They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Circuit no Ookami II: Modena no Ken, Goddamn, Bakuon!! OVA, and more!
14: Circuit no Ookami II: Modena no Ken
Japanese: サーキットの狼II モデナの剣
MAL Score: 5.62
The adventures of Ken Ferrari, a former racer and motor journalist with an appetite for women. Based on the manga by Satoshi Ikezawa.
MAL Score: 5.80
Car racing anime, based on the manga by Kaoru Shintani that serialised in Big Comic Superior from 1988 to 1990.
The story line for me is ok, but with tremendous flaws in terms of timing.
Todoroki starts the Safari Recce on the Sierra RS (car that could be the 1986-1989 4×2 version or the 1990 4×4 version). Later he’s seen in the Montecarlo Rally in a Lancia Delta HF Integrale, (1990, judging for the tiny badge on the right of the license plate in the back.)
Here’s the first flaw for me: In the Safari Rally the Lancias are using the 1988 Livery, which means that is the Integrale version.
The Subaru Legacy debuted in the 1990 season, the Nissan 200SX was outrunned after 1989, and Toyota is using neither a Celica Supra or Celica Twincam Turbo, both of them replaced for the GT4 ST165 in 1989. (Both Peugeot 205 and Lancia Delta (which again is a weird thing to me. It really look like the 1983 Beta Montecarlo from the front, but looks like a 1986 Delta S4 in the back) are older than the others, so makes sense to use it as road cars because Group B cars were banned in late 86).
What’s worst is this fact: They present the Safari Rally as is being in the 4th edition. A quick research will make you realize that the Safari was a WRC event since 1973, and the first home edition was 20 years prior.
If you’re brave enough to put those flaws away, it seems to have an OK story behind.
The key story, the Safari Rally is weird. They use full liveried cars to recce, which is slighty incorrect. They are running at night!! It is not accurate. Other aspects of it is well, like the control point, the mobile repairing and the helicopter following the frontrunners.
Is hard to find an anime purely based in rally and when i heard of this i was happy. now i feel like i’m been discussing about the topic with an F1 fan. Multiple flaws, weird conclussions but the general idea is ok, i think. it is sad it lasted just 2 chapters and will not know what could have happened in the other WRC dates.
The two-episode OVA randomly titled ‘Goddamn’ doesn’t give away much in terms of what it might be about (while it does somewhat touch on religion, that isn’t the point or genre, although that moment happens to be of sociological interest). It features scenes of nature in between semi-comedic interactions of a mechanical sort – the weather is also of import, although it doesn’t really matter ultimately as the protagonist is almost immune to disasters despite their constant occurrence.
It has a similar atmosphere to Nasu despite being set on a different continent and being about car, as opposed to bicycle racing, although they are more than a decade apart. It also derives some of its comedy from characters’ conversations, and often hammers the point, and uses as a repeated prop, the potential dangers of, say, driving really fast up a mountain (which can mostly be ‘funny’ confined to an animated medium).
The environments here may be of more interest than either the comedy or sport, as in the limited time it doesn’t quite establish a consistency that others in the same genre (e.g. Slam Dunk adapted at around the same time) develop over tens of episodes. It is still, though, chilled out somehow despite the accidents that would normally, and in real life, easily turn the comedy into a tragedy.
Some may approach this from a technical perspective, but anime isn’t usually a documentary, as if it was characters wouldn’t end up with only a few scratches, and so it seems it would detract from any potential interest if it was treated as such. In comparison to Nasu it isn’t quite as ‘existential’ as the latter half of the cycling story turned out to be, but as usual all have differing focus (this doesn’t then have as much commentary as Nasu’s first episode which may be perceived as monotonous).
Overall, it may be yet another atmospheric OVA animated in the 90s, as so many seem to have been, when studios were possibly not in the mood for much longer series as in earlier decades, but then not even a few more episodes that became standard later on and in recent times, and as such it is a sort of pilot.
First off, the art, animation, sound, and all that are all on-par for the day. There’s nothing to complain about there.
Every problem I have with this OVA comes from watching it as an avid rally fan.
The story takes place in 1993, yet none of the cars featured are even close to being that new.
