Shin Kazama was an airline pilot who was close to marrying Ryoko Tsugumo, the daughter of the CEO of Yamato Airlines. Unfortunately, fate had other plans when his former best friend Satoru Kanzaki tricked him into signing a contract to be a mercenary pilot for the Kingdom of Asran. Now stationed at the Middle Eastern country's base Area 88, Shin has three ways to return to Japan: serve the air force for three years, earn US$1.5 million, or desert the base, facing imminent death.
Area 88 was partially published in English in comic book format, for a total of 42 issues, from May 26, 1987 to May 1989. Issues 1-36 were published by Eclipse Comics, and the remaining six by VIZ Media, then the title was cancelled. It moved to another VIZ Media magazine, Animerica, and continued there for another 17 issues, running from October 1993 to February 1995. Only one tankoubon volume was released August 1991.