Anime Discovery V2: INITIAL D: Third STAGE (w/EXTRA Stage [OVA Madness]) – #38

 

It has been confirmed that The Hybrid lost his memories that channeled over the last few months. It turns out the memories of his past encounters are contained and encase in this vial and as it turns out, Tron was eventually about the receive it but didn’t have enough time. As Paradox and Tron try to retrigger the Hybrid’s memories, they used many practices to bring it back. First, they tried to recreate one of the fights with the Clone but ends up sounding like Jar Jar Binks and eventually, both guys had to knock him out. Second try: they use a flashbulb memory technique by having he read a fake newspaper they printed out and yet one of the pages had an ad for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with the Twins and guess what happens next? He acts and sounds like him and eventually both of them had enough and decided to……well, what would you do if you encounter them? So knocked out again, Paradox tries to figure a way to once again retrieve the vial and administered it to him and after initializing the first and second stage, we are about to enter the next phase of INITIAL D…….THIRD STAGE.

But before that, I’m going to give a short but sweet look into the Extra Stage OVA.

It’s basically a spin-off that features Impact Blue, the female racers that Takumi encountered before in the 1st stage. The story deals with the dynamic of Mako & Sayuki, rather than the usual main cast (although they do appear in the OVA sans Takumi) facing a challenge with one of the racers of Team Emperor, who were the challengers from 2nd Stage and at the time was reigning over the Myogi Night Kids, while Mako is dealing with the breakup between her and Iketani.

This is a…….alright edition to the story. I don’t know how it will affect the later editions but it is good to focus the series on another main character with their backstory and the Impact Blue girls does seem interesting to focus on to, although some problems I have with the OVA is the challenger (or antagonist of the first half) they faced with. I’m not sure of his name but he is mostly a generic, sexist with the “girls can’t do what we do” attitude and the arrogance of him just reeks of annoyance and blandness. WE GET IT!!! It’s just so f***ing annoying. The second half deals with the relationship and while it is emotional and shows how Mako will eventually have to settle this soon, I just lost interest half-way through the OVA.

 

Now onto to the Third Stage……

 

Ryosuke has been putting together a racing team featuring the best racers of the Gunma prefecture, and would like Takumi to join. Takumi doesn’t want to decide whether or not to accept the proposal until he settles his score with Team Emperor Leader Sudou Kyouichi, who had looked down on the AE86 because of the car’s age and had seriously damaged Takumi’s confidence in the AE86 after being defeated by him. Meanwhile, the drama between Natsuki and Takumi is at highs since he found out she was doing enjo kosai in order to make some extra money.

Now, on that latter subject, she did quit the business and got herself a fast-food job in order to move away from her past and at some times, Takumi can be kind of a dick. Yes, she never told him about what she did then but she did gave it up to pursue a relationship with him and yet, he keeps on phasing her out and not bother to listen to her.

As for the main story, well, it’s the usual story as like the past entries. Somebody challenges Takumi to a race, thinks his car can’t handle their car, they race and eventually he will either win by doing what others thought he couldn’t do.

Also, it really felt like 4 ½ episodes condensed into one movie with their usual basics of the series.

The animation studios switched from Pastel, who did the work on Extra Stage and the past stages to Studio Deen, who contributed to the 3rd Stage and the animation is superior to its successors, which I said before, will happen every time and everything from the movement of the characters and the racing scenes are gradually more enhanced and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. The music…….well, it’s there and that’s it. It’s okay but I really don’t have anything interesting to say about it because it isn’t interesting. Some people will like this and most of it is just not my taste but it’s there.

 

FINAL VERDICT: Both entries are passable at the least but I really don’t consider them as being entirely different than each other.  They are more of a rental than actually owning them.

 

Therefore, the final scores:

EXTRA STAGE – 6/10 – Vanilla

THIRD STAGE – 7/10 – Watchable

Later into the night, Tron decides to break in again just to steal the vial from the offices. Breaking in didn’t seem like an easy feat to him but this time, it really seemed easy…..almost too easy. So either way, he grabbed the vial from the room and as just as he was going to leave out of there scot-free, a silent alarm triggered and that was when 12 armed guards showed up with very itchy trigger fingers and they started shooting. But then, Tron got a pistol from one of the lockers and easily shot the shoulder in one of them and one in the legs, arms and feet. The mission was to get the vial only. Why should cops doing their job get killed for?  It seems that he was headed for freedom but then came somebody in the shadows who shot Tron and receive the vial from him. One of the guards took him away and puts him in their prison facility and as that happens, the shadowy figure thought to him that he knew someone would send somebody to get the Hybrid’s memories back and it seems not too soon that will happen.

Meanwhile with Paradox and a somewhat-laxed Hybrid, he kept trying practices on how to regain his memories but everytime, Hybrid ends up imitating as a child-like figure or an annoying stereotype from any movie that must’ve come to his self-conscious. Paradox is beginning to feel worried about Tron and call him to check up on him but when it rings, the person on the phone warned Paradox that Tron is being kept in prison and they know all about the memories of the Hybrid one and they stated that if you don’t give the Hybrid to him within 24 hours, he will kill Tron in cold blood.

As in the next time, we got into the FOURTH STAGE:

 

 

And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements in one format.

 

INITIAL D: EXTRA STAGE / INITIAL D: 3rd STAGE – animation by PASTEL / STUDIO DEEN & distributed by FUNimation Entertainment

 

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