon's attitude towards them to mellow, and after playing on the National Team alongside several of their players (which he never would have done without having lost to them in the first place) Agon ends up respecting, if not actually liking, Sena, Hiruma, and Kurita.
  • 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 Reiji "Marco" Maruko 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 then on the receiving 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 Can Not Comprehend Good: When he is about to get sacked by Mr. Don (who almost hospitalized a giant like Gaou) he realized that even if Kurita could he probably would let him get crush for stealing his scholarship, saying that he would have killed the guy who did that even if he knows it's him. Kurita shows up at the last moment and stop Mr.Don, even having more resolved since he has to protect Agon.
  • 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: To Hiruma, with the caveat that they were both pretty evil to start with. They'd also deny the "friend" part, but given how well they work together, and Agon's wish, expressed during the Youth World Cup, that Hiruma was his physical equal, it's fairly clear that the relationship meant something to both of them.
  • 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. And let's not forget his underage drinking and promiscuity.
  • Evil Laugh: "Fufufu". More of a snicker.
  • Financial Abuse: Uses his girlfriends for their money.
  • Foil: To Hiruma. Where Hiruma's only asset is his mind, and his evil is mostly an act, Agon plays based entirely on instinct and his cruelty is bone-deep.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Revels in being the foolish one.
  • For the Evulz: He doesn't especially like football, he just likes "putting people in their place". Which, of course, is below 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 behavior solely because of his talent. Is it any surprise he turned out the way he did?
  • The Gift: He was born with the ability to become a champion in anything with little effort.
  • The Glass Come Off: He removes his glass to seduce girls, with them he looks either like an arrogant douchebag or a psycho.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: In the anime his dreads are purple and reminiscent of tentacles.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: His eyes are normally quite beady, but he can actually make them look almost moe when he puts on his good guy act.
  • Gold Digger: When asked what the most expensive thing he's ever bought was, he stated that his girlfriends buy him anything he wants. For example, his goggles alone cost $350.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Downplayed. Agon never stops being unpleasant, but during the Youth World Cup he mellows a fair amount, discovers an actual enjoyment of the game, and makes the first step towards repairing his relationship with Hiruma. He also shows some actual empathy, putting himself in Kurita's shoes, and challenging Unsui to do more with his life than follow Agon. He's still a bastard, but we're a long way from the guy who threw a ball in the face of a handicapped grade-schooler.
  • Heel Realization: During the Youth World Cup Agon admits that after everything he's done to Kurita the lineman could hardly be blamed if he just let Mr. Don crush Agon. It's the first time in-series that Agon ever admits to culpability in anything, as well as the first time he ever successfully sees someone else's point of view.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Invoked and averted. Agon tries to join the Teikoku Alexanders in order to gain revenge on the Devil-Bats but is stopped by Yamato.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ends up being beaten by the Devil Bats, a team he inadvertently created with his antics.
    • On a smaller scale, during the Naga-Devilbats game, his attempts to break the hopes of Kurita (again) and the Devilbats by taunting them about how it's game over. Said taunting hammers Sena's Berserk Button, making him angry enough that he wants to fight Agon. This galvanizes the rest of the team, and the Devilbats really come out swinging in the second half.
  • 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.
  • Instant Expert: Agon can mimic any physical activity as long as he sees it even once, demonstrated when he effortlessly does the the Devil Bat Ghost during the Deimon-Shinryuuji match. It was shown in a flashback that he basically learned how to ride a bike by watching somebody do it.
  • Insufferable Genius: Take an insufferably big ego, a complete lack of morals and sympathy, mix them with a superhuman skill at everything, and you get Agon.
  • It's All About Me: He is the ego that walks like a man.
  • Jerkass: Made of pure undiluted douche.
  • Jerk Jock: Takes it to sociopathic levels.
  • Kick the Dog: His hobby, even when he has no other reason than The Evulz.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When the Devil Bats make their final two-point coversion, knocking him and his team out of the tournament, it's his former victim Kurita who pins Agon down before he can grab Sena.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Agon is not the number one in strength or speed, but he's still frighteningly strong and fast. Also, his superhuman reaction times mean that even the fastest players can't easily compete with him as he'll be moving long before they are.
  • Mutant: Pretty much. His reaction time is explicitly stated to be inhuman, and the result of a freak accident of genetics.
  • 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.
  • Only in It for the Money: This is his motivation for entering the World Cup. Subverted later against Militaria, when he decides to play seriously because the opponents' captain shaved off his dreads.
  • Opposing Sports Team: He can be it all on his own.
  • Pet the Dog: During the Youth World Cup he wishes that Hiruma could match him physically (so as to make them the ultimate tag-team), and both shows some sympathy for Unsui and expresses a desire for his brother to join him on the field. Given Agon's usual personality this is huge. He even seems to realize now that his Bash Brother technique is way better with Unsui, coming from someone who acts like he is the only start, that is saying something.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: "What are you guys, a bunch of homos with a fat fetish?"
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: His dreadlocks, gold chain, and baggy clothes give him this appearance.
  • Product Placement: Beginning in the Kantou tournament, sunglass aficionados will notice he starts wearing Oakley Juliet sports goggles with Ice Iridium lenses.
  • Really Gets Around: He's often seen having fun with a girl... or several, instead of going to practice or even to official games.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: As well as being sinister shades.
  • Sibling Team: With Unsui. Their instinctive teamplay gives birth to the Dragonfly formation.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother Unsui couldn't be more different if they tried.
  • Sinister Shades: Helps that they're opaque 90% of the time. He even wears them while playing.
  • Smug Snake: Until he got his ass handed to him by Deimon.
  • Smug Super: This trope personified, bragging at all times about his preternatural talent.
  • Super Reflexes: Explicitly referred to as possessing such—though the story is careful to separate them from his equally superhuman reaction time.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: An evil variation of this, as he's not just snarky but The Sociopath.
  • The Sociopath: He definitely has the Lack of Empathy, Hair-Trigger Temper, Consummate Lying, and self-centredness down pat.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Though the ones he wears at the start of the Kantou tournament are crazy expensive.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: During the World Cup, the story focuses more on him and Gao than on the actual protagonists.
  • Token Evil Teammate: On the Nagas and even more so during the World Cup.
  • Trash Talk: Takes it to quite literal levels, with his obsession with comparing "inferior" players to trash.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: During the game with Deimon when he tries to permanently injure Sena.
  • Verbal Tic: Refers to most others as "trash", or "losers" in the official manga release.
  • Villain Respect: Sena earns Agon's respect over the course of the game, with Agon eventually acknowledging that Sena is capable of playing at his level, and attending several of the Devil-Bats' games afterwards. Hiruma gains his respect during their Enemy Mine in the Youth World Cup, with Agon admitting that they are an excellent combo and that he wishes Hiruma's physical talents matched his.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Hiruma used to be friends. They start trying to rebuild it during the World Cup Arc. He also has a genuine respect for Ikkyu, noting that he's the only member of the team he considers worth keeping around.
  • The Worf Effect: When Deimon is about to play Teikoku, Agon is used to show that Yamato is possibly an even better player.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He violently shoves Mamori to the ground after she rejects his advances.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Pitches a ball into the face of a wheelchair-bound grade schooler.
  • Youngest Child Wins: At everything. His brother Unsui is not amused.

