They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Otenki Oneesan, Onikirimaru, Ushio to Tora: Comical Deformer Gekijou, and more!
8: Otenki Oneesan
English: Weather Report Girl
MAL Score: 5.47
Hurricane Keiko has arrived! The newscast weather segment. Usually the last thing anyone ever thinks about (unless they said “sun” and it wound up being “rain”) but Keiko Nakadai’s going to change all that. Toiling in obscurity for years at a horribly rated TV station, Keiko has figured out what the weather report needs and doesn’t mind taking off her top (or lifting her skirt) on the air to do it. The ratings aren’t going to go down, that’s for sure.
Of course, some of the people at the station don’t find this appealing, and decide that Keiko’s got to go. They devise a series of horrible “accidents” for her, but Keiko usually seems to be about a step ahead of them.
Eventually, everyone at the station will discover that there’s far more to her than meets the eye as Keiko’s star rises incredibly quickly … and as her importance increases, Michiko Kawai’s (the old weather girl) drops. Something has got to be done, but who can do it?
English: Ogre Slayer
MAL Score: 6.24
There was once an ogre (oni) mother who gave birth to a human looking child. Instead of an ogre’s horn, this child was born with a sword in hand called the “Onikirimaru” or Ogre Slayer. He has no name and is only referred to by the name of his sword. Though he appears human, he is pure ogre. Believing that he will become human once all of his kind have vanished from the world of humans, he sets out on his destiny to slay all of his kind. Even now, in the mother world of Japan, he is still out there slaying ogres.
Onikirimaru is about an “ogre” who looks exactly like a human. His duty on Earth is to slay all of his “ogre” brethren so that one day he may become a real human boy. This is the story of the JAPANESE PINOCCHIO except his nose doesn’t grow longer when he lies, and he also carries a sword… Whatever let us continue with the review.
My experience with this OVA is pretty poor. Due to the fact that I do not speak or understand Japanese, I was force to watched Onikirmaru in subtitles. This was pathetic because the subtitles were pretty POOPY. For instance, in the subtitles they called the “ogres” ghost, which to me makes more sense than calling them “ogres”. What would made it more precise if they were just called demons because I am pretty sure that “ogres” are able to move through walls, come out of a women’s, or become gas-like beings. I also understand that in Japanese “Oni” means ogre so yeah… fuck me!!!
Also I was confused for awhile how the “ogre” slayer was named Onikimaru, but then his sword was call Onikimaru, but it’s was just the fact that he had no name and took the name of his sword.
Animation: The animation/art in Onikirmaru was pretty average for it being about 20 years old. So I can’t really complain much there except for one thing… RANDOM BEWBS!?!?!?!
In every episode, there is always a female being possessed by an demon(ogre), and some FUCKING how they always stripped naked revealing their BREAST. Boobs are cool and all but really, do we need to see every girl exposed when an “ogre” pops in. Like no joke, the only time when you see boobs is when “ogre” is like ‘Ey yu mine now GURL, YEAH GIVE a taste of dem MELONS’ then WOOSH clothes GONE!
Music/Sound/ Voice: Onikirmaru’s music is nothing special, but you can kind of feel how outdated the sound of the OVA’s ending song. The sounds are also nothing to talk about that much also. The voice acting I got to say is pretty GOOD because I don’t understand Japanese so everything in a foreign language sound legitimate.
Enjoyment: Overall, this anime has been OKAY. It is sad that the concept of the story wasn’t explored much more than it should have by the studio producing it.
Onikirimaru creates a world where the personal of what is (likely) to be humans watching is contrasted by that which, externally at least, is perceived to be not human, except if only actions are considered both the familiar and ogres run parallel.
A Shinto kind of aura pervades the anime, where a spiritual type of barrier is able to prevent the ‘hideous’ sort of nature that ogres emanate, shields that only function on such creatures… but what if reality isn’t as binary?
