Shonen manga by Oh!Great, adapted into an anime series, loosely based on inline skating.The creation of borderline-magical self-propelled inline skates, called "Air Treks" or "A-Ts", has revolutionized skating culture, as teenagers push the limits of the skates to Charles Atlas Superpower levels of Roofhopping and Le Parkour. Itsuki Minami — "Ikki" to his friends – is an Ordinary High SchoolDelinquent who runs his own gang — The East Side Gunz — and lives with the four Noyamano Sisters as a dependant, a roommate, and a house boy. Though he admires the Storm Riders, especially Simca, a beautiful, skilled, and somewhat manipulative rider, he is kept from becoming involved in the A-T world by the demands of leading his gang and a lack of spending money to buy A-Ts. However, one day a gang turf war goes horribly wrong when the Gunz' rivals recruit a notoriously vicious Storm Rider team called the Skull'Saders, who beat and humiliate Ikki. In his darkest hour, Ikki's roommates reveal the secret life they have been leading and introduce him to the Storm Rider World. He displays unusual talent with A-Ts and soon defeats the Skull'Saders and founds his own team: Kogarasumaru.Ikki is swept into a brutal world and quickly thrown into the spotlight when Simca declares he will be the next Sky King, the Storm Rider acknowledged to be the most skilled rider in the world. Ikki, ignorant of the significance of this proclamation, runs with it and soon begins to challenge other teams in a semi-organized tournament called the “Parts War,” in which teams challenge and fight each other, betting either A-T parts or their team emblems on the matches. Detailed info on the Parts War can be found at this link. After winning a few matches with the help of his childhood friend Ringo Noyamano, Ikki learns more about the A-T World: there are 8 roads — specialized riding styles — that will allow one to rise to the top of the Storm Rider World, and each road possesses specialized and extremely powerful A-T parts called Regalias that unlock the true potential of a rider who is skilled enough to use them. Those who currently possess the Regalia are known as the 8 Kings, the masters of their chosen roads. This status provides the Kings with no real authority, but successfully claiming the title of King bestows amazing prestige upon the claimant.Because Simca recognizes great potential in Ikki, she tries to recruit him into her team of elite Storm Riders, Genesis. This puts her at odds with Ringo and the other Noyamano sisters, who are members of the legendary Storm Rider team that stands over the A-T World: The Sleeping Forest. Few are actually certain the team exists, and even fewer are aware of why it exists, but one thing that is made clear is that they are firmly opposed to Genesis. While Simca wants to bring Ikki into conflict with The Sleeping Forest and lead Genesis to victory, the Noyamano sisters would rather Ikki stayed on the sidelines, but are willing to reluctantly attack him if he sides against them. As both sides become more and more aggressive towards each other, Ikki finds himself forced to choose a side in their war.Refusing to be used, Ikki declares his independence of both teams and of the current eight roads, choosing to ride his own unique road — The "Hurricane Road" — as its Storm King.Ikki, Ringo, and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine Shuuketsu Choujou Daikessen.The manga was adapted by Toei Animation into a 26 episode anime directed by Hajime Kamegaki. ADV Films produced an English dubbed version starring Chris Patton and Luci Christian as Ikki and Ringo. You can, for now, watch all the episodes of the anime here if you live in the States. A set of three OVAs, produced by Satelight Animation and directed by Shinji Ishihara, was not picked up by any American distributors.The series ended in 2012 after ten years of serialization with a total of 357 chapters.Here's the Character Page. Please list any character specific tropes there.
This series contains examples of:
10-Minute Retirement: Ikki wants NOTHING to do with Air Treks after Sora's true nature is revealed. Luckily, the now deceased Spitfire left behind a video will which is just what our hero needs to get back in the game with a fresh attitude.
A God Am I: Sora after obtaining the Sky Regalia, and Nike's philosophy of absolute control over the ground and sky.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Behemoth's hideout is a massive underground sewer complex that can easily house their entire team with room to spare. They have more than 1000 members.
Action Girl: Most of the females in this series that aren't in Tool Toul To, but Ringo and Rika stand out. Simca is a subversion, as while she is established early on as an extremely skilled rider, leading one to believe she kicks ass, it becomes apparent that skill with A-Ts does not necessarily mean skill in battle, and when you think about it, she was never really hyped as a combatant, let alone a strong one.
Actually a Doombot: Nike pulls this on Onigiri when the latter appears to be beating him. The Robot blows up, wounding Onigiri, and Nike steps out of a door, vaguely amused.
Adaptation Distillation: The anime cuts quite a bit of content from the manga and adds some original scenes, changing the beginning of the series and streamlining the story a bit. However, they cut out a few side characters and get rid of quite a bit of some minor characters' characterization.
Alas, Poor Yorick: While he waited for Ikki to come to fight him, Sora sat holding Kilik's severed head in his lap.
All There in the Manual: The "manual" in this case being the manga, and the work in question being the OVAs. The OVAs are little more than animated versions of some of the more kick-ass fights in the middle of the series, such as Ikki vs. Ringo. They leave out many plot points, such as why it's happening in the first place (the first OVA starts with Simca being attacked, which is several volumes after the anime ended) and why specific things in the battle happen (like Ringo's Heroic RROD). All the trivia is given little to no explanation, leaving someone unfamiliar with the series confused as hell, but leaving a fan of the series who knows what's going on enjoying a well animated fight.
Always in Class One: With the exception of Buccha, all of the main characters are in Tomita's class, which is class 2-1. Even Akito/Agito and Kururu, who transfer in, are in the same class as (almost) everyone else.
Art Evolution: Starting out, Air Gear looked like mid Tenjho Tenge. However, like with any other long running series, the art of Air Gear got better as it went.
Art Major Biology: Oh!Great either has an extremely poor grasp of biology or else he doesn't care. Probably both. It just makes the series more fun when outrageous stuff happens and you're a fool if you actually take this series seriously so the inaccuracies shouldn't matter.
Art Shift: Happens whenever most characters start joking around: they get all chibified, or they turn into a round body with a head and stick-limbs. This is inverted for Onigiri: he gets major art shifts whenever he gets serious at which point he starts to look like a pig.
Artistic License - Physics: Possibly justified in that the series revolves around technology that allows people to ignore the laws of physics if they're good enough.
Awesome, but Impractical: Regalia can be considered this. On one hand they can help the user gain an advantage in a Parts War match or in a straight up A-T battle, but using the Regalia's Infinity Atmosphere (that is to say, an extremely powerful trick that is unique to the road, if not the regalia themselves) too many times can take a toll on the user's body and even seriously injure them.
As You Know: Aeon Clock delivers one to Kogarasumaru when explaining the finer points of the Parts War system. It's somewhat justified in that of the ten people he was speaking to, only Ringo and Buccha would have been fully aware of the system: while Ikki, Kazu, and Onigiri had experience with the Parts War, the three of them are Crouching Moron, Hidden Badasses who don't pay much attention to that kind of stuff, and the five others (Emily, Yayoi, and three tagalongs) would have had little to no experience with the Parts War.
