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I got introduced to Initial D when I was still a kid through Animax. It blew me away because I had always been a fan of racing.

I think it was the competitiveness while playing racing games using a playstation all those years ago contributed to my liking of racing. The competitive nature of the race always had me on the edge of my seat. I just love it. So being able to discover an anime that involves car racing, I got hooked immediately.


Type: TV + Movie
Episodes: 26 + 13 + 1 + 24 + 14 + 4
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 19, 1998 to Dec 6, 1998, Oct 15, 1999 to Jan 21, 2000, Jan 13, 2001, Apr 17, 2004 to Feb 18, 2006, Nov 4, 2012 to May 10, 2013, May 16, 2014 to Jun 22, 2014
Premiered: Spring 1998, Fall 1999, Spring 2004, Fall 2012, Spring 2014
Studios: Studio Gallop, Studio Comet, Pastel, Studio Deen, A.C.G.T., Synergy SP
Source: Manga
Genres: Action, Cars, Drama, Seinen, Sports
Duration: 25-27 min. per ep., 1 hr. 45 min.
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

Watching Initial D was quite a spectacle. For a span of 4 seasons and 1 movie, we were able to go on a journey alongside the main character, Takumi Fujiwara, as he enters to the world of street racing. Yep, you read that right. 4 seasons and 1 movie, its that long. I didn’t expect I would binge everything in just few days. Definitely a sentiment to the anime being so interesting, I can’t help but press the next episode.

The story is actually simple, it focused more on the main protagonist and his life, but we also got to see an ample amount of character depth and background to the important characters. The balance of it made the series enjoyable to watch.

Takumi Fujiwara was such an interesting character. On face value, he looks like a boring guy who can’t decide wtf his going to do with his life. But after being exposed to street racing, meeting new people and encountering alot of changes in his life, he was able to grow into a fine man and an awesome driver. Though, I do feel like his life was a bit easy. The Goddess of Luck likes him very much, which sometimes spoils the competitive nature of the series. Still, all the technique, experiences and lessons he got all through out his races are all his own. Luck or not, it made him stronger.

I think out of all the supporting characters, Keisuke wasy favorite. In the first stage, I thought he was that arrogant driver who never lose, but after knowing him better through out the series, he is a really nice guy. Though, I still am disappointed with him turning down that only love confession. Uuuggghhh.

For the art and animation, the quality of the early stages were understandably outdated. The 3D cars didn’t blend well with the 2D hand drawn animation. The character designs were okay, its different in every stage. There were also alot of inconsistent art all over it. I think it was around the 4th stage when everything got atleast good.

Overall, the anime was enjoyable to watch. It was really interesting and had me hooked until the end. The art and animation was its major drawback, but if you don’t mind then feel free to binge the hell out of this franchise.
I know that there’s a movie series of this anime. I haven’t checked that one out, but I might when I get a copy of it later this year.

Anyway, that is all for now.
Thanks for reading!!

4 thoughts on “Initial D franchise: Quick Thoughts

  1. Ahh, this reminds me that I put this anime on-hold. I should finish it all this year. I enjoyed this one, too, though I think I’d love it more had I more knowledge about cars and their engines. Haha

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