Synopsis: In Initial D: Second Stage, 18-year old Takumi Fujiwara's adventures with his father's Toyota Trueno AE86 continue. Takumi has succeeded in winning against the undefeated street racer, Ryosuke Takahashi. But now a group of Lancer Evolution-driving guys called the Emperors have set their sights on dominating the Gunma area. They'll have to beat both Takumi and Ryosuke to do it!
After watching Initial D: First Stage, I was craving for more. The series left some unanswered questions, plus it seemed as if I couldn't get enough of the exhilarating races. And I'm not even the least bit interested in cars to begin with...
Initial D: Second Stage picks up where First Stage leaves off. Takumi's now famous in street-racing circles, and he has finally realized that he actually loves driving. He and Mogi are now a couple to boot. A new challenge comes his way in the form of the Lan-Evo driving Emperors, who are all too eager to point out how much Takumi's car sucks. Takumi is pissed off, but then it would seem that his car is near the end of its life span. It's not exactly the most meaningful of plots, but it's an enjoyable ride all the same.
All the main characters we've come to know in the First Stage come back in the Second Stage, but some new ones are introduced as well. Takumi and Mogi's relationship are given more emphasis this time, and we finally discover the truth behind Mogi's trysts with the old guy in the Benz -- something that had been bugging me throughout First Stage's run. The visuals show some improvement over the previous series, particularly the depiction of the cars. Now rendered with more smoothness and detail, you can see the car names and insignias clearly, read the license plates, and identify specific parts like head lights, tail lights, etc. The characters seem digitized, and not hand-drawn, but they look more or less the same as before.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Initial D: Second Stage. All the elements that made watching the First Stage such a splendid experience are still present -- exciting races, passionate characters, cool music... and no, I'm still not into cars.
Miscellanies: After this, you should cap things off with Inital D: Third Stage.