Ikkyu Hosokawa

Position: Cornerback / Receiver

Another 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. He's the team's primary cornerback, and doubles as wide receiver when necessary.
  • Adorkable: He becomes this around girls.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's genuinely surprised at the idea that Monda might actually believe he can defeat him.
  • Beauty Mark: It's often mistaken for a bindi, jyoti, or third eye. In actuality, it's just a very prominent mole.
  • Berserk Button: Challenging or insulting (directly or not) his skill as a cornerback.
  • Butt Monkey: Of the Nagas, despite being their second best player. The reason is that while he is good he is still a junior to most of the Nagas who mocks his I'm the best attitude toward his sempais, unlike Agon, Ikkyu is not a sociopath who can scare them.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When he's not being the best cornerback in Japan, he's the Butt Monkey of his team.
  • Expy: Of Vegeta, though only when he's serious.
  • Evil Counterpart: A short, super competitive wide receiver who prides himself on his area of expertise? Who also acts like a total dork around his one-sided crush(es)? Sounds familiar, right Monta?
  • Precision F-Strike: Also counts as a crowning moment of funny.
    "If I don't see the same kind of zeal you showed against me, I'LL CRUSH YOUR TINY MONKEY BALLS."
  • Retcon: Ikkyu originally referred to Agon as "Sempai" implying that he was a first year. 120 chapters later, Ikkyu is said to be a second year.
  • Teens Are Short: Ikkyu does not look 5'6 at all.
  • The Rival: One of Monta's many rivals.

Gondayu Yamabushi

Position: Center / Linebacker

A 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).

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 reliefs.

    Seibu Wild Gunmen 

An up-and-coming Tokyo team, placing second to Ojo in the both the Spring and Fall Tournaments. Best known for their prowess on offense, but simultaneous inability to prevent even the weakest of teams from scoring on them. A generally good group of guys, the Wild Gunmen are friendly terms with most of their opponents, with running back Riku Kaitani and Deimon's Sena Kobayakawa being especially close.
Tropes applying to the Wild Gunmen as a whole:
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Even more than the Devil-Bats, the Wild Gunmen rely on offense to get them through games, racking up incredible scores to compensate for their weak defense.
  • Foil: To both Deimon (sharing their offensive style, but putting the emphasis on passing instead of running) and Ojo (putting all their cards on attack and defense).
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Deimon and Ojo both.
  • Glass Cannon: As a team, the Gunmen score constantly, but cannot prevent their opponents from returning the favour.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Inverted at first. Seibu's narrow defeats by Ojo in the Spring and Fall Tournaments are used to demonstrate just how effective a team the Wild Gunmen are, particularly since Tetsuma was benched both times.
    • Played straight at Kanto, where Seibu's failure against Hakushuu proves just how dangerous the Dinosaurs are. It's also entirely justified, since Seibu has never had to deal with anyone like Gao before, and no counter they can come up with is anything other than extremely risky.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Deimon. After Ojo they're probably the team the Devil-Bats most look forward to facing, with Sena and Monta especially hoping for a rematch.

The Kid

Position: Quarterback

Real name Shien Mushanokoji, son of an ace pistol competitor. A very down-to-earth fellow whose talent lies in throwing the ball at high speeds.
  • Berserk Button: He's big on Heroic Self-Deprecation, but he gets really angry if you insult Tetsuma.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Being this to Riku helps Kid with his issues.
  • Death Glare: Gives one to the Huh Huh brothers when they insult Tetsuma, it's almost hard to recognize him due to his usual laid back attitude. In the manga he does it to Hiruma who wants to see is fighting spirits.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He prefers to be referred to as Kid since he claims to have abandoned his real name. Also a reference to his proficiency with guns and his team's favorite play.
  • Genre Blind: "Nothing good ever comes from chasing your dreams." Although given the instant he decided to chase his dreams, Gao broke his arm, he may be right...
  • Genre Savvy: "Things tend to go bad when they start looking good." When you're in the world of Eyeshield 21, this is a fundamental law.
  • The Gunslinger: Though calling him one would probably bring up bad memories.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: After running away from the pressure his family put on him, he uses this strategy to try to prevent his teammates from relying on him too much.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Both as a literal sharpshooter and as a metaphorical sharpshooter when he plays as a quarterback.
  • The Leader: A levelheaded leader to Seibu, despite not being the team captain.
  • Man With No Name: Invoked by his refusal to go by anything other than "Kid".
  • Nerves of Steel: He doesn't twitch an eyebrows in distress when Gaou, infamous for permanently crippling his opponents, stops his hand an inch from Kid's face.
  • Nice Hat: Part of his "western movie" appearance.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: A cowboy quarterback with a quick release? Tony Romo, is that you?
  • Perma Stubble: He's one of the "guys with an old face" of the manga.
  • Quick Draw: Part of his nickname, "The Quick Draw Kid", and a reference to his fast passes.
  • Tempting Fate: Constantly Lampshaded. He's convinced that things going well for him is only fate's way of setting him up for a fall.
  • The Trope Kid: His name is a Western movies reference.
  • "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.

Jou Tetsuma

Position: Wide Receiver

An 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.
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt Kid in front of him.
  • 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Decent speed and insane strength, especially for a receiver.
  • Literal-Minded: Jou will follow any order to the letter.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tetsuma" means "iron horse" in Japanese.
  • The Silent Bob: He almost never speaks, he just stays there and follows orders.
  • The Stoic: He shows his feelings about two times in the entire story.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Kid.

Riku Kaitani

Position: Running Back, Safety

A 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.
  • Always Someone Better: Was originally introduced as being like Sena, but cooler.
  • Big Brother Mentor: What he considers himself to Sena.
  • Catch Phrase: He always tells people "you're pathetic" to chastise even the slightest failing. Not as spiteful as it sounds; at one point he even thinks to himself "I'm pathetic" when something is worrying him.
  • 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.
  • Foil: He's what Sena would look like if he grew a spine.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Despite being the person who taught Sena how to run, he's never mentioned until he appears during the 14th volume.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With the emphasis on friendly. He and Sena go way back, and they are always friends first and opponents second. He's also the first player to manage this with Gao, never treating the feared Hakushuu giant as anything other than a fellow competitor, something Gao appreciates and returns as best he can.
  • Heroic RROD: Riku runs himself into the ground trying to hold off Gao, eventually passing out on the field from sheer exertion—though in doing so, he earns Gao's undying respect.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Physically, he's not much taller than Sena. And without him, the Gunmen would be short one of their best players.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Sena and Gao.

"Buffalo" Ushijima

Position: Line

The actual captain of the Gunmans. No one remembers this, with The Kid getting all the attention. Still, he's a powerful force on the line, using his so-called "Twin Horns"—borrowed from pro-wrestling—to bull his way through any opposition.
  • Awesome McCool Name: Although it's only a nickname.
  • The Big Guy: The Gunmen's best lineman.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He happily throws Western Lariats at other linemen.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: There was an extra that revealed his actual first name, however... It's "Baharou", which is pronounced identically to his nickname.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sees the Ha-Ha Brothers as this when he has to crack out his Twin Horns to get past them. When Jumonji successfully counters the technique the second time, he goes up even farther in Ushijima's estimation.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Ushijima's "Twin Horns" (a double version of "the rip" used by Komosubi) is stated to be borrowed from pro-wrestling.

    Taiyou Sphinx 

Famed for their "Pyramid Line", the Taiyo Sphinx have the heaviest line of any Japanese high school, which usually ensures them a place in the Kanto Regional Tournament. Their greatest weakness is their lack of anything approaching a backfield. Nominally lead by quarterback Harao, the team is in truth under the control of Harao's best friend, centre and third year Banba, who holds the team together.
Tropes applying to the Sphinx as a whole
  • Mighty Glacier: The team as a whole has tremendous power in the line, but little ability to run, meaning that they must advance down the field slowly, shoving their opponents out of their way.
  • The Worf Effect: Against first Seibu and then Hakushuu.

