As Fast As I Can Breathe

It’s been six years since we’ve been graced with one of Japan’s longer-running and still publishing manga-turn-anime, Initial D, a show known even by people who don’t watch anime, because it involves street racing and drifting, and helped make The Fast and the Furious a hit here in America. Well Fifth Stage is finally here, and you know that that means. More goddamn AE86 action.


Unless they're female. Then kill them softely. With his song.
If I ever become famous (unlikely) and someone tries to look like me, kill them. With fire.

Picking up from the manga, Initial D: Fifth Stage continues the chronicles of Fujiwara Takumi and his Panda Trueno AE86 alongside Takahashi Ryosuke and Keisuke of PROJECT D, a team Kyosuke formed at the beginning of Fourth Stage to set the fastest times on tracks nationwide, and discover his theories behind street racing. After facing a particularly harsh battle against Toushiya Joushima and technically losing the battle, Takumi is seen in the opening of Fifth Stage trying to master driving one-handed in Bunta’s Suburu Impreza WRX STI after making the daily tofu delivery, while his AE86 is being tuned up for the team’s next race. Alongside his cohorts, the Akina Speed Stars members, and his best friend Takeuchi Itsuki, Takumi aims to make himself one of the best street racers alongside Ryosuke’s team, and challenge some of the toughest opponents the area has to offer.

It’s amazing how a franchise that is still publishing (since 1995) has continued to enjoy support in anime form since 1998, fourteen years, though the span between seasons has been abnormally large. Initial D brings with it not just terribly awesome street racing antics, but my favorite sub-genre of music, Super Eurobeat, and I’m hoping we get a very good soundtrack out of this like we did in previous seasons. The downside is, much like Fourth Stage, each episode has a long delay time between release, and this stage may not see a full twenty-six episodes like the last, so I’m not sure if this is a test to see if fans are still interested in more Initial D anime, or they are panning it out for a DVD/BD release or movie like Third Stage. Either way, it’s still better than nothing.

TLDR Watch This: DRIFTO TURNO, cars, because racecar, AE86 action, also cars
TLDR Don’t Watch This: you like boring racing like NASCAR
Sub Group: sage
First Rating: 8

Q-Ball, you've come to this dimension! I can't find Remy or the Professor though.
Bald is seriously funny, right?

Halfway into Chuu 2 Koi and the delusions continue, I’m afraid. Even Isshiki gets caught up in the crazies this week when his notebook of girl POWER RANKINGS is found by the girls and put forth before the class by Nibutani. He falls on his sword to protect the class males and loses his hair for it, literally, in a SHINING spectacle of light and magic incantations. Just another day in high school paradise.


That power button maybe? I dunno.

Not-halfway into Robotics;Notes thanks to FUCK YEAH TWENTY-TWO EPISODES and we’re starting to get some insight into why Aki and Kaito suffer from their conditions, but not directly, instead, we learn that NASA is to RN as CERN was to Steins;Gate, they’re shaping to be the big-bad here, as they knew about changes to the sun that might affect the world long before they happened and suppressed the knowledge. Connections are coming back around to the accident that involved the two, but not to why Aki’s sister has seemingly abandoned Aki and Kaito (in a sense) and what Mizuka Irei has to do with all this. Man, the suspense from SG is building back up here for this show. Damn them.

She doesn't even need the gun.
Well yeah, if a girl pointed a gun at me and asked me to be her butler I probably can’t refuse.

This week’s Hayate no Gotoku starts to peer a little more into some kind of plot, or rather the origins story of Nagi and who her father, and mother, are. As much as we’ve been told is that a man came in to steal a family treasure, and ended up the butler of a woman presumably being Nagi’s mother as seen from her dream. Everything else is a mystery, but we’re inching closer to getting back to the opening scene in Vegas that occurred before we went back a bit. Also Ruri seems to be after the family treasure also, which either means she is actually Nagi’s sister (step-sister probably, wife before Nagi’s mother) or someone who heard of Nagi’s father’s ambitions and seeks to finish the job? Either way, we’re in for lots more random wacky shit before we find out what happens. Also, fish sausage.

Those pseudo-British, always thinking of Tea
Bout that time, eh chaps? Right-o.

What would a sport-anime (even if the sport is tanks) be without good ol’ fashioned Japanese stereotyping of other countries? That’s right, Girls Und Panzer has you covered. If you thought of last week’s team as being overly British, this week’s is overly American, right down to the name “Sanders” and as a bonus, you get some light backstory on Tank-crazy Akiyama much like last week’s spotlight on Isuzu, complete with her amateur camera skills infiltrating Sanders College. More tank action this week that promises to spill into next week as the goal is.. some kinda finals.. you know, to stick it to Nishizumi’s sister?

gg finally released all of Joshiraku, so as soon as I have a free cycle I will try to finish that out and review it. I’ve fallen a bit behind on CODE:BREAKER and Little Busters, which I’ll try to make up this week. Seitokai no Ichizon is out, but in bad 360p versions that are frankly unwatchable. I might load them on my phone and watch them on-the-go just because it’s a better fit, but as of now unless they release better versions, I’m probably going to forgo that show and find a replacement for that slot. Any suggestions from this season’s list?

Also, good news, sage is starting to catch up on Gundam SEED HD episodes, using the now-released BDs, so I do plan to review those as soon as I can. I’ve also decided Tenchi Muyo will be my classic review of the month, starting with the OVAs, Tenchi Universe, and the first movie, all of which I consider to be the cream of the crop. I have another slot open for a classic show (1995-2005) if anyone has suggestions, feel free to do so, otherwise I’ll pick this week from one of my on-hand selections, I’ve got a bunch of them.

Lastly, many might know I staff Katsucon every year in the Art Show, where artists can feature and sell their anime and fantasy-oriented artwork for real cash monies. Every year I always talk about drawing a couple pieces to take to the show, but I always put it off and ultimately not do it. I’m pretty out of practice though, it’s been a long time since I’ve drawn, and there is some crazy quality in the show, I don’t want to draw something a kid would draw and hang it among better art, so I gotta start getting some practice in soon as try to build back up so I can try to complete at least one nice looking entry for the show. I will probably use this blog here to post some of the sketches and doodles, for those who are interested. Not sure who I will draw, there is so much to choose from.

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