Before competing in the Safari Rally, Gen is forced to do a preliminary drive along a mountain road in France. The car he’s given is a Peugeot 205 T16 E2, a car that was banned from competition after the 1986 season. While he’s driving the 205, he comes up against a homologation model Lancia 037, which eventually goes over a cliff and explodes. That explosion is the ONLY accurate thing that happens in the entire episode (Lancias were always prone to catching fire).
Next up comes the Safari Rally itself. We have the team he’s driving for, Seiou Corp., fielding a pair of Ford Sierra Cosworths, cars that were phased out of competition in the late 1980s by the onset of Group A regulations. What’s better is Toyota Team Europe (a real team) is seen fielding MkIII Supras, which were never even used in rallying. They should’ve been running ST185 Celicas, but those didn’t exist at the time the OVA was produced. The sensible thing to do would’ve been to draw what was being used at the time: the ST165 Celica.
Beyond these obvious flaws, the pacenote systems for each driver are borderline-incomprehensible as there’s almost no consistency and the way the rally is presented leads me to believe the people who wrote this had never even seen a rally before. It’s as if somebody who watched the Safari Rally on TV explained it to the producer and then he waited a month to explain it to everybody else.
I was all sorts of excited to see that a rally anime had been made and now I’m incredibly disappointed at the result. I can’t say I have high hopes for Part 2.
Update: Part 2 was just as bad. This OVA is total shit.
12: Bakuon!! OVA
MAL Score: 6.40
Bundled with the 7th and 9th volumes of the Bakuon!! manga.
OVA2: the second OVA is pretty much just about Hijiri and how she got her bike licensee that really all about it and also the her butler turns into a girl for a good bit of the show (sorry i guess for a spoiler there)
Art: art is as good the anime background look good and also the characters and the bikes as well wasn’t bad at all.
Sound: There was no Op for both of the OVA’s but there was for the Ed (kinda odd) but the Ed were good also all the Va’s come back so they all did pretty good here.
Character: Hane is the main character of this anime and she is well a really bright light and just overall fun and nice person she is also really energetic all the time also i liked her in the anime she was well done. Ramiu is another main character and i mean personally i can’t describe here than she just doesn’t talk at all like that the only real thing about her. Hijiri is another main character and she is a person who is actually wealthy and has her own butler drive her around and such sense she can’t but she does have a pretty good attitude and not a snobby one again just a cheerful and nice character. Onsa is another main character and she actually has a bike shop unlike the others (granted her father runs it but hopefully you get my point) so she like everyone her is actually a cheerful and kind person in the anime. Rin is the last main character here and she is really passionate about Suzuki bikes to the point of arguing over it with Onsa (they get into alot cause she loves them but Onsa personally hates them so there you go) she can kinda have a snobby attitude but she is a nice and good character here (also i usually don’t add support characters here but will but just one). Chisame is a supporting character and she goes to the bike club later she was a minibike rider but doesn’t ride them on the rode cause she think they shouldn’t be on the rode (uh ok that makes no sense but roll with it) but she is a good character i personally didn’t care for her cause i don’t know she just seems gloomy and stuff ALL the time but she again is a decent character i should say. (copied it from my own review sense they act the same here).
Enjoyment: What i liked: both OVA’s did there job pretty good the comedy i wouldn’t say is there at both but i did make me smile a good couple of times also the enjoyment of it is there also again all the same VA’s who did a good job with the anime and the OVA’s as well here. What i didn’t like: i think the only thing i could say i didn’t like was that Hijiri getting in a sense her own episode (granted the other girls are there but i feels like just her episode) i didn’t mind her but some people who didn’t like her should probably say no to this OVA but it was pretty good i never minded Hijiri.
Overall: id give both a 6 the OVA’s overall were pretty enjoyable comedy isn’t really there but it kinda is the Va’s again being here and they did the job pretty good here as for the OVA’s in general they were pretty good you really wouldn’t be missing anything by skipping the OVA’s but i’d give them a shot if your a fan of the anime.
On my opinion if you just stick to the main series and don’t watch the OVA, you won’t miss anything special and maybe save up some time.
