A great addition to the Initial D saga
Michael Sinatra | Santa Barbara, CA USA | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Initial D: Extra Stage" serves as both a bridge between Stages, as well as a much-welcome elaboration on two minor, yet much appreciated characters of Initial D - Mako (Maya) & Sayuki (Simone). The Two-Episode OAV doubles as an addition to the events of Second Stage, as well as an Epilogue on the two characters as per their relationships with other Initial D characters.
The First episode chronicles the vivacious female pair as they defend their home turf of Usui against the "Lan-Evo" invasion of Gunma Prefecture brought on by the infamous Team Emperor (this episode takes place between the Emperor's conquest of Myogi and their arrival in Akina in Second Stage). The second episode takes place after Second Stage, and splits focus between the racing aspect of the series and the troubled emotions of the two young women (especially Mako).
Brought to life with the much more vivid animation featured in Second Stage, fans of the series will enjoy this update on two of the more captivating minor characters of Initial D. Plenty more great Eurobeat music (some performed by the voices of Mako & Sayuki - Michiko Neya and Yumi Kakazu) and racing sequences await fans of the duo and their sleek Nissan.
However, this is no where near the best that Initial D has to offer. Compared to the main storyline and characters, this OAV is simply a side-story meant to satisfy fans who disliked the duo's limited role in First Stage. In the world of Anime, these types of series are chiefly meant as "Fan Service" - a creator/director's way of thanking loyal fans by elaborating upon and providing additional content to the original story.
To summarize - If you're a fan of Initial D as a whole, this is a worthy addition to your collection. If not, you might want to consider the rest of the series first."
Worth a look.
KT | UK | 12/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was a little cynical about "Initial D: Extra Stage" at first, suspecting that this was an attempt by the makers of Initial D to get more girls to watch it. But when I took a look, I was pleasantly surprised.
"Extra Stage" is most certainly the most girl-orientated of the series, following the side story of Mako and Saiyuki (know as Maya and Simone in the English dub), a road racing duo who call themselves "Impact Blue", after their bright blue Nissan Sileighty. The movie (actually, it's a collection of short stories) focuses on their relationships with the other racers, their future ambitions and their battle against the sexist attitudes of their opponents. A word of warning, though; this isn't one to pick if you're into road racing duels because there's only one battle on the entire DVD, and doesn't last all that long. That was a little bit of a let down, so too was the inclusion of the "fan service" bath scene (which showed Maya wearing very little), presumably put in there to keep the boys in the audience amused.
"Initial D: Extra Stage" is certainly worth a look if you're a fan, but the lack of racing in comparison to the rest of the series might leave some watchers yawning."