Kiminari Harao

Position: Quarterback / Team Captain

A very beautiful young man who prides himself on being rich, refined, and elegant. Seemingly arrogant, Harao is actually deeply insecure about his talents as quarterback, and is highly reliant on his close friend Banba for protection and emotional support.
  • Action Survivor: Harao holds the honor of being the only quarterback not to be crushed by Gaou. He's not to proud of it though, as it was due to Banba and the Taiyou line. He was forced to forfeit because he was literally the only man on his team left standing.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Or rather a constant entourage of scantily clad groupies.
  • Alpha Bitch: At first. He was introduced as seeming to be very elitist and bossy, blaming others for his shortcomings. Of course it's mostly just an act because he's insecure.
  • Bishōnen: He's one of the most feminine male characters.
  • 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.
  • Guyliner: To go with his Egyptian theme.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Jerkass Fašade: Acts snobby and in control to hide the fact that's he very insecure about his abilities.
  • The Ojou: His father is the CEO of an oil company.
  • Instant Fan Club
  • Rich Bitch
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Banba's Manly Man.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: When his antiquated way of speaking is translated to English. He drops this after the Hakushuu game.

Mamoru Banba

Position: Line

The imposing, stoic ace of the Sphynx, Banba's wisdom and calmness make him the real authority figure of the team. Widely regarded as one of the country's best young linemen, he has a respectful rivalry with Kurita.
  • Ambiguously Brown
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Though Harao is the team's official captain, it's rather obvious who has the final say.
  • Bald of Awesome: The bald player is the strongest and more reliable one of his team.
  • The Comically Serious: Keeps his stoicism even during a "pointlessly badass" pillow fight.
  • Determinator: He's the first person to actually challenge Gaou, and although knowing that he was outmatched, repeatedly got up and held his ground, not allowing the Hakushuu player to lay a finger on his QB.
  • Guyliner
  • The Lancer: To Harao. Subverted in that he's the real leader.
  • The Leader: The Sphinxes' levelheaded leader.
  • Scary Black Man: Has the appearance and composure of one, though he's ethnically Japanese.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's Harao's Manly Man.
  • The Stoic: Especially notable when Harao starts to lose it and Banba has to step in as The Leader.
  • The Worf Effect: His defeat at Gao's hands is used to demonstrate just how overwhelmingly powerful the Hakushuu lineman is.
  • Worthy Opponent: He's one of the few players Gao respects. He and Kurita view each other as this, too.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Was very opposed to Kurita tackling Karin.
  • Younger Than They Look: When Yamabushi can't make a speech for the Japan Team, he steps up as the one with the second oldest face.

Niinobu Kasamatsu

Position: Line

A large, fat, and frighteningly stupid player who serves as one of Taiyo's best linemen.
  • The Big Guy: Though Banba's taller.
  • Dumb Muscle: It's rather terrifying just how stupid Kasamatsu is, and how totally unprepared he is for any of the Devil-Bats' trick plays.
  • Fat Bastard: Dumb, mean, and grossly fat.
  • Gonk: Perhaps the single most emblematic example in the series outside of complete one-offs like the Sankaku Punks.
  • Guyliner
  • Jerk Ass: Definitely acts as this towards the Ha-Ha Brothers.
  • Jerk Jock: Really likes humiliating the Ha-ha Brothers during their first game, until they turn it around.
  • Stout Strength

    Nasa Aliens/Shuttle 

A top-ranked American high school team that came to Japan to play an exhibition match promoting the sport. While the team sports a great deal of talent, they are held back by the refusal of their racist coach, Leonard Apollo, to let their best player actually get off the bench.
Tropes associated with the Aliens as a whole:
  • Opposing Sports Team: Downplayed in much the same way as the Shinryuuji example. Apollo, like Agon, is a jerk and deserves to lose, but the team he runs is composed of a collection of Nice Guys.

Patrick "Panther" Spencer

Position: Running Back

A 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.
  • Adorkable: Especially during 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.
  • Always Someone Better: Plays out both ways for him. At first, despite his talent for running being hyped up, he gets utterly crushed by Sena and Shin simply because of his lack of experience. Later however, under the training of Apollo, he turns into the only person in the entire story that can run faster than Sena.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Reason he endured Apollo's abuse? Panther is that loyal as Apollo's fanboy.
  • Berserk Button: Messing with his sweatband. Presumably, messing with anything related to his grandmother.
  • The Dragon: To Clifford and Mr. Don during the Youth World Cup. Still a Token Good Teammate though.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The best example in the whole series. He has to go through a lot before he gets acknowledged by Apollo and becomes The Ace of his team.
  • Fragile Speedster: Not as fragile as Sena, but he can be taken down relatively easily, provided you can reach him.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Towards pretty much everyone, but especially Sena. Clifford even scolds Panther for being too nice towards his opponents.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Although it's not being an orphan that makes Apollo warm up to him, there's no denying Panther is one.
  • Hero of Another Story: Panther can make a pretty good claim to being this. Starting as the ball boy of his team despite his amazing talent, ignored and abused by his racist coach, he sticks it out and finally his time comes when NASA are backed up against the wall by Deimon. After single-handedly turning the game around and actually winning it for NASA he wins his coach's grudging respect and a permanent spot on the new NASA Shuttles team, becoming their ace. Under Apollo's tutelage he becomes the top runner in America (at the high school level anyway), and joins the Pentagram for the World Youth Cup winning the NFL contract that Morgan was offering as a prize for the MVP and finally making his dream come true.
  • Nice Guy: He's this at his core.
  • The Pollyanna: Fortunately, this attitude pays off for him BIG TIME later in the series.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Specifically, just his grandmother.
  • Skilled, but Na´ve: At first. While he's always been incredibly fast and agile, his lack of playing experience meant he didn't really know how to defend against opponents.
  • Spirited Competitor: The reason he decided to go to Japan.
  • Super Speed: 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.
  • Token Good Teammate: On The Pentagram where he plays alongside showboat Bud Walker, Dumb Muscle Tatanka, Jerk Jock Clifford, and the thoroughly monstrous Mr. Don.
  • Token Minority: Justified. The coach for the Aliens was extremely racist and only allowed him to be the ball boy at first. Also justified since Apollo's racist attitude forced the other black players to leave, only Panther stayed because he's a Determinator
  • Worthy Opponent: To Sena, especially during the World Cup arc.

Homer Fitzgerald

Position: Quarterback

Panther's best friend and teammate. Helped Panther endure Apollo's racism and generally looks out for him. Noted for having a powerful, but uncontrolled long pass.
  • Black Best Friend: Inverted. He's Panther's underdeveloped, white best friend.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A muscle flexing, beer loving man's man. He's also said to have the 3rd most friends out of the entire cast.
  • Implacable Man: A somewhat muted example, but it's there; he can throw the Shuttle Pass while being tackled, and he's pretty hard to take down in the first place.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fuzzy jawline, strong but unsure arm... Brett Favre, is that you?
  • Straight Man: Is usually the one to question Watt's "knowledge" of Japanese culture or comment on Panther's naivety.
  • Quick Nip: Unless he's on the field, he's usually shown with his Trademark Favorite Food, a can of Budweiser.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: A can of Budweiser, despite being in high school. This isn't that unrealistic, but the writer probably assumed the drinking age was closer to 18 in the US.

Jeremy Watt

Position: Wide Receiver.

