Sunday, July 10, 2005

Driving Sideways

I finally managed to catch Initial D just a few days ago. I've been a fan ever since I watched the anime 4 years ago so I was quite excited when I heard that a real life movie was going to be released. I didn't have high expectations though, because I felt that this movie was just made to make a profit out of the anime.

And after watching the movie, I'm sure any Initial D fan will tell you that the movie sucked. The development of the storyline was really bad. Parts of the plot didn't link well and the some of the characters like Natsuki (Anne Suzuki) were not properly introduced or neglected like Nakazato (Shawn Yue). Just count the number of lines Shawn Yue has in the whole movie and you'll wonder why he's even there in the first place.

The most important things in the anime like the driving techniques and cars were not elaborated or talked about enough. Takumi's famous gutter run technique wasn't even talked about at all. The technique is actually real, used by rally drivers and it works by grabbing the gutter with the inner part of the tires to counter the centrifugal force, enabling the car to going around the corner without losing much speed.

Also, there are so many things that they changed from the anime. And that's exactly what fans hate the most. Failing to stay true to the story. So let me try to set the facts straight for all those who have never seen the anime before. For the benefit of those who don't remember the names of the characters (aka the Jay Chou groupies), I've added the name of the actor behind the character's name.

(Spoiler Alert)

1) Contrary to their image in the movie, Nakazato (Shawn Yue) and Ryosuke (Edison Chen) are not buddies. They actually have no relation and talk only once in the anime.

2) Ryosuke (Edison Chen) is supposed to be much older than Takumi (Jay Chou) and has a younger brother called Keisuke, who drives a yellow Rx-7 FD. Their father is the medical director of a big hospital and their racing team is called the Akagi Redsuns.

3) Yuuichi (The gas station manager) and Itsuki (Chapman Ho) are not father and son.

4) Major characters like Keisuke (Ryosuke's younger brother) and Iketani (Takumi and Itsuki's friend, fellow worker at the gas station and the leader of the Akina Speedstars) are left out in the movie.

5) A race between Nakazato (Shawn Yue) and Itsuki (Chapman Ho) never happens.

6) In the movie, Nakazato (Shawn Yue) is suddenly passed by Takumi (Jay Chou) while driving one night but in the anime it's actually Keisuke who gets passed.

7) There is no female worker at the gas station.

8) Bunta (Anthony Wong) is not a drunkard nor does he beat Takumi (Jay Chou). He's actually a good father to Takumi. All he does is smoke a lot and drive with his eyes closed.

The God of Drifting

9) In the movie, Takumi (Jay Chou) eventually races because Bunta (Anthony Wong), in order to settle a nightclub bill, asks him to. However in the anime, the events that eventually lead to Takumi's first race are as follows:

The Redsuns (Ryosuke's team) challenge the Akina Speedstars to a race. Iketani, the leader, agrees but after watching them practice, realizes that they are no match. He hears a rumor from their gas station manager that the best driver on Akina is an AE86 who delivers tofu to Akina Lake every night. After suffering an accident while practicing, Iketani realizes Takumi's father makes tofu and has an 86. In a neck brace, He begs Bunta to help them race to save the pride of the local drivers. Bunta merely answers that he may or may not be there.

Takumi asks his dad, Bunta, for permission to use the car for his date with Natsuki. Bunta agrees to lend him the car plus an additional full tank of gas only if Takumi goes to defeat the Redsuns. Takumi doesn't want to race, but running a bit low on cash, the thought of a full tank of gas eventually brings him to race against the Redsuns.

10) Takumi (Jay Chou) and Natsuki (Anne Suzuki) didn't kiss on their first date and Takumi wasn't a klutz like Jay Chou when he got kissed.

11) Itsuki (Chapman Ho) never buys an AE86. He gets conned into buying an AE85.

12) Contrary to the movie, Itsuki (Chapman Ho) and Takumi (Jay Chou) never have a fight.

13) Takumi (Jay Chou) eventually finds out about Natsuki (Anne Suzuki) and her sugar daddy due to someone leaving him an anonymous note in his locker and then dropping him a phone call to tell him where to find them.

14) Kyoichi (Jordan Chan) is not a professional driver.

15) Bunta (Anthony Wong) never ever goes to watch Takumi (Jay Chou) race nor does he take Takumi for a ride around Mt Akina. Yuuichi (The gas station manager) is the only who goes to watch Takumi race.

16) Takumi (Jay Chou), not Bunta (Anthony Wong), is the one that installs the tachometer in the new engine.

17) The AE86 only gets the black carbon fiber hood after Takumi (Jay Chou) joins Ryosuke's (Edison Chen) new team, which happens much later.

