Ayane's High Kick (綾音ちゃんハイキック Ayane-chan Hai Kikku?) is a two-episode anime series produced by Nikkatsu Corporation and Rikuentai. It was originally released as an original video animation (OVA) in Japan in 1997 and was licensed for release in North America by U.S. Manga Corps in 1998. It follows the story of a girl named Ayane Mitsui who wishes to become a professional wrestler, but due to series of events, she becomes a kickboxer instead.
Ayane Mitsui is a very athletic high school girl who wishes dearly to become a great professional wrestler like her idol Manami Toyota of the All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling circuit. However, despite many auditions, she cannot qualify. A brilliant kickboxing coach, Kunimitsu, notices potential within the girl and persuades her to train with him. Ayane hates kickboxing and is very vocal about it, but happens to have a greater potential with the sport and sticks with it. Meanwhile, some of the less-savory teachers from her high school have become aware of her extracurricular activities and threaten to expel her if they get proof. And if that's not enough, another kickboxer, Sakurako Miyagawa, has taken notice of the girl and wants to fight her in the ring.
Ayane's High Kick was produced by Nikkatsu Corporation and Rikuentai, directed by Takahiro Okao, and written by Isao Shizuya. Originally planned to be six parts, only two episodes of the OVA series were released in Japan between January 21 and April 25, 1997. The anime was licensed in North America by U.S. Manga Corps for VHS on April 7, 1998. The series was released on DVD for the first time on October 6, 1998. It received a second DVD release alongside Baki the Grappler on May 28, 2002. Ayane's High Kick aired several times on the Japanese AT-X television network in 2008.
The music for Ayane's High Kick was composed by Nittoku Inoue. The anime features the opening theme "Fight For Yourself" by The Street Beats and the closing theme "Aoi Kaze no Mukou Ni" (蒼い風の向こうに?, lit. Beyond the Blue Wind) sung by Masako Miyamura. A CD soundtrack composed of 25 songs was released by Victor Entertainment in Japan on April 23, 1997. A one-shot manga written and illustrated by Ihara Hiroshi was published by Comic Nora on August 16, 1998.
|Character||Japanese seiyū||English voice actor|
|Ayane Mitsui||Yuko Miyamura||Debora Rabbai|
|Kunimitsu Tange||Akio Ōtsuka||Greg Wolfe|
|Kappei Inagagi||Maria Kawamura||Jonathan Briggs|
|Saruraku Miyagawa||Maria Kawamura||Rose Markisello|
Martin Ouellette of Protoculture Addicts gave Ayane's High Kick a positive review, calling it "loads of fun, not complicated to follow, cute and completes its mission: entertaining the viewer". He noted that although the plot is cliché for a sports anime, it is executed very well, has "cool" character designs, simple yet dynamic animation, an appropriate soundtrack, and healthy mix of action and comedy. Mania.com's Chris Beveridge similarly noted a light story, copious amount of humor, fairly well-defined stereotype characters, and decent artwork for its production period. Jason Bustard of THEM Anime Reviews summarized, "Ayane's High Kick is a fun, charming, double episode pilot that like many others of its era, never managed to take off and become a full series. Fun characters and an interesting premise are marginalized by its short length and obnoxious cliches, but for what it's worth, it's a fun ride."
- Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917 (Revised and Expanded edition). pp. 39–40. ISBN 1-933330-10-4.
- "New Releases". Protoculture Addicts (Protoculture Inc.) (49): pp. 11. April 1998.
- "Ayane's High Kick". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "CPM Release Dates". Anime News Network. April 26, 2002. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "綾音ちゃんハイキック！" [Ayane-chan High Kick!] (in Japanese). AT-X. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "作品詳細 綾音ちゃん ハイキック！" (in Japanese). Victor Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Hiroshi, Ihara. "綾音ちゃんハイキック！ 完結編" [Ayane-chan High Kick! Final] (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Ouellette, Martin (April 1998). "Anime Review: Pa's Picks". Protoculture Addicts (Protoculture Inc.) (49): pp. 47.
- Beveridge, Chris (October 6, 1998). "Ayane's High Kick". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- Bustard, Jason. "Ayane's High Kick". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved 2010-11-06.