Should I find it comforting that the kind of cheese you'd normally only see in an 80s sports movie can also be found in Japanese anime?
Watching INITIAL D: SECOND STAGE reminded me of observations I had when the first couple FAST & THE FURIOUS movies came out. Most times, when you call a show exploitational, it’s exploiting things like sex, gore, martial arts or any number of lurid subjects. Maybe it should have been obvious, but I didn’t immediately think that cars could be exploited like that, as well. I always remember this Russian kid in high school, who had really no interest in movies otherwise, going on about how rad those movies were. Not because he thought Vin Diesel was cool or that Michelle Rodriguez was hot - - it was strictly because of the cars.
“Seriously, if you’re into cars, you need to watch this movie.”
And I imagine the same applies to INITIAL D. Actually, I first heard of this series from another kid from high school (he was also a hardcore asshole, but that’s unrelated.) He was a car nut too and I doubt he’d ever touch another manga aside from POKEMON, but he loved INITIAL D.
Myself, I like to drive my Honda Civic and I’ve enjoyed blazing along on at high speeds at Go Carts, but my interest in cars only extends that far. So I look at this show with these tough guys who are so deathly serious about downhill drift racing and it cracks me the hell up. Like laughing out loud. And the chortles just get more and more hysterical when the pump-up music breaks out for the racing scenes with the Playstation One-era graphics.
I’m going to put up reviews of the rest of the number ones for series I received, and I'll let you Anime Vice lunatics decides which one I'll watch all the way through, but I’m exerting my executive powers and vetoing INITIAL D. I can’t watch another episode of awkwardly-crosshatched dudes and their love affairs with their vehicles.
Watch this episode below and decide for yourself...