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In Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?! (anime review)

Title: In Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?!

Director: Yoshiki Yamakawa

Music by: Keiji Inai

Studio:  J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: May 8th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray/ 25 Minute OVA / 2 Music CDs

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Action, Adventure, Fan Service

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B


In Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?! contains the OVA and 2 Disc Original Soundtrack.

Our band of bold adventurers has just blown through the 18th level of the world’s most fearsome dungeon, so what do they do for an encore?

Since the city of Orario doesn’t have a theme park, the next choice for Bell, Hestia, Lilly and the gang would seem to be a trip to the hot springs… and, conveniently enough, a battle with some hellhounds has led them to an undiscovered underground oasis! However, there’s something fishy about these springs, beyond the fact that Hermes happens to have bathing suits for all the ladies in their correct sizes! Will the secret be discovered before it’s too late? Will Hestia finally come clean with Bell? It’ll all come out in the wash when our heroes learn the answer!


All in all, In Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?! is exactly what you would expect from a 25 minute OVA that is clearly about the characters in a Hot Spring. Of course, this is Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon and it is really about the sexual innuendoes and fan service. I didn’t expect anything else and that is what I got. The OVA did not try to hide its meaning or shy away from what it was trying to purvey. The real purpose of the set is the 2 Music CDs. That is a full 95 minutes of music.

The animation is the same quality as the series and there is nothing to note there and the music is a rather standard fair for soundtracks I guess the one big this is that you won’t find the opening or closing soundtracks on the CDs just a full tracks of music. The majority of them are rather ordinary European style orchestral arrangements that are so short that they really don’t express much of any feeling. There is a large amount of songs and also understandably relate back to the fantasy aspect of the series but that is as close as it gets.

Overall Grade: B

I completely understand the reasons for putting In Is It Wrong to Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon?! out and can see why this can find a solid place in someones collection. Where it all breaks down for me is the soundtrack and the solo issue of the OVA. For me it is clear that the OVA should have been packaged with the series and I honestly am not sure why the soundtracks even exists.

This little set is something that Is It Wrong fans will have to have and for everyone else I think it is a maybe. For the real essence of the set it really comes down to the CHEESECAKE. You would never guess from the cover.


Urara Meirochou the Complete Collection (anime review)

Title: Urara Meirochou the Complete Collection on blu-ray

Director: Youhei Suzuki

Writer: Deko Akao

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 17th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Slice of Life

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+


Chiya was raised in the woods and most of her friends were animals. But now she needs to find something, and since it may take the skills of an Urara, or fortune teller, to find it, she’s come to the town of Meiro-cho to learn to become an Urara herself.

It won’t be easy adjusting… and not just because Chiya still tends to check to see if people have tails or want their tummies rubbed! But the other girls studying at the Natsumeya teahouse are all unusual in their own ways, and it’s clear from the beginning that Chiya’s going to be great friends with studious Kon, rambunctious Koume and shy Nono. And that’s good, because if Chiya’s going to find her missing mother, she’ll need all the help and support she can get!


Urara Meirochou the Complete Collection is one of the cutest anime I have see in some time. each of the characters, especially Chiya, steals your heart from the very first episode. Like most of these slice of life anime the girls are easy to connect with and their personalities are also obvious from the very start.

There is a solid plot and with the humor of the naive young ladies and the weird world they have entered the series doesn’t have to be long to be good. There are plenty of small twist along the way with an overwhelming splash of silly playful humor to keep the viewer tagging along for all 12 episodes.

Overall Grade: B+

The one thing that Urara Meirochou has going for it is the solid animation. The production really matched the feel of the series rather than try to push a false dynamic. The look adds to the feel good aspect of the series and also provides for a soft easy flow.

The real strength of the Urara Meirochou the Complete Collection is the simplicity of the story and the warmth of the characters. Having each of them with sweet unassuming nature and a rather naive approach to life allows the story to give plenty of humor and happiness to the time spent watching.

Bottom line is if you are looking for some light sweet entertainment then Urara Meirochou the Complete Collection is the cure for you.


