Not only is Capeta a sports anime, but one about one I don't especially care about - motorsports. It passed under the radar a few years ago without much attention. But it's good - the kind of series that creeps up on you and before you realize it, you're sweating and shouting and raising your hands in triumph or groaning in despair. It's the characters that matter, and this series makes you really care for them - especially the likable and inspiring lead, Taira Capeta. The action sequences are terrific too. Be open-minded and give it a shot - you might be surpised...
Where to start on this one? Lets go with the basics first.
When I watched the first episode of Capeta, I was a little turned off by the animation. The main character wasn't the usual handsome type. However, that was something I definitely learned to love. I ended up completely falling in love with Ca-chan's big eyes and button nose. His entire look oozed cute, yet dashing in a racing suit :)
The music was also excellently matched to the storyline. It's also one of the better soundtracks I've come across in my years of trapiezing through anime OSTs. It set the right mood and, at times, tugged at the heartstrings! Now that's what I'm talking about.
The characters well well-developed. Especially for a character that didn't have a lot of screen time, Minamoto Naomi was certainly my favourite. In the short scenes that he was in, the anime was able to tell viewers that he was hard-working, passionate, and a bit of a tsundere. What I loved about him was his cool and respectable attitude. It was refreshing! The bond between the characters was also very nice to see. It was very touching to see the brotherly bond between Capeta and Nobu.
The best part was the story! Instead of the usual battle against other competitors, Capeta's real battle was with poverty. Since the beginning, Capeta's biggest challenge was trying to earn enough money to compete in races. For me, and also for a lot of others I'm sure, it was an aspect of Capeta that was very easy to relate to. Watching him struggle against it and not give up was inspirational. Again and again, Capeta triumphed against it and found other ways to race.
Overall, I managed to marathon this one in about a week's time (given I work 40 hrs a week -_-). This one had me hooked. While it didn't have quite the effect as Geass (which has now become something of a benchmark when it comes to anime), it definitely had me loading the next episode while I watched the current one.
The plot was just. . .Damn! The anime is split up into three arcs. . .In the first arc we are introduced to our main character Taira Capeta. . .he is being raised by his widower father and has basically been taking care of himself. . .they are poor and so money is tight and so he doesn't complain because he knows his father is doing his best. . .he's such a considerate little kid and wayyy too adult for his age. . .anyway. . .his father ends up on a kart track and seeing the karts gives him the brillant idea of making one for his son. . .who he knows loves cars. . .Capeta ends up so damn excited over the kart and then by some turn of events ends up in his first race. . .and things take off from there. . .Fast forward four years from Capeta's first race and you come into the second arc. . .Capeta has been involved in racing through those years desperately chasing the guy he's dubbed as his rival but. . .Naomi keeps one step ahead of him. . .plus with the money issues that racing raises. . .Capeta and his team are struggling to continue in the racing circuit. . .and the big race in this arc. . .damn, I thought my heart was literally gonna stop! It was really exciting but. . .almost too exciting lol. The third arc follows the events after the race and Nobu getting Capeta a huge chance to step forward in the world of racing. . .Monomi doing her best to assist in Capeta reaching this new goal. . .and finding her own goal in the process. . .and Capeta struggling to achieve his dream. . .I really loved the competitiveness and seeing Capeta finally realize that he wanted a career in racing. . .he wanted to one day drive a Formula 1 car. . .not just to compete with Naomi. . .but because he loves racing. . .oh and, that last race. . .was the BEST! Damn but I nearly killed over from the excitment! xD The storyline was just fantastic and the races were so damn exciting! My heart was in my throat the entire time and I barely resisted the urge to scream for Capeta's victory numerous time. . .and wanted to cry right along with the characters those times he lost. . .The constant To Be Continued. . .thing. . .after every episode. . .made me want to click on the next episode every time but. . .I had to work so it took me four days to complete. . .which is like torture 'cause I would have rather marathoned it straight through. . .it was definately one of those anime where you could do that!. . .
The animation was. . .iffy. . .I mean it was good for the most part but they used CG effects in the races and sometimes it was cool but others. . .not so much. . .but good most of the time. . .
The soundtrack was great and I thought it really added tension to the races. . .
The characters were awesome! Capeta, Nobu, and Monami were the most fleshed out as they were in nearly every episode and were Capeta's support during the races. . .but. . .Capeta's dad, Naomi, Naomi's mom, Ryou, and a few other characters were interesting as well. . .but the main focus was the above three. . .Capeta, Nobu, and Monami. . .their friendship. . .their support. . .their williness to give whatever it took to keep Capeta racing. . .I really loved them both. . .oh. . .and we mustn't forget the monkey Sarukki. . .I cracked up every time he pulled a banana out of nowhere. . .I really wanted to know where they came from. . .but maybe some things are better left to the imagination! xD
I've been a sports anime fan for nearly two years now. . .and I cannot believe I never gave Capeta a try before now. . .I'm so ashamed of myself! I honestly didn't think much of it from reading the description or from the screen shots I saw but they really don't do the anime justice! This was a fantastic anime! What a rush! I had the time of my life! Wish they do another season one of these days so I can see Capeta and Naomi race each other in Formula 1 cars! That'd make my day! I mean. . .it said 'See you soon' so. . .maybe one day. . .