Content Warning: Fanservice
What’s it about? In the far flung future of 202X, self-driving cars run the world, ridding the world of gas engines. Enter Kanata Livingston, a half-British, half-Japanese boy who’s ready to buckle up and put the pedal to the metal to compete in the MFG, a racing circuit held in his home country for those with a new need for speed…
My interest in Initial D came from Lucky Star, which introduced me to hit sensation M.O.V.E., a group best known for their music in the series. That’s a lot of why I honestly chose to watch MF GHOST: that, and my love of the Fast and Furious franchise.
But is my passion for vroom vroom and screeeeeeeeech!!! Enough to get me into MF GHOST? Gotta keep going fast to find out…
Episode 1 opens with those good, good cars (and a drone), racing around sharp bends and curves as the narrator informs viewers of the changes worldwide. The world is now a greener place: gas engines have been all but eliminated, cleansing the world of pollution from gas engines and kickstarting a better global environment. But some still have a desire to go fast, leading to one thing: the MFG.
But we don’t get into any racing: at least not yet. Episode 1 is ultimately set up for why Kanata’s back in Japan, as well as an introduction to Ren AKA Angel 7, a race queen kwho participates in MFG and also shares a roof with Kanata upon his return. It’s not surface level stuff because we need a reason for Kanata to be here, but it’s certainly not cars, I’ll tell you that.
Not gonna lie, they got me in the front half when they gave me a few moments of car footage. I really expected to get my fill of it, but if you’re here to see the cars zip and zoom, you’re going to be sorely disappointed; cars and racing aren’t the central focus here. Worse, you’ll get to witness the world’s worst race queen costume: it’s just wings on an Old Navy sports bra with a pair of Fruit of the Loom undies trying their damndest to convince viewers that they’re shorts.
What I mean is that it’s horribly upsetting. Ah, the costume, that is. Well…and the lack of actual racing as well. There’s not a drift to be had here, which is like, what I crave from Initial D. I think it’s what a lot of people crave, in fact: after all, we don’t get race car anime everyday, and a huge part of the franchise is its, well…racing.
That said, what we do get is a foundation: we’re introduced to our main characters, get a taste of what the show will be focused on–the titular MGF–and get enough substances to get you interested in episode 2. It’s not the strongest this premiere could be, but by all means, it’s not horrible. Plus, there’s the benefit that you can come into this franchise completely unaware of any Initial D before it: MF GHOST clearly stands on its own well enough that you can dive right in and, hopefully, get some of those car races we all crave.
It’s kind of a “come for the cars, stay for the potential of cars” here: it’s clear that Kanata will be racing at some point, but it’s a matter of when he’ll get behind the wheel. Hopefully, it’ll happen in episode 2: I don’t know that this series will be able to maintain momentum broadly if it doesn’t at least introduce some training sequences soon. The folks crave the CGI vehicles: hopefully, MF GHOST will give the people what they crave next week.
Time will tell if MF GHOST has the wheels and skills to follow in the vein of Initial D’s glory. Right now, it’s not much of a racing anime: it’s an anime with races in it. But I’m willing to give it the classic three episode try to see if the races appeal enough to stick around for.