Anime World Order Show # 144 – If We Edit Nothing, An Episode Can Come Out This Month

The following episode contains zero edits whatsoever to remove microphone pops, crosstalk, dead air, us saying “um” / “y’know” / clearing our throats constantly, or in any way make the listening experience palatable or enjoyable. There are times we said “we’ll put that in afterwards” in which that does not occur. Releasing a podcast on Leap Day has that sort of effect.

Introduction (0:00 – 26:00)
In the emails we talk about important issues, such as how the Ninja Slayers novels compare to the animation, the mad unbridled genius that is Tetsuya Saruwatari, and somehow…Type Moon visual novels?! One of these things is not like the other!

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (26:00 – 29:27)
Listen. There is no time to edit this down to typical ad length. Not when the sale this week is for Discotek stuff. Time is of the essence.

Review: Initial D…technically 4th Stage, but in actuality the entirety of Initial D from now until the heat death of the universe (29:27 – 2:02:32)
So. We reviewed Initial D. It was one of the things that the Twitch stream requested we do. The result is no doubt exactly what the requester predicted. After this, I do not foresee people sending in donations to have us review other things outside of the backlog of what we are owed, especially since no editing took place whatsoever. So be it.

40 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 144 – If We Edit Nothing, An Episode Can Come Out This Month”

  1. [Disclaimer: this person loves visual novels. –Daryl]

    When I saw the first episode of Initial D there was a huge novelty factor, as I never imagined someone would make a show like this. Then as the first season progressed, I noticed how all characters who lost in races kept showing up on the side of the road during subsequent events, making the story feel good natured. It wasn’t the kind of setting where those who lost became villains.

    The character development was a bit slow to say the least. But I enjoyed the races themselves enough that I didn’t care. I liked how every character in the show makes an attempt at getting a girlfriend, but ruins the relationships because they can’t let go of drifting in the mountains at night, even if it seems to be a pointless waste of time and money.

    As for the lack of dramatic struggle during races, again I didn’t care! I liked the formula, as the opponents were always passionate about defending the honor of their local ragtag group of racers. They’d always have some edge, based around a gimmick of their car. But Takumi would always win because the shittiest car is the best.

    This wasn’t a show I liked when I was a kid and now look back at as being crap. Final Stage only came out a couple years ago, and I liked that just as much as I did the rest of the show. I don’t even know what to say to your repulsed reaction toward it. Sounds completely alien to me. Like I never considered that your reactions is something that was possible to have with the show. Made for a fun listen though! Listened to the show while doing 10 laps of Mid-field Raceway in Gran Turismo 6 in a shitty 86’ Toyota Celica that the game gave me when I started the game on my birthday.

    1. “I never considered that your reactions is something that was possible to have with the show.”.

      you never imagined that someone might not like an anime comprised of repetitive panning shots of characters gripping steering wheels

      1. I have lived in a bubble where everyone saw those repetitive panning shots and agreed they were fantastic.

    2. “I noticed how all characters who lost in races kept showing up on the side of the road during subsequent events, making the story feel good natured. It wasn’t the kind of setting where those who lost became villains.”

      For whatever reason, my reply to this didn’t go through days ago, but…what you’re describing isn’t novel at all. It’s fundamental to every modern shonen battle story. Haven’t you noticed all those people in say, Dragon Ball or whatever, who stand on the sidelines and commentate on what we’re seeing? A large amount of those characters are former adversaries who were beaten. Even twenty years, to teenage anime fan me, the notion of “beating somebody and making them your friend/astounded onlooker” was extremely commonplace.

      1. It stood out to me because I expected different from something about street racing. As much as I love Fast & Furious and Torque, it was a breath of fresh air that the same subject could be treated like this.

  2. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing from your perspective but there was seriously nothing noticeably different about this episode! Y’all should just release the full audio from now on! Longer episodes are better anyway 😉

  3. Thank you Anime World Order. You took one for the team, you gave us… The D. The very reason children stop being anime fans, and the TRUTH behind why Berserk is on indefinite hiatus. Oh yes, after Kentaro Miura watched Initial D, the only consolation, the only solace he could find to stop his mind from turning into a block of gooey melted tofu, was prepubescent two-dimensional idols imploring him that there is still hope in Japanese animation, even after watching the same fscking driving scene over-and-over to the Beat of the Rising Sun.

    Now the hard part is over. Surely only railroad steel and multi-track drifting Trains will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Eurobeat forever. Amen.

    PS: In episode 7… the squirrel gets run over.

  4. First off, the show sounds great even unedited. You three have developed a good chemistry over time and I wouldn’t sweat trying this again down the road.

