If you’re into rebellious teenagers, the deadly combination of anti-gravity moves at neck-breaking speed and your life mantra is ‘fortune favors the bold’, then sit tight. You’re in for a marvelous treat. Introducing ‘Air Gear’, the latest anime from Oh! great after the success of Tenjou Tenge. The series follow Itsuki ‘Ikki’ Minami aka ‘Baby Face’ aka ‘Lil’ Crow’, an impulsive fifteen year old delinquent who accidentally discovered the joy of cruising the city with the use of Air Trecks (AT), an extremely aggressive pair of roller blades.
The plot starts when our beloved punk-orphan was beaten up by a gang leader who was in charge of a team of highly skilled AT users or Storm Riders under the emblem of Skull Saders. Returning home to his family of four adoptive sisters, he (accidentally) found out that the Noyamano girls belonged to a legendary AT team, too, called The Sleeping Forest. What’s a curious hero got to do when the sisters go for a bath together? Take the AT out for a spin and a chain of interesting events soon followed. That was very same day he met the bully that made him piss his pants, and this time he miraculously unleashed a new way to fly.
Having started from zero, Ikki joined The Sleeping Forest as a default team but soon developed his own personal team, Kogarasumaru. As the main Storm Rider team in Air Gear they are aiming for the Sky Regalia, the most powerful of all 28 state-of-the-art AT. Its activation was said to unlock all technologies including the military. Ikki’s not the only one with customized turbo powered ‘wings’ and a burning desire to be The Sky King. Here are six more similar shows!
Similar Anime to Air Gear
1) Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven (Eureka Seven)
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: April 2005 – April 2006
All Renton Thurston wanted was to practice the signature Cut-Back-Drop-Turn on his lifter – an equipment similar to a surfing board on land and maybe look as cool as his idol, Holland Novak. Raised by his mechanic grandfather, he considered being closely related to the world’s savior is somewhat awkward since he was never close to his father, the famous late Adroc Thurston. Like Ikki, don’t be fooled by Renton’s innocent baby face because he is the one that thinks only after he jumps. What are the odds of a faulty mecha belonging to Gekkostate - Novak’s renegade team to crash into Renton’s house and (surprise, surprise!) contained the cutest girl ever? His journey started when he decided to help the pilot, Eureka, and made that leap of faith that changed the fate of the world.
Air Gear and Eureka Seven share unpredictably gutsy main casts, an unquenchable thirst for a new breakthrough, and sometimes even gravity is not enough to break The Chosen One’s iron will. Renton knows that someday, somehow, he will be escaping his boring town and one day will reunite with his lost elder sister, Diane. Ikki had always admired Storm Riders and Renton was obsessed with Gekkostate. Both boys were captivated by a bigger happening and wanted to be a part of it. And guess what? They got it.
Eureka Seven (English Sub) – Japanese Promo
2) IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2005 – March 2006 (episode 25 & 26 unaired in Japan)
Takeshi Jin is one of the members of Team Satomi, an amateur rookie team who just won a minor league thus prompted them to a top IGPX league full of ruthless professionals. The series’ universe concentrates on tournament races/battles with weapon studded mechas in a specialized circuit. With racing speeds greater than 400 km/h, 2 separate teams of 3 IGPX mechas should complete a 60 km course with rules determined by a simple ‘anything goes and oh, no deaths please.’ Each team appoints a midfielder, a defender and a forward. Takeshi plays the latter and the guy knows he’s good. Top tips for winning are best teamwork combination, strategy, skills and funding and Team Satomi haven’t got much luck with everything on the list. How will they survive the race and win the most prestigious league title?
Ikki and Takeshi share one thing in common: they’re far too good for someone so lacking in experience. The gifted rookies are the ones who think outside of the box and are willing to risk everything in a spur of a moment gamble. That quality alone makes rooting for them entertaining. Often times the underdogs show up and execute the most creative, original and daring stunts. Be sure not to miss it!
IGPX 2013 Remastered Trailer
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2009 – September 2009
In futuristic Earth Dash, the human population was split into two enormous colonies with the less fortunate dreaming hopelessly of going to a better and technologically advanced Moon. The most anticipated sport was Big Foot Basketball (BFB) where huge mecha controlled players attempt to imitate the old art of dribbling and dunking without much success as the unskilled players/controllers haven’t mastered the art of the complex movements with numerous controls and a wide margin of power. Enter Dan JD aka the legendary hero dubbed Dunk Mask who despite hating BFB with all his heart demonstrated unusual talent in mastering BFB, mostly for taunts, condescension and his personal propaganda. What kind of brother would he be if he’s just going to let those rotten BFB get away with whatever they’ve done to his crippled sister?