Uta No Prince-Sama Legend Star Season 4 (anime review)

Title: Uta no Prince-Sama Legend Star Season 4 on Blu-ray

Director: Takeshi Furuta

Writers: Tomolo Konparu, Sayaka Konno

Studio: A-1 Pictures

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 3rd, 2018

Format: Blu-Ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Reverse Harem, Musical Slice of Life

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Uta no Prince-Sama: Legend Star contains episode 1-13 of season 4.

The contest to become the opening group for Triple S may have been shaken up by the arrival of the now seven-member group HEAVENS, but QUARTET NIGHT generously declines to take advantage of the decision in their favor… as long as the other two bands agree to an unexpected new phase of the competition!

Are the other two rival groups ready for a new series of cross-band duets, with each song pairing one member of STARISH and one member of HEAVENS? Will Haruka be up to writing yet another round of spectacular songs? It’s time to pick up the tempo and sing to the balconies as the musical one-upmanship only gets wilder!


I never really minded reverse harem anime and I must say that I found the first few seasons of Uta no Prince Sama a little more entertaining than most. Season 4 Legend Star manages to fill some of the requirement and also left me a little flat at times. I guess that it really all comes down to the music with Uta no Prince Sama and for this season I just didn’t connect the way I had hopped to. It was still very happening and if this genre of music is your bag then you will be up dancing your heart out.

Overall Grade: B

With all the drama and competitive vibes going on I believed that Legend Star would have given me more. It is clear that the series is a real hit in Japan and it clearly has its following her in the states, but it is very possible that these types of bands just don’t have the staying power in the west the way they do in the east.

I will say that the animation, writing and storyline manage to prove very adequate and fluid. The production values are by for the strong point followed by the writing. The story is rather basic and shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

Uta no Prince Sama Legend Star keeps things rolling but also left me sitting way to still for the 13 episodes. I realize that I am not the target audience and that the true believers will love every minute. If you are looking for a boy band reverse harem that has some lively music the the Uta no Prince Sama series is for you. If you haven’t seen any before then I would suggest starting at the beginning with season 1 and working your way over to season 4. If you are already into Uta no Prince Sama then you are ready for season 4 and please move straight ahead.

Haikyu!! 2nd Season Anime Review

Title: Haikyu!! 2nd Season

Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: April 17, 2018

Format: Blu-ray/ 25 episodes / 625 Minutes

includes English Dub or Sub

Genre: Shonen; Action, Sports Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A


Haikyu!! tells the story of Shoyo Hinata’s dream of reaching the nationals as a volleyball player. Being short, he was originally inspired by another player he had seen on TV called the “Little Giant”. He became a driven player and upon entering high school, his self serving plays kept him from being a team player. The team didn’t want him, but he was determined and began to accept his place and become a part of the whole team, specifically learning to partner with his old rival Tobio Kageyama.

In Season 2, after some losses, the team realizes they need to find ways to develop. They believes practicing with better teams will help accomplish that. They luck out and get the opportunity to attend a training camp in Tokyo which will include other top volleyball teams around Japan. One “small” snag, their grades must meet a minimum and several of the players are having problems with that. Hinata’s determination throws him into an education blitz, including the help of the newly recruited assistant manager Hitoka Yachi. Not everyone is going to pass with flying colors.

The training camp is intense as they are pushed to new limits and spar with old and new rivals. They lessons learn are inspirationsal and the team members see deeper into the world of volleyball. Now they will have to balance old habits with tried and true plays with the new skills and ideas. The passion to make it into the Nationals sweeps the team and even the 3rd years put the games first over their college futures. Each game leading to the finals will be given all the strength and skill they can muster and will be energized by their new found understanding of the game and true teamwork.


It had been a while since I saw some of season one. Well, season two is just as good, but in a slightly different way. We don’t get as much of the world outside the volleyball court, this time it is what is inside the players that is the focus of what is brought to the game. Most of the time seem to be spent in game play, the details really have taken a center role as the action is visualize in many dynamic ways.

Who is this anime for? I think it is suitable for almost everyone. I know people, male and female, in their teens and others up through their 50’s who enjoy this Haikyu!! I am not into sports, but this anime and game action really draw viewers in. I am sure a lot of it has to do with the clever and artistic animation, angles and interpretation of game play. Time is slowed down and all the elements are highlighted to build the awareness and anticipation of the viewer. Still, a volleyball player have told me it’s true to the game.

