Riichiro Inagaki, Yusuke Murata
Romi Paku (jump fiesta)
Kokoro Kikuchi (younger)
Yuri Lowenthal (English)
15-16 (series run), 18 (final chapter)
Sena Kobayakawa (小早川 瀬那, Kobayakawa Sena; ; ; ) is the main character of Eyeshield 21. He is a student at Deimon High School who is forcefully recruited by Yoichi Hiruma to become the running back for the school's American football team, the Deimon Devil Bats. To hide his amazing running ability from the school's other clubs, Hiruma disguises Sena's identity with a green eyeshield while he plays, and has him use the series eponymous codename "Eyeshield 21". For much of the series, this is a secret known only to a very big group of people, before Sena grows more mature and confident in his abilities and eventually discards the disguise (episode 79), throughout the series Sena affirms his position in the team as being the Deimon Devil Bats' unquestioned Ace. His parents are: Shuuma Kobayakawa, a lawyer, and Mihae Kobayakawa, a housewife.
40 yard dash: 4.2/4.1 seconds
Bench Press: 45 kg
Weight: 48 kg (106 lb)
Height: 155 cm (5'1")
Position:Running Back/Free Safety and Quarter Back
Sena is a rather short and somewhat frail high school student, and is overall so small that he is frequently dragged or carried around against his will at the beginning of the series. He grows somewhat taller and more muscular as he physically grows through the course of his first year in high school and also trains his body by playing football. His hair is black with several streaks of brown, which are dyed. However his hair also seems to be naturally spiky and sweeping up and to the left, judging by how his hair had the same shape when he was a child.
For his entire life, Sena has been an extremely timid pushover. This begins to change as he matures through the series, largely due to his experiences playing American football. While Sena remains fearful of injury and is easily intimidated for the duration ofts confidently and never boasts about his abilities, and whenever he attempts to make a bold statement, he tends to trail off at the end as his own self-doubt and fear cause his countenance to fall apart. He does not usually grow angry, only doing so when peopleutlook usually contrasts with those of his more confident and reckless friends and teammates, such as Monta and Suzuna. Despite this negativity, which can be a bit annoying sometimes, Sena always becomes determined in the crucial moment of a match when he must surpass an opponent with superior abilities, and could be said to act appropriately when it matters most.
Riku taught Sena an explosive running technique in an attempt to help him fight his bullies by avoiding their attacks. Instead, Sena used it become a gofer, which had the consequence of building up his speed and dodging ability over the course of the next six years.
Throughout middle school he was largely overlooked by his peers, except his bullies.
Joining the Deimon Devil Bats and First Match With Shin
"I'll find a thunder-speed running back, a running back you can't even touch." Hiruma to Shin
At the beginning of the series, Sena enters Deimon High School. The Ha-Ha Brothers try to beat him up on the first day of school, but they are stopped by Ryokan Kurita, who subsequently becomes Sena's friend and tells him of his dream to play in the American Football. Although Sena finds football to be frighteningly violent, he agrees to become the Devil Bats' secretary. The Ha-Ha-Ha Brothers again try to kill Sena while he walks home from school, but Sena decides to run rather than let himself be kill. Sena manages to escape, and Yoichi Hiruma witnesses his running abilities and realizes that he has the potential to be a great American football player. The next day Hiruma capture Sena and force to join the team as a running back in addition to his position as secretary, and has him disguise himself and play under the moniker "Eyeshield 21". The reason for this disguise is to prevent him from being recruited to the other clubs, but Hiruma also uses Sena's secret identity to bluff about his capabilities and intimidate their opponents.
Sena confirms Hiruma's suspicions about his potential when he sets the Japanese record for the 40-yard dash in 4.2 seconds and later scores the winning touchdown in his first football game on a kickoff return against the Koigahama Cupids. Although he only participates in this single play, he decides that he enjoys playing football, and even refuses to leave the club when Mamori tries to take him away from it. Instead, Mamori ends up becoming the team's manager in order to assist Sena and better protect him from Hiruma; despite this, Sena decides to keep his being Eyeshield 21 a secret from her, believing Mamori would prevent him from playing. Sena helps the Devil Bats to grab an early advantage in their second game against the Ojo White Knights by scoring a touchdown and tipping a pass for Hiruma to intercept, but this success is short-lived once Seijuro Shin enters the game. Shin stops every single one of Sena's attempts to run past him, brutally stopping Sena using the Spear Tackle, and Oujou takes a tremendous lead. During the second half, Sena accidentally runs into Haruto Sakuraba, who breaks his collarbone and has to be taken to the hospital. On Sena's final play, he manages to pass Shin and score a touchdown. This event sparks a rivalry between the two players that lasts throughout the entire series. Still, the Devil Bats lose to the White Knights 12-68, and are eliminated from the Spring Tournament. The next day, Sena realizes that he greatly enjoyed playing American football, and briefly sheds tears beliving that he will not be able to anymore. Hiruma and Kurita then inform him that the Deimon Devil Bats will play later, in the Autumn Tokyo Tournament, in order to reach the Christmas Bowl.
Helping the Deimon Devil Bats Grow
Shortly after the match with the White Knights, the Devil Bats attempt to recruit a wide receiver, and Sena meets Raimon Tarou (Monta) for the first time. Sena realizes that Monta is extremely good at catching, and asks him to join the football team, but Monta initially refuses because of his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Still, the two become fast friends, and Hiruma eventually manipulates Monta's attraction to Mamori to convince him to join the team. Hiruma poses as Eyeshield 21 during several instances in order to trash talk their opponents and garner interest in the Deimon Devil Bats, which periodically makes Eyeshield 21 be publicly considered as extremely cool by some and as a jerk to others. During this time, both Shin and Monta become aware of Sena's identity as Eyeshield 21, but Shin seems not to care and Monta understands that Hiruma is responsible for the crass image of Eyeshield 21.
