And so Initial D has finally ended. Did you hear? Of course you did. What? You have no idea what Initial D is? Seriously?
Initial D (頭文字D) is an anime series based on the manga by Shigeno Shuuichi ( しげの 秀一). It’s about street racing on mountain passes, which is super illegal (but who cares? It’s anime), with these cool cars performing awesome drifts.
I fell in love with Initial D the first time I watched it more than a decade ago. The art style of Initial D: First Stage wasn’t the greatest—just look at the image below—but they used some cool 3D effects on the cars during races, and that’s when I got hooked.
I don’t know much about cars—heck, I don’t even like driving—but that doesn’t stop me from getting excited whenever I watch this series. I remember the anticipation, as I waited for each and every stage of the anime to come out. As I just mentioned, the art style of First Stage was nothing to be impressed about, but it drastically improved when Second Stage came out. The art and animation style just kept on improving until Fourth Stage, but when Fifth and the Final Stages came out, I was disappointed. They were still better than First Stage, but they couldn’t even compare to Fourth Stage. Perhaps it’s because they changed animation studios. Hmm. Maybe.
I have mixed feelings now that it finally ended. I’ve been following this series for more than a decade. I’m happy that I finally know how it ends, but at the same time I’m sad that it’s over. I love so many things about this series: the bad-ass theme songs and soundtracks, the adrenaline-pumping car races, those awesome drifts, and most especially the charismatic characters.
I would say that my favourite is First Stage because that’s where everything started. This is where the legend of Mt. Akina’s AE86 with its driver, downhill specialist Fujiwara Takumi, was born. The art style and animation style are the worst among all the stages, but I think that this stage has the majority of my most favourite car races in the series.
As for the ending, I’m a little disappointed. I think that the battle between the two 86 was anti-climactic. It wasn’t as awesome as I expected, but perhaps my expectations were too high. No. I really think that the earlier Project D battles were more exciting than the final battle.
Nevertheless, I’m satisfied that Project D accomplished its goal of winning every race all over Japan. And most importantly, the meaning of “D” is finally revealed. It stands for “Dream”, which I already suspected. My other guesses were “Destiny” and, wait for it, “Drift”. I know, I know. How original. (mutters: Now I can’t wait to know what the “D” stands for in ONE PIECE. I just hope that it’s not “dream” or “destiny”. Heavens forbid that it stands for “drift”.)
Now Initial D is over. Over. OVER!!! I want to cry and laugh at the same time. I invested half of my life for this series, and it feels odd that it’s finally over. But I’m happy that I watched it from the beginning until the end.
I only have one request. I wish Shigeno-sensei would draw an epilogue showing Fujiwara Takumi’s life after Project D. Did he manage to break into the professional car racing world? Is he successful? Did he marry? Does he still meet up with Takahashi Ryousuke and Takahashi Kyousuke? How about those brothers? What happened to them? I want to know! Shigeno-sensei, onegaishimasu!
I still have so many things I want to say about this series—it’s so awesome—but I will reserve those for another post. Even though Initial D has officially ended, my interest in it will never go away. I still watch the earlier stages now and then.
How about you? Have you watched Initial D yet? If so, what do you think?
Uploaded by: fenix17
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