Benkei loses her right leg from mid-thigh down. It's not pretty and the end of the stump is covered in bandages.
In Ikki and Ringo's fight with Sora and Rika, Ringo takes a nasty attack that grazes the side of her face, giving her a visible bruise over her right eye, which she later covers with a makeshift eye-patch.
Air Treks stretch the possible to its breaking point but it's actually subverted. At the start of the manga, it is easy to forget that tricks only seemed to be able to grant users flight.
Granted the series has characters doing almost impossible tricks like shooting "Fangs" out of their A-T's, stopping time, or redistributing body weight long enough to beef up and kick some serious ass right from the start, but it seems somewhat plausible tricks all but fade from the story once Gabishi shows up near the end of Volume 13. The guy survives getting crushed like a bug by an 18-wheeler during his pursuit of Kazu and Emily. Might be justified in that he's one of the Gravity Children who seem to be stronger than the average human being, but still...
The real kicker is near the end of the series. Clashing the energies of the Sky and Storm Regalias somehow disrupts gravity for a moment on Earth that people and objects temporarily float in the air. They defied the laws of physics to that extent.
Ikki's A-Ts were badly damaged before his fight with Nue and his entire team, and he only has one person for support while Nue has twenty Gravity Children. Just as things are starting to look bad, all of the badass minor characters who have been spending the last twelve volumes on a bus are air dropped into the battle.
Plug Man Tanaka, the announcer with the TV for a head, swoops in during the final chapter and saves Rika and Ringo.
Double Subverted when Kaito interrupts Agito's battle with Arthur and Shalott. Being just a normal, he doesn't really do much except hit Shalott once, but when he starts taking hits, Lind gets pissed, comes out, and utterly trashes Arthur and Shalott. This, of course, was his plan all along.
Big Damn Kiss: Ikki and Ringo. It's a two page spread with small shots of all the important memories — good and bad — the two of them have had together at the bottom of the pages.
Big "NO!": Most of the main cast scream "NOOOOOOO!" after Akito kisses Ikki.
Bishie Sparkle: Some characters, mostly Ikki, get these from time to time. It's rarely meant to be taken seriously and signifies when the character is going into a painfully obvious Bitch in Sheep's Clothing mode.
Bishōnen: Spitfire, Agito, Black Burn (before the scarring), Falco (before he got fat), Black Flame, Orca... The list goes on.
Black and Gray Morality: The World of Air Treks is a bad, brutal, and severely fucked up place to live in. Ikki is the White Knight of the series and he would look kinda sociopathic in any other setting.
Black Comedy Rape: There's Tomita Mari who keeps thinking she's about to get raped by a student, and then there's Emily Adachi, who has a running gag of pretending she's being sexually assaulted when she takes her jacket off. Both of these are played for laughs.
Bond Breaker: The old Sleeping Forest was shattered when Kilik and Sora had a falling out over the Sky Regalia. Since then, Kilik severed all contact with his former teammates with the exception of the only one who remained neutral, and the rest of the team members scattered: Spitfire decided to reclaim his title, Rika retired, Sora was crippled, Falco became a recluse, Black Burn became a drunk and never involved himself with A-Ts without a disguise, and Dauntless seems to have disappeared.
Boobs of Steel: The two members of the fairer sex in this series who kick the most ass are Rika and Ringo. With the possible exception of Simca, they also have the biggest tits.
Boom, Headshot: Kaito shoots a Storm Rider pointblank in the forehead with a .50 caliber rubber bullet. The poor guy wasn't killed, but his helmet shattered and he was knocked out.
Book Dumb: The members of Kogarasumaru get absolutely terrible marks in school.
Born Winner: The Gravity Children have unnatural talent with A-Ts and the ability to quickly and easily analyze their environment with perfect accuracy. Because riding A-Ts is like Le Parkouron steroids, with a rider needing obstacles and perches to accelerate off of, having a perfect 3-D map in one's head makes life a whole lot easier.
The Wind Regalia prototype Ikki is given by Kururu to aid him in his fight against Ringo breaks after being used twice.Turns out fellow Tool Toul To member Hako switched the Regalias behind Kururu's back before the latter went to give it to Ikki.
This becomes a recurring trope regarding Ikki's A-Ts. In the early volumes, this is played for laughs as Ikki's A-Ts are always in need of repair because he breaks them during an A-T match. Later on, however, this is played for drama as Ikki's A-Ts take a hell of a beating when he uses the Null Wind trick during the Slepnir match and as a result are in danger of breaking. Luckily, Aeon's loli-maid gives them a quick repair just before Ikki races Nue across the battleship.
When he first appears in the manga (back at the time when Obama was still running) he was referred to as a candidate. By his next appearance (after the 2008 election but before Obama was sworn in)), he was referred to as "President Elect."
Cast Herds: The teams. Each team is usually less than ten members, and if it is more than that, it is truly massive with only a few characters in focus. The teams usually keep to themselves, and the main three are Kogarasumaru, The Sleeping Forest, and Genesis.
Catch Phrase: Kogarasumaru has either "Crush! Kill! Destroy!" or "Kill 'em dead!" depending on which translation you go by.
Cat Fight: Averted. With the exception of some of Onigiri's fights, fights that involve girls are taken seriously and often have brutal consequences, such as the almost-assassination of Simca.
Cerebus Syndrome: While the series was never sunshine and flowers, it got noticeably darker with the deaths of Spitfire and Aeon Clock and The Reveal that Sora is the Big Bad.
Charles Atlas Superpower: Everyone who is badass, even the Gravity Children and Brain Chargers. The subjects of the two bio-engineering projects only received mental upgrades, yet they, and normal humans, can still take horrendous amounts of damage and control insane levels of power because they train hard enough.
The wheels Ikki is given by the owners of the Grand Slum near the end of Chapter 5? Turns out to be the main component of the Wind Regalia.
While on the topic of it, While Sora's explaining to Ikki, Agito, and The Sleeping Forest what's really been going on this whole time, he mentions that he didn't want the Wind Regalia to fall into Ikki's hands and Agito asks why. Sora just casually brushes the question off and only says that Ikki would have been much more powerful than him if he had the Regalia in his possession. In more recent chapters, we find out why Sora really didn't want the Wind Regalia falling into Ikki's hands. Turns out it's incorporated with the strength of 21 other regalias he and Nike stole off of other Gravity Children over the years.
The strange place Ikki and Koroji visit briefly in Chapter 5? Turns out to be the Trophauem Tower when Ikki later recognizes it during he and Agito's brief stay at Tool Toul To headquarters in Vol 17.
Spitfire and Aeon Clock are mentioned to have been on the same team at some point during the past during Kogarasumaru's battle against Behemoth. Guess who teams up against the Takeuchi brothers later on?
East Shinonome High School's Crying Statue Secret and how it really works allow the rest of the team to hear what Ikki tells Ringo about the Genesis Union in chapter 91 after being revealed tens of chapters earlier.
