Crunchyroll Adds Eyeshield 21 Football Anime
posted on by Egan Loo
The Crunchyroll video-sharing website has announced that it will stream the Eyeshield 21 football anime series starting on January 2. The first eight episodes will be available on that day for free, with a "higher quality ad-free" version also available for Crunchyroll Anime Membership subscribers. The anime is based on Riichirou Inagaki and Yūsuke Murata's manga about the American style of football — as it is played in Japan.
In the story, Sena Kobayakawa is a scrawny boy who is always being picked on at school. However, being every bully's errand boy has made him fast and nimble on his feet. His high school's American football team drafts him as their secret star running back and hide his identity with a dark green visor. With a jersey number of 21, Sena is now "Eyeshield 21."
The anime ran in Japan from April 2005 to March of this year for a total of 145 episodes. The manga is still running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, while Viz Media has published the 23rd volume of the manga in North America this month. Viz and Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block had originally planned to team up with the National Football League to stream this anime on the NFL Rush website last year, but the anime was eventually posted on Toonami Jetstream video service instead. (NFL Japan had co-sponsored Eyeshield 21's Japanese broadcast and even hosted a section on its website that was entirely dedicated to the anime.)