Air Gear
Volume 6

Author: Oh! Great
Artist: Oh! Great
RRP: £6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 009 50631 7
Ages: 16+
Available 01 November 2007

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...

So, Volume Six: Family Feud! of Oh! Great's Airgear has arrived, a fast and frenetic book for fans of sporting action. One of the problems I have with the book, and I'm happy to concede that it might be my age, is the sheer number of characters that appear. Thankfully there is a biog of nineteen of the most prominent players. Character design is such that, for the most part this isn't a problem, though there are a minority of character designs which are similar enough to cause some momentary confusion.

If you're looking for a deep and meaningful manga then this isn't it. The main thrust of the book is to provide entertainment and comedy and within this remit the book does rather well. True, it's not going to be to a lot of peoples taste, the humour is less than sophisticated and it is obvious that due to the use of young girls panties that the main audience for the book is likely to be young males. The book does recommend a reading age of 16+, but I'm not so sure that this isn't a little too old for some sections of it and about right for the level of sexuality in the book.

Volume Six has a fight between Itsuki and Rika. These two have, as they say, history, as following Itsuki forming his own team and winning his first battle Rika had returned and confiscated his skates, citing his safety as the reason. Not content to let this go, Itsuki determines to beat Rika only to discover that she used to be a top Air Treck champion. In Trick 42 and 43 Rika recounts how Sora came to be in his wheelchair as a justification for denying him his skates. Itsuki, of course, is not taking this lying down and challenges Rika, who after Sora supports him gives in to the inevitable... Cue the big fight...

One thing you can say about the book is that Oh Great's artwork fully portrays the movement and excitement of the fight scenes and although they can become a little repetitive throughout the series, they, nonetheless bring a great deal of life to the book.

Ultimately, this still remains one for the fans. Its concentration on sometimes dubious humour, skates and girls panties is bound to alienate anyone over the age of puberty.

Charles Packer

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