With Monta on the team, the Devil Bats are able to defeat the Zokugaku Chameleons 46-28 in a scrimmage match with a balanced offense of both passing and rushing. Twice during the game, Sena is able to pass by Rui Habashira's defense with relative ease, which according to Hiruma is decisive in Deimon's victory. Eyeshield 21's popularity draws a large number of people to try out for the team, until Hiruma holds an entrance trial that all of the Devil Bats' potential new players, including Sena and Monta, must pass. Sena is the first to pass the Hell Tower test, followed quickly by Monta, and they are eventually joined by Daikichi Komusubi, Kazuki Jumonji, Koji Kuroki, Shozo Togano, and Manabu Yukimitsu. Together the team takes part in intense basic training by helping with construction work to expand the team's clubhouse. Sena and Monta also visit Sakuraba in the hospital, where Sena verbally delivers a message from Eyeshield 21 to encourage Sakuraba. Hiruma sends Sena to infiltrate Monthly American Football headquarters in order to hack into the building's computer systems and arrange a game between the Devil Bats and an American high school team, the Nasa Aliens. This causes a confrontation between the Devil Bats and the Taiyo Sphinx, who had originally been chosen to play the Aliens, and Hiruma proposes the two teams play a game to decide who will be allowed to face the Aliens. Prior to the game against Taiyo, Sena discovers that he has become considerably stronger due to his time doing construction work, and improves his bench press from 10 to 40 kilograms. Sena is able to use this strength to play more effectively on defense, and in the game with the Sphinx he also scores the game-tying two-point conversion with the Devil Bat Dive.
First Match With Panther and Traveling to America
Although the Sphinx and Devil Bats play to a draw, Mamoru Banba concedes the match with the Aliens to Deimon. Immediately following the game, the Devil Bats travel to Enoshima Stadium to witness the Spring Tournament semi-finals between the White Knights and the Shinryūji Nagas. During this time, Mamori and Sena first encounter Agon Kongo. Afterward, Sena and the rest of the Devil Bats train for the next month in preparation for their game with the Aliens. Sena and Monta manage to find Gen "Musashi" Takekura and ask him to re-join the team, and Musashi states that he will consider doing so if the Devil Bats prove they are a strong team. Patrick "Panther" Spencer and Sena witness each other's running styles on videos and decide they wish to face each other in the match. In the match with the Aliens, Sena is the key to the Devil Bats holding an advantage for most of the game; he is the first to be able to stop the Shuttle Pass by blitzing, and he is the centerpiece of Deimon's Sweep tactic. When Panther is finally allowed to play in the game, he immediately turns the tide in the Aliens' favor - he repeatedly stops Sena's runs on defense and proves impossible for Sena to tackle in return because Sena is unable to maintain his top speed for more than an instant. On the last play of the game, Sena manages to force Panther to fumble the ball, recover it, and run for a touchdown to pull the Devil Bats to within one point, 32-33. However, Sena collapses before the Devil Bats have a chance to attempt the two-point conversion, having run out of stamina because he has run at top speed for the entire duration of the game. As a result, the Devil Bats lose.
The Devil Bats are forced to depart to the United States under the conditions of a bet made between Hiruma and the Aliens coach Leonard Apollo. The entire Seibu Wild Gunmen team also travels to America, and several members of both teams end up joining together to compete in a beach football tournament in Texas. Sena and the others discover that their final opponent in the tournament is coached by Doburoku Sakaki, who used to train Hiruma, Kurita, and Musashi. The Gunmen and the Devil Bats travel to Billy Horide's ranch, where Doburoku agrees to train the Devil Bats. Doburoku exposes Sena's weakness while testing his run: in order to change directions while running he must slow down for a moment, during which he can be easily tackled.
The Death March
Sena is the most reluctant member of the Devil Bats to decide to go on the Death March with Hiruma and Kurita, and reveals himself to his teammates to be Eyeshield 21 when he does so. He still continues to keep the secret from Mamori though, even when new players join the team and are told about it. Under Doburoku's instruction, Sena kicks a small rock while running the length of the Death March: a full two thousand kilometers. Along the way, Sena is separated from the rest of the team in San Antonio, and ends up meeting Suzuna Taki. Together the two find Suzuna's brother, Natsuhiko Taki, who is trying out for the San Antonio Armadillos despite being only fifteen years old. Sena accidentally joins the tryouts as well, and competes in a scrimmage match where he is teamed up with Taki. Sena successfully performs the Devil Bat Ghost for the first time and leads his team to victory, but Taki does not pass the tryout because of his inexperience. Sena asks that Taki join the Devil Bats to take part in the Death March with the rest of the team, and leaves the stadium without even knowing that he had passed the Armadillos tryout. Once Sena and the Taki siblings catch up with the Devil Bats, Doburoku notices Sena's progress and instructs him to run the rest of the Death March while zig-zagging. During the final days of the Death March, Yukimitsu collapses in exhaustion, and Sena carries him a short distance while continuing to run in a zig-zag pattern kicking the rock, before Yukimitsu manages to recover. After completing the Death March and getting a full night's rest, Doburoku tests Sena again and concludes he has completed the Devil Bat Ghost. Along with the rest of the Devil Bats, Sena tries to win money in Las Vegas to pay off Doburoku's 2-million yen debt, but is unable to win any money himself. Sena has played against Shin-san, they both in other team that was accident match, Eyeshield 21 used the Devil Bat Ghost 2 times and they surpassed Shin-san, but Eyeshield used again for the 3rd times, Shin-san was evolved he used the 'Two Tackle Spear' and they got Eyeshield
The Autumn Tokyo Tournament
The Autumn tournament begins shortly after the Devil Bats return to Japan, with their first match against the Amino Cyborgs. Sena and Taki end up accidentally taking the wrong bus to the stadium, making them late for the game, and the two have to be driven to the stadium via motorcycle by the Zokugaku Chameleons. When Sena arrives he quickly breaks the tie between the two teams by passing Atsushi Munakata using the Devil Bat Ghost, and from that point on the Devil Bats proceed to blow out the Cyborgs 38-8. The Devil Bats have similar luck against the Yuhi Guts; while at first Sena feels upset because the Guts' club members have all been benched in favor of more athletic students from different sports clubs, he quickly makes up his mind to defeat the replacements so that the real members can play. After the Guts players switch in, Sena passes Daisuke Atsumi with the Devil Bat Ghost to cap off a 56-7 blow-out victory.