These oni tempt humans to a point where their desires and even will can be overcome, where instinct is rendered useless by curses. The four episodes contain tales that can be seen as exploring extremes, whether love or hate (less of the former), friendship or friendlessness, even the very idea of non-existence when conflicted with the overwhelming force of the oni.
They are interesting, mostly stand-alone narratives; notice how the oni exploit emotions, this seems to be a feature of interaction with Japanese mythological creatures, like a kitsune who uses deceit.
Arguably the most pathos-filled of Kei Kusunoki’s adaptations, it would have helped if characters didn’t last just a single episode, but they are nonetheless stories with a start and end, which also could function as a commentary on a more in-depth thought than most anime with swords normally sustain. Most of the manga wasn’t seemingly animated, though what remains still complements Youma’s atmosphere.
6: Ushio to Tora: Comical Deformer Gekijou
English: Ushio and Tora: Comically Deformed Theater
Japanese: うしおととら コミカル デフォルメ劇場
MAL Score: 6.25
Ushio encounters a strange purple monster that seems to be helpful, Tora deals with a kitten, and finally there is a mass chase, reprising all of the monsters from the OVA series.
MAL Score: 6.36
Two Japanese survivors of the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia vow to find a sanctuary, even if they have to build it themselves. Returning to Japan, they take seemingly opposite paths: one becomes a politician, the other a gangster.
As Asami and Houjou work through the linked worlds of politics and crime in modern Japan, they don’t hesitate to do anything necessary to secure their own positions and stay true to their vow. Loyal to no one else, they find their friendship increasingly tested as they rise in their chosen fields.
This OVA doesn’t really give many details on the background of the story, and it certainly doesn’t end it, so I assume this covers something in the middle of the story… I’ll definitely be wanting to read the manga to find out more.
If you enjoy when one character pulls a fast one over on the other like in Death Note or Code Geass, you’ll probably like this. The main character, Hojo, appears to be a genius. He’s got a good position in the yakuza, but he has a great ambition that he works towards – apparently the whole “creating a sanctuary” thing, though this OVA doesn’t really touch on that much. I often found myself impressed and just laughing a bit at how awesome it was when Hojo’s plans took effect. He’s an extremely charming and likeable character.
The animation was smooth enough to be better than today’s standards. The characters actually moved around and there weren’t any “freeze frame” attacks or whatever. Unlike most anime, the characters look pretty realistic, which, oddly, drew me in quite a lot.
The soundtrack contained some nice piano pieces and some funky stuff reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s. It was quite fitting.
I really enjoy realistic situations in anime; the characters in this OVA don’t do anything a person wouldn’t do in real life. This really adds to the thrill when they do things that ARE out of the ordinary since we can really relate to it and see how impressive it is.
I have two complaints with Sanctuary.
1. There’s a bunch of nudity and foreplay for no apparent reason. I could understand a little to show what these people are like, but it was pretty excessive to get that message across. I just thought it was pretty unnecessary and also felt a bit bad seeing it since I’m in a relationship.
2. There’s only one OVA.
Other than that, I found this amazing and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m kinda baffled why it’s rated so low (6.61 at the time of writing this), but whatever.
Stories like this fascinate me. Mobster movies represent a darker rendition of the typical “rags to riches” tale, where sentimental value is replaced by realism. They’re like most underdog-driven narratives, but with characters you don’t always cheer for and ideas you don’t always support. This is the genre that Sanctuary, Studio Pastel’s 1996 film, finds itself in. Almost from the start, Sanctuary tries separating itself from the others through its heavily political focus. As you would expect, the film chronicles a mobster’s rise to power but it also connects this to a larger plotline concerning favoritism. Sanctuary intends to criticize a system that only enables celebrities, bureaucrats, and children of older politicians to advance. Because he despises this practice, the film’s protagonist wants to undermine this system through his mobster influence. Along the way, Sanctuary forms several parallels between the political sphere and the criminal underworld, arguing that they’re equally corrupt.
