Taira Kappeita, or Capeta, was a 4th grader boy. He had lost his mother when he had been very little. Although he pretended to be tough in front of his father, actually he felt lonely. One day, his father brought junk parts home from his workplace and made a racing cart. Soon, they went to a circuit to drive the cart. However, Capeta found that its frame was bent and it could hardly run straight. But, with his technique he managed the cart. Furthermore, he followed soon after the fast cart and he could nearly leave it behind. The driver in the cart was Minamoto Naomi, the champion of the East Japan Junior Cart. Looking at their chase, Naomi's mother, Minamoto Nanako, advised Capeta to take part in the official race.
Capeta is a blue-collar, work your hands to the bone sort of sports anime about racing (mostly go karts). Personally, I'm not big on racing in real life, but I found it really fun and exciting here.
It's not an unfamiliar story: a humble working class kid (Capeta) with a natural aptitude for a sport struggles to climb to the top. Toss in the additional weight of a bunch of financial difficulties with his never-die attitude and you've basically got Rocky (or Hajime no Ippo) in a go kart. It starts with Capeta in elementary school and follows him through his mid-teens.
It feels a little young and simple, but there's plenty of action and drama and excitement.
I'm kind of a sucker for this sort of story so I don't know how much you should trust me, but I found the story entertaining and heartwarming. It doesn't even come close to original or unique and it's pretty repetitive (how many obstacles and disadvantages does one kid have to face?!?!), but it's loaded with fighting spirit and nail-biting races.
I'm not a huge fan of the way the characters look, but it's fine. The character designs remind me a lot of Hajime no Ippo. The action of the races and the backgrounds are done well enough and I thought the general style was really appropriate to the atmosphere of the story.
I thought the music was good and well-used. There was something about the song they used for the end credits (and for those "special" moments ;)) that appealed to me even though I can't put my finger on what it was. I also thought that they did a good job of putting the sound on the races: when to emphasize the shouts from the crowd, when to focus on the roar of the engines, the squeal of the tires. The sound of the races really added to the overall enjoyment and emotion of the moment for me.
Unfortunately, some of the voice acting got on my nerves. There were just one or two voices that really disagreed with me (especially the younger characters) and it annoyed me enough to reduce my overall enjoyment of the scenes they were in.
I think in any story like this, you need to really be able to buy into the main character. If you don't think he's admirable, charismatic and heroic, then the whole premise of the story doesn't work. Because of that, I think they really shove what a great, amazing guy Capeta is down your throat. I wouldn't be surprised if some people found it overbearing or hard to swallow. He's a little too perfect and it feels like he's more saint than man. Luckily, I was pretty willing to accept their characterization of him.
There was a point when I started feeling like everyone in Capeta's support system were getting a little silly: has there ever been a bunch of grown men who cried together more easily or more often? And some of the minor side characters (and their episodes) felt somewhat superfluous to me. But, generally, the supporting cast does a good job of narrating Capeta's struggles and voicing the audience's feelings.
For all it's flaws, I still really enjoy watching this series. I understand it's melodramatic and generic and somewhat heavy-handed, but I still get caught up in the tension and the drama of the races and Capeta's struggles to do his best no matter what the circumstances are. I didn't take the non-racing moments of the show too seriously and just had fun watching the show.
While I don't think that this is a must-see for people, I think that people who enjoy sports animes and like stories about rising to the challenge and overcoming the odds can have a good time with Capeta. It's just wholesome, good-natured fun. ^.^
For a while now, I have been pondering how to best approach this review. See, I knew the minute I finished this anime that I would have to write one, even if for no other reason than to get it out of my system (so that I might somehow once again join the land of the living, and maybe even study for my impending finals).
But how do I go about convincing all of you nice folks that this is just about the best anime ever? My main problem lies in the fact that no matter what I write, this review will be subjective. The more
I gush about the awesomeness of this anime, the higher rank I grant it, the more subjective this review will seem. I might as well pull out my chequered handkerchief right now and wave my credibility a jolly old good-bye (preferably in that invigorating manner seen in old cartoons).
But who cares, enough rambling. What is this anime about?