The Mystery of Eyeshield 21
The same day as their match with the Guts, Sena and the other Devil Bats watch some of the tournament's top contenders play matches, including the White Knights, Wild Gunmen, and Hashiratani Deers. Sena is just as shocked as the rest of the spectators when the Deers are upset by the Kyoshin Poseidon, and he is further surprised when Shun Kakei accuses him of not being the 'real' Eyeshield 21. Kakei states that he had met the true Eyeshield 21 two years before in America, and that the disguised player had a strong, tall body, and so Kakei considers the Devil Bats' Eyeshield 21 as not measuring up to the mystery player because of his small form. Sena briefly becomes insecure about his small body, but gains confidence after a run-in with Shin at a restaurant during which Shin tells Sena that spiritual strength is overall more important than physical strength. Sena takes this advice to heart in the Devil Bats' next game, against the Dokubari Scorpions, during which he drags two players attempting to tackle him into the end zone for a touchdown. After the Devil Bats defeat the Scorpions, Hiruma sends Sena to spy on the Poseidon under the excuse of delivering their cleats for the next game, and he ends up having a discussion with Kakei; Kakei states he has no ill will against the Devil Bats, only their Eyeshield 21, whom he does not believe deserves the title. After Sena leaves, Kengo Mizumachi tells him about Kakei's experiences in America, that Kakei does not know who Eyeshield 21 is, and that Eyeshield 21 is currently playing in Japan. When Komusubi runs away from the Devil Bats because he believes he will be a detriment to the team, Sena is the first to find him and assure him that the Devil Bats would be unable to win without Komusubi. Sena, Monta, and Komusubi then enter a local sumo tournament to improve Komusubi's confidence, and Sena loses in the first round against Monta when he steps out of the ring while dodging.
Sena continues to motivate Komusubi as the Devil Bats play against the Poseidon. Despite Komusubi managing to match up well against Mizumachi and allow Sena to run through the line, Sena is mostly unable to pass through the Poseidon's High Wave defense. Sena continues to have no success until Hiruma has the Devil Bats use the Wishbone formation, and even then, he is unable to pass Kakei, even with the Devil Bat Ghost. Sena begins to lose confidence, but regains his spirit when he is reminded that Hiruma, Kurita, and Yukimitsu will not be able to play with the team again if they lose. Near the end of the match Sena realizes that he must pass Kakei in order for Deimon to win, and manages to do so by performing the Devil Bat Hurricane. Despite this, he is caught from behind by Mizumachi after performing the technique because it reduces his speed. On the final play of the game, Sena uses the Devil Bat Dive, which succeeds because Komusubi pushes Mizumachi out of Sena's way, and the Devil Bats win 24-23.
Reuniting With Riku
Immediately after the Devil Bats win against the Poseidon, Sena runs into his childhood friend Riku Kaitani, who since they last met has become the running back for the Seibu Wild Gunmen - the Devil Bats' semi-final opponent. During Deimon High's field day, Hiruma arranges a cavalry battle event in order for Sena and several other members of the team to practice the bump technique. However, later on, Hiruma realizes that to effectively stop Seibu's Shotgun strategy, they must use a more focused bump, and takes them to a local arcade to practice the Heart Bump. During the field day, Riku observes Sena's running style and realizes that he is Eyeshield 21. Also, Kurita explains to Sena and Monta that Musashi's father is sick, and this is the real reason he left the Devil Bats - his promise that he would rejoin the team when it became stronger was a lie.
When the Seibu-Deimon game begins, Riku and Sena set the pace for the match by each returning a kickoff for a touchdown. But from that point on, Sena struggles to pass Riku, who is not only able to match Sena's speed but steal the ball away from him. Riku states that he holds an advantage over Sena - he is more willing to protect the ball than his own body. Sena takes this advice to heart throughout the second half of the game as the Devil Bats proceed to make a comeback. Both Riku and an observing Shin realizes that Sena is evolving rapidly as a player during the course of the game because he is being pushed beyond his limits by Riku, and Riku even goes so far to say that should Sena ever defeat him even once, Sena will have surpassed him entirely. At the end of the match, Sena scores the Devil Bats' final touchdown by passing Riku with the Devil Bat Hurricane. However, this is not enough for the Devil Bats to win, as they fail to recover the ensuing onside kick attempt and lose 35-32.
