Friday, April 26, 2013

Initial D 5th Stage

Before I begin, I'd like to mention (and/or remind) that I'm watching Central-Anime's DVD releases, and thus have only seen the first eight episodes.

This season seems like they're trying to combine 4th Stage with 1st Stage.  1st Stage was understandably full of story in addition to the racing, since at that point nobody knew who Takumi was and were in a collective state of disbelief that he and his underpowered car were capable of defeating them.  As the seasons progressed, the story got pushed to the back more and more as the series was concentrating on the racing.  4th Stage was all racing and very little else.  And I liked it that way.

5th Stage begins with an entire episode of story.  A throwaway plot involving two impostors, just to set up Takumi meeting this girl, who plays golf and was driven to do so by her father (so, in a similar situation to Takumi, basically).  The first race is in the latter half of the second episode.  Then in the downhill portion of that race, there's a rather unnecessary cut from the race to the girl taking a bath and thinking about Takumi.

Don't get me wrong, Takumi probably needs a life outside of downhill drift racing, but... the subplot with this girl seems just kind of tacked on, almost to the point that that 5th Stage could do without it and not even care.  Maybe she'll matter later on down the line or something.

Later on another subplot develops with a "grim reaper", who drives a black Skyline.  Kind of similar to 1st Stage, where the Trueno was the "ghost car".  This grim reaper has a connection to Ryosuke, and his appearance is apparently enough to make Ryosuke modify his FC a bit and go race him.  Or so we think, because episode 8 ends with them standing in a parking lot.

5th Stage is by no means bad, but the phrase "get on with it" comes into my head a lot while watching.  The races feel much more drawn out, and the addition of subplots only further serves to draw things out.

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