Is it worth to watch ? Not really, but if you like Bakuon!! Then yes.
Raimu Senpai saves the day like always.
11: eX-Driver: Nina & Rei Danger Zone
Japanese: エクスドライバー Nina&Rei Danger Zone
MAL Score: 6.46
The story takes place on a world 100 years in the future, a few years before Lisa and Lorna joined eX-D organization. The world where people drives computer-controlled electrically powered “AI cars” which automatically take you where you want to go. However, one AI car mysteriously start to run amok. Now Nina and Rei, as the main driver for ex-D organization have to solve the mystery behind the AI car with evil plot and trap awaiting for them…
Note: The cover shot depicted here is not relevant to this particular anime. It might be from the movie or the Ova but not this.
-How often do you find yourself cursing out? How often do you blare that horn? No longer will you worry about such matters at least not as much. Thanks to some improvements (which we are starting to see now a days in real life) we have self driving vehicles or a.i.’s. Although, even with this kind of luxury doesn’t prevent certain issues from happening. For there is really no stopping improvements no matter how efficient the current ones are. Perhaps, that is due to the American way on how bigger is better.
-Intro is classy and somehow as a somewhat familiar intro song, can’t seem to place it. Perhaps one you viewers will tell me why the start of the song sounds so familiar to me.
-Conclusion was okay but the art was clever.
-In terms of how the conclusion are was clever the artists took what we see for almost everyday and tweaked it to suit their needs. A real clear approach. An example of this kind of approach would be a dead end sign only to have the car drive off thus ending the film. Not a very good depiction but understandable when you see the actual film.
Each main character has what the other lacks. A good common match up. A good ideal scenario when one is depicting a partner scenario.
While others may write this off as any ordinary action comedy show i beg to differ. Perhaps it was just this show but the writer and the director seemed to agree to save the audience the frustration. The frustration i am referring to is the headache caused by too much tension. We get the idea we behind it. On how it is good marketing and allows for character connection but in truth sucks. For what is stopping me from walking away from the annoyance. Here this animation is very straightforward. An understandable wait period from one point of the movie to the next.
I watched this before the original series as this is the prequel. This one-shot is based on the minor characters from the series named Nina and Rei. This was an ‘OK’ for me.
This feels like a buddy cop movie, we have 2 good looking girls driving in a tricked out Mazda Miata and an angry police chief. Personally I would’ve loved to seen Rei being a badass on her Ducati like her appearance in the main series but, they had her riding shotgun for Nina and being a techy (I love Miatas but, I’m a biker and love Ducatis more).
The story and the villain are what didn’t do it for me. I was hoping to see the villain from the last 3 episodes of the main series who was a former eX-Driver. I wanted to see his work as an eX-Driver and his relationship with the chief, Nina and Rei but, instead got a Nina fanboy.
I would recommend this if you have some time to kill and if you have already watched the main series and are curious to watch something else than rewatching the main series again, otherwise you’re better off watching a new anime and exploring something else altogether.
I could break this up and talk about each individual aspect, but I honestly didn’t like this OVA enough to care. The only thing that saves this score is the sound. Acting is very good (English dub) and even better than many, car sounds are good and well done. The acting only suffers sue to the poor scrip writing and change of the two main characters when compared to the original series.
The story is bland and that’s because it dumped the charm of the original series and movies by changing the main characters to Nina and Rei. Quite honestly, this would have served as a filler in a full fledged show and not even a good one at that.
I know both Nina and Rei are supposed to be quite a bit younger than they are in the series, but neither acts like was previously established or in any way consistent with how they would become.
I actually wished that this show would end at one point. Looking back, had you replaced Nina and Rei with the original crew, it might have been quite salvageable. Had you given me a reason to care about Nina or Rei, maybe I could feel different about the story. However since none of that ever was achieved, we’re left with a stand alone OVA that had no bearing on the original series and is better off skipped.