A well-meaning but very misinformed Japan-o-phile who often confuses both Japanese and Americans alike.
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: After seeing a skilled Japanese linebacker, he becomes fascinated with samurais. No one is able to figure out that train of thought.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Being an Occidental Otaku, he likes to use Japanese words.
  • 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
  • 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: Linemen

Two 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.
  • Dumb Muscle
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Are best known for having tattoos that say "big shit" and "little piss" by accident. They asked Watt about Kanji characters as tattoo, "Big and Useful" and "Little and Fast" respectively and Watt showed them the character, but not the right placement. Making Cool Tattoo into this trope. Japanese people who saw the tatto said it should be reversed.
  • Evil Counterpart: Not evil in the least, but are basically American versions of Kurita and Komusubi.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The little guy can practically keep up with Sena and packs a lot of power.
  • Mighty Glacier: The older one.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The younger Gonzales, who does NOT like being underestimated.

Leonard Apollo

Position: Coach

A former NFL player, Apollo's racial prejudice and mistreatment of Panther both trace back to the raw deal he received when he was a pro.
  • Always Someone Better: He was edged out of his job by a black star player named Morgan, resulting in his Freudian Excuse.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Panther, after the game with Deimon.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's a racist and acts as a Jerk Ass towards Panther because a black player made him lose his job.
  • Grumpy Bear: While he comes to respect Panther, he's never outright nice and is still a little racist.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: The lesson he learned from his days in the NFL and one of the reasons he keeps Panther off the team.
  • Heel-Face Turn: After beating Deimon.
  • Heel Realization: "Since when did I start to hate football...?"
  • 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 blowhard and a bit racist. Still, despite his racism, he allowed the Gonzalez brothers, hispanics, in the team.
  • 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.
  • Right-Hand Cat: In the anime, he has one named Hilary.
  • Rich Bitch: His first appearance was him a on yacht badmouthing the Japanese.
  • Smug Snake: Initially played straight; he's utterly convinced of the superiority of his white American team over the Japanese and Hiruma accurately identifies him as NASA's biggest weakness. Subverted after his Heel-Face Turn when he becomes Panther's mentor, because he turns out to be a damn good one.
  • Villainous BSOD: After discovering Panther had weathered his abuse because he was his biggest fan.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: He wears an American flag tie during the game with Deimon.

    Amino Cyborgs 

Every year, Amino high school decides to try and takeover a new sport in order to demonstrate the superiority of their training methods. The previous two years it was soccer and basketball; now they're aiming to create the ultimate football team and conquer the Tokyo Tournament. Emphasizing drug use and study over actual practice, the Cyborgs are eliminated by Deimon early in the tournament.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Their method of training goes against every aesop in the series, though only Aoyanagi is a real jackass about it.

Atsushi Munakata

Position: Linebacker

A buff, intellectual man who takes the idea of "brains over brawn" a little too far. Is almost always smiling and has a freakishly shiny face.
  • Affably Evil: Off the field he's rather gentlemanly, and even on it he has a friendly charm that seems to be absolutely genuine.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Did not hesitate to brag about his superior intelligence and training to Deimon.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Most of the time.
  • Fan Disservice: Even his muscles are shiny.
  • Fridge Horror: Invoked In-Universe. Just why do his parents look so alike?!
  • Genius Bruiser: Him and everyone at Amino. According to him, those who graduate from Amino go on to either Amino Medical School or Tokyo U.
  • G-Rated Drug: His ridiculously buff physique is thanks to "science". Right...
  • Gonk: He kind of looks like a Ken doll on steroids.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Gets angry when Americans underestimate Team Japan, then proceeds to bet on the American team as well.
  • The Leader: The charismatic leader for the Amino Cyborgs.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Justified, as the Cyborgs got their muscles through drugs and other forms of artificial stimulation while Deimon actually got their muscles naturally through an incredibly straining training regimen. The difference between Amino and Deimon could be compared to the difference between a weight lifter and body builder: the body builder is more likely to be bigger and toned, but the weight lifter has more strength and stamina.
    Ikari: "Are those muscles just for show?"
  • Perpetual Smiler: If he's not smiling it means he's in serious trouble.
  • Villainous BSOD: When he loses to the Devilbats.
  • Younger Than They Look: Lampshaded constantly. When Deimon first met him, they assumed he was a doctor.

Suguru Aoyanagi

Position: Line

A geeky otaku who went from bony to bodybuilder in a year and a half thanks to, ahem, "vitamin supplements".
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Like Munakata, but without the jovial charm.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: He used to looked exactly like Weird Al, complete with curls and geek glasses. After starting his training regimen, he looked like Weird Al on steroids. Like Yankovic, he's also incredibly geeky, but what stops him from being another weird Eyeshield football expy is that he's a jerk and a mild masochist.
  • Evil Laugh: Fufufu.
  • Gonk: Both before and after his unnatural training regimen.
  • Jerk Ass: He seems to have a lot of issues left from his Geek Physique days.
  • Straight Man: To Munakata's cheerful disposition.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Their manager can be quite cruel to the team and Aoyanagi loves it.

    Kyoshin Poseidons 

The Fall Tokyo's Tournament's biggest dark horse after the Devil-Bats themselves, the Poseidon's were traditionally a fairly weak team, before Shun Kakei joined up. Recruiting a batch of new recruits, all of whom stand 5'11 or more, and using their height to dominate both the line and the back, the Poseidons take out both the veteran Hashiritani Deer, and the thuggish Zokugaku Chameleons before facing off against the Devil-Bats in the semifinals.

Kengo Mizumachi

Position: Line

A 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.

Shun Kakei

Position: Linebacker

A very serious linebacker 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.
  • Break the Haughty: What happens to him in America, breaking him out of his Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy attitude.
  • Bishōnen
  • 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 the other players' wackiness.
  • Guyliner
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: His ability to stop another player with one hand.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Both a reflection of his personality and a reference to his team's water motif.
  • Large and in Charge: Kobanzame's the team captain, but the towering Kakei is the one giving the orders.
  • The Leader: A levelheaded leader, despite not being the captain.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue Oni to Mizumachi's Red Oni
  • The Stoic: He very rarely lets his emotions show.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: The guy was 5'7" in grade school.
  • Worthy Opponent: To both Sena and the real Eyeshield 21, Yamato, who acknowledges Kakei as one of the few linebackers who might be able to stop him.

Osamu Kobanzame

Position: Quarterback/Team Captain

Kyoshin'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.
  • Adorkable
  • Cowardly Lion: Despite his nerves, he tries hard and is a perfectly capable quarterback.
  • The Load: Sees himself as this since he does not really bring much to the team and is the least physically remarkable, none of his teammates sees him as useless and his determination is actually what convinced Mizumachi to join the football team.
  • Mondegreen: His speech habit.
  • Straight Man: The most "normal" person in his team.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He doesn't have the physical strength or talent of the star players in his team, but his experience makes him a very competent quarterback.

Hiroshi Onishi and Hiroshi Ohira

Positions: Linebackers

Kakei's self-proclaimed "apprentices" (fanboys) who constantly argue over whose the better player.

    Bando Spiders 

Once the second best team in Tokyo after Ojo, the Bando Spiders were the runners-up in the previous year's Tokyo Tournament, narrowly losing to Ojo in a 7 to 6 game (it should be remembered that no other team in Tokyo was able to score any points against Ojo that year). When Teikoku high school in Kansai lured away most of the team's best players, Bando was left struggling to rebuild, with only tight end Hayato Akaba, and ace kicker Kotaro Sasaki remaining from their original lineup.
Tropes applying to the Spider's as a whole
  • Climax Boss: Of the Tokyo Tournament arc. They're the last team that Deimon faces, and the one they absolutely have to beat in order to secure third place and make it to the Kanto Regionals.
  • Hero of Another Story: Downplayed compared to the likes of Panther, but the story of how the Spiders managed to make it to the Tokyo Tournament's finals, despite Akaba being benched and a lack of any other top players besides Kotaro—their kicker—would probably make for an interesting story.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Not in the Tokyo Tournament anyway. With Akaba on the bench and Kotaro the only star player they have left, the Spiders still manage to plow their way through a succession of higher-ranked teams before running up against Ojo, and even there they're the first team to score on the White Knights during the Tournament. By the time of the Deimon match Akaba can play again, so Bando loses its underdog status.
  • When All You Have Is Ahammer: Because their offensive and defensive teams were recruited into Teikoku academy, Bando only has a kick team, therefore the only way they can score is through field goals. This gives them a bit of an advantage over other teams as they only need to move into kicking range (their farthest being 55 yards) and their ace kicker is so good he can score under adverse weather conditions. With Akaba as lead blocker, they can actually make it work in a way the other team could not even get their hands on the ball thanks to onside kicks done with the best of precision.

