Initial D: The Live Action Movie (or yes, this has something to do with Anime Discovery) review

As the Hybrid, Paradox & Tron escape with their lives, they discover the one who ran was trying to extort the Hybrid’s info from his brain and then execute him was one of the Anime Gods, whom most of them was assumed to be killed but their bodies are never discovered. His name is Phoenix and what Paradox knows, he is the most corrupt and smartest Gods on the group and that he relies on accurate planning, finesse, and he’s also somebody who fights his own battles alongside his guards rather than just sit on his ass and do nothing like most villains do. However, while he was beaten by the Hybrid a while ago, he lashed out a Plan B and it was revealed to be—-

We would like to interrupt your regularly schedule storyline part of this review he always does because since this counts more as a movie review based on the same name although it isn’t exactly derived much from the anime but more like the manga (kind of), this review will be in the style of my (well, very meager) movie reviews I do on the side and so without further due, this is INITIAL D – the 2005 Live Action Movie.

We all know about many movies based or adapted from original works and on how it can be truthful to the source material and not screwed it up or it can be one big disaster after the next. The same thing can be said about live-action film adaptations of anime. Yes, I know of the only ones released in the U.S. was Dragonball Evolution & Speed Racer, although the latter was actually an alright movie but the majority of films like that actually comes from the eastern side of the world.

Producers Andy Lau & Alan Mak, responsible for directing the Hong Kong crime-thriller movie, Internal Affairs, brought the franchise onto the big screen in China and it’s also known it was the debut acting gig for Taiwanese musician Jay Chou and that was 5-6 years prior before he came to American audiences, when he played Kato opposite Seth Rogen on The Green Hornet directed by Michel Gondry.

The plot of the movie is eighteen-year-old Takumi is never late for a tofu delivery, and though he speeds the tofu to its destinations with the velocity of a landlocked stealth plane, his true aspiration in life is to follow in the footsteps of his formerly fast-driving father (Anthony Wong) — an ex-adrenaline junkie who eventually gave up the race track for the restaurant business. In his five years delivering meals from his father’s restaurant Takumi has learned the streets of his hometown like the back of his hand, and he can take every corner with the needle planted firmly on the right. The trick to Takumi’s amazing driving skills is a technique known as “drifting,” and in a world where high-risk racing has spilled out of the tracks and onto the streets, this daring driver is about to become a legend.

From the plot synopsis, it sounds like its actually taken notes from the anime & manga that make it seem like it was faithful to the source material but like those, there were some changes and they are significant and very noticeable. For example, Itsuki in the film is portrayed as a spoiled brat/prick that’s also the Gas Station manager’s son and is the de facto leader of the Akina Speed Stars when in the anime Iketani is the leader and Itsuki isn’t really related to the gas station manager and this version of Itsuki is more annoying in the film than in the anime, because at least at first Itsuki seems like the best friend who was annoying but still likable in the first 2 seasons but here, he’s a typical douchebag friend like the one on Project X. (And yes, I HATED Project X.)


The father Bunta Fujiwara went from being a wise and secretive father who knew of Takumi’s gift of racing to being an abusive, angry and alcoholic womanizer who drew Takumi’s mother away. Why would you make a character that can be harsh but tactful into this sleazy boozebag? That and also one scene where he told if Takumi spill a single drop of water, he’ll be kicked out of the house, although in the anime, that last part wasn’t implied nor was it needed. Some of the other characters like Keisuke Takahashi, Kenji & Iketani either don’t appear or they play just a background character into the story.

The quality of the film looks like it was released direct-to-DVD rather than in the cinema and the editing on here is really awful from doing frame drops or choppy scene transitions that make it seems like your DVD player wasn’t working right or if the disc is scratchy or If you stream it, your connection will suffer. Jay Chou’s performance was a exactly like the character of Takumi, an aloof racer who doesn’t seem to give a damn about his racing skills no matter how good he is and when a girl is saying she’s going to put on a skimpy swimsuit and just has this blank stare in his face instead of thinking that but keeping his cool. Yeah, his performance was equivalent to the anime.

FINAL VERDICT: I would say that this movie did not stay faithful to the original source but saying that would be repeating the same thing said about the other adaptations. It wasn’t the worst movie but it did prove to disappoint some people who follow the series and the manga. Sadly, I would not recommend this to anyone who likes the anime and manga. This shouldn’t even be called “Initial D” but rather be called, “Young Kids Drift and Drama Ensues”.

And now for the ratings:


Planet Tyro Rating: Not Feeling This Rating: LOW Rental

And now we return you our regularly scheduled programming…….


Everybody was screaming, “WATERBOARD! WATERBOARD! WATERBOARD!” as Phoenix revealed that he planted a bomb on the dam to flood the road to keep them from escaping and possibly drowning them, which would kill them and yeah, he would just do what they were going to do with they didn’t bring him. So eventually the dams blow up and obscene amounts of flowing water came racing onto the escaping vehicle and suddenly, Hybrid thought of an idea that he can make the car jump out of the flood to escape by using the blue leaf but it would to do that, he would deplete himself from that and the results could be fatal to him.

So, he tried to pull the trick, charge the car to be invincible as the water came crashing down and………


And until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements in one format…….and he’s finally glad he is done with Initial D.


INITIAL D (2005 Live Action Movie) – courtesy of Media Asia Distribution / Media Asia FIlms

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