YMMV / Eyeshield 21

  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Pentagon served as the final boss for a lot of the characters in the World cup arc (Sena and Panther having their rematch, Mr.Don being the final test of strength for Gaou, Kurita and Yamato), Unfortunately all the receivers pretty much completed their development so Bud was useless, Tatanka only serves to give Takami a final awesome moment with Sakuraba and Clifford battle of wits with Hiruma was way less intense than with Kid or Marco. and that is not counting that America aside, the World Cup as no team shining even though we have the world strongest bench presser and Schultz stopping Sena's first run dead on track.
  • Awesome Art: The color spreads are just gorgeous. The whole manga itself can count after its Art Evolution.
  • Base Breaker: Takeru Yamato is either a fine Final Boss for the Christmas Bowl and a refreshingly passionate-but-good-natured rival after several story arcs' worth of Opposing Sports Teams, or an obnoxious, bland Shin-clone who lacks Shin's series-long buildup. The World Cup tone it down a bit and does give him more depths.
  • Crazy Awesome: Hiruma, Hiruma, Hiruma.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Every other thing Hiruma does.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • Be Survivor by ZZ. Several of the openings and endings would qualify as well.
    • Codename Eyeshield 21. Just try to say this song doesn't give you the sense of the final stretch of a game before victory.
  • Ending Fatigue: The World Cup Arc occurs after the team has already won the big game the entire series has been building towards, and is order-of-magnitude shorter and worse-written than what came before. However, the wrap-up, and subsequent Distant Finale at least give everyone their dignity, and serve as an excellent ending to the series.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Rui Habashira of the Zokugaku Chameleons proved surprisingly popular in one of the character polls, where he placed 5th and was the only character not from Deimon or Ojou in the top 10 (well, besides Kakei at the #3 spot). Despite his fairly minor presence in the series, he has a very strong fan following - which is probably why he was revealed to be the mystery player on the World Cup team.
    • To a lesser extent, Juumonji, who has the most characterization out of all the Ha-Ha Brothers.
    • To a much greater extent, you have Gokuu of the Shinryuuji Nagas, a character wedged deep in the background who hardly appears at all but has a surprisingly large fan following. Probably has to do with the fact that he's based on Wu kong
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: According to Kid; Never follow your dreams. Ever. When they play Hakushuu, he turns out to be right.
    • Though this is also negated by the sheer amount of other characters who do achieve their dreams, so it could alternatively be interpreted as "Never give up on your dreams, even if you sometimes lose".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Though they're only hinted in the series proper, Sena/Suzuna and Hiruma/Mamori do have their own followings.
  • Female Gaze: Shin Seijuro. All those scenes to ogle him shirtless. This point it'd be criminal not to!
  • Foe Yay: Sena and Shin. Their obsession with each other is staggering.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: After the Seibu and Deimon game, where the rivals are awaiting the Kanto tournament for their rematch? Gets a lot less heartwarming when you know that they wont get a rematch, and all the gunmen have in their future is to get crushed by Gaou.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The 60-yards Magnum, said to be impossible to score and that not even in the NFL there were kickers able to score that and that only Musashi was able to? Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater has something to say about that.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Both Sena and Hiruma are paired up with everyone.
  • Love to Hate: Agon. Even those who loathe the character are willing to concede that the series was at its emotional best when he was the main antagonist.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hiruma. Some people too, like Marco and Dark-Side Takami, but they're nothing compared to Hiruma.
  • Marty Stu: Yamato is portrayed as an almost perfect player- not only incredibly fast, strong, skilled and intelligent, but also good-looking, friendly, honourable and liked and respected by almost everyone. Unsurprisingly, quite a few readers consider him completely insufferable, especially as he also comes across as a borderline Smug Super.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Any of Hiruma's Nightmare Faces, in particular this one.
  • Older Than They Think: Surprisingly, this isn't the first manga about football - just the first to be successful. The earliest, 5-Yarder, ran from 1977 to 1979.
  • Periphery Demographic: Let's see: Lots of Ho Yay, shirtless scenes galore, and plenty of handsome, attractive football boys. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • What an Idiot: Typical reactions to Taki doing anything ever. His idiocy rating is "100%" (which is also a sly dig at his catch phrase).
    • Monta and Sena sometimes fall into this, too, when proposing seemingly futile offensive tactics. However, sometimes their plans really work...with some Hiruma tinkering, of course.
  • Wild Mass Guess: Since Eyeshield 21 doesn't have WMG section I will put this here. We all know Monta chose his jersey number because of Honjo, but Honjo himself did also take this number because of other player, that player being Jerry Rice.
  • The Woobie: Oh, goodness, Kurita.

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