Del Rey Manga announced today that they will be bringing the Air Gear manga to U.S. shores. Air Gear is a Kodansha title with story and art by one of the best in the manga business, Oh! Great. If you’re a skater, a blader, or a young man in dire need of fanservice you’ll REALLY want to check this one out.
Itsuki Minami, Air Gear lead character
Air Gear tells the story of Itsuki “Baby Face” Minami and his four lovely roomates. Itsuki is a thrill seeking high schooler who’s known as the best wrestler/fighter among his friends. Itsuki lives with his childhood friend Ringo and her 3 sisters Mikan, Rikan, and Ume. All of them are rather…attractive. Itsuki takes advantage of his living situation whenever the opportunity presents itself. :icon_cool:
The story really takes off when Ringo introduces Itsuki to Air Trek, a special type of roller blade/inline skate that has motors in them. These things can really get moving, and the masters of Air Trek almost appear to be flying. Oddly enough, Air Trek and gangs seem to go hand in hand, which starts a bit of a turf war in the town. This is where the strange but very well done conflict in the series comes from as Itsuki and his friends fight for honor, justice, and kickass Tony Hawk style tricks.
This manga is created by one of the all-time best mangaka in existence, Oh! Great. Oh! Great is a brilliant artist and storyteller. I can’t say enough about his abilities. I think he’s the best mangaka at rendering the human body in motion. His backgrounds and scenery are also extremely well done.
Oh! Great can put an incredible amount of detail into his backgrounds and character designs.
Oh! Great is also one of the masters of fan service. There’s many scenes in Air Gear that are quite ecchi (naughty/perverted). There’s a good number of prominent female characters in this manga, and I think at some point we see all of them almost completely nude. This isn’t a Hentai manga at all, but there’s plenty of skin to keep the fellas coming back for more.
Fanservice, tastefully censored.
Air Gear is a funny, exciting, and beautiful manga. Just recently Weekly Shonen Magazine announced that an Air Gear TV series is coming in Japan. For a while I thought that Air Gear would never be published here, but Del Rey has come through. The first volume of Air Gear goes on sale July 25th. You will definitely want to pick this one up.
For those of you wondering about Oh! Great’s name, here’s the entry from Wikipedia:
“His pseudonym “Oh! great” is a play on words: his name written in Japanese order (family name then given name) is “ÅŒgure Ito”, which in Japanese sounds the same as the English words “Oh great”.”
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