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Ojo White Knights

Mascot: Knight with lance on horse.
Helmet logo: Blue shield with a white crucifix. Remarkably similar design to the Doshisha Wild Rover team in Japanese college football, although the Doshisha Wild Rover actually play in the Kansai region, rather than Kanto where ES21 is based.[1][2]
Team colors: White and blue - akin to the Indianapolis Colts' away kit.
Jerseys feature a lightning bolt across each shoulder.
Ojo Private Senior High School resembles the Notre Dame Cathedral to indicate that the school has a long, proud American football tradition like the University of Notre Dame in the United States. Their team's chant is "Glory on the Kingdom!" The team coach is Gunpei Shoji, a man who played football with Doburoku when they were young. A pony-tailed girl named Koharu Wakana is the team manager.
The team is based on the old football maxim "Offense Wins Games, But Defense Wins Championships". If the opponent can be prevented from scoring, then only one point is needed to win. This is the direct opposite of the Deimon Devil Bats, in which ultimate offense is the best strategy. Hiruma: "If we can score 100 points to their 99 points (the number of points Ojo scored on their first game against Deimon), then one point is all we need to win."
Like Zokugaku, Ojo also has a university school, whose football team is the "Silver Knights". Currently, their players consist of the legendary "Golden Generation", known as the pinnacle of the ultimate defense and who came the closest to defeat the unstoppable Shinryuji Nagas during their time (prior to Deimon doing so this football season). However, it is questionable whether Ojou would lose to Shinryuji again with Ojou's strength during the Kanto Tournament (with the Ballista and Everest Pass and a dramatic improvement in the main four (Takami, Shin, Sakuraba, Otawara).


Seijuro Shin
Seiyū: Naoya Gomoto
Voice Actor: Crispin Freeman
Main article: Seijuro Shin

(進 清十郎 Shin Seijūrō) The ace linebacker of the Ojo White Knights American football team and Sena Kobayakawa's main rival. Known for his obsessive training habits and defensive power, he and Sena initially face off early in the Spring Tournament, where Sena gets a reality check on playing football while Shin discovers the true power of the Speed of Light Pace. After making a promise that they would meet again, he obsessively trained for their eventual rematch, which would not happen until the semi-finals of the Kantō tournament with the Christmas Bowl berth on the line.

Later on it was revealed that Shin is the reason why Hiruma recruited Sena on the team. Hiruma and the newly founded Deimon Devil Bats challenged Ojo White Knights to a practice game where Deimon lost badly with a score of 99-0. Dumbfounded by the outcome, Hiruma recognized Shin as being invincible but Shin responded by telling Hiruma that his weakness is a player that can run so fast that his Spear Tackle would be useless.

Haruto Sakuraba
Seiyū: Mamoru Miyano
Voice Actor: Tony Oliver

(桜庭 春人 Sakuraba Haruto) A typical, good-looking pop idol (he has a CD single due to recording technology, despite the fact that he can't sing), he works in an advertising company called Jari Productions. When he was young, he used to watch sports all the time and dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. In high school, he managed to enter the team as a Wide Receiver after drawing much attention from the seniors due to his height; however, the coach, Shoji, was more interested in Shin. Shin soon surpassed Sakuraba, becoming the ace of the team. Sakuraba felt a little envious of Shin's success and achievements, and was disappointed with himself for not being able to soar to greater heights. He eventually became less interested in training and sports in general. One day, Miracle Ito of Jari Productions noticed him and decided that he would be a good model. Feeling wanted and pleased to be in the spotlight for once, Sakaruba agreed to work for him. Now, he is constantly misunderstood; because of his popularity, people mistake him for the genius of the Ojo team, and disregard the true ace, Shin. In fact, his football skills are mediocre at best, especially his catching ability.

