Initial D, a very great anime that focuses on street racing in the late 1990s. Spawned over six anime arcs around 1999 to 2013. It was known in North America, however the original English distributor Tokyopop screwed everything up with the original English dub and manga translations. Of course Tokyopop dropped the license and FUNimation took over the Initial D merchandise, although for some reason they didn’t re-translate the manga, and Fifth and Final Stage was never dubbed.
But anyways, Initial D, it was a very cool anime, and it was also popular because of the arcade games. Believe it or not I discovered Initial D from Initial D Arcade Stage 4, (which was the last Arcade Stage in North America with the next arcade games being Asia exclusive), I eventually found out it was actually an anime, it was very cool and the animations from First Stage to Fifth Stage has improved though Fifth Stage’s character design was, ehh.
But anyways, Three anime films that re-tell the story of the first story arc of Intial D were released around 2014 to 2016. Now then, let’s get started with my review of New Initial D: Legend 1.
In the early morning of Mt. Akina, Koichiro Iketani, the leader of the Akina Speed Stars is driving around, until he sees a race between the AE86 and an RX-7 driven by Keisuke Takahashi, member of the Akagi Red Suns. Keisuke gets defeated and Iketani finds him, in which Keisuke thinks he encountered “a ghost”.
In a school, two friends, Takumi Fujiwara, and Itsuki Takeuchi where Itsuki is talking about what Iketani saw an Eight Six raced against Keisuke’s RX-7. Takumi doesn’t know what a Eight Six is, but Itsuki claims it still good despite being old. Both of them are then encountered by a girl named Natsuki Mogi, as far as I can remember they talk about how much money is the car, then she leaves. Takumi actually has history with Natsuki, Takumi used to be in a soccer group and Natsuki was the coach, during that time, Takumi had a fight with senior, in the anime it was said that the senior was talking about sexual stuff with Natsuki and Takumi beat the senior’s ass.
Takumi and Itsuki goes to work at a gas station with Iketani. During work, Keisuke comes to the gas station, and he talks to Iketani if he knows who the driver of the Eight Six is, which Iketani responds that he doesn’t know. Later that day, members of the Akina Speed Stars visit the gas station and talks about the Eight Six, the manager of the gas station Yuichi Tachibana, reveals that the original Eight Six driver is now a tofu delivery man. At Night, Iketani does a practice with his Silvia S13, Takumi is literally scared to death like a bitch from Iketani’s driving. After they arrive to the Speed Stars’ meet, they encounter the Akagi Red Suns, led by Ryosuke and Keisuke Takahashi.
The Red Suns tell the Speed Stars that they’re here to practice, the Red Suns start practicing with the Speed Stars immediately following them. The Speed Stars are outmaneuvered and can’t catch up, Iketani however doesn’t give up but during his second run, he crashes his car.
The next day, Keisuke reveals at the gas station that they will postpone the match till next week to Takumi and Itsuki. Iketani, out of desperation, finally finds Bunta Fujiwara, the father of Takumi, which the Speed Stars are unaware that Takumi is Bunta’s father. Iketani tries to convince Bunta, but rejects, and Iketani does this every day. Bunta visits the gas station and Yuichi suggests to send Takumi. Bunta takes the suggestion and accepts Iketani’s offer.
On the day of the race, Takumi asks Bunta to use the car to go on a date with Natsuki, he accepts but on one occasion, Takumi must arrive at Mt. Akina to race against The Red Suns, Takumi hesitantly accepts and rushes to Mt. Akina. Iketani and the Speed Stars becomes impatient that the Eight Six hasn’t appeared, so Iketani decides to let his friend Kenji to race, however as the race was about to begin, the Eight Six appears, albeit late. The Speed Stars, are in shock, however, as they ask Takumi why he’s driving the Eight Six. They find out that Takumi is the son of Bunta, and It was actually him who raced Keisuke a few nights ago. This angers Itsuki because Takumi showed up random with the Eight Six, and he explains to Takumi that the car he’s driving is an Eight Six and there are two versions, the Trueno and Levin, and are collectively called Eight Sixes, while the Red Suns are literally silently, but patiently waiting for the conversation to end. Iketani finally lets Takumi race.
The race officially begins, with Takumi becomes the victor after doing his signature “Gutter Drop”. After the race, Takumi and Keisuke meet, in which Keisuke admits defeat. The next morning. Takumi is on a date with Natsuki at the beach while reflecting on his race with Keisuke. Takumi starts his next delivery and prepares his journey of a racer. At the ending of the credits, Takeshi Nakazato of the Myogi Night Kids search around Akina to find the Eight Six.
And there you go, my summary of New Initial D Legend 1. Now what did I think of it?
New Initial D Legend 1, is very good, the animation is very great and the character designs look better, my problem with New Initial D, is that it has no Eurobeat, instead we have rock songs. Now Eurobeat is part of Initial D, and its kind of sad that there’s no Eurobeat, although the songs in New Initial D is good.
I’ve heard that its a trilogy movie and the final one mostly focuses on the race between Takumi and Ryosuke. I have watched the second one that focuses on the Night Kids. I haven’t watched the final one yet since there’s no fan sub yet. The movies are a trilogy but because the final movie Legend 3 focuses on the race with Takumi and Ryosuke, they had to cut a few parts in the first story arc, the race with Mako Sako and Sayuki of Impact Blue and the race with Kenta Nakamura of the Red Suns. But still its great, I’ll make a blog post of Legend 2 sometime and I’m still waiting on a fan sub of Legend 3. Final thoughts, Its great