    Now on to Initial D…..

    I have to say I was one of those people who got caught up in the storm that was Initial D back in the mid-2000s. When I was in the army i would go the to local mall every month and buy new anime DVDs, manga, magazines, grab some food, and play some games at the arcade. YES…my local military town mall had an ACTUAL decent arcade. Normally I would play the Star Wars Trilogy Arcade game on one turn and call it a night. But then one day….A NEW GAME WAS FRONT AND CENTER….INITIAL D: ARCADE STAGE.

    I was consumed by the evil demon bitch that was that game. The memory cards, the music, I HAD TO KEEP PLAYING. I was only saved due to the fact that mall security could no longer support the man power and shut down the arcade. My money was no available to buy individual DVDs of anime TV shows that would be re-released later on for 1/5 of what I paid for them….BUT HEY! I GOT THAT COOL BOX WITH VOLUME ONE YO!

    …….ugh. FUCK INITIAL D!

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  6. Honestly I just think you all are not familiar with car culture and also just not into cars. The Car Culture in the show is portrayed very accurately. And the racing they do is extremely realistic as well. The 86 being the car in which it was idealize as is reflective of actual racing. Its a platform that is still highly competitive even today. The technical stuff was all explained in the earlier seasons. Modifications to the cars dont don’t always produce highly visceral results, most are subtle especially in season 4 where alot a lot of the modifications are already done. Takumi from the beginning to end of the series grows to become apathetic to actually enjoying racing. The the fact its “illegal” street racing isnt isn’t a point of appeal. In Japan the mountain roads are not traffic(ed). It was explained earlier in the season. And the reason the people are lining the road are spotters if there is traffic they call it out and flash the drivers.

    [You don’t need to “think” that none of us is into cars; we all said as much, and did so multiple times. In fact, the points you bring up in this post are, in fact, things we said aloud in this very episode. Also, to my point: at no point do we ever seem to actually see these traffic spotters spot anything or anyone, rural mountainside roads be damned. –Daryl]

  7. On the one hand, this new podcast was quite funny to listen during a boring afternoon. You guys always pull that off and this time was certainly no different.

    On the other hand, I have no personal interest in or feelings towards Initial D. All I’ve ever seen of it were just a handful of episodes. The music was fine and I could see the potential appeal of an underlying shounen fighting/tournament formula in theory, but that experience didn’t exactly leave me with a very strong impression about the show. Never bothered to return to the property after all these years.

    Yet I couldn’t shake the idea some of the actual genuine fans of the show might feel, to a greater or lesser degree, that their positions might have been caricaturized a little too much here. I am sure there are folks who can’t properly explain their appreciation for it in an eloquent manner, but I am not too keen on the generalization that whatever anyone could ever love about Initial D is strictly limited to a combination of things that are actually flaws, car worship or blind nostalgia for a time in their lives.

    Do I have any alternative to offer? No, not really, but I do want to read fan reactions.

  8. The differences between this podcast episode to an edited one are so insignificant! I’m not sure if you have to kill yourself editing every breath to get a great episode released.

    A while ago I confessed to a coworker that seeing a significant amount Initial D (1st season) did not fill me with the urge to tune and race Japanese brand commuter cars, sports cars, or any type of car in general. He was incredulous, just utterly baffled that I failed to be hypnotized and stirred to pursue my own expensive, salary-obliterating indulgence in tire shopping and weekend track driving. I have always considered him an idiot and regret most of my interactions with him.

    Loved this episode, thanks for all the other good ones, happy 10 years.

  9. Warning: Incoming Long Post…

    Well, now that this day has come of the review I have dreaded the most from your podcast, I can say that I have survived. As I open up my fallout shelter to the land of my anime fandom to survey the aftermath, I look upon where my Initial House of D stood before I hit play on my Samsung Galaxy audio app. Needless to say, after the smoke has cleared from the onslaught of Gerald and Daryl carpet bombing upon that specific location of my fandom heart, it still stands. Although battered and bruised, it can be patched and reinforced once again.

    There were times that I thought you were being too easy in your review, even chuckling at the weakest insults to the series I was awaiting in anticipation for. But I started to fret, as the hurled insults from the bombing became louder, shaking my shelter a few times as I continued to listen to you drone on and on about how you don’t understand the fans behind Initial D on my ride home from school today. But eventually the podcast ended, and the bombings stopped. My worst fears for many years of your remarks to shake me to my Initial D fandom foundation came out to be more minimal than I thought. Because in the end, as I muttered to myself while picking up the pieces of the Initial House of D, “Well… that really wasn’t that bad.”

