Tag Archives: Ikki

Review: Air Gear: Break on the Sky (2010) Anime | My Reviews 29 NOV 2012

Ringo’s position in Sleeping Forest can no longer be ignored. As the time draws closer to the opening of Trophaeum Tower, Sleeping Forest begins targeting all major teams and riders capable of challenging them. Among the victims is Simca, who is attacked and temporarily crippled under Ringo’s orders. When Ikki discovers Ringo’s role in incapacitating Simca, he considers her a traitor and runs from her. Realizing she has no other method of showing Ikki her and Sleeping Forest’s true intentions, Ringo challenges Ikki to a one-on-one Dash-Type Battle.

The ever popular mangaka Oh Great!’s Air Gear was a fun little shonen battle action anime which featured over the top characters on rather over the top, powered up inline skates. However, despite the actually pretty cool concept, the series (both manga and anime) quickly lost sight of the really cool inline skate dynamic and instead got bogged down by stupid power and ability escalations, leading to a very overwrought and somewhat silly franchise.

Nevertheless, four years on from the end of the original anime run in 2006, someone decided that the fanservice-laden silliness needed some screen time again, and so the Break on the Sky OVA series was announced, this time animated by studio Satelight in place of Toei, with Shinji Ishihara as director and Jun Maekawa as script writer.

The result is thus far three 28 minute long episodes, the first of which I’m discussing here.

First off, the animation is really cool as per usual. High octane, high detail, very kinetic and loads of fun to watch. The character designs are pretty cool as always, and as expected, the girls are looking pretty hot, with loads of unnecessary fanservice thrown in to boot (well, this is a show courtesy of Oh Great! after all).

The voices all fit the tone and action perfectly, and the soundtrack and opening and closing musical tracks all work well.

However, then there is the story. Yeah, not particularly good. Plenty of action as to be expected, but very, very overwrought, very silly over the top antics, and in the end, serves to remind one just how difficult it was to watch the original anime series through it’s entirety. Unless of course you are a hardened Air Gear fan – in that case you’ll no doubt enjoy this outing (though be warned, it isn’t particularly high on the usual Air Gear comedy hijinks).

So in other words, don’t worry too much about missing out on this one.

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear#OVA

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! :)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear

Screenshot Saturday: Air Gear (Episode 1) Anime 23 JAN 2010

Inline skates on steroids, that’s what this is. Air Gear straps them on, takes it to the sky and then beats the crap out of all challengers in this action-packed, laugh-a-minute 2006 shonen hit! This edition of Screenshot Saturday takes a bite out of episode 1 and delivers us Ikki, the show’s protagonist, learning to fly!

Ikki takes to the skies for the first time!

Irrepressible Itsuki “Ikki” Minami, the delinquent student and East Side Gunz gang leader known as the Unbeatable Babyface stumbled into the world of Air Treck quite by accident (well, he did “borrow” his sisters’ hidden Air Trecks after all) in response to having been humiliated by a rival gang of Storm Riders going by the handle Skull Saders.

Of course, with the help of his mysterious benefactors (his sisters who just happened to have all been a part of the legendary Sleeping Forest Storm Rider group), Ikki soon found himself in the thick of things, his stubborn approach and refusal to back down landing him in far more hot water than what even he could cope with.

Today’s screenshot chronicles the first time Ikki takes to the skies and finds his “winged road”, that which marked the start of his journey to become the Sky King.

His path cleared thanks to assistance from a rather unexpected source, Ikki takes off after the Skull Saders leader

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear

Air Gear Anime | My Reviews 21 AUG 2008

Air GearLeader of the youth gang East Side Gunz and also known as the “Unbeatable Babyface”, high school student Minami “Ikki” Itsuki is without a doubt a prime example of a school boy delinquent. Always looking for trouble, Ikki manages to bite off a little more than what he can chew when he takes on a vicious gang of Storm Riders known as the Skull Saders from which he receives a beating like none other thanks to their gregarious use of Air Treks (AT), basically motorized inline skates that allow the user to perform far more outrageous aerial maneuvers than what normal skates would ever allow you to do.

However, after stumbling onto a secret hidden from him by his benefactors, the Noyamano sisters, Ikki steals a pair of Air Treks for himself and begins to process of learning this new skill at which he amazingly enough seems to have more than just a natural knack for!

And while the first step is revenge against the Skull Saders, Ikki finds that the liberation of flight that the Air Treks offer him to be more than a little tantalizing as his love affair with AT slowly begins and he starts his sure and steady path towards the Trophaeum, the ultimate destination of any Storm Rider!

Air Gear is a 2006, 25 episode long series directed by Hajime Kamegaki and is based on the early arcs of the award winning shonen manga ‘Air Gear’ by the popular mangaka Oh! Great.

As with any shonen title, Air Gear is primarily focused on fighting in a tournament style environment, this time with it being the battles between Storm Rider teams through various ranks and battle types. Of course, this means that Air Gear is pretty action packed and this ‘extreme sports brawler’ will certainly satisfy any anime action junkie. At the same time though, Air Gear goes all out to try and differentiate itself from all the others and makes use of loads of comedy and just plain silliness to try and achieve this – and achieve it, it does. The story’s development is a little uneven in places and the plot jumps around a lot, as does the focus, but this constant mixing it up between drama, action and comedy goes a long way in keeping the often over the top Air Gear fresh and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.

There is plenty of character development tossed in for the more serious anime watchers out there, as well as a couple of hints of romance just to throw things off center. And if this still isn’t enough to entice you to watch Air Gear then perhaps I should add that the story goes out of its way to present loads of fan service to its primarily male target demographic audience, making it the complete package for any hot-blooded teenage viewer!

To emphasize the constant switching between drama, action and comedy, Air Gear tends to mix its animation styles up quite a bit, often making use of heavy caricaturized imagery as well as super-deformed characters and overly exaggerated facial expressions. The standard visuals used however are very nicely laid out with clean lines and decent detail, with good (and sexy) character design abounding all over the place. It looks like you standard, vibrant and brightly coloured TV anime production, and thanks to today’s TV standards this certainly isn’t a bad thing by a long shot.

The animation itself is very smooth and the well choreographed action sequences, particularly those on the ATS, are well done and very fluid, making it quite exhilarating and exciting to watch throughout most of the series.

Aurally Air Gear comes across as a polished production with some great and well established voice actors cast in the leading roles. Added to this is a great musical score which combines well with the funky opening and closing tracks by Back-on and skankfunk respectively.

Air Gear is an enjoyable mix of over the top comedy and outrageous action and while it does fall into the typical escalation of powers trap that plagues most shonen titles, it pulls off everything it does with tons of flair and makes for quite a good viewing, even if the plot seems to fall all over the place for most for the series. Because it is based on an ongoing manga means that the show doesn’t really end off on a decent closing note which is a bit of a pity, but this doesn’t really detract from the series as a whole. My only misgiving is that the anime loses its focus on the actual Air Trek for most of the anime, falling into the trap of outrageous powers and non-believable moves which is a shame because if they focused more on the skating itself they may have ended up with something a little bit different and perhaps even a tad more enjoyable.

Still, it will have you laughing out loud more often than not and its zany action makes for quite a nice break from reality, meaning that you won’t go wrong in picking up Air Gear off the shelf.

(Besides, Oh Great!’s signature female proportions should in any case be reason enough if you happen to be male – after all, this is the same mangaka that brought us Silky Whip!)

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear