Following a humiliating defeat in a fight, Ikki is a troubled
student. His luck starts to get better when he meets up with
sisters who belong to the Sleeping Forest, Storm Riders gang.
The Noyamano sisters provide him with his first pair of Air
Trecks, a form of high tech roller skates. With the use of
the skates Ikki is able to regain his honour and enter the
fast and furious skating world of Air Treck...
Four of Airgear, by Oh! Great, continues
the loosely related vignette stories. If you are interested
in the background to the author then check out the review
Three. None of the stories have a title, only
being differentiated by their trick number. Volume Four
holds tricks twenty-four to thirty-two.
Volume Four starts out with Ikki who, having broken
his skates, is somewhat despondent. If we're being honest
here there is generally little in the way of plot progression
in the individual tricks, with Volume Four covering
Ikki's need to compete in the parts war to get stuff for his
skates, and his decision to form his own gangs and the consequences
of this. Taken as a whole there is some plot, but the majority
of the book is devoted to fighting on skates with some fan
service panty shots thrown in - meaning that the plot of each
Trick can usually be condensed down to a few lines. This is
a problem that much of his Tenjho Tenge series also
suffered from, with its comparable, endless fight scenes.
However, strong narrative plot is not the reason to buy this
book. The book is full of comedy shots, jokes, girl's panties
and dynamic racing graphics - pretty much everything your
average fourteen year old is looking for in graphic entertainment.
So, perhaps I'm not the target audience. I don't like going
fast in skates, have no interest in girl's panties (unless
it's a weekend and I'm wearing them) and am far too old to
see the funny side of life. Still, the book is well drawn,
even if it's not the deepest philosophical book that you have
If you like your manga irreverent, or you're still young enough
of heart, then this may appeal. Grouchy oldies take heed and
avoid. To wet the appetite of fans the book also contains
in-depth translation notes, character concept sketches (that
are actually very useful of keeping track on who is who with
so many characters) and of course a preview of the next book.
The artwork remains strong, but the story is weaker than the