    So my inner conflict story of your Initial D review might be a bit silly, but I figured I would try an unconventional method to convey how I thought of your review in hindsight. You stated in your podcast your curiosity about what kind of comments you might get for this episode, and here is one of them.

    I am actually kind of glad you guys got to talk about Initial D in this length, and your arguments for backing up your claims is understandable. With Daryl setting up the background to how and why Initial D got its popularity made a lot of sense, because I was entering my teen years when import tuning and cars were getting pretty popular with The Fast and the Furious movies coming out. I was there for all of that, and I was always around someone who knew cars or wanted to know more about them at some given point. So with adolescent peer pressure already there to try and fit in with the crowd, I figured it couldn’t hurt to something about cars to cram into my brain other than my caring about my education. The Dance Dance Revolution scene started to hit it big during that time also, even though I wasn’t ever part of that scene in the first place. I think I tried DDR for the first time when I was 15, so that was in 2001. What lead me to Initial D wasn’t me trying to find out, but how it came to me, through Gundam no less.

    I bought the Victory Gundam series, with Chinese subtitles and in terrible real media player video quality, on four cd’s from a buddy of mine at the end of my freshmen year of high school, which I still have to this day. It wasn’t until my Christmas break of 2003 that I decided to look at the last disc of my Victory Gundam data cd’s, only to find that I had the first four episodes of Initial D English fansubbed. I had heard of this show through online and print anime media at the time, and I played one of the arcade machines for it months prior, but I never had a means to check it out until that moment. All I know is that after the first four episodes, I wanted more of it. It was something about the show that spoke to me, and I thought it was the coolest thing I had seen in anime at that time. So if anything, I have that bastard Chinese friend Sining to thank for getting me into seeing Initial D since he originally made those cds in the first place for the other friend I bought them from in high school.

    It wasn’t till a couple of months later we got the Tokyopop DVD’s, and at first chance I was there to buy them when they came out, which I still have to this day. How I watched the show was I would keep it in English till it got to the racing and switched to the Japanese track. That didn’t last long because it was too much effort in swapping tracks so I just watched the rest of the show in Japanese after disc three or something.

    I was also part of that Initial D arcade scene in some sense, which started when I played Version 2 at a mall arcade in Somewhere, Mass., which was only months before I had my experience with seeing the show for the first time. Like Onikuno said above me in the comments, I also threw money at that game and would plan out whatever chance I had in my high school days to spend my weekends at the local arcades playing Version 3 around that time. I was part of some online Initial D arcade community forums, which existed for tips in how to drive better in the game, time postings, club rankings, and of course to talk trash at the other teams across the globe. It never got that serious in terms of going beyond shit talking, but I have kept a few videos from other teams making personal videos attacking other teams because they got .001 second faster at some course. It was hardcore let me tell you. I still have my cards to this day, and even the new ones for the current versions that are out now. That also goes for Wangan Midnight, I played that quite a bit.

    I can also say that Initial D got me to be more interested in cars and tuning a bit more, and got me interested in buying my first car which was a manual transmission 1993 Mazda 323 hatchback. It’s interesting that the interest in cars and auto motorsports turned you off than turned you on to that hobby and interest. I am not a huge car buff, but I do understand somethings about cars thanks to Initial D, contributed to how my first car was a piece of crap that I had to repair a lot because that was all I had at the time to take me from point a to b.

    What I should really say to get past my backstory is that I never really knew anyone who despised and hated Initial D like the crew of the Anime World Order podcast. I didn’t even know anyone could hate this series, and I had no clue the problems people would point out about it. When I got into Initial D, I felt that I was the only fan, aside from my best friend and a handful of other people I knew around me. The only backlash I ever got about the show is how my best friend (which I should point out that Initial D brought us together in the first place into being friends) would point out the issues of the show that I kind of knew, but never really wanted to acknowledge. This of course went into discussions on how bad the CGI looked and character designs, but to him and me we still genuinely loved the series from the games, anime and manga.

    As much as you guys try and wrap your head around why people love this series, it can work the opposite as to why I think people would hate this series. I’m not asking for people not to fall in love with Initial D the same way I did, because I feel like I am a special case than the other fans who say “Oh it totally sucks and that’s why I watch it.” I love every bit about this show, even the issues that it has, because it just might be as Daryl point out that it came at the right time for some people. As corny as this may sound, it feels like Initial D found me than me searching for it.