The characters are normal and flawed like everybody else, what catches the viewer is their drive and determination, sheer passion for the game, the goals they set and the work they put into achieve them. Even when they find a way to improve, they have realized that isn’t the end of it. They can’t stagnate, and what works today, will not be the answer for tomorrow. They will face new opponents and old rivals will always try to figure out their moves. They and us now know that more is there to discover; the men they are becoming, the zest for life and the push to achieve for themselves, the team and the school … and for the deep respect for the game, their opponents  and the players who came before.

Overall Grade:  A

Haikyu!! leaves you in a better mood when you finish than when you start, that worth an “A” right there.  Action, inspiration, the inside and out of being human and comedy round it all out nicely.

Ajin: Demi-Human Season 2 (anime review)

Title: Ajin: Demi-Human season 2 on Blu-ray

Director: Hiroyuki Seshita, Hiroaki Andō

Written By: Hiroshi Seko

Studio: Polygon Pictures

U. S. Distributions: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 10th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes, 2 Movies / 325 Minutes

Genre: Seinen, Drama, Supernatural, Action

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B


Ajin: Demi-Human Season 2 contains episodes 1-13 and movies “Comfort” and “Collide”.

Kei’s stopped running, but his decision to stand and fight comes just as Sato launches his second wave of terror. Angered by the governments’ refusal to admit the truth about the live experiments on captive Ajin, the Ajin terrorist has begun assassinating a list of the key individuals connected to Ajin research, and only someone as unkillable as he is has a chance of stopping the man in the hat.

With Sato being better trained, more experienced, and allied with other Ajins, Kei has only two chances at heading off the final apocalypse: to somehow learn how to better control the Invisible Black Matter being he generates or to recruit other Ajins into the battle. The shadow war explodes and the world burns as the ultimate warriors face off in immortal combat!


Ajin season 2 takes us to the war. It also does something that is very, very typical for anime and the protagonist. It gives us the over-the-top brooding protagonist that consistently misses all the right clues in becoming a better person and demi-human. One thing does become clear and that is the fact that Ajin does fall into that trap of the anti-hero complex which manages to slow down the development of the story.The series is very slow where as the movies help complete the circle in a much more favorable pacing.

The most difficult aspect to Ajin is the animation itself. The rough flat computer graphics may have the sole purpose to creating dramatic effect, instead it makes the series look unprofessional and second rate. I have no idea why this artistic rendering was accepted in the creation of the anime. It would have been very easy to clean up the look and still give some of the original creator look and feel. I found myself loosing my attention all too often due to this second rate animation.

Overall Grade: B

Ajin: Demi Human has such a great opportunity to tell a compelling story and the writing manages to pull off the essence of what it should be , but the animation and typical hero Kei just put a damper on the entire series for me.

Amin: Demi Human is a solid A in writing and has plenty of high points that lead you to a somewhat satisfying series. I just wish they would have re-thought the anime styling.



GARO Red Requiem (film review)

Title: GARO Red Requiem on Blu-ray

Director: Keita Amemiya

Written By: Itaru Eda and Keita Amemiya

Starring: Ryosie Konishi, Mary Matsuyama, Masahiro Kuranuki and Hironobu Kageyama

Studio: Tohokushinsha Film

U. S. Distributor: Kraken Releasing, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 4th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray/ Feature Film / 97 Minutes

Genre: Super Sentai, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: C-


During the ancient war against the monstrous creatures known as Horrors, many Makai Priestesses have fought and died in battle, yet no woman has ever been chosen to wear the mystic armor of the Makai Knights. Kouga, the current bearer of the gold wolf armor, Garo, doesn’t believe it’s even possible, but when his quest to destroy the Horror Karma thrusts him into conflict alongside the fiery Priestess Rekka, he’s forced to acknowledge that the female is often the deadlier of the species! Because Rekka has a personal score to settle with Karma, and she’s determined to destroy that Horror herself! It will be all Kouga and his Mado Ring Zaruba can do to keep the three of them alive long enough to do it in the GARO universe’s first spectacular feature film directed by Keita Amemiya, GARO Red Requiem.


