Initial D First Stage poster

Initial D First Stage

Takumi Fujiwara is an aloof, spacey high-schooler who does delivery runs in his dad's Toyota AE86 in the dead of night. Despite working at a gas station and having friends who are car nuts, he doesn't know a single thing about cars. Takumi is introduced into the world of street racing and his natural talent draws attention from all across Gunma. Will Takumi face the challenges or back out from the call of the mountain passes?

Ranking 762

User Count15378
Favorites Count431
Start Date19th Apr 1998
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank762
Rating Rank475
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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I was really hard-pressed to decide what to rate this anime. I've known about this anime for more than 10 years but never came around to watching it. The thing I find amazing about this anime is how much it pulls you in to the story. Everything is executed perfectly. I admit, especially from watching it now when CG is so much better than it was almost 20 years ago, that the CG kind of turned me off but overlooking this anime because of that reason would be a big mistake. This anime manages to create excitement, intensity, great comedy, compelling romance and wonderful character development. I'm not into cars nor am I into racing but this anime somehow pulls me in anyway? How?? I can only speculate that the characters and execution of the plot and story is just too well done. Even when ignoring the racing aspect, the setting of having a character completely un-interested in racing grow as a character was so entrancing. All the characters see the main character Takumi grow. The interesting thing is even when the story focuses on other characters in the story, I didn't lose any momentum or interest in the show. All of the character were well-rounded and all had their own worries, goals, and ambitions in the show. Each racer was striving to become better and find their own identity. This anime, consistently manages to introduce to people with no interest in racing or cars, and keep glued in anticipation to the outcome of the race, and the outcome to the character's problems. The soundtrack was very great. And I've become hooked on the ringtone that Sayuki used on her phone. If anyone finds it leave me a comment on my profile. xD I thorougly enjoyed this anime not only because I learned about racing and the racing culture but I discovered some good romance in the story as well. Part of the reason for this is the way they executed the drawing of the girls as well as they used, and the plot made the romance engrossing and personal. Despite their blocky like heads, the artists managed to capture that moment when you see a girl that just makes you drop your jaw and heart skip a beat. Being able to create a mood like that especially when I'm biased against older looking anime just speaks of how well the animators created mood using the art, costume, character, and music. It just does everything right.The climax and situation reversals were logically well-thought out and never have I been unsatisfied or bored with the characters in the show or the outcome of the races. The characters are all utilized to their full effect for the main plot, racing, comedy, romance, or some combination thereof. Despite some of the technical nature of racing itself, the show feels really authentic and still manages to pull off some great comedy and romance as well. The reason why I've decided to give this a 9 (Great) versus an 8 (Very Good) is not all anime can pull in an audience that have no interest in the sport of racing or race cars and this anime manages to pull that off by having an amazing story. Initial D: First Stage is not only an example of how to do things right but how to introduce audience to a world completely foreign to them and suck them into the story. This isn't an anime about racing alone but about racers, a racer's identity, and the people's stories surrounding them. A studio could've done everything the same, the races, the plot, the music, the art and with different pacing and transitions executed poorly. But Initial D: First Stage from racing to comedy, comedy to romance, romance to racing, gets it all right, all the way till the finale.

I’m not what one would call a “gear head”. I don’t spend my days trying to figure out how to make my car go faster. I instead choose to obey the laws of the road. So what does *Initial D* have in store for me? Well, not much. There’s no two ways about it. *Initial D* is very much geared towards people with an interest in cars and a passion for racing. If you have no interest in cars and racing, then chances are you won’t find much to enjoy from this anime. But, if you love hearing the roar of your engine and your all-time high comes from overtaking your opponent in the last few seconds of the race, then this series is perfect for you. The race scenes are definitely the high point of this show. And they are coupled with some great music that really gets the blood pumping and sets the heart ablaze. The music can almost get anyone into the race scenes. However, after a while, you’ll more than likely start to notice that all the races look strikingly similar. It got so bad at one point that I could’ve sworn I had already seen one race at least three times over. Fortunately the music redeems the repetitiveness of the race sequences, making them arguably worth it. Without doubt, the worst part of this series is the animation. *Initial D* has the most grotesque animation I’ve ever seen in any anime. The CG used for all the race scenes just does not blend with the traditional animation. It looks intrusive on the backgrounds and even more unsightly when traditional animation is superimposed over the top of it. The story isn’t much better either. The plot is pretty much an excuse for people to race every episode. In the later episodes, they try to tack on a little bit of romance, but it feels just that: tacked on. It can barely even be counted as a story. The one thing *Initial D* does very well, despite all of its flaws, is that it knows its target audience very well and focuses itself entirely towards pleasing it. Street race enthusiasts probably aren’t watching for the story or characters. If all you want is high octane racing scenes *Initial D* is good news. *This* it delivers… but nothing more. **<u>The Highlights</u>** **Music:** Excellent racing music. **Race scenes:** Exciting, but become quickly repetitive. **Animation:** Ugly character designs with even uglier CG. **Story:** Just one big excuse to race.

Initial D is without a doubt not only a classic of anime, but a prime reference for the racing genre. Varied characters all with unique personalities, from Itsuki to Takumi to Iketani, passing through enemy drivers and new allies. Great sound, especially for all the car action, good fitting music and voice actors. Interesting story and plot development. Great animation for the time, shows it's from the 90s. You'll be blitzkrieging this anime to the next stage, because of the pure enjoyment you'll get. Overall 10/10, masterpiece, leggo.

