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Dark Ranters Presents: Ayane's High Kick

With GearsX

Greetings, everyone. This is GearsX clocking in once again reviewing for the Red Ribbon Reviewers to help promote awareness for HIV and AIDS. I haven't done much of anything for the last few months. I know have a top ten countdown of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's darkest episodes to finish with ImpulsiveSpidercide, but I was hit with a case of chronic laziness and Rise of the Tomb Raider was taking up some of my time. Don't worry, I will finish that top ten MLP countdown especially since season five has come to an end.

Once again, I'm going to review another obscure anime. This time, it'll be from Central Park Media. I will be reviewing Ayane's High Kick. I guess you could say this is a response to Ben the Sage's review of the anime. I respect the dude's opinion, but I felt there had been too many times where he was overly harsh on Central Park Media. Granted, there are some shows from that company that deserve to be torn apart such as Garzey's Wing, but there are some good anime from Central Park Media. Some of the best anime I've seen from CPM were Hyperspeed Grandoll, Arcade Gamer Fubuki, MD Geist, and Project A-Ko.

Ayane's High Kick is a two-episode OVA from CPM's US Manga Corp brand and was released in 1997. The OVA is about a high school student named Ayane Mitsui training to become a pro wrestler, but she didn't have the chops to be a pro wrestler after screwing up an audition. While feeling bad about failing her audition, Ayane meets a trainer named Kunimitsu Tange. He tells her she has the potential to be a fighter and he’s willing to train her at his rundown dump of a gym under a highway, but what he doesn't tell her is the training is for kickboxing. Ayane has an epic disdain towards kickboxing and she is very blunt about it. Kunimistu trains Ayane for her first match, but she still doesn't have clue until she realized it too late. Despite her hatred for kickboxing, she's willing to give it a shot. In her first fight, Ayane took a few bumps from her opponent, but she was able to win the fight with a brutal high kick to the head. Next day, Ayane becomes the talk of the school when her fellow students heard about her first fight, but the vice-principal hated the fact Ayane was receiving attention because of it.

A fellow kickboxer named Sakurako Miyagawa also heard about Ayane's victory in her first bout and she gets all pissy about it. As Ayane tries to turn her back on kickboxing permanently, she is challenged to a fight by Sakurako and the principal and vice-principal threaten to kick her out of school if she doesn't compete. With the help of Kunimitsu and her best friend, Kayoko Nakajima, Ayane trains intensely, as does Sakurako. On the day of their match, Ayane and Sakurako fight each other. Sakurako dominates much of the bout until the third round when Ayane scores a few hits on her. As Ayane was about to knock Sakurako out with a kick to the head, she dodges the incoming kick and gets a cut above her eye. The fight ends with Ayane winning by split decision and Sakurako demands a rematch that will never happen.

The plot is clichéd from word one, but it was entertaining. The characters are very likeable except for the vice-principal. Ayane's High Kick proves having over-the-top attack moves is not what drives an action series. There's not much fanservice, which is fine since there's nothing too blatantly gratuitous here. The writing does have its flaws. Kunimitsu could've presented himself better by commenting on Ayane's potential as a kickboxer without sounding creepy. Kayoko doesn't serve much of a purpose other than being her friend's moral support throughout the show. While the fights were pretty good, they were short and could've been padded out a little bit. My biggest gripe is the anime was two episodes long, leaving out character development and the story wasn't fleshed out very much. From what I've heard, the OVA was a pilot for a new series, but for some reason that idea was tossed aside like yesterday's trash. Still, Ayane's High Kick could've used a few more episodes.

Central Park Media's English dubs of anime aren't the best, but hearing from the CPM DVDs that I own, the dubs are decent and Ayane's High Kick is no exception. The voice acting was passable except for Jack Taylor, since his performance as the vice principal sounded cartoonishly annoying.

