Akagi Red Suns vs Akina Speed Stars!
This series has been on my mind for years and I couldn’t decide whether to do comic or animation first. I already had a taste of one of the intense arcade games (title eludes me), so it was just a matter of time that I’d get in the series as I seek out the one of the best motorsports series.
I bought VOLUME 1 from Barnes and Noble where the description is a little bit deceiving:
Only the fearless survive in the white-hot world of street racing, as teams take on dangerous roads in the shadow of Akina Mountain. Behind the wheel of the mysterious “Ghost of Akina” is Takumi, on his way to becoming the greatest racer ever. (Source: Barnes & Noble).
Unfortunately, thanks to cancellation, it seems that only up to the 33rd volume (out of 43) is available. Despite that, and the translation weirdness, I think that I may pick volume 2.
Due to TokyoPop and their editing “magic”, tthe character’s first names are westernized and thus, presumably simplified.
Takumi Fujiwara, despite the B&N description, turned into “Tak”; Kousuke is “Cole”; Itsuki is “Iggy”; Natsuki is “Natalie”; Takahashi brothers Ryosuke and Keisuke are Ry and K.T respectively, and so on. You can sense some closeness. For some reason, Takumi’s father Bunta retains his name. Worse thing they could’ve done was feign the setting. Locations and team names such as Red Suns are kept
Keisuke and Takumi (and I’m kind of alright with “Tak”. A little Korean but it may fit as an annoying nickname?) are in center stage as volume 1 gradually unveils the story behind the GHOST OF AKINA:
The Toyota Trueno, the A86 (the author Shigeno has one too, also named “86” or “Hachiroku”).
Earth to Takumi? Despite working at the gas station, Takumi displays having no clue about Japanese cars as this ripping racer comic has its share of comedy. Actually, Tak-Tak’s ignorance has been a recurring theme in this volume. To his benefit, these cars do have their funny number codes that takes some encyclopedic looking up on spare time. Makes me want to look up my FORD CHRONICLE. And we’re talking some old classic Japanese cars. Toyota, Nissan, Madza, Mitsubishi (in fact, Cole-Kousuke had a…run in with a Mitsubishi in Akina. No? Okay.)
In these days, we’re improving on the internal combustion engines, the use of electric energy (battery), and faster reactions of manuals. Keisuke’s Mazda car has a rotary engine that speeds up acceleration, while the Trueno works on a 4-straight cylinder.
Why Keisuke as a “center”? Because of his deep desire to take on the A86, which is an older model. You could say that’s a bit salty, but anyone desires a true challenge.
There is talk on Mazda creating a new rotary engine – as a hybird work (Auto Express U.K).
I haven’t picked up the name of Natsuki-Natalie’s boyfriend but you could immediately tell from first words that he was was total jerk that was rightfully punched.
Shigeno has a funny design for characters that I can’t explain, but it’s unique and adapted well even in the games and animation. The cars look pretty good.
Takumi vs Keisuke!