MAL Score: 6.71
Ex-Driver is set in the future, when all transportation is easily controlled by AI. Though like all machines they tend to break down or lose control or re-programmed. This is where three high schoolers with non AI cars, Subaru WRX, Super 7, Lotus comes in to save the day and make sure the public is safe at all times.
story-it simple to get.full of action,filled with comedy,new feelings of romance also drama to explain things properly it was a complete package after watching you can raise your finger and say “hey they missed something here”everything is explained fully and “i love it especially because this plot and this story could actually become a reality in near future not that far away from us.”i love it,this much because of how realistic the story is”the technology that is used and the things happening in the series can happen to us.especially is very simple to understand and complicated enough to make you guess “that’s why this is a balanced show”there is nothing unimportant happening.
animation and art -well is was done in the 90’s and it was the art that i loved and fell for in the fist place so it was superb for that time.everyone had unique looks to them”you know everyone didn’t look the same”they were so different from each other.from looks,facial expressions to fantastic personalities.also my favorite character “soichi” was soooooooooooooooo……..cute and sexy.i just wish they made more episodes.
sound-i remember every beat of every song that was playing in the show.opening theme song get you pumped up and in the mood for the action to come and comedy to come.op theme says everything that has to be said about the show and what are the characters like.ed theme was so great making you to watch more.
characters-i love “soichi” he is my favorite.Lisa is awesome Lorna is fantastic.they make this show a success.this team is so great.the things they do,the things that happens to them is so unreal sometimes you worry for them and sometime you burst out laughing that cant be stopped and you miss some of the dialogs because of it and you repeat things.(well it happen to me)there is romance blooming if you take notice and you will.love in this is very enthusiasm after all they are kick ass drivers and they are good.how i know this? is beaus of the great animation.it was swift and beautifully done so you know “how good the riders are” the technical terms used are very accurate and done very well as well.it end ended the appropriate way too i have to mention this because some animes mess the ending but this was just pure gold just like the beginning.
dialogs-i always forget to mention this the dialogs were hilarious at times but sometimes it give you an impotent message.also the dub actors were just like “icing on the cake”they were brilliant.
i loved it years back,i love it now and always will love this story for days to come…i already miss the characters so much.”they were like a sun shining after a gloomy rain”.i just hope you will watch this epic anime story that is easy going but at serious when it needs to be..so go and enjoy it wont take you long its only 6 episodes of Action,comedy,fun and love which makes me say again “i wish there were more episodes” so enjoy :3
Story: A future where cars are controlled by computers, and a team of gasoline powered classic car drivers chase them down when they go haywire, sounds like a very repetitive plot. But it turn out it’s not, I wont ruin the plot, so ill just say there’s events that keep the plot going.
Art: The animation has a very ‘mid-90s’ feel to it, which isn’t a bad thing. The thing I like most is the cars. The animators did very well making the vehicals realistic.
Sound: Now, I don’t know if it was the copy I had or the series itself, but the quality at times was, not the best out there. To me it sounded fuzzy and almost like the voice actors where talking through a thick foam pad. But like I said I don’t know if it was my copy or not so don’t take the sound to seriously.
Characters: Each character has there own defined personality and unique style to how they get the mission done. (Not much to say on that one)
Enjoyment: For a six episode series (plus a movie) it’s not a bad watch in your down time between other anime.
Set at some point in the 22nd century, people no longer drive cars themselves, instead relying on an artificial intelligence to drive for them. But when the AI systems in these cars started malfunctioning, causing the cars to lose control, a team called eX-Drivers (or eX-D for short) are formed, driven by actual drivers, chase down the cars that have gone crazy. I don’t know why the group of people who actually drive cars are the ones called eX-Drivers, but whatever.
The series follows three such eX-Drivers, Lorna, Lisa, and new addition to the group, Soichi. Soichi is the youngest of the group at 12 years old, and the other two are in their teens. I imagine that making them younger was to appeal to a younger audience, and I don’t really mind having three kids as the main characters, but it just raises questions to me, like how does a 12 year get a license, especially for such a dangerous job. But I’m guessing this is going off of Pokemon rules, and that’s how the series universe works, and the characters never actually get into any serious danger.