    Daryl, your Apple Jacks commercial might be the best example to trying to understand why people like Initial D. As much as I want to give an answer to satisfy that question, I’m like the others out there that can’t explain that foundation. It’s just something that has got a hold of me and I have never forgotten about. It’s the same answer as I give about Gundam, I just happen to love Gundam despite all its issues. Of course Gundam might not be an equal example because even at Gundam worst, it still looks visually better than Initial D. Maybe if I think about it more, I might give some kind of sound answer. But again, I might just give the same answer I am now. I’m sorry my long ass post can’t answer the question for you and Gerald, but that’s all I have to really say.

    If Initial D is really a “demon bitch” that Onikuno says she is, then I gave my heart to her long time ago, and boy, she was quite the knockout for a teenage boy like me. In my defense in playing on this analogy, Initial D was a pretty steady first love that would always be there every weekend when I went to see her in that Namcoland arcade, and wouldn’t walk out of my life till the arcade shut down eventually, leaving me to move on. I’ll just say that romance was rekindled when my Initial D best friend and I went to Fayetteville NC to play Initial D 4, and that love still exists in my heart.

    Also Daryl, I would like to see what Narutaki example for defending Initial D was, it sounds like a pretty cool read, if that isn’t a problem to ask to see that?

    1. What Narutaki wrote was just a Twitter post. We more or less said it in its entirety. In those 140 characters, she was able to say why she liked the show. In the 1700 words you just wrote, all you said was THAT you liked the show, but not WHY. The closest that I can ascertain is “well, at least it was better than postage-stamp sized Victory Gundam with incomprehensible subtitles.”

      See, despite my repeated joking, the reason the Apple Jacks commercial joke is an apropos analogy here is not because its appeal cannot be explained. I can actually enumerate WHY I like Apple Jacks, and have been able to do so since I was the age of the kids in those videos. It’s incredibly simple to do so: they’re sweet, they’re crunchy, and they make the milk turn a cool color and taste good. THAT IS ALL ANY OF THESE GOD DAMN KIDS EVER NEEDED TO SAY, BUT THEY PLAY IT UP AS THIS UNSOLVABLE MYSTERY.

      The appeal of Initial D does not require Robert Motherfucking Stack to figure out. If you love cars, the act of driving cars, the idea of racing cars, or the notion of opening up the hood of a car and making adjustments to a car–which you do, per what you just wrote–then there is an abundance of wealth to be found here. That is all anyone ever has to say: “I like cars, so I like this cartoon about cars.” However, people don’t say this.

      If you do not care about the mechanics of cars or have no desire to drive cars fast–as all of us repeatedly stated is the case–then this series offers absolutely nothing worthwhile except for its soundtrack, which is so interchangeable and so disconnected from what you’re seeing unfold on the screen that you could set it to people painting a wall using roller brushes and it would have the exact same effect.

      1. The only “why” factor I have is kinda the interest I had already in seeing Initial D and the events that led up too it. I have never meet any of these people you mentioned in the show that like the series and never took anything from the series into starting some fascination in automobiles. The interest was either already there before they saw the series or, like me, got more interested into cars because of Initial D.

        If I had to give a halfway decent attempt into explaining why I love the Initial D show, it just might be that at that point in my teenage life with the anime I’d seen so far, I never saw anything quite unique as Initial D. The characters all seem to resonate with my teenage angst of trying to get a girlfriend but not getting one, as what some of the characters in the show experienced. So in some ways, other than my desire to get a “cool car,” it felt kinda cool that these animated characters went through the same high school bull crap I did. And when I was in high school, I thought, like everyone else, I was the only person who experienced the feelings I had. If there was another anime out there that could have expressed what I was going through to related to me, I didn’t know about it at that time. What I explained is just one part of why I love Initial D, the other parts came with the people I knew who liked it and the arcade scene at the time.

        If there is one other positive merit to the show that I can give it credit for it’s the technical detail spoken by characters as they stand around to save animation. Sure explaining car tech through monologue may not have been the best method in learning tuning specs, but it’s at least there. I would actually do my own research when technical details came up in the show on my own, which really made the idea of tuning more interesting to me because of the invested time I would put into finding out what was going on. Maybe I’m just one of the weirder fans of Initial D that doesn’t fall the categories you listed, who knows if that’s good or bad.

        Maybe in a while, I’ll have to do my own Initial D podcast and try my best to explain my reasons better. The worst that could happen is me still not giving a 100 percent detailed, itemized answer to these questions you asked on your podcast. So if that happens, is that really a bad thing? Maybe Narutaki was able to explain it best, whatever that explanation was.

        – Dustin

  10. I remember watching vhs tapes of anime and World Rally Competitions in the late 90’s, which may explain the appeal to me. It might help if one can see the cars as characters in the show, but maybe it could’ve done a better job with that. It’s been a while, but, for instance, I don’t remember the show explaining what a Sil80 was. Though I thought it did a better job when it focused on the quirks of some of the other cars.

