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Headscratchers / Eyeshield 21

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  • Do the Japanese characters speak English or not? At certain points, Watt has to translate between members of the Devils and the NASA team, but later we see Panther and Sena interact seemingly without a language barrier. Several chapters later, when the Deimon team is in America, the 'Devil's Gunmen' seem to understand that the announcer of the beach contest dubbed them the 'Happy-Go-Lucky Team', and the Kid and another Gunman take offense at her remark about him being old. It's hard to tell whether there's supposed to be any language barrier at all. (Of course, it probably goes without saying that Hiruma understands English pretty well and can speak it- he lived in the US and has several conversations with people who don't know any Japanese. I'm mainly asking about the characters in scenes he's not part of.
    • Sena is canonically bad at English, Mamori translated most of it for him during death march (, the Gunman coach is an English teacher so he might have taught the team. Not clear why Panther and Sena can understand themselves after being drunk though.
  • All the Positive Discrimination Panther gets. I love Panther, I think he's awesome, but really, does people (Sena and Apollo to name two examples) have to start rambling about the superiority of black men in football when it comes to him? I realize Sena has certain physiological limits that Panther doesn't, but...there has to be a better way to say it.
    • Even before Panther was introduce people treated the Americans like genetic freak, saying that only Taiyou would stand a chance against the muscle of the american. Plus the world cup arc is ridiculous in how the U.S team are portrayed as born to be perfect player so it's not like Panther stands out that much. Plus you have guys like Gaou, Kakei and Agon who got that same rambling about how their physical ability make them better than everyone else why Panther, who is black but also the guy who ran on rooftops as training, would have no one recognizing that he is a natural sprinter?
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    • Panther had never actually played a game of real football until the Deimon game. While he is known to jump from rooftop to rooftop, Eyeshield was written before recording videos with your phone was commonplace so there's no way anyone Panther could've been recruited by another football team prior to the events of the story.
  • If Apollo is a racist who seems to resent everybody that isn't white, why does he have no issues with letting the Gonzales brothers play? Perhaps I'm simply reading too much into it, but given that both brothers have tan skin and the last name Gonzales, they are most likely Hispanic, and it seems uncharacteristic of Apollo to let them play with no strings attached. Then again, perhaps he only resents black and Asian people in particular?
    • His racism toward blacks is purely because of Morgan but like Mr. Don it might be more national racism than Asian with the Japanese.
  • How did the Devil Bats get those new home and away jerseys when they played against the Bando Spiders and the Shinryuuji Naga?
    • Hiruma blackmailing Deimon's director.
  • How did Kurita's face scars suddenly disappear?
    • One, mostly a lack of detail on that part of the art. Two, Kurita went through a couple weeks of training where Banba went through a whole summer of it; his scars are more likely to stay where as Kurita's are a bit more minor. They still appeared off-and-on though.
  • Before Musashi joined the Devil Bats, why did they always just give up the extra point instead of going for two? For that matter, why did we never even see the kick attempts? Hiruma is very poor at kicking, yet still apparently hits 35% of the time; Deimon should have gotten at least the occasional extra point.
    • Going for the two points was dangerous since, at the time, all they had was the Devil Bat Dive. This required Sena jumping over the linemen, spiraling, hoping that he would make it across AND not break his neck. The other option was throwing a pass to Monta, which is just as hopeless since passing for a try-for-point is very, very easy to block. (Passing at all so close to the goal is difficult in itself.)
      • Seems like a stretch, but okay. Still doesn't explain why Hiruma -never- connected, or why his attempts were never shown.
      • It's a big stretch, actually. Going for two and not making it isn't any more "dangerous" than kicking and not making it.
      • It actually is covered why Hiruma never kicked. If he did, he's basically saying, "Musashi's not coming back." It's unlikely the Devil Bats would react well to this, (Especially Kurita,) And Hiruma knows that a damaged spirit will lose games. Therefore, he doesn't kick unless it's absolutely required, nor does he look for a new kicker. He keeps Musashi's tee, because he knows his friend is coming back.
      • Maybe they didn't want the impact to be lessened when Musashi came back. Y'know, instead of it being, "hey look another kicker but this time he's good", it's finally this exhalation of, "OH THANK THE LORD WE'VE GOT A KICKER."
