I'm not going to lie to you: I'm a huge Initial D fan. The show had me
the first time Takumi smoked Keisuke with an inertial drift. I can
recite large portions of the first episode in Japanese. Initial D was
my first fansub, my first import, and my first really hardcore anime
fandom. My love for the show kept me from coming anywhere near the
American release for a long time, knowing what had been done to it.
They did a lot to it, all right. Tokyopop's biggest mistake was to
try and bring the show to the mainstream, in such a way that it's
barely the same show. Character names were changed, the hyperactive
Eurobeat was replaced with downtempo rap, and "tricked out" (their
term, not mine) sound and video effects were added in an attempt to
move it that much closer to the import tuner scene in America.
Despite this, the heart of the show remains unchanged. Initial D
brings us to the world of Japanese street racing. Drivers compete in
the winding mountain passes, driving and drifting their cars to the
bottom to find out who is the fastest.
Check out the full review