The animation looks pretty good even by 90s standards, but compared to today's standards of anime, it looks very dated. The training montages and fight scenes were animated well and the character designs look nice, but there were times where the characters looked a little off model.

Is Ayane's High Kick worth checking out? Abso-freakin-lutely. Despite its problems, Ayane's High Kick is a cheesy and fun little romp to watch every now and then. If you can find this anime on DVD dirt-cheap, I say pick it up. It's too bad Central Park Media closed shop years ago, but I can appreciate the contributions this company gave to the anime market. Before I go, I'll do another review for the Red Ribbon Reviewers. This one will be a video game review on South Park: Stick of Truth. I'll also do another collab review with Spidercide on a TV show from Nickelodeon. On behalf of the Red Ribbon Reviewers, this is GearsX clockin' out. Have a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year, everyone.  
Dark Ranters presents Ayane's High Kick
I'll be doing something different for the Red Ribbon Reviewers, I'll be doing two solo and collab reviews instead of doing one of each. Spread the word about HIV and AIDS and have a Happy Holidays, my friends. Here's the website for the Red Ribbon Reviewers: redribbonreviewers.wordpress.c…
Dark Ranters Presents: Top Ten Darkest Episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Part 1
With GearsX and ImpulsiveSpidercide

GearsX: Bronies and Pegasisters, welcome. This is GearsX clockin' in and . . .

ImpulsiveSpidercide: ImpulsiveSpidercide, ready to hit you with a dose of darkness!

GearsX: After reviewing the apocalyptic abomination that was School Days, we need to talk about something good again and we're doing something a little different too. Cartoon shows are known to be very family-friendly but there are times where cartoons will tread into dark toned waters. I'm talking about cartoons discussing issues without becoming overly preachy PSAs that moral guardians try to force down kids' throats, evil almost triumphing over good, and characters trying to overcome their personal problems. There were even times where cartoons discuss the topic of death. I've seen shows that went dark like Swat Kats, TMNT, The Real Ghostbusters, Legend of Korra, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. These shows aren't afraid to push the envelope when comes to personal issues and dark themes but still keep it within family-friendly boundaries. Even live action kids show Power Rangers went dark at times.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Indeed. The standout examples in Power Rangers are In Space (where the Red Ranger is the sole survivor of a colony taken over and decimated by the villains and his sister is a manipulated and later brainwashed agent of said villains), Lost Galaxy (which two-part opening ends with a planet being frozen in stone along with its population and has an anti-hero who won't let collateral damage or innocent bystanders get in the way of his revenge on the villains, and even has as a major part of the finale suicide bombers targeting the space colony ship the Rangers protect), Time Force (which opens with the Red Ranger being killed by the main villain and then goes on to deal with issues of genetic engineering-induced racism and a futile cycle of hate and revenge being a major motivator for many of the villains' actions, and even the heroes aren't perfect, as the team leader is initially motivated by revenge for the murdered Red Ranger who was her fiancé and the sixth Ranger becomes a Ranger chiefly for self-advancement, not to do good), Wild Force (where the main villain murdered the Red Ranger's parents out of jealousy that the Red Ranger's mother had chosen the Red Ranger's father over himself), and RPM (which, even if in a different continuity from the rest of Power Rangers, still has most of the human race being wiped out by an A.I. gone bad that forcibly infects any surviving humans it captures with a nanotech virus that slowly converts them into machines enslaved to itself, not to mention all the protagonists are haunted by war and death, to varying degrees of responsibility or guilt). Yeah, that was a long one, I understand, but I really had to make the point that even "kids' shows" can do darker stuff than what the parents' groups would usually like their kids seeing.

GearsX: I know all of you would be asking, "What does this have to do with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?" Much like the shows I've mentioned, My Little Pony has its share of dark episodes and episodes with dark moments. The Mane Six would face very difficult situations and try their best to solve them. Let's come together, fellow bronies and pegasisters, and be prepared as I say in a booming voice: This is THE TOP TEN DARKEST EPISODES OF MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC! Originally, we were gonna do this countdown in honor of the fifth season premiere but didn't get around to it due to chronic laziness.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Chronic laziness and life fucking with us.

