Friday, August 29, 2008

Initial D: The Movie (Anime 3rd stage) review

Takumi, the breakthrough talented Toyota ’86 driver is nearing graduation. Dealing with his relationship problems with Mogi Natsuki, settling unfinished rivalries, questioning his dreams and an offer by Takahashi Ryosuke, Takumi drives us through the seasons in a stylish transition to his future after school in the 4th stage.

The Good?
This is a continuation of the series we’ve grown to love. It maintains all the conventions, pushes the story forward and gives us more of what we want.

In the end, Initial D is primarily a character drama. It’s exciting to watch the races, but solely because of the conflicts between the characters behind the wheel, and what fate the outcome will hold for them. Takumi’s conflicted “love life” adds to the amounting drama and makes thestory even more engaging.

The Bad?
Newcomers will want to catch up by watching the 39 or so episodes that lead up to this movie. The film treats us to flashbacks to remind us what Takumi’s been through, but nothing really substantial and beyond neat racing music video style excerpts.

The series does get progressively worse, mainly because it is hard to recreate the underdog magic that makes the first two seasons so appealing. It’s an impossible task, but the writers have still done a good job at continuing the story to lead to a very interesting prospect in the series that follows the film.


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