    At first I was thinking maybe there should’ve been less cars and more backstory behind them, also the more memorable ones were the ones that showed up more. But then I realized the appeal was probably more in the races since they released Battle Stage.

    I can agree on having the show hit you at a certain time as part of the appeal.
    I do wonder how new fans react to the new movies though, if it can still hold up today.

    Also, maybe they still use walkie talkies because it’s cheaper? [I don’t think anybody in this series is factoring “it’d be cheaper/more practical to just do this” into any of their decisions. –Daryl]

  11. I watched the first season a couple of years ago and I liked it for the same reason I like Jojo’s or any of those 80’s and 90’s OVAs. It’s fun to watch how ridiculous things get like the crazy drifting or how seriously everyone takes the races. Like most of my favorite anime, Initial D is inept, stupid, and fucking terrible and that’s why it’s awesome. I’m actually surprised to see that Daryl doesn’t like it since he gives so many positive reviews to other stupid anime that have the same appeal.

    1. Initial D is not “crazy” or “over the top” or a case of “people taking something impossibly seriously.” Initial D is not stupid or ridiculous enough to be “gloriously” so. This is not a series that relishes in excess or exaggeration. It’s about as far away from fare like Saints Row or Redline as you can get. If I believed in assigning letter grades to series–which I don’t–Initial D would be a…D. It’s not “so amazingly bad that you can’t believe it” the way an “F” would be.

      There is not ONE SINGLE THING I like that has “the same appeal” as Initial D.



  12. Never edit again. The show sounds great.

    I don´t watch car racing. I find it quite boring. Yet, I still like Initial D´s first season and the Third Stage (the movie). The Second Stage is average, the Fourth Stage is very weak, and Fifth Stage is just terrible. The Fourth and Fifth obviously have better CG and animation since they were made 6-8 years after the success of the other three parts, but the story and the races feel like nothing special and are quite soulless. The only slightly interesting part was the arc of the girl who falls in love with Keisuke. The Fifth Stage is by far the worst since they have to ridiculously introduce these opponents who are “tougher than any other”, has the stupidest arc in the whole series (Ryosuke´s old love triangle arc), and the intro to the most moronic opponent for Takumi where one of his biggest opponents will be someone just like him who drives a car just like his. Fifth Stage was torture to watch. I refuse to watch the Final Stage.

    Daryl talked about how the end of the 90s was the perfect point for Initial D to be made. Another point that made that a great period for Initial D to be made was the CG. While it looks extremely dated today, it was impressive back in the day compared to anything else because the smoothness and the car physics just can´t be recreated through drawings. It was also cleverly opportunistic that everything happened in dark environments. Daryl and Gerald complain about the races but they feel just like car races on TV with some additional camera shots that could never be done in reality. The races are such a big part of the show that they even made Battle Stages, which are compilations of just the races. Sometimes when I feel like watching just the races I´ll watch the Battle Stages. My favorite race is 86 vs Sileighty which I think extends over 3 episodes, so sometimes I rather just watch the highlights of the race.

    What I like about Initial D is Takumi´s story as it progresses until the first movie. How he not only becomes a better racer, he learns about himself. He is this apathetic kid who at night becomes a superhero. He races not to show off or to make a ridiculously intricate heist. Initially he races for really down-to-earth things, like help his friends or get a full tank of gas to go out with his girl. Later he races to see his limits and how good he really is by driving against others. The first two seasons and the movie feel like beginning, middle, and end of a story: he discovers what he wants to do at this point in his life and what he needs to do to achieve it, his friends settle down at that small town, and his relationship with Natsuki has a conclusion. Everything after the Third Stage feels unnecessary. I felt Clarissa really pointed out a lot of why I like the show during this podcast.

    The races are like David vs the Goliath. Just like the people in the show, the viewer thinks to himself “There is no way this old car can beat that other”. And yet it does in a convincing way. If you have ever been to mountain passes, you know the fear of falling off a cliff. Therefore, power means much less in this kind of race. Takumi winning isn´t as far-fetched as it sounds.

    Just so you guys know, Takumi loses on the second stage and there are three car crashes in the first two seasons.

    I feel that what Daryl and Gerald dislike about Initial D is Takumi. Many people are probably drawn to him because they see a bit of themselves on his apathetic nature. But to Daryl and Gerald he is just a boring kid. They both like these badass/charismatic/ridiculous characters who don´t exist. Just listen to any review here or on the GME podcast. While they occasionally watch some more “realistic” shows, they are ecstatic when talking about a crazy batshit insane shows/movies.

