Eyeshield 21 Volume 33
By Chris Zimmerman
Nov 8, 2010 - 23:43

Viz Media
Writer(s): Riichiro Inagaki
Penciller(s): Yusuke Murata
ISBN: 978-1-4215-3231-8
$9.99 US

Outclassed on every conceivable level by Japan’s top high school team the Teikoku Alexanders, the Deimon Devil Bats struggle just to maintain a strong defensive position in the face of their opponents all out assault. With Sena having already been defeated by the real eyeshield 21, team captain Hiruma puts all his faith in their catcher Monta. Unfortunately, Monta’s opponent is Taka Honjo, renowned for his prodigious talent and having never failed to catch a pass. Despite their best efforts, things look grim for the Devil Bats with the game being all but decided as the Alexanders rack up one touchdown after another.

This was another wholly enjoyable volume, with the game between the Devil Bats and the Alexanders surpassing everything that has come before it. In the past, Deimon has been constantly depicted as the underdogs attempting to make their dreams come true, with each successive win demonstrating the growth of their skills and teamwork. However, against a team the caliber of Teikoku, they find themselves completely dominated, casting a suspenseful veil over the series. While it had always been a foregone conclusion that the team would make it to the Christmas Bowl, their victory held no such guarantee.

In the past, the series followed a strict formula that had the Devil Bats going up against a superior team only to come out on top through team work and aggressive tactics. This same formula is what led to the series falling into a slump with every successive volume becoming a retread of what has come before. This volume sees the creators switch up the standard formula of having Deimon’s comeback from insurmountable odds cut short when their defiance is once again halted by Teikoku who scores yet another touchdown. This further adds to the drama and heightens the anxiety felt with every touchdown Teikoku racks up.

 Once again, the volume carries over into the next with the Devil Bats inching closer to their opponents. There is a genuine feeling of uncertainty hanging over the series, capturing the reader’s attention in ways most series cannot. Even with its one-sided nature, this is one of the best laid out games in the series to date and is not to be missed.

Rating: 9.5/10

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