Anime, Hentai, Manga, Bishoujo Games, Live Action Films, Music, Art, and Erotic Doujinshi Discussion Forum

It is currently December 12th, 2017, 4:58 pm


All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: AIR MASTER
PostPosted: August 19th, 2007, 4:54 pm 
Offline
Resident Scholar
User avatar

Joined: May 13th, 2007, 7:57 am
Posts: 4121
Location: Trier, Germany
Airmaster, which I watched in Japanese, is a novelty. For me.
Never before have I experienced an Anime that is dominantly about fighting which had me sit in front of the TV set for hours and still want to know how it would go on. I’m surprised about how this show surprised me about myself, so to speak.

The protagonist is a 16yo redhead schoolgirl of unusual size for a Japanese named Maki. Usual folks reach about up to her chest (and I happen to like tall girls). She has just transferred into Tomato Highschool in Tokyo and befriends a couple of other girls, Renge, Yuu, Michiru and Mina. Renge is a rather childish character half as tall as Maki (many people don't get along with her voice), Yuu and Michiru remind me of typical Shibuya schoolgirls and Mina is a walking sexual harassment with her 103 cm bust (about 40.5 inches) and her very strong affection for Maki.

Maki is a former gymnast who has turned to streetfighting after the death of her mother and uses her tournament-honed style (and strong legs) to topple her opponents. Most of her combat moves are performed in mid-air, which is why she became known as the Airmaster. Another of her abilities is to learn techniques of her enemies intuitively, which makes her very flexible and surprising at times.
At some point she is discovered by a mysterious kind of league called the “Fukamichi Ranking”. It ranks the top fighters of Japan, as it seems, under supervision of a character named Fukamichi, a tough opponent, but not a part of the ranking himself (an ardent lover of cake and coffee).


What I don’t like about the show

I have already mentioned Mina as a walking sexual harassment. Her bust bounces all the time and is almost a kind of side character. Furthermore the show is very generous with panty-shots, for the purpose of showing them. It’s so overused it seems vulgar, although it does not reach the abyss of “Agent Aika”. Still, it’s annoying.

Second, as sympathetic as they at times are, characters are a bit neglected. All of them have a past, but the audience is shown only short glimpses. This could have been done more elaborately and there is a golden middleway between continuing with a story and showing flashbacks of important characters. Sidecharcters "disappear", like Kai, who returns to pro-wrestling and becomes a champion – and you only hear of it as a background announcement from a TV set. Or Shinnosuke, who leaves in order to train and get stronger to become worthy of Maki, he has two short scenes which show him in India and that’s it. You would expect him to return at a crucial point in time, in a decisive scene maybe, but it never happens. Not enough episodes for too much story. With a few minor changes, it could have also been done in 26 episodes with all the elements I would have preferred.

What really annoys me is the ending. In episode 25 (of 27) it becomes very clear that the story is more complex than the remaining time allows, so the last episodes pass by rather quickly and I really wish they had more story elements in them. The rather unimportant wrestling intermezzo was spread across two episodes and the final fight is squashed into one?

Instead of having Maki fight some superbeing, fifteenth generation of superfighters, who virtually only appears to be defeated without putting any depth into him, they should have skipped the Fukamichi thing completely and stayed with the characters and their development, like making Kinjirô realize his wrong ways and destructive bitterness in a final fight with Maki instead of in some side-theater clash with a side character. Making a superbeing the “endboss” shows clearly that we are dealing with a Shônen-Manga-based kind of story which I usually despise. I don’t mind fighters weilding ki-powers, but this out-of-this-world superbeing was just exaggerated. A rather stupid Shônen-Manga law as it seems, the future opponent is always physically stronger or can bring greater devastation in other ways than the past one, making the final one of them the ultimate (physical) challenge.

Last but not least I mourn the absence of life besides street fighting. Maki goes to school, but it doesn't matter even a bit. There's not a single scene which would deal with school life and its implications for 16yo students, like trips or exams and stuff. You get a single scene of each of her four friends studying for school. At one point, Maki doesn't go to school for almost two weeks, but it doesn't matter. Her friends are worried, but that's all there is. As she is presented, Maki could be a snake wrangler from the Amazon jungle, it wouldn't make a difference except she wouldn't wear a school uniform during fights now and then, which makes that pure fan service.
There's a complete lack of character life.