Unfortunately, these ideas are overshadowed by a director whose vision is trapped inside mobster movie cliches. Characters lounge around and reminisce about old times under shimmering streetlights. Plot details are discussed inside lavish nightclubs and high-rise skyscrapers. Saxophones, pianos, and bass guitars supply the score for a string of sex scenes. The end result is a film that aspires for social commentary but fails to offer anything beyond the glitz and glamour and guns.
Actually, you can ignore the guns. Sure, they’re waved around quite a bit but the guns are never used. At no point in this film is anyone in any real danger, especially not Hojo. As Sanctuary’s protagonist, he provides cigarettes and a comb-over to his role but it’s his unwavering confidence that truly defines him. Hojo’s confidence is taken to ridiculous extremes. In a crucial scene during Sanctuary’s latter half, an employer of his requires him to partake in a test of loyalty. As part of the test, Hojo has to stab his hand with a knife without flinching. He not only pulls off the stunt but he also does so with a self-assured smirk; it’s obvious that even this test has failed to penetrate his air of confidence. The scene serves as a microcosm of Hojo’s overall character. No matter what obstacle he faces (whether it’s the police, the corrupt politicians, his deranged older brother, or the mob boss), he not only overcomes them but he’s also completely unfazed by the threat they pose. Because Sanctuary is unwilling to present Hojo with a legitimate challenge, what results is a series of conflicts that aren’t just unengaging but predictable as well. By itself, the lack of dramatic tension is damning material. However, this is merely part of a larger issue with the film.
Earlier, I described the mobster’s rise to power and why I’m fascinated by it. However, there’s a concept that I’m far more interested in: the fall from grace. Our unnamed protagonist has arrived at the summit but he won’t be there for long. Thanks to fame’s trappings, the same traits that fueled his success have changed for the worse. His confidence morphs into arrogance. His ruthlessness swells to surreal heights. And his ingenuity evaporates. Eventually, after burning enough bridges, our protagonist is reduced to nothing. A journey to the mountaintop can be entertaining; however, it’s falling from that same mountaintop that really resonates with me. Personally speaking, it’s captivating to watch someone claw and scratch to attain the finer things in life (fancy suits, fast cars, and high-priced cigars), only for it all to instantly vanish. Ultimately, the mobster’s fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale for members of organized crime; what it does is present the consequences of the lifestyle they lead.
With Sanctuary, though, there is no fall from grace. Matter of fact, there aren’t any consequences here whatsoever.
Take Sakura Shuichi, for instance. He’s a sleazy, sewer-dwelling rat that forces himself upon random women. He’s also a politician affiliated with the National Diet of Japan. So, naturally, when Hojo begins blackmailing Sakura with photos of his misdeeds, he is warned by the mob boss himself to stop. Hojo, however, insists on playing with fire. He tosses log after log into the flames, delighting in the disaster he’s made, before eventually deciding to pour a gallon of oil into the mix. Instead of being disciplined for his reckless behavior, Hojo receives a promotion. For another example, you can refer to Kyoko Ishihara, the police force’s superintendent. When she tries to infiltrate a mobster-owned casino, Kyoko is quickly discovered by Hojo, who drugs and rapes her. He suffers no repercussions from this; in fact, through a mind-boggling turn of events, Kyoko ends up helping him resist a group of kidnappers. Looking at the bigger picture, Hojo decides to become a mobster (or, in this case, a yakuza) and is never faced with the consequences of his choice. When you combine this with the lack of dramatic tension, what remains is a protagonist whose plot armor is powerful enough to neutralize anything, even the after-effects of his own actions.
By glamorizing its subject matter, Sanctuary falls victim to the same aches and pains that plagues every other dime-a-dozen mobster flick. It constructs a narrative of watered-down stereotypes, forgettable encounters, and incomplete character arcs. This film has no real identity, nothing that separates it from the herd, which is exactly why I’d recommend it to fans of the genre. If you happen to enjoy mobster movies, Sanctuary provides pretty much everything you’d expect from its category. Thing is, there was a spark of potential here. At first, the film wanted to take risks with its material but Sanctuary ends up playing it safe.
