Shortly after graduating from high school, Takumi is approached by RedSuns leader Ryosuke Takahashi and offered to join him in forming a professional racing team. Before coming up with an answer to the proposal, Takumi seeks retribution by issuing a rematch to Emperor leader Kyouichi Sudou, who previously defeated him due to an engine failure. He is also challenged by Kai Kogashiwa, a second-generation street racer whose father was once a fierce rival of Takumi's father Bunta.
The movie has a considerable amount of material to deal with and it does an excellent job of covering it. It transitions smoothly and takes one thing at a time and it’s well paced. Unfortunately, characters such as Itsuki, Iketani, and Keisuke are mostly in the back seat for all the right reasons, but still have presence. You finally get to see Takumi develop as a true well rounded racer and his other qualities also begin to develop in this movie as well. Not much else to say, but I say viewing the first 2 installments are a necessity since the movie is a continuation and a progression of the franchise.
Well, the art, resolution, and the cg continue to progress. The art is cleaner and more detailed, and the cg’s rendering also improves. The races as usual are exciting, but have more of a gimmick or twist behind them this time, which makes them fresh and original in addition of allowing the races to take place in a new environment. And you can never get bored of breath taking drifts. However, some problems I have in this movie are that the races this time tends to end more anti-climatically more than usual.
Fortunately for some, the tech speak is virtually non-existent this time so it’ll be easy to follow and just simply enjoy the races. But I say the tech speak in the previous sagas are always a big help in getting a professional understanding of how the cars and techniques work. But that’s just me.
Well, I can’t really add too much about the voice acting since anything I said in the previous reviews can be applied here too. However, the addition of Kai played by Canna Nobutoshi is a great one. He is very intimidating and hot blooded as Kai like other roles he has played such as Guts from Berserk, Tasuki from Fushigi Yuugi, and Knuckles from Sonic. The music is still the number one trait has always captivated me to Initial D, and is a great representative of the fast and fun nature of this anime. The opening theme Gamble Rumble by MOVE goes very well to the sequence and is always in tradition that MOVE is part of the soundtrack, and I love the insertion of Crazy for Love as well. The ending theme Jirenma adds a new kind of feel to this series as well that you have to watch to understand what I mean.
Like I said, to get into this movie, and understand and enjoy it, you have to see the first 2 seasons to understand a lot of things such as Takumi’s developing acquainting with Ryosuke, why Takumi is avoiding Natsuki and what ended their relationship, and the score he has to settle with the Emperors. To me, this movie is an extension of season 2 and transitions very well into the 4th stage. This movie does an excellent job of standing on its own by further developing Takumi’s character, and balancing his issues and resolving them.read more
Not as good as the series, but it answers all the question left to be answered, which were carried on from seasons one and two.
The story told is about Takumi's effort to tie all the loose ends from the past two series. So, we've got races, development of his craving for becoming the best driver and an emotional part involving Mogi.
Most of the races are as good as always, but there is one which due to the nature of the rival becomes even more interesting. From this race we will also hear some more of Bunta's story which is a very good thing.
Although Christmas and snow fit love emotional story like nothing else, while watching that part of the movie I had the strange feeling that it was simply taking too long, especially that similarly to what we've seen before when it comes to emotions Takumi is definitely on the slow side.
The animation is better than in the second season. The races seem more realistic, the car models are more detailed and even the character animation stepped up a notch. It's a shame though that there is still such a wide gap between the quality of how the races and characters are animated.
When it comes to sound it is the same thing we have experienced before. So, once again will listen to good voice acting combined with eurobeat music. It seems that the Initial D style simply does not get old and sounds as good as always.
Most of the time we will be seeing characters, which Takumi has encoutered before. Two chracters are however worth pointing out.
First we have Takumi's greatest enemy in the movie, who all though plays a short part in the story is one of the most memorable characters from the movie.
Secondly, we have the guy who gets involved with Mogi. Since the Mogi part of the plot is way too long for my taste, the least would be to let the viewers know why the hell is he acting like that.
Concluding, it was a pleasent feeling to see the animation improve, but still as a whole the movie is not as good as the second season of the series, but mark my words when I say... 'You have to watch it!'.read more
Laohoam: This was a great add on to the series, the fact that they summarized then continued right were they left off was great. the story continued to develop tac as a racer and how he had to overcome all the challenges in his life to move on. Way to hit lvl 4 tac ... way to go.
Rasnaph: Fantastic, exciting, and this whole franchise has drifted its way into one of my favorites.
DrRDash: I jumped for joy when we drew this one out of the hat, so we all watched this and honestly we all didnt make a peep we just got lost in houw much we really love Initial D. The movie gave new excitement for the up and coming seasons STAGES... and I am so happy we watched the first episode because this is just amazing.
Tadgh: I felt just a good about this one as the other stages we've watched. Initial D works well as a whole; each season has a theme and follows it well. This one was about Tak understanding himself, and it was a good ride. It really set up the rest of the series and we can't wait to get to the next one.read more
The 3rd stage of Initial D manages to wrap up some unanswered we had from Stage 1 and Stage 2 , while overall keeping a good interesting pace and spotlight on the characters.
Instead of my previous reviews for the series so far Im not going to split everything with headers for the specific elements im just going to mix parts in.
The story covers alot of plot points throughout and manages to actually cover everything throughout well. Cause this is a sequel I don't think I can say too much from this point on without spoiling anything in terms of story. The story manages to introduce the Project D racing team (hence the title) , detailing Takumi's races with Kyouichi who beat him due to engine failing and Kai as well as showing the end of his and Natsuki's relationship as it seems this is will be the last time shes shown, unless flashbacks.
The art again continues to be a stand out, with the races done very well and the sound design for this is just perfect. It suits the show and is well executed.
The characters are done fantastically again, even Natsuki who I expressed a bit of disdain for previously.
And finally my enjoyment for this series just hasnt dropped one bit since I started watching, the races, the story , the characters everything keeps me waiting for the next episode or arc. Its surprising how something just based on car racing can be done so well and keep me so entertained.
3rd stage is a good film that continues the great precedent set with Stage 1 and Stage 2 , I am very interested to see how this story goes on.
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".
Initial D is the grittier anime equivalent of those adrenaline pumping fantasy car movies like Fast and Furious or Need For Speed. But one thing the movies and this series shares is a lineup of the sexiest cars around.