Another Eyeshield 21
Sena is relieved to learn the Devil Bats have not quite lost the chance to play in the Christmas Bowl, as they will participate in the third-place consolation match against the Bando Spiders for the final spot in the Kanto Tournament. After learning this, Sena meets Hayato Akaba, who also bears the title of Eyeshield 21. Sena and Monta consult Kakei to determine if Akaba is telling the truth, but Kakei is unable to answer with certainty. After receiving words of praise from his previous opponents and considering his role in helping the Devil Bats succeed, Sena decides to discard his secret identity and play the match against Bando without his eyeshield. Just before walking onto the field, he finally reveals his secret to Mamori, making her the last member of the football club to discover his secret. After things start poorly for the Devil Bats, Sena and Hiruma combine to break through Bando's Spider Web strategy and Sena scores a touchdown. Despite this, Sena struggles throughout the match because his running paths are manipulated by Akaba's Run Force technique. As the game continues, Sena begins to more successfully compete against Akaba. This even occurs in the second half, when hurricane winds prevent the Devil Bats from passing the ball and allow Akaba to focus more on defending against Sena. Eventually, Hiruma reveals that Akaba is not the "real" Eyeshield 21 at all, but that it is a title given to the best runner of each generation at Notre Dame University. Akaba took up the title himself in order to share the burden of his teammate Kotaro Sasaki, who had claimed the title of the best kicker in Japan. Eventually, Sena again scores the Devil Bats' winning touchdown by running at his top speed across the entire length of the field. In this way, he is able to surpass Akaba, because he is faster than Akaba even while dodging around other defenders. After the Devil Bats win 37-36, Akaba admits defeat to Sena, and rewards him with his blue eyeshield to replace the green one that Sena discarded at the beginning of the game. Exhausted by his all-out effort at the end of the game, Sena collapses on Suzuna on his way to the locker room
Kanto Regional Tournament
Following the end of the tournament, Sena is named the best running back in the Tokyo district. This, combined with his having revealed himself to be Eyeshield 21, causes Sena to become locally famous at Deimon High, and the school's various athletic clubs begin attempting to recruit him. Before the Kanto Regional Tournament begins, Sena discovers that he is capable of running at his top speed without being motivated by an opponent chasing after him, and his improved stamina allows him to run this way without collapsing afterward.
When the Devil Bats play against the Shinryuji Naga in the first round of the Kanto tournament, Sena is tasked specifically with matching up against Agon Kongo. At first, Sena is completely unable to run or defend against Agon, but this begins to change when the Devil Bats start their second-half comeback. Hiruma instructs Sena to constantly blitz Agon when the Naga use the Dragonfly formation, and the constant pressure on Agon inevitably forces Shinryuji to make mistakes. The first is when Sena manages to deflect a back-pass to Agon, forcing a fumble which Juumonji recovers and returns for a touchdown. However, Sena's legs grow strained from constantly running at his top speed, and the Devil Bats are forced to use their time-outs in order for Sena to rest. After using their last time-out, Hiruma gets into a dispute with Musashi over whether or not Sena should continue to play, and Musashi even ends up punching Hiruma. Despite this, Sena continues to play, and it is revealed that Hiruma and Musashi staged this fight to trick the Naga into believing Sena was only kept in the game in order to mark Agon. This allows Sena to instead blitz Unsui Kongo and force him to fumble the ball, which Sena recovers. Agon quickly chases Sena down, but Sena finally manages to surpass Agon by incorporating a "brutal will to fight" into his running style - he combines the Devil Bat Ghost with stiff-arms, resulting in him shoving Agon into the ground and scoring a touchdown. Sena also plays a critical role in Deimon's winning score - he throws a touchdown to Hiruma on a direct snap play, and scores on the winning two-point conversion with the Devil Bat Dive to push his team past the Naga, 36-35. During the course of the game, even the arrogant Agon comes to acknowledge Sena as one of the best players in Japan.
Rematch With Shin
Prior to the Kanto Tournament semi-finals, in which the Devil Bats finally play against the White Knights again, Sena witnesses Shin using the newly-perfected Trident Tackle, and also learns that Shin will play on offense for the White Knights' Ballista strategy. In order to prepare to counter the Ballista, Sena and the rest of the team spend the entire week preceding the match wearing tight masks over their mouths and noses in order to improve their stamina. This allows Sena to run at his full speed throughout the match, even while executing the Devil Bat Hurricane. However, Sena's efforts to defeat Shin fall short, as Shin has also learned to match Sena's speed. During the halftime break, Hiruma instructs Sena to find a way to defeat Shin with power, and eventually Sena remembers how Agon was able to use chopping techniques to deflect tackles. Using this technique as a model, Sena develops the Devil Stungun, which allows him to momentarily repel Shin's Trident Tackle long enough to serve as a blocker against him and stand a chance of running past him. Because of this, what had been a low-scoring game between the two teams turns into a high-scoring contest as the Devil Bats offense powers forward while the White Knights become unstoppable with the Sagittarius. Eventually Sena and Monta perform the Double Devil Bat Dive to take the lead from Oujou with less than two minutes left in the game, but the Devil Bats are unable to stop Oujou from scoring a touchdown again. After Shin scores with exactly one second remaining, the White Knights kick off to the Devil Bats for the final play of the game. Sena performs the Devil Killer Hornet with Monta, Taki, and Hiruma to make Oujou's defense hesitate long enough for him to pass them. Only Shin is able to pursue Sena, and the two engage in a final stand-off in which Sena combines the Devil Bat Ghost, Devil Bat Dive, and Devil Stungun to leap over Shin. With the combination of all his techniques, Sena enters the world of the speed of super light, which is the 40 yards dash in 04.1 seconds and Sena finally defeats Shin in a direct confrontation. After the Devil Bats' 42-40 victory, Shin approaches Sena and states that the two will play against each other again the next year, this time with Shin as the challenger.
Quarterback Against Hakushu
The day after the Devil Bats' win, Sena and Riku are contacted by Himuro, the manager of the Hakushu Dinosaurs. Himuro asks the two to have their teams forfeit their games against the Dinosaurs, to avoid having any of their players injured by Rikiya Gao. Himuro's warning rings true when both Kid and Hiruma have their arms injured by Gao, the latter of which forces the Devil Bats to find a replacement quarterback in the middle of their game against Hakushu. Sena volunteers to be the stand-in quarterback, under the logic that his agility will allow him to avoid being crushed by Gao. While his lack of height and poor throwing ability make him a subpar traditional quarterback, Sena discovers that his great speed makes him an effective scrambling quarterback, and he keeps the Devil Bats in the game. Sena's greatest obstacle in the game proves to be Hakushu's quarterback Marco, who eventually shuts down Sena's scrambling by acting as a QB Spy, and throughout the game prevents Sena from passing him with his ability to steal the ball away with his Screw Bite technique. After Hiruma returns to the game, Sena mostly reverts to being the team's running back, but on the Devil Bats' final drive he acts as a second quarterback when the Devil Bats use the Devil Dragon Fly strategy. On the final play of this drive, Sena realizes that in order to pass Marco, he must defeat him with strength rather than dodge him and allows Marco a chance to steal the ball, then charge directly into him before using Marco's body as a pivot to execute a vertical Devil Light Hurricane and tumble into the end zone. Following this, the collision along with the previous damage from when Sena had earlier been tackled by Gao causes Sena's arms to go numb, preventing the Devil Bats from sealing the victory with the Devil Bat Dive. However, Hiruma manages to score the winning two-point conversion himself, and the Devil Bats win the Kanto Tournament final 43-42 and earn a trip to the Christmas Bowl. During the proceeding awards ceremony, Sena is named the tournament's MVP, and he accidentally drops the trophy when he is presented it because of his numb arms. After the trophy breaks, Sena recovers by declaring that the Kanto tournament was not the Devil Bats' real goal, and that they will win their upcoming game in the Christmas Bowl.