What I like about the show

Maki is not just some girl who fights to rescue her friends from evildoers, to be the strongest, or for honor. She’s not a smooth character like, let’s say, SonGoku. Maki has flaws. Fighting is like a drug for her. She needs it to feel alive. She puts all of her energy into fights that don’t mean anything much for real, like when she beats up an entire row of Japanese superheroes from the past 20 years – in a live action show for preschoolers.

Quite in the beginning a wannabe model named Sakiyama Kaori makes her her rival. At first because Maki indeliberately made it into a beauty magazine and filled the article that was supposed to feature Kaori, but later, when Kaori realizes that Maki is a well-known streetfighter, she too engages in martial arts and challenges Maki whenever possible. Her appearances would be quite a pain in the ass if the creators hadn’t accomplished the feat of making Kaori a sympathetic character. Yes, she appears, challenges with big words, and gets her ass wooped, but actually she is a person who just wants to find meaning in her life, striving for her meaning in others’ lives. Maki and Kaori inspire and energize each other and find mutual understanding.

The many other streetfighters are interesting as well. They’re not just opponents with a few lines of more or less meaningful text, they reappear in other episodes and have some kind of function, even if they don’t really become Maki’s friends. The above mentioned Kaori is the first example, the female pro-wrestler Sanpagita Kai would be another, or the leader of a Hokkaidô-based highschool gang, Kinjirô.
Kai has just finished her pro-wrestling training and made her debut as “Skystar”, who also specializes in aerial combat, but she is still seeking her place. Maki beats her in the ring and Kai also engages in street fights, but after being seriously defeated by Kinjirô she realizes that the ring is her world and she puts her efforts into surpassing her mentor (who after the debut of Kai teams up with Kaori).
Kinjirô is a martial artist who values spirit above anything. But when he gets beaten by Maki his pride is shaken and he wants revenge at any cost. His wish for revenge is so strong he forgets his ideals and agrees to use some experimental cyber-exo-suit, which, like, doubles his reflexes and boosts his strength by a factor of five or something. A serious fighting machine, but it's like "martial" without "arts". Of course, in the end, he realizes this mistake and finds back to his real self.

What I really like is the soundtrack. Watching the show I even realized there was background music, which rarely happens because BGM is mostly forgettable. Sakiyama Kaori’s theme fits her character perfectly, and the other fight soundtracks with drums and cymbals are very nice, too.
Best of course are opening (“Retsu no matataki”) and ending theme (“Rolling 1000 tOON”), by “Japaharinet”, respectively by “Maximum the Hormon”, both very interesting Japanese bands with rock and punk influences. I liked the songs so much I bought the albums they were taken from and the Airmaster OST.

Overall animation and character designs are on an okay level. I don’t very much like the design of the eyes of females, but anything else was done well, and backgrounds are usually detailed.

Since I watched the show in Japanese I cannot give information about the English dub version, the US release of which was kinda postponed. If I got it right, flipping through the info pages, Anime News Network says that Geneon cancelled some Toei titles including Airmaster, so the fourth DVD would currently be issued in December 2012... which is even more ridiculous because #4 has episodes 13-16, which is just above halfway through.

_________________
42317
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 19th, 2007, 6:38 pm 
Offline
Junior Member
User avatar

Joined: May 27th, 2007, 7:00 pm
Posts: 136
good someone enjoyed it. it just annoyed the crap out of me though so meh

_________________
#1 Chloe fanatic.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 6:28 am 
Offline
Resident Scholar
User avatar

Joined: May 13th, 2007, 7:57 am
Posts: 4121
Location: Trier, Germany
It's strange, but I did enjoy the show.
Voice acting is well-chosen, too. There are not many really great names in the show, a handful of veterans, but they have Paku Romi as the lead character, who also did Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist). Good job.

_________________
42317
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: AIR MASTER
PostPosted: May 28th, 2012, 8:22 am 
Offline
Resident Scholar
User avatar

Joined: May 13th, 2007, 7:57 am
Posts: 4121
Location: Trier, Germany
Up to date, I have watched Airmaster four times... which is one time more often than watching the SailorMoon Anime... :sweat: ... but given the total number of episodes, comparatively, that's not surprising.

_________________
42317
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group