Takumi Fujiwara is a skilled street racer, but he suffers a crushing loss against the team Emperor's leader Kyoichi Sudou due to his AE86 experiencing an engine failure. Doubting his abilities, the recent high school graduate is then approached by the Akagi RedSuns' team leader Ryousuke Takahashi, who proposes the formation of a professional street racing team. Although it would be the ideal way to improve as a street racer, Takumi remains undecided.
Does the young street racer have what it takes to become a professional? Perhaps Ryousuke and the RedSuns can help him reevaluate his own doubts and misconceptions concerning street racing. However, first and foremost, Takumi decides to settle the score with Kyoichi Sudou…
Anime Review: Initial D Third Stage
Welcome back anime aficionados! Today, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the adrenaline fuelled world of volcanic nocturnal races up and down the perilous mountains of Japan in the third instalment of Initial D, a series that has gained cult status among anime and car enthusiasts alike. Buckle up as we veer onto the twisty trail of Initial D Third Stage!
The story of Initial D Third Stage spins around the unsophisticated yet talented Takumi Fujiwara, a tofufu deliveryboy with the ability to dominate any given racetrack in his unassuming Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86. After conquering the racing teams of his home turf in Mount Akina, he has caught the eyes of professional racing teams who want him to drive for them in the big leagues, inducing wonder as to what the future has in store for him.
Meanwhile, Takumi is dealing with his own personal chaos; his friend Itsuki’s romantic complications, his own budding love interest with a former classmate Natsuki and of course, some nerve-wracking new races. With this backdrop, the third stage blends a mishmash of thrilling racing, raw emotions and human resilience.
Even though Initial D Third Stage is technically a movie rather than a series, it is an integral part of the ongoing narrative that seamlessly links the second and fourth stages together. Unlike the previous two series which operate in an episodic format, Third Stage encapsulates an overarching narrative giving it the chance to develop the storyline and characters more thoroughly.
The director marvellously intertwines the exhilarating racing scenes with the heartstring-tugging emotional elements. The plot evolves slowly but surely, offering plenty of opportunities to relate with the characters, encouraging viewers to cheer for them in their personal and racing life.
The animation, though vintage, is slick, sharp and sets the atmosphere on fire during the race sequences. The use of Eurobeat music is profoundly nostalgic, adding a significant edge to the overall tension and excitement during the races. What’s more, they’ve dialled back on the CGI, making the car movements more fluid and realistic.
Takumi’s character has evolved considerably since his first appearance; becoming more introspective and showing growth as he grapples with the complications of life and love. The other characters too have more depth, leading to a much more immersive viewing experience.
Initial D Third Stage is an exhilarating ride of intense motor races and emotional turmoil. The heightened stakes in the races and the complexity of the characters’ personal lives make for a compelling watch.
If you’re new to Initial D, I recommend catching the first two stages before stepping onto the third; the experience would be worthwhile! If you’re a fan, there really is no question about whether you should rent, buy or stream it; because, all in all, it’s an essential chapter in the Initial D saga not to be missed!
But whether you’re a petrol-head, an anime lover or both, buckle up and prepare for a high-octane race that will leave you at the edge of your seat, begging for more!
Be the first to leave a review.
Be the first to leave a review.