E21 73-74: Onside kick

Eyeshield 21 episodes 73-74 review

E21 73

Eyeshield 21’s 73rd episode is one of the best in series history. Now trailing 35-32, Hiruma misses the extra point badly, setting up a near-hopeless situation for the Devil Bats. They must recover the onside kick in order to get the ball back. Luckily for the non-football fan, Hiruma goes into great detail in explaining the play, and the non-fan can understand what is about to happen.

Then the kick occurs, and it’s every bit as exciting as the best onside kicks in the NFL. Monta appears to have it, then he laterals the ball to Sena (which is illegal). The official rules of football state that the kicking team cannot advance an onside kick. But it doesn’t matter; the Seibu player had possession before Monta did, and thus the play is dead. The clock runs out, and the game is over, Deimon is out.

But wait just a moment! As Monta fruitlessly yells at the referee, the Devil Bats find out that they still can get into the Christmas Bowl as long as they win the third-place game! Hiruma declined to tell the team this so they wouldn’t slack off. And of course he failed to tell the audience this so we’d be in suspense. So it’s not over for the Devil Bats yet; they still have another game to play.

Episode 74 was just tomfoolery. Not much to say about it. Not much happened in it.

Episode 73 rating (out of four stars): ****

Episode 74 rating: **

E21 69-70: Missed field goal

Eyeshield 21 episode 69-70 review

E21 70

If you think NFL games take a long time, just look at these Eyeshield 21 games. Episode 69 and 70 are basically all just the second quarter of this game. The Devil Bats fall further behind because Hiruma’s brilliant strategy of blitzing and sending Kurita back in coverage fails. Why you would send your defensive lineman back in coverage is beyond me; that’s a terrible strategy! It would be rejected on every single level of football that exists. What a stupid strategy.

Then it’s time for a field goal try before the half from 45 yards away. That’s a long field goal, especially for high schoolers. Hiruma goes to kick it, remembering how Musashi used to be their kicker. Hiruma’s kick looks like it’s going good, before it bounces off the left upright no good. And with that, the Devil Bats go to half down 21-6.

In the second half, however, Hiruma brings a new strategy: a ball-control offense. It’s up to Sena to pick up small gains a little at a time. And the Devil Bats are moving down the field, but they still trail. Can they make up the 15-point margin? It would be the second-largest comeback in Super Bowl history, if this was the Super Bowl.

Episode 69 rating (out of four stars): **1/2

Episode 70 rating: ***1/2

E21 65-66: Field day

Eyeshield 21 episodes 65-66 review

E21 65

So many questions. Why is Mamori acting so out of character? What is the purpose of this episode? What the heck is going on over there? Was this episode just a bad dream? After all, I was falling asleep during this episode.

The second one is better, it’s of Sena helping out the one track-and-field guy win a relay race. Except they don’t, they finish in 8th place. “Isn’t that last place?” Monta asks. He’s right. This was like when our soccer team from our high school would come back from a tournament, and our principal would brag, “We came in fourth place!” “How many teams were there?” “Four.” “How many games did we win?” “None.” “How many goals did we score?” “None.”

Episode 65 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 66 rating: ***

E21 63-64: Go Splash Go!

Eyeshield 21 episodes 63-64 review

E21 64

Hiruma calls time-out with 2 seconds left, and then comes up with a play. It’s a pretty popular one – Sena leaps over the pile into the end zone. But he’s going to precede it with 9 “huts.” In the NFL, we’d call this a cadence trying to get the opponent to jump offside. In any case, on the 9th “hut,” Sena takes the ball and goes for it. But he gets caught! He’s going to be tackled and not get the game-winning TD… but Komosuba saves the day! He tackles the tackler, and with that, Sena scores the touchdown to win the game, 24-23!

There was another episode with a white-haired pipsqueak aka Toshiro Hitsugaya, but I’m not really sure what the purpose of it was. It was all about episode 63 and the utter coolness of Sena’s game-winning TD run.

Episode 63 rating (out of four stars): ***1/2

Episode 64 rating: *1/2