EX-Driver does bring up some neat concepts to explore, such as an underground mentioned in the first episode where characters have a boost button in their car and have modified the cars programming, and later in the series, there are characters with gasoline cars that can’t be tracked by the same system as the AI cars and are off the grid. It would have been neat if the series explored this stuff, but unfortunately due to it being only 6 episodes, it never really gets to do that.
And that’s not taking into account other stuff that it could have brought up. Is there no one would doesn’t trust the automated systems of the cars, and even cites statistics of AI failures, or at least talks about all of the news stories of failing AI as a reason to not have an AI car? Or even just dislikes the idea in general, based purely on personal preference. What about people who simply can’t afford the AI cars, or simply don’t care about what car they drive, and just want a way of getting to where they’re going? And I’m pretty sure there are car enthusiasts out there who would want to drive, tune, and build their own cars, or just want to buy and deal with classic cars.
There could have even been an episode where the characters didn’t have access to cars, like being stranded somewhere where they didn’t have access to the system, or being forced to take a break since the job is clearly stressing them out, and it ends up being a bonding experience. There was enough here for it to expand out to a 12-episode series at least, but unfortunately we got stuck with what we have.
All of these could have been good ideas for episodes, and could have easily broken up the monotony of the series.
Which is unfortunate, because the series clearly shows off Kosuke Fujishima’s love of cars, and by extension, motorcycles, and it seems like such a wast to not let him use his love of said vehicles and let him stretch his creativity a bit. If this couldn’t have been continued as an anime, it would have been nice to see Kosuke continue it as a manga at least.
The only interesting thing about this series is just how predictive of self-driving cars it was. But since it never goes that in-depth with the concept either, so there’s no real reason to watch the series based on that alone.
While eX-Driver is nowhere near the worst thing that I’ve watched, I doubt that anyone is clamoring for a re-release, but I’m pretty sure that Discotek might pick it up at some point. Unless this get some sort of new series that actually expands on the concepts of the series, I can’t really recommend it.
9: Initial D Battle Stage 3
English: Initial D Battle Stage 3
Japanese: INITIAL D BATTLE STAGE 3
MAL Score: 7.09
Initial D: Battle Stage 3 is the eleventh and final installment of the Initial D series. It features every race from Fifth Stage and Final Stage. Unlike the previous two battle stages, it does not feature any new battles, and doesn’t feature any character dialogue.
(Source: Initial D Wiki)
On the topic of eurobeat the music is top notch, my eurobeat playlist is pleased. The sounds are also good from what I’ve experienced.
Back to the fact there is no voice acting, it really confuses alot of races and yes you are expected to have atleast watched fifth and final stage to watch battle stage 3 but it still leaves me confused on a few things that I have to now recap, luckily I can use the Initial D wikipedia.
Not worth watching unless you want to watch 1 hour and 33 minutes of pure racing (which if you do I don’t blame you, that’s why I did it in the first place) or find some new eurobeat.
Initial D is now dead other than the arcade cab series, but it was since 2013.
The Production in this Battle Stage was terrible, No Voice Actors.
The Eurobeat was ok but not THAT amazing like the other 2 Battle Stages.
Is like watching a AMV but in bad shape.
The CGI from Fitfth and Final Stage were too difficult to upagrade so it´s ok that they don´t touch it even with that after all
I´m so sad for this product, could be better.
I´m gonna put a 6/10.
I think i´m generous with that lack of respect of the series.
I´m waiting that in the case the do “MF GHOST” anime, they will not take part of the production.
personally I can only listen to three of them on repeat after watching.
The only thing that really brought this down for everyone was the massive elephant in the room. No voice acting. But it wasn’t really a massive deal in my opinion though, I still enjoyed it to it’s fullest.
Little rant btw: The people who are remaking races from this on youtube and are using songs that aren’t used in the original piece are pretty shameful to watch, because by not using the original, new songs, it loses all meaning of the concept of battle stage.
8: Future GPX Cyber Formula 11
MAL Score: 7.28
It is now time for the 11th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix. With all the expectations and pressures placed upon him, Hayato Kazami struggles to regain the championship form that he had a year ago. Moreover, Osamu Sugo, aka Knight Schumacher, has reentered the competition, and declared Hayato to be an enemy. Hayato, with the new Super Asurada AKF-11, must now defeat someone he once deeply trusted in order to secure his second championship.