The art is really good, only 90s kids can remember before anime art became manufactured corporate trash. The jiggle physics and the fight scenes have some high tier animation, especially the animation of the guns and blood
Wish there were more Yakuza anime like this..
Overall I had a good time watching it!
4: Ningyo no Mori
MAL Score: 6.77
It is said that consuming the flesh of a mermaid confers immortality. This certainly proved to be the case for the 500-year-old Yuta and his friend Mana. However, most people who try to become immortal either die or transform into monsters.
Fifty-five years ago, Towa Kannagi was given mermaid blood by her sister, Sawa, in order to cure a fatal illness. Now, Towa maintains her youthful appearance, save her white hair and beastly arm. For years she has dreamed of restoring her body, resorting to blood transfusions from youthful corpses aided by the local doctor, Shiina.
Mana, mistaken for dead by Shiina, is brought in to have her blood used by Towa. When she discovers that Mana is alive, what lengths will Towa go to in order to restore herself? Will Yuta be able to save Mana in time?
The animation looked pleased for its time, tight handdrawn technique without too much pencil overshadowing and a more mature look to the charachters.
In 1991 there where still lloads of animation studio’s that used cheaper recording/sound tapes and still drew anime like it was 1987, though sometimes VHS also could downplay the production but that was normal the time, still this looked like and uncut , raw amethyst in its respect and good transfer of the pale colours used in the first 10 min or so , to the good indeep colourfull animation.
I din’t really had put my attention to the music, though it had some good musictones at action packed or violent scene’s , no its not like I LOOOOOOVE 1991 HOUSEMUSIC this is a horroranime for godsake ( not like there was any dancemusic in the anime or something) but if youre ol enough you can maybe recognise some old horror elements
Some of the Charachters where interesting , and that story goes back 80 years before 1991, in 1936, it all began as the ova describe’s and basiclly most of the charachters involve themself in the legend of eating mermaid flesh in an attempt to be immortal , even unwanted persona got heavenly tempted by it , thoughout the ova u see the struggles of the familly and the unfaitfull but strongminded Mana and Yuta, to see it all to a bitter end, or at least hoping for the least negative outcome, and others just where not strong enough to eat the mermaids flesh and dies right the next second you choose ur pick.
for me i mostly enjoyed the plot wich u think can go into a general scripted direction, but takes u by suprise and the way how some of the charachters respond to it, and its not the best horror anime i’ve seen but certainly entertaning enough to keep u going, just something different instead of a lot one way directed digitalized anime these days, i choose my oldskool ova,s any fucking day! enjoy !!!
Except this is one of her more flawed efforts – it has its good points, and yet there I have some issues. First of all, the artwork and animation are pretty par for the course – every Takahashi character looks the same, and the animation is decent enough. Where this story succeeds the most is in evoking a mood or feeling, she seems to have a good handle on what makes Japanese horror interesting.
However, it feels like you are dropped into the middle of a much broader story, and in fact that’s the case as Yuta has already been around for a few hundred years by the time it gets going (and there is also a flashback to much earlier to help explain things, too). But I never seemed to get a good “feel” for the character, or his motivations (or lack thereof) – it seems like he was just going through the motions. Which, I guess, would make sense for a reluctant immortal – but even so, it’s not exactly enjoyable to watch. And I could never understand Mana; the two sisters were not relatable in any way, it seems the only sympathetic character was the long-suffering doctor.
I read the Mermaid stories in manga format a couple decades past, and I recall them making a more coherent story in that format. But this anime feels like just a snippet of a larger tapestry, and there’s not enough here to fully grasp the overarching story.