    1. My feelings on Fifth Stage are about the same as yours. I’m halfway through Fifth Stage since I watched last oh…. 4 years ago, and I can’t seem to make myself finish it anytime soon. I think the stopping point for me was when Kogashiwa Kai came back from Third Stage to AGAIN lose to Takumi because the spoiler on his Toyota MR2 Spyder came off during a race, which disrupted the aerodynamics of his car causing imbalance in his driving. Oh wait, was that spoilers? My bad. I remember when 4th Stage was coming out that people on the online communities I was part of started to truly believe Shigeno was running out of ideas on how many ways Takumi was beating his opponents, and I started to kinda see that more and more over time.

      What also contributes to Initial D, to build more on what your saying, is how the protagonist Takumi is an underdog that develops his skill over time. His personality might stay the same for the most part, but seeing his skill over time improve is more of the character trait changing than his personality. Since this show is strictly racing, its more about the skill a character has than some quirky part about them that should change but doesn’t. If anything, it just might be a mirrored image of the racing scene in Japan during the time this manga was written, where the scene was full of late teen/early twenty somethings that all had crappy jobs and poured their money into their car for “street cred.” That would make sense for Shigeno to only focus on the important aspects of the skill a racer has but the keeping the personality the same, because to appeal to the racing crowd, skill is more important than changing your personality and quirks. But hey, I could be wrong there.

      It’s funny how you can’t watch racing outside of Initial D, but for me I have an interest in it. From time to time, I do catch the Le Mans on TV, and I did get caught up in the last season of MotoGP. MotoGP at least is a quick 30 or so minute race compared to an 8 hour race for Le Mans. I can honestly say when it comes to movies about racing, I can sit through and enjoy the Le Mans movie with Steve McQueen, and the Grand Prix movie with James Garner. For the later being a mix of character building and good editing to make a Grand Prix race exciting and the former being 90 or so percent of a race, they are well done movies that I actually enjoy. On the other hand, that Rush movie directed by Ron Howard was garbage to me, because there wasn’t enough racing.

    2. “While it looks extremely dated today, it was impressive back in the day compared to anything else” — This is just straight up not true. We were laughing at how utterly bad this show looked in 1998, because even Blue Submarine No. 6 looked better than that. That one had bad CG visuals *that everyone recognized as bad* AND it was an OAV to boot. 3D CG couldn’t hack it in direct to video, so on TV it was even worse. It was astonishingly UN-impressive.

      “they feel just like car races on TV” — This is also not true. I do not see car races on TV being held late at night, minus any indication of the track, on roads that have almost zero lighting, against backdrops that do not change. But I also do not watch car racing because–I’ll say it again–I have no interest in it.

      “The races are such a big part of the show that they even made Battle Stages, which are compilations of just the races” — No, it’s more like what I said: the MUSIC is such a big part of the show that they even made Battle Stages. Those Eurobeat tracks are too short to play continuously throughout these lengthy races; the fact that Battle Stage just re-edits the races down to fit within the lengths of the song such that you’re always hearing the different tracks reveals what the actual priority is. They’re the “Hurricane Live” of Initial D.

      “Just so you guys know, Takumi loses on the second stage and there are three car crashes in the first two seasons” — I specifically said “he’s only allowed to lose to his dad” WHICH IS THE LOSS YOU ARE REFERRING TO. And I didn’t say “nobody ever crashes”–hell, there’s a crash a few episodes into 4th Stage–I said “nobody is ever killed or grievously injured” which is…true! So I DO know, which is why I said so out loud, in this podcast episode, which you are replying to.

      “I feel that what Daryl and Gerald dislike about Initial D is Takumi” — No, it’s exactly what I said: it’s EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING. The paragraph you spent summarizing Takumi’s journey does not in any way contradict the sentence or two I devoted to summarizing the prior seasons and that movie. I don’t “hate” Takumi because he doesn’t draw out any response or reaction from me whatsoever. He, like pretty much the entire cast, is just “the organic matter required for the true star of the series to function.” This is why I said even if you don’t like Itsuki, at least he has some sort of identifiable behavioral trait: that’s all it takes to put him ahead of the rest of the cast!