Hayato Akaba

Position: Tight End

Voted 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.
  • The Ace: The Spider's best player, and the previous year's Tokyo MVP. He is one of the best tight end in the series.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Hiruma's only rival in this area. His Spider Poison is the result of countless hours of research.
  • Benched Hero: Due to his quitting the Teikoku team to return to Bando in the middle of the football season, Akaba was sidelined as part of the game's rules. The only game he's ever played (not counting the World Youth Cup) was their match with Deimon.
  • Bishōnen: Pretty enough to be noticed by Jari Productions.
  • The Chessmaster: Akaba has a tactic called Run Force, in which he places his players in specific positions in order to make the opposing ball carrier think there's a wide open path for them, only for Akaba to suddenly appear and stop them dead in their tracks. This makes him seem faster than he actually is, since he already knows where the ball carrier will go and has already positioned himself to stop them. This also applies to his team's onside kicks with him as lead blocker by telling Kotaro where to kick the ball and positioning his teammates in such a way that the opposing team will have no way to get past his blockers, enabling them to regain possession of the ball.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Likes to strike corny rock star poses for no other reason than Rule of Cool, while keeping his usual stoic expression.
    • He also tends to make rather ridiculous music metaphors with a straight face.
  • Cool Shades
  • Genius Bruiser: 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, by using his superior technique to compensate for Kurita's superior strength.
  • Large Ham: Despite his reserved personality, he's every bit as dramatic as Kotaro.
  • The Leader: A levelheaded type, with some mastermind.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue (ironically) to Kotaro's red.
  • The Stoic: To the point that his teammates are quite shocked when he even chuckles.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Despite his coldness, it's evident that he cares for his team and Kotaro.
  • Verbal Tic: He tends to begin his sentences with "Fuu..."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Kotaro can't stand each other. They also deeply respect and trust each other, when it comes to football.

Kotaro Sasaki

Position: Kicker

The 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.
  • The Ace: Akaba gets all the attention, but Kotaro is every bit as important to the Spider's success as he is, and is the one who gets them through most of the Fall Tournament.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Even when there's no ass-kicking to be done.
  • Badass: Kotaro's a goof, but he's also the only player in Tokyo to have scored any points against Ojo's so-called "Golden Generation", landing two field goals for a score of 7 to 6. He also carries his team through the following year's Tokyo Tournament while Akaba is benched, scoring almost all of their points for them, and even managing to score a field goal against this year's Ojo—explicitly stated to be even stronger than last year's team—for a 10-3 game, despite the fact that this year's Spiders are made almost entirely of second-stringers.
  • Catch Phrase: Uses "smart" as an adjective for anything good and "not smart" for anything bad. Changed to "cool" in the American manga release.
  • Hot-Blooded: Lets his emotions get the better of him constantly.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Can make a kick-in even during a typhoon.
  • Large Ham: Feels the need to accompany anything he says or does with a dramatic pose. Once called a time-out in the middle of a game JUST to explain his team's tragic back story.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Akaba's blue.
  • Serious Business: Kicking is very serious business for him.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Akaba.
  • Training from Hell: In order to make Bando the ultimate kick team. This is how Kotaro can score points even during a typhoon, by training during a typhoon.
  • Unknown Rival: Although it's not that Musashi doesn't know about him as much as he doesn't care.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Akaba can't stand each other. They also respect and trust each other, when it comes to football.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Musashi has more raw power, but Kotaro's kicks land with perfect precision, even in adverse weather conditions.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sees Musashi as this.

Juri "Julie" Sawai

Position: Manager

The manager of the Bando spiders and the one usually responsible for keeping the peace between Akaba and Kotaro.

    Hakushu Dinosaurs 

SIC District Champions, and Kanto Tournament darkhorses, the Hakushu Dinosaurs are, like the Devil-Bats, a young team, composed mostly of first year rookies and misfits. Led by the unscrupulous Reiji "Marco" Maruko, the Dinosaurs utilize an absolutely brutal playing style, using gigantic lineman Rikiya Gao to break the bones of every quarterback they face. Having turned the SIC District Tournament into a proverbial bloodbath, the Dinosaurs are now gunning for the title of Kanto Champions and a shot at the Christmas Bowl.
Tropes applying to the Dinosaurs as a whole
  • Arc Villain: The need to stop Hakushuu and especially Gao, dominates the Kanto Arc and hangs over every match after the Deimon/Shinryuuji game.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Subverted. The Dinosaurs become infamous for their north-south game, using Gao's brute strength to hammer through any team in their way. Yet their other two ace players (Marco and Kisiragi) are a safety and cornerback respectively, and their defensive game is at least as good as their offensive, repeatedly halting Deimon in their tracks.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Dinosaurs are first mentioned in an article in a magazine back in Volume 6, as a SIC District team currently recruiting massive new talent. It's not until Volume 19 that we actually meet Marco, and not until 23 that we get to see the massive talent in question.
  • Climax Boss: Of the Kanto Tournament, stepping into the role of the series' main antagonists after Shinryuuji and Agon are knocked out.
  • Evil Counterpart: As a group the Dinosaurs are the evil counterpart to the Deimon Devil-Bats. Both are a Ragtag Band of Misfits led by a manipulative captain with a love of offensive plays. The difference is that where the Devil-Bats genuinely enjoy the game, the Dinosaurs are all out to prove something individually, and they don't care who they hurt in the process.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Once Gaou finally get stopped and therefore they can't do simple force play, they are revealed to have a strong defense and the third best kicker in Kantou. Marco made a point to keep most of their strengths secret aside Gaou (because a giant lineman who break QB's arm is hard to hide).
  • Opposing Sports Team: A classic example. Obsessed with winning rather than actually enjoying the game, the Dinosaurs use Unnecessary Roughness to injure or even cripple opponents rather than play ethically.
  • When All You Have Is Ahammer: Their North-South game is their most used play, simply because no opposing line can defend against their monstrously powerful lineman Gao.

