Saturday, April 19, 2008


Naruto (NARUTO - ナルト -, Naruto? romanized as NARUTO in Japan) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. The main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable, adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage, the ninja in his village that is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Second stage

A group of street racers called Team Emperor, led by the professionally trained driver Kyouichi Sudou and all Lancer Evo drivers, appears in the Gunma Prefecture. They move through Gunma challenging and defeating the best team on each mountain they arrive at. However, Kyouichi's real goal is to have a rematch with Ryousuke Takahashi, whom he does not know has recently been defeated by Takumi. When he discovers this, Team Emperor challenges the Akina Speed Stars to a race in the hopes that Takumi will compete in his 86. Takumi becomes the first person in Gunma to defeat a member of the Emperor team on the downhill when he beats the Evo team's second best driver, Seiji Iwaki.
Kyouichi then challenges Takumi to a match to “teach him some things” and as a sort of cover event for his race with Ryosuke. Although initially uninterested, Takumi eventually decides to go to Akagi. During this race the engine of Takumi's 86 is blown and effectively destroyed. Kyouichi lectures Takumi on the disadvantages of using such an old car in a modern street race. The Emperor leader also didn't consider it a real battle. He tells Takumi to get a more competitive car and race him again. The loss was not due to the 86's lack of power, as Ryosuke explains, it was due to the fact that Takumi had not driven on Akagi before and didn't know the entrance speeds or anything else about the course that he could use to his advantage, basically leaving him driving blind in front of a power mongered Lancer Evolution 3 with the Misfiring System (anti-lag). If Takumi only knew the course even a little the race would have probably ended differently.
Finally, the long-awaited battle commences. Kyouichi was hungry to beat Ryosuke once and for all. The race started with the white FC leading, as Kyoichi formulated a new technique, Simulation X, for this battle alone. Midway through the race, the black Evo 3 passes Ryosuke and went on to lead until Ryosuke discovers his opponent's weakness. After defeating Kyouichi again, he explains to him that he still had that fear of right-hand corners, wherein a car running to the opposite direction can collide head-on. His local mountain pass, Irohazaka, was a one-way road, which is why Kyouichi wasn't able to work on removing that fear.
Bunta, knowing that the engine in the 86 was about to give out, had already bought a new engine - a high-revving, race breed variation of the standard Toyota 4A-GE 20 valve twin cam engine, which is used for Group A Division 2 Touring Class races in the Japanese Touring Car Championship. He installs the engine without a new tachometer to teach Takumi the importance of learning mechanical knowledge and understanding why the car behaves as it does. Takumi encounters a fellow 86 driver by the name of Wataru, who after reacting with great surprise to Takumi's lack of mechanical knowledge explains that the engine is an extremely strong powerplant and requires several new gauges including a high-revolution tachometer, to be useful.
Once Takumi has made these modifications, Wataru challenges him to a race anywhere of Takumi's choosing. Takumi chooses to race on Wataru's home course of Shomaru, an abandoned mountain pass that is very dangerous. The race becomes one of endurance, and will only end if the chaser overtakes the front-runner. Wataru and Takumi switched positions several times, until Takumi discovers a change in the course's environment brought on by their many high speed passes and passes Wataru on a stretch that was previously too narrow for him to do so.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