In recent chapters, the flame regalia since it can tap into skylink and copy other road's tricks. This proves helpful for Kazu in his battle against Nike.
Nike is mentioned in passing several volumes before his introduction. Then he makes his entrance by kidnapping someone before revealing himself to be a BadassHero Killer.
Hanged Man. The guy with the weird mask covered in parts of a face who punches Ikki for not getting in line for the Glam Slum shop. More than 200 chapters later, he's revealed to be one of the last two missing members of the original Sleeping Forest, the Thunder King of the Rising Road and Nue's father, Black Burn.
Chick Magnet: Ikki has Ringo, Simca, and Kururu after him, and in the manga (cut from the anime), Emily wanted him early on as well.
Rika is an inversion: She had at least three members of Sleeping Forest in love with her: Sora, Kilik, and Dontores.
Clothing Damage: A side-effect of fighting Onigiri. That isn't to say that it never happens elsewhere; in fact, it happens in every single fight, regardless of the genders of those involved. Onigiri just weaponizes it.
Cloudcuckoolander: Much of the main cast is decidedly odd, possessing some rather weird values and ways of perceiving the world.
Color Failure: Ikki actually turns grey after the first time Akito kissed him.
Combat Stilettos: Several female A-T riders have these, such as Simca (her second pair, which were also Zettai Ryouiki), Freya of Team Sleipnir, Benkei, and Ringo (her second and third pair). The first two have A-Ts with a single standard-sized wheel near the toes + long heels and Benkei has three tiny wheels, two side by side on the toes and one on the heel. Ringo's second pair of A-Ts used the ball-roller system, so they actually looked like a pair of normal high-heeled boots, and her third pair were high-heels with slightly smaller than average wheels at the front and slightly larger wheels than average at the back.
Combination Attack: Agito's Fang tends to lend itself well to these. Ikki has often used it to power his attacks and has even ridden on it.
Competence Zone: Air Gear notably averts this. While the main characters are 14-15, many other skilled riders and established badasses are in their later teens and early twenties. Others are in their early thirties, and even much older men get Awesome Moments because even though they aren't as spry as the younger characters, they are far more experienced and know how to get things done.
Compressed Adaptation: The anime cuts out several minor characters and events. The OVAs go even further and cut out almost everything that isn't people beating each other to a pulp.
Orihara, sort of. He's not that old, and seems like a total hardass, but he went to great lengths to insure that Ton-chan would graduate, and genuinely cares about students like Ikki. He was even willing to pay Akito's fee for the class trip.
Koroji, the Headmaster of East Shinonome High, is the oldest character in the series and awesome enough to declare Ikki the Storm King of the Hurricane Road.
Kururu's father, and the rest of his team, for that matter. A bunch of old guys join the A-T world to help their failing company, win the respect of one of their biggest rivals, and then beat Kogarasumaru!
Creepy Cool Crosses: Kilik wore them on his clothes in the past, and all the Gravity Children's Twinkle Eyes invoke this. More often than not, when a Gravity Child reveals their Twinkle Eyes, most, if not all their face is shadowed so it's just like seeing two glowing crosses.
Crippling Overspecialization: The Fang Regalia can be seen to have this as activating it deprives the user of the ability to jump with the A-Ts it's installed on.
Nike and Sora vs. Spitfire and Aeon Clock counts. Nike no selled everything they threw at him and Sora finished them off with almost embarrassing ease.
The Original Sleeping Forest vs. Kogarasumaru. Kogarasumaru didn't even stand a chance, though in a subversion, while they all got their asses kicked, they still won because of the Instant-Win Condition present.
Kilik and other Gravity Children vs. The Sleeping Forest. Subverted for Sora when it is revealed that he threw the match, but Spitfire, Black Burn, Falco, and Dauntless all got taken to pieces.
Cut Short: The anime, which only ran for 26 episodes.
Dead Person Conversation: Spitfire often advises Kogarasumaru from Electric Brain Space and in the finale, Aeon Clock and Dr. Minami join him.
Defeat Means Friendship: How Ikki came to befriend Buccha. Similarly, despite his harsh treatment of her, Natsumi of the Sabel Tigers developed a crush on Ikki after her loss at his hands. Inuyama of the Rez-Boa Dogs and the entirety of team Behemoth eventually warmed up to him, too, especially after Simca named him their leader.
Denied Food as Punishment: If Ikki ever pisses off the Noyomano sisters, he doesn't get to eat during their next "meat night."
Depraved Homosexual: Arthur and Shalott. Arthur is a masochist who pelvic thrusts against his male opponent Agito and nibbles on his ear while fighting him. He also has flamboyant mannerisms, speaks in a polite manner, and frequently releases heart marks whenever he's reveling in the feeling of pain. Shalott is a loli who wears a frilly looking dress and has an Unsettling Gender-Reveal with Agito, revealing that he's actually a girly-looking guy who is in a BDSM type relationship with Arthur. The end of chapter 279 has him pin Agito to the ground and straddle him, saying after he tortures him then Agito can "lick it" if he wants.
Difficult but Awesome: This is the in-universe opinion of Ball-Roller A-Ts◊. They forgo the in-line wheels typical of most A-Ts and replace them with balls in sockets, kinda like old-school computer mice. They have 360 degree rotation, so they're very versatile and one can move in any direction with them. On the flip side, the wheels are much smaller so it is harder to jump as high or run as fast as one is used to. However, if one is skilled enough, the difference in power is barely noticeable and the extra agility is extremely helpful.
Dirty Coward: Gawain, the goth Gravity Child who attacked Osaka. He won't attack unless he's sure his enemy won't be able to fight back.
Distant Finale: It appears to take place three to four months after the final conflict is resolved, note Rika's pregnancy appears to be in the later stages of the second trimester, and she was already going through morning sickness by the time her pregnancy was revealed.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Mikan and Rika are hilariously abusive towards Ikki, and it's safe to say that if he ever pulled that kind of shit on any woman, he would be thrown in jail (unless he pulled it on either of those two, in which case he would just be killed). It's played for laughs, though, and happens less and less as the series continues.
Early-Bird Cameo: The first episode of the anime squeezes in a cameo by Spitfire, Agito and the Windstorm G-men, and other characters.
Enemy Mine: Despite technically being enemies, Kilik and Ikki come to an understanding and unite against Genesis.
Enemy Scan: The R.E.A.D. software installed in cellphones allows people to check the stats of nearby A-T riders. These include their power level, class, and the number of tricks they have performed.
Everyone Can See It: Despite Ikki's insistence that he's in love with Simca, most of Team Kogarasumaru thinks it's obvious that he and Ringo belong to one another.
Exotic Eye Designs: The Gravity Children all have a cross in the center of their pupils, called Twinkle Eyes. Brainchargers have the same design plus another smaller cross turned 45 degrees, making something like an eight-point star. These are called Over-Cross Twinkle Eyes. All of the Gravity Children with the exception of Kilik and all of the Brain Chargers with the exception of Lind prefer to keep these designs hidden until they get serious.