Reiji "Marco" Maruko

Position: Quarterback/Safety (QB Spy)

A 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. A capable quarterback, he's actually at his most effective on defense, where he follows the ball with unerring precision, before prying it out of the runner's hand with his "Screwbite".
  • Affably Evil: A rather pleasant young man who is willing to negotiate with opponents, send flowers to the injured and allow Gaou demolish the team's competition if it advances his goals.
  • 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, focusing 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.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: His defensive role is "Quarterback spy", which means he needs to anticipate and counter every move the opposing quarterback does.
  • Big Bad: 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.
  • But Not Too Foreign: He's half Italian.
  • Catch Phrase: "I'd say", spoken at the end of most sentences. Rendered "I think" in the official translation.
  • 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.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Will do anything for victory.
  • Cowardly Lion: Marco may be prone to panic, 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.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With Hiruma, who admits he would have gone to the same lengths Marco did, if he found himself in the same position.
  • 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 full-power tackle by Kurita and returning to play.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Last name anyway, which is why he calls himself "Marco" and Maruko Himuro "Maria."
  • 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 Younger Than They Look, and want to take down the Alexanders/go to the Christmas Bowl no matter what it takes. His dynamic with Gaou is a reversed one to Hiruma and Kurita where Gaou is the scary ally to accomplish Marco's dream.
  • Evil Genius: He's smart enough to play Xanatos Speed Chess with Hiruma and to shut Sena down using only his brains.
  • Friendly Enemy: Especially to Sena. Off the field though, he's pretty nice to everyone.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Post-Kantou Regionals. Unlike Agon and Gaou, who are Token Evil Teammates to the end, Marco seems to have straightened out his act by the World Cup.
  • Heel Realisation: After being defeated by the Devil-Bats.
  • Hidden Badass: An average athlete, Marco doesn't look especially threatening on defense, particularly after the likes of Agon and Shin. He's actually more dangerous to the Devil-Bats than either of them, as his ability to steal the ball from Sena, rather than tackling him, enables Hakushuu to easily score touchdowns during Deimon's offense. Sena acknowledges how well Marco's kept his abilities hidden right before their first clash, noting that despite having talked to Marco frequently, he has no idea what the Hakushuu captain is like as a player.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Marco's a better defensive player than he is an offensive one, but keeps this concealed throughout the Taiyo and Seibu matches, only taking up his safety position when Tengu is injured and Hakushuu's remaining defenders prove unable to stop Sena.
  • Laughably Evil: Marco's nervousness put him on the receiving end of a lot of comedic moments, but never detracts from his on-field threat.
  • The Leader: The mastermind leader of Hakushuu.
  • 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.
  • The Mafia: What his suits, Italian heritage, and general demeanor are meant to evoke.
  • Manipulative Bastard: To Takami's Chessmaster and Hiruma's Trickster Archetype. They make and modify plans. Marco messes with your emotions, relying on a combination of brute power and fear to help him win.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Dresses and conducts himself like a Mafia don. 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.
  • Not So Different: From Hiruma, who admits it without problems.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Marco's got a bad case of nerves, and his jittery demeanor (and failed attempts to cover it up) makes him the target of much of the series' humour from his first appearance on, in a way that characters like Agon or Mister Don never are. Then Sena goes one-on-one with him in the Hakushuu game, and we discover that while Marco absolutely is an anxiety-ridden geek, he's also a highly-talented safety and quarterback spy who is every bit the menace that his Co-Dragons, Gao and Kisiragi are.
  • Punch Clock Villain: When he wants to make it to the Christmas Bowl, he is the worst person to meet in the field. Outside field or when he loses, he is a friendly guy who offers cola.
  • 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, which is very ironic since he did all this to impress her.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Or is if you're trying to impress an upperclassman.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Pretty impressively for a high-schooler.
  • The Strategist: He's the one who figures out the best way to use Gao's brute strength to the advantage of the team.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Subverted to hell and back. Don't be fooled by the expensive Italian suits and suave demeanor, at his core, Marco's a panicky dork (and an unpleasant guy to boot).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cola.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: Orders Gaou to go through Kisiragi to get to Hiruma.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Advocates it as part of his overall strategy.
  • Villain Respect: After Sena finally bypasses him to score Deimon's final touchdown Marco informs Sena that he is already worthy of being called Eyeshield 21.
  • Villainous Valour: Marco's scared to death but keeps on playing (and risking his own neck) because winning is far more important to him.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Much like Hiruma, and the reason why he needs Gao.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Sena and Hiruma. He's the first player to prove capable of snatching the ball out of Sena's hands without tackling him, and he forces Sena to rethink his playing style, while also spurring him to think outside the box during his tenure as backup quarterback. He's also one of the few team captains who can equal Hiruma in sneakiness, a fact that Hirumam makes no attempt to downplay. As Sena notes "Reiji Maruko is our worst foe yet".
  • Younger Than They Look: Another freshman, which means he's, at best, 16.

Rikiya Gaou

Position: Line

Hakushu'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.
  • Badass: The strongest, most savage player at the high school level in Japan.
  • Berserk Button: If anyone has the guts to stand up to him, you'd better not make fun of them when Gaou is around.
  • Blood Knight: He started playing American football because Marco told him there would be strong people he can beat. When he does find people who are his equal in strength, or at the very least, not afraid to stand up to him, he gives them the highest of respects.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He can't stop talking about how absolute strength is absolute, how he wants to find strong warriors to compete against, etc.
  • Co-Dragons: To Marco, alongside Kisiragi. He's the team's Right Hand.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Given his Blood Knight tendencies, this should surprise no one.
  • Determinator: Against Mr. Don, where he demonstrates that one becomes The Juggernaut by starting out as this.
  • Dumb Muscle: Subverted, his lack of tactic outside being strong is not because he is stupid but because it's his philosophy that strength is absolute. He is rather eloquent when he speaks and while he has a single minded way of thinking, it's determination and thirst for power that motivates him in being like that.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone who isn't Kurita, Kisiragi, or Mr. Don is afraid of Gaou.
  • Friendly Enemy: You can miss it due to his personality, but Gao is never anything other than outgoing towards and respectful of his adversaries, particularly Riku and Kurita, and his goal seems to be to establish a Friendly Rivalry.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has one on his forehead from a car he smashed. More "chaotic" than good/evil, though.
  • Graceful Loser: When Kurita finally bests him, Gaou's reaction is to promise him a rematch and wish him well.
    "Go, Ryoken Kurita. Go with your spirited friends to the Christmas Bowl."
  • Hero Killer: Breaks Banba, Kid, Tetsuma, Riku, and Hiruma in rapid succession. Most the Kantou Arc is spent trying to find a way to put this bastard out of commission.
  • Made of Iron: Not only did he survive getting hit by a car (as a kid, no less!), but the car took more damage than he did!
  • The Juggernaut: Trying to stop Gaou is a sure way of getting sent to the hospital, unless you're The Juggernaut yourself.
  • 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.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to Kisaragi's sensitive guy.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Cranked Up to Eleven. 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Last people who needed it.Like Sena, Gaou is a newcomer with raw talent who can develop really fast during game if the other team is strong. When Marco starts trusting him to be a lineman instead of just using him to break people's bone, he become even more dangerous and stop Kurita from tackling Marco with one hand.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: How Marco trained him to play football. He doesn't care, he just uses all his strength against all his opponents.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: What Gaou lacked in football technique, he more than made up with sheer brute strength, in so much as Hakushuu's gameplan is basically letting him steamroll past the opposing team. Kurita finally manages to win by using Gaou's lack of football experience against him. Gaou swears to gain more experience and have a rematch.
  • Villain Respect: Anyone who stands up to Gao earns his respect and appreciation. Banba, Riku, Kid, Hiruma, Sena, and of course, Kurita, all manage to win it by the end of the Kanto Regional Tournament.
  • Villainous Friendship: He honestly considers Marco to be a friend and role-model. Marco, for his part, is terrified of Gaou, although they get closer towards the end of the Deimon/Hakushuu game, and during the Youth World Cup Arc.
  • World's Strongest Man: Until the World Cup arc, where we learn he is Japan's strongest. Mr. Don is the world's strongest.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Demands that Kurita tackle Karin even knowing that she's a girl (in sharp contrast to Banba and Yamabushi, who were opposed to it).
  • Younger Than They Look: He's 16 during the Christmas Bowl.