3: Ushio to Tora
English: Ushio and Tora
MAL Score: 7.15
Ushio thinks his father’s tale of an ancient ancestor impaling a demon on a temple altar stone with the legendary Beast Spear is nuts, but when he finds the monster in his own basement, Ushio has to take another look at the family legend! Fortunately, Ushio knows it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie and leave captured demons where they are. Unfortunately, the release of the monster’s evil energies begins to beckon other demons to Ushio’s hometown! To save his friends and family from the invading spirits, Ushio is forced to release Tora from his captivity. But will the cure prove to be worse than the curse? Will Ushio end his life a Tora-snack? Or will the Beast Spear keep Tora in line long enough to save the city?
The series started out as a 33 vol. manga that was featured in Shonen Jump Sunday, which eventually won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1992. The manga quickly became a 10 episode seires which was a shortened version of the Manga but depicting many of Ushio’s and Tora’s main battles.
The story is pretty solid and resembles many themes to Animes based on Japanese mythology. The main character Ushio was forced to release a demon that was imprisoned underneath his family shrine, which was imprisoned by the Beast Spear for 500 year, in order to protect his friends from demons that were running amok in his hometown. After that the Demon, which he calls Tora (due to his tiger like appearence), begins to haunt him and says that he’ll eat him when he drops his guard. At that point Ushio keeps the Beast Spear with him at all times to protect others from Demons.
Character wise, they are pretty generic. There is the typical Tomboyish girl childhood friend and timid girl classmate that hang around Ushio most of the time. Tora is big talker, thinking highly of himself all the time until the spear is pointed at him. Ushio develops a strong bond with Tora which is typical, and that’s basically it. The entourage of villains in this series isn’t strong, mostly random mythical monsters out for revenge or reeking havoc, but that’s okay.
If you’re looking for high class animation with CG and all that stuff, you ain’t finding it here. This is early 90’s work so you get what you see. A few cut and paste scenes and not much detail on the character expressions. But that is what is great about old school anime, if it weren’t these kinds of animes you really wouldn’t have high budget stuff like Soul Eater, Code Geass, and Inuyasha.
In the long run, it is worth watching and keeps you asking for more. The action series will get you addicted and might want you to start reading the manga, I know I will. Take my word for it, if you are such a Shonen fan or you just like animes with Mythological overtones this is your stuff.
PS; Sunday Vs Magazine is a bad fighting game but so addictive!!! Check it out anyways.
The story is pretty straightforward it doesn’t get very deep or complicated, its very episodic and is mostly about your enjoyment instead of anything deep. That being said i found pretty much every episode enjoyable and had a good time with the series as a whole. I like the character interactions and the different situations they got put in where they would have to develope more of a love hate partnership. I do wonder if it woulda held up past 10 episodes though or if i would have grown bored eventually.
As far as characters the only two worth mentioning are ushio and tora obviously. Ushio a fun character cause is really quite strict and simple, he doesn’t trust tora but he has to rely on him to protect everyone in town from demons and vengeful spirits. On the other side of that tora is a petty and rotten beast who often remarks about how he wants to kill or devour people. The characters really mix like oil and water for the most part but as the show progresses they start to work together in more of a dysfunctional partnership instead of two people at each others throats.
As far as Art goes the show had some pretty good monster designs and had a lot more detail than i see in most modern anime. Aside from the highschool kids everything looked pretty unique. The backgrounds and scenery were also detailed and really conveyed the atmosphere of certain scenes. The Audio was not incredible but it was good for the most part and the voice acting was both comical and serious at times which is a good. I find it particularly rare that a voice actor has the ability or versatility to convey comedy and seriousness and make it feel convincing enough.
I enjoyed this short series a lot and i think most people would get some enjoyment of it especially if they liked old spirit hunter animes.
