Halfway through MF Ghost and Overtake!, racing and motor vehicle fans are eating good this season, and Eurobeat fans are dining on the finest of Kraft macaroni and cheese. It’s been almost ten years since Initial D: Finale Stage aired, and while there has been plenty of Eurobeat music produced, it hasn’t been heard alongside roaring engines of new or old.
There isn’t too much to particularly iterate on MF Ghost though, especially if you’ve read the manga. They are adapting it fairly close, which means most of this cour will likely be consumed by the first race. It also means a lot of time is being filled by the race commentators prattling on about in-universe things, which do somewhat function as easter eggs for ID fans looking to catch a little bit about what our hero Takumi has been doing the last decade and change after Project D.
The rest of the non-race moments center mostly around Ren and the Angels, and right now, there isn’t much to go on with that, as the quest for Kanta’s father and her relationship with him doesn’t pick up until later. I’ll be interested to see how much they approach it before the cour is over. You do however get a few butt-shots of the other angels, because apparently fanservice is part of the MFG experience, and everyone just… accepts that?
Overtake! on the other hand has many more moving parts going on with its story. Kouya slowly works his way back up to actually taking photos of people again, after Saeko spills the beans on his secret to Haruka in an effort to get him to be more sympathetic towards Kouya’s zealous push to support the team. The races themselves are often sparse, but quick. The back-and-forth between Satsuki and Toshiki is some real Days of Thunder shit and very reminiscent of NASCAR inter-team drama. Everyone wants to be the guy, but only one guy can be the guy, and you still try to be the guy too.
Certainly the show’s most amusing character is Arisu, a sort of booth babe cheer squad something for Team Belariso. She’s friends with our MC duo, but pines for the Jeff Gordon hotshot and can’t keep her shit contained around him. Which is adorable. Where the rest of the show seems to stick with a uniform animation style without too much deviation, Arisu is free to wild the fuck out whenever she is flustered with Satsuki.
But poor Satsuki, for all his bravado and bluster, he manages to wipe out in the rain episode everyone was afraid Haruka would crash in, and has an especially bad time. He lives, but not before Kouya sees a similar facial expression to his tsunami victim, retriggering his PTSD. Feels fucking bad man.
So going into the back half, I expect MF Ghost to probably wrap up the first race, and maybe cut a little bit into Ren and Kanata. Overtake! is a wildcard, but I am betting this season ends with Haruka either winning a race, or at least finishing podium, while Kouya maybe finds his balls and tells the internet to fuck off about his photos? Whatever shakes down, just give me more Arisu Goof Face.
Tentative Score for MF Ghost: Nine Red Lights and Sex out of ten angel butts.
Tentative Score for Overtake!: Eight closed camera shutters out of ten laps around Fuji Speedway.