One foggy morning, a black and white Toyota AE86 flies past Keisuke Takahashi's Mazda RX7 on Mount Akina, making him believe he has seen the ghost of a racer who died on the mountain. Resolving to defeat this phantom, Keisuke mobilizes the Akagi Red Suns to take on the local Akina Speed Stars racing team in an exchange race. He anticipates that the competition will lure the elusive "Ghost of Akina" out into the open and give him the opportunity to exact revenge for his previous defeat.
While his friend Itsuki Takeuchi is obsessed with cars and racing, Takumi Fujiwara is not. He fails to understand the "rush" that racers experience and any talk of cars reminds him of the tofu deliveries he makes for his father in an old AE86. His early morning routine takes him up and down Mount Akina, where he has memorized every hairpin, brake point, and turn better than anyone else.
When the Akagi team appears one night to challenge the Speed Stars to an exchange race, they accept the challenge only to find out that they are completely outclassed. The only way the Speed Stars can stand a chance against them is if they can get the panda-colored AE86 to join their team. With a bit of coercion, Takumi takes the wheel of the AE86 and heads off to Mount Akina to defend the pride of all racers in Akina.
The Anime Critic: Reviewing ‘New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 – Kakusei’
Our journey starts with the protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, a high school student burdened with the affliction of living an unassuming life in a sleepy town in Japan. Irrespective of this monotone setting, Fujiwara harbors an ace up his sleeve – an unmatched talent for car racing inherited from his father. Unaware of his high octane potential, Fujiwara works in a small tofu shop operated by his dad, his daily routine consisting of delivering tofu in his dad’s old Toyota AE86, little would he know this mundane task shapes him into a high-speed legend.
Fujiwara’s quiet life takes an adrenaline-filled turn when street racers discover the speed demon lurking in the sloping supermarket parking lots in the middle of the night. When the thrill-seeking ‘RedSuns,’ an infamous racing team, come to town, they challenge our clueless hero to a race – launching the metamorphosis of Takumi from ordinary high schooler to the awe-inspiring ‘Drift King.’ Will Takumi accept the challenge? You’ll need to tune in to find out!
Animation and Artstyle
The film boasts sensational animation quality, seamlessly integrating traditional hand-drawn style with modern CGI technology. The car races truly are the star of the show here, displaying fluid motion and heart-pounding velocity that leave audiences riveted to their screens. The character designs stay true to their roots from the classic series, yet are refined with sophistication that aligns perfectly with the enhanced modern animation.
Story and Character Development
While “New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 – Kakusei” is dominantly about blindingly fast cars and high adrenaline racing, it’s not devoid of a compelling storyline and intriguing character development. Takumi’s growth is portrayed realistically, as he evolves from an innocent bystander in his own life to an empowered racer, aware of his extraordinary skills.
Music and Sound Design
The soundtrack of the film is nothing short of stunning. Each soundtrack piece contributes to the tension, thrill, and excitement during the races, and the engaging eurobeat melodies keep the adrenaline pumping throughout the viewing. Sound effects, especially the revving of the engines or the screeching tires, have been designed meticulously, adding further immersion and authenticity to the racing sequences.
The “New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 – Kakusei” is a stunning revisit to an anime classic, capturing the essence of the original while bringing it into the 21st century with modern animation and design. It is not just an anime for car enthusiasts and sport fanatics, but also for anyone who appreciates a story of personal growth and self-discovery. Whether you’re a fan of the initial series or a newcomer, this anime is definitely worth renting, buying, or streaming!
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