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  • It's covered in the anime that Hiruma does the kick, it just never goes in. You just see him kicking and missing. And Deimon does not have enough stamina to go two point conversion with the line all up until the christmas Bowl where Kurita can take the whole line down. Otherwise they can just sack Hiruma by going through the holes in the line. It's more risky burning Sena for 2 points than keeping him fresh for scoring another touchdown.
    • Well yes, narrative convenience is obviously the correct answer, but that goes for 90% of all Headscratchers. In-universe, there's no good reason, you're just not supposed to think about it. But since the series makes such a big deal of how the Devil Bats' super-offensive style being because they can only ever get 6 points from each touchdown and can't get field goals, it's really just one of the series' bigger Plot Holes.
  • Why do the Seibu Wild Gunmen use the Shotgun if The Kid only ever passes to Tetsuma?
    • He does but it's ¸one panel where it shows yards gain. no point in having nobody catching the ball being a main event.
    • We only ever see it be passed to Tetsuma. It's probably been passed multiple times to all the other receivers. Not to mention it's wicked fast and can weaken the other team's defense if they try to block just one person or all of them.
      • Fridge Brilliance to why we only see it passed to Tetsuma. It's not the usual "Tetsuma is a main character, so we focus on him," It's Seibu's way of countering defenses. Since the three major Seibu games we see are against Ojo, Deimon, and Hakushuu, whose defense either tries to crush Kid, or bump Tetsuma, he's the perfect counter attack. Kid knows where Tetsuma will be, so pressure doesn't matter. Until Gaou that is. Kid also knows Tetsuma is too strong to be taken down by a bump, so Deimon's defense is shattered. So really, Kid only passes to Tetsuma in situations where they need him, and since a lot of Seibu's games are offscreen, this is all the time.
  • All the other characters—or, rather, a very large chunk of them—get an epilogue. Like, which college they go to, or what job they got. Unfortunately, Kakei doesn't get any explanation. What happens to him in the end?
    • If you buy the final volume, there's end notes that describe what happened to characters not featured in the last chapter. Kakei went to the States to attend university there.
    • The notes, however, do not describe where Marco, Kisaragi, and Yamabushi ended up going.
  • In the match against Shinryuuji, Sena has a flashback to Kurita's rejection from Shinryuuji. The one scene that really bugs me from that flashback is the one in which Hiruma and Agon are sitting on opposite sides of a bench, and Agon tells him to stop dreaming. How would Sena know about this? Hiruma really doesn't seem the type to tell this to anyone.
  • Why doesn't Hiruma blackmail the principal into changing the rules and letting him play in his third year? It's not like he hasn't made him do way more absurd stuff before.
    • Technically, there's no evidence that he didn't; the epilogue part that covers this is graphical, and could be interpreted either way. If he did, he didn't mention it to the others for the same reason he never mentioned that one loss wouldn't boot you completely out of that one early tournament.
    • Also consider that football may as well be a sacred cow for Hiruma. For all the tricks and blackmail he uses, he never actually infringes upon the rules of the game itself. It's likely because he himself considered it unfair if they didn't win the Christmas Bowl the right way.
  • Why is Apollo considered racist, as the main page says? It seems that he just wanted a team with no players that stand out. Panther just happened to be black, and he stood out a lot. Everything Is Racist?
    • He seems to outwardly discriminate anyone who isn't white. He also calls the Japanese players "Yellow Monkeys"...
    • It was because he thought Panther was superior because he was black. This was downplayed in the anime.
      • But if Apollo thought Panther was a superior player to the men on his own team, then why did he not even pay for Panther to come to Japan with them? Even if he is a racist jerkass, wouldn't Apollo want to have the best possible chance of beating the Deimons? He could've paid Panther's way, at the very least.
      • Because he is even more racist toward Japanese, to the point where he thought it would be a massacre. Deimon was never considered a threat for him that's why he took an insane bet.
      • In the manga, not a panel goes by where he doesn't makes a racist comment.
      • that's his first appearance
  • Agon's hair. It's just a giant plothole on his head.
    • How so? If you mean how it went from frizzy to dreadlocks, Art Evolution is to blame.
    • There's also the freakish speed with which it grows at. And how in flashbacks, Murata can never decide if Agon was blonde or dreaded in middle school.
    • He wears wigs if his hair isn't how he wants.
