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Air Gear

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Air Gear (エア ギア Ea Gia) is a shōnen manga written and illustrated by Oh! Great. Air Gear is about the life of Itsuki Minami "Ikki", (also known as "Baby Face" and "Lil (Little) Crow" and his friends. The story follows their use of Air Trecks, an in-universe invention derived from inline skates. The early parts of the story carry out the introduction of characters that eventually join Ikki. As the story progresses, it focuses on their roles as Storm Riders and their quest to be on the top of the Trophaeum Tower. It won the 2006 Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category. The first volume of the manga was released on May 16, 2003 and it still ongoing with new chapters being released every week.

It was later adapted into a anime television series which first aried in Japan on TV Tokyo and TV Aichi beginning on April 4, 2006 and ending on September 27, 2006. Air Gear also later aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in the US and Australia.

Story

Itsuki "Ikki" Minami, is a student and a delinquent. Also known as the "Unbeatable Babyface", Ikki is the leader of the youth gang by the name of "East Side Gunz" (Hikatsuganzu). Upon his return home, after being humiliated by a Storm Rider team called the Skull Saders, Ikki discovers a secret hidden from him by his benefactors, the Noyamano sisters. The sisters belong to a group of Storm Riders who go by the team name of Sleeping Forest. In the anime, learning the sisters' secret angers him and he steals a pair of Air Trecks, abbreviated as "AT". (In the manga, the sisters give a pair of ATs to him and invite him to skate with them.) Ikki eventually settles his grudge with the Skull Saders, but in the process he receives more than the simple satisfaction of revenge. Determined to experience the sensation of "flight" for as long as he can, Ikki is quickly engaged in the mysterious, irresistible world of Air Treks.

Genre

Action, Sports, Comedy, Ecchi

Main Characters

See also: Kogarasumaru
See also: Kings and Roads

Itsuki "Ikki" Minami (anime voices: Kenta Kamakari & Chris Patton)

The main protagonist of the story, he was given Air Trecks (in the anime, he took them himself) and soon delved into the world of Storm Riders. Eventually he creates a team, Kogarasumaru. Originally trained to become the Sky King by Sora, he soon finds himself betrayed by Sora himself and Nike (Sora's twin brother) whom steals his Regalia. Shortly thereafter, Ikki becomes the Storm King and follows the "Hurricane Road."

Kazuma "Kazu" Mikura (anime voices: Kenn & Clint Bickham)

A long-time friend of Ikki, who's always by his side. He is a speed-type rider who eventually inherits the title of Flame King following the path of the flame road along with Spitfire's old AT's. Due to his speed he got the nickname Stealth

Onigiri anime voices: Masami Kikuchi & Greg Ayres)

Also a long-time friend of Ikki, he is a "perverted pig" as called by most. He has an unorthodox riding style, wearing one of his Air Trecks on his head and riding it upside-down. He has his own unique Road called the Smell Road, which uses an opponent's senses against them.

Issa Mihotoke "Fats Buccha" (anime voices: Hitoshi Bifu & Mark X. Laskowski)

Formerly of the Team Yaou (Night Kings), he was defeated by Ikki and his team was forced to disband. Eventually, he joins Ikki's team as one of the main power riders, making use of his extremely large build and strength.

Agito/Akito/Lind Wanijima (anime voices: Kokoro Kikuchi & Blake Shepard)

The Fang King with a split-personality. Akito is the "light" side while Agito is the "dark" side. They used to work for the police team of "WIND" until inspired by Ikki to leave and join Kogarasumaru after being rescued. Their split-personality changes depending on the side their eye patch is worn. Akito wears his patch on his right eye, Agito on his left. Later, a new personality named Lind emerged. Lind is somewhat like a "big brother" personality. He claims he is the original personality of the body. Lind is the son of Gazelle, the "1st generation Thorn Queen".

Media

Manga

See also: List of Volumes

Air Gear has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 2002. Currently, 25 tankōbon have been released in Japan by Shōnena Magazine Comics.

The Air Gear manga was licensed for release in the United States by Del Rey Manga and the first volume was released on July 25, 2006. Subsequent volumes will be released every three months.

Anime

See also: List of Episodes

ADV Films announced over the October 20, 2006 weekend at Oni-Con, that they had licensed the Air Gear anime for release in the USA. Though few of the actual artists and inside creators of Air Gear were actually there. The few that were there included Loa Mitsoyagi (Ikki), Ian Miller (Agito), Jason Remmings (Kazuma), and The ADV representing team. The first volume was released on February 6, 2007. ADV is releasing the uncensored Japanese home video version, rather than the broadcast version. On January 3, 2007, IGN released a special sneak peek of Episode 1 of the English Dub. In 2008, Air Gear became one of over 30 ADV titles transferred to Funimation. In Australia and New Zealand, the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment.

Avex released one single and two albums covering all the songs and themes used for the anime adaptation. The opening theme single "Chain" performed by Back-on was released on June 7, 2006 and peak ranked 139th on Oricon singles chart. The two albums Air Gear original soundtrack: What a Groovy Tricks!! and Air Gear original soundtrack 2: Who wants more Groovy Trick!!?? were released on August 23, 2006 and February 28, 2007, respectively.

Musical

Air Gear has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 2002. Currently, 23 tankōbon have been released in Japan by Shōnena Magazine Comics.

The Air Gear manga was licensed for release in the United States by Del Rey Manga and the first volume was released on July 25, 2006. Subsequent volumes will be released every three months.

ADV Films announced over the October 20, 2006 weekend at Oni-Con, that they had licensed the Air Gear anime for release in the USA. Though few of the actual artists and inside creators of Air Gear were actually there. The few that were there included Loa Mitsoyagi (Ikki), Ian Miller (Agito), Jason Remmings (Kazuma), and The ADV representing team. The first volume was released on February 6, 2007. ADV is releasing the uncensored Japanese home video version, rather than the broadcast version. On January 3, 2007, IGN released a special sneak peek of Episode 1 of the English Dub. In 2008, Air Gear became one of over 30 ADV titles transferred to Funimation. In Australia and New Zealand, the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment.

The series has also been made into a musical called Musical Air Gear, which made its debut on January 7, 2007 and ran until January 21, 2007. The musical is loosely adapted from the manga and all female roles are eliminated from the plot. The cast featured Kenta Kamakari, KENN, and Kenjiro Tsuda reprising their roles from the anime respectively as Ikki, Kazu, and Spitfire with Masaki Kaji (who had also starred with Kenta and KENN in the Prince of Tennis musicals), RUN&GUN, etc. as their co-stars.

Due to the success and popularity of the musical's first run, the musical has had a rerun in May 2007 titled, Musical Air Gear vs. Bacchus Super Range Remix (ミュージカル「エア・ギア」vs.バッカス Super Range Remix ,Myūjikaru "Ea Gia" tai Bakkasu Sūpā Renji Rimikkusu?) with the entire cast, except for Kenta Kamakari due to illness, reprising their roles.

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