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The anime Initial D is a fast paced story with many twists and turns.  Throughout the story the main character Takumi Fujiwara goes through many difficult situations. Takumi and his friends go through challenges and threats of other racers, and come out completely different people.  Through these races and experiences with his friends Takumi grow to become new people. These characters seem more responsible, and a bit older, like changes they go through can be considered their transition into adulthood.

                Takumi Fujiwara at the start seems to be the typical Japanese high school student, he has a part-time job, is interested in girls, but nothing else really pops out of the blue.  After school he also helps out with his family tofu business by delivering tofu.  His personal relationships seem kind of weak; an example of this is with his best friend Itsuki.  They both hang out a lot, but have differing interests, mainly the fact that Itsuki is obsessed with cars, while Takumi is not entertained with them in the least.

                Probably the first big step in Takumi’s growth was the first race, he initially didn’t want to race, but agreed to for a tank of gas, to go on a date with a girl.  This appears to be a symbol that both his personal and racing lives have begun to start, and are somehow linked together.  This first race started to bring Takumi out of his shell, to realize that he is good at something, it still means little to him though, and just a chore he has had to do for his family. During this time his relationship with his father also seems to strengthen, and Takumi looks up to him as “The ghost of Akina”.  The anime Project website describes this pretty well with,

                “In anime, characters seem to treat their elders more respectfully and are more likely to look to their parents for guidance”

                This quote shows how the Japanese influence has shown its way into the anime. While the winning of the first race began Takumi’s interest in racing, and his interest in what his father use to be.  Each step of the way Takumi asks about his father, and what he would have done in that situation. This is a way of growing up for him, looking up to his father, and seeing what he should do with his life, and how racing should be a part of it.

            After his first couple race Takumi begins to actually enjoy into the sport of Street Racing, although he doesn’t accept all his challenges, when the time arises he starts to become a dependable character.  This also tightens the bonds between him, and his friends that love Street Racing; they begin to look up to him as a superior racer. Takumi starts to adventure around with his talent of driving and begins to drive different cars to push the limits, his friends say that he makes everything look easy, even the most difficult drifts. His dependability and want for new experiences says he has changed from how he was at the beginning of the show, and the change into an adult.

            The main characters confidence also improved quite a bit, helping out with a girl he liked at school.  These changes together have brought him from the typical self-doubting anime character; according to Anime Project,

“Survey results of students taken in 1983 indicated that Japanese students were generally less satisfied with themselves than American students. This attitude of lower self-concept seems to be a common trait amongst characters.”

The move towards actually going out with this girl is a sign he has moved out of being a shy little boy that he was and moved into becoming an adult.

                Takumi changes throughout this story, and becomes an adult.  He takes responsibility for his actions, and keeps a watchful eye out for his friends.  His move towards the women that he likes is also a move on from the awkward school boy into the figure that all his friends see as.

References:

http://www.umich.edu/~anime/history.html

The first quote is under the section "Beliefs and Values"

The second quote is from the section " Lower Self Concept/Self Esteem"

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1 Comment

  1. You need a thesis statement! Is it about character growth? Explain this more in the intro paragraph.

    You have brought in some quotes (which you need to reference, btw). The essay wanders around...first to growth then to respect for elders... you need to unify this structurally. Develop your main idea (thesis) and then PROVE it through the essay.