GearsX: These episodes will be from the first four seasons and we're gonna break this down into two parts. We're gonna build this up from the episodes' darkest moments to the darkest episodes of the show. Let's get started.

No. 10: Party of One. While not a dark episode in and of itself, there is a dark moment where Pinkie Pie goes nuts and gets really angry at her friends. So much so, she throws a party with inanimate objects as her guests.

ImpulsiveSpidercide:  It's because they're avoiding her for some reason and making lame excuses for it, so she feels like they don't want to be around her anymore. And that's when we see that Pinkie isn't a very emotionally healthy pony, in the sense that she's dependent on having people like and want to be around her, which is why she's so constantly cheerful and energetic. So when she feels like they don't want to be around her anymore . . .

GearsX: She goes crazy.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah.

GearsX: It seemed like Pinkie wanted to commit acts of homicide on the others which spawned a really stupid internet meme.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Cupcakes?

GearsX: Yeah, that one. She had no idea they were planning a birthday party for her.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, which was what they really wanted to do, and they were keeping it a surprise. They just avoided her because they didn't want to accidentally spill the beans if she asked hard enough.

GearsX: She did come to her senses and was overjoyed about her friends giving her a birthday party.

No. 9: Bridle Gossip. Again, while not a dark episode in and of itself, there's a dark moment where Ponyville becomes scared of Zecora because they think she's this scary voodoo witch doctor.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Which also turns out to be a fine lesson in the perils of prejudice and assuming things about people before you actually get to know them.

GearsX: Twilight and the others ventured into this field of flowers and they began to experience mysterious problems. They got angry at Zecora because they thought she cursed them. Not to mention they assumed she ponynapped Apple Bloom to eat her or something. How did the Mane Six get "cursed"?

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Well, it's a long series of very unfortunate accidents and coincidences.

GearsX: Turned out they were exposed to a blue flower called Poison Joke. Here's what happened: Twilight's horn went limp and got covered in blue zits, Rainbow Dash became clumsy at flying, Pinkie Pie's tongue was also covered in blue zits and she had to spit in order to talk, Rarity had dreadlocks, Fluttershy spoke in a deep voice, and Applejack became a tiny walking alcoholic reference.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Deep-voiced Fluttershy was surprising to hear. Rarity with dreadlocks? Eh, with some of her usual style, she could totally work them. Twilight Sparkle's horn went limp? There's an obvious joke.

GearsX: Dick joke aside, the Mane Six were cured as they and Ponyville learned it's not cool to jump to conclusions about anyone or anypony of different ethnic background.

No. 8: Lesson Zero. Twilight Sparkle and Spike do a series of errands and she has to turn over a friendship report to Celestia. But here's the problem, she has nothing to report.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Which was kind of meant to address the whole "edutainment" genre that MLP: FIM initially fit into. The idea that every episode had to be capped with a summation of a valuable life lesson, as learned by Twilight in her quest to understand friendship.

GearsX: Her penchant for problem-solving actually caused her to have a mental breakdown.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: So if she couldn't find a problem to solve, she'd make one!

GearsX: By casting a spell on her old doll, Smartypants, and causing everypony to go gaga over that ratty toy like it was the next entry in the Pokémon series. Very unbecoming of a princess, Twilight.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: She wasn't a princess yet.

GearsX: My point still stands, though. Luckily, Princess Celestia showed up to clean up Twilight Sparkle's mess before everypony could kill each other over that doll. Of course, Big Macintosh got to keep Smartypants all to himself. Even descended into madness and looking disheveled, Twilight Sparkle was still cute.  

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, you'd wanna snuggle her up and get her somewhere warm and comfy if you weren't completely put off by the crazy eyes.

