I lightly skimmed the Fall 2023 anime lineup, and nothing of notable interest stuck out to me as it almost never does since I quit the quarterly binge eight-some years ago. I infrequently look at other aniblog folks to see what they’re watching, but it all seems to be mostly isekai shit, and whatever good gems I forget to make a note of and then never circle back around to. Imagine my surprise when MF Ghost appeared on this fall’s list. I picked up the manga last year while I was binging some other comics and heard it was being adapted into an anime.
It’s no secret to just about anyone who knows me that I’m big into Initial D and it’s iconic eurobeat genre of music. I had first discovered the game at an arcade back in 2000-2001 during my DDR days and still have my ID cards from it. So when I read that Shuichi Shigeno was doing a new series with ties back to ID, I was very much down for another round of that style, and hopefully, a eurobeat resurgence in the anime. I was not disappointed. Kodansha picking up the reigns on this is probably fine, considering ID went through something like five different studios between its first and final seasons. I always thought the first couple seasons trying to stick to Shigeno’s style felt a little too forced, where they scaled back more on the final seasons. This seems to get the balance right from the start, without going too soft face.
Truthfully, I might care more about the music than the show per se, but as the manga is still ongoing, I am also hoping this series can keep going with it and not falling victim to ID’s years-between-shows issue. Especially since this series has ties back to ID. It’s not quite a sequel, but it’s within the same universe. You’ll likely get some name drops next episode. Along with a cool opening, I hope.
The other racing anime this season is a Kadokawa-produced show about Formula 4 racing called Overtake. I wanted to make so many Days of Thunder jokes here, because the setup is almost the same. Brilliant kid racer comes in and starts racing for a no-name team, has to go up against a better well-funded team with superstar drivers, and keeps wrecking or losing because they know how to drive but know shit all about cars. The catch here is they seperated Cole Trickle into Kouya Madoka, the oddball photographer who is afraid of waves or something, and Haruka Asahina, the driver and wannabe-champ. Kouya knows shit all about cars, and Haruka drives fast. You got your eccentric crew chief, team owner, Rowdy and Russ, and a bunch of car sponsors and licensed name usage.
I’ll admit, I dunno what Kouya’s deal is. Did he take a bad picture and the internet flamed him for it? Does he routinely take pictures with the shutter closed? I feel like that’s going to be an unnecessary part to what would otherwise just be a real wholesome “professional photographer discovers auto racing” story with a real mom and pop racing team. Sometimes anime just tries to overcomplicate itself.
But at any rate, I’ll be watching these two shows as they air, since time is growing short on my other fall watches. Ahsoka is done, Lower Decks will wrap up in a couple weeks, and with the strikes and no one working for the last six months, everything new will get pushed back to 2025 probably. So I guess now is as good as time as ever to chomp into some anime I’ve missed, and maybe remember to write about it.