September 27, 2010

Initial D Third Stage

It's been a while since I watched the first and second seasons of Initial D but I was really excited when I got my hands on a dubbed copy of Third Stage that I had to watch it immediately. The movie itself was 1h45m long and worth every second. The plot line picked up right where Second Stage left off and answered a lot of questions that were left by the end of Second Stage.

Of course Takumi starts putting the new engine in the AE86 through its paces by challenging the EVO III to a rematch after blowing the engine in the previous seasons. Tak also finds himself in a battle with the son of his father's old rival. This new racer is an ex-cart racer and wants to prove that his technique is superior to the street racers. He races the 86 in his father's MR2. The story also begins to provide some closure to the dynamics between Takumi and Natsuke's relationship. Ryosuke also makes his appearance as he begins forming the expedition team for Project D, which is a huge factor for Fourth Stage.

In terms of elements in the film, there isn't much to say. If you are a fan of Initial D, you'll already be aware that the hand drawn characters are nothing special, but the battle scenes are an excellent combination of hand drawn and CG graphics. The music is all J-Rock and Eurobeat, but also very fitting for the battle scenes.

With regards to a recommendation as to whether I suggest watching this movie, this should be a no brainer. If you love cars and watching races then watch anything Initial D that you can get your hands on. The strongest force behind the appeal with this show I find is that it uses cars that regular people such as myself can actually obtain to tell the story. There aren't any crazy mods on the cars like custom body kits. For the most part they all look factory with aftermarket rims. Obviously the engines are tuned, but it takes a different approach to telling the story of street racing. Its not the overblown Fast and the Furious production that we see in North America so often. In fact, after watching First and Second Stage back 2 years ago, Initial D is part of what inspired me to get my AE140 this year (2010 Corolla S). It is the type of show that inspires its audience to take pride in their cars and appreciate them for what they are instead of trying to be something they aren't.


  1. Think Toyota sponsored them? :p I absolutely agree with what you said about writing a great story about pretty normal people with normal obtainable cars rather than the extreme modified stuff. Would you be interested in getting the FT86, which is a tribute to the AE86 in the future?

  2. I think you are right with the Toyota sponsorship. I believe I heard that somewhere before. And in answer to your question yes I would get and FT86 if the opportunity arises. But for now, I'll have to settle for my E140. Who knows, maybe I'll be the next king of the downhill, lol jk.