Air Gear and Basquash! invest in the power of close-knit relationship and trust between friends and family alike. Ikki and Dan would have not reached the heights of their stardom without a strong support system. Both boys boast reliable teammates with specific skills and well executed plans in order to prove a point. The mastermind trait in them is well worth watching for. The attention to detail demonstrated by Dan on how to purposely destroy all mega screens reporting live BFB game in his hometown with precise slam dunks and timing was an awesome sight to behold. Truth be told, it’s good to be bad sometimes.
Any Animes Like Air Gear ?
4) Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2015 – September 2015
Shokugeki no Soma tells a story of a red haired Yukihira Soma who dreams of surpassing his father’s excellent cooking skills. Just before finishing middle school, his father suddenly announced that he was closing their family restaurant in order to join a partnership with an old friend. The news wasn’t well received by Soma who had been training relentlessly in order to claim his birthright.
Totsuki Culinary Academy entered the picture when Soma was forced to choose a path unfolding to his future. He had always thought that paying for cooking classes was a stupid and laughable idea but witnessing the merciless expulsion of several students from the culinary academy stopped him in his tracks. The elite academy only had 10% rate of graduation and this is the place where top chefs groomed to become the best in the respective field. Soma, of course was born ready.
Air Gear and Shokugeki no Soma present the viewers the competitive world of sports and culinary. They take a simple niche and expanded it to be as complex as it could be with challenges, duels and raising the stakes as the main cast progresses from one level to another. If Ikki was born as the Child of the Wind and even had a small crow nesting in his hair, Soma’s element has always been the kitchen. They constantly think about evolving their skills and styles. The comfort zone was never invented for these boys.
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Trailer
5) Oban Star-Racers
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: June 2006 – December 2006
The only way to explain Oban Star-Racers is like eating fusion food for the first time. The anime is somewhat familiar and different at the same time. In fact, the French/Japanese television series took six long years to develop and features a girl as the main protagonist.
Eva Wei aka Molly left her boarding school in order to find her famous racing manager father, Don Wei. It did not go well as her timing coincides with The Great Oban Race where all skilled racers from all over the galaxy compete for The Ultimate Prize. Her father’s immediate reaction upon seeing her was not something she expected and that makes her even more determined to prove herself worthy as his daughter. So when opportunity presented itself as Earth team’s number one pilot, Rick Thunderbolt was injured, Eva/Molly might be tempted to show her father a thing or two. Her desire to win burns brighter when she found out about the winning prize – the ultimate wish fulfillment. Dare she ask for her dead mother to return?
Oban Star-Racers and Air Gear push the limits from the ordinary to the great perhaps. Although Ikki and Eva share about the same level of rebellious streak and compulsive nature, having a natural talent for flying helped Ikki and Eva for most parts. This can be seen in the first episode when Ikki, having absolutely no idea on how to use an AT, dared to try it out alone while reading a flimsy manual and by the end of the day raced side by side with an experienced Storm Rider. Eva actually assembled her own rocket-seat and expertly fixed a malfunctioning star-racer on the spot. They are willing to give it their all and that’s why they rise after each challenge.
Oban Star-Racers Trailer
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2009 – March 2009
In 2020, the world was under the influence of Global Government Plan (GGP.) Our main protagonist was a rising star in the ballet community, but suffered a serious injury during her show debut that resulted in her early retirement. Fast forward several years later in college, she accidentally wandered into a school club workshop featuring a motorcycle robotic vehicle named Rideback. It was drizzling and she had some time to spare so what else to do? Encouraged by a fellow student-technician, Rin Ogata took a sleek, red RideBack named Fuego out for a spin and soon enough GGP began trailing her wake.
RideBack and Air Gear put one of life’s most important lessons through during the first episode. Experiencing a painful defeat and never giving up is the only way to go for Ikki and Rin. They were humiliated, frustrated and struggled with their unique abilities until a serendipitous encounter reminded them again of their long lost dream. As the series progresses, not only they overcome their fears, they are a better, upgraded versions of themselves.
Who would have thought that perfection is so overrated?
It works in the anime recipe – guts, friendship and glory. For Ikki and the Storm Riders the heavens are just another playground and it’s the same for the rest. By now, consider your ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-watch-next’ dilemma solved. The same adrenaline rush and goosebumps felt while watching Air Gear have been tested true with the series above. The void has been refilled. Witness plenty of laughter, suspense, surprise, beautiful sky and dizzying motions, and above all, witness hope.
If we missed any similar shows, feel free to comment below!