Hiromi Kisaragi

Position: Cornerback

A 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"), and has no qualms about injuring them in the process.
  • Affably Evil: Self-deprecating, unfailingly polite, and willing to break a receiver'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.
  • Animal Motif: Pteranodon.
  • Bishie Sparkle: All the damn time.
  • Bishōnen: It makes him seem pretty out of place in the team that has caveman Gao and Mafia don Marco.
  • 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.
  • Determinator: The very fact that he manages to play football despite his Geek Physique is this.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: His phylosophy is that "strength is beautiful", and thus he wants to win his games with physical strength.
  • Geek Physique: Skeletally thin and the physically weakest high school football player, able to bench press just 10 kg. In comparison, Sena, who is also physically weak, can bench press 45 kg.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Of Gaou.
  • 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.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The source of his admiration for/attraction to Gaou.
  • Kill Us Both: Lighter variant. He grabs Hiruma and tells Marco to order Gaou to go through both of them. Marco obliges.
  • Lean and Mean: Rail skinny, and rather ill-looking to boot.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Made of Iron: Weirdly, 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.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Word of God is that Kisiragi is straight, but is only attracted to muscular, powerful women. He would be the feminine boy is such a set-up.
  • Psycho Supporter: Of Marco and Gaou. Kisiragi is devoted, fanatically loyal, and very quietly insane. He's fairly pleasant 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.
  • Sissy Villain: Played very straight (he's an Ambiguously Gay Psycho Supporter), but also nicely justified. Before joining the football team, Kisaragi 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.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Less notable than with his teammates, but it's there. He doesn't aim to injury Monta, but he doesn't mind hurting him, and he later threatens to permanently cripple Hiruma's throwing arm.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Marco and Gao whom he sees as role models and friends.
  • Villain Respect: Kisiragi is unfailingly respectful of Monta's talents, and is among the first of Hakushuu's players to recognize Deimon as Worthy Opponents.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Small and slender, but will seriously hurt you if he can. With just his skill, he singlehandedly shuts down Monta, who is possibly the best Wide Reciever in-series.
  • Worthy Opponent: Comes to see Monta as one.

Hanataka Tengu

Position: Linebacker

Hakushu'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 center of their defense, but made the mistake of ticking off Gaou. Marco has to take his place on defence.
    • Marco used him only because he does not want to get hurt, not because he is the best for the job.
  • Catch Phrase: "Yahyooo!"
  • Dirty Coward: Flies into a panic whenever things don't go exactly as planned.
  • Joke Character: He doesn't even get to play in the finals, and other players notce that the team is probably better off this way.
  • Meaningful Name: In addition to the obvious, "hana" means "nose", and his is very long. Like that of a tengu, in fact.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah, go ahead. Insult Gaou's Worthy Opponent in front of him. It's not like you've been on a team with him all year and know how he's going to react...oh wait.
  • The Unfought: After he makes fun of Kurita and Banba, Gao breaks his ribs. And his nose.

Himuro "Maria" Maruko

The beautiful and quiet assistant for the Hakushu team. She has serious problems with the way Marco runs the team, and tries to keep a limit on the casualties that he and Gaou inflict on other teams.

    Teikoku Alexanders 

The ultimate team in Japanese high school football, dominating the Kansai district and winning the Christmas Bowl every year since its initiation. Has a policy of stealing players from other schools in order to build up its own ranks. Run as a meritocracy, Teikoku divides its players into ranks and advances them based on performance and nothing else.
Tropes applying to the Alexanders as a whole
  • All Star Team: Teikoku recruits the best players from all over Japan, and groups those players in 6 teams. Their first string players are literally the best of the best.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: They were undefeated since the first Christmas Bowl and is hailed as Japan's undisputed best.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone, even Shinryuuji, fears Teikoku.
  • Genius Bruiser: A requirement to be a first string Teikoku player is to memorize 1000 football plays.
  • Opposing Sports Team: They're not a bad bunch of guys, but their status as undefeated champions and the fact that the rivalry within the team is as great or greater than that with their opponents still makes them a fairly classic case of this.

Takeru Yamato

Position: Running Back/Linebacker

The 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.
  • Badass: Even Agon respects him.
  • Bash Brothers: With Taka, similarly to Sena and Monta.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A mild example, but it stands out when compared to Taka.
  • Catch Phrase: "It's settled. It's my win." The official translation makes it "I am certain to win."
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: How can he shrug off tackle and steamroll any line in Japan? His training in America where people beat him even outside the field for being Japanese (actually just jealousy for him being a better runningback) made him used to be attacked by people stronger than him. He earned the Eyeshield title by puking blood.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Not that he was especially mean to start with.
  • 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. It's 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.
    • Played straight whenever he plays in defense as his superior physical strength and speed, as well as having a near perfect balance make it almost impossible for anyone to stop him in his tracks, thus he can either avoid blockers or simply shove them out of the way and get to the ball carrier. In fact the entire Deimon team tried to stop him from getting to Musashi during a crucial field goal play, yet he still managed to reach the ball.
  • 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, something he himself admits.
    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: Yamato's only slightly slower than Sena (best guess is he does the 40 yard dash in 4.3 seconds), but is even stronger than the likes of Shin or Agon. There's a reason why his usual tactic is to just shove the defense out of the way.
  • Messy Hair
  • No Sell: His Ceasar's Charge is basically him refusing to go down after being tackled, often dragging the opposing player with him as he runs.
  • The Real Remington Steele
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Taka's blue.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome

Taka "Bird-man" Honjo

Position: Wide Reciever/Cornerback

A 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.
  • The Ace: To the same ridiculous degree as Yamato.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yamato.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Downplayed. He practices just out of habit but almost never exerts effort when playing, simply because he's already the best receiver there is. When Monta proves to be an equal to him, he decides to give it his all when playing.
  • Broken Pedestal: Monta realizes that Honjo was following him just so he can set him up against his son.
  • The Comically Serious: During the World Cup arc, he sometimes plays this role.
  • 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.
  • Jerk Ass: It's probably unintentional on the part of the author, but Taka's attitude of bored superiority, his refusal to even look at any players he considers inferior, and his insistence that anyone who tries to stand up to him is engaged in a futile act makes him very punchable. It doesn't help that his so-called "problem" of being better than everyone around him is a) not very relatable, and b) the same one that Agon suffers from. He gets a lot better during the World Cup arc.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Meaningful Name: "Taka" means "hawk".
  • The Quiet One: Especially when compared to Yamato or Heracles. When not playing he usually sits on the bench, quietly reading.
  • Rapunzel Hair
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Yamato's red.
  • The Stoic: His quiet behavior sometimes becomes this.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: A friendship version towards Monta.
  • Victory Is Boring: Having been trained since childhood by his father to be a great baseball player, Taka became the unstoppable force that he is today.
  • When She Smiles

Karin Koizumi

Position: Quarterback

A cute young freshman girl who serves as Teikoku's chief quarterback. Forced to join Scouted by Yamato.
  • Accidental Athlete: Her great throwing skills come from drawing and playing piano. Luckily, she's fast too.
  • Action Girl: The only one in the series.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Apologises a Lot: Being Sena's Distaff Counterpart, she has this in spades.
  • Badass Adorable: To the point that several Deimon players need to be tricked into believing she's a male to be able to tackle her.
  • Braids of Action
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Her extremely accurate passes come from the skill and precision she gained through her other hobbies.
  • The Chick: Though she's extremely talented, she lacks the authoritative and analytical personality to be a control tower like other quarterbacks.
  • The Cutie
  • 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.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: She's 100% girl but Hiruma told the team otherwise so they'd go all out against her.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: How can you not love Karin?
  • Fragile Speedster: Cannot take a hit. Luckily, she doesn't have to because her speed, and especially her agility, mean no one but Sena can touch her.
  • Hero Ofanother Story: How Karin became the quarterback of the best team in Japan despite her shy personality and being recruited against her will (and the massive rivalry within the team) could make for a pretty good story in and of itself.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Is by far the most typically "girly" of the females in Eyeshield 21 and has long hair to boot.
  • Nice Girl
  • Samus Is a Girl: Yes, she is a quarterback. Yes, she is the country's best quarterback.
  • Smurfette Principle: Granted, it's certainly an anomaly to the sport, but she's the only female football player in the entire series.

