Initial D: Final Stage + movies

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Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby Ghegs » Wed May 28, 2014 7:45 am

At last, it's here. Four new episodes, two of which have already aired in Japan May 16th, the remaining two on June 22nd. Fifth Stage ended in a cliffhanger, time to see how the story ends.

There will also be no less than three new movies, the first of which will air this August.

Initial D: The Movie - Legend 1: Awakening.
http://www.initiald-movie.com/

The trailer at the site makes it rather obvious that the movies re-tell Takumi's story from the beginning, but of course with heavily improved visuals over the originals. The original CGI from way back in 1998 has aged a lot so it can certainly use a do-over. I don't know if they're re-telling just First Stage, but it seems like a fair guess. Squeezing all of the six stages into three hour-and-a-half -movies would most likely not work at all, and First Stage has some of the more iconic races in the series anyway.
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Re: Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby Ghegs » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:29 pm

Final Stage episodes 3 and 4 have been fansubbed, so...that's it. The story is over. Feels weird, I must've watched First Stage a decade or so ago. It's been a long road.

Some of my thoughts after having seen the end of the series, obviously very spoilery:

Spoiler: show
I'm a bit disappointed how Takumi used the "turn headlights off"-attack not once but twice against Shinji - didn't he say somewhere around Fourth Stage that he doesn't want to use it too much because it feels cheap or something to that effect? Of course it was a very tight race, but still.

That's another thing, I'm kind of doubtful Shinji had a rally engine in his 86 like Takumi did, so the technological advantage should've been heavily on Takumi's side, but the cars seemed to act like they were equals. Yes, it would've been silly if Takumi had just blown past Shinji at any straight so I guess that gets chalked up to storytelling freedom. And it does sort of work since much of the First Stage was about how horsepower isn't as important in downhill.

While we're on the subject of technology, the final race was much more about the tech than usual in the series. Most of the other iconic races in the series (vs. Ryosuke in First Stage, vs. God Hand in Fourth Stage...) were all about Takumi's skill and tactics. That's really why I like the previous Stages better where Takumi overcomes his car's weaknesses with his skill, he doesn't just win because he has a better car. That's also why I didn't like the Wangan Midnight anime as much as Initial D, but that's another topic altogether...

Revealing "D" to stand for Dream wasn't a huge surprise, I thought it was pretty strongly hinted at a loooooong time ago...but what happened to Ryosuke becoming a doctor and that being the cut-off line for Project D? Now he becomes a talent scout for new drivers? That was weird.

Still, nice ending montage with "Rage Your Dream" at the end. I always thought after Project D was over Keisuke would go into professional circuit racing and Takumi into rallying. Seems more appropriate, there's been many rally-related things popping up in the series over the years. And Mako got into pro racing too, that was nice.

And what was that red car in the very end? It was probably just a "It's a big world, there are still many strong rivals out there"-moment and not something that would evolve into a new series or spinoff or a movie. But who knows.
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Re: Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby 1up » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:43 pm

Damn I haven't even completed watching 5th stage yet.
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Re: Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby Ghegs » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:49 pm

The first movie's been done by fansubbers now.

The movie trilogy covers the First Stage, but they're reworking the story a little bit and changing some small details. Presumably due to having only three hours in total to work with. As a result of that the races are shorter as well and they don't quite have the same high-thrill impact as the originals, despite looking miles better than the clunky CGI from 1998. The utter and complete lack of Eurobeat plays a part in this as well, all the battle music is just generic j-rock that I forgot about immediately after they ended. Really a shame, I wonder why they chose not to bring back the classics like Space Boy, Running in the 90's, et al. Licensing issues?

Overall the movie's still entertaining to watch, but I think the original series remains superior.
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Re: Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby Ghegs » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:05 pm

Legend 2: Racer has been out for a while and was fansubbed lately.

My sentiments from the first movie apply here as well. Looks good, slightly reworked story so it feels a tad rushed, no Eurobeat so the races don't have the same punch to them.

Legend 3 will be out in February and it seems they're dropping the Usui race completely (though Mako and Sayuki do make an appearance in the preview) and focus solely on the decisive race between Takumi and Ryosuke.
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Re: Initial D: Final Stage + movies

Postby Ghegs » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:22 pm

Legend 3: Dream has now been fansubbed.

Everything I've said about the previous movies still apply. Only the music is even worse this time. Jazz? And something that sounded like the most generic US pop group ever? Mako and Sayuki only make a token appearance and might as well not have been there.

For comparison after watching the movie I re-watched the last episode of the original First Stage and it's just so much better. Worse visually of course, but there's just so much more energy and story in the originals.

In the end, I'm not sure who these movies are aimed at. The long-time fans already know the story, so having it re-cut into shorter, less interesting form isn't all that appealing, despite the prettier visuals. And the movies just aren't good enough by themselves to bring new people into the franchise, who would then seek out the the other Stages to watch. Or at least that's my take on it.
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