About Initial D Fourth Stage

April 11th, 2013 by Author

The Initial D franchize stitched from several seasons (and a movie) that form a fairly good continuity. But they are quite different in the animation techniques and even character design. The first season had a definite feeling of something old-fashioned, like Gundam almost, if not Ranma. It also introduced and established a lot of characters, including the goofy sidekick Itsuki and notional sempai Iketani. There was quite a bit of typical cartoon violence and hijinks in the spirit of the period.

I think I liked it the most. The subsequent seasons firmly switched into the battle of the day mode. It’s not like the First Stage didn’t have those, mind. But the focus was strengthened thereafter, and it was almost boring, if you can call a fast-paced action that. The plot explored the envelope of the enemies, including the malicious corner, but I don’t even remember most of it now, with only the finale of Fourth Stage staying in memory.

Said finale comes back to the envelope’s center, meeting fairly plain opponenents, only stronger than before. And then… The two middle-aged guys turned out to be something else. One part that I rewatched several times was the battle with a pudgy gentleman in Nissan R34 aka GT-R. The director went very, very heavy on the foreshadowing in the episode, so even an ingnorant and lazy viewer like me knew that something was up… But what? I could not figure it out. By the time the dramatic BGM played, I gave it up and went with the flow of action completely. It was glorious.