Review: Air Gear (Volume 5) Manga | My Reviews 03 NOV 2011

So Ikki and his rather makeshift little group finally manages to get a proper Air Trek team going after a fair bit of scrounging around, and even partake in their first official battle as a team (though after a proper preliminary round of fisticuffs of course!)

Although Agito ignores them and Buccha and Onigiri fail them, Kazu is given a moment to shine and they are rescued through the arrival of a mysterious female skater as well as the skills of Ikki who continues to ascend his Air Trek skating path.

But there is an unexpected turn of events that awaits for them back home, one which will see Ikki possibly losing his skates for good, as we are let in on more of the mystery surrounding the legendary Sleeping Forest clan…

Mangaka Oh! Great continues his madcap action comedy shonen romp with Air Gear volume 5, giving us again plenty of action, fight and skate sequences, plenty of juvenile humor to have a giggle at, and of course sprinkled with serious scenes so over the top that they do end up feeling a little silly to have there in the first place.

It is definitely a shonen story through and through, and so if you are fans of this kind of silliness and over the top action with power escalations, then you’ll probably get a real kick out of this one, which doesn’t really let up on anything promised inside. (And as a bonus if you are actually enjoying the storyline, Oh! Great tantalizes us with even more titbits from the past, once again deepening the mystery of the family backstory as you reach those last few pages).

Artistically Oh! Great never fails to entertain, particularly with his penchant for drawing beautiful girls and delivering the quota panty shots, butt admiration views, and veiled nudity on a regular basis (remember, this is the artist who has had no qualms about producing adult works like Silky Whip before). His drawing style jumps the full range as he stretches from his cartoony, super distorted pieces to emphasize all of the slapstick humor, to his fantastically rendered and detailed action sequences which do well to capture the pace and energy of the events.

For me though, I must note that at times his faces or rather the head-to-body joins do let him down just a little bit, but for the most part this is the perfect art for this type of madcap shonen adventure.

In other words, Air Gear Volume 5 is an enjoyable continuation of this anime-inducing romp and certainly if you are a fan of the over the top action with loads of juvenile and slapstick humour genre, then this one will certainly entertain you.

Of course, if you are aren’t, then it probably won’t! :)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.