Initial D Fifth Stage Episodes 3 & 4: Takahashi Ryousuke + Fujiwara Zone
“There is nothing Project D can’t implement as long as you have someone like the genius Ryousuke Takahashi.” – Takahashi Keisuke
The match against the first team at the Kanagawa defense was too easy for Keisuke, won on just the first lap. With this, the downhill, driver: Fujiwara Takumi, will commence. The downhill race was more than just driving that Omiya Satoshi, the downhill driver of the opposing team, decided to turn around his rear view mirror and that Fujiwara Takumi flash off his head lights.
Takumi again faces another foe he was once had beaten over at Akina on a downhill race. Takumi, as one with his car, the AE86, is pretty common among racers which Takahashi Ryousuke seems to disagree whereas; Ryousuke left a simple theory of explanation on a single event which he started to call the “Fujiwara Zone”.
If you think the uphill race with Keisuke was too easy and plain, well, fear not since the downhill race is even that with more tension running up to your spine. I can’t believe that I almost shouted with full volume when I was watching the race, ignoring the static camera-animation this series has (not to mention I get to discuss this series with a classmate of mine, especially the tagalong dub of the 4th Stage lol).
There are actually three major things that happened on the downhill race against Omiya Satoshi that lead to Takumi’s victory. Apparently, these three things were just simple to say but, seriously, I didn’t expect it to happen. I do know that Takumi does things unexpectedly at some times but what he did during the race have more effect than it should have.
- AE86 had a proper tuning – thanks to our genius, Ryousuke, he happened to have a perfect tuning for the car just before the match that even Takumi’s father couldn’t even believe to be possible. We all know that before the Kanagawa Prefecture showdown, the AE86 obtain such damage due to some technical win from the previous match. But this didn’t stop Ryousuke’s genius mind. Ryousuke did mention that the AE86, with its new equipped engine can also run as fast as its current opponent.
- Takumi, switching off his car’s headlights – dangerous, I know (please observe proper traffic lights and do not try witching off your car’s headlights when it is night/dark). Since AE86’s headlights are retractable which adds to air resistance and which a downhill car doesn’t need at all, he needs to lessen that said air resistance even if it is for a little. Too risky, I know but it had more effect than that. Since Omiya decided to turn his rear view mirror and not pressure his self with the distance of his car with the AE86, turning off the headlights of AE86 was a good choice during this match as well (although Takumi doesn’t know that Omiya did turn his rear view mirror, it was by coincidence).
- Takumi’s in-born braking talent – this is one thing Ryousuke mentioned during episode 3 and I believe it is so from the moment we have all seen Takumi’s talent in driving. Especially since he started facing those gutters during the 4th Stage and intercepting while doing drifts. No other genius in braking can do that except for Takumi. Plus, he even used his headlights as additional brakes during one drift! Can you believe that? If you think retracting the headlights was cool enough, using the headlights as additional break was even epic than I have expected.
Apparently, all of these were properly explained by Ryousuke without even watching the entire match and just by listening to reports from different checkpoints. Too bad for the NB for its wing was detached.
Of course, who would like to forget about the new heroine in this series? HAHA Of course, she appears every episode and even if she’s not with our hero. She’s obviously head over heel to our dear Takumi and not only that, she was just dreaming of going to the beach with him and then by the next episode, they are already on the beach! Would you look at that sudden development?! HAHA Too sudden, I know, but that’s Initial D’s romance! Not only that, It seems Mika has becoming a promising character as well – changing Takumi from the poker-faced person he used to be, becoming a smiling person that he is now – or when he is with Mika. LOL But call it cliché but this is how things should be in a normal romance (unlike some series over thar – yes, Tonari, yes). Well, at least her screen time has some use one way or another and she get to drive with Takumi, OMG THAT’S MY DREAM, YOU GIRL, YOU MUST BE HAPPY. HAHA
Then there’s Takahashi Ryousuke, requesting for a proper tune-up with his FC. IS THIS SOMETHING I SENSE?! IS THIS IT?! IS THIS RYOUSUKE’S TIME TO SHINE – NOT AS PROJECT D’S LEADER OR GENIUS MIND BUT AS A RACER, AGAIN?! I know that after so many years of agony that I want to see Ryousuke run wild on the mountains I can’t believe I just happen to hear him request something as this!!! OHHHH I DO HOPE SO. I do hope that he’ll race again, I won’t complain at all even if he’ll lose (if he will, that is).
Then we discuss this “Fujiwara Zone” that Ryousuke seemed to have developed a theory about. You do know that in the professional world, there is what they called “Zone” that only those professional are familiar of (or even they didn’t notice at all). “Fujiwara Zone” is a state where Takumi understands his car and moves with it on the mountain track. Combined by his unique techniques with drifts and brakes, no wonder such effect would exist. Apparently, from previous series, there had been hints about such event where Takumi uses his zone (as Ryousuke said so). His zone apparently appears on impulse after a drift or during a drift which he accelerates tremendously than normal in a split second. It’s a very unique technique, in fact. Not only you can distance yourself from your opponent if you’re leading in a lap, you can also shock them in awe while driving behind you, which is what Kogashiwa felt when he first saw it.
The “Fujiwara Zone” has some similarities with “The Zone” from Kuroko no Basket, “Instinct over Reason” from Baby Steps (manga), and “Zone” from Dance Subaru (manga). Although there is not definite evidence about it in real life, but I do think that somehow, it does exist especially if a person is on a pinch. The best explanation to the three mentioned above are: when everything around you seemed to don’t matter anymore but one thing which is important. “The Zone” actually explains when a player doesn’t give any more attention on his surroundings except for his self, the ball and the basket with one goal: to score. “Instinct over Reason” theory was explained when one’s instinct takes over one’s body instead of reason, resulting to less strain on the brain which makes you concentrate/focus on one thing and while the “Zone” was when a dancer sees everything around him black and white and couldn’t hear anything from his surroundings except for the music and the dance he or she is doing. So basically, these three have some similarities with each other and not only that – these three are only had been done by only chosen people with great talent.
Another shocking thing is, there are actually some things that Ryousuke couldn’t explain. Everything about the “Fujiwara Zone” that he has mentioned were just theories. Well, since Takumi does things that are unexpected so it is understandable.
Episode 4 ended with a huuuugggeee cliffhanger, thank you very much. That wasn’t really good to my heart when it was beating so fast at the peak of the race. Damn it. OH, Btw, I REALLY appreciate the timing of the background music during the race. Make everything in me shiver.
PS: I should write separate entries for each episode, right? This is too long. LOL