Christmas Bowl - The Real Eyeshield 21
During the Deimon-Hakushu match, Sena learns from several of the Dinosaurs players that the real Eyeshield 21 Kakei spoke of is now a running back for the Teikoku Alexanders, the Devil Bats' opponents in the Christmas Bowl. Sena, Monta, and Suzuna go on a field trip to Teikoku to investigate their opponent and find Eyeshield 21, who turns out to be Takeru Yamato. Sena takes part in a practice session with Yamato, whom he then apologizes to for using his title without permission, but Yamato merely states that he is impressed by Sena and excited that they will face off, and proclaims that the winner at the Christmas Bowl will be the real Eyeshield 21. After returning to Kanto, Sena prepares for the Christmas Bowl by training to run and make cuts at his top speed consistently, while he is personally coached by Shin. When Monta despairs at the prospect of playing against Taka and states that he is going to withdraw from participating in the Christmas Bowl, Sena gets into a fight with him. This results in Monta's prized baseball glove, which had belonged to his hero Masaru Honjo, being run over and ruined. To apologize to Monta, replace the glove, and renew Monta's confidence, Sena asks all of Monta's previous opponents to send him the gloves that they had been wearing in their matches with Monta, and the two friends make up and resume preparing for the Christmas Bowl.
Despite being excited at the prospect of playing against Yamato, Sena initially finds that he stands to be no match against the other Eyeshield 21. While he remains confident that he is just slightly faster, and proves this by repeatedly catching Yamato while defending against him, he is unable to compete with Yamato's superior strength. Yamato proves to be impossible for Sena to tackle once he reveals his Caesar's Charge, while on the other hand Yamato is also able to use the same technique to quickly charge into Sena, preventing Sena from using any of his own techniques to dodge around him. Sena does manage to contribute to the Devil Bats' late-game comeback even without being able to pass Yamato, as he blocks Taka on Monta's first touchdown catch and then intercepts a pass tipped by Kurita. Still, Yamato realizes that Hiruma has constructed the Devil Bats' strategy on the assumption that Sena would eventually defeat him, and learning this provides Sena with new-found resolve. Sena finally develops the Devil 4th Dimension to pass Yamato for the first time, and by the end of the game refines this technique by combining it with the Devil Bat Ghost to become completely untouchable. In the course of Deimon's tremendous comeback effort, Sena scores three of the Devil Bats' five touchdowns, two of them by passing Yamato with the Devil 4th Dimension. In the game's final two plays, he also blocks Yamato, first holding him back just long enough for Monta to recover an onside kick and then participating in the whole team's effort to stop Yamato from blocking Musashi's game-winning sixty-yard field goals which gives the Devil Bats the win 45-44.
Youth World Cup and Another Rematch With Panther
Sena is tasked, along with Monta, Yamato, and Taka, with recruiting the players who will form Japan's all-star team in the American Football Youth World Cup. After meeting with Shin, Gao, and Agon, Sena and Monta set about recruiting the best players from Kanto. Once all of Japan's starters are chosen, however, Sena requests that those not recruited be given the chance to join the team, leading to tryouts being held to determine Team Japan's bench players. Shortly after, Sena and the rest of Team Japan travel to New York City to participate in the Youth World Cup, but the team's starters are unable to play in their first game against Russia because Agon has stolen their jerseys as part of his plan to gain an edge in the MVP voting. Sena rushes to retrieve the team's jerseys from where Agon has hidden them along with Shin, Riku, and Yamato, but he is separated from the other three while returning to the stadium. Because of his mistake, Sena witnesses the end of the game between Finland and Militaria at a different stadium. The rest of the team arrives after Japan's surprise bench players defeat Russia, and all of them are spectators for Team USA's first-round game with New Zealand. There, Sena reunites with Panther, who has become a member of Team USA's Pentagram and evolved into an even faster runner than Sena with a 40-yard dash of 4.1 seconds. Prior to Japan's game with Militaria, Sena and Suzuna spy on Agon and overhear his attempt to force Kid and Hiruma to allow him to play in the quarterback position. Sena serves as Japan's main weapon in their blow-out win over Militaria, but because of how easily this victory becomes, Sena finds himself unable to get excited during the game. He does find a worthy opponent in Japan's next game against Germany, in which he faces off against and defeats Heinrich Schultz to lead Japan to victory 34-24.
