DVD Review: Initial D Legend 3: Dream

We once again return to the hills of Akina to explore what this DVD release of Initial D Legend 3: Racer has to offer; so what exactly does it contain? Well let’s speed down that all important hill and find out.

Synopsis:

In Initial D Legend 3: Dream, this is it! As the final showdown between breakout downhill racing phenomenon Takumi Fujiwara and Ryosuke Takahashi, the unbeaten leader of the Akagi RedSuns, draws near, both drivers and their teams go into overdrive.

Takumi’s 86 and Takahashi’s RX-7 are broken down, retuned and transformed for battle. Skills that are already at the top of their form are honed into razor sharpness. Takumi must resolve his romantic situation with Natsuki.

And then the race is on! Get ready for the ultimate duel on blacktop as the masters of drift square off in a winner-take-all competition that will steal your breath away in new theatrical movie Initial D Legend 3: Dream directed by Masamitsu Hidaka!

Our View:

Initial D Legend is a trilogy of films that recreate the original Initial D story to offer a more streamlined viewing experience and this third film, Dream, brings the ‘legend’ storyline to its conclusion with Takumi Fujiwara racing against the impressive Ryosuke Takahashi as well as coming to terms with his own ideals of being a driver.

Taking place shortly after the events of the second film, known as Inital D Legend: Racer, the third film in this trilogy is one long build-up to the race against Takumi Fujiwara. In all honesty it’s a film that could have last twenty-minutes in length as other than the date between Takumi and Natsuki, and the actual race itself, everything else seems rather pointless.

That’s not an exaggeration either; as when the film starts we see Takumi driving his friends 85, who actually thought it was an 86, afterwards Takumi drives another car to demonstrate its capability. It’s at this point Takumi has an interest in driving cars and that he brings out the best that the 86 has to offer. It’s at this point that Takumi begins to wonder what will happen if he loses the race with Ryosuke but in doing so also ventures on a date with Natsuki.

Elsewhere we see Ryosuke and his brother discussing what it means to be a racer and the decisions that Ryosuke has done in an attempt to beat Takumi and his 86. Both of these storylines collide to deliver the epic race – which is easily the highlight of this whole film – that’s longer than one might expect. Even when the race ends the story doesn’t and as such we are left on a cliffhanger of sorts that mostly likely take place in the continuing manga or alternative anime series that exist. It’s strange; theprevious films built-up an epic conclusion to the story but this third film doesn’t continue that hype and instead just waits it out until the race begins.

Extras:

Unlike the previous Initial D Legend releases, which featured both a preview and a recap in addition to Sentai Filmwork related trailers, this third film only features a recap of the previous film and the aforementioned trailers. Naturally a preview wouldn’t be included as this is the final film in the trilogy but it still lacks the amount of bonus content that were once found in the previous releases.

Once again there is nothing noteworthy to be found here in this bonus features but the recap of the previous film is presented in both English and Japanese while the trailers (of which are mostly just clips of the film/series with music on-top) give a closer look at titles released by Sentai Filmworks in North America.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 5
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:04:19
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps

Overall:

Initial D Legend Dream brings the Initial D Legend Trilogy to its conclusion and while it delivers the high-speed ‘drifting’ styled downhill race one would expect from the Initial D franchise; but the forty minue build-up that takes us there is nothing but time-wasting and disappointing. Sure enough we see Takumi express himself, in turns of what he is thinking, and we even see some more ‘rushed’ romance between him and Natsuki; but the events that lead us to the race do nothing to futher refine the foundations laid down by the previous film.

This third film only has one iconic race which, although lasting longer than those in the other films, does feel rather short-lived and could have been presented better. Sure enough it’s good, and it sees Takumi under the pressure that one might expect, but it doesn’t give off that “something is gotta happen” vibe that one would expect from an intense duel. The events that lead up to this race do nothing to give off this vibe and instead focus on different characters getting excited for the race. It’s just one long build-up that doesn’t live up to the hype and is over in a relatively short manner of time.

It’s not just the pacing and presentation of this release that’s disappointing as the selection of bonus features that are also limited in it’s selection. The only positive aspect of this release is the presentation of this release, in terms of visual and audio quality, with this DVD release offering consistent quality that one would hope to expect. The 5.1 Surround Sound track, which is often unused, along springs to life during the race moments – with background music and sound effects being used effectively through the speakers.

Overall this DVD release of Initial D Legend Dream is presented cleanly and effectively, which is what one would expect to receive, but the pacing and presentation of the story that ends (and begins) it all could have been a lot better.

Score: review-stars-3

Initial D Legend 3: Dream will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray from the 16th July 2018 within the UK via MVM Entertainment

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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