September 27, 2010
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.