The underdog-with-exceptional-ability-makes-good plot is typical of boys' manga, but seeing another country's view of a great American competitive sport—in this case, football—provides added entertainment. Since football isn't a popular sport in Japan, Sena Kobayakawa's school's team only has two players: Ryokan, a large, friendly boy who dreams of someday competing in the Christmas bowl game, and Hiruma, the quarterback better known for frightening the underclassmen. At 5'1", Sena has always been smaller than his classmates, so he's been used as their gofer and errand boy. As a result, he's developed outstanding running speed. He wants to be team manager, but he winds up competing under the name Eyeshield 21 to keep other teams from knowing his name and stealing him away. The three must recruit enough players to form a team of 11 in order to play their first game. The thin-line art style gives the players a certain delicate beauty, while exaggerated reactions put readers directly in touch with the characters' emotions. Game scenes are drawn in loving detail that captures football's violent grandeur.