In the year 2048, people are raving about a fighting race called “Immortal Grand Prix”, or IGPX in short, which is faster and more exciting than any of the existing motor sports. The phenomenon is so big that an entire city was built for the racing industry where competitions take place on a huge track. In the “Immortal Grand Prix,” two teams of three IG machines, high-tech humanoid mechs driven by humans, race at speeds greater than 400km/h. The teams make three laps of a 60 km course while intercepting the opponent as they vie for a first place finish. The best machine performance, the best pilots and the best teamwork are the only factors that can make them the winners.
IGPX is a speck of gold ore in the seemingly automated production of Shounen muck. Whether this charms you or Bleach does, there`s very little room to argue which Anime has the better pacing and scene direction. IGPX is a quality Shounen work that can easily appeal to people who aren't fans of the genre.
As a racing Anime infused with martial arts, its closest relatives are not Naruto or DBZ, but instead Hajime no Ippo, Kenichi, and Slam Dunk. Structured competition is the core of IGPX. In that list, and including any anime I have ever seen, IGPX contains the best
representation of both athletics and martial arts. That seems to be a strange claim given that the show`s premise is not a real sport, and the physical aspects of martial arts are never elaborated upon. Instead of a typical Shounen formula where the main character brings out his latent potential, IGPX has much more focus on the intricacies of athletic competition: from psych outs to how athletes slump into self doubt, get big headed with overconfidence, or attain that magical balance that many refer to as "being in the zone."
Story + Characters:
Takeshi is the up and coming phenom protagonist. He has basically reached his peak, and with his talent and skill, has helped his team earn a spot in the most prestigious professional league in his sport (racing robots): the IG1. The focus of character development isn`t Takeshi improving his skills, but improving as an athlete. In other words, his attitude and his competitive spirit. Takeshi`s mood shifts between Laissez-fair, cockiness, and self-doubt lends him some complexity that the rest of the cast doesn`t have. Simple and predictable as the rest of them are, their personalities aren`t totally off the wall exaggerated and they function perfectly well in the usual race-a-week framework.
The story amounts to little more than detailing the progression of Takeshi and his team through the IG1 league. Even the side conflicts like romance, or other character specific issues seem to stay within the league. Everything is related back to racing.
Animation + Sound:
In more technical aspects, both the traditional and CG animations look full and smooth. IGPX never cuts any glaring corners. The music is fitting, and of a general high quality. Fully orchestrated pieces usually play during the races while an upbeat hip hop influenced techno soundtrack fills the rest of the gap. The script is the biggest fault in IGPX. The characters have very little subtlety in their words, especially the main characters. Everyone is painfully blunt or overt. Perhaps its a problem that plagues the whole genre, but every detail of the emotions characters feel have to be spelled out for the viewer. The script has too many unnecessary frills. The excessive explanations I mentioned already, but another example is just pointless banter. Characters will shout each others names as they attack, for no reason really, more times than you will be able to count.
Through the heart-pounding excitement of the characters, the viewer catches a little bit of the thrill of competition. This is the basis behind every formulaic underdog sports movie, and it is also behind every sports Anime. In this aspect, IGPX delivers not only in quantity of races, but also quality. The races are concise and fast paced, never dragging out tension longer than its breaking point. There are no standstills. If nothing else, chances are, the action will keep you interested in IGPX. Some of the common Shounen pitfalls are present, but they`re not difficult to overlook when the meat of the series is so well done.
IGPX has one of the best story line I have seen, to be topped only by Kanon and MAYBE FaTe Stay Night. The story is interesting and it is really addicting once you started to watch it. I seen the whole thing like five times... all 26 episod.
The art isn't too bad for the time it was aired, of course most anime aired in 2007 and Q1 Q2 of 2008 are far better like Clannad, Shippuuden, and One Piece HD. But it is definitely at the top at its time.