Well, this anime is about friendship and friendship through rivalry. It’s about how sharing a passion for something can bring people together. It’s about growing up, and learning that life is hard and unfair and always dealing you the shortest straw. It’s about fighting through all the crap that is thrown your way, because not fighting would mean giving up on something you love. Even if fighting means tears, sweat, blood and broken bones.
It’s about good people doing good things, because they see how hard you are trying, and because somewhere down the line, they wish someone had been kind to them too.
It’s about a single father working his ass off day and night in order to provide for his only son. It’s about a lonely kid who desperately wants his father to come home, but never admitting it because he knows his father is out there working hard for him. And it’s about this father sitting his son down in a kart, for no other reason than to see him smile, and then watching magic happen.
But mostly, it’s about a boy who loves cars, and who, when given the chance, would like nothing better than to keep on racing for the rest of his life. Even if he can’t say it out loud. Even if he can’t admit it to himself, because doing so would be the single most selfish thing he ever asked for.
To say that this anime has well-rounded characters would, (in-my-already-established-subjective-opinion), be an understatement. Instead I will say that the characters are immensely human and then leave it at that. (Otherwise I would most likely start rambling about the stereotypic-gender-based-characterization that seems to make up the basis of about 90% of all anime characters ever, and that's not a dissuasion any of us are ready for. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here, but I'm sure it’s something.)
The anime sets a good pace all the way through its 52 episodes. Too often you find sports anime obsessing over a single match or game, *chough* Ookiku Furikabutte *chough*, and forgetting that there are viewers out there who didn’t just come for the sport, but for the characters and the underlying story. Capeta doesn’t really suffer from this, but neither does it rush. One of the most redeeming qualities this anime has is its ability to linger on the few truly peaceful moments in between all the worry and struggle, and then speed up its pace just enough to create the truly nerve-racking, heart-ponding moments that should always be required from a sports anime.
Likewise I believe a soundtrack can make or break a show, and here Capeta once again shines. The soundtrack used in this anime is nothing short of amazing.
If I had to fault this anime for anything, it would be the art. Nowadays enough panoramic idyll and glitzy sunsets can carry an anime through (even if the plot has the anatomy of a Swiss cheese. (Yes SAO, I am looking at you)). Capeta has none of this. And while I personally loved the art, a lot of people might initially be put out by the main character’s less than comely face. I urge you all to watch it anyway, because there is a simple, down-to earth honesty feel to the art that fits the show immensely well.
Before I finish off this ramble of a review, I will answer the question I probably should have started out with: Do you need to like sports anime to like this show?
The answer is no. I honestly don’t believe you do, not because there isn’t a focus on racing, but because story is about so much more than simply winning and becoming ‘stronger’. Nor do you need to be specifically into racing or go-carting to enjoy this anime, though I do believe a small amount of enthusiasm towards the sport as a whole adds to the experience.
Lastly, if there is anyone out there who made it through this review, I salute you, and I hope you go watch the anime, because it is certainly worth your time.
Story: basically the story is about a boy that has a dream reaching for his goals and encounter obstacles along the way. What I like about this anime is there is no really "bad guys" even the rival of Capeta. By the way Capeta is the protagonist in the anime. Throughout the anime it shows how Capeta overcome all the obstacle inside and outside of the race track with the help of his friends. And how he surpasses his limitations.
Art: nothing to say much. I like how they show Capeta grow from a gradeschooler to adulthood.
Sound: great sound effects I can almost here the sound
of the engines revving up....
Character: I like all the characters maybe except for the guy who considers Capeta as his eternal rival. note: I am refferring to the fat rich kid .
Enjoyment: I enjoyed all the races scenes.
Overall: I really enjoyed the series. It awakens the "Wanna be Driver" in me. ^_^
Well I Rarely write reviews But after finishing capeta in 3 days,I decided to write one.
I am a sucker for adreanline and sports anime and capeta is one of the best sports anime i ahve ever seen.
The Races were very well done.The characters are on to the point.The ost cant be any better.The story was well planned.
I loved that i never skipped the oenings.Well capeta might be fictional character but seeing him grow up and reach his dreams and accomplish his goals step by step,motivated me a lot.This anime has no antoganists,not even the rivals.
Overall this is an Awesome adrenaline ride.
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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".