(エアマスター, Ea Masutā
?) is a seinen manga created by Yokusaru Shibata and serialized in Hakusensha's Young Animal. The story focuses on Maki Aikawa, an ex-gymnast turned streetfighter. A 27-episode anime adaptation was produced by Toei Animation. The manga ended in 2006 after a 28 volume run.
Geneon signed an agreement with Toei to release the anime series on DVD in the United States and Canada, but as of August 2006 only four discs have been released, and no further releases have been announced.
Its main character is a 16 year old redheaded schoolgirl who, rather than fighting the typical Anime martial artist mold popular with many otaku, is enormously tall and fairly muscular. In addition, the art style has been described as anything from charmingly rough to crude, resembling the more old school
fighting manga style rather than similarly themed (but even more fanservice oriented) works, like Tenjho Tenge
or Ikki Tousen
. In addition, the series itself is a homage/parody of the fighting genre, as well as other genres, which are well hidden within the entire series.
The series title comes from Maki's nickname as a street fighter, a reference to her acrobatic skills. Maki has climbed buildings, executed death-defying leaps, changed course in mid-air, and pulled off multiple aerial attacks.
Formerly a gymnast who trained under her now-deceased mother, Maki uses her acrobatic skill in her fighting style to increase freedom of movement. Her attacks combine vertiginous leaps and summersaults with the fearsome, furious power of her kicks and throws. Maki has the ability to replicate most nearly any move she gets hit with or sees, and when in combat possesses an awe-inspiring resilience, presence, and strength of will. Since her relationship with her father is conflicted, she lives alone. Maki seems to enjoy street fighting for the 'rush' rather than any sense of revenge or honor. When not fighting, Maki tends to stick out in a crowd due to her unusual height (6 feet, which is very tall for a teen Japanese girl) and appearance, preferring to follow her quartet of friends quietly. Her younger sister comments that Maki is somewhat simple minded. Maki is reluctant to deal with several people obsessed with her. She becomes vulnerable to attack, for a moment, when she gets approached in any romantic way, especially with Julietta Sakamoto. Her signature moves are the "Air Spin Driver" and the " Air Cutter"; she is later shown to master the art of Air Flow.