  • Something that bothers me is that it is never specified what level of team the NASA Aliens/Shuttles are. Are they high school, college, or professional?
    • They're high school level obviously. They're from Nasa High School.
  • Something I never quite understood is why Panther's speed is magnified to an extent beyond reason. He's only a tenth of a second faster than Sena over 40 yards, yet he's always portrayed as being the goddamn Flash. A great example- in the Xmas Bowl game, Yamato was able to stop Sena cold in a head to head every time, but in the World Cup Match, despite having the same power as Sena and only a LITTLE BIT more speed, Panther's able to burn past Yamato like he's not even there. I realize the "I can't catch up" factor, but some of it's just ridiculous.
    • This troper agrees, but it should be noted that Yamato's Caesar Charge is supposed to make him temporarily faster (4.2 presumably). Panther (unlike Sena) is tall and has a long reach, a lot of what made Panther such a great runner by the time of World Cup (unlike during the Nasa match) was that he became great at using his arms to get past opponents.
    • There's the longer reach, as the above troper mentioned, but there's also endurance and running. Sena uses sharp turns and cuts, stepping hard. Panther steps lightly, flowing like water using the least amount of effort possible. Even if Sena had higher endurance than Panther, he'd still be tired before Panther simply due to the amount of effort it takes for him. With exhaustion comes a decrease in speed. As his opponents slow down, he just seems even faster even though he is still going as fast as he was beforehand. Also, he is THE fastest character in the series, 4.1 seconds is the fastest anyone has went, and Panther is the only one who does it consistently (Sena reached 4.1 during the Oujou game if I recall). And to put that into perspective, if he ran a mile, it'd take a tiny bit longer than three minutes. For a human that is ridiculous. There's no accurate way of really showing such a minute difference in speed, but honestly what better way is there? If he reaches top speed in open field, no one is going to catch him.
  • Before Deimon's second match with Ojou, there was a lot of talk about them meeting in the Christmas Bowl. Then we find out that the Christmas Bowl is played between the champs of two divisions, with Ojou and Deimon being in the same division; only one of them could play in the Christmas Bowl. Why didn't anyone ever mention this before the Christmas Bowl?
    • Basically, it was a Retcon. Originally the Christmas Bowl would have been meant to have been played between Deimon and their ultimate rivals, Ojou, with the understanding that the winners of the Spring season tournament would play the winners of the Fall season tournament. However Serial Escalation meant they needed something bigger so Murata created Teikoku to be the ultimate opponents instead. There's a fair bit of Retcon in the series, which is pretty typical for a Shonen Jump manga.
    • Source? And that also doesn't make much sense because the Christmas Bowl is an actual event in Japan, so the structure of tournament can't simply be retconned. Plus, Ojou has never won the spring tournament anyways, Shinryuuji always does. It's also mentioned pretty early on that the Christmas Bowl is important because it's the only time the Kanto champs get to face the Kansai champs.
  • So how does Sakuraba catch Takami's pass in the Japan-USA match again? Because no matter how high Takami throws the ball, Tatanka is still taller than Sakuraba.
    • The pass likely never lost height unlike other passes, plus it was higher than any other pass from Japan at the time. Tatanka likely thought the ball would drop, but Sakuraba knew it would stay high.
    • The panel shows Sakuraba outjumps Tatanka. Well?
    • Is Tatanka good at aerial battle? He is a linebacker who probably never had to jump to intercept a ball.
  • Seibu's safety doesn't make much sense. By the book it is true that a run is safer than a pass but Kid is too fast to get sacked and Tetsuma would be able to catch a short pass to get out of the end zone.
  • The whole set-up of the mvp score system. Panther wins the MVP title and the 3 million dollar football contract, but in the manga, he's shown to earn 3 points for the MVP title, something that both Monta and Agon also accomplish. Sena for some reason earns zero despite proving himself Panther's equal in the match.
    • I think they gave point off-screen, it mostly served to underline how awesome a moment was for the secondary characters (and by that point Sena's awesomeness was obvious)
  • Okay so we know that no one got rejected from Deimon due to a low number of applicants so why, when Sena goes to check if he got in do we see that applicants 231, 232, 233, 234, 022, 072, 073, and 074 apparently failed to get in?
    • They probably forfeited after knowing Hiruma is there? Besides, even if no one gets rejected, there should be a limit of how many students a school can have in a year.


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