Don’t you just hate it when your clothes explode?
This OVA is a very strange creature. They chose a battle scene they really liked from the manga and decided to make an OVA, essentially alienating everyone except the “hardcore” Air Gear fans. You have no way of truly knowing what’s happening if you haven’t read the manga, given the anime’s abrupt end. Oh well, no complaints here since I’ve gone through both.
Without much of an introductory, the OVA dives right into the scene where Simca is walking in the rain and gets viciously attacked by Ringo. First Ikki refuses to let her tune his Regalia, and then Ringo strikes her so hard that her clothes EXPLODE OFF OF HER. Not the first time that’s happening in this series. Simca is next seen in a hospital bed, and is now permanently out of the Trophaeum Tower struggle.
This is actually pretty subtle for Air Gear
Ikki curses Aeon, whose hair colour they changed, for letting Simca out of his sight. Kururu isn’t afraid to approach Ikki in his fit of frustration, and her offer to tune his Regalia seems to lift his spirits. They decide NOW of all times is just a swell place to throw in a narrator explaining the world of Air Gear and Trophaeum Tower. It’s not even a good explanation. Basically, everyone and their mom wants to get a hold of Ikki, the Sky Pimp King. That, I assure you, is a much better interpretation of what’s going down here.
Damnit, Ikki, let me be your bitch!
Kanon, Ringo’s tuner, suddenly appears outside her bedroom with Ikki’s Air Treks in tow. Before Ringo can understand what’s going on, he kisses her with such timing that Ikki stumbles across them. Ringo kicks him away, but Ikki is already suspicious. Not to mention that she’s holding his skates. Kanon slyly mentions that Ringo wanted to sabotage his Air Treks, which sets Ikki off even further. Pissed off that everyone his after either his life, his Air Treks or his virginity (okay, maybe he doesn’t mind the last one), he grabs them back and runs off. Ringo bitchslaps Kanon and tells him to never show his face in front of her again, before chasing after Ikki.
Ringo catches up to Ikki, but he won’t even listen. Suspecting that he sided with Genesis instead of Sleeping Forest, she attacks him. This is where the showdown begins. With their emblems on the line, the two will race to the base of a random mountain Ringo points out. Despite being friends, they get serious very quickly. Ikki is the future Sky King and Ringo guards the top of Trophaeum Tower afterall.
MY SHOELACES. Tie them plz.
This is where I get excited over the OVA and start to really enjoy it. The two of them start racing through the city, performing those death-defying leaps that only Air Treks can do. Surprised that Ringo also has the keen ability to memorize the layout of the city and find the shortest route, Ikki falls behind. He manages to catch up in the subway due to his speed, activating the Wing Road once he exits.
Ringo is in awe for a bit…but catches up effortlessly. Ringo goes on the offensively and attacks Ikki so brutally that his clothes rip off, sending him tumbling into a dumpster. Meanwhile, Kururu has successfully made the Wind Regalia for Ikki! Her hard work is ruined by one the other tuners switching her Regalia for a dud though…meaning trouble for Ikki. For now, he has other things to worry about. Like Ringo boring him to death with a speech about not needing Regalia, and that he can be free without trying to violently go through Trophaeum Tower. A bunch of terrible metaphors are exchanged, essentially saying that Ringo hates violence and Ikki just wants to be unrestricted.
Kururu is cheerfully biking her way towards Ikki with the Regalia in tow, but stops once she hears fighting. Instantly recognizing the sound of Ikki’s Air Treks, she heads towards the noise. Elsewhere, Ikki is ripping off his shirt. <_< Anyways, Ringo fumes once Ikki rejects her perfectly thought out speech and attacks him again. This time, she destroys his Air Treks and sends him spiraling downwards into a river.
I think she’s mad
Kururu to the rescue! Don’t ask me how she got up there in the first place, but she leaps from the roof of a building and grabs Ikki. “How many seconds until we fall?” “3 seconds.” “That’s plenty!” And then she shows up Senjougahara like no one’s business with her arsenal of tools. She fixes his Treks just in time for him to race off on the surface of the water, giving Kururu the ride of her life.
