Air Muscle is a type of shoe in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and anime. Katsuya Jonouchi acquired the shoes from a crooked store owner, and subsequently wears them for the duration of the series (including the anime).
The Air Muscle is a high-tech American-style shoe, with features such as cushioned mid-soles for comfort. Due to demand, the Air Muscle was extremely difficult to find in stores and boasted an MSRP of ¥100,000. Subsequently, these shoes have been the target of thefts and other crimes in Japan.
Jonouchi took Honda and Yugi along to the Junky Scorpion to buy a pair of Air Muscle shoes after hearing a rumor that they were sold there. The owner initially refused to sell them, stating their scarcity as well as the crime targeting the owners of high-tech shoes. With some coercion, he offered Jonouchi a chance to buy them if proved his worth by put his foot in one of shoes with the owner's pet scorpion inside. Despite protests from his friends, Jonouchi completed the challenge before the owner revealed that there was not actually a scorpion inside. Having proven himself, the owner agreed to sell the shoes to Jonouchi for half price. Though before leaving the store, the owner once again warned of potential trouble he would find for wearing the shoes in public.
As Jonouchi and his friends walked back from the store, the Muscle Hunters ambushed them and stole the Air Muscle shoes. Jonouchi and Honda tracked down the gang and beat them up before learning that store owner paid the Muscle Hunters to steal back the shoes for him to resell. After hearing this, Dark Yugi returned to the store to confront the owner and won the shoes back through the coin in sneaker game. Although one of the shoes got damaged during the game, Jonouchi considered the hole to be a battle scar.
- The Air Muscle is based on the real world shoes, Nike Air Max 95.
- Likewise, there was a real life crime spree in 1997 over American fashion and footwear (particularly Nike Air Max shoes) in Japan that inspired the events of the story.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel 8: "The Poison Man"
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