Extremity Extremist: With only a few exceptions, everyone who actually fights fits this. While a few abilities are activated with one's hands (such as the Flame Road's time ability, which typically involves the user hitting their target's pressure points and joints), actual attacks and tricks are performed almost exclusively by legs and feet. Justified in that the legs and feet are where all their powers come from.
Dontores, former Rumble King of The Sleeping Forest, is the exact opposite. While he has A-Ts on his feet to let him run and jump, his Regalia are worn on his hands and forearms like gauntlets and he is never shown attacking with anything else. Other riders, like Mitsuru Bando and Fuumei Goshogawara also prefer hitting with their fists.
Eye Scream: Happens from time to time. A notable example is when Sora plucks out his own eyes.
Black Burn of the former Sleeping Forest lost his right eye, probably in the battle with Kilik.
Face-Heel Turn: Sora in the manga. Turns out he was plotting to take the position of Sky King all along and by stringing Ikki along, he managed to speed his plan's agenda considerably.
Face Palm: John Omaha does this in Chapter 328 after Ikki tells Ringo to tune him and the Tool Toul To girls go ballistic.
Fan Disservice: Some examples, like a naked Simca with her chest covered in blood stand out.
Fictional Sport: There's the National Foot Air-League (NFA), which has a sport that seems like a cross between football and racing. It's sort of introduced to remind the reader that A-Ts aren't only used for beating the crap out of one another.
The Lancer — Kazu: the main character's best friend whose lack of confidence provides a counterpoint to Ikki.
The Big Guy — Buccha & Onigiri: respectively: the biggest member of the team who tends to rely on strength more than anything and the least skilled team member who can only rely on a surplus of raw power in certain situations.
The Smart Guy — Agito: the most intelligent and tactically-inclined member of the team.
The Chick — Yayoi: the team's caretaker who makes sure the team members don't drop dead from exhaustion from overworking themselves.
The Sixth Ranger — Emily: she didn't really have a specific role in the team and Unless she's needed for a six-man battle, she's mostly a substitute if someone else is injured/busy.
Foregone Conclusion: Kaito's backstory has one: He falls in love with Gazelle and soon after the two of them are forced to flee from the Takeuchi brothers. Despite putting up a valiant fight, anybody who's read any other part of the manga knows that nothing they do will any effect because A) both Takeuchi brothers are alive and well by the beginning of the series, and B) it has been stated that Gazelle died years before the story began.
The Noyamano sisters don't like the fact that Ikki and his team form an alliance with Genesis following the Behemoth battle. Ringo especially dislikes this as it would cause Kogarasumaru to become enemies with The Sleeping Forest. Guess what happens later on when Ikki learns who's behind the attack on Simca...
In the simulated battle with the old Sleeping Forest, the Thunder King Black Burn states that it's his son's birthday. Guess who Nue's father turned out to be?
Friendly Enemy: Given how everybody is competing with everybody, more than half the storm riders in the cast are this, as outside the rather small number of people that make up your team, the only people who share your interests are your opponents and rivals.
Full Potential Upgrade: Regalia are considered this, as they allow a sufficiently skilled rider to use their road's special abilities. It's still possible without them, but exceptionally difficult. For example, Spitfire was extremely surprised when Agito fired off a Fang with only regular A-Ts, but once he gets the Fang Regalia, he starts shooting them off left, right, and center.
Gang of Hats: Most teams are this, with Kogarasumaru, Genesis, and The Sleeping Forest being the only aversions.
Gecko Ending: The anime is 26 episodes but only covers one third of the manga and ends with Ikki taking a challenge of trying to jump over some of his friends (The Devil's 33 Challenge). It ends with him managing to succeed after a few tries. Note that this happens in the manga and the anime makes fewer changes than most Gecko Endings, only really changing the challenge's nature from another hurdle Ikki jumps over into the climax of the story.
Genetic Engineering: The Gravity Children and Brain Chargers were heavily tampered with. Both were modified to be able to easily use A-Ts, and the Brain Chargers were made to want to fly.
Glasses Pull: Yoshitune the Rumble King takes off his glasses when he stops fooling around and gets serious. It's less dramatic than most straight examples of the trope, and he takes them off because they're dark shades and he wants people to clearly see how pissed he is.
Gondor Calls for Aid: When Kogarasumaru invades Genesis' aircraft carrier, Aeon Clock knows they're outgunned, so he sends out requests for aid to several characters who have established themselves as badasses in the past, including two members of the former Sleeping Forest
Grievous Harm with a Body: At one point in a match fought on platforms on top of poles, Onigiri gets knocked off his and lands on Emily's, leading to one of his extremely few accidental pervert moments. In response, she kicks him away and he hits one of their opponents, knocking them both out of the match.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. The people who relied on the abilities that were handed to them (eg. The Gravity Children) were all beaten by normals who trained themselves to hell and back. Even Ikki, who was extremely talented, practiced incessantly between fights. To quote Buccha:
"I might just be an average person, but as I stood with geniuses like you and Agito... I realized something. Once I actually tried to catch up, I realized geniuses aren't that amazing!"
Heel-Face Turn: Buccha, Agito/Akito, Behemoth. Every enemy with a bit of characterization whose name isn't Sora or Nike.
Heroic BSOD: A lot of characters experience this throughout the series and there are a few notable examples:
Ikki has one when Sora is revealed to be the Big Bad.
Kazu when the Flame Regalia were stolen.
During the ongoing battle between Ikki and Sora, nearly everyone experiences this when Sora reveals that he has NEVER turned on his Air Treks in all of his previous battles and only deciding to do so now that he believes that Ikki is a Worthy Opponent.
Ikki abuses his teammates quite a bit and it's always played for laughs.
Even Spitfire and Aeon Clock get in on it: after they kick-spammed Nike early in their fight, they get into an argument over who got more kicks in. Then they go right back to kicking him, trying to one-up each other.
Onigiri shows that he's more than a pervert when he tells Ikki about how much he appreciates girls and women as people. He'll still admire the female body, but he'll also look deeper.
Orihara at first seems like just a hardass teacher with a heart of gold, but it's implied that, at least at some point in the past, he had deep connections with the A-T world. For one thing, he managed to climb a smooth wall to jam the school clock, and in the anime, he jammed it with an A-T wheel. Later in the manga, while he never plays a large part in the story, he is often seen with Koroji, East Shinonome's Headmaster, taking a spectator role in the main conflict in the series over the Sky Regalia.
Home Field Advantage: The main thing about being challenged to a parts war is the challenged team know their own territory and can also set traps and use the environment against the opposing team.
Hostage Situation: In later chapters, Sora kidnaps his (quite likely by now) former girlfriend Rika (who's pregnant with HIS kid) and put her into a death trap in a bid to keep The Sleeping Forest from fighting his team on The Sleeping Forest's home turf. Then he gets her Brainwashed and Crazy and sends her out to attack The Sleeping Forest. It actually took quite the Batman Gambit from Kilik to get Rika restrained without harming her or her baby.
