Ever since I began reading the Eyeshield 21 manga I have been a huge fan of the series. Once I heard that the anime was coming to the US I was really excited. However, it came to the US for a short period of time and then disappeared. I had watched the first 5 episodes of the Eyeshield 21 English dub and I have to say I did like it. However, I thought they cut it way to much. But then all of a sudden it stopped. I couldn't find anymore episodes nor could I find the reason behind it. I looked all over the internet for the reason behind the disappearance. Wikipedia, which isn't the best resource, stated that it was taken off the air for unknown reasons.
I went to the Viz website to contact them and sent them an email about what was going on with Eyeshield 21. I had waited a week because they said it would take that long, plus they never guarantee a response back. So last night I bravely asked someone who might know the answer. For me I felt kinda awkward sending emails to people who I do not even know. I never really thought I could get one but I did. I was able to email Steven Derek Price, the man behind Hiruma. He has been known for many great voices such as Ishida from Bleach, Beelzemon from Digimon, Shino from Naruto, and the list goes on and on. He kindly answered my email within 12 hours of which I sent mine to him. He finally answered my question behind the disappearance of Eyeshield 21.
Here is what I sent him in an email:
I apologize for bothering you but I am not sure how to get this answer nor could any sites help me find the answer, so I thought contacting you would probably be best. I do realize that you are very busy and all but maybe if you could please answer this email I would so greatly appreciate it.
You have a wonderful talent for voice acting and you are one of my favorite voice actors as well. Plus many of your roles are in my favorite animes such as Eyeshield 21. Now this is where my question comes in, what happened to Eyeshield 21? The company only did 5 episodes and it then ended. Can you tell me please what happened and if you are going to continue with the anime because I know that many people enjoy the manga like myself and loved seeing the anime come to the United States.
Please if you can just tell me what is happening with this anime I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!
Here is what he sent me back:
Thanks for the email. I am sorry to say that EyeShield 21 will NOT be continuing.
Anime is funny sometimes when coming to the US because the Japanese depend on us for a lot of the revenue that is generated for them to either continue on the same project or start working on different ones. What happened here is that Viz teamed up with Toonami and NFL Entertainment (a new division that opened up for this franchise). They weren't sure it would do so well, so they decided to test the series by putting the first 5 episodes on the internet.
Because the number of hits the show received were far fewer that what they expected, NFL backed out and then Toonami. Is it possible that another company like Bang Zoom could pick it up? Perhaps. But keep in mind that IF another company does, it certainly does NOT guarantee that the actors who voiced the show initially will be asked back or even asked at all.
So that's the long and unfortunate short of it. Other than that, not sure where you live, but I hope to meet you at a convention now or in the future.
I am not sure what to write back to him but I do realize one major flaw to the anime. Having Toonami take it over was a big no-no! Eyeshield 21 is more of an teen/adult anime so I thought it would do better on Adult Swim since Hiruma is the way he is. When you have a character who is swearing up a storm and carries a gun wherever he goes, that sense of humor is more of a young adult anime such as Inuyasha or Bleach. I feel that the anime was pushed aside too quickly because of poor reviews. However, the strange thing is that I know that there are more fans of Eyeshield 21 out there.
I think it is time that the fans spoke up and did something about it. The Eyeshield 21 community is big, but it should be bigger then it already is. The manga is doing very well from charts I have seen and I do believe that the anime should be brought back, not under Toonami nor the under franchise, but under Adult Swim. I think once you watch about 10 episodes of Eyeshield 21, a person really gets into it. Showing only the first five episodes on Jetstream wasn't much of a promoter either because the site is slow at loading. If they were to premiere it on Toonami live, the reviews and popularity would have been much higher than it is.
To all those who are apart of the Eyeshield 21 community please come together and support the anime being here in the United States. I wish to have everyone's views and ideas about what is happening and what they would like to see done about Eyeshield 21. When you have great voice actors such as Steven Price being turned away from the role of Hiruma, which is a once-in-a-life-time character, there is something wrong here. I appreciate all the support we can get for this anime.
As Hiruma says, "WE WILL KILL THEM! YA-HA!"