7: Initial D Extra Stage
Japanese: 頭文字〈イニシャル〉D EXTRA STAGE
MAL Score: 7.31
The Lancer EVO-driving group “Emperor” have defeated every racing team they’ve met in the Gunma region. Now they’re out to challenge the duo of Mako and Sayuki and their SilEighty – the Impact Blue of Usui Mountain.
First i noticed some differences between the first two stages and this one. The Dialogue, more specifically in the flashbacks, isn’t the same. Also some events happened differently also. For example: When Zak faced Lan-Evo and crashed his car into the wall, his headlight broke. Whereas in this it just sparked but did not turn off. This may not be that big of a deal, but when added with the other inconsistencies it is hard not to be bothered by it, at least for me.
So i want to put it out there that the first stage i watched with my friend, while the second stage my little five year old brother watched with me. The first two stages were mildly family oriented… at least there was nothing that would upset the family type person or a parent. However, when I got to this Extra Stage I noticed some major changes in the group of people it was oriented towards. Instead of it being oriented around everyone they cut of the family type. They threw in some adult oriented parts. A couple examples: there was a whole scene where Zak was staring a girls boobs while she talked. (focusing more on him staring that her talking). Also, a little further into the OVA there is partial nudity (a topless girl in the shower). Luckily i had sent the child to bed before I watched this OVA. Don’t get me wrong, i personally don’t think anything is wrong with it. alltho a little heads up or a not so drastic change would have been nice ;D
I don’t mind nudity as long as it is tasteful. Also, on top of tasteful it also has to have a good plot, which this one sadly lacked. Yes, I understand it was about Maya’s relationships and the Lan-Evo challenging the rest of Gunma. To be quite honest it was pretty dang boring. I got no enjoyment out of watching this OVA. It was a total waste of my time.
I am going to watch Extra Stage 2, and see if Extra Stage one is really necessary. If you want to see if I think you can skip it, go ahead and look at my next Initial D review. It will be the first thing in the review. Not to mention i don’t include spoilers. So reading it will be safe anyways. (otherwise, i may just edit this one later).
Rewatch Value: NONE
I found the story very good, although it was quite different from Initial D has offered so far. What’s more, it was a very pleseant feeling to see one of the minor characters play the lead guitar.
The first episode of the Extra Stage was especially pleasing since it was another race I have become used to throughout the series. It was also very interesting to see the members of the Night Kids in a better light.
The second episode was more of an emotional story. On one hand, it’s not what one might expected from Initial D. On the other, due to its Christmas theme such a plot did the job perfectly. It was also very pleasing to see one of the characters picture the dilemma each racer faces at the climax of his ‘career’.
Concluding, story-wise the OVA does a great job since it answers problems which have not been addressed in the series.
When it comes to art, we see the same animation as in the First and Second Stages. Some characters are still having a bad hair day and the girls are still darn ugly. But Initial D is not about the animation of people but more about the animation of cars and races and in that aspect it fullfills the expectation. As a whole the OVA looks very good, though those of you who don’t like Initial D’s style of animation will feel dissapointed.
In the sound department we gat the same thing as in the series, which is a combination of very good, almost top notch voice acting with that cool eurobeat we have been savouring throughout the series.
As I have said it’s nice to see minor characters in the leading roles. They fit the story perfectly and are interesting due to the difficulties that they have to face due to their line of ‘profession’. However, without Takumi, who is the protagonist of the series, and Itsuki, who is hilarious in his role of the leading racing dumbo.
As an OVA Extra Stage was a joy to watch, however I’m hoping that the emotional direction adapted in it won’t be used too much in the series itself. If this would be a separate anime I would rate it even higher, since the ‘Initial D=Takumi and his Hachi-Roku’ factor would be put aside.
In overall, the Extra Stage is quite different in terms of plot from the series it is still fun to watch and a must for every fan of the Akina Hachi-Roku.