Sakuraba always felt pressured to do well and to live up to assumptions people made about him. An accident in the Ojo vs. Deimon game changed it all, though: Sena, as Eyeshield 21, accidentally tackled Sakuraba while running, injuring him. The reason that Sakuraba was hit, even though he was not playing at that time, was that he ran onto the field to grab a card that Miracle Ito told him to wear as advertisement. In the hospital, after meeting Sena, Monta and his die-hard fan Torakichi, who admires Sakuraba for his catch in the game against Deimon the year before, he finally decides to stop being pessimistic and to succeed just as Shin has done. Just before the Fall tournament started, he decided to quit working with Jari Productions and focus on American football with the help of his friends after he heard Takami complimenting him and how he had waited for a friend like Sakuraba, someone like him who understood his predicaments. Before the opening ceremony, he cut his hair in a crew-cut style and started growing a goatee to show his renewed vigor in pursuing success in American football, much to the dismay of Miracle Ito, who had depended on Sakuraba's good looks to make money (although later he accept this, saying that his persona as sportsman actually gave the company more benefit than his persona as an idol, and that he must keep his good performance because of this). He also carries a wristband with the names of his teammates and Torakichi's signed on it, as a promise to carry it into the Christmas Bowl.

His skills as a wide receiver have rapidly improved and Sakuraba can now be considered a real ace. He was also complimented by Shoji as the player with "the strongest heart" in Ojo, and by Unsui as one of the big four in the wide-receiver battle (along with Ikkyū, Monta, and Tetsuma). As of now, Sakuruba joins Shin on defense to challenge Monta of the Devil Bats.

Currently, he has been recruited as a receiver for the Japanese Representative team. In chapter 318, the night before the America vs. Japan team, he is out on his balcony, looking for shooting stars, when "something more amazing" falls out from the room above: Sena. Sakuraba manages to catch him and pulls him back up on to his balcony. Sena quickly clears up that he was not doing suicide, but was actually practicing his Devil Light Hurricane and got carried away... quite literally. Sakuraba notices his uneasiness about facing Panther tomorrow, and tells him about how he had asked Shin all those months ago about how an average man was supposed to win. "An answer that only a man that struggled until the end can see... that's what I think."
40-yard-dash: 5.0 seconds, 4.92 seconds in Volume 11, 4.86 seconds in Volume 25
Bench-press: 50 kg, 70 kg in Volume 11
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 186 cm(6'1.5")
Jersey Number: 18
2nd Year student (Grade 11)
The teams once nearly made a total loss to Sankaku Punks by 6-7, but thanks to Sakuraba's improved receiving skills, they dominated the rematch and won 82-0 in the fall tournament.

Everest Pass - Sakuraba's height plays to his advantage as a receiver, especially since Ojo's quarterback Ichiro Takami is also tall. He launches the ball at a high angle over the field, in which Sakaurba leaps up to catch it. The pass is at such a great height that the opposing team can do little about it, even if they know where it will land. It's simply too high to intercept. However, this technique has a weakness since Sakuruba still relies on SEEING the incoming ball in order to catch it. Blocking his field of vision will stop him from properly receiving the pass. This weakness is evident as he is now unable to intercept passes meant for Monta, since the Deimon receiver can catch balls from behind his head, without even looking. Sakuraba cannot keep his eyes on the ball with Monta charging straight at him without turning around. His own attempt to copy the Devil Backfire is thwarted as Monta displayed his ability to catch a football with one hand.
Twin Tower Arrow - An advanced form of the Everest Pass, this technique combines the laser like passing strength of Hiruma or Clifford with the height of Takami and Sakuraba. Used during the world cup to defeat Tatanka's Human Dome, as the pass is so high, even he can't block it.
Sagittarius: A combination of Sakuraba's Everest Pass and Shin's Trident Tackle, the duo take a formation where Shin blocks any opponents approaching them (such as Sena and Monta) while Sakuraba reaches for Takami's pass. Unlike the Everest pass, Takami throws a short pass to prevent Monta from using the Devil Backfire to intercept. This strategy has its own weakness by dividing Shin's attention away from Sakaruba, causing Takami to change strategies, and making the quarterback vulnerable to sacks.

