Wresting and High Rangers fill out this block of episodes before we get back to some real street fighting.
What They Say:
Maki Aikawa is tall, with a nice model-like figure, but is also quiet and looks like an ordinary high school girl. However, her unique life style includes being a street fighter within the dark alleyways and back streets of Tokyo. To date, she remains undefeated against both men and women. And with a unique arsenal of aerial techniques allowing her to knock out opponents at will, people began to call her the Air Master.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Air Master sort of lost me at this point for a few episodes as it went in a direction that I didn’t really care for. Starting in the previous chunk of episodes, Maki and Kaori ended up forming the impromptu Fami-wrestling gang where the two of them were dressed up like different kinds of waitresses, though Maki at least work a bright pink lion mask to complete the look. Going up against some of the better pro wrestlers, the idea was to get some different experience that would help accelerate their growth and make them more competitive against others and each other as well. Unfortunately, this ran more than just a single episode which is about all I could really deal with in regards to this particular plot.
Episodes thirteen and fourteen continue the storyline where Kaori and Maki basically tag team against Kai and Mio, though not before each of them push back against a few other contenders. That doesn’t get too much play though as Kaori wants to skip all of this for a no holds barred match against the two women. It is admittedly a fairly brutal match when the four finally go at it, though it takes a little bit to really start feeling like some of the street fights we’ve seen. And of course, Kaori continues to be a true gem as she attacks Maki at times and Maki gets so confused that she knocks her down a few times as well. It’s a kind of slugging back and forth fight where everyone is riding on a high from it, but they’re also incredibly exhausted yet unable to stop. It’s the kind of thrill that they’re all looking for.
Before the next arc starts, there’s a brief and amusing standalone episode that has Maki coping with coming down from the high and feeling like she’s running on empty. Kaori has the cure for that and obviously it has the two of them participating as the bad guys for a Power Rangers knock off event at an amusement park. There’s some cute characterizations with the rest as you see Renge taking her little sisters there who look just like her and Michiru is there with her younger sibling as well. Mina on the other hand is all frantic about finding Maki since she hasn’t seen her since the pro wrestling match and is incredibly concerned about her true love, though it is amusing that nobody knows where she lives. Didn’t they all drop her off at her place recently?
Where the show starts to get its groove back after this is when it returns to the Fukamichi Rankings side of the show. Maki is still a bit listless though she’s gaining her interest in things again but others are continuing to make their progress as well. Lucha is making his moves and trying to go up in the rankings as is Tsukio. They’re not the only ones though as Miori is trying to make a bit of a name for herself, which is priceless as she’s got the little girl angle nailed down, but also Reiichi as he’s out there with Tsukio and doing his thing with his bike. It’s still unusual to see him going at it like this. Much of this episode focuses on getting us back on that track as we see the rankings being measured, people finding out where they do rank on it and also finding out where they need to focus on in order to move up. It’s good to get back to this side of the show since it’s what has appealed more to me, especially after the wrestling material.
I like Air Master a lot, but the pro-wresting arc just left me pretty uninterested for awhile. There were things to like in it, but it didn’t feel like it had some of the raw energy and beauty we had seen earlier, such as with Julietta or when Maki first fought against Lucha in the alleyway. The High Rangers episode has its cute moments, and Maki looks damn sexy in her Black Worlder outfit as she takes out the Rangers, but the best is when we get back to the serious street fighting with numerous fighters in the mix. Hopefully as we move further into the second half, we’ll get more and more of this and see Maki proving again why she is the Air Master.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.