GearsX:  Celestia did get upset and gave Twilight a stern lecture about causing a problem just to solve it.  Lesson learned: write a friendship report when there's something to write about.

No. 7: Magic Duel. Trixie Lulamoon returns for revenge on Twilight for exposing her as a braggart and a fraud. She buys a powerful amulet filled with dark magic. The Alicorn Amulet, as it’s called, grants Trixie more powerful magic than she’s ever had on her own, but it is also slowly corrupting her. She challenges the unicorn student to a contest of magic and Twilight loses. She gets the boot and goes to Zecora for help. Twilight learns about the Alicorn Amulet and uses the only magic to get Trixie to remove the demonically powerful necklace: deception. Like I said before in the Princess Twilight Special, she would've been a excellent criminal mastermind.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Uh-huh. She definitely would've, and in the meantime, the Alicorn Amulet-corrupted Trixie has turned Ponyville into her personal dictatorship, with all sorts of irrational new orders and edicts. Oh, and abusing her helpers Snips and Snails.

GearsX: Oh, They deserved it for being so stupid. Trixie would show remorse for her actions and stuck around to do a magic show for Celestia and the delegates from Saddle Arabia before disappearing. And finally, we get to last part of the countdown. Which episode gets the sixth spot? Here we go.

No. 6 is . . . Luna Eclipsed. This episode isn't just dark because it's Halloween-themed. Why is this episode dark?

ImpulsiveSpidercide:  Because we see just how much of a toll Luna's evil self, Nightmare Moon, took on her and on Equestria.

GearsX: Guess some ponies in Ponyville still didn't forgive the beautiful princess of the night for the atrocities and chaos she caused back in the first episode of the first season. Since she was banished to the moon all those years ago, Luna was out of touch with modern-day Equestria with her mannerisms. Shouting when addressing the citizens of Ponyville and saying "we." Even Pinkie Pie and her small band of trick-or-treaters being constantly frightened didn't help matters either.  

ImpulsiveSpidercide: And it didn't help when Pinkie turned out to be pretending to be frightened in the spirit of the holiday, but that pretense of fright just cemented it for Luna that she would never be forgiven or accepted by her former subjects.

GearsX: Luna was so pissed off about it, she permabanned Nightmare Night, which got a lot of ponies upset.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yeah, and guess who talked her out of it.

GearsX: Twilight Sparkle.

ImpulsiveSpidercide: Yep, which would establish a pattern for the series to follow in future episodes, especially when Twilight became a Princess of Equestria herself.

GearsX: And Pipsqueak did convince Luna to come back to scare everyone the following year. He and the other kids gave her all their candy. Luna learned Nightmare Night was about tricks and treats. Luna even pranked Rainbow Dash toward the end.

This concludes part one of our top ten countdown of MLP's darkest episodes. In part two, we cover spots five through one plus five honorable mentions. Which dark episode will be number one? Stay tuned and find out, Bronies and Pegasisters. This is GearsX clockin' out and in the words of Razorfist, "God-fuckin'-speed!"

ImpulsiveSpidercide: And ImpulsiveSpidercide, signing off with a "Hell, yeah, ponies!"
Top Ten Darkest Episodes of My Little Pony, part 1
For a little something different, Spidercide and myself decided to do a top ten countdown of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's darkest episodes and darkest moments. This is something probably never been done before but do enjoy.
On the Rainbow Road: A Tribute to Satoru Iwata.

I know I'm a little late on this one but I have to talk about it. A few weeks ago, the gaming industry lost an icon. Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, died the age of 55. He worked in the video game industry for most of his life. Iwata-san helped form Hal Laboratory Inc., a video game developer responsible for popular games like the Kirby series, the Mother series or Earthbound as the game is called here in the states, and the Super Smash Bros. series.