Humongous Mecha: Somehow possible using A-T tech. Used predominantly in the attack on Osaka. Yoshitsune wasn't impressed.
Ice-Cream Koan: All of the philosophic shit in Air Gear — and there is a lot — sounds deep at first glance, but thinking about it for five seconds makes one realize it's almost completely meaningless. Then again, the draw of this series is the action and the Fanservice, so it's unlikely any of the readers are actually expecting deep philosophical tracts from the characters.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Gazelle, as seen in a flashback, doesn't seem to see anything wrong with hanging upside down in a oversized shirt and no bra. Kaito has to hold her shirt up for her.
Instant-Win Condition: The "Balloon" class of A-T battle: it doesn't matter if no-one is left standing on your team, so long as the "chaser" gets the balloon, as seen in the Kogarasumaru vs Past Sleeping Forest battle — Kogarasumaru, as expected, gets utterly slaughtered, but they still win because they get the balloon.
Kill the Cutie: Nike twists Sharome's head all the way around in Chapter 289. It's sadder when you remember that Sharome was trying her best to protect Rika from being brainwashed by attempting to become the new Thorn Queen of Genesis, even though she wasn't a Gravity Child and was weaker than Onigiri.
Averted when a few soldiers find and save a dying girl whose neck was nearly broken in chapter 326. It is likely that this is Sharome, and she makes a reappearance in the last chapter.
Last-Second Chance: When Nike's backstory is revealed, Nike is offered one of these. He refuses it utterly.
Living Props: The Tool Toul To girls. Out of all of them, the only ones who really get any lines or characterization are Kururu, Hako, Konomi, and Kana. The rest of them are just there, but their character designs are always consistent, and it is clear that each one is a character, albeit an extremely minor one.
Team Kogarasumaru insists that Ringo and Ikki are made for each other, but Ikki begs to differ, as his heart belongs to Simca. To settle the question Onigiri asks Ikki to close his eyes and try to visualize the face of the girl he likes. Cue two-page spread of Kururu Sumeragi. To say Ikki is shocked would be an understatement. It's subverted later, though.note As of chapter 327, Kururu is not the one whom Ikki will "tune" with (tuning is quite close to having sex, and performed more often than not by official couples), since she's actually holding the aircraft carrier they're in together. After he thanks Kururu gently for her hard work, Ikki actually asks Ringo to tune in with him. So in the end, Ringo became the Victorious Childhood Friend.
In Chapter 247, Ikki realizes just how much Ringo means to him after she confesses to him. He realizes just how much he depended on her, just how much he needed her, and just how much he had been taking her for granted.
Macguffin: The Sky Regalia. It has the ability to control anything that incorporates A-T technology. Because A-Ts really are just small and extremely efficient motors, the technology has been incorporated into almost everything to make it cheaper and more effective. A-T tech has given rise to, among other things, truly massive guns mounted on equally massive platforms, and the Keeper of the Sky Regalia would have control over all of that.
Inuyama headbutted an eighteen-wheeler (toned down to headbutting a water tower in the anime) and came out no worse for it.
Gabishi had got rammed into a wall by an eighteen-wheeler and like Inuyama, he really didn't seem phased by it.
Nike shrugs off everything that gets thrown at him and stood up after taking an attack that took down an aircraft carrier.
Magic from Technology: All the ridiculous shit that the people in this series pull is caused by A-T Technology, and everything is vaguelybased on Real Life physics, but a lot of it wouldn't look out of place in a Final Fantasy game. Anything from flying to freezing one's own blood is given a quick, "scientific" explanation by either a character or the narrative before both move on.
The Magnificent: All of the kings are this with their title being just as well known as, if not more, than their actual names.
Sora Takeuchi. Initially, he's portrayed as a mentor/brother figure to Ikki and helped train him to use the Wind Regalia. In reality, he was just using poor Ikki so that he could reclaim the Wind Regalia. He later takes this to a whole new level after executing his grand-master plan to obtain the Sky Regalia. Not only did his cowardly and villainous personality turn out to be false (allowing Kilik to drop his guard and be led into thinking that Sora was a shallow and self-centered person), his original defeat against Kilik during the collapse of the Old Sleeping Forest was planned from the beginning as he only needed to collect the missing codes of the remaining Regalias that was required to unlock the full potential of the Sky Regalia. He succeeds. Now he's the Sky King, thereby succeeding in fulfilling his own made-up prophecy. Afterwards he gives a speech telling the whole world he did all of this to solve all world issues and 'save' all of the 'good defects' (aka humans), in which he claims to be 99% of the world's population (with the 1% being hinted at as the Gravity Children, most notably Kilik). How does the vast majority of the world react to this? They applaud him for his actions.
Though not nearly to the same extent as the bastard mentioned above, Simca counts as a minor version of this early in the manga. All of her interactions with Ikki are (mostly successful) attempts at bringing out his full potential and (mostly unsuccessful) attempts at making him loyal to her.
Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everyone watching the final match between Ikki and Sora has an Oh Crap moment when Sora reveals that he has never once turned on his Air Treks in battle until now. Oh Crap indeed.
Switched around on Sora when Ikki reveals he's never been battling with his regaila. He gave it to Ringo to use as a trump card. He's been fighting with regular Air Treks the whole time.
Mind Rape: It is heavily implied that the process that creates Brain Chargers is this. Fortunately, and at the same time, unfortunately, the person's entire personality is wiped, memory and all, so they at least don't remember the mental trauma.
Mind Screw: Oh!Great is the lord and master of this trend in the Manga world.
Misery Poker: A more lighthearted example of this trope than usual occurs between Ringo and Konomi. Ringo talks about how tough life was for the family, and for Rika in particular, because they had no money. Konomi then pipes up, telling Ringo she won't lose when it comes to having a sad past because she was so poor that she once spent two weeks living off of the scraps of food a supermarket threw away. However, both girls are well adjusted despite their past and aren't competing for sympathy. It almost turns into a bonding session when they find common ground.
Missing Mom: Rika's mother is a non-entity for most of the series. She finally makes an appearance talking to Dr. Minami late in the manga, and appears in the final chapter with Rika. The two seem to be on good terms, as Mrs. Noyamano told Dr. Minami that she had had dinner with Rika recently, and she is shown giving Rika advice, but for some reason, Rika had to raise four other children on her own and had to provide for them.
Nike does this from time to time, going from threatening something to laughing like a maniac just to screw with people.
Sora does it as well for his own sick amusement. After Kogarasumaru fails to get a seed in the Gram Scale Tournament, Sora goes from laughing his ass off to using a game console controller to make the lobotomized captain of his aircraft carrier laugh as well.
Mooks: The Windstorm G-men. They're elites compared to everyday normal cops, but in this series, the only thing they have going for them is the fact that it's an extremely serious crime to assault a police officer. If a powerful Storm Rider doesn't care about that, they're toast.
Muscles Are Meaningless: Played with. Most tricks don't really rely on muscle strength as much as they rely on good technique, so you can still kick ass without having large muscles. Still, though the vast majority of characters are Made of Iron in some way, those with significant muscle mass (Buccha, Nike, and Dauntless of the original Sleeping Forest) can take far more punishment than anyone else and possess monstrous physical strength.
