Oct 11, 2008
ParaParaJMo (All reviews)
This anime is ok. Maybe it was a pilot of a TV series that couldn’t really take off. Who knows. I felt if this was developed in the same way Hajime no Ippo is, then it could have really worked. The series leaves you wanting for more because Ayane just wins fights out of luck and not really on skill. Watching this makes you realize it does have a lot of potential if they went on with it. But I felt it had some flaws, like we don’t see Ayane taking her kickboxing license exam. I mean, shouldn’t she have realized that by then? I would have liked it if they showed us that just to see how she handled it and how she got her license to fight. It’s a major plot hole and doesn’t really make any sense. Then again, Ayane is portrayed to be a student with bad grades, so we are to assume she is a total ditz to some extent I guess.

And the rest of the cast is really generic. Like I’m assuming the Tange name is paying homage to Tange Danpei from Ashita no Joe, another anime I have reviewed in the past. They do develop some sort of relationship, but not really a father daughter relationship that could have worked like you see between Kamogawa and Ippo in Hajime no Ippo since you really don’t see Ayane’s father in this. It maybe would be cliché, but it works and feels natural. Sometimes clichés are a good thing in some animes. And then you got Miyagawa, she’s practically Ivan Drago and Floyd Mayweather packed in one. She’s like Ivan Drago with her training methods minus the steroids and how she’s a machine, and she’s like Mayweather flashing her wealth and how she publicly trash talks. So it’s your typical sports fight story but with a female perspective.

The design first of all is just typical of what you saw in most animes in the mid-1990s. It had the brighter resolution, and sharper faces and bigger eyes then you’re use to seeing. Pretty much what you see in other animes like Slayers, Tenchi, and Sabre Marionett J is what you see in this anime. So in comparison to most mid-90s anime out there, the art design isn’t really anything distinctive, but in no means what I consider un-tolerable.

The fights themselves, though only 2 are descent, just wish the anime could have taken the time and give the viewers an educational insight on kickboxing like how Hajime no Ippo does for boxing. Plus, the rounds are like 30 seconds each. It’s just the first round, Ayane is getting beat, 2nd round, she has her rhythm going on, and 3rd round, it’s even and Ayane gets lucky and wins. It’s too basic and one-dimensional and you don’t get different kinds of fights as you’d see in the other anime I’ve been somewhat comparing this too. It’s not about comparing boxing and kickboxing, but overall executing the concept of the central sport in relation to this anime. But I like how Kourakuen Hall is accurately represented from inside and out. I’ve been there three times and have fought there as an amateur once, so I feel like I can relate to it in that aspect.

For the dub, it’s actually not that bad. It’s nothing special, but nothing to a point where they’re intolerable or you don’t feel they have no representation to the personalities or the traits of the characters. I’m not familiar with too many dub actors with the exemption of like ocean studios so this is as far as I can comment on. So you can watch this anime whether you prefer Japanese or English and you’ll still get the same fulfillment.

But on the Japanese side, you got big names like Miyamura Yuko, the voice of Asuka from Evangelion playing Ayane; Ohtsuka Akio the voice of Snake from Metal Gear playing Tange, the trainer; and Yamaguchi Kappei the voice of Ranma and Inuyasha playing Ayane’s fight fan friend, Kappei. So seiyuu buffs such as myself should give this a shot. The music itself is very energetic. The theme songs give a fighting spirit feel to it, but also have a feminine touch. You also got the theme songs remixed into guitar for it to go with the training montages so nothing much to say.

By the time we get to this point of my review, you already get the idea that overall to the anime community. This is nothing too special. Which I’ll admit, but it’s still nothing really downright awful either. But I say if you like Hajime no Ippo and Ashita no Joe, Tough, or any martial arts action anime that doesn’t excessively defy the laws of physics, then this anime is for you. Despite the main character being female, it’s still appealing to both genders because of the action appeal though I wouldn’t really call the quality of the action high octane. People will probably love it or hate it for all the right reasons, or think it’s ok, also for the right reasons. It’s definitely worth a rental.