This is a…….alright edition to the story. I don’t know how it will affect the later editions but it is good to focus the series on another main character with their backstory and the Impact Blue girls does seem interesting to focus on to, although some problems I have with the OVA is the challenger (or antagonist of the first half) they faced with. I’m not sure of his name but he is mostly a generic, sexist with the “girls can’t do what we do” attitude and the arrogance of him just reeks of annoyance and blandness. WE GET IT!!! It’s just so f***ing annoying. The second half deals with the relationship and while it is emotional and shows how Mako will eventually have to settle this soon, I just lost interest half-way through the OVA.
FINAL VERDICT: It is very passable but it won’t hold my attention all the way.
6: Future GPX Cyber Formula Saga
MAL Score: 7.35
After his disappointing loss in the last round of the 14th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix, which causes him the championship, Hayato Kazami decides that he needs a change and switches over to the Sugo Garland SF-03 for the 15th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix while he waits for the newest Asurada design. However, his hope to make up for the past year’s letdown is made difficult when Aoi ZIP Formula undergoes a major restructuring and brings in Kyoshiro Nagumo as the new president of the team. The new car that he brought to the team, driven by newcomer Phil Fritz, is seemingly unbeatable…
5: Future GPX Cyber Formula Zero
MAL Score: 7.40
A freak accident during the 12th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix causes Hayato Kazami to miss the rest of the season, and critically injures both his body and his will to continue racing. Hayato’s longtime friend, Asuka Sugo, helps nurse him back to health, and in return he proposes to her and promises her that he would never race again. But as time goes on, Hayato begins to doubt whether he really wants to retire, and decides to make a comeback after all. And with the 13th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix now underway, he must struggle to regain his racing form; regain the trust of Asuka, whose promise he broke; and thwart the malicious intents of Henri Clayton. All the while, the reason behind Hayato’s accident begins to unveil itself: the “Zero Zone.”
4: Initial D Extra Stage 2
English: Initial D Extra Stage 2
Japanese: 頭文字D Extra Stage 2
MAL Score: 7.41
Iketani missed an opportunity to see Mako-chan and hates himself for never calling to say he was sorry. By chance he runs into her 6 months later, and the situation is awkward. Iketani does not have time to talk at that moment, but both want to talk, so they arrange a second meeting. Iketani goes to the meeting place early, but an old man was left behind from an tourist bus, and asks Iketani to catch the bus for him. Iketani being a nice guy, so he can’t say no.
Extra Stage 2 takes place sometime between the 1st & 2nd races of the Project D timeline. Remember those cool races during Project D, well you can forget them because this OVA focuses on Iketani Kouichirou, who’s still thinking about Mako (Impact Blue racer) from the time he couldn’t meet her 6 months ago (Extra Stage 1). Then by a stroke of luck, he gets another chance to meet her and from then on it’s a 40 min snore fest to the finish. Initial D has always been known for developing its characters through some awesome & exciting races but sadly this OVA is on the same level of a Naruto Filler. So naturally character development is basically absent here, since there was only 1 race and even that was lackluster compared to all the previous ones.
Thankfully I won’t be coming down hard on the animation and music, as they both were pretty good for this OVA. The animation is the same as always, poorly animated characters but nicely rendered cars, however it seems they followed the animation from the previous Extra Stage and not Project D, which drops a point in my book. At least the same old catchy soundtrack is back but with barely any opportunities, it just feels wasted.
Overall Initial D: Extra Stage 2 can be described simply as a stab at some romance in a racing anime but they should have known better from the first try that giving such unimportant characters the spotlight just spells disaster. It’s a shame that Takumi gets less screen time than Kenji (bet no one remembers him). In other words this is only worth watching if you have nothing better to do and I mean absolutely nothing.
Extra Stage 2 revolve around Iketani and Mako having a second chance at love. The story is fairly simple but is actually very well written and helps clear up the empty feeling after the missed connection between them earlier in the series. Everything is well paced and moves logically. You will not find anything deep in relation to the main Initial D story. Togue racing is limited in this series.
Both CGI and drawn art are well done in this short side story. Drawn art is treated to an overhaul of rich colors and generally looks much better than First and Second Stage.
Sound quality is good, acting is well done and comprehensible. OST music is better than in previous seasons as is the sound of the cars.