Kureji Hera ("Heracles")

Position: Center

A third-year and captain of the Alexanders. Although he enjoys playing up his "Osakan" persona, he's actually a very hardworking and responsible individual.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If you actually succeed in pissing Hera off, watch out.
  • Big Brother Mentor: According to the extras, he's always looking out for the other club members.
  • The Big Guy: Albeit in a primary leadereship role.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Comes with being a very "Osaka-esque" person.
  • Genius Bruiser: There's a reason Heracles is the team captain.
  • 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. He seems a straight headstrong type, but he hides a very levelheaded side under his cheerful nature.

Reisuke Aki ("Achilles")

Position: Line

A hot blooded, but gullible player with a strong desire for a girlfriend.

    The Pentagram 

The nickname for the five star players of the American National Team. Comprising running back Patrick "Panther" Spencer, quarterback Clifford D. Louis, receiver Tatanka, cornerback Bud Walker, and lineman Donald "Mr. Don" Oberman, the Pentagram are commonly seen as the best high school age football players in the world.
Tropes applying to the Pentagram as a whole:

Clifford D. Louis

Position: Quarterback

An arrogant but extremely talented player, he shares Hiruma's keen intellect and passion for head games but has speed that nearly rivals Sena's.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Claims to be descended from French royalty. The extras in volume 37 state this is a lie. His father is a computer hacker.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Being the Evil Counterpart to Hiruma, this is one of his skills.
  • 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.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil
  • Brains and Brawn: The brains to Mr. Don's brawn. Mr. Don is far from stupid, but Clifford (like Hiruma) is in a league of his own when it comes to intelligence.
  • The Chessmaster: Much like Takami and Hiruma.
  • Evil Counterpart: A blond-haired, unscrupulous quarterback in a #1 Jersey with a love of head games and a refusal to ever lose his cool? Hiruma's had a few counterparts over the course of the series, but Clifford has so much in common with him it's not even funny.
  • Evil Genius
  • Fur and Loathing: Off the field.
  • Jerk Jock: Superior, condescending, and totally convinced of his team's superiority.
  • The Leader: He and Mr. Don split this role. He takes care of the mastermind and levelheaded parts.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's a quarterback who's as fast as Sena and Hiruma's equal in tactics and strategy. Damn it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Like Hiruma and Marco before him, Clifford enjoys screwing with his adversaries' heads.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Does it deliberately, like Hiruma.
  • Perpetual Frowner: In stark contrast to Hiruma's manicness, Clifford has a perpetual poker face.
  • Pet the Dog: Unlike Morgan, Clifford doesn't have a problem with letting Panther invite Homer to the National Team's try-outs, even noting that they could probably make use of Homer's long pass. He later invites Sena to play at Notre Dame for a semester post-World Cup.
  • The Strategist
  • Villainous Friendship: With the rest of the Pentagram, especially Panther and Mr. Don.

Bud Walker

Position: Cornerback

A famous action movie star who vows to rip off Monta's wings.

Donald "Mr. Don" Oberman

Position: Line (Centre)

An unstoppable, elitist goliath, Mr. Don is the son of Arnold Oberman, President of the United States.
  • Big Bad: He's The Captain of Team USA, and a tremendous problem for the team during the final arc. He's also The Leader of The Pentagram, making him one in the Five-Bad Band sense.
  • 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.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Blond Guys Are Evil
  • Brains and Brawn: With Clifford. While Mr. Don's no dummy, Clifford's in a league of his own, so Don typically leaves the heavy thinking to him.
  • Catch Phrase: "It makes me sad..."
  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's an even worse version of Gaou.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Like Hiruma he's got quite the set of teeth.
  • Genius Bruiser: Multilingual, a solid leader, and The Juggernaut.
  • 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 Shin 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".
  • The Juggernaut: He's this even compared to other Juggernauts like Gao or Kurita.
  • Large and in Charge: The largest character in the series.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gaou, whom he used as a punching bag, and Yamato, who he ran out of Notre Dame, are the two who end up beating him for the first time.
  • The Leader: He and Clifford split this role. Mr. Don takes care of the headstrong and charismatic parts.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's literally the strongest person in the world, but he's also quite fast.
  • Noble Demon: Mr. Don is a very flawed person, but he still has a code of conduct that he holds himself to.
  • 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.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's quite racist towards the Japanese, though not towards Panther or Tatanka. It's possibly more of a Patriotically Incorrect Villain: any time he refers to the Japanese as inferior, it's comparing them to Americans, not any particular race.
  • Rousing Speech: Gives one to both his team and the crowd when the game starts going against the Americans.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He's the son of the President of the United States, he can do whatever he wants.
  • Tattooed Crook
  • Testosterone Poisoning
  • Unnecessary Roughness: As bad or worse than Gaou in this regard.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Clifford honestly seem to be friends, which may be a part of why they're such an effective Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • The Worf Effect: Notably manages to inflict this on Gao!
  • World's Strongest Man: Explicitly referred to as the strongest lineman in their age-group.
  • Worthy Opponent: How Gaou sees him. As the final match progresses, Mr. Don begins to see the Japanese team in the same light, as they challenge his views on natural talent.
  • Younger Than They Look: An 18-year-old who looks older then his own father. Than again, he barely looks human, so this isn't a surprise.


Position: Linebacker

The tallest player in the entire World Cup, Tatanka is of Native American heritage and idolizes Mr. Don.
  • Badass Native
  • The Brute: Tall and strong, but not especially bright.
  • Dumb Muscle: Slow enough that after studying to learn multiple languages his English skills somehow decreased.
  • Genius Ditz: His Japanese appears to be good enough that Team Japan can understand him, despite his problems with other languages.
  • Mighty Glacier: Big, but not quick. His long reach, however, makes him an interception machine.
  • Rapunzel Hair: His hair's pretty long even when braided up.

    Other Football Players 

Rui Habashira

Position: Linebacker

Captain and only dedicated player of the Zokugaku Chameleons, Rui is a delinquent who appears to be "threatening" in order to motivate his team. Grudgingly respects Hiruma and occasionally helps out the Devilbats.

Megu Tsuyumine

The manager of the Chameleons and one of Rui's closest friends.

Yamamoto Onihei

Position: Line

An experienced, technical linemen who lost early on in the Tokyo tournament. Most well-known for being a talkative combat commentator whose predictions are never right.

Kaoru Hatsujou

Position: Quarterback and Kicker

The only decent player for the bottom-of-the-barrel Cupids. Mainly known for having a hot girlfriend despite being smug and unattractive.

Taiga Kamiya

Position: Running Back

The 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.

Heinrich Schultz

Captain of the German football team.

    Other Characters 

Riku Kumabukuro

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.

Riko Kumabukuro

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.
  • Combat Commentator
  • Funny Afro: In the anime she grows an afro whenever she gets too excited.
  • Genki Girl: Not nearly as energetic as Sanada but is still very enthusiastic about her job.
  • Hot Scoop: Her good looks were how she managed to get an interview with Agon.

"Machine Gun" Sanada

Kumabukuro's loud, fast-talking fellow commentator. A rather hammy fellow with an outlandish hair-cut that resembles a set of lawn-mower blades sticking out of his head.

"Miracle" Ito

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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • 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. There is even a flashback where he stopped some thugs from beating Sakuraba even though he was already badly beaten himself.


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.