From then on, he would work with Nintendo. Iwata-san worked on games such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and more recently, Splatoon. In the early 2000s, Iwata became president and CEO of Nintendo. He certainly came a long way from a programer to president in twenty years time. During his tenure as the man in charge, he improved sales of the Gamecube by halting production of the console and reducing the price tag, innovated gaming with motion controls and touchscreens with the Wii and DS, came up with digital avatars called Miis, put the spotlight on Luigi in honor of his 30th anniversary, and introduced the Amiibo toyline to the world. He even did a series of video press conferences called Nintendo Direct where he and other Nintendo employees would announce upcoming games and products.    

Satoru made huge contributions to the video game industry over the last decade and I thank him for that. It is a real shame he died at a young age and where Nintendo will go from there is unknown right now. Both gamers and the video game industry mourned his passing and I am sad too about Iwata-san's untimely death. At GDC in 2005, Satoru once said: "On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer." No truer words had ever been spoken by a great man, please understand. Satoru, I just wanna say thank you for your contributions and your compassion for the business. You're a wonderful human being and you'll be deeply missed. May you travel the Rainbow Road to the Sky Blue Palace in the stars.
On The Rainbow Road: A Tribute to Satoru Iwata
I know I'm late but I wanted to write a tribute blog about Satoru Iwata. He passed away a few weeks ago and it was a sad day for both gamers and the video game industry.

Satoru Iwata

  • Listening to: Heavy metal
  • Reading: graphic novels
  • Watching: anything I like
  • Playing: N/A as of now
  • Eating: depends on what I like
  • Drinking: depends what I like
I don't usually play tag but I'll play along just for the hell of it.

Tagged by ::iconninjaheart::

1. What would you call your spirit animal? That's a tough one. 

2. Worst video game boss you've ever fought?  The Octaking from Duke Nukem Forever. Hardest boss I ever faced.

3. Kingdom Hearts or Devil May Cry?  I'm goin' with Devil May Cry

4. Most overrated franchise in your opinion? Halo. Just kill the damn series already.

5. What's your favorite movie?  The Avengers!

6. Do you like My Little Pony?  If not, why?  My Little Pony is awesome!

7. What martial art would you like to master? That's another tough one

8. What's the most annoying commercial you've ever seen?  Those Trojan Vibration commercials.

9. Would you rather fight a shark or an alligator?  Wrestling a gator sounds like fun.

10. Do you think the moon landing was fake? I don't believe so.

Now here's my ten questions:

1. Who is your all time favorite fictional character (comic book, anime, cartoon, or video game)?

2. Who would win in a race: Sonic the Hedgehog, Rainbow Dash, or The Flash?

3. Who is your favorite internet reviewer?

4. How would you deal with the robot apocalypse?

5. Do you prefer dogs, cats, or both?

6. What is the worst food you ever ate?

7. Jeff Dunham or Larry the Cable Guy?

8: Which franchise would you like to see brought back?

9. Which gaming system do you wanna see win this generation's console wars?

10. If you were in a RPG, what class would you be?

Those are my ten questions.

Consider yourselves tagged:

:iconimpulsivespidercide:: ::iconzangekyo-rebirth:: ::iconmarvelninja:: ::iconhewytoonmore:: ::iconpeacethroughpower:: ::iconphoenixangelgal::::icontrainman3985:: ::iconaonon:: ::iconmrchickenblue:: ::iconmelodieaw::


United States
Current Residence: Norwich, CT
Favorite genre of music: Heavy Metal
Operating System: Window XP
Favorite cartoon character: The Joker
Personal Quote: Truth is the ultimate weapon

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PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015
Happy B-day. :)
GearsX Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015
PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
No problem
LegacyGame Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
By the power of the Almighty Jolly Llama you have been chosen to receive  :+llama: Now go forth and spread the light of the jolly llama, chosen one! 
GearsX Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014
Thanks for the Llama
PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
Happy Birthday :)
GearsX Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
PEACETHROUGHPOWER Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
No problem :>
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