Garo: Red Requiem is, well, how should I put this, a Super Sentai for adults. Yes, it is Power Rangers all grown up. I can’t say that the transition was all that great, but there are some scenes that contain enough nudity that it requires a mature rating. Other than that, it is just a dark, demonic, Super Sentai. The acting is in par with the Power Rangers and even some of the Ultraman series that have recently been released. It defies logic sometimes to understand how or why the acting is so bad, but it is the nature of this type of shows. Now, in Power Rangers or Ultraman the audience is young enough to see it as fun and extra cool, but in Garo; Red Requiem it just makes it a little more difficult to watch.

Overall Grade: C-

Honestly, I can be a sucker for these silly Super Sentai films because I was raised on Godzilla, Ultraman and even Johnny Socko (who does not rock). Garo: Red Requiem just falls short for me. There is a  solid story line or plot there but the fact that most of the real plot was absent, left me out in the cold. I think that if they would have followed the lead of a film like Zebraman, allowed the story to develop a little more and also added onto the love interest between Kouga and Rekk, then maybe there would have been more connection to the story. Instead there was just hints at connections and then large plot devices left up to the viewer to discover.

For as much as I found lacking with Garo: Red Requiem, I guess that I still enjoyed it enough to laugh at the goofy times and enjoy the battles in a way that is required from these over-the-top stories. So, if you are looking for a Super Sentai film with plenty of computer graphic demons and half naked women to keep you watching, then Garo: Red Requiem is just the ticket.

The Life of Budori Gusuko- Anime Review

Title: The Life of Budori Gusuko

Director: Gisaburo Sugii

Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: 3-27-18

Format: Movie, Blu-ray, 105 Minutes

Genre: Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C


Going from a charmed family life on the edge of an idyllic village, Budori’s life turns tragic when the weather causes a famine. He is reluctant to leave the only life he has known, but with the circumstances so dire, he must set out on his own. He lucks into a good job and a place to live. However, once again, the changing weather forces him to move on. Now older, he seeks opportunity and education. Budori intends to live a life of service and purpose. With a new position,  he has the chance to learn and prove his worth, but nature will again challenge his world. What Budori finds in himself is the stuff of legends.


The Life of Budori Gusuko is essentially spun off from the 1985 anime, Night on the Galactic Railroad, a fantasy novel originally by Kenji Miyazawa, written in the 1920s. Its connection to the early anime is easily apparent, having the same director and character design. But the story isn’t a sequel, time is at least concurrent in the beginning. It doesn’t seem to be a development of the story, there isn’t enough of the same elements to function that way. I have yet to see.

For me, who has not seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Life of Budori Gusuko is nothing special. It started out well, with beautiful scenery and an idyllic story beginning. But then, what did it have? Bits and pieces of good things and drama but not really knitted together to make a cohesive story. Each little section was good and had some quality animation but they didn’t fit as a whole. The fantasy elements seemed to be headed somewhere strong, but most turned out to be dream sequences. The caped cat, who is apparently the grim reaper, is the only fantasy element to be part of the reality, and with that being the lone fantasy element, it felt out of place and not woven into the fabric of the story.

I couldn’t figure out who the target audience for The Life of Budori Gusuko is supposed to be, I mean who is this for? If it’s for kids, some of the story elements are in the wrong vein and too serious/depressing with no big lesson.  The “lesson” of what kind of person do you want to be, and what will you be willing to do to be that, is just sort of tucked in to something the teacher read and mentioned again in the sudden pivot ending. Okay, if there’s not a lesson, then entertainment? Uh, well, it’s a downer, no action to speak of  and nothing thrilling. It’s not funny or cute. Okay, the people look like cats, but that is it. It may be cute on some, but like the dad who is bearded and depressed, not so. And there is no reason at all for them to be cats. They don’t even have any cat like tendencies, they even eat tomato soup- totally un-cat like. If it’s for adults, there wasn’t the development of the story to draw me in. Here is where the lack of the sequences fitting together as a whole really hurt the film. With it seeming like separate stories, there just wasn’t the time to ripen anything.

