Initial D: First Stage (頭文字〈イニシャル〉D Inisharu di) is an anime based on the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Shuichi Shigeno. It was produced by Studio Comet and Studio Gallop. It aired between April 18, 1998 and December 5, 1998 in Japan. The anime series was licensed for English-language distribution in North America by Tokyopop from 2002-2009, the anime license has since been picked up by FUNimation Entertainment.
The Initial D manga and anime were originally licensed for English-language distribution in North America by Tokyopop. There were many edits in Tokyopop's dub, including changing the names of the characters, and would subsequently change them in the manga to match. These name changes were to reflect the name changes that Sega implemented into the western releases of the Initial D Arcade Stage video games due to name length limits. In addition, "street slang" was interlaced in translations (a drift was described as "slammin'", for example). In addition, the company also changed the anime's music from its staple eurobeat tracks to originally developed tracks of rap and hip-hop via Stu Levy (DJ Milky), the Tokyopop CEO and an in-house musician. In August 2009, Kodansha announced that they would not be renewing their licensing agreements with Tokyopop, citing "tense relations" between the two companies.
FUNimation Entertainment, which previously distributed Tokyopop's dub to DVD, would end up picking up the rights to the anime series. At the New York Anime Festival 2009, Funimation announced that it would be re-releasing and re-dubbing the series and its sequels. Their release included a brand new English dub and retained the original music from the Japanese in an uncut format. Funimation released the series out of order, with the Third and Fourth Stages releasing before the First and Second Stages.
|Tokyopop||2003-2005||The Complete Series||Tokyopop||1
|FUNimation Entertainment||2007||The Complete Series|
|2010||The Complete Series||FUNimation|
|2011||The Complete Series|
- Initial D: Second Stage
- Initial D: Third Stage
- Initial D: Extra Stage
- Initial D: Fourth Stage
- New Initial D Legend 1: Awakening
- New Initial D Legend 2