Ichiro Takami
Seiyū: Kenji Hamada

(高見 伊知郎 Takami Ichirō) When Ichiro Takami entered the Ojo White Knights, his dream was to become a quarterback. However, a childhood leg injury left him unable to run as quickly as Otawara. After the coach told him he could not play due to this drawback, he decided to take on more training and study calculations for passing to other players. Finally, after his fourth year on the team, he officially became the team's quarterback for the Kantō Tournament. He is analytical and has some ability in reading the movements and strategies of opposing teams. His passes are done with precision and accuracy, though they are not on the same level as Hiruma's or Kid's. He has a recurring gag, where his glasses would always show cross-hairs whenever he drops back for a pass, satirizing his analytical side and accuracy. It has been recently revealed that he had been waiting for someone like Sakuraba to be his Wide Receiver, since both of them are tall, and are able to use that fact to compensate for their shortcomings, (ie: Takami's slow running, and Sakuraba's lack of drive and feelings of inadequacy). Together, they develop the Everest Pass.

With the rematch between Deimon and Ojo approaching, he has worked with the team to perfect the Ballista, using it in match against the former "Golden Generation". However, Hiruma is trying to find a way around it, even sabotaging a game show at the Ojo school festival to get answers from him! While Shin stepped in to save him at the last minute, Takami still believes the Ballista is what makes Ojo undefeatable in the tournament. What Takami doesn't know is that Hiruma had already read over the summary of the Ballista tactic, and that he and Doburoku are planning something in preparation for the game against Ojo. With the score 13-6 in favor of the White Knights, Takami realizes that he'd have to match Hiruma in terms of drive and mind games if he hopes to win.

With the start of the second half, he becomes a bit rattled. The Deimon players begin to fight back, as Monta and Hiruma intercept a touchdown pass meant for Sakuraba and display a new technique, the Devil Backfire, which effectively stops the tall receiver from intercepting.

Later, Takami faced his own dilemma as his team was forced to down the ball only a few yards from their own goal line. Due to Hiruma's goading and the position of the ball, it was very possible for Deimon to score a touchdown, should Ojo lose control of it. Takami decided to try for the Sagittarius, but at the start of the play, Sena rushed in to blitz him. Shin was able to stop Eyeshield from sacking him, thereby allowing Takami to attempt the Everest Pass, with no one covering Sakaruba. The Ojo quarterback then realized that he had fallen for Hiruma's trick as Monta also comes in for the blitz. Monta dives in at his feet, taking advantage of Takami's lack of speed. Unable to avoid him, Takami goes down in his team's end zone, resulting in a safety and a turnover. The score is now 20-15 in favor of the White Knights, with Deimon getting back the ball.

During Deimon's final gamble with no time left on the clock, he is fooled by the Killer Hornet, where Hiruma exercises reverse psychology upon Takami (he thought that Hiruma would keep the ball away from Sena, as it would obvious, but Hiruma gave Eyeshield 21 the ball anyways). The game came to a climax as Sena finally beats Shin's Trident Tackle and scores, ending the White Knights' bid for a chance to play in the Christmas Bowl. At the end of the game, Takami elects Shin as the new team captain of the White Knights. He then goes off to the restroom to cry over his final game and the lost chance to play in the Christmas Bowl.

At this point, he and the other White Knights became spectators at the Kanto Tournament Finals. He has also decided to go to a medical school, because of the scar on his leg, he wants to help others with the same problems.

In the first game against Russia of the Youth Football Cup, Takami and the others are given uniforms by Agon, while the other uniforms for the original starting players were hid by Agon. Takami demonstrates that even a team of players who didn't pass the tryouts and make it on the original starting team could start a fair chance against the Russia team. After making consecutive touchdowns, however, the going starts to get rough, when Russia's Rodchenko begins to defeat the cooperation plays of Onihei and company with his world-record strength and sacks Takami.

40-yard-dash: 5.7 seconds
Bench-press: 85 kg
Position: Quarterback
Height: 192cm (6'3+3/4")
Jersey Number: 3
3rd Year Student (Grade 12)