Mushroom Samba: Ikki & Ume have one early in the series. Ikki tried to bribe Ume with some Matsutake, but unbeknownst to either of them, they were actually halucinogens of some kind. Hilarity Ensues.
Regalia are more or less this. It's anything BUT easy obtaining one, but its a nice treasure for you and your team to have.
After Ikki's fight with Ringo his A-T's are once again trashed along with the phony Wind Regalia. As he tells Kururu when she asks him WHY he didn't bring his A-T's along with him when Tool-Toul-To is in the area doing free A-T maintenance, Ikki says something along the lines of he didn't feel like repairing them since they were given to him as a gift by the Noyamano sisters and that he wants to make a pair he can truly call his own. Cue Ikki and Agito staying at Tool Toul To headquarters and Ikki finding a vast sea of A-T parts. After Sora reveals his true colors to everyone Ikki is seen sporting a white pair of A-T's with black stripes on them. It's implied he made them himself.
Nice Hat: Part of the official uniform of Team Tool Toul To.
No Gravity for You: The finals of the Gram Scale Tournament take place in the Tower of Trophaeum, in a room with zero gravity. The Gravity Children of The Sleeping Forest, who are not only used to these conditions, but bred for them, have a distinct advantage over everybody else.
Trophaeum. When first read, it is often pronounced "troph-ay-uhm" or "troph-ee-uhm." However, the proper pronunciation is "Tro-pie-uhm," with the 'H' being silent as "Trophaeum" is actually an alternate spelling of the Roman word "Tropaeum."
Nike. While his name is a clear and obvious reference to the Greek Goddess of Victory, and his translated name is spelled the same way as her name, it isn't pronounced "N-eye-kee." It's pronounced "Nee-kay," the way the romanji would typically be read. Apparently, this confusion was so common that the official translations felt the need to include a note telling the reader the correct pronunciation.
Non-Action Girl: Everyone in Team Tool Toul To except Kanon and maybe Rune.
Nosebleed: Often, sometimes from characters you wouldn't expect it from.
Not Quite Flight: A-Ts don't let you fly, but if you're really good, you can jump insane distances at insane speeds and use the density of the wind to keep you up a little longer.
Off Model: The second OVA has rather poor animation, to say the least.
Official Couple: Agito and Yayoi, Kazu and Emily, Ikki and Ringo. Possibly Nike and Simca. Possibly.
One Steve Limit: Played with. Sora and his twin brother have the same name, but said twin has the nickname "Nike" which everyone except his brother uses. So while they have the same name, there's rarely any confusion, and in the untranslated japanese manga, the kanji used are very different, so there's even less confusion there.
Only One Name: Justified for the Gravity Children, as they were either born in test tubes or experimented on from a very early age. However, for some reason, a few of them have last names for no real reason, like the Takeuchi Brothers or Alexander Locke, a second generation Gravity Child.
Otaku: Freya of Sleipnir has a fan-club full of fat otakus. Whenever Freya is attacked they get outraged, and whenever they get outraged, the announcer comments that the "fat and greasy" fan-club is getting riled up.
Paper-Thin Disguise: School Swimsuit Mask The Masked Croissant (Croissant Mask in the dub), created by Ringo in order to assist Ikki's team without abandoning her team, The Sleeping Forest. Few important characters are fooled.
People Puppets: The Pledge Regalia allows the Pledge Queen to control up to eight members of her team as if they were extensions of her own body, giving each of them all of her skill. This is extremely draining on the people used as "puppets."
Perpetual Poverty: While it's not so much of a problem now that Rika is an adult and a pro-wrestling champion, the Noyomano family had to scrape by before the series began. Rika didn't even go to high-school because she was so busy with part-time jobs, and the other sisters + Ikki would steal food from their school cafeterias at the end of the month and Rika would get scraps of food from restaurants, supposedly for her dog. It was so bad that at one point Mikan tried to run away from home just so that Rika would have one less mouth to feed. Even in the series proper, while they have A-Ts, they don't really have much money, and the sisters' refusal to give Ikki replacement parts when he would just trash them the next time he challenged someone becomes Fridge Brilliance when you realize that they don't have the money to replace his parts so often.
The Plan: Sora's plan to take the throne of the Sky King. He had a plan going that would have taken years, but when Ikki appears in the A-T World, he switches his plan up a little and uses Ikki to get Tool Toul To perfect the Wind Regali and to draw out The Sleeping Forest. Then he kidnaps Rika to use as a hostage, knowing that both Ikki and Kilik would have their hands tied trying to avoid hurting her. Then, in the battle with The Sleeping Forest, he shows them such a massive display of power that Kilik is forced to unlock the powers of all the Regalia The Sleeping Forest possessed which, incidentally, Sora needed to unlock the Sky Regalia. On top of it all, he had been manipulating Kilik and all the other characters: For almost all his life, he had put on an act, acting like a sly, cowardly man who was afraid of getting hurt if his plans backfired, but in reality, he was fearless almost to a fault and perfectly willing to risk everything to achieve his goals. Because Kilik misjudged how Sora would react to the devastating attack all of The Sleeping Forest unleashed, instead of cutting Sora off from the Sky Regalia forever, he unwittingly handed it to him on a silver platter.
Police Brutality: The Windstorm G-men are quite ruthless, preferring to simply open fire on a suspect rather than get a clear picture. The only thing that prevents them all from collectively stepping over the Moral Event Horizon is the fact that they use rubber bullets. Still, if they tried any of that shit in Real Life, at best, they would be kicked out of the force, and at worst, they would be thrown behind bars. Their behavior being allowed is hand waved in a comment that the cops only got really bad after new anti-A-T laws were passed.
When Rika, the oldest sibling, finds out Ikki is doing Air Treks. She forbids him from doing it claiming he's not good at it. As it turns out she was just scared for him due to her past with Sora and fearing an accident would seriously hurt or kill Ikki. Of course Ikki just gets more determined to prove her wrong, so she's more or less forced to come clean with her reasons.
Whenever anything about Genesis or The Sleeping Forest came up around the three younger Noyamano Sisters, they would refuse to talk to Ikki about it because the laws of The Sleeping Forest forbade them from doing so.
Ikki is absolutely stunned when Ringo kisses him and just stands there for quite some time afterwards.
And of course, there's all the times when Akito kisses Ikki.
Power Glows: In the anime, at least, when a badass rider gets serious, they have a Battle Aura that the viewer can see.
Power Levels: Provided by the R.E.A.D. software. A battle level of 75 is considered enough to qualify a rider to be "King Class." However, that is by no means as high as it gets. By the final battle, Ikki's R.E.A.D. level is 350 and Ringo's is 320. Nike's, the highest shown in the series, is 428. Sora's is presumably higher, and thanks to the series' love of Next Tier Power Ups, Ikki's is likely higher by the end as well, but this is unconfirmed in-series.
