Customer Reviews: Initial D: Fourth Stage S.A.V.E.
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars44
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$19.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on April 21, 2013
NOTE: The DVDs are encoded in 4:3 widescreen. Meaning? The video is Letterboxed AND Pillarboxed (black borders around the screen) This is the ONLY problem amid this 5-star review


Back in the mid-2000s, Initial D was already an established property that many anime fans and car enthusiasts loved (including myself). With that much popularity circulating, it was only a matter of time before the US localized it and presented it to America.

So... US anime/manga distributor Tokyopop licensed the distribution rights to the Initial D anime as well as the manga it was based on.

In their attempt at creating an experience that could appeal to a wider audience, Toykopop did things that are totally unacceptable in today's US anime market.

* Names were changed/altered
* The original true-to-life car sounds were replaced with generic sound effects
* The Super Eurobeat soundtrack (a trait the series had become known for) was removed in favor of generic rap/rock music
* The computer-generated race sequences were given added "special effects" (this was the most questionable edit they made and still baffles me)
* A simplified translation that lost almost ALL the racing technicality in the process

Tokyopop tried to justify these edits by including the original Japanese versions of the episodes in the discs they had. But... the fans had spoken. The localization treatment Tokyopop gave to Initial D was horrible.

As time passed... it seemed like the US would never see Initial D in proper English. That is until Tokyopop lost the rights in 2008 and Funimation picked it up.

Now that the history lesson is over, it's onto the actual review :)


The first thing you'll notice about the Funimation version is that the original audio and soundtrack of the show has been kept in tact. They did what was originally expected the FIRST time it was being brought to America: ACCURATELY translate Initial D into English.

Initial D's dialog is one of those animes that uses a relaxed, everyday way of speaking. Tokyopop's did their best to honor this by forcefully adding in slang phrases like "DUDE!! TAK'S EIGHT-SIX IS GETTING PUNKED!!"

Funimation also recognized the "relaxed" speak in their translation. But, they have scripted it in such a way that it doesn't feel forced at all. While they do use words like 'frikkin' and 'dude', the Funimation voice cast does its best to make it sound like talking and not script reading.

Also... props to the head of voice casting for finding suitable voice actors for each character (something the Tokyopop version missed by a LONGshot). Takumi, for one, sounds his age for once! But the real shining factor of the Funimation dub is that almost every character has an american voice that is pretty much an English version of their Japanese counterpart. Ryosuke Takahashi sounds pretty spot on :P

It's unfortunate that it's taken THIS long for America to get Initial D in an acceptable form. But, in the end, it was definitely worth the wait! The only thing I'm asking for now... is for a blu-ray release of this material.

And... I cannot wait until Initial D Fifth Stage is brought to US shores. Keep up the good work, Funimation :)
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on January 21, 2012
I love initial d and.this was such a good price I couldnt resist! The save edition is the way to go, it has the entire season together so you dont have to pay almost the same price per disc for part season packs.
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on January 19, 2014
This series is BY FAR my favorite Anime series around.
Yes I'm a car guy, Yes I love Anime and YES is just that amazing!
The value here is WAY TO GOOD.

Also, even is a SAVE product, the quality is AMAZING and nothing less that what you would expect from a major Anime distributor.
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on July 2, 2013
this is the same animation as the tokyo pop version. the S.A.V.E version has different voice actors and don't use nick names like the tokyo pop version. there is a couple instances of the use of the words S..o.B... which may not be appropriate for small children. but is totally enjoyable. i love it. the price was great as well. can't wait for stage 5.
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on December 17, 2015
The definitive best stage of all the initial D's.
Initially you may seem this stage as a bit off compared to previous stages, less eurobeat than other stages, but this stage is so racing focused its going to blow your pants off.
Get ready to get goosebumps, chills and shivers each time you hear the opening sequences.
You will never be able to forget some tracks in this stage.
You have been warned.
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on June 15, 2012
I really liked the fourth stage of initial D. I am a fan of the whole series and was not disappointed at all in seeing the fourth stage. It was addictive as I watched each disk all the way through when I should have been studying for exams. The quality was just fine, the voice over was as expected, and the time with which I received this package in the mail was excellent. I enjoyed adding this to my collection of initial D dvds. I wish there was more available. Awesome series. Thanks!
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on March 30, 2013
Very interesting anime with enough details to satisfy gear heads and in nice CGI graphics (i believe it was) for the time. Awesome story as well I'd say if they don't have all the season (1-4 currently) on Blu-ray which is what i was looking for pick up one through four on DVD.
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on January 11, 2013
This stage does have a slightly different feel from the others but it is still good. When I read that it was mostly about the main character going around and racing all over the region I was afraid that it would have mostly him and most the other characters wouldn't show up but I was pleasantly surprised that almost all of them are in this stage a bit too, though not quite as much as in the previous stages. If you enjoyed the other stages then I'm sure you will enjoy this too.
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on July 18, 2013
This is the Japanese audio with only the voices dubbed. Way better than the original release. Better yet, I payed about $50 for the entire series. These are priced so well, this is the second set I have bought.
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on April 20, 2015
Great anime about street racing in the mountain passes of Japan. Funimation English dub is much better than original English dub. Worth it if you enjoy Initial D or street racing. Note that Fourth Stage is 24 episodes.
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