First Stage

The story begins when street racers of the Red Suns, a team from Mt. Akagi, come to challenge Mt. Akina's local Speed Stars team to a "friendly" race. After seeing how skilled the Red Suns are, the Speed Stars treat it as a race for pride, determined not to be humiliated on their home turf. However, the Speed Stars are left in a bind when their team leader and primary downhill driver Iketani has an accident during a practice run.
Iketani learns from Yuuichi that the fastest car in Akina's downhill was a panda-colored AE86 owned by a tofu maker, and traces the car back to a local tofu shop. He discovers that the shop's owner, Bunta Fujiwara, was a street racer of great repute in his younger days. Iketani appeals to the older man to take his place in the race against the Red Suns. Iketani is confident that Bunta will come to save the day. But when the race day comes, Takumi appears with his father's Toyota Trueno AE86 instead. Although at first reluctant to let Takumi race, Ikatani relents after it is revealed that he is actually the "Ghost of Akina," the one who outran Keisuke while on one of his delivery runs. Takumi proceeds to defeat Keisuke Takahashi and his Mazda RX-7 FD3S, causing considerable astonishment in the local racing community and putting an end to the Red Suns winning streak.
Originally apathetic about the notion of racing, having only raced Keisuke on the condition his father would let him have the car with a full tank of fuel for a day to use on a date, Takumi begins to grow more interested as he receives other challenges. He begins to understand the concept of a street racer's pride when everyone advises him to duck a challenge from a driver of Mt. Myogi's Night Kids team who drives an extremely powerful, technologically advanced Nissan Skyline R32. The competition against another member of the Night Kids, Shingo Shoji, becomes personal for Takumi after Shingo attempts to wreck Iketani and later forces his friend and co-worker Itsuki to crash when he mistook Itsuki's car for Takumi's. After this came a duel with a female driver/navigator duo team hailing from Mt. Usui known as Impact Blue and their Nissan Sileighty.
Each of the races presents seemingly impossible odds to overcome. The opposing cars are almost always much more powerful than Takumi's AE86, and the race against Shingo is a "Duct tape Deathmatch," in which both drivers' right hands are taped to the steering wheel, a format which severely limits ability to steer and highly favors Shingo's Honda Civic EG-6, which is a front-wheel drive. Takumi's rear-wheel drive AE86 would be much harder to control, but by instinct, he figures out his own technique and went on to win the race. Shingo actually tried to crash into Takumi's car planning to end the race with a tie, but the AE86 entered a turn and dodged the EG6 and sent the latter to a major crash. The race against Impact Blue is the first for Takumi outside of Mt. Akina, in the completely unfamiliar environment Mt Usui, the SilEighty team's home course.
Takumi's first wet race was against Kenta Nakamura of the Red Suns, driving an S14, which happened in Myogi after Keisuke's race with Nakazato. That previous battle happened before the rain, with Nakazato leading all throughout until his tires lost grip, letting Keisuke drift his way to victory. Afterwards, the audacious Kenta asked the spectators if they wanted a race against the AE86, and they did. Takumi accepted the challenge. Kenta, having a more powerful car, led during the uphill part but Takumi went ahead on the downhill, finishing with a huge distance. This was among Takumi's easiest races, as he himself had tons of experience in more adverse weather conditions.
While Takumi races others over the course of the summer, Keisuke's brother Ryosuke Takahashi, who is the leader of the Akagi Red Suns, formulates what he refers to as his "perfect plan" to defeat Takumi, relying on computer simulations that he had formulated. As summer draws to a close, Ryosuke challenges Takumi to a race and is defeated when he is overtaken by Takumi on one of the last turns before Akina's finish line. Ryosuke acknowledges that Takumi was faster than him, and advises him not to be satisfied with Akina's small stage and to seek out bigger challenges.


Set in the late 1990s in Japan's Gunma Prefecture, the series follows the adventures of Takumi Fujiwara, an eighteen year old who helps his father run a tofu shop by making deliveries every morning to a hotel on Akina with his father's Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX. It is revealed that Takumi has been driving on Mt. Akina every morning to deliver tofu to the summit 5 years before he even had his license. As a result his skills were honed and he has become skilled at driving in adverse weather conditions as well.
In mountain pass racing, power is not the only key to winning. Balance, skill, and courage are what is needed to win. Mountain pass racing (also known as "touge") is divided into two areas, downhill and Hillclimb (Uphill). The hillclimb relies more on the car's power and the driver's acceleration control. The downhill depends primarily on the driver's braking and steering techniques, and requires less raw power from the car

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Initial D Anime

Avex has released the anime in several parts called Stages. One noticeable feature is that it uses Eurobeat music as background music in race scenes.
Initial D First Stage - 26 episodes (1998)
Initial D Second Stage - 13 episodes (1999)
Initial D Extra Stage OVA - 2 episodes side-story focusing on Impact Blue(2000)
Initial D Third Stage - a 2 hour movie (2001)
Initial D Battle Stage - a 50 minute movie.(2002)
Initial D Fourth Stage - 24 episodes (2004—2006).
Initial D Battle Stage 2