Initial D Legend 2 Tousou Review & Characters - Am I Really a Racer?


  • Episodes : Feature length film 2 of 3
  • Genre :Street Racing, Sports
  • Airing Date : May 2015
  • Producers : SANGIZEN, LIDENFILMS

Initial D Legend 2 Tousou Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

Takumi has brought honor back to his local race team by defeating Keisuke, the co-leader of The Akagi Red Suns, the top street racing team in the Gunma prefecture. Takumi feels that his days of racing are over for he doesn't think anything special of it since he's been driving since he was 13. However, Nakazato, the leader of the Myogi Night Kids brings Takumi back to the mountains wanting the number one spot.

Who does Initial D Legend 2 Tousou cater to?

As stated, Initial D is about street racing and if anybody is looking for something different, give Initial D a shot. Since it is a compilation remake of the original first season, any previous exposure is not at all necessary. It tells a very distinct coming-of-age story and the franchise has always been about sacrifice and pride. If fans enjoy stories like that but with some intense drifting, this is the anime you might be looking for.

What's so appealing about this piece of work.

The series is very detailed and technical with its explanations on how the cars function in their conditions, and it gives the viewer something educational in regards to street racing. Nothing is at all “exaggerated” with “special effects” in comparison to other sports anime like Kuroko no Basket or Prince of Tennis. Everything is kept within the rules of reality. The viewer learns the pros and cons of front-wheel drive (for steering around corners), rear-wheel drive (best acceleration after the countdown), and four wheel drive (for drifting and control) on street racing in this movie.
Though the series can get confusing with the technical aspect of things, visuals will find a way to make perfect sense of it.

Initial D Legend 2 Tousou Trailer

Initial D Legend 2 Tousou Main Characters List

Fujiwara Takumi

Voice Actor :Miyano, Mamoru

Tofu delivery boy by morning, spaced out high school student by day, gas attendant by evening, and unstoppable street legend by Saturday Night. Ever since he was 13, Takumi’s father, a former street racer, has been training him by making him do the Tofu deliveries to a hotel in Mt. Akina (based on Mt. Haruna in Gunma Prefecture) by using the family car, a Toyota AE86 Trueno at 4 in the morning. After 5 years of doing the deliveries, Takumi has mastered all the racing techniques he needs to win. However, Takumi thinks of driving as nothing more as a chore that robs him of his sleep. After being given some incentives, he decides to try it out and eventually comes to love racing.

Nakazato Takeshi

Voice Actor :Suwabe, Junichi

The leader of the Myogi Night Kids and the driver of a Nissan Skyline GT-R 32, after witnessing Keisuke’s loss, Nakazato wants to challenge Takumi to become number one and to prove that gripping techniques are superior to drifting.

Prior to the events of the series, Nakazato was a passionate drifter. After a crushing defeat to a grip-style GT-R (even though the GT-R is a great drifting car in real life), Nakazato switches styles.

Shoji Shingo

Voice Actor :Sakaguchi Shuhei

The number 2 racer of the Night Kids and the driver of a Honda Civic EG6, he plays dirty to win. After Nakazato’s defeat, Shingo challenges Takumi by rear ending his friends and not willing to stand by, Takumi challenges him to a race but the condition is they must race to Shingo’s specialty, the gum tape death match.


Contains Spoilers

Initial D Legend 2 Tousou Review

Granted the original first installment of the TV series may not have an appealing art style, this movie truly polishes the character designs and uses a very bright resolution to compliment the age of 1080p and 4K screens for Blu-ray releases. It is the same quality of that between the 4th and Final Stage installments of the original series continuity. The rendering of the cars excellently go hand in hand with the quality of the characters and background are animated as well. While the CG of the original TV series was a definite novelty back in 1998, it felt like a high school project for MAYA.

The story is appropriately paced and knows how to use the material. Everything is straight to the point and a majority of the characters are useful and contributing. As for the length of the races, granted it is not 2-4 episodes this time, if any viewers have played the arcade games and know how long it takes for the average player to beat Akina, the length of the races in this movie appropriately reflects that quality from the games. However, Natsuki’s (Takumi’s love interest) sub plot with her enjo kosai relationship with a Mercedes driver from the original series and manga, is once again not featured in this installment.

