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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

New Initial D the Movie Legend 1: Awakening 新劇場版「頭文字D」: Legend 1 -覚醒- Movie Review

New Initial D the Movie Legend 1: Awakening 新劇場版「頭文字D: Legend 1 -覚醒- Movie Review
(For summarized review, please visit:

Introduction (From Press Release):
Takumi Fujiwara, a high school student, works as a gas station attendant during the day and a delivery boy for his father's tofu shop during late nights.

Little does he know that his precise driving skills and his father's modified Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno make him the best amateur road racer on Mt. Akina's highway!
His skill has attracted racing groups from all over Gunma to issue challenges to him!

Let’s witness how the legend of Akina AE86 is born!

Do race to your nearby GSC to watch the movie!

Initial D has been a well-loved manga and anime series since many years ago and it was the anime which has introduced the term of “drifting” significantly to all the anime fans. In fact, it has even inspired the adaptation of LIVE action movie with the same title Initial D which has Jay Chou playing Takumi Fujiwara. Apart from this, Initial D has also been a prominent arcade game which I believed still popular among the arcade-gamers until now. New Initial D the Movie Legend 1: Awakening is the reboot of the series presented in three-part films to bring the story once again to everyone!

The storyline of the movie is still very similar to the original version with some rearrangements of scenes. Some of the scenes which were present during the original version were omitted and only those more prominent and crucial ones were retold again in this new version.

Plus, there are some additional new scenes which are not present in the original version that created additional chemistry between a few characters such as between Takumi Fujiwara and his dad Bunta Fujiwara, Koichiro Iketani with Bunta and etc. In my opinion, the new rearrangement has made the flow and pacing of the story even better than it was previously presented.

Besides, it has now featured a better graphics compared to the ones during 1998. The characters arts, graphics of the cars and visual effects during the races in my opinion are a lot smoother and more defined compared to the ones during Initial D: First Stage. It is almost the same as the ones in Initial D: Fifth Stage & Initial D: Final Stage.

As for the background soundtrack and the score of the film, it has a totally new set of scores which are actually quite fresh and catchy too. However, I personally still prefer the background music in the past such as “Running in the '90s” and “Beat Of The Rising Sun” as those songs gave me more vibes and adrenaline rush when I was watching Initial D: First Stage many years back.

They have also featured the new batch of seiyuus (voice actors) for the characters. All of them have provided a great voice over for the characters and it was as good as the original ones.

The only downsides of the movie are the short length of screenplay time of the film (only approximately 60 minutes) and lacking of character development for a few characters. (For eg, you will only know Natsuki Mogi superficially as Takumi’s love interest via this movie but not her background stories which you might know if you watch the original anime)

However, all of these were compensated by all the other good elements as mentioned above.

*** Take note: There is a post-credit scene which introduces the upcoming movie for you. However, if you already watched the series before, you would know what is about to happen next.

What I like about the movie:
  1. The well-loved plot with rearranged scenes
  2. Additional chemistry between certain characters
  3. Better flow and pacing
  4. Upgraded visual effects
  5. New soundtracks and scores which are quite catchy too
  6. Great voice over by new batch seiyuu

What I dislike about the movie:
  1. Very short screenplay time (approximately 60 minutes)
  2. Lacking of character development for a few characters.
  3. Personal preferences of old background soundtrack


It deserved a 7.5/10.0!

The origin of the series might have been told in many ways before that many people would already have some idea of how the story started.  However, New Initial D the Movie Legend 1: Awakening is still a great catch as a reboot to our favorite racing anime series!

“If you are new to the series, this is the best version for you to learn more about the origin of Initial D. If you are old fans of the series, this is a movie which can give you a revisit to your favorite anime in a better way!” – W.L Jack

Fellow Reviewer, Jose Yap’s opinion:
“The movie is very nice as it has recaptured some of the essence of the original series and presented in a more relaxing way!”


Million thanks to GSC Movies for inviting our team from & for the world premiere of the show!

Published by WLJack.

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