Japan advances to the final round of the World Cup, where they are to meet Team USA to play for the championship. Sena attempts to emulate Panther's running style, but finds that doing so actually slows his pace because his short legs are unable to match Panther's long strides. Understanding that he will be unable to match Panther's speed, Sena grows anxious, and has trouble sleeping the night before the game with Team USA. He has a conversation with Sakuraba about the physical limits of those who are not born with innate talent, and the two wonder how such players could possibly compete with hard-working, talented opponents. Early in the Japan-USA game, Sena faces Panther in an individual confrontation. Sena is able to pass Panther by chaining together the Devil 4th Dimension, Devil Stun Gun, Devil Light Hurricane, and a stiff arm to push Panther to the ground, but even when Yamato briefly blocks him, Panther manages to tackle Sena from behind. Realizing that Panther will always be able to chase him down from behind even if he is passed, Sena begins to despair under the revelation that he may be totally incapable of winning. Later in the game, when Panther disrupts Hiruma and Agon's attempt to use the Dragonfly by blitzing, Sena asks to be allowed to blitz Clifford in the same way. Hiruma allows him to participate in a three-man blitz along with Agon and Shin, and Shin successfully sacks Clifford and forces him to fumble the ball, which Sena recovers and returns for a touchdown. Sena later forces a fumble of his own after Habashira enters the game to replace Shin; when an American runner is distracted by Habashira who is persistently trying to tackle him, Sena is able to snap the ball away from behind, and Riku recovers the fumbled ball and also returns it for a touchdown. When Team USA relies on Panther's running to preserve their lead, Sena desperately attempts to stop his rival, but cannot do so, even when attempting to use Shin's Trident Tackle. During his struggles, Sena decides that even if he may never defeat Panther, he will continue to challenge him without hesitation. Eventually, Sena does manage to tackle Panther when he lifts himself back up off the ground immediately after falling after a missed tackle, headbutting Panther in the chest. Finally, Sena scores the game-tying two-point conversion when Team Japan uses the Cerberos Dive, a final variation of the Devil Bat Dive, and time expires quickly after this play to make the game's result a 45-45 tie. When both Team USA and Team Japan's players decide that they are unsatisfied with this result, the teams play an unofficial overtime, which begins with Sena playing as Japan's quarterback. However, the results of this unofficial overtime are unknown and officially both teams were declared champions of the tournament.
Sena continues playing for the Deimon Devil Bats in his 2nd year of high school, during which he serves as the team's new captain. He is additionally contacted by Clifford during his third and final year in high school, and is invited to play for Notre Dame High School, turning the last of Hiruma's lies about his identity into a reality. Sena then applies to and is accepted into Enma University, where he joins the football team. With former Devil Bats Monta and Kurita and former opponents Unsui, Mizumachi, Riku, and Kotaro as his teammates, Sena vows to play in the Rice Bowl, Japan's semi-pro and college-level championship game. He also vows to play in the NFL like Panther, who has won the Youth World Cup MVP title and joined with the San Antonio Armadillos. As shown in the anime, he manages to successfully join the NFL along with Hiruma, Shin, Yamato, Taka and others and he is shown playing in a game against Hiruma and Panther. He got invited to the NFL combine because he was on the Japanese National team in the High School World Cup and since both teams won, the NFL decided they could come to the NFL combine once they were ready. As a result some Japanese players who were on the team got to play in the NFL
Techniques and Abilities
Sena's greatest talents as a football player are his speed and agility, which combined make him one of the fastest high school players in Japan, and even the world. All of Sena's techniques stem from his ability to run at incredible speeds and rapidly change the direction he is running in. At first, Sena is only able to maintain his full speed, which allows him to run a 40-yard dash in 4.2 seconds, in brief bursts, and he tires quickly after doing so. With time, he improves his stamina and is able to maintain this top speed for extended periods, although constantly doing so places great strain on his legs in the match against Shinryūji. After receiving instruction from Doburoku, Sena learns to change direction without decreasing his speed using a technique called the Devil Bat Ghost. Sena improves this technique on his own, creating a number of sub-techniques including the Devil Bat Hurricane (a spin move) and the faster Devil Light Hurricane. Sena is also the most frequent user of the Devil Bat Dive, a strategy that the Devil Bats frequently use to finish games in situations where they start the play just outside of the end zone and Sena dives over the line in order to score a touchdown.
Throughout the Devil Bats' games, Sena has used the Sky Devil Bat Dive, in which he jumps into the air before receiving the ball, the Twin Double Bat Dive, in which both he and Monta leap and Sena has the option to pass the ball to Monta, the One-Man Devil Bat Dive, in which he jumps over a single defender in a direct confrontation, and the Cerberus Dive, a variation where three different players dive forward while only one carries the ball. The final running technique that Sena develops is the Devil 4th Dimension, a backstep that he performs at full speed immediately after charging straight at an opposing defender; this allows Sena to dodge away from a defender when they dive in to tackle him. Furthermore, Sena is able to combine the Devil 4th Dimension with the Devil Bat Ghost, which grants him the ability to freely move in any direction on a 360-degrees axis without once decreasing his speed.
While he is initially very scrawny, Sena's physical training along with the natural course of his growth grant him enough physical strength to compete against his opponents, using his power when he is unable to dodge around them. He most frequently does so using a chopping technique called the Devil Stungun, which he uses to deflect his opponent's arms when they attempt to tackle him. Sena can also use stiff-arms to push away his opponents, and has even managed to shove players of superior physical strength to the ground when doing so. While Sena primarily plays in the running back position, he has on occasion played as quarterback, most notably when Hiruma was injured in the match against Hakushū. Sena's throwing technique is very unrefined, but he is adept at scrambling using his great speed and can use this to open up plays, allowing him to choose to run or throw the ball.
It should also be noted that Sena has surprisingly good balance, able to run on top of the railings of overpasses and highways (even when drunk). He has often shown great dodging abilities as well, such as the time where he avoided every item that Torakichi threw at him from a near point-blank distance, as well as the time he dodged Agon's thrown football that was aimed directly at his right eye. Ikkyu also noticed this, noting that Sena had used the minimum amount of movement to dodge.
Normal Running & Cuts: This was Sena's method of running at the beginning of the series, gained during years prior when he was a gopher for bullies. He is able to attain a rocket start, as well as make very sharp turns and cuts. However, his speed decreases after the explosive start so, before training with Deimon, his 40-yard-dash is 5.0 seconds. If he's pressed to a certain emotional level, (such as being chased by Cerberus or Shin), his time shortens to as little as 4.2 seconds (see Speed of Light Pace).