Long story short, Ushio to Tora is basically Natsume’s Book of Friends as a shonen action series. It’s got the relationship between a normal kid who can kick demon ass and a talking cat who threatens the kid just as much as he saves him from danger just like Natsume, but instead of wanting to heal demon’s hearts (although there’s some of that in this series) they’re out to prevent ’em from eating people’s heads off. And of course, Ushio doesn’t have Natsume’s personality at all, acting more like every kid shonen hero out there from the bull-headed determination to his obliviousness to girls – not helped by the fact that his two childhood friends belong to the opposite sex, one of whom is a tsundere and that’s pretty much all you need to know and the other is basically that friend you talk to a lot and that can cause misunderstandings if you overdose on said discussions. But not having Natsume’s personality is a good thing in this show’s case, because I can’t see Natsume surviving Tora’s antics, let alone the demons that aren’t willing to compromise at all when it comes to snacking on human flesh.
The basic hook of the series is that after accidentally discovering the giant tiger in his basement, Ushio unleashes some kind of spell that attracts all sorts of demons to his area and in order to fight them, he must use a magic spear that turns him into an instant fighter and makes his hair grow long for some reason. However, since the spear was the only thing keeping Tora sealed, and since Tora is also a demon who feasts on humans, he has to keep the tiger in line and Tora isn’t exactly a nice guy to begin with. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here when I say that the main appeal of the show is their relationship and how it grows from really grudging allies to slight less grudging allies, and I’m definitely not spoiling anything when I say that other than that, there’s nothing really all that special about these ten episodes that you couldn’t get from something like YuYu Hakusho or Inuyasha aside from the fact that there are some mass casualties in the real world.
Ushio to Tora, to put it lightly, is a big product of its time and unless you’re a huge fan of the shonen action genre or have nostalgia for the 90s, there’s not really much to get excited for here. Now since there’s only ten episodes, the series only covers the smaller arcs that make up the beginning of the manga without getting into anything real meaty; but even by those standards, the arcs themselves aren’t exactly the most engaging things, mostly consisting of basic monster-of-the-week stuff that introduces one or two new plot elements into the mix, but not much more than that. The last one sort of gets interesting due to its environmental agenda, but the fact that you need to resort to that lame method of instilling importance into your story doesn’t really speak well of the entire product. Seriously, was environmentalism as big in manga as it was for American films/cartoons back in the late 80s/early 90s? Was everyone just trying to copy Miyazaki during that period?
The humor is also pretty dated, being as basic shonen as it gets, with a mix of “I don’t really love him” humor from the tsundere childhood friend. Just about the only jokes that amused me was when Tora was interacting with humanity and getting screwed for it, and it wasn’t exactly comedy that would make the Brits smirk. In fact, that pretty much describes Tora in general. Like I said, he’s the only real interesting character and his relationship with Ushio is the only big draw the show has amongst all the other tepid cliches. But even that positive point is hampered by the fact that he’s not exactly Hobbes or even Nyanko-sensei in terms of personality. It’s really hard to describe his appeal in words beyond the basics I’ve already outlined, so all I can say is he’s similar to Hades from Disney’s version of Hercules in that he’s the one lone bright spot due to how amusing he is, but not enough to really carry the entire product.
Not that I’m saying the product isn’t fun, because it is. Kinda. Well, it’s passable at the very least. But passable ain’t good enough for me I’m afraid, and it doesn’t help that unless it’s really well-executed, the kind of product that Ushio to Tora is will never be able to really grab me. I’ll still be watching the remake because…well have you seen the rest of the Summer anime? It’s got to be better than 90% of them. And at the end of the day, I’m still really interested in seeing what Mappa does with the project. But unless they add something real meaty to the original material, it’ll probably just be something I watch once and forget over time. Assuming it doesn’t go longer than my patience will allow me to keep it on, that is. How many cours is that remake anyways? The original manga is over 33 volumes and given Mappa’s high hopes for the project, I’m afraid it’ll go on for a long LONG time.
2: 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.
1: 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.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Initial D Battle Stage
2. Initial D Extra Stage
3. Ushio to Tora
4. Ningyo no Mori
6. Ushio to Tora: Comical Deformer Gekijou
8. Otenki Oneesan