Depending on the budget of an anime and the studio producing said anime, the quality of shows released can vary greatly even within a short time span. You can especially notice this in the late 90′s and early 2000′s when studios started to realize the potential of CGI animation. In the case of Initial D (originally released in 1998) I personally feel it did an amazing job with what it had. (throws personal feelings out the window) This show aged terribly. with the exception of a few harems most of us have been spoiled with beautiful, smooth animation, seamless dubs, and amazing action sequences. (Thank you Madhouse Studios) I do give it credit though, as this show was way ahead of it’s time. With close to 30% of the anime being completely CGI in 1998 I can see why this show caught so much… Traction. HA!
The Story Centers on Takumi, a high school Delivery driver for a tofu shop. He spends every night braving the slopes of mountain passes in rural japan until the tofu is safely in the customers hands. That is until hes discovered by the local street racing crew and taken on as a undefeated prodigy racer.
The plot unto it’s self is super simple:
Racer Finds Takumi, Takumi Kicks Ass, Character Development.
What makes this show worth watching is the quirky cast, interesting romance arks, OST, and the long running linear story line, which allows for a lot of that character development. It’s kind of like Naruto except with cars. So if your into cars, or long running anime series this is the one for you! It’s so long running its actually stupid. If for what ever reason your curious about the evolution of modern animation this show is really cool because every season gets an insane animation overhaul and it’s super noticeable. Just when you think Itsuki can’t get uglier… he does. In all fairness though the animation gets passable in the third season.
The OST was also pretty great. It really fit the tone of the show like something out of an old Need For Speed game. it did a great job of getting you pumped with some 90′s euro-beat techno, and live action ED’s that make you want to grab your Ipod and throw on Evanescence.
So If you like shows you can really sink you tires into check this one out. oh and did I mention the video games? Oh my the video games.
Initial D Arcade Stage / Initial D (2002 — Arcade (NAOMI 2))
Initial D Arcade Stage 3 / Initial D Version 3 (2004 — Arcade (NAOMI 2))
Initial D Arcade Stage 4 / Initial D 4(2006 — Arcade (Lindbergh))
Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited(2007 — Arcade (Lindbergh))
Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Kai (2008 — Arcade (Lindbergh))
Initial D Arcade Stage 5 (2009 —Arcade (Lindbergh))
Initial D Arcade Stage 6 AA (2011 —Arcade (RingEdge))
Initial D Arcade Stage 7 AAX (2012 — Arcade (RingEdge))
Initial D Arcade Stage 8 ∞ (Infinity)(2014 — Arcade))
Initial D (1999 — Sega Saturn)
Initial D (1999 — PS1)
Initial D Gaiden (1998 — Game Boy)
Initial D: Ryosuke Takahashi’s Fastest Typing-theory (2001 — PS2)
Initial D Another Stage (2002 —GBA)
Initial D Collectible Card Game (2003 — Collectible Card Game)
Initial D: Special Stage (2003 —PS2)
Initial D: Street Stage (2006 — PSP)
Initial D Extreme Stage (2008 —PS3)
Initial D RPG (Sony Ericsson mobile phone)
Initial D: Perfect Shift Online (2014 -Nintendo 3DS eShop) (Free-to-Play)
Also theres 5 seasons, god knows how many OVA’s, 4 animated movies and a live action movie that had a $12,000,000 budget.
The most amazing thing about this show is just how much of it there is. I digress.
On a closing note I’m not surprised that this show has a massive cult following. All in all I enjoyed this whole series and I think most will if they can get over the stunted voice acting and how bad it looks by today’s standards.