      1. The race rti9 is referring to that Takumi lost was in Second Stage when the AE86 engine blew in a race against Kyoichi Sudo. The story was already leading to that Takumi needed a new engine but he was like “eh, whatever its fine” kinda thing. This wasn’t a matter of skill in question that made Takumi lose, but just the plot so he can get another engine in his car. In racing no matter how skilled a person might be, if the vehicle goes out on a racer, they’re out of that race, therefore resulting in a loss. Even if that is the dumbest way for Takumi to lose, it’s still a loss. [I don’t even need to reply to this, so I’m just going to put the emphasis on the operative part. That is not a loss that elevates the opponent or causes the hero to seek personal redemption. It’s the anime equivalent of a Kevin Nash job. Initial D is the Kevin Nash of anime. –Daryl]

      2. Yes, it was unimpressive but [Please recall that I was responding to your prior statement of “it was impressive” –Daryl] it was still far better than any other animation regarding the physics of the car. The car smoothly sliding would have been impossible without computers. I think the closest thing we had seen back then was Future GPX Cyber Formula.

        I don´t know about the others, but I don’t watch the Battle Stages for the music.

      3. “That is not a loss that elevates the opponent or causes the hero to seek personal redemption.” It does make him seek redemption because he thought he could beat anyone as long as he used the old 86. He has a hard time accepting and understanding the new motor. It makes him realize that he also needs to understand the mechanical part of the car in order to be a better driver.

  13. The stupid D just stands for Drift, and the guy who is not a mecha designer is just mental. I think it’s stupid he’s having one last hurrah before he has to be an adult and run a hospital or something, but he’s not the one racing. And really, what sort of person decides “I’m going to manage a team that’s going to go and kick the asses of all the other drift clubs on their home tracks”? If I was this guy’s parents, I’d take his credit card away and make him study for med school.
    I have this theory that good music will prop up a boring show. So yeah, the show is propped up by Eurobeat.

    1. Remember this is Japan… even in the year 199X – 20XX, they’re all still avert to common sense Point of Sales business practices like credit cards; he probably paid everything cash!

      I seriously hope there’s someone high/inspired enough to animate Densha de D, if only for the bumpin’ soundtrack:

      Yes, that’s a puppet conducting a Keikyu 2100.

  14. I´d just like to point out to Clarissa that even if people have read a review of a show on ANN (which I haven´t), the people who listen to this podcast will still want to hear the trio´s opinion about it. So if you feel like talking about the rakugo show, go for it please.

  15. Welp, time for me to be that guy. The only thing y’all’re wrong about is that Wangan Midnight actually predates Initial D by about five years, and is apparently still going under a different title due to a change of publishers. From what little I’ve read, it’s also setting up some character arcs, and the main dude has wrecked twice so far. I still intend to read Initial D, though; I have to experience the monster for myself.

    Loved the emails y’all answered this episode. I could listen to you guys talk about Tough and Baki volume-by-volume if the content ever runs that dry. There certainly would be no shortage of things to cover.

    Lastly, y’all sound great unedited. Never edit again.

  16. You know, I think the Top Gear presenters are actually pretty young for British TV.

    Maybe my British family just has boring taste, but every TV drama they’ve made me watch throughout my entire life has white-haired old pensioners for more than half the cast. Frequently the whole cast. (Okay, Doctor Who only does it sometimes.)

  17. I can’t stop laughing at the two hours of rage against this bad show and the comments from the hosts continuing the hatred. And I also can’t disagree with it; Initial D is boring and clumsy and stupid.

  18. All these extremes of this show is terrible to its awesome is making me want to go watch it now.

    Also I didn’t really notice anything different about the audio.

    [To quote Michael Palin, “it’s not THAT terrible” such that watching it becomes a legendary experience. 🙁 –Daryl]

  19. I started watching Initial D in February after you mentioned the show in your Kuroko review. With no expectations and the attitude of ‘if-this-old-show-is-still-popular-it-must-be-doing-something-right’ I started watching it. For the first three stages I was getting into it.

    The reason why I initially (heh) liked Initial D was the potential of the series. “Sure, Takumi is an apathetic high schooler who wins every race right now,” I thought “but when he starts enjoying himself, hits the big league and starts racing different cars on different tracks the show will get better, right?” Despite the horrible character designs and bad CGI cars I could forgive this show as long as there was a sense of progression in terms of characters or plot. The outlandish Eurobeat music and (dumb) subplots kept me going. Maybe when Takumi hooks up his girlfriend is going to start racing? Maybe he’s going to get a different car? So much potential.

    But then at the end of Third Stage it dawned on me. Takumi is going to drive the same car on the same dark mountain track doing the same maneuver to overtake the same (shocked) opponent and get the same victory. Rinse and repeat. This realization in combination with your podcast put the brakes on my expectations of any progression. The show is now thoroughly dropped.

    So thanks Daryl, Gerald and Clarissa for clearing things up! Can’t wait for your (unedited?) episode on Food Wars.