Great series. Eurobeat and Initial D compliment each other very well. A fun watch.

This is a review of the entire InitialD series stages 1-6. Initial D is all about racing and at times nothing elsematters in this show. In general if you like cars you will probably findsomething enjoyable in Initial D. There are times when it seems to be a bitslow and there are some unneeded subplots but overall it’s a nice ride in afast car.   Synopsis: The protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, is a gas station attendantworking with his friend Itsuki to buy a car, which they plan to drift on the twisting roadssurrounding nearby Mount Akina. Unbeknownst to his colleagues, Takumi moonlightsas a tofu delivery driver for his father's store before sunrise each morning,passively building an impressive amount of skill behind the wheel of the familycar, an aging trueno     Story: The story like most sportsanime is very simple and can be summed up in one line. The main character is aracer who is good at racing and wants to drive faster than everyone else. Takumiis our main character in this series and at first he seems very generic anddoesn’t have much of a personality. But, I think that is a good thing for this series.Because by the end you can really see how much his character has changed.  Takumi not only becomes more knowledgeablewith cars but also learns and uses multiple skills he has learned on the trackwith his 86 Trueno. The first three seasons are basically about Takumi learningabout his car and beating other racers. Its not until season 4 that the realmeat of the story starts. Season 4 ,5 and 6 bring in that Takashi brothers intothe mix and you learn what their goals are as well. Ryosuke starts Project D inseason 4 and recruits his younger brother and Takumi to be his star racers.Throughout the second half of this show’s six season Project D races multiplepeople across the continent. But, it’s not until the end that you learn thetrue goal of Project D. To avoid spoilers I won’t say more about it. Initial D also has a few romanticsubplots but I feel these make up for some of the more boring aspects of theshow and are really note needed and overall detract from the show. The romanceis mostly there for comic relief or filler.   Animation:  Depending on the season the animation ofInitial D can be really decent or horrible. Season 1, 2 and 3 are plagued withhorrible CG that makes the cars looks like bricks. While the races are stillwatchable I think this hurts the series overall due to the fact that the racesare Initial D’s hook it’s what gets people invested in the show. Season 4 ,5 ,6are have good animation for the races and use less CG overall when compared tothe first three seasons. Outside of racing animation the character animation ofthe first 4 seasons is lack luster and at times just plain bad. On occasion thereare times where the characters are just talking statues and don’t move at all.I assume that is due to a possibly low budget for the first couple of seasons. It’snot until season 5 and 6 that the overall animation budget is increased. Season5 and 6 see a nice coat of paint added to both the character models and thecars making them the best looking seasons overall. Some other issues with theanimation involved inconsistencies especially with hair color. Once characterin particular changes his hair color in almost every season with no explanation.Granted these inconsistencies are a minor issue overall.     Sound:  I think the sound and music work well forInitial D and really fit well with the racing atmosphere. Some people may notlike Eurobeat music but I think it works well for this series. With bothintense bombastic songs and then lower key ones the music is by far one of thehigh points of the series.     Characters:  Initial D has many characters but as the showgoes on more and more get thrown on to the sidelines and end up as sidecharacters who in some cases repeat the same lines over and over.  The first season does a good job at setting upall of the characters but slowly through the show more and more characters areforgotten. There are three main characters inthis series Takumi and the Takashi brothers. Takumi is the star of the firstthree season while the brother play more of a role in the last three.   Takumi: As I mentioned earlier hischaracter has some good development throughout the series and you really do seehim grow and develop into a good racer as the show goes on. I do feel like hewins way to many races based on chance. Sure luck does play a part in races butTakumi’s tougher races always seem like they are one by chance or a freakaccident. None of the other races seem to share the same dumb luck that he has.This makes his races seem a bit unrealistic and repitive at times.   Ryosuke: The older Takashi brotherwho starts project D. He doesn’t do much racing outside of the first season butis the coordinator for all of the races in the later seasons. Ryosuke is a smartcharacter and has all of the races mapped out and in his head. He is the mainreason the Project D is able to take on tougher and tougher opponents. Ryosukealso has his own goals and passions that don’t become apparent until the veryend of the series. Keisuke: The younger brother andthe other ace driver of Project D. Keisuke is also the first person that Takumibeats in season 1 and also shows good development as a driver and personthroughout the latter half of the series. I do wish that the animation studioincluded more of his races but I think many of them were cut due to time.Unlike Takumi’s races the majority of Keisuke’s are won by skill alone which tome makes them more interesting since you don’t always know if he is going towin.   Enjoyment:  There were definitely some parts of Initial Dthat I liked more than others. The car animation of the first 3 seasons washorrible and kind of a slog to watch at times. Not only was it bad CG but manyshots were reused at times. The last 3 seasons were much more watchable in thatrespect. There were also some subplots that really tear you away from the racesthat kind of dampened my enjoyment as well. Initial D also seems longer than itneeds to be at times, which is funny since there was already a large amount ofchapters cut from the manga to make the anime. Some races do leave a lastingimpact on the character’s development while others seem very run of the mill.What really drags on are the stories about the side characters that have no effecton the main plot. I feel the side characters should have been properly developedor left out altogether.  But, in generalI found Initial D to be a fun watch and would at least recommend you watchseason 1 or the movies that are a shortened version of season 1 to see if youlike it. 

Deja vu, I've just been in this place before Higher on the street, and I know it's my time to go Calling you, and the search is a mystery Standing on my feet, it's so hard when I try to be me, woah

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