Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Initial Thoughts On Initial D

Artists' rendition of Initial-Ds' protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara &
 his "panda" Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 or "Eight Six".
                                          Initial Thoughts On Initial-D


                                                                    Jay Agan

      When I picked up a copy of the first disc of Initial-D at Half Price Books I was initially enthused. After a few more discs, I gave them to the local colleges' anime club. Not that I don't like Initial-D, I just don't love it.

      Takumi Fujiwara is an indifferent "racer" as he delivers tofu for his dads' business to customers on Mt. Akina. It's no big deal to him as he only follows his fathers orders & in so doing, unknowingly becomes the "Ghost of Mt. Akina" in his impromptu races with other drivers on the treacherous bends & turns of the mountain. In the five years he's been delivering for his dad (Without a drivers license!) he's become a superb driver with skills to match anyone. As the story progresses he makes himself known & his enthusiasm for illegal street "drift" racing grows.

      In my formative years, when I wasn't digesting horror/sci-fi, etc., I was reading any & every about cars. While stuck in military school, I latched on to Henry Gregor Felsen s' books (Hot Rod, Street Rod, Boy Gets Car, Crash Club.). Speed Racer  (Mach Go Go Go!) also fired the imagination.

      A few years back I became aware (Through the now Bigfoot 'n Bullcrap er ..... uh History Channel about the present day drag racing scene wherein a lot of Japanese cars are used. As I had lost interest since the "muscle car" era of the 70s, this was something new to me. The Fast & Furious franchise (Not to be confused with the present BATF royal screw up.) later made me aware of  "drift" racing.

      I thought Initial-D to be a Felsen-like experience & for the first few eps it was ("Boy gets car", has an enthusiastic buddy or two, gets a girlfriend, etc.). After that it turned into "opponent of the week" with lots of racing around looking grim. That's when I lost interest. At least Speed Racer had a variety of stories (Albeit "kiddy" stuff.). I understand later "stages" (seasons) to be a bit different.

      As it is, I got as much out of it as I did the parody in ep 6 of Lucky Star.

Article copyright © 9-28-2011 Jay Agan

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