New Initial D The Movie consists of three parts about 1 hour each – Legend 1: Awakening (Blu-ray releaes 2014-12-6), Legend 2: Racer (Blu-ray release 2015-11-4), Legend 3: Dream (Blu-ray release 2016-6-17).  It is a remake of the 26-episode Initial D First Stage anime series (1998).  For those who don’t know, Initial D is originally a manga about street racing in mountain passes, emphasizing the technique of drifting – the same subject explored in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006).

Initial D is very different from typical street tracing movies not only because of its drifting, but the protagonist’s car is generally regarded as slow and underpowered.  The story has it win over all other types of fast and high-powered cars, and supports it via discussions of different types (FR/FF/4WD) of cars and theories of driving techniques for them, as well as weakness in particular models.  Those who love street racing movies but have not watched the original anime should definitely watch this.  Those who have already watched the original anime will find that the drawing is very much improved here, and I think the new movie contains the most important stuff from the First Stage (1998).  I prefer the original music, and the original voice of certain characters in the original anime though.

Before this 3-part movie, there was another Hong Kong live action adaptation made in 2005, which is also very good, but there were significant changes in order to cover a larger span of the story in less screen time.

SPOILER: In Legend 3: Dream, the original voice actor of the protagonist in the original anime shows up in an orange GT86 twice, which was previously seen in the final scene in the Final Stage (2014), but with a license plate that is similar to the protagonist’s AE86 in the original anime.

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