A big issue for long time fans is the change of seiyuus and most emphatically, no Eurobeat tracks. To hardcore fans such as myself, getting rid of the Eurobeat is like getting rid of the Jazz in a Cowboy Bebop remake/reboot. It was a quality that contributed to the identity of the original series and it just feels empty without it. The new soundtrack may be appealing to viewers who never saw the original series so they can enjoy it with a more open-mind. The new rock soundtrack does have a free spirit feel, but it comes across as too calm and it doesn't have “the pump” that Eurobeat offers, which goes with the speed and heavy engine sounds. Plus, some verses abuse auto tune, a quality that is wrong with music altogether. It is also sad that MOVE, the group that always did the opening themes to all the original installments have broken up, and to a majority of its established fan base feel it's incomplete without their energetic tracks.

Furthermore, changing the seiyuu cast is absolutely pointless when all the original cast members are still living and active (unless Shigeno, the manga author pulled a Kurumada when he asked that the seiyuu cast for Saint Seiya should change). The performances of the voice cast feels as one dimensional as the character designs of Gundam SEED. Nearly everybody sounds the same to me except Bunta.

Miki Shin’ichiro was a wonderful Takumi who knew not to elicit any emotions or reactions. Miyano Mamoru as Takumi, come across as too reactionary and does not have that “control” of his emotions, like Miki Shin’ichiro had. Koyasu Takehito as Ryosuke, always gave captivating performances, and the way he articulates the driving techniques and engineering as if you believe he were real. Ono Daisuke (as much as I love him as Jotaro in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) just comes across as too hard and aggressive. Hiyama Nobuyuki was already a superb Nakazato, who's always shown a certain kind of stubbornness, but mixed with stability. Bunta altogether, without the performance of Ishizuka Unshou from the TV series, just feels wrong for every reason I can think that could be another review altogether. But for new viewers, this is probably not going to be an issue along with the change of music.

1. Fujiwara Takumi vs Nakazato Takeshi

Claiming to be a member an official members of the Speed Stars, Itsuki, Takumi’s best friend, accidentally accepts a challenge on behalf of Takumi to race him. Takumi does not want anything to do with racing, but he needs to prove he can’t run from a challenge.

When it was time to race, not only is it between them, Ryosuke chooses to observe while riding behind them with his RX-7 FC. Takumi uses his knowledge of the course to once again defeat his opponent despite the gap in horsepower.

2. Fujiwara Takumi vs Shoji Shingo

After the loss of Nakazato, Shingo wants the next crack at Takumi by doing it in the worst way possible, and that’s trying to nearly kill his friends, Iketani and Itsuki. Shortly after the incident, Takumi and Shingo race, but under the conditions of a gum tape match. The rules are for the right hand to be taped to the upper right part of the steering wheel while the left hand is free to shift, so this makes cornering and steering the wheel altogether very difficult. The rules favor Shingo’s EG6 because it is front wheel driver where it is easy to turn, while Takumi’s AE86 is rear wheel drive so turning is more difficult for him.

The conditions are difficult for Takumi at first but when desperate times come, so do desperate measures (such as intentionally using the back of his car to hit the rails for acceleration on his drifting). During the race, Shingo does attempt to perform his dirty tricks on Takumi, but it unfortunately backfires on him.

3. The After Credits Trailer for Movie 3

The only way this is going to end now is Takumi will finally face the number one street racer, the white comet himself, Takahashi Ryosuke. You get brief glimpses of their race and in addition, there is a cameo of Impact Blue (two female racers; one is a driver and the other is a navigator, like in rally racing) in the audience so there is a chance Takumi could race them in the next movie, or there could be more movies.


Naturally fans of the series will know how this will go down but it is nice to see that they are being a little more faithful to the manga in definition to who Takumi races in order. In the manga, Takumi races Keisuke, Nakazato, Shingo, and Ryosuke in that order while the first stage TV series, Takumi races Impact Blue and Kenta of The Red Suns before he races Ryosuke (while he raced them after Ryosuke in the manga). Will fans get more movies once the next one is released? That would be interesting, but it would be nice if the Eurobeat and the old seiyuu cast could come back.

And remember, Initial D is a work of fiction and while driving, please be safe and obey all traffic laws. Until then, see you at the next stage.

Justin

Writer

Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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