- Change of Pace: This was Sena's pattern of running up until after the game of the Nasa Aliens. This involves him running at relatively easy pace, then suddenly accelerate to full speed. The problem with this is that just before he speeds up or makes a turn, he stops for a moment, which allow others to tackle him.
- The Devil's Cut: A skill that allows Sena to keep his pace after changing direction (in which he moves at his full speed). Initially, Sena had to stop before changing directions through his sharp cutting ability in his movements, but after the Death March, in which he had to maneuver while kicking a rock while keeping pace with his full speed, he developed The Devil's Cut. Ultimately this technique overcame the old Change of Pace and allowed Sena to keep running without losing any speed making him a better runner as a result. With this he learned the Devil Bat Ghost.
- Speed of Light Pace: This is Sena's ability to run the 40-yard dash in 4.2 seconds, considered to be at the highest level even among professional athletes. Initially, he is only able to tap into this speed once per game, as it totally exhausts him after using it. However, in the match against the Bando Spiders, he manages to overcome his limits and manages to hold his top speed for a much longer period of time (though he still collapses after the match). By the beginning of the Kantou Tournament, Sena is able to run at this pace frequently without rest. First used in a match against the Ojo White Knights during the spring tournament.
- Speed of Super Light Pace: Shin estimated for Sena's Final Play against him that he was able to run a 40-yard dash in 4.1 seconds. He achieved this by using Shin's arm as a propellant. Its name was christened by Shin, and is only used in the final play against the Ojo White Knights in the fall tournament.
Foresight: A technique first developed for running errands, Sena is able to deduce the amount of movement, as well as any openings his obstacles (often people, such as the opposing team's players in an on-going game) might leave unguarded (or about to), and thus effectively discern the directions needed to escape a tackle or break through defense while he's running. He first uses this technique in actual gameplay against the Koigahama Cupids team when he returns the final kickoff of the game for a game winning touchdown, making the skill very handy in slipping through large numbers. This also helps him to determine which way he could play being a quarterback, either to do a pass or run. However, its main weakness is that it can't anticipate the moves of an incoming opponent if they are moving at the same rapid pace as Sena at his topmost speed, forcing Sena to improvise when facing other speedy players like Shin, Riku or Panther. Used frequently in games (typically represented graphically as arrows of light).
- Scramble and Pass: In the quarterback position, Sena takes the ball after the snap and rushes toward the sides. He then makes a short, awkward pass toward any eligible receiver. The trajectory of the ball is described as horrible by Ikkyu, though in practice it works for Sena, as the opponents can't tell which way the ball is heading. This is somewhat similar to the halfback option play in the NFL. Used only against the Hakushuu Dinosaurs.
- Devil Dragon Fly: An adaptation of Shinryuji's trademark play, both Sena and Hiruma play as quarterbacks. Either quarterback is able to receive the snap, and the number of plays, such as lateral passes between quarterbacks and passes to receivers, are increased greatly as a result. Unsui comments that the way Deimon played this formation is different, but definitely has the shape of the Original Dragon Fly. The players can work this tactic perfectly thanks to amount of spartan practice (physical and mental) they've been through. Used only against the Hakushuu Dinosaurs.
Chris Cross: Another variation of running play, Monta and Sena cross paths with the quarterback (Hiruma) as their center. This hides the true ball carrier, as any of the three players may have the ball after crossing (hence the name of the play). Due to Sena and Monta's initial inexperience with the play, their first use of the Chris Cross results in a fumble. Used twice, and only against the Teikoku Alexanders.
- Devil Cross: The "warped" version of Chris Cross, in which the ball carrier laterals the ball toward the quarterback after luring the defense, giving the pass play more options and freedom.
Devil Bat Ghost: A technique in which Sena is able to use a crossover step to make a sharp cut without slowing down. He learned this after enduring the 2000 km Death March by kicking a stone pebble and running simultaneously (and, by doing so, learned how to increase his steps without losing his speed). Its effect creates a kind of blurry afterimage which confuses opposing blockers, causes them to misjudge his speed or tackle the afterimage created by the move. By episode 46 of the anime, in a match against Shin, Sena discovers the strain of the Devil Bat Ghost has on his knees, which he soon overcomes with constant practicing and soon Sena is able to use Multiple Devil Bat Ghost Bursts. Later, his Devil Bat Ghost evolved so much, that he is practically creating shadows and moving in a complete 360 degree range at will, making him nearly impossible to touch. Just like Shin said, "Even with all power in this world, it's no use against a speed you can't touch".
- Multiple Devil Bat Ghost: In chapter 287, after witnessing "true" Ghost Steps performed by Yamato, Sena manages to perfect his own Devil Bat Ghost using a combination of violent crossover and simple cut steps, creating four "clones".
Devil Bat Dive: Inspired by his desperate dive into a closing train to escape from the Hah Brothers in the first chapter, Sena rushes toward the scrimmage line at top speed, then jumps over the opposing linemen in a corkscrewing motion. This is a very dangerous maneuver and even Hiruma initially forbids him to use it more than once or twice per game, and only for a clinch point, as it could easily cause injury to Sena. Used on occasion during various games.
- Sky Devil Bat Dive: An alternate version of the Devil Bat Dive, Sena is first placed at the end of the scrimmage line. Hiruma rushes the opposing line as Sena makes a fast reversal; once Sena gets up to speed, he jumps upward as Hiruma laterals the ball to him.
- Fake Devil Bat Dive: Unlike the regular Devil Bat Dive, this involves Sena jumping over opposing players while pretending to carry the ball. The technique is intended to fool the opposing team in stopping his charge while the real carrier of the ball gets through. This was first shown during the game against the Wild Gunmen, and last seen against the Dinosaurs.
- Double Devil Bat Dive: Sena rushes toward the goal line then jumps over the defending linemen like in a regular Devil Bat Dive, but then passes the ball in midair to Monta who is in the endzone. Used only against the Ojo White Knights during the fall tournament.