Worn by Genesis mooks. Once again, we have the myriad uses of A-T technology to thank for this.
More impressively, worn by White Wolf Clan's Tamotsu.
Powers as Programs: Every rider's Road is recorded as data and information that can be accessed through Electric Brain Space if one knows how. Aeon was able to forcefully copy the Roads of Kings in order to create the Focke Wulf and Phantom Regalias, and the rider of the Flame Regalia can easily copy the power of anybody who gives their permission, although it takes a vast toll on the his body.
Pretty Freeloaders: Inverted with Ikki and the Noyamano sisters — Ikki's the freeloader there. Akito/Agito joins him in this position later.
Rage Against the Heavens: In a sense, this makes up part of the Big Bad's motive. While the world of Air Gear has no fictional god per se, Gravity is often as a god thanks to the endless power it has over everything. The Big Bad wants, among other things, to end this tyranny.
Emily gets her body hijacked by American President Barack Obama's Expy. Why? Oh!Great wanted to use America's outrageous weapons cache to help his plot. That, and it suddenly made Emily more important than a vaguely-cool, has-potential hot girl who wears A-Ts and likes Kazu a whole lot. Yeah.
Whatever badass display you just saw, it will be topped the next time you see a fight that's more than a street-brawl. Hacking into other riders' roads and trashing a battleship this fight? Ha! In the next fight, they temporarily tell gravity to go to hell and it listens, resulting in a few minutes of there being no gravity on earth.
Over two hundred chapters in, and everyone with something roll-capable (including soda cans!) on their feet seems to put airbendingto shame. The manga gets incredibly ridiculous with this trope as the series progresses. i.e A-T's somehow go from being high tech everyday rollerblades to super powerful weapons capable of mass destruction. Yeah, make of that what you will.
Serious Business: A-Ts/Riding. People are willing to commit crimes, up to and including murder, to win rollerblading competitions, which oftentimes play out more like gang wars than actual competitions. Special police forces exist for the sole purpose of policing riders. Among the higher level riders, the battles look less like standard roller blading, and more like an all-out death match where the participants just happen to be wearing roller blades. The Kogarasumaru vs. Slepnir fight took place on top of flying jets.Perhaps most serious of all; thanks to the technology used to create A-Ts being integrated into virtually everything else, the Sky Regalia would allow the possessor to control virtually any technology, up to and including all the world's nuclear weapons.
Utgarda-Loki of Sleipnir carries a sword over his back and has a tendency to clutch the hilt over his shoulder, just like a certain angsty blonde BFS-wielding hero. He's also questioning the meaning of his existence. Did we mention that the personalities of everyone on his team are based off of the characters from that game. This was done on purpose, in universe.
You're Already Dead! Cue delayed action nosebleed. Ikki even gets Kenshiro's shoulder pads for a panel or two.
The Sky Regalia. Outside of a very small number of people, nobody knows what it truly is or what is required to activate it, just that it is extremely powerful and inside the Trophaeum Tower.
The Sleeping Forest is this as well. Since the Kilik Incident, The Sleeping Forest has kept a low profile and many aren't even sure they exist anymore.
Sick and Wrong: This is the general reaction to most of the things Onigiri says. A crowning example is when, after The Sleeping Forest finds out that Rika was kidnapped by Sora, Onigiri states that she was the first girl he ever jerked off to. Kazu's reaction gets worse when Onigiri says that the former's sister was his second.
Is it The Trophaeum Tower or The Tropaion Tower? The name comes from the Roman word "Tropaeum," often spelled "Trophaeum" meaning "victory monument," but that word itself originally came from the Greek "τρόπαιον," which roughly translates to "Tropaion," which means the same thing, so both work. Both official translations go with "Trophaeum," but in chapter 357, it's spelled "Tropaion."
Spirit World: Electric Brain Space is an electronic and technological version of this: every single Storm Rider has a perpetually updating virtual copy of themselves in Electric Brain Space, although it is for the most part dormant. However, through the use of a direct neural interface, one can switch his or her consciousness over to their virtual copy. Electric Brain Space also seems to function as an afterlife of sorts, as Spitfire, Aeon Clock, Dr. Minami, and Yoshitsune have all been shown active in Electric Brain Space after their deaths.
Dontores, one of the members of The Sleeping Forest is a black man holding a boombox ( which turns out to be his Rumble Regalia) on his shoulder, just like Combo from Jet Set Radio.
Split Personality: Agito/Akito, and in the manga, there's a third one, Lind, who is a copy of their mother Gazelle.
Split-Personality Makeover: Which eye his eyepatch is on; they also have different shaped pupils and very different voices. In the manga, Lind has a completely different hairstyle and cross-shaped pupils.
Split Personality Merge: Subverted in terms of Agito and Akito because while they can merge personalities, Agito is the dominate personality.
Star Scraper: The Trophaeum Tower, after Sora uses the Sky Regalia to change it, is 35000 meters tall and even penetrates the upper stratosphere. Despite its height, it's not a Space Elevator because it's a solid tower. The impossibility of the tower's height is recognized in universe, and Dr. Minami even stated that it was like the Tower Of Babel, in that the Sky King was trying to defeat the god that oppressed humanity (read: gravity).
Stealth Pun: In what doubles as Lost in Translation, before Ringo's first appearance as Croissant Mask, there's a flashback scene between Ringo and Mikan where Mikan says that if Ringo blows her cover as the Sleeping Forest sucessor, Mikan will crush her. Mikan says the last part while crushing the apple she was eating with her hand. The japanese word for Apple is Ringo.
Scarab, a minor character and member of the team Lion Heart, wears a few strings and that's it. Lampshaded by her brother Leo and some kids.
Random Kid: "Hey, why's this chick showing off her ass?"
Leo: "Rather than worrying about the Gram Scale Tournament, hurry up and put some clothes on!"
Averted by Tool Toul To, whose official uniform is a shirt and overalls, possibly the least revealing clothes in existence. This trope is later played straight and turned Up to Eleven when they change into their "tuning suits," which are full body transparent suits used to record all of a body's information. Transparent.
Super Cell Reception: After Spitfire and Aeon die, Makigami gets a call on her cell phone, even though she's currently in a room that is 20000 meters below sea level. The improbability is lampshaded but how this actually happened is never actually explained. This is averted later when people in the room use phones specifically built to facilitate communication from inside the room instead of cell phones.
Super-Deformed: Nobody is immune to this, and some characters' Super-Deformed appearances are actually lampshaded. For instance, Ine Makigami's conch-shell hairstyle is represented as a cartoonish pile of dog-crap, and Agito insulted her by calling her "Shit-headed" or "Shit-haired."
Super Not-Drowning Skills: Averted in Agito's fight with Orca, at least for Agito, who needed air. Played straight in Buccha's fight with Orca, where Orca can breathe under water, and Buccha has so much more oxygenated blood in his body than any other person that he can keep going for twenty minutes.
SWAT Team: The Black Rain division of the Windstorm G-men.