  20. This is pretty pathetic of me, but I did want to point out after listening to the whole podcast 2 things.

    1) Takumi has technically lost multiple times in this show.

    a. Takumi vs. Kyoichi, AE86 vs. EVO3 (Second Stage). His engine blew after really trying to push it against a Mitsubishi Evo 3. The Mitsubishi Evo 3 is a car that is AWD. It had alot more power AND acceleration although Takumi was the better driver. It was a turning point for Takumi that the 86 was not the PERFECT car in all “racing” situations. He took a loss there.

    b. Yes, he technically lost in the last against God-hand. AND he also “unofficially” lost greatly against his Dad Bunta who was driving a Subaru Impreza. ALSO an AWD vehicle, similar or rivals to the Mitsubishi Evo series.

    2. You must understand that although not many people actually understand little basic technical fundamentals when it comes to this show, it DOES help many with the appreciation for this show.

    a. Basic tip about drifting. Drifting can “technically” only be done on certain types of vehicles. Cars that are FR or AWD are not really capable of drifting. Drifting involves alot about oversteer. FR is really only capable of doing an understeer.

    b. This is the reason why the AE86 Trueno is such a highly praised car for how cheap and shit you guys might think it is. With the concept of drifting put in place, the 86 is not the most powerful car at all whatsoever, but it’s a combination of lightweight, durability at high rpms, and ease of “controllability” that makes this car so legendary even to the “Drift King” Tsuchiya. It’s a small car that packs a punch for what it’s capable of doing, even though it was proven that the original engine that blew out during second stage was still not enough to overcome the likes of the Evo.

    c. And just to point out, the 86 did end up going through a change when the dad Bunta switched out the engine on it as well. Which turned the 86 into a whole new beast =).

    No matter what, I guess I’m still pathetic for taking the time out of my day to write something like this. But yea. Idk. I was hoping to see if this would provide just a little spark or consideration for us fans that really appreciate Initial D even to this day. I guess I felt a little offended after the podcast. CONTINUE ON SIRS and MAM!

    -JR A.

    1. I think in the Drift Bible film with Tsuchiya, he mentions how the 86 is one of those “fun cars” that is designed to be used as a drift car, and if you keep the RPM high during turns, that’s when its potential really shows.

      I guess you can say I am such a fan of Initial D, I found the first Arcade Stage arcade at a local arcade joint with both cabinets. It’s now gonna be my fun little project to work on. It does work, just needs some fixing here and there. I can also get the later arcade games and run them through the NAOMI 2 engine, so my Ver.1 can play Ver.2 and Ver.3.

  21. Thanks for another enjoyable show. I will also recommend that you skip editing if it will facilitate more episodes getting posted. You three are well spoken and should just let ‘er rip. I made it through a total of 2 episodes of Initial D many years ago and needed to watch no more, but to your credit, I enjoyed this substantially longer show about that same CG cube on wheels.

  22. “Everyone always says, ‘This show is garbage – this show is garbage – and I watch it all the fucking time!’ WHY.”
    “[…] The state of manga must be REALLY FUCKIN’ BAD – because if this is as good as manga gets I’m getting off the SHIT.”

    I had to pause the podcast because I was laughing so hard at everyone’s Initial D fueled rage quit.
    I’ve actually never seen an episode of Initial D – I’m aware OF it, because I don’t live under a rock, but I’ve never had to experience it myself, possibly because of a generational divide (I started watching Anime in 2006). So going into this podcast with a blank slate was great to hear everyone’s STRONG opinions.

  23. Firstly, no sound edits work fine since you folks are attuned already to speaking for podcasts.

    Secondly, I have a hypothesis for why some people dislike the show so much. I suggest that it is related to your reactions to the main character. I.e. What do you think of a slacker with no ambition or prospect? As a contrast, consider the anti-Takumi: Naruto the super ambitious, always positive, and hyperactive protagonist. I have always consider him much more annoying and less entertaining as compared to Takumi. This is probably based in the viewer’s own personality and quite hard to explain. A Naruto fan probably would have a hard time explaining why that series is so meaningful to him/her also.

    Thirdly, there are quite a few series that are fan favorites, but I find inexplicable. For example, Gundam is a franchise with great longevity, but I find mostly a bore. For one, my engineer training tells me that humanoid design for a fighting machine is just a POOR design. But more importantly, I can never get invested emotionally in most of the characters. The political intrigues don’t resonate. In comparison, Code Geass add on a personal layer that does get the viewers more invested. Yet this does not preventing the legions of Gundam fans continue spending tons of money on toys and statues. So are they wrong? I’d say no, as long as they continue to get pleasure from it even though I find it a bore.

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