Are you ready to rumble?Ayane's High Kick
is a OVA
originally released in Japan in 1997 by the Nikkatsu Corporation. It was licensed for released in North America by U.S. Manga Corps in 1998.
For as long as Ayane Mitsui can remember, she has dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler
. Now she has a chance to make those dreams come true: a tryout for the All-Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling circuit, in front of her idol and who she hopes to be her future rival, Women's World Champion Manami Toyota. Those hopes are quickly dashed when a failed vaulting maneuver ends up with Ayane crashing through the judging table, leaving two of the judges injured and Ayane without a contract.
However, Ayane's performance catches the eye of a former trainer who approaches her after the match, stating that she had the best legs that he had ever seen on a young female athlete. He offers to train her in his indie dojo, which turns out to be a ramshackle lot situated underneath a nearby highway. Hungry for any chance to become a pro wrestler, Ayane accepts, and begins the most grueling training regiment of her life. Her trainer Kunimitsu drills her tirelessly on her punches and especially her kicks, stating that mastering her "golden high kick" will make her unbeatable in the ring.
After weeks of training, Ayane is excited to find out that Kunimitsu has arranged her debut bout... a "mixed martial arts" match against an up and coming kickboxer. Though as she makes her way to the ring, Ayane is infuriated to discover that there is nothing "mixed" about the match at all... it is part of a full-on kickboxing tournament, and, in fact, Kunimitsu has actually been training her for professional kickboxing the entire time. Before his student can leave the ring, Kunimitsu calls for the referee to ring the opening bell to start the match. Vowing that she will kill her trainer once it's all over, a rattled Ayane is forced to give her all to defend herself against her skilled and powerful opponent.
This anime contains examples of:
- Accidental Pervert: Aside from his less than stellar introduction to Ayane, Kunimitsu gets labeled a pervert when he tries to stop her from leaving the ring before her debut match and accidentally grabs the wrong spot.
- Asleep in Class: Ayane is caught snoring and drooling on her books when her teacher calls on her to answer a question after she exhausted herself in kickboxing training the night before. The next scene reveals that it earned her the standard anime "Hallway Water Bucket" punishment.
- Failed Audition Plot: The first episode begins with Ayane royally screwing up an audition to become a pro wrestler, which she's dreamed about all her life. After being scouted by Kunimitsu, she decides to put all of her energy into training for another shot. Unfortunately, she's unaware that the next "shot" she's training for is actually for kickboxing.
- Finishing Move: Ayane's "Golden High Kick". Due to the length of her strong legs, she can land a blow directly to her opponents temple... which Kunimitsu asserts will lead to a certain K.O.
"Your flexible legs will not just pound your opponent... they'll spin their cerebral cortex with their Golden High Kicks!"
- Imagine Spot: We get to see one of these from Ayane when Kunimitsu makes his pitch to get her to join his dojo, declaring that she can become a champion. She sees herself in the middle of a ring with a pro wrestling world title belt and a cheering crowd, unaware that Kunimitsu is actually referring to her becoming a champion kickboxer.
- Innocent Innuendo: Kunimitsu's choice of words when introducing himself to Ayane could have been better.
Kunimitsu: "Hey, you've got nice legs, missy!"
Ayane: "You pervert! I happen to be in a bad mood because I'd fail an audition! Don't blame me if I hurt you!"
Kunimitsu: "I never thought I'd find a pair of legs like yours in this town!"
- Mouthy Kid: Ayane's annoying younger brother Kenta, who we first see butting into an argument between Ayane and her mother about Ayane skipping school to attend a pro wrestling tryout.
"There's no choice. Sis isn't very smart, so she has to make a living with her body!"
- Professional Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Is Real: In the world of Ayane's High Kick, pro wrestling is seen as just as much of a competitive sport as kickboxing.
- Standing in the Hall: Ayane finds herself standing in the hall of her school — complete with a water bucket in each hand — after her first night of grueling training causes her to sleep through her classes the next day.
- Training Montage: When Ayane is training for (what she believes to be) her first pro wrestling/kickboxing mixed martial arts match, the montage includes her practicing punches and kicks near the road by car light, getting hit in the stomach by Kunimitsu with a medicine ball while doing sit-ups, doing pull-ups while wearing a weight suit, and of course jogging up stairs. All set to an upbeat rock tune, as one would expect.
- Two Episode Wonder
- Wax On, Wax Off: When Ayane accepts Kunimitsu's offer for training, he declares that the first step is for her to build the training ring, to help build her physical strength and stamina.
- What Could Have Been: Ayane's High Kick was originally going to have six episodes. However, only two episodes were produced.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Kunimitsu is shown working a variety of different jobs throughout the OVA.