Everest Pass - See Sakuraba's entry. Takami came up with this strategy to compensate for his slow speed by using both his height and Sakaruba's to make an extremely high pass that is almost impossible to intercept. However, in addition to the receiver's weakness with the Devil Backfire, the pass also suffers from the same flaws as the Nasa Aliens' Space Shuttle Pass. It takes a bit longer to initiate, thereby leaving Takami open to blitzes, and it is further compounded with his lack of speed, making him especially vulnerable to being sacked.
Ballista - See Shin's entry. Takami is, like Hiruma, a cunning player (in 215th Down he is described as using "black tactics" while pushing up glasses- a reference to One Piece's Captain Kuro). He seems to tell the Bats about which way the play will go, but all he's really saying is which way the Ballista will go - the ball doesn't necessarily go the same. This is revealed with the second Ballista play, when Takami says "The Ballista will be released to the right", conning the Bats' defense into following the call - while Takami sets ready for a pass to Sakuraba on the left. Hiruma figures it out just as the Knights' passer is letting fly with an Everest pass to Sakuraba - who is being covered by the diminutive Monta, whom Hiruma calls out to. Monta is unable to stop Sakaruba, but Hiruma almost manages to push the Ojo receiver out of bounds.
Though not a technique, it seems he is able to translate from English to Japanese and vice versa, as seen when Panther comes to challenge Shin in chapter 81, yet had no means of understanding (and having Shin understand) him until Takami arrived with Sakuraba, Wakana and Ootowara.

Makoto Ōtawara
Seiyū: Kenji Nomura
Voice Actor: Patrick Seitz

(大田原誠 Ōtawara Makoto) A large lineman for the White Knights, with huge frame, muscles and ego. Ōtawara is a very loud and brash person, who always says what's on his mind, in spite of the fact there's not much up there to begin with. He has a flatulence problem, and makes no effort to hide it. Ōtawara doesn't even notice when his pants fall off (usually with many spectators present), even when Takami Ichirō (Ojo's quarterback) tells him about it, he doesn't even feel embarrassed. And he seems to have difficulty telling the difference between the Japanese Katakana "ヘ" (he) and the number "7". Furthermore, he has a bad habit of picking his nose in front of people. As Shōji, the White Knight's coach puts it, Ōtawara is plain stupid, and even he admits it freely. However, Ōtawara can be very insightful, which genuinely shocks just about everyone. Outside of football, Ōtawara was a reigning local sumo champion, but lost to Komusubi in a match not due to power or strength...but because he forgot to put on his outfit, exposing himself to the entire audience.

Despite all this, Ōtawara is the captain of the Ojo defence and leads the team in the huddle. His overall power and simplistic way of doing things makes him perfect for the line, both on offense and defense. When he's really motivated, he could rip apart two opposing rookies. In spite of how crude he can be, he's a nice guy at heart, though he is the epitome of the dumb jock. Always competing with Kurita, Ōtawara usually ends up on the short end of the stick, thanks to Kurita's drive.

During the game with the Sado Strong Golems, it was revealed that he too has been training to increase his speed in order to use his strength and bulk more effectively (though it took Shōji a week to explain the principle to him). Ōtawara is now able to smash through the stoutest of opponents like a battering ram. Like Shin is with Sena, Ōtawara is looking forward to his rematch against Kurita, who had defeated him in a personal contest of strength during the Spring Tournament.

During the second half of the game against Deimon, he and Ikari are used to block Monta from receiving since Sakuraba was unable to stop the Devil Backfire technique. However, Monta easily caught the ball anyway and with Sena's help, got through the two linemen and scored Deimon's first touchdown.

After Deimon scores with a minute left, the realization of the possible end of Ojo's Christmas Bowl hope awakens the beast within, making him lash out against anyone and everyone on Deimon's side and wearing them down as seconds tick away in the game. The touchdown made by Shin and the squib kick Ōtawara made during Deimon's final drive seemed to clinch the match. However, this was not to be, as he is confounded by Hiruma's Killer Hornet tactic and Sena getting past Shin to score the final points. He was last seen shedding tears and hugging Kurita as this was his final season.

However, he does make a reappearance after the Hakushū/Seibu game. When Hiruma and the Devil Bats "borrow" the Tokyo dome for a game of baseball, Ōtawara is one of the people called in to fill in the rosters. In true Ōtawara style, he eventually misplaces his pants, and ends up nude from the waist down.

In congratulation party for Deimon's winning of Kantou tournament,he shows up and take participation in punishment game... by blowing the punishment balloon with his fart.

In the latest chapter he is a personal training coach for Komusubi, Otowara shown flipping over Komusubi while sumo wrestling each other.

