Air Master Episodes #17- #20 (of 27) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, November 02, 2009
Release Date: Friday, May 01, 2009

The street fights start to sprawl all over the town and the violence escalates among the top ten ranked fighters.

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 started to get back on track in my mind with episode sixteen which makes these four episodes, seventeen through twenty, much more enjoyable than some of what came before. While the one-off episodes such as the High Rangers I don’t mind much, the wrestling arc just didn’t appeal to me even if it did provide the interesting character of Kai. With these episodes, the focus is pretty much squarely on the Fukamichi Rankings and there’s a lot of fun to be had there.

This set of episodes kicks off with the fight that began in the previous episode on top of the roof with the small group of ranked fighters who are almost mocking Maki and her abilities. Some of them won’t even fight her since it wouldn’t improve their standings in the rankings. Of course, that doesn’t last long once Maki gets going and the fights turn intense. With Kai and Miori watching along, Maki easily handles most of them but finds herself squarely beaten by someone holding back their abilities. When it turns out he’s been mirroring the moves from a video game, Maki uses her new discovery about herself to take him down easily. It’s this moment that she’s formally brought into the Fukamachi Rankings along with Kai and given the rundown on how it all works before being set out into the streets where everything is already moving right along.

Maki and Kai aren’t the only ones being brought into the Rankings system as the man behind it has also approached Kinjaro about it as well. This wasn’t a surprise considering how he went against Maki before and obviously wants a rematch. The actual meeting is strangely weird though as another fighter there, Long Arm, gets involved in it as he tries to take down Fukamachi so he can be included. Where it gets bizarre is when Kinjaro intervenes to stop him and ends up giving him quite the lengthy kiss since he believes it’s what Long Arm really wants. Kinjaro does this in another scene when he comes across another fighter after being brought into the Rankings and believes that’s what’s being asked of him by his mannerisms. Kinjaro only gets stranger and stranger as time goes on…

In Summary:

Air Master in this chunk of episodes plays out well as it brings in a number of fighters and pits Maki and others against each other. Kai and Kinjaro get a nice episode to themselves, Maki takes on a quirky self styled ninja named Koji who is more gimmick than anything else and we get some fun with the whole gang of regulars. The lead-up to having her become part of the Fukamachi Rankings formally took a bit longer than I would have expected, but getting back to the crux of it with her fighting – and being more a mirror master than an air master with how she adapts others peoples moves – is what I wanted to see from this series. Though the real fun we had in the early episodes hasn’t resurfaced completely yet (oh, Julietta, where are you…), it is starting to move back towards that direction which is really appreciated.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment

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.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Air Master