Iketani and Mako are the main focus of ES2 and undergo decent development as both grow.
You’re not going to find anything profound in Extra Stage 2, but it is a welcome conclusion to the Iketani and Mako subplot, so if you wanted more of that, you’ll really enjoy Extra Stage 2.
3: Future GPX Cyber Formula Sin
MAL Score: 7.45
After Aoi Zip Formula was banned for one year from Cyber Formula racing due to cheating, Jotaro Kaga, alias Bleed Kaga, returns for the 17th Cyber Formula World Grand Prix. However his old car is no match for the returning champion Hayato Kazami, whose skill has improved tremendously, and his Nu-Asurada AKF-0. An old face, Kyoshiro Nagumo, appears suddenly to him and offers him the Ogre AN-21: a prototype to the Bio-Computer operated Al-Zard series created by the developers of the Asurada, and an ultimate racing machine that only a few can drive. Kaga must now master this car, confront his own inner demons and, most importantly, defeat his longtime rival Hayato in what is possibly Kaga’s last and greatest Cyber Formula season.
2: Initial D Battle Stage
Japanese: 頭文字〈イニシャル〉D BATTLE STAGE
MAL Score: 7.56
There are many street races in the Initial D Series. This OVA has no plot other than to collect all the street races into one stage. The dialog during the original races is left in.
The earlier races in the season have benefitted from advances made in CGI and have been rerendered and look better then ever.
Theres also a nice (albeit short) race that was not featured in the anime but was in the manga, Keisuke vs Seiji.
Theres no story to speak off, basically it announces the 2 drivers and then shows the battle, then onto the next battle and so on.
Basically there is no story. The whole 40 minutes is a simple copy and paste of all the races from the first three stages. Some of them seem to be out of order however which is kinda bothersome to say the least.
When it comes to art. The races have been remastered a bit to look better, but still the character animation, especially that of the first season looks pretty bad. I was acutally hoping that they would make the effort to remaster it to the Third Stage level, but unfortunately that did not happen.
The sound has been directly taken out from the earlier episode. So there nothing to it. Personally, the only new thing about the sound, which would be the annoucer, sounds below average, and the OVA would do equally good without him.
Since it is only a recap of the races there is not too much to enjoy, but still if you want to refresh your memory about Initial D, this is the first thing I’d watch if I were you.
1: Initial D Battle Stage 2
Japanese: 頭文字〈イニシャル〉D BATTLE STAGE 2
MAL Score: 7.64
This is simply the OAV summing up the major events and battles of “Initial D 4th Stage” much like the “Initial D Battle Stage” original summed up the first 3 seasons. Additionally, has 2 extra battles from the manga that were not incorporated into the original 4th Stage.
I would recommend watching this just because of the two extra battles that weren’t shown in the TV series (Keisuke’s FD versus Smiley Sakai’s DC2 Integra, and Keisuke’s FD versus Atsuro Kawai’s ER34) and of course to anyone who wants to re-live the exciting battle races.
Also , the best time to watch it , should be right after Fourth stage , before entering fifth stage.
“Technique can’t be learned like tying your shoes or changing a flat tire. It’s something you gotta figure out for yourself.” – Bunta Fujiwara
Better visuals, and new eurobeat tracks on each race too!
It’s a packing of all the races from the fourth stage but it also adds some races that were exclusive to the manga, which is really nice and interesting.
You can see a lot of what Keisuke went through and how his character evolved before fifth stage as the newly animated races are focused on him.
Makes it actually worth watching even if you’ve seen the entire fourth stage.
Overall a nice experience to rewatch old races and to remember the good moments too.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Initial D Battle Stage 2
2. Initial D Battle Stage
3. Future GPX Cyber Formula Sin
4. Initial D Extra Stage 2
5. Future GPX Cyber Formula Zero
6. Future GPX Cyber Formula Saga
7. Initial D Extra Stage
8. Future GPX Cyber Formula 11
9. Initial D Battle Stage 3
11. eX-Driver: Nina & Rei Danger Zone
12. Bakuon!! OVA
14. Circuit no Ookami II: Modena no Ken