Getting back into Initial D this year with the Third Stage movie and then the first half of this season has been really enjoyable. Initial D isn't a show I can classify as a guilty pleasure because there's no guilt about it. It's really just a pleasure because it deals so easily and beautifully with its main focus while teasing around the edges with other things. This is really all about the racing and the challenges the drivers have to face in themselves, the road and others. It touches upon some personal issues here and there, but they never dominate and they don't distract from the core situations at hand. They accent it nicely at times, but even that is pretty mild overall in the grand scheme of things.
With the focus on the racing, the show covers a fair amount of them across the twelve episodes here, even if they do spread a couple of them across two episodes on occasion. Ryousuke continues to work Project D through quite a few varied races as he's trying to challenge them both, tease out of them their true potential through matches that will be ones they should be able to win if they're able to climb over a particular wall that one of them represents. That the elder Takahashi brother is able to figure out how to move though the Saitama groups and manipulate everything is really the most impressive part of the show. As skilled and natural as Takumi is, seeing how Ryousuke manages all of this and with the kind of calm he has really elevates him to an amazing level. One that Keisuke continues to admire intensely.
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