Music Monday – Upper Soul 23 Roll

Are you lacking that adrenaline feeling? Have that need to kick people in the face and make inappropriate gestures? Well then, I think a good dose of Air Gear, Music Monday, and therapy is in order. So you better get your A-T on, follow your road, and listen to Chain by BACK-ON.

You ready to wake up, You gotta fly with us~

A ‘master’ mangaka, Ito “Oh! great” Ogure’s manga and subsequent anime have become somewhat legendary, for all the wrong (edit: what? no! right! right!) reasons. Overlooking the throwaway story, Ogure’s sense of style and philosophy (but not characterization :p) are always clearly evident in his work, sometimes being magnificent from time to time… but the heavy service or endless battlez tend to dominate his work.

Many see his previous, and probably better known work, Tenjou Tenge to be equivalent to Ikki Tousen (*cough cough* for more than obvious reasons), however, Air Gear really stood out as something that was all its own. Personally, I think this individuality is due to it’s single defining concept – ‘Freedom’… well for at least a good portion of the series.

Chain is nothing short of the perfect representation of the series, with it’s rap and powerful uplifting moments it dictates the determination of people to break the ‘chain’ that bind and fly, becoming free from the dirty and tedious world, as they soar ever higher. This song always comes to mind whenever I read or watch the series – as the characters speed around, performing tricks that are elaborate as they sound (e.g. “AGITO Ride fall Bloody roll, soul 1800°” or “Spining Wallride Overbank 1800° BuccA Special”), free of any sense of real gravity and/or logic (that does not stop Ogure from trying to establish his own though).

I must admit, that put the series down for a while, but now more than ever am I inspired to go back and catch up with Air Gear. The material might be as shallow as it pretty much gets (not quite the bottom), but I still feel that it has worth, as between the battlez and cleavage you can still see Ogure’s attempt to maintain the ideology of the series and guide the characters down their own paths to find their freedom, whatever it may be and however they might achieve it, flying together all the while.