Based on an action/ecchi manga, Air Gear follows the normal path almost all shounen do. Its replay value is low, as it is reminiscent of a zillion other series. Before you start watching it, you should be aware from the first minute that it is nothing special in its execution and that it will be forgotten as soon as you watch your next shounen anime.
In whatever excuse of a premise this show has, Air Treck is a new sport, an extreme variation of roller blades with motors that allow high speeds and aerial acrobats. The protagonist plans to become No.1 in this sport (Owww, how original!). The story is pretty much about training and taking part in races. Ecchi and lukewarm comedy scenes color the otherwise cliché scenario, with nothing else to deem the show good. Its context is minimal and its plot too simplistic to stand the test of time.
The story is as typical as it gets. It has a cast of kids and teenagers, the protagonist wants to become the best in some game/sport/technique, and there is not bloodshed, no matter the danger of the difficulties. And yes, the anime is typically watered down in comparison to the manga. It is not a bad story actually; hard guts, training, sweat and power of teamwork, it’s all there. It’s just nothing out of the ordinary which makes it predictable right away. It was also left incomplete (the manga takes the story further) which makes it deserve a below average score.
Think of the most cliché cast there can be in shounen and you get the general picture. Just dress them in humorous sexuality and you are there. A boy is the protagonist that tries to become the champion, an almost slut-girl is his mentor, a girlish boy is his rival and … some others just to be secondary allies and rivals. Really, nothing out of the ordinary, as far as personality or character development goes. You will mostly care about the girls’ boobs and panties than their … inner selves. You will just notice the air treks and the acrobats and the cheesy visual effects and completely forget the characters. And again, the cast is left without proper catharsis as the story is incomplete.
Character figures and ecchi scenes were too mediocre to write anything about. Backgrounds on the other hand were quite realistic, because they were based on real locations. Not too shabby! The animation during the races was flashy but quite basic for an otherwise super fast racing show. The camera angles were ok and the acrobatics were fine but the special effects were simply fake. Badly thrown in speed lines that look very off-putting compared to the realistic backgrounds.
Voice acting was as mediocre as the appearance of the characters. Music themes and sound effects were above average, full of strength and easily evoked excitement over the sport. Nothing memorable after it’s all done though.
- I dislike sports anime, whether it’s about football, golf, go, or roller blades.
- No matter the sport, the whole deal of watching 14 year olds playing a harmless game is simply boring. Who cares what training they do in order to become better in a game? Why should I believe that kids that try to become champions in some game are worth praising?
- It’s about a fictional sport; you don’t even learn anything useful out of it.
- Who cares about friendship, teamwork and willpower? I get plenty of those in every action series there is.
- Who cares about the characters? They are stereotypes, found in a zillion other anime.
- Who cares about fan service? I prefer hardcore hentai action.
- To my eyes, this series doesn’t try to excite kids into thinking about becoming athletes but just to buy roller blades. Meaning, it’s nothing more than a cheap, brainwashing, marketing trick, dressed with acrobats and lukewarm sexuality. Ok, it had plenty of comedy and fan service; good for it. But I have seen much better elsewhere. Beyond that, it is another run-of-the-mill series that has nothing really original to offer.
Alien 9. The only other anime with roller blades I know of. Though, the genre is much different. Dementia instead of sport and ecchi.
Eureka Seven. Not with roller blades, but with mecha on flying surfing boards. The only anime with so much attention to movement without vehicles I can think of. The genre is adventure instead of sport but characters and story are far more interesting.
Hikaru no Go and Slam Dunk. As exceptions to the rule, these sports/hobby series are nice to watch.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (based on real locations)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 0/2 (fake)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/5 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 4/5 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 1/2 (simple)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 1/2 (so-so)
Conclusion 0/2 (none)
CHARACTER SECTION: 2/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 0/2 (generic and unimportant)
Development 0/2 (close to zero)
Catharsis 0/2 (none)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little context)
Memorability 0/4 (generic with nothing to bother remembering it for)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks typical)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (feels generic)
Characters 0/4 (they are generic)