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Air Master
Airmaster 1.jpg
エアマスター
(Ea Masutā)
Genre Comedy, Martial Arts
Manga
Author Yokusaru Shibata
Publisher Hakusensha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Animal
Original run 31 July 199729 May 2006
Volumes 28
TV anime
Director Daisuke Nishio
Studio Toei Animation
Network Nippon Television
Original run 1 April 200312 June 2004
Episodes 27
Anime and Manga Portal

Air Master (エアマスター Ea Masutā ?) is a seinen manga created by Yokusaru Shibata and serialized in Hakusensha's Young Animal. The story focuses on Maki Aikawa, an ex-gymnast turned street fighter. A 27-episode anime adaptation was produced by Toei Animation. The manga ended in 2006 after a 28 volume run.

Geneon had signed an agreement with Toei to release the anime series on DVD in the United States and Canada. But as of August 2006 only four discs have been released, as the deal with Geneon had been terminated; no further releases have been announced.

Its main character is a 16 year old redheaded schoolgirl who, rather than fighting the typical anime martial artist mold popular with many otaku, is enormously tall and fairly muscular. In addition, the art style has been described as anything from charmingly rough to crude, resembling the more old school fighting manga style rather than similarly themed (but even more fanservice oriented) works, like Tenjho Tenge or Ikki Tousen. In addition, the series itself is a homage/parody of the fighting genre, as well as other genres, which are well hidden within the entire series.

The series title comes from Maki's nickname as a street fighter, a reference to her acrobatic skills. Maki has climbed buildings, executed death-defying leaps, changed course in mid-air, and pulled off multiple aerial attacks.

Contents

Plot

Behind the scenes of the hustle and bustle of every-day life in Tokyo, there exist many people who strive to become stronger by competing against each other in street fights. The main protagonist is Maki Aikawa, a 16 year-old high school student. A former gymnast, Maki adapts her skills to a different way of life — street fighting. The only thing that truly makes her feel alive is the rush and pressure experienced while fighting. With amazing power and grace, she fights opponent after opponent, repeatedly demonstrating the gymnastic talent that earns her her street name, "Airmaster". Eventually, Maki is exposed to a fighting league of sorts, known as the Fukamichi Rankings.

The Fukamichi Rankings consist of the world's greatest street fighters and martial artists. The Fukamichi Ranking fights are held for various reasons. Firstly, many fighters wish to test themselves, achieving the highest rank possible and stretching themselves to their physical limits. However, there is also a corporate side to the Fukamichi rankings, with many viewers around the world eager to watch the brutal yet awe-inspiring showdowns. Each Fukamichi ranker is paid a respective amount for winning within their fight. Maki, seeking to quench her thirst for that pressure or buzz she experiences only through fighting and to find her place within this world, scales the Fukamichi Rankings, clashing with the world's greatest fighting prodigies.

