Recaps for Initial D

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Initial D Stage 1 Part 2 Anime DVD Review

Revisiting the first season of Initial D after so many years, and after watching the third and fourth stages recently, really has been a great experience. The second half of this season moves us through a few more races, races that continue to challenge Takumi, which is slowly but surely forging him as a gifted and talented street racer. The races we get in this set really start to expand the world of street racing, but we also get some solid character development pieces as well for not just Takumi but some of the others as well. Takumi's races cover a bit of variety here and it all leads up the very important race that does show just how far Takumi has come and how amazing his gift really is. After his victory of both Keisuke and Nakazato in the first set, Takumi has more and more challengers coming out of the woodwork. The challenge that carries over from the first set is with Shingo who gets creative with how he wants to take down Takumi, doing something that will really embarrass him. A duct tape death match isn't exactly what you'd expect, but it's something that feels very in character for Shingo since he wants to make such a striking statement. The race is one of the more creative ones in the series, but it's also one that feels like it's pushing the limits a bit. It's an interesting challenge for Takumi since he agrees to it without thinking it through and has to cope with that realization in a bad way. Read More

Initial D Stage 1 Part 2

Takumi's nights working as delivery boy for his dad's tofu shop have turned him into one of the most formidable drivers around. Behind the wheel of his modified Eight-Six, he's one with the road - and his life shifts into high gear when the underground street racing world takes notice. Local legend Keisuke, a member of the infamous RedSuns racing team, wants to take Takumi on. He's not alone; drivers from across the region are lining up for a shot at the new guy. One challenger after the next, Takumi schools the competition with his amazing drifting technique and downhill expertise. But it's not enough to rack up the victories - Takumi's out to prove he's the best. Contains episodes 14-26. To Read More  Click here.

Initial D Stage 1 Part 1 Anime DVD Review

Initial D has finally returned to the market with FUNimation bringing out the first two stages after getting the long time fans the previously unreleased seasons. Initial D was brought out by TOKYOPOP quite a few years ago, not without a fair bit of controversy that no longer exists with this set, but they never made it past the second set. FUNimation's acquisition of the franchise had them giving us those seasons first and now going back to the first two, though with one huge change; it now has a proper un-tricked out dub. The new dub is pretty solid, as we've seen from the previous releases of the later seasons, so what we get here is pretty consistent overall. Initial D is a series that captured me from the first episode as it introduces us to eighteen year old Takumi. Takumi's the son of Bunta Fujisawa who owns a tofu shop and has made his son drive the night time deliveries up and down Mount Akina every night. While pretty much illegal, especially since Takumi just formally got his license, it's been an experience that has slowly given Takumi a massive amount of skills that he's completely unaware of. The time spent on the mountain has him knowing every nook and cranny about it, but he's also been subtly trained by his father with different methods because he used to be a famous street racer himself in his youth, not that Takumi knows this. Read More Click Me!

Initial D Stage 4 Part 2 DVD Review

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. Read More Click Me!

Initial D Stage 4 Part 1 DVD Review

A couple of years after the third stage movie made it to theaters, the Fourth Stage arrived in early 2004 and ran through early 2006 with twenty-four episodes. The series isn't like most shows, even at that time, as each episode runs for nearly twenty-seven minutes at a time when the majority are moving further and further to the twenty-three minute range in order to deal with the necessity of getting more advertisers on it. Those extra few minutes do help with this show though as more time is spent on the racing and the intensity of it all flows even better. Unlike our viewing of the first two stages, as those were three episodes discs spread over several months, we got to see the first half of this stage in the space of a day. And what a difference. The Fourth Stage focuses on Takumi's days upon joining Ryosuke's Project D team as they're setting about to do some big things with it. Of course, this is all while Ryosuke spends his days doing medical student things, hence his napping here and there and his usual kind of disconnect as he deals with everyone else. The focus though is almost solely on Takumi as he takes the bold step to being really into something with a passion. At least by Takumi's standards. Ryosuke's approach still stands as he uses the website to egg on other teams a bit by playing up their skills and how nobody will defeat them and showing off their stats. That help provide a psychological edge against their opponents, which is one of the many facets that Ryosuke uses to win. Read More Click Me!