14-year-old Kazami Hayato is the youngest driver of Cyber Formula, a Grand Prix in which each vehicle is equipped with computers to aid in racing. With the help of Asurada, the most advanced cybernavigation system, and team Sugo, Hayato races to become the winner of the 10th Cyber Formula Grand Prix. Along the way, Hayato will have to learn what it truly means to be a racer and that victory cannot be achieved simply by driving the best machine. In addition, Kazami will have to gain the respect of the veteran racers, thwart those who attempt to steal Asurada, and participate in races outside of Cyber Formula.
Cyber Formula series has been keeping its position at the top of my favourite list for a long time. Of course, I'm not just talking about the TV series, but also the sequel OVAs as well. It's created by Sunrise, a studio well known for mecha anime.
In a nut shell, Cyber Formula is about car racing (Grand Prix), but there's a catch. It takes place in a near future, where the technology is more advanced. All cars are equiped with a computer system that aids the racer in many ways such as giving advice and tips, detecting dangers ahead, and basically fulfilling drivers' wishes. The
computers understand human languages and can somewhat intereact with people.
This TV series was first aired in 1991, so it's considered as an old school anime I guess.
It is 2015. Kazami Hayato, a 14 year old boy gets involved in an unexpected event that eventually leads him to becoming a driver in Cyber Formula Grand Prix. Racing cars are equipped with advanced computer navigation system that can interact with its driver to aid and fulfil driver’s needs. With “Asurada” a racing machine that was created by his father, Hayato and his team take on the world’s best drivers in order to become the youngest champion in the history of Grand Prix.
In a sense, it has a story of typical sport anime. A main character tries to become the best at what he does, in this case it's car racing. You will definitely see a lot of car racings in this anime. What makes racing unique in this anime is that each round takes place in different parts of the world with many different and difficult obstacles that racers have to face. It’s not your typical “just go around in circle” car racing. This series also shows us what kind of hardships and challenges that racers face while striving forward to their goals. What makes Cyber Formula shine are all the intense dramas that take place, complimented by some timely humour and heart warming moments.
Well, it's an old TV series and considering when it came out, it's not too bad. There are some inconsistencies in that some scenes are flat coloured (one tone) while some scenes have shadings (two tones), but it didn't bother me too much, maybe because I'm used to a lot of the old school anime series. Character designs are quite nice looking and I felt that the designs suit the personalities very well. The highlights of this anime are the racing machines, designed by one of my favourite artists, Shoji Kawamori. The racing machines look very unique, but believable, which is always important to me. Oh, did I mention they have boosters?
I really loved the soundtracks in the anime. They do have that 90’s nostalgic feel to them, which I enjoy a lot. Intense moments, sad moments, heart warming moments… They are all complimented well by great music (rock music is quite prominent). OP and ED songs are great. I’ve been listening to them since over a decade ago and I still enjoy them to this date. Finally, voice acting isn't flawless, but it's very solid as expected like most other anime. I think they found right voices for all the characters.
No story is great without good characters and Cyber Formula has them all. There are some characters who are just like us, who we can relate to. Then there are characters with unique personalities, which strengthens the enjoyment of the show. Another charm to this anime is character developments, mostly the drivers who face obstacles and hardships that they've never faced before. I could personally feel for them and sometimes I found myself really rooting for someone who I didn't think I'd be rooting for before.
I’m not a racing fan and I don’t watch racing. However, Cyber Formula really takes it to the next level not only because it is futuristic, but you can see all the dramas that take place during races (unlike TV broadcasts). I think this anime has great replay value.
I remember when I was a little kid, I'd come home from school and was hardly able to wait for Cyber Formula to play on TV. Not only can kids enjoy this, but I think many grown ups will still find this series quite entertaining. If you can get over the fact that this is an older anime, you will be hooked (especially for sports/mecha fans). There are OVAs, which are sequels to the TV series. The art quality skyrockets in the OVAs so if you weren’t quite impressed with the art quality of the TV series, keep watching because I’m sure the sequels will impress you!
As I have that special attachment to this anime , I'd personally give this an overall score of 10 without hesitation. However, I know I'm biased and objectively speaking, I'd give a score of 8. It's a fun, unique anime so if you have some time, give this anime a shot!
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a high-intensity race, be it in a car, bike, or even mecha suit. Youthful passion and energy fuel these shows about drivers, pilots and athletes all striving for that #1 spot. As Ricky Bobby once famously said, "If you ain't first, you're last".