Initial D Legend 1: Awakening

Alt title: New Initial D Movie: Legend 1 - Kakusei

Movie (1 ep x 60 min)
4.242 out of 5 from 1,017 votes
Rank #649
Initial D Legend 1: Awakening

High school student Takumi Fujiwara works as a gas station attendant during the day and a delivery boy for his father's tofu shop during late nights. Little does he know that his precise driving skills and his father's modified Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno make him the best amateur road racer on Mt. Akina's highway. Because of this, racing groups from all over the Gunma prefecture issue challenges to Takumi to see if he really has what it takes to be a road legend.

Source: ANN

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Okay, I'm gonna be real here. The lack of Eurobeat does drag this movie down. I will say the J-rock they use is decent and does sometimes fit the battles, but I do wish they didn't stray away from it. That said, the animation in this is AMAZING. They figured out how to adapt the manga's style to the screen in the best way, with 3D models animated using a filter/shader that has the trademark motion "streak" lines. I also admire once again their usage of real car engine sounds, this time with legendary car shop TEC-ARTS (Keiichi Tsuchiya had his car tuned there!) providing the AE86's classic exhaust sound. Art wise I feel it pulls off the characters very well, and I think their designs are less "ugly" (granted I think all the Initial D anime designs are fine, and the manga too...don't hate) Voice wise, I watched the dub so I can't really fully comment. They brought back pretty much all the Funi dub actors except Keisuke, Yuichi, Nakazato and Bunta, and their replacements are decent enough. (Movie 2 also has a replacement for Shingo, and given recent things about Vic Mignogna I'm perfectly okay with this) The story's condensed compared to First Stage but has some neat things. I like Keisuke's confrontation with Takumi at the end, mirroring his "I hate GT-Rs!" speech from later on with him driving off. They cut the salaryman plot with Natsuki which makes her whole "I got a swimsuit" part a little weird but I guess they decided it wasn't a good idea to feature that in this day and age, which I can understand. Really, it's a nice 1 hour summary of the first battle, and I don't really feel like knocking it too bad now that I've seen it. I just wish they made more than 3 movies, because it's clear they were setting stuff up and then stopped.

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