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The Mike Toole Show - This One's About Car Racing Anime




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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1720
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:55 pm Reply with quote
A really neat glance at the various racing anime that have existed, on TV at least. If Mike opened this up to OVAs & movies, then he'd have way too much to list. Stuff like the Bari Bari Densetsu OVA/movie (based on the motorcycling manga Shuichi Shigeno did before Initial D), Circuit no Okami II: Modena no Ken (one of Gainax's forgotten OVAs of the late 80 & early 90s, for good reason), & Goddamn (based on the rally racing manga by Area 88's Kaoru Shintani).

Anyway, I've been interested in Cyber Formula, especially since one of my friends is a major fan of it (& owns that Bandai DVD boxset), but I keep holding off on trying to find the DVDs for a decent price. Who knows, maybe one day it'll just get shoved out on SD-BD, or something.

I can vouch for F somewhat, though. I saw the first three episodes a couple of years ago, and it's really damn good. It's also an early Koichi Mashimo show, back when he was at his best, some would argue. I can also definitely vouch for Monkey Turn, which is simply outstanding in all regards. Viz actually (technically) has the license for Monkey Turn, as it was one of the master licenses it acquired via the merger with ShoPro USA, but obviously has no intention of ever doing anything with it, which is sad; I consider it "One of the Best Anime You've Never Seen".

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We've only had one dirtbike anime, Kaze wo Nuke, so when are we getting another?


Would Idaten Jump count? That was about mountain bike racing, which I guess sort of would count.
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Dolza



Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 87
Location: Chicagoland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:51 pm Reply with quote
At least most of the Anime about racing does pay a bit of respect to how the races work. Most western films that include a racing element without it being the primary focus don't seem to understand that if you are near a lap down with 10 laps to go, you are not winning the race. I laughed in the theater at the ridiculousness of things like Anikin Skywalker spending a minute in the pits but still managing to catch up to and pass the leaders of a 3 lap race. Even some that are racing focused get it horribly wrong. Like Cole Trickle catching (and passing) the entire field at the end of Days of Thunder. Laughable events like these make the silliness of the Car Acrobatic Team (is there a better name then "Snake Oiler"?) seem normal.
I would really welcome a well-done racing anime. Redline was very entertaining. Two-Car was terrible. (At least the racing was somewhat realistic)
We can only hope. (Please don't let it be stock car racing)
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Shar Aznabull



Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Posts: 225
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:04 pm Reply with quote
Oh hey, I have that Cyber Formula brick! I wonder if there's any truth to that old rumor that it was part of a licensing package deal with Gundam Seed?
Lord Geo wrote:

Anyway, I've been interested in Cyber Formula, especially since one of my friends is a major fan of it (& owns that Bandai DVD boxset), but I keep holding off on trying to find the DVDs for a decent price. Who knows, maybe one day it'll just get shoved out on SD-BD, or something.

AFAIK it actually has a pretty good looking Blu-ray remaster in Japan
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 311
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:16 pm Reply with quote
Oo, I also have that Cyber Formula brick. -And Speed Racer on Blu-Ray, DVD singles (with the light up packaging, Mach 5, and all), and the manga box set.-And that weird Scramble Wars OVA that's basically Wacky Races with the Gall Force, if that counts.

Was Arrow Emblem the anime with the main guy who keeps crashing the company's car and the secret plans were also in the windshield (like the Mach 5)? I remember laughing a lot at a racing show starring a rather insufferable know-it-all mechanic who kept breaking onto company property to fix the car how he wanted it and he was always getting mad at the company telling him to stop. He'd crash the car, his boss yells at him, he yells at his boss, and sneaks back onto company property later to repair and then steal the car. Then he'd immediately crash it again. I only saw the first few episodes and don't recall the name, but if it's Arrow Emblem... I absolutely need more of this show.

I actually really enjoyed the motorsport racing bits from Ah! My Goddess, and the movie's sequence was just gorgeous. The only other one that comes to mind for me is Dead Heat because, come on... giant robots racing motorcycles.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3687
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:26 am Reply with quote
Regarding Initial's D CG, it got much, much better as the seasons progressed. They basically had a quantum leap in improvement starting from the 3rd stage movie onwards. Even the character design and art improved, and funnily it kept on changing. Although, ironically the original ugly character designs were more true to the manga.

I also cannot imagine not using CG and trying to hand draw the racing, especially in its early days given how lackluster the 2D portion was, how much animation work needs to go into mechanical detailing, keeping the cars on model with absolutely zero squash and stretch, no line shaking, and the constant 3D camera work. The same is true about Wangan Midnight as well and more recently, the motorbike focused Bakuon!.

In terms of racing, Initial D also contrasts the two fields, pro circuit racing and street racing, even between professional Gymkhana drifting and street drifting.
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russ869



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 339
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:33 am Reply with quote
Yeah... I would totally love to see Cyber Formula on Blu-ray. Especially some of the later OVAs where the animation quality took a huge leap forward.

