Manga Monday: Air Gear

Published on March 30th, 2009

Well I have to apologise before I even begin. I have just returned from Minami con (expect a more in-depth post later this week) which is the UK’s longest running anime and manga convention. Between me and my group of 30 friends we consumed over £1000 worth of food and booze, had hentai parties in our hotel rooms and even had takio drum lessons. So as you can imagine I am not in a great state for any form of communication. Well I digress since this post is supposed to be about manga. After last weeks post into Sheldon’s obsession with tentacle rape and a quick explanation of the different types, styles and words commonly associated with

images_products_manga_a_airgear_airgear6

manga, this week will be the first week where I will actually talk about a specific manga.

So let’s get this ball rolling. Bring on….AIR GEAR!

Air Gear is a typical shōnen manga as its action and adventure with plenty of ecchi thrown in just to keep it exciting. Air Gear follows the story of Ikki, a high school boy living in modern day Tokyo. Unlike the Tokyo we know Ikki’s world is populated by something known as Air Trecks. Air Trecks are basically the roller blades we know but inside them are motors, these motors give the wearers the ability to perform amazing tricks and reach unbelievable highs. They give the wearer the feeling of flight and freedom. Yet Air Trecks are used for more than just fun, with Air Trecks came the formation of gangs known as Storm Riders and gang warfare. A global league is set up for Air Treck users where a team can battle it out against other teams in a chance to make it to the top. Naturally the story follows Ikki and his friends as they form their own team and try to become the number one through some rather intense if not odd battles.

The artwork for Air Gear is simply amazing. It’s heavily stylized to the Japanese style, as you would expect, yet the detail is amazing. A shōnen manga will rely heavily on good illustration to help bring fight scenes to life and the illustrator, who goes by the pen name, oh!great certainly doesn’t disappoint with his skill. He is able to portray Ikki’s emotion and passion perfectly, bring the amazingly sexy and mysterious sub-character Simca to life with ease and portray serious action and feelings of passion alongside comedy almost perfectly. Each character feels brought to life fantastically leaving a character that everyone can relate to and even contains some amazing (and even believable) detailed schematic artwork for the Air Trecks themselves.

Air Gear is the perfect manga for anybody who is just getting into manga or for those who already follow it with a passion. From gratuitous violence to gratuitous panty shots I have to admit that I am HOOKED to Air Gear.

Hollie ‘Pheonix’ Bennett
Hollie@comicimpact.com