15 May 2006 | theredcomet2000
Reminiscent of the original, but what happened to the music?
Overall, I'll have to say right off the bat that as a fan of the original anime I found it somewhat amusing.
There are a few things that the movie does right. The camera angles and the overall feel of the movie was spot-on to the original source material. A particular highlight was the "zoom-in-on-the-eyes" of the loser in one particular race. This was exactly like the anime, and was a great touch.
People might slam Jay Chou, but I thought he did a good job in this. It's rather hard to screw up a character who is generally bored and half-asleep (as he is portrayed in the anime).
There are a lot of small changes here and there, such as Bunta being a drunkard for comedy relief, and the complete lack of Keisuke (his character was combined with Nakazato). Or the fact that the anime Nakazato drove the 4WD GT-R model of Skyline, and did not drift. I won't touch on these in detail, as they didn't really bother me that much.
However, the biggest element lacking in this is the music! Inital D fans know that Initial D is known for it's high energy dance-style J-pop music. Considering there are at least 10 Initial D soundtrack CD's out in Japan, I can't believe they didn't realize how popular the music is.
The music in the film is best described as "Chinese rap/R&B" I guess, which really hurt the feel of the movie in my opinion.
As synonymous the anime is with the music, I can't help but think what it would be without it. We'd be left with scenes of car racing with cheesy dialog, intertwined with brief romance scenes. Which now that I think of it, pretty much sums up this film.
If they were to make an Initial D anime series with music similar to this movie's soundtrack, I wonder if I would like it as much.
I just might feel the same way about it as I do this movie, in that it's a nice reminiscent film somewhat faithful to the original, but nothing to get really excited about.
If you're not a fan of Inital D or of import racing, there's not much for you here.