And what the hell do you mean you have watched "F"?!! And really, it's no harder to search for than "X", "K", "C", and all those other single letter title anime (why are there so goddamn many?!). I remember seeing the complete Japanese DVD box set in a Mandarake store and staring at it for what felt like hours before finally deciding I couldn't afford it. Somebody finish subtitling that show, please!!
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 311
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:30 am Reply with quote
Triltaison wrote:

I actually really enjoyed the motorsport racing bits from Ah! My Goddess, and the movie's sequence was just gorgeous.


Same here! The attention to detail of the motorsport bits of AMG are amazing. And speaking of Kosuke Fujishima's works, I was surprised to see Ex-Driver absent from this article. Clearly it's not a classic in the vein of Speed Racer, but it shares AMG's excellent attention to detail of the cars (and bikes), and I also think it's rather poignant as well: it seems to have predicted a lot of the same real-life problems we're seeing with AI tech today, like Tesla's autopilot issues.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1907
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:22 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Regarding Initial's D CG, it got much, much better as the seasons progressed. They basically had a quantum leap in improvement starting from the 3rd stage movie onwards. Even the character design and art improved, and funnily it kept on changing. Although, ironically the original ugly character designs were more true to the manga.


I watched the Initial D anime as it came out and the car graphics were about as good as the current game console (sony) of that year's graphics; so it's like the studio did the best they could without render farms.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:40 pm Reply with quote
It's too bad Funimation botched the rolling out of Speed Racer. And no Mach GoGoGo.
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Denys Lalande



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:27 pm Reply with quote
Long-Service Auto-Racing Fan here.

I found it odd that I could tell what era a racing anime came from just by looking at a single pic of a car design -- for ex.: The open-wheeler with four front wheels is a Tyrrell P34 from '76-77; while the car with the jet engine is based off the (at that time) recently-defunct Can-Am series (open-cockpit; closed wheels).

NASCAR doesn't, and won't, get a proper anime -- those honkin'-great V8-powered anvils don't get much attention in parts of the world where kei-type cars can be sold (it says something that "NASCAR Europe" cars only weigh ~2,500 lbs., where NASCAR US is closer to 3,300 these days...). NASCAR tried running some exhibition events in Japan in the '90s; but NASCAR cars aren't suited to road courses, and esp. not the chicane-infested "Tilke Pretzels" being built nowadays (lots of braking zones; remember what I said earlier about what NASCAR US racers weight, and consider what that does to brakes -- many full-course cautions to remove cars from gravel traps).

I *could* see an anime based around "cheap-car endurance racing" (Lucky Dog Racing League; 24 Hours Of LeMons; etc.) -- the fun of trying to keep a kei car which couldn't pass the Japanese equivalent of MoT running at-speed for upwards of 24 hours on a *very* low budget... -- but such a series doesn't exist in Japan that I've been able to find.

On the topic of "anime getting racing rules correct": Ep. 2 of _Last Exile_ has this -- the main characters have missed "time attack" (qualifying) for the Big Race; one of them laments "we'll have to start at the back of the field" -- in most real-world racing series, this is the usual penalty for not posting a qualifying time.
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moff



Joined: 26 May 2018
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:32 pm Reply with quote
russ869 wrote:
And what the hell do you mean you have watched "F"?!! And really, it's no harder to search for than "X", "K", "C", and all those other single letter title anime (why are there so goddamn many?!). I remember seeing the complete Japanese DVD box set in a Mandarake store and staring at it for what felt like hours before finally deciding I couldn't afford it. Somebody finish subtitling that show, please!!

Huh? It's been fully subbed for years.

Quote:
Not a whole lot of people remember the Gattiger anime—it only seemed to pick up a persistent fandom in Italy, and to this day there's no DVD release in Japan


Pretty sure most people here only remember it's catchy italian OP, rather than the anime itself. Speaking of which, it was made by a group specialized in mecha anime OPs, the appropriately named Superobots. They also made the ones for Machine Hayabusa and Arrow Emblem, btw.

As to a DVD release, a company announced one in 2013 IIRC, but they went bankrupt.

Also, you forgot Tobidase! Machine Hiryū, which also started in 1977.
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NJ_



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 2063
Location: Wallington, NJ
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:54 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Anyway, I've been interested in Cyber Formula, especially since one of my friends is a major fan of it (& owns that Bandai DVD boxset), but I keep holding off on trying to find the DVDs for a decent price. Who knows, maybe one day it'll just get shoved out on SD-BD, or something.


This show actually got a HD remastered Blu-ray in Japan back in 2011 and unlike VAP's other BDs released at the time (specifically Master Keaton's upscale), this one turned out pretty good.

http://knousang.egloos.com/3279607
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Unknow0059



Joined: 23 Mar 2019
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:15 am Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
configspace wrote:
Regarding Initial's D CG, it got much, much better as the seasons progressed. They basically had a quantum leap in improvement starting from the 3rd stage movie onwards. Even the character design and art improved, and funnily it kept on changing. Although, ironically the original ugly character designs were more true to the manga.


I watched the Initial D anime as it came out and the car graphics were about as good as the current game console (sony) of that year's graphics; so it's like the studio did the best they could without render farms.


Those assessments are both true, and anyone that watches Initial D will understand that they are.

I was baited by the image of the article. I thought this was gonna have Initial D in it. It only had an anecdote - which, made me laugh and was fun, but it's no "hey we're gonna talk about Initial D now".
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