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Yoichi Hiruma Devils bats

Yoichi Hiruma (蛭魔 妖一, Hiruma Yōichi?) is a fictional character in the anime and manga series Eyeshield 21. His Japanese voice actor is Atsushi Tamura (listed in the anime credits as Atsushi Tamura of London Boots #1 and #2).


Yoichi Hiruma, usually referred to as Hiruma, is a protagonist and major driving force of the plot of Eyeshield 21. At the beginning of the series, he witnesses Sena Kobayakawa's running abilities and forces the boy to join the team as the ace running back, and hides his identity during games by having him use the codename "Eyeshield 21". He captains and plays quarterback for the series' protagonist team, the Deimon Devil Bats, but also serves the duties of a coach, as the team lacks one. He is responsible for arranging all of the Devil Bats' matches between the Spring and Fall Tournaments, and also devises the majority of the team's practice sessions. His major goal throughout the series is to form a complete team and win the Christmas Bowl with his first two teammates, Ryokan Kurita and Gen "Musashi" Takekura.

Hiruma has a deliberately demonic appearance that is even further accentuated by his daredevil attitude at both in and out of the football field, and is a subversion of the standard sports hero character archetype. In fact, his last name is spelled with a kanji meaning "leech demon," and his first name is spelled with a kanji meaning "bewitching one." His name can ultimately be read as "demon in broad daylight." He has dyed, spiky blond hair, fanged teeth, and pointed ears with multiple piercings. For various reasons, Hiruma is an intimidating person. He possesses a vast array of firearms, including but not limited to automatic rifles, flamethrowers, and bazookas. He frequently fires his guns into the air to intimidate others or simply when he is excited. He also tends to shoot at his teammates to make them practice harder, but it is implied that he does not use live ammo in these circumstances (Mamori once deflected a shot from Hiruma using nothing more than a clipboard). Despite his status as a protagonist, Hiruma is often described as "evil" by the other characters, including his comrades, and he has a reputation as a terrifying person throughout Deimon High School. This is not undeserved, as Hiruma has, through blackmail on virtually every person in the Tokyo area, acquired tremendous resources, including nearly complete control over Deimon High. He also seems to enjoy having his prized running back, Sena, to gain a fearsome reputation as Eyeshield 21 in the football field, as well as to some extent, outside of it. To this end, Hiruma often resorts to methods, that are hardly vied as legal (illegal hacking, disguising himself in the Eyeshield 21 attire, etc). In spite of this reputation, Hiruma's influence and behavior are frequently portrayed humorously, due to the fact that his actions tend to be over-the-top and presented lightly.

Conception and development

Inagaki said that he developed Hiruma as a character that does not follow the Japanese concept of emphasis on sportsmanship and effort in the game; instead Hiruma is "only concerned with winning." Inagaki intended to make an "anti-hero" or, as he refers to the concept, a "devil-hero." Yusuke Murata, the artist, said that every character he design has to have a distinct quality as many characters are in groups and each one has to stand out; Murata chose to portray Hiruma as looking "close to being a demon" since he heard from Inagaki that Hiruma had "the personality of a demon."



Seven years prior to the start of the series, Yoichi Hiruma, then ten years old, snuck into an American military base, where he witnessed a group of soldiers playing American football. Intrigued by the game, he soon caught on to its rules and later began studying its tactics. Hiruma became a regular spectator of the soldiers' games by sneaking through a hole in the wire fence surrounding the base. With his deep understanding of the game, he managed to successfully gamble on the winning teams, accumulating a large amount of money by the time he entered Mao Junior High, during which he dyed his hair to its current blonde color. Soon after Hiruma entered junior high, Ryoukan Kurita accidentally came across a series of scribbled plays that he had drawn up, and encouraged Hiruma to actively participate in the game. Although Hiruma at first had no interest in playing the game himself, he participated in one of the soldiers' games along with Kurita to replace two players who collapsed from heatstroke. While Hiruma and Kurita's team lost, along with all of Hiruma's winnings which he had gambled on the team, Hiruma became interested in starting his own American football team, with the ultimate goal of reaching the Christmas Bowl.

In order to establish an American football club, Hiruma created an expansive information network to acquire blackmail on virtually everyone in the Tokyo area, which allowed him to threaten the vice principal of Mao into allowing the creation of the club. During this time, Hiruma briefly acquired muscle in the form of Agon Kongo, set up a surveillance system with a large supply of hacked cellphone cameras, and recorded the information he acquired in a 'threat notebook' which remains on his person to the present day. After the reestablishment of the American football club with Doburoku Sakaki as club adviser, Gen "Musashi" Takekura decided to join the club because he thought Hiruma and Kurita were "fun," perhaps due to their unusual and persistent methods of attempting to persuade him to join. Together, the three new friends made a pact to reach the Christmas Bowl.