So, for me, the strongest aspect of the movie is the visuals. Sometimes well developed, sometimes very creative. With the beginning, great attention was given to the scenery and settings. A close second, was the soundtrack support. I don’t know that listing to it on its own would be good, but it did a great job setting the mood with a range to keep it interesting.


Overall Grade: C      Piece by piece, there is plenty to enjoy but the elements weren’t mixed well together to make the story solid.




Chihayafuru Season 2 (anime review)

review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Chihayafuru Season 2 on Blu-ray

Director: Morio Asaka

Studio: Madhouse

Author: Yuki Suetsugu

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: March 20, 2018

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Game, Romance, School Life, Sports

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow and Chihayafuru Season 1



Chihaya’s determination to become a master karuta player has not changed, but as a new semester begins, the team’s focus switches to recruiting new members for the club in order to keep their meeting space. Unfortunately, while a number of students initially express interest, few are willing to put forth the effort it takes to play on the level of the existing members. Enter Sumire Hanano, who split with her boyfriend on the first day of school. Now seeking a replacement, she thinks that Taichi might just fill the role nicely, even if it means jumping into a pool with a shark like Chihaya! Now all the cards are on the table or, in this case, the floor and the games are really about to start!



I will first try and explain Karuta but it will not be short. Karuta is not to be compared with playing cards in the sense of the Western World. It is not Poker, Rummy or Skat. It would be most comparable to Memory. There are different types of Karuta that can be played. Uta-Garuta is played in Chihayafuru. The card game consists of 200 cards, 100 of which are called Yomifuda, this are the reading cards and 100 Torifuda, which are the cards that are use by the players itself. On the Yomifuda are the first three verses of a traditional Japanese poem. The Poetry comes from the Hyakunin Isshu (100 poems of 100 poets, each poet one poem). The Torifuda (game- or field-cards) contain the last two verses of the respective poem. The challenge consists in recognizing the poems during the reading and to catch the corresponding play card in front of the opponent. Karuta fulfills everything a sport should have, high concentration, excellent memory, lightning reflexes, strategic thinking, endurance, resilience, mental strength and a tremendous commitment to the long training for coordination and precession. The person who touches the right card on the field first gets the card, when you take a card from the opponents side you can give them one of yours, when your half of the playing field is empty you win.
It sounds simple and quite boring but it’s NOT. In order to touch the right card quickly, cards get flung of the playing field, people are sweating, thinking and reacting at full speed and crazy-eating chocolate in between these intense games. To really play Karuta at top level you need memorization skills, good hearing and senses, good posture, analytic and strategic skills, precision, strength, speed, perseverance, an emotional connection to the cards and so much more. As you can see, Karuta is very difficult to play but when it is played by people who love it, it is a beautiful thing.


Chihayafuru Season 2 starts off right where season one left off. We are introduced to two new characters who are the only students who join the club in the new semester. We first meet Sumire Hanano, an incoming first year, and she has decided to only join the club and learn to play Karuta in order to get closer to Taichi. Eventually, she is moved by everyone else’s passion and becomes a proper member of the club. She uses makeup, especially mascara, as battle armor and is never without it. We then meet Akihiro Tsukuba, an incoming first year student who has played Hokkaido-style Karuta (second verse karuta using two hands) and wants to join the club and learn how to play first verse karuta. He is the annoying/creepy character that you want to hate but instead learn to love. He has three younger brothers who look up to him and he plays off their attention to the extreme. He is drawn to pretty people so of course he looks up to both Chihaya and Taichi. Both characters added to the plot and made a great addition to the series.


Chihayafuru Season 2 focuses more on the competitive karuta than the love triangle between Arata, Chihaya and Taichi. The love triangle was there but we saw a lot more karuta games, both individual and the group games. The Tokyo finals and the High School Nationals were both shown and the other schools from season one were back again, along with a few new ones. Chihaya also faces off against the current kurata Queen and once again loses but she learns an important lesson while doing so.


The animation was beautiful and breath-taking. The background animation popped with color and the music really set the mood. I truly cannot wait for the third season to air so I can see what happens next.