After finding the time to chat with Kururu, he heads back to what he’s supposed to be doing. You know, fighting Ringo? Yeah. He forcefully activates Wing Road…which I guess is akin to forcing your Digimon to digivolve, because he gets surrounded by skulls and goes crazy. After seeing Ikki consumed by this rage, she stops her Regalia and stays still. The storm Ikki whips up heads straight for her without hesitation. That’s when Ringo unleashes her now fully charged Sonia Road to counterattack.
The skulls start talking to Ikki. They must be very lonely. Come on, Ikki, don’t be rude, at least say hi. He tries to activate Wing Road again, but the Regalia breaks. Ringo takes this opportunity to unleash another punishing blow to end the fight.
Ikki and Ringo stagger towards the finish line together, but Ringo collapses before she makes it. If they explained what Sonia Road did to her body, like in the manga, this would make more sense. Ikki could have won, but he knows he’ll get a piece of that ass later if he carries her to the finish line and says something corny about forgiving her for hiding her secret life for so long. And he does.
Don’t come in yet! I’m not done writhing on my bed in pain while naked and covered in sweat!
Alternate ending: Ikki ditches Ringo and does some serious ‘tuning’ with Kururu
End Thoughts: Air Gear is one of those series I really like, but could go on and on pointing out it’s flaws. Heck, my name Overcooled is a nod to one of the songs from the Air Gear OST (…Which is called Overkooled. lol). While I’m tempted to ramble about the whole series as a whole – I’ll try to stick to just this OVA. But I can’t promise no rambling. ^^;
Let’s start with the good things. The battle animation was crisp, clean and gorgeous. It did an excellent job of taking the manga, and making it come to life with animation. This is why I love seeing Air Gear animated. The manga art is really good at showing movement, but you just can’t beat moving pictures. The battles sequences were my favourite parts for sure. They chose a good battle to animate too. It represents a bit of a turning point in the manga (i.e. where the plot goes to hell) and finally shows us a serious battle with Ringo in it. It stayed true to the manga aside from cutting things out, and was paced just fine.
Okay. The bad. Oh boy. Let me make add something to “the battle animation is awesome.” Kururu’s animation is bad. It’s not horrible, but she looks pretty ugly. Okay, fine, it’s SLIGHTLY horrible. How’s that? XD It’s like no one could be bothered to draw her messy hair properly, so they spent all their time drawing every single follicle on Ringo’s head to compensate. Kururu has a very poor adaptation, and comes across as another ditzy chick in Ikki’s little harem as opposed to the endearing yet clumsy girl in the manga. They really need to recast her seiyuu too. The other seiyuu they changed aren’t bad, although Ikki’s seiyuu screams every five seconds for no reason now.
The music. WHERE IS MAH SKANKFUNK MUSIC? At least play the song Overkooled to make me happy or something, geez. Totally not staying true to the Air Gear groove. Last but not least, the actual plot. Okay, I know Air Gear is NOT KNOWN FOR IT’S PLOT. It is a formulaic show that does best when the characters shut their traps and start fighting. This part in the manga has a whole lot of BS – rants about nothing and useless metaphors for the sake of having metaphors. It’s less noticeable in the manga, but it really stands out here. I would’ve cut more of it out to at least explain how Ringo’s Sonia Road works. It’s actually really cool and explains why she was getting so tired! But the OVA can’t help that the script of the source is kind of whack. *shrug*
All this complaining, and I still like it. Air Gear is one of my favourite manga just because it’s FUN. It’s stupid, chock-full of fanservice, but seeing a bunch of kids fly around on rollerblades just gets to me. It’s like a guilty pleasure. Really, this is a good OVA for Air Gear fans. At least it improves the animation of the original anime. For non-Air Gears fans, you’re likely to feel the cons a lot more heavily if you watch this.
Don’t forget to watch the nice little bonus at the end~