Kurita looked up to the Shinryuuji Naga, a team that had won every single Kanto Fall Tournament since its creation, so the three decided to join the team. Because Kurita could not hope to pass the Shinryuuji High entrance exam, Hiruma signed him up for the school's sports merit program, which would have permitted him to join the team. However, Agon applied for the program as well, because he believed the three to be "failures," and so Kurita was not permitted into Shinryuuji. Rather than leaving their friend behind, Hiruma and Musashi applied for Deimon High School, and together with Kurita established another new American football team, the Deimon Devil-Bats, with Hiruma as the quarterback, Kurita a lineman, and Musashi the kicker. Despite their lack of any other members, Hiruma remained enthusiastic about reaching the Christmas Bowl, simply recruiting members of other sports clubs to fill up the roster. Despite this measure, Deimon failed to win a single game, even losing 99-0 against the Ojo White Knights. Additionally, Musashi's father fell ill, requiring Musashi to take a greater role in his family's carpentry business and leave the team for an extended period of time.

Eyeshield 21

At the beginning of the series, Hiruma and Kurita, now in their second year of high school, aggressively attempt to recruit new members to the Deimon Devil Bats from the newer students. At first their only successful recruit is the reluctant Sena Kobayakawa, as Hiruma witnesses his incredible running speed and agility and forces him to be the team's running back. Hiruma additionally hides Sena's identity by making him wear an eyeshield and adapt the moniker 'Eyeshield 21'. Hiruma enters the Devil Bats into the Spring Tournament, where the team is eliminated early by the Oujou White Knights in a one-sided match, though Sena's potential as an ace runner appears briefly. Following their defeat, the Devil Bats search for members and prepare for the grander Autumn Tournament. In the meantime, Hiruma did all his best to make Eyeshield 21 appear badass, possibly in an attempt to prevent people from linking the facts together that he and Sena are one and the same.

Hiruma, through intimidation, blackmail, cyber terrorism, and other similar methods, plays a crucial role in the development of the young Devil Bats team. He single-handedly devises the team's recruitment drives and game plans, as well as all of the training routines until Doburoku returns to the team and instructs the team on some occasions. Among Hiruma's many accomplishments in the series include circumventing the selection process to face the Nasa Aliens, using the Aliens' return trip tickets to the United States for the Devil Bats' training in North America, and winning 20,000,000 yen (approximately $200,000) at Las Vegas to pay off Doburoku's debts.

Unlike many of the members of the Deimon Devil Bats, Hiruma does not explicitly experience a great improvement in ability over the course of series, instead acting as a reliable "control tower" for the team. Hiruma's insight and strategic mind, especially his knack for devising trick plays, are critical in the Devil Bats' various matches. As the Devil Bats advance into the Kanto Tournament, Hiruma's relation to his teammates visibly changes, as he seems to place more faith in their abilities. His demonic facade is also seen through by the team manager, Mamori, whom he shares a deep understanding with, despite constant bickering and teasing. Over time, this faith becomes critical in many of Deimon's victories, as several critical plays, such as an unexpected onside kick against Shinryuuji and a silent midplay huddle on the last play against Oujou, are based around the team members' ability to understand and believe in each other. Additionally, contrary to Hiruma's typically tactical mindset, he accomplishes several feats seemingly through sheer willpower, including recovering from a broken arm in just a few weeks prior to the Christmas Bowl against the Teikoku Alexanders. Eventually, in the final game against the Alexanders, Hiruma discards his objective outlook, putting faith in his teammates even when victory against Teikoku appears statistically impossible, which ultimately leads to the Devil Bats winning the championship.

Following the Christmas Bowl, Hiruma is selected by Shin to be one of Team Japan's two quarterbacks due to his knack for trick plays, and Hiruma quickly settles in as the main strategist on the team. Even before this, Hiruma spies on Team USA to acquire information on the ace American players, who are considered by far the favorites to win the tournament. In typical fashion, Hiruma refuses to permit players on the team out of sympathy rather than merit, including his Devil Bats teammates, but does agree with the decision to hold a final tryout as a method of enlisting bench players.

During the World League he mentioned in a conversation between him, Kid and Agon he would "struggle to death" to become the tournaments MVP and join the NFL, not caring about the 300 million yen award.

In chapter 318, it is revealed that Hiruma's father, Yuuya Hiruma, was an amateur chess champion, and Hiruma had likely inherited his insight from him. Yuuya had used an aggressive style of chess, and had tried to move on to the pros, but then he kept losing and was forced to move to a defensive style. Losing too many matches, he quit altogether and retired. This might have spurred Hiruma's "winning is everything" motto, and his aggressive attack play.

In chapter 333 the plot has skipped ahead two years. Hiruma, now in college, is part of (and, as Jumonji put it, 'controlling from the shadows') the college's American football team, Saikyoudai. .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hiruma is my favorite character anime...


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