Anime Review: Air Gear: Break on the Sky Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 12/4/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Air Gear: Break on the Sky OVA

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about. — Watching all the anime shows so you don’t HAVE to!

tl;dr review: It’s The Battle to End All Battles when two kids race each other on special in-line skates; no, really, I’m not joking, that’s the plot.

The Skinny: In the Air Gear World, gangs apparently battle it out while wearing specially powered in-line skates called Air Trecks. In this special (based on a specific chapter in the long-running manga), some girl name Simca is attacked, causing a huge rift between Ikki and Ringo. This turns into a massive grudge match, where the two of them battle it out by racing across town. They race, they fight, they race, and fight some more. In the end, Ikki gets some special magical skates with awesome powers and Ringo is defeated, but they reach an understanding and both cross he finish line together. And everyone lives Happily Ever After in Air Gear World.

Assorted video captures from the episode – click on each picture for a full-sized view in a new window:

My Thoughts: Like many shows where I’m watching some sort of special or extra episode of a long-running show/series/manga, I don’t have a clue what is really going on. There’s about two minutes of exposition and set-up, but you really have to know who the characters are and the general story premise to even start to understand. Needless to say, I was lost. Even then, about 80% of the episode was the two main characters shooting across town on skates, trash-talking and fighting each other the whole time — ultimately it’s just one big “fight episode”, one of my least favorite types of shows. Not only that, but they did it all *poorly* as well; characters with as much charisma as cardboard cut-outs, long-winded discussions while fighting, laughably implausible situations, and (c’mon, really?) battle-skates with magical powers! This did nothing for me to urge me to go back and find out more, read the manga, check out the earlier episodes. This Starlight Express is leaving without me.

For more info:

Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear
My Anime List entry and review: http://myanimelist.net/anime/9201/Air_Gear:_Kuro_no_Hane_to_Nemuri_no_Mori_-_Break_on_the_Sky
Preview trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saub5j3Yt48&feature=related

The Verdict: – What did you think, Mr. Horse? No sir, I don’t like it..

The tally for Fall 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, The World God Only Knows, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Psychic Detective Yakumo, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Letter Bee Reverse, Bakuman, Otome Youkai Zakura, Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi, Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Kuragehime, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun Special

Failing grade: MM!, Star Driver, Iron Man, Fortune Arterial, Motto To Love-ru, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Yumeiro Patissiere Professional, Tamayura, To Aru Majutsu no Index 2, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Sora no Otoshimono Forte, Yosuga no Sora, Robin With His 100 Friends, Agriculture Girl, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu Special, You Are Umasou, Hakuouki: Hekketsu-roku, Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector

The last of the Fall 2010 shows to review — found a few more!: Megane na Kanojo, Seikon no Qwaser OVA, Da Capo D. C. I and II PSP OVA

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