18) The new engine's rev limit is actually 11,000 rpm not what is said in the movie: "... the real power of the engine is after 11,000 rpm".

19) A 3 way race never happens.

20) Ryosuke (Edison Chen) copying Takumi's (Jay Chou) gutter run technique never happens because at point during their race in the anime, Takumi is behind Ryosuke.

21) Nakazato's (Shawn Yue) GTR drifts in the movie but in the anime he uses grip driving because he doesn't believe in drifting.

Maybe now you can see the huge difference between the movie and the anime.


Blogger lyn said...

21 differences?

trust movie makers to screw up the originals. hollywood did that with harry potter and a kazillion other movies. tssk.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Jayaxe said...

Woah, I can really tell that you're a professional Initial D anime fan! Yes, even though I never really watched the anime series, I understand that the movie is trying very hard to depict an accurate account of the anime, yet changed many minor details.

I believe some things were changed to create comedy, like the race between Nakazato and Itsuki.

4:07 AM  
Blogger becca said...

Oh man, you really know alot about the anime! I'm a harry potter fan, read abt it first before watching the movie and even then I couldn't really find any differences. Sure, there were some stuff changed but I couldn't really tell the diff and I read harry potter like 4,5 times. All of it.
so the movie is like crap... i haven't watched it yet... and I wanted to watch it cuz of shawn yue.
Think I'll have to reconsider.

12:42 PM  
Blogger lakeside girl said...

Maybe i can see that you are a big fan of Inital D haha. But yes, i demand a REFUND FOR THIS SHAM OF A MOVIE. I should have caught Batman instead.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Inarticulate said...

Hmm.. It would be like the movie Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where the original story series got totally messed up by Hollywood Producers.

Or the famous Hongkong Comic Series "Feng Yun" which got translated into Storm Riders by HK Producers.

I'm an Anime fan as well! But a very outdated one I have to admit with titles ranging frm Ranma 1/2, Dbz & Dragonquest then stopped for a while till a few yrs back where I started again because of GTO & Evangelion.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Ang Ku Kueh said...

haha...never watched the show becos seriously, i know it's gonna be massacred, that's the movies for u. i also not very cheena, so unless got eng subtitle, i cannot make it. give me jap (no dub)anime anyday! :)

OTOH, u relac siah? relac....

12:38 PM  
Blogger KwokSiong said...

another $9.50 saved

8:26 PM  
Blogger ah chuan said...

Wahahaa you're definitely an Initial D anime fan :D
Yup sadly the movie twisted the comic story quite alot :( what to do? the producers squeezed Part I-III anime into an 1h45min show ;p

IMHO, this show is showcasing the handsome guys la - for the girls {-_-"} plus: Jordan Chan can still walk after that incredible crash! what the...

9:09 PM  
Blogger Claris said...

u make me feel like watching the anime..

11:15 PM  
Blogger Zen|th said...

Lyn: I think Harry Potter wasn't that bad. They merely left out some parts, but they still stayed true to the story.

Jayaxe: I admit that part was funny though. Haha.

Becca: Just borrow the vcd from someone will be good enough.

Green Apple: Yeah, I heard Batman Begins was good. I don't like Batman though.

Inarticulate: I've always wanted to watch Evangelion. It seems like a deep anime.

Ang Ku Kueh: There are english subtitles, but I think I would have preferred to hear the original audio for the movie. It's cantonese I think.

Kwoksiong: Glad to be of help again. =)

Ah Chuan: Yeah. That's why I said it's all about profit and also for launching Jay Chou's movie career.

Claris: Go ahead and watch it. But you might not like and understand all the technical stuff.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Seth said...

Like I said, Intial D the movie... sucks.

3:43 AM  
Blogger kachuaz said...

woah. great analysis there.

thought personally that it was a waste for keisuke to be left out in the movie.


7:46 PM  
Blogger Zen|th said...

Seth: Yep. I knew it was going to suck before I watched it, but I watched it anyway. Just because it's Initial D.

Kachuaz: Yeah! Keisuke is such a major character. Besides, his FD3S is way cooler than Nakazato's R32 or Kyoichi's Evo 3.

12:45 AM  
Blogger JellyGirl said...

I've only read up to about Chap 25 of the manga, but already noticed the big differences between the manga/anime story and movie. But having said that, I still enjoyed the movie. I think it had something to do with the pretty boys. :)

I would like the watch the anime though, but dunno where to get it. And I don't want the crap English dubs either. Can't seem to find it anywhere. Boo.

3:06 PM  

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