I personally really like the OT's guitar solo at the beginning, the closing
isn't as good. And most OST in the serie are among the best I have heard.
Takeshi is among the best protagonist design in the history of anime. Topped maybe by Nayuki from Kanon.
Amy Stapleton is by far the kawaiiest of all female character design.
The story is over all very enjoyable.... *TRYING to sound professional here*
Among my favorite anime I have seen so far, the only one that MIGHT be better than it is Kanon 2006.
I'm writing this because the other reviews have rated IGPX is less than ten and the anime only averages a seven. I find this deeply wrong. Never before has an anime impressed me as much as IGPX. This is a passionate plea for anyone looking at the page to go watch it.
IGPX is animated by Production I.G., so high quality is to be expected. While the characters and scenery are all beautifully animated, the mecha/race sequences are entirely CGI. Thankfully, the CGI is more than enough to look good on the track, yet is kept seperate from the non-race scenes as to not be jarring.
A professional voice cast consisting of Haley Joel Osment, Michelle Rodriguez, and even Mark Hamill is used to great effect. This is one of the few series I prefer to watch dubbed. A brilliantly liscensed electronic soundtrack sets the mood perfectly for the series and is never distracting.
Where IGPX really shines, however, is the story. IGPX is a mecha anime, but a greatly appreciated original take on the genre. There's no intense war going on to complicate the plot. Each season is a tournament arc in the best way possible. The races are pure adrenaline and varied enough that they never lose excitement. Although the characters are never in any mortal danger, at times youcan actually feel like you're in the mecha, flying across the track at 400+ mph. Off the track the series is almost slice-of-life in plot and pacing, as it focuses on Team Satomi preparing for matches. This side of the story is enough to carry whole episodes; one of the best episodes, "Holiday," features no racing at all. Each member of Team Satomi is fleshed out just enough to keep with the gentle pacing and to make the audience really connect with each character. There is romance in the series and it is handled realistically and maturely, something uncommon in many anime.
So if all this is true, why was IGPX a commercial failure? Simply put, it was never properly suited for Cartoon Network. It was too mature for Toonami and not flashy enough for Adult Swim. If it had been more successful, more seasons were possible, but IGPX ends perfectly. Every plot thread is resolved as it should be, so you won't leave the series unsatisfied.
If you like realistic characterization, a great soundtrack, star vocal talent, and a nice balance of slice-of-life and action, IGPX is a must-watch. I urge you to take the chance.
Review for IGPX : Immortal Grand Prix (2005)
Writing a Review for a 10 year old anime,
Reason being : Only found out that IGPX had an anime, My watch list has been so crowded I spotted this on the front page of Kissanime as a random anime.
Summary Review of the Full review down below
Story : In my opinion, the story has a lot of really dumb and strange problems,
Art : The art style is fine maybe even great during it's time, No complains,
Sound : The sounds are done well, No problems with the voices or effects.
Character : Some minor problems with
the personalities of the characters in my opinion, Some felt rather undeveloped.
Enjoyment : I was sort of disappointed with it, I personally expected a little more action
Overall : I am a fan of IGPX:Immortal Grand Prix's game on the PS2 and played it a lot, Personally watching this isn't that great.
Story : Can't really write much about why the story is so full of meaningless problems since that would be spoilers, Personally what I disliked about the story was more of the world the story exists in, If that makes sense. The lack of actual action on the track (racing & fighting) is disappointing, Playing the game first probably made me expect some cool tactics and strategies played out by the teams.
Art : The art is fine, It was probably great back in 2005 and can still be good today, No complains here, It will not hinder your enjoyment of the anime, 8/10 is what I rate good art animes, 10/10 for animes with unique art styles that work.
Characters : The characters feel very hollow and under-developed at least that's how it feels to me, Probably because their traits are very standard and don't really make them memorable in anyway. In my personal opinion.
Enjoyment : I wish I could have enjoyed it more, Still an anime to watch when you have "extra" free time,
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".