Oh!great Air Gear, Volume 1 (v. 1)

ISBN 13: 9780099504894

Air Gear, Volume 1 (v. 1)

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9780099504894: Air Gear, Volume 1 (v. 1)

Ikki Minami is a junior high school student with a dream - to become the best Air Track player in town. It won't be easy, as he faces a lot of competition from boys and girls alike. What is Air Track? Just the latest craze that involves taking a two-wheel inline skate and adding a motor, new suspension and a shock absorber to enable the wearer to execute the wildest, wackiest, most aggressive moves you can imagine. Ikki has a lot to learn as he fights his way to the top in this wild, sexy manga. Itsuki Minami needs no introduction - everybody's heard of the 'Babyface' of the East-side. He's the toughest kid at Higashi Junior High School, easy on the eyes but dangerously tough when he needs to be. Plus, Itsuki lives with the mysterious and sexy Noyamano sisters, so life's never dull. But it gets downright dangerous when Itsuki leads his school to victory over some vindictive Westside punks with gangster connections. Now he stands to lose his school, his friends, and everything he cares about. Then the Noyamano girls give him an amazing gift, one that just might help him save his school: a pair of Air Tracks. These high-tech skates are more than just supercool. They'll enable Itsuki to execute the wildest, most aggressive moves ever seen - and then bring him to a thrilling and terrifying new world.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 10 Up–Itsuki is a 13-year-old inline skater who has been informally adopted by the Noyamano family. After a vicious beating and sexual assault by the Westside skate gang, the Skull Saders, he discovers that his adopted sisters are all members of the infamous and mysterious gang of riders, the Sleeping Forest. He further learns that there is an entire secret, multilayered world of skate culture that he is only beginning to understand. Combat scenes lack definition and clarity, as such flair seems to be reserved for a series of stunning set pieces showcasing the spectacle of speed and flight that the riders can achieve. Itsuki is presented both as a screwup and a success, which is a difficult dynamic to pull off, making his character inconsistent and tough to empathize with. This is compounded by the uncomfortable sexual crudity that permeates the dialogue and circumstances: statutory rape is one of the punishments levied when Itsuki loses a match. A number of Internet fans have reacted with glee that Ballantine is publishing the book, but purchasers should be aware of some of the dubious cultural content.–Benjamin Russell, The Derryfield School, Manchester, NH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This zippy little manga, which attempt to take skating tricks to superhero levels, shows more promise than it delivers. Itsuki is an orphan and a young roller-blade daredevil who lives in a house with four orphan girls. When their turf is challenged by the Skull Saders, an evil gang of skaters, Itsuki puts together a gang to fight them, and the result is an oversimplified West Side Story on roller-blades. Statements like "We have wings on our feet" and images of skaters flying with birds are mostly rhetoric—their tricks never really affect the plot. Creator Oh! Great is best known for the sexy, violent Tenjho Tenge, but he's toned down his work without losing the beautiful drawing and strong action. The girl characters Ringo and Mikan are real people with talents and secrets, although there are a few panty shots here and there. The hard-to-follow plot focuses too much on Itsuki—we see his emotion, but we don't know why. Intriguing characters arrive at the end—a skating gnome, a witchy old woman with a mobile skate shop—and give the series promise. This mix of gang warfare, strong girls and trick-skating has all the ingredients for popularity. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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