He was named as a starter for Team Japan, playing the three technique position, which suits him due to his better speed but lower power than Gaou, the starting Nose Tackle.
40-yard-dash: 5.4 seconds initially, most likely faster by the time of the Fall Season.
Position: Lineman
Bench-press: 135 kg, 140 kg in Volume 11, 145 kg (230th Down)
Jersey Number: 60
3rd Year Student (Grade 12)

Squib Kick - Used on the final play of the game against the Devil Bats, Otowara kicks the ball at an extremely low angle in an attempt to keep Deimon from returning it for a touchdown. The ball is caught by Monta, then passed on to Sena with the Killer Hornet.
Defensive/Offensive Charge - In order to make use of his bulk and strength more effectively, Otowara trained to increase his speed, (though he didn't understand the principle behind it and it took Shōji a week to explain it).

Daigo Ikari
Seiyū: Eiji Takemoto

(猪狩 大吾 Ikari Daigo) Otherwise know as the ultra delinquient, "Prison Chain Ikari." A silver-haired freshman on the White Knights team, plays mostly on the defensive line with Ootawara. Ikari is kept chained up because irrational behavior, which is mainly because he takes A LOT of pride being part of Ojou High. He has absolutely no respect toward the graduated 'Golden Generation' members, since he never played with them. Managed to get himself ejected from his first game against the Sankaku Punks by attacking their coach, who had just insulted Sakuraba. In fact up to the semifinal against Deimon, he never played a single down, never mind a game, because of his anger problems. However, he does have great respect for Shoji, White Knights' coach. During the celebration party after the White Knights' first victories in the Kantō Tournament, he gets very competitive against Kurita and the Devil Bats, after seeing him eat 20 servings in almost no time at all. This makes him order 30 servings on the spot. The two teams get involved in an eating contest, in which they had to consume 500 servings each. The losers had to foot the bill. The White Knights lost, but luckily it was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Ikari finally gets to play in the game between Ojo and Deimon; Shin has brought forth the idea that the Knights throw everything they've got at the Bats - including this nutter. Prior to this game, he finally broke free of his chains (without any help or keys AT ALL), being allowed to play alongside the other White Knights in their climactic showdown.

Indeed, on the very first play of the Ojo-Deimon game, in which Sena's running the opening kickoff back, Ikari pre-empts Shin's Trident tackle with a tackle of his own - resembling Kenshiro's fighting style, specifically the Hokuto Hyaku Retsu Ken (ironically, as some believe that Shin himself was based on the Fist of the North Star hero). However, when the play was blown dead, Ikari wasn't done - he charged headlong for Sena again to finish him off. Had it not been for Jūmonji, the Bats lineman (and the Hah Hah Bros' leader) blocking him, Sena would have been history.

The power in Ikari's blocked attack ignited a memory in Jūmonji. He knew Daigo Ikari previously, by a different moniker: "Prison Chain" Ikari. Back in his middle-school days, Ikari was famous as a vicious individual - he wore a thick chain over his shoulder, and was so intimidating nobody would even dare approach him. Ikari claimed at this point that he never once provoked a fight in his four years at Ojo - which turned out to be totally false; he almost never did anything else, thanks to his over-sensitive tempers. He spent more time suspended from school than anything else - but when he heard about Ojo's Golden Generation heading to Ojo University, and a side-comment about the White Knights turning into a poor team, he joined the side.

As previously stated, his white-hot temper has meant he's not played a single down - until the Deimon-Ojo semifinal; and now he's in the lineup, he can finally show what he can do. And what a devastating effect he has: in the first play from scrimmage, he brushed Jūmonji aside after his North Star-style attack, burst through to Hiruma and slammed him into the turf. It looked as if the Devil Bat quarterback had been sacked, but Hiruma did not have the ball when he was tackled. He had already seen Ikari attacking and threw a short pass, resulting in a 1-yard gain.