Talking Is a Free Action: Mostly averted. If someone starts talking during a fight, they will often be ignored, and even if they are listened to, the person doing the listening is typically still fighting. Nike loves averting this trope so much that it would actually be safer for his opponents if they taped their mouths shut to get rid of the temptation to speak and in so doing give him an opening.
Take Our Word for It: The raid on the Stormrider meeting in the first anime episode is represented by panning still illustrations captioned "Running Riders" and "Pursuing Officers" — and thereafter by the "Riders" caption running from the "Officers" caption.
Technology Porn: Given how the entire series revolves around super-advanced technology, the instances of this technology (and there are quite a few) are very detailed.
This Is Unforgivable: The reaction of everyone (even Agito) in Kogarasumaru when they find out Sora kidnapped Rika and is holding her hostage.
Three Teacher School: East Shinonome High School has two teachers, Tomita and Orihara, one of whom doesn't actually teach (Orihara is the Academic Head), and the Headmaster, who is known more for being a cool old Storm Rider than for being the Headmaster.
Also Kazu. Starting out, he wasn't nothing compared to Ikki or Agito. If Kogarasumaru's battle against Sabel Tigers, Their rematch against Animal House, Kazu's battle with Ikki, and and his battle against Nike are any indication...
Tower Of Babel: The final form of the Trophaeum Tower is likened to the Tower of Babel in that both were attempts at defeating God: The original tower wanted to pierce the heavens themselves, and the Trophaeum Tower was built to defeat what the Sky King saw as a cruel and oppressive god: gravity.
Trademark Favourite Food: Everyone in the Noyamano Household loves any kind of meat. In the anime, the love of meat that Mikan, Rika, and Ume possess outweighs family loyalty:
Mikan: "Hang on, if this is a settup, then maybe we'd better help him out. Unless... tonight's meat night, right, Rika?"
Rika: "Meat night, oh, yeah."
Tragic Villain: Nike, of all people. While he's a mostly unrepentant jerkass who kicks the dog often and teeters over the Moral Event Horizon, he does generate some sympathy. He's been used as a weapon for most of his life by the brother he looks up to and Spitfire even states that his brother kept him isolated from everything that could have dulled his edge. As a result, his life gradually lost all meaning outside of killing to achieve victory in battle. When he finally realizes how close everything that could have given him a normal life was, he seems to lament the fact that the other Gravity Children could have become his wings instead of just his bastard of a brother. However, he feels that even if he's finally realized this, he's come too far and that there is no way he would be able to live a normal life. The way the scene plays out, it makes it feel like he's a slave to his own need for victory. Depending on how sympathetic you find yourself, this either gives his character depth and makes him somewhat sympathetic, at least moreso than his brother, or it makes him more of a monster when he ignores his chance at redemption.
Training from Hell: Nike put many of the second generation Gravity Children through this in order to hone their abilities and condition their minds to make them perfect Super Soldiers. The training was hard to keep up with, and with Nike being, well, Nike, anyone who fell behind was killed.
Trick Bullet: Of the more mundane variety: the Windstorm G-men use rubber bullets. It's still pretty brutal, though; Oh!Great averts the tendency some animes have of turning guns loaded with rubber bullets into Stun Guns and instead portrays them mostly realistically: they have a large amount of force behind them but no penetrating power. Storm Riders who get shot are shown writhing in pain, and one rider was knocked out when he took a point blank shot to the face that shattered his helmet.
Kogarasumaru, obviously, as well as Ringo and Kururu.
The new Sleeping Forest
The top riders of Behemoth. Even after their team was disbanded they remain on good terms and two of them even came to help Aeon Clock out during the invasion of Genesis.
Trident. Their bonds with each other are even the basis of their Badass Creed.
Flashbacks reveal the Black Rain of the Wind-Force G-men are all this.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Resident Gonk Onigiri briefly dates a beautiful girl with a fat fetish who later dumps him for the even gonkier Bucca. After she then dumps him it becomes sort of a Running Gag that every time we see her she's dating somebody even more obese than the last guy.
The Unreveal: Despite some hints being dropped that Ikki isn't actually human, and is instead genetically engineered much like the Gravity Children and Brain Chargers, the question is never actually answered, and the only person who could possibly know dies before he can reveal it in his exposition.
Warmup Boss: Magaki and the Skull'saders. They get taken out by the end of the third chapter. Later, it seems like Magaki's going to come for some payback before he gets taken out by Agito and Kaito. They manage to last a bit longer in the anime, but not much longer.
Water Is Air: Averted during Agito's battle with Orca. At first, Agito/Lind can't move as easily (while Orca specializes in fighting underwater), then he used the increased pressure to magnify his fang. Played straight during Orca's fight with Buccha, as Orca can easily move underwater and Buccha is just that badass.
Weak, but Skilled: Kururu's father's team, White Wolf Clan, is made up of an aging CEO, aging employees, and a secretary, yet they dominate the first part of the match because they analyzed all of Kogarasumaru's old battles to develop effective counter stratgies and use Kogarasumaru's "Crush Everything" mindset to get them to incur penalties on themselves.
Chapter 157. Who is the Magnificent Bastard who's the cause of all that has happened so far? Sora Takeuchi. Wham!
Chapters 292-300 were an entire flashback dedicated to shedding some light on Kaito and Gazelle's past. To make a long story short, it turns out Kaito isn't Agito/Akito's abusive brother, he's their dad. And apparently, that third personality of theirs, Lind, isn't male. It's their mom. Both the reader and the character have a Heroic BSOD at that one. A hilarious one.
Why Won't You Die?: Nike can take horrendous amounts of punishment like it's nothing. In every single battle he's been in, he's been taken down only to get back up for more mutual asskicking with his opponent. In his fights, he tends to actually take more damage than his opponents do, but his vast endurance helps him survive when his opponents generally don't. His refusal to just die has several characters saying, or at least thinking, "What the hell does it take to put this monster down?"
Will They or Won't They??: The IkkixRingo pairing receives the most attention out of the three potential pairings for Ikki, but it's left ambiguous how exactly Ikki feels about her for most of the series. As of Chapter 328, they do.
Wrestler in All of Us: After growing up in a family that are all huge professional wrestling fans, Ikki is no stranger to using wrestling moves in most of his fights. The other Noyamano's use them from time to time as well, mainly Mikan and Rika.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Ikki and the Big Bad play this in the final battle. Sora is finally overpowered. No problem, he just turns on his A-Ts. Ikki still continues to overpower him. Figuring he's going to lose, Sora makes Ikki activate an A-T bomb planted on Rika just so that at least Ikki wouldn't win. Then Ikki reveals that he expected Sora would pull crap like that and took precautions: he isn't wearing the Storm Regalia, Ringo is. She then uses the power of the Storm Regalia to disintegrate the bomb on Rika, thereby letting Ikki finish beating the tar out of Sora.
Yaoi Fan Girl: Everybody in Air Gear seems to ship Akito/Agito with Ikki. Emily and Tom-Tom lose it competely when Ikki is feeding Agito.