Anime

Battle Digest Initial D: When Will The Movie Release Outside Japan?

Initial D feature image
Initial D feature image

Initial D is one of the most iconic street racing anime series to ever come out. The manga was written and illustrated by Shuichi Shigeno. It first came out in 1995 in Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine and continued till 2013. The manga chapters have been collected into 48 tankobon volumes. Initial D has been adapted into an anime series, video games, animated movies, a live-action film, and OVAs over the years because of its immense popularity. This year we have got a compilation film of all the battles in the Initial D Legends Trilogy movies, Initial D Battle Digest.

The story of this anime is about the illegal world of Japanese Street racing which happens in the mountain passes due to the drifting racing style popular in Japan. These races rarely take place in urban areas as the roads are not meant for drift racing. Initial D is centered around the prefecture of Gunma, specifically on the mountains of the Kanto region and its surroundings. All the locations shown in the show are based on actual locations in Japan. The show has built its reputation with its realistic portrayal of Japanese racing culture and love for all things related to cars.

Takumi FujiwaraTakumi Fujiwara
Takumi Fujiwara

About the Plot of Initial D:

The story of Initial D revolves around Takumi Fujiwara, just an average student working as a gas station attendant. His best friend who also works there is interested in being a street racer. He wants to join the Akina Speed Stars, a racing team led by Koichiro Iketani, who coincidentally also works at the same gas station. Takumi also helps out with his father’s tofu business with deliveries. By doing this, Takumi has, over the years, built up an impressive amount of driving skill behind the wheel of their family car, a Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86).

Soon after this, The Red Suns, a more experienced racing team from Mount Akagi challenges the Akina Speed Stars to a set of races on Mount Akina. This team’s leader is Ryosuke Takahashi who has quite a reputation as a very skilled driver with a better car. However, their no.2, Keisuke Takahashi, gets defeated by a mysterious AE86 while he was returning from his practice run. He loses even though his car, a Mazda RX-7 (FD3S) is much more powerful. They investigate and find out that the Toyota Sprinter belongs to Takumi’s father, Bunta Fujiwara.

Iketani suffers from a crash and gets injured while practicing for the race. Since he is unable to take part in the race himself, he begs Bunta to take his place to help the Speed Stars. Bunta Fujiwara initially refuses but later on says ‘maybe’ to pacify his friend. On the other hand, Takumi wants to take the car out on the same day as the race so that he can trip with his new girlfriend.

Bunta takes this chance to escape from going to the race himself and tells Takumi that he will give the car with a full tank if he can beat Keisuke in the race. And this is how Takumi Fujiwara becomes a racer for the Akina Speed Stars. He arrives at the last moment and easily defeats Keisuke by using a dangerous ‘gutter run’ technique. After the defeat of the Red Suns, many more come to challenge the legendary AE86 of Akina. Meanwhile, Takumi, who never showed much interest in things slowly becomes more passionate about racing and cars.

Initial D Battle Digest Movie

The Initial D Battle Digest movie is said to be a compilation of all the battles in the Initial D Legends Trilogy consisting of, “Initial D Legend 1: Awakening”, “Initial D Legend 2: Racer” and “Initial D Legend 3: Dream”. The new movie has also taken a different with the soundtrack. It will not feature J-rock like the previous movies but a Eurobeat soundtrack instead. Apart from the battle scenes, it also shows instances where the characters from the films test-drive their cars.

AE86AE86
The Toyota Sprinter AE86

Staff Listing for the Movie:

Masamitsu Hidaka is acting as the chief director assisted by Tomohito Naka. Mayori Sekijima is the scriptwriter and  Koji Haneda has worked on character design. Hiroshi Kanayama and Shinichi Uehara are the Art directors of this movie. Kentarō Ijima and Ryuusuke Ishida are working as the CGI directors. Akio Dobashi is responsible for music and Youji Shimizu is the sound director.

For the cast, Mamoru Miyano is the voice-actor for Takumi Fujiwara. We have Daisuke Ono as Ryōsuke Takahashi, Hiroaki Hirata as Bunta Fujiwara, Hiroshi Tsuchida as Kōichirō Iketani and Junichi Suwabe as Takeshi Nakazato.

Initial D Battle Digest Release Date:

The movie was released on 7 January 2022 in Japan in theatres, DVD, and Blu-ray. This particular movie will be only 47 minutes long. There has been no official notification about an international release date. Unfortunately, there has only been one official tweet about the release of this film and its soundtrack. Stream the original anime series on Hulu or Netflix.

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