Throughout the remainder of the game, Ikari spends most of the time brawling with Jūmonji on the field, and had assisted in several key plays. In the end, his first game proved to be his last for the season as the Devil Bats win in the final second. He is later seen as a spectator during the Kanto Finals, back in chains again.
Position:Defensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 66
Bench-press: 120 kg
Ikari shares the same jersey number as a famous NFL linebacker, Ray Nitschke of the Green Bay Packers
Like he doesn't look insane enough already, he wears eye-black in the shape of lightning bolts, like on the Ojo jersey.

Hokuto Hyaku Retsu Ken - not given its name in ES21 yet but it is, for all intents and purposes, Kenshiro's very own Hundred Crack Fist of the North Star stuck on the end of a charging run. This technique is very reckless and causes Ikari to be so focused on stopping an opposing player, that he loses sight of the ball. This is also useless against the Devil Bat Ghost.

Other Teammates
Hikaru Itadaki
Position: Tight End
Jersey Number: 16
Shun Kankazi
Position: Receiver
Jersey Number: 83
Keisuke Nekoyama
Position: Running Back
Jersey Number: 32
Shoichi Mayumura
Position: Running Back
Jersey Number: 38
Reiji Kagamido
Position: Offensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 52
Atsuo Iwabana
Position: Offensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 62
Yoshinori Agota
Position: Offensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 78
Eiji Suzuki
Position: Offensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 57
Kyohei Yakumaru
Position: Linebacker
Jersey Number: 35
Takaya Gushiken
Position: Linebacker
Jersey Number: 51
Rintaro Tsuyashima
Position: Cornerback
Jersey Number: 22
Bench: 75 kg
Hiroyuki Iguchi
Position: Cornerback
Jersey Number: 25
Tadashi Tsurime
Position: Safety
Jersey Number: 15
Sota Nakawaki
Position: Safety
Jersey Number: 33
Bench: 90 kg
Naoki Uemura
Position: Defensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 92
Yorihiro Watanabe
Position: Defensive Lineman
Jersey Number: 70

Coaches & Assistants

Gunpei Shōji
Seiyū: Tetsuo Komura

(庄司軍平 Shōji Gunpei) Shōji is the head coach and trainer of the Ojo White Knights. He sometimes wears a hat that bears a resemblance to a look sported by legendary NFL headcoach Tom Landry. During his years in university, he had been an ace player for his football team, along with Deimon's trainer Doburoku. Together, they were known at the Twin Japanese Blades. Unlike his former teammate, Shōji had avoided seriously injuring himself during the Death March Training. He's a harsh but fair coach and he firmly believes that victory can only be achieved through ultimate defense. He had immediately recognized Shin's potential and had instructed the upper classmen of the team to make certain that Shin was not recruited by any other clubs. At present, he believes that the current team of White Knights is the strongest ever. This was proven true as Ojo White Knights toppled the Ojo Silver Knights, with their Golden Generation, using Takami's new tactic, the Ballista (20-3). They managed to scores a clean sheet from touchdowns during that game, and during the tournament up until they get defeated by the Deimon Devilbats.

Though he and Doburoku are now on opposite sides of the field and are now facing each other as rivals, both still hold great respect toward one another. The two meet on the field prior to the game, in which their teams will face each other in the semi-finals, and both reminisce on their past and how far the Devil Bats and the White Knights have come to get to this point. With the Devil Bats becoming more tenacious in the 2nd half of the game, Shōji changed the defensive patterns and player assignments in order to prevent Deimon from gaining more points, but the White Knights were being hard-pressed to keep their lead. Near the end, Shōji commented that Doburoku had raised a good team, whereby his old friend denies this, stating that the Devil Bats had grown all on their own, and that he was just in the way. This statement proved true as the Devil Bats came from behind to win with the Killer Hornet tactic and Sena getting past Shin.

With the White Knights' season over, and Shin being elected as the new team captain, Shōji approves of his linebacker's goal to surpass Sena in the following year as this will make him stronger.
Position: Coach/Trainer

Koharu Wakana
Seiyū: Sakenobe Mika

(若菜小春 Wakana Koharu) Wakana is the manager and assistant to Gunpei and the Ojo White Knights. She's known for recording most of the football games and catching thrown garbages with a trash bin. She seems to developed a friendship with fellow member Takami and Deimon's Mamori and Suzuna. It was said that she actually became manager to avoid working in her parents in grocery store.

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