Chihayafuru Season 2 on Blu-ray includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.


Overall Grade: A

Girlish Number: Complete Collection

Title: Girlish Number: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Shota Ibata

Writer: Wataru Watari

Studio: Diomedea

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 6th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C


Chitose Karasuma wants to make it big as a voice actor, but while she looks and sounds adorable, she’s also self-absorbed, inattentive, selfish, and lazy. However, since her manager is also her big brother, she’s still getting bit parts and dreaming of landing the big role that will make her famous.

Unfortunately, karma bites Chitose in the worst way possible when her big chance finally arrives, because the producers who’ve hired her are even more clueless than she is! Now, she’s trapped in a nightmare production where nothing goes right, the ratings are in the toilet, and swimsuit photos and live stage shows take priority over making quality programming! Can Chitose and her fellow trapped actresses turn things around and save their careers? Or will they all go down with the sinking ship?


I am always a sucker for a fun easy slice of life anime and Girlish Number fits the bill. Of course you have to navigate through all of the silliness to get to some meaning. In the case of Girlish number you are given a look into voice actors and their approach to dealing with other voice actors. Most of them are rather fake about how they portray themselves and at times it becomes a little annoying. Chitose is one of the biggest offenders of this fake persona which  is my main problem with the series.

Overall Grade: C

Girlish Number peeked my interest because of my affection for these types of Slice of Life anime, but in the end it fell a little flat for me. I was thinking that I would find some connection with Chitose and what I found was something much different. I ended up siding with the more seasoned and crass voice actors who did not hide their feeling or persona the way Chitose did. Of course we did get to see who she really was, but it took some time and several episodes of cringe worthy character development.

The overall production values of the series are high enough to help keep the viewer entertained and they followed the tried and true artistic stylings of most girl centered slice of life anime that made it pleasing to watch. The one area that I was really disappointed with was the writing , but of course it may have been too real to make me want to enjoy the story. From the incompetency of the producer and director to the general lack of motivation of the production staff and the off putting personalities of the voice actors I found the series difficult to get into.

If what you want in an anime is a look at the voice acting world and some of the trouble with anime production then Girlish Number is right up your ally.






Initial D Legend 2 Racer

Title: Initial D Legend 2 Racer

Director: Masamitsu Hidaka, Tomohito Naka (co-director)

Studio: Sanzigen & Liden Films

Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

Release Date: March 13th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / Feature Film / 60 minutes

Genre: Car Racing, Coming of Age

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B-


In Initial D Legend 2: Racer, sometimes the only thing that beating a champion accomplishes is making you the next target for a long line of challengers, which is why Takumi Fujiwara’s defeat of the RedSuns’ Keisuke hasn’t ended anything. In fact, it’s only served to draw the reluctant delivery driver even further into the dangerous world of drift racing. Takumi’s fate is sealed when his friend Itsuki accidentally accepts a challenge from Takeshi Nakazato, leader of the Myogi NightKids. Now it’s a matter of honor, and Takumi will have to pit his gutter technique against the 4WD skills of a much more experienced driver! The race is on as the legendary street racing series returns in a second explosive new motion picture!


As with many anime film series there is almost always a letdown as we move through the story. Initial D Legend 2 Racer is just that. While watching it I felt like there was a typical answer to a strong start. Simply put they turn our reluctant hero into the focus of all the racers and give him a tarnish that is not deserved. Now there is a honest push of tension in how all of this plays out, but the writing did fall flat for me.

I did feel like some of the action was solid enough and the racing was given a rather slick production overall. I do feel as though some of the story felt forced and rather uneventful. The overall production values were good, but I can see where the original series emulation was a little to much in the minds of the creators.


Overall Grade: B-

If this Initial D movie series was reworked with higher end production and a stronger writing team then it is very possible it would have been a home run. Drift and street racing is not what it used to be and it comes across in the film as more of a historical oddity. It is very possible that it still has a solid following in Japan but here in the States it is dated. The story itself is somewhat of a classic trope that ha a racing theme and it plays out just that way. For all you Initial D fans you will not be disappointed. For all those newbies out there just be warned, it does come across a little worse for the wear.