- One Man Devil Bat Dive: Sena dives over a single opponent. In its first use against Shin Seijirou, it was used in tandem with the Devil Stungun and Devil Bat Ghost. He uses this move in the last play against the Ojo White Knights in the fall tournament, and again against the Teikoku Alexanders.
- Extremely Low Altitude Devil Bat Dive: A combination attack with Komusubi, using the small lineman's power and Sena's ability to fly over a low-gravity opponent such as Gaou. Used only once against the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, and succeeds only when Kurita intervenes to prevent Gaou from crushing Sena and Komusubi.
Spin Move: A regular move which Sena used to evade Togano in the first chapter. While running forward, he evades enemies' tackle or block by swerving to the side and spinning his body to gain momentum he needed to break/escape the block/tackle.
- Devil Bat Tornado: Also called the Devil Bat Hurricane, this was created during the game against the Kyoshin Poseidon by combining the Devil Bat Ghost with a Spin Move. Its effect not only causes an afterimage to appear, but also adds rotational force, making a two-handed tackle (like Shun Kakei's "anchor-grapple") less effective.
- Devil Light Tornado: Also called the Devil Light Hurricane, this is basically combining the Devil Bat Tornado with the Speed of Light Pace. In chapter 217, he uses this in an attempt to evade Shin's Trident Spear Tackle. However, Shin, with his own Speed of Light Pace and the extra speed of the Trident Tackle, manages to down Sena. It is also not as effective against close defensive attacks such as Marco's Screw Bite.
- Vertical Devil Light Hurricane: Sena collides into his opponent head-on, then pushes upward while rotating at the Speed of Light Pace. Using the opponent's body as a pivot, Sena rolls past and forward, thereby evading any attacks. Being so close prevents an opponent with a close defensive attack (like the Screw Bite) from getting his hands around the ball.
Stiff-Arm: A normal defensive move used to keep an opposing player at a distance. By sacrificing ball safety, Sena can extend one arm to ward off a blocker. First done against Agon in the game against the Nagas, Sena was able to topple him by pushing against Agon's helmet.
- Devil Stungun: In chapter 229, by using his arms, Sena is able to partially deflect Shin's Trident-Spear Tackle. His counter is likened to a foot soldier using the point of his sword to redirect the trident of a charging horseman away from him, rather than meeting the attack head on. The attack seems inspired by a similar move used against Agon Kongo of Shinryuji. Like a similar move used by Patrick "Panther" Spencer of the NASA Aliens, this move sacrifices ball safety for a chance to break through (Doburoku: "When you had twice the chance to break through your enemy, the chance of the ball being lost is 10 times greater"). Unlike the basic Stiff-Arm, this involves a jabbing motion. Used unsuccessfully against Marco of the Hakushuu Dinosaurs, who countered with the Screw Bite.
- Sagittarius: Inspired by the team strategy of the same name used by Shin and Sakuraba of Ojo, the Deimon version is first seen in the Hakushuu game. This combines the Devil Stungun and the Devil Backfire, and Sena becomes Monta's guard as the latter catches a pass. Monta refers to this as "Explosion MAX!"
Devil 4th Dimension : Sena's ultimate running technique, created during the Christmas Bowl against the Teikoku Alexanders. While running at his 4.2 second pace, Sena takes one quick backstep without changing his speed or stance: doing this during the instant of tackling causes the blocker to miss completely, rendering him off-guard while Sena cuts around. To the blocker, it seems as if time was running backward, hence the name (time being the "fourth dimension"). During the International Youth Cup semifinal match against Germany, Sena takes only a half-step back as a feint before he changed his run in order to defeat Germany's star player Schultz.
- Devil Bat 4th Dimension Ghost : The weakness of the Devil 4th Dimension is that for a moment after the backstep, there is a brief period of time where Sena lags: defensive players can take advantage by stopping their own movement while facing the backstep, going for the kill at exactly the right moment. Yamato chose to defeat the backstep by sealing it with his Caesar Charge, using his strength to increase his speed to super-light levels, completely overrunning Sena. Sena removes this weakness by combining the Devil 4th Dimension Run with the Devil Bat Ghost, confusing the blocker's perception at the moment of lag (since they are already committed to the tackle). Afterwards, Yamato mentioned that no amount of strength or talent could overcome this technique, for it is 'genuine speed'.
Trident Tackle : Shin's signature technique, which Sena used to try to tackle Panther in the world cup game against America. With Sena's weak arm strength, Panther easily shook him off.
Imagination: Not really an ability for play; Sena is frequently shown to have an excessive amount of imagination, whether he is on or off the field, while he's unconscious or fallen asleep. In his imagination, real or fictional characters appear, usually possessing extraordinary (and sometimes, absurd) abilities to teach, encourage, or push Sena forward in terms of mental strength.
- he imagines himself as a neat secretary (later discovered, similar to his father) who aids the team perfectly, right before deciding to be Deimon Devil Bats' secretary (1st Down)
- he imagines Deimon Devil Bat (Big) in his mind when trying to remember the TFP rule (12th Down)
- he imagines a 'Serious Eyeshield 21' comic character, who tells him not to run away and try to break through past Mamoru Banba's defense (44th Down)
- he imagines Patrick "Panther" Spencer doing a moon jump wearing a space suit, where Cerberus pops Sena like a balloon to catch him (71st Down)
- he imagines the moment after defeating Agon Kongo, only to get stabbed by Seijuro Shin's Trident Tackle afterwards, and eventually grilled up as food (205th Down)
- ...and many more
According to the Chapter 205 of the manga (205th Down: The Warrior's Sabbath Day), Sena's excessive imagination is passed on from his mother, Mihae Kobayakawa. Meanwhile, Sena's imagination of himself becoming a neat secretary is derived from his father, Shuuma Kobayakawa, who works as a lawyer.