Characters

  • Maki Aikawa (相川 摩季 Aikawa Maki ?) Formerly a gymnast who trained under her now-deceased mother, Maki uses her acrobatic skills in her fighting style to increase her freedom of movement. Maki has the ability to replicate nearly any move she gets hit with or sees. Since her relationship with her father is conflicted, she lives alone. Maki seems to enjoy street fighting for the 'rush' rather than any sense of revenge or honor. When not fighting, Maki tends to stick out in a crowd due to her unusual height (6 feet, which is very tall for a teen Japanese girl) and appearance, preferring to follow her quartet of friends quietly. Her younger sister comments that Maki is somewhat simple minded. Maki is reluctant to deal with several people obsessed with her. She becomes vulnerable to attack, for a moment, when she gets approached in any romantic way, especially with Julietta Sakamoto. Her signature moves are the "Air Spin Driver" and the " Air Cutter"; she is later shown to master the art of Air Flow. Voiced by: Romi Paku
  • Yuu Takigawa (滝川 ユウ Takigawa Yū ?) Yuu is a friend of Maki and shares some of the same interest as Renge. She is a fan of the singer Uzumi Mika. She is taking karate lessons and also has a crush on Shinnosuke, and sometimes she fights with Michiru about Shinnosuke. Voiced by: Mariko Suzuki
  • Michiru Kawamoto (川本 みちる Kawamoto Michiru ?) Michiru is a friend of Maki. She also has a crush on Shinnosuke, but becomes upset when he admits his love for Maki. She is a fan of the model Nono Rakuko. Yuu and Michiru make a great duo and are seldom seen apart. Voiced by: Masumi Asano
  • Mina Nakanotani (中ノ谷 美奈 Nakanotani Mina ?) One of Maki's shier friends, she goes to a presumably rich, private school. Mina has ridiculously exaggerated breasts used normally as a source of humor rather than fan-service, and she is extremely self-conscious about it. In addition to this, Mina is hopelessly in love with Maki (who is not sure how to handle the matter), making this the main reason her friends make fun of her. Voiced by: Yukana
  • Renge Inui (乾 蓮華 Inui Renge ?) The group's extremely short friend. Renge has a penchant for eating obsessively, yet she is always thin (sometimes when she eats a lot, she is shown to have a belly). Renge is the stereotypical overexcited kid with a tendency to whine, but she serves as a cheering squad. She later acquires a kitten that she carries with her most of the time. She also has "psychic" powers. Voiced by: Tomoko Kaneda
  • Shiro Saeki (佐伯 四郎 Saeki Shiro ?) Maki's estranged father. Maki was born when he was fifteen, which would make him around thirty-one years old. He's a four-time pro-fighting champion. He runs a dojo and raises Maki's half-sister, Miori. He gets beaten by Sakamoto, but they become friends later on. Voiced by: Toshio Furukawa
  • Miori Saeki (佐伯 みおり Saeki Miori ?) Maki's somewhat bratty younger half-sister. Her martial-artist father is the same as Maki's, so she shares some of her older sister's fighting ability, but none of her gravity-defying gymnastic skill, which Maki evidently got from her mother. In her first appearance, she suddenly attacks Maki. She is about the same height as Renge, though she is younger. She decides to move in with Maki. She later idolizes Sanpaguita Kai. Voiced by: Yukiko Hirotsu
  • Kaori Sakiyama (崎山 香織 Sakiyama Kaori ?) A wanna-be future model (later a female wrestler) with an obsessive one-sided rivalry with Maki. She later becomes a moderately good fighter, and accomplishes things by sheer force of will and determination. She is loud and over dramatic, and during extended fights is essentially a Berserker powered by her own rage, and she will not admit defeat unless violently knocked out. A running gag in the show is how most characters refer to her by her full name in a dramatic fashion, probably due to her tendency to do the same. When enraged, her appearance has been compared to the Devilman. Due to a childhood "accident", she's deaf in her right ear. Voiced by: Mika Doi
  • Julietta Sakamoto (坂本 ジュリエッタ Sakamoto Jurietta ?) A scruffy but handsome ghost writer who becomes obsessed with Maki (romantically), while the latter is totally uninterested in him and finds his behavior very creepy. He is a smooth talker but prone to overly aggressive declarations of love, sometimes bordering on assault, towards Maki, who he calls "My Jenny". He tends to always kiss her and declare his love for her when they're together, even during their fights, throwing her off balance. This is usually done for comedic effect. He has three women who are head over heels for him: Uzumi Mika (a famous singer), Nono Rakuko (a famous model), and Nanjou Remon (a famous novelist). He ignores them all since he's fixed on marrying Maki and making her move in with him. Maki is physically capable of beating him down in his insane-like "distracted" state of mind (Julietta rarely gets serious with anyone—he's got "Maki" on his mind,if ya know what I mean); however, she did have a hard time with him at first. If Julietta, who defeated the 3rd ranked Yoshitoku Konishi (without going serious), were to get serious with Maki, who lost to the 4th ranked Fukamichi fighter... it is in no way clear who the "winner" would be. He can take a huge beating and still be able to fight. In a fight with another opponent he once had both his legs and one of his arms broken but he was still able to fight. Sakamoto usually only fights with extremely fast and devastating kicks. He usually leaves his hands in his pockets while fighting even though he has a powerful punch. It's said his strength is legendary on the street. He becomes rank seven in the Fukamichi Rankings after defeating Nobuhiko Fukamichi in a single kick, though Julietta's rank does not do justice to his fighting ability, as he defeats Yoshitoku Konishi, the third place holder, without going serious. Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi
  • Kinjiro Kitaeda (北枝 金次郎 Kitaeda Kinjirō ?) Leader of the League of Black-suited Gentlemen. He claims to hate women yet he likes Maki because he thinks she's different. He's a good fighter and has great punching power. He once took down a bear with one punch. He has a technique where he can create an afterimage of himself attacking so the opponent will be fooled into acting prematurely. He had his first kiss stolen by one of his male subordinates. Kinjiro is ranked ninth within the Fukamichi rankings. Voiced by: Kentarou Itou
  • Kai Sampaguita (サンパギータ・カイ Sampagīta Kai ?) Though she is not initially involved in the street-fighting tournament Maki joins, Sampaguita Kai was one of her most difficult opponents. Using a similar fighting style to Maki, Kai faces her in a tag-team match during a women's wrestling tournament. She becomes obsessed, like a number of Maki's earlier opponents, with beating Maki. She's the younger sister of Lucha Master, who taught her how to fight ever since she was young. Kai gained the ninth rank within the Fukamichi Rankings after beating Shun Yashiki, however she is narrowly defeated by Kinjiro Kitaeda, which leaves her ranked ten. Kai's signature move is the "Izukaya Bomber", which involves a clothesline takedown; she learns this move from her former mentor/wrestling partner Hayase Mio.Voiced by: Michie Ishizuka
  • Shinnosuke Tokita (時田 伸之助 Tokita Shinnosuke ?) A guy who challenges Maki early on, but later temporarily joins the group. He seems to have a crush on Maki. He fights with a long staff that can separate into three parts connected with a chain. He seems to know the art of the Drunken Fist.
  • Lucha Master (ルチャマスター Rucha Masutā? ?) Lucha Master is, as the name implies, a masterful wrestler, styled after Mexican Luchadores. He always wears a mask, and he is the first major challenge Maki faces. He is one of only three characters who can use a similar sort of aerial combat to Maki. He is the older brother of Sanpaguita Kai, another character with a similar fighting style. Lucha Master is ranked twenty-first within the Fukamichi Rankings. Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka
  • Tsukio Taketsugu (武 月雄 Taketsugu Tsukio? ?) Another early opponent. He has a furious punch( similar to a jackhammer), but is not as fast as some of the other street fighters. Maki often overlooks him, especially since, after his first appearance, Lucha Master quickly showed up, and this makes him furious. Tsukio is ranked twenty-second within the Fukamichi rankings.. Voiced by: Kihachiro Uemura
  • Reiichi Mishima (三島麗一 Mishima Reiichi ?) A sort of hanger-on to Tsukio Taketsugu, Reiichi is both a coward and a klutz. Though he could only fight well with a bike, using it like it's part of his own body, he's still only a moderately skilled street fighter. Voiced by: Daisuke Sakugachi
  • Fukamichi (Fukamichi) The man who runs the street fighting tournament, and who gave his name to the ranking system (Fukamichi Rankings). He decides who is qualified to be in the Tournament rankings. He watches the fights and have videos of them streamed to his laptop, which he then broadcasts all over the world on the internet. He does not participate in the fights but, he's been shown to be extremely strong and fast. He has a younger brother (Nobuhiko Fukamichi), who participates in the competition. He has a hobby of critiquing restaurants and posting the results on the internet.
  • Shun Yashiki (屋敷 俊 Yashiki Shun? ?) Tsukio's younger cousin. Originally 9th place in the Fukamichi Tournament but, after losing his rank to Kai, he decided to beat the 8th place holder. He's a ki manipulator. He has a technique where he uses his ki to create an osmotic punch, which strongly pressures the insides of an opponent's body resulting in a loss of a massive amount of liquid within their body, rendering them incapacitated. Since he uses his ki for this technique, he can only use it a certain amount of times until he rests to build up his ki again. He teaches this technique to Kaori Sakiyama.
  • Yuki Minaguchi (Minaguchi Yuki?) is ranked number four, and the only one to defeat Maki. Her full fighting style emphasizes on counter attacks as well as cutting and stabbing techniques with her hands. She starts her fight as a calm and collected individual. Though Maki sees through her and knows that she likes to fight.
  • Yoshitoku Konishi (Konishi Yoshitoku?) The 3rd place holder in the Fukamichi Rankings. Konishi believes he has attained perfection and specializes in grappling and submission techniques. He is shown to easily beat Shiro Saeki who is also proficient in submission techniques, and fight on par with and eventually defeat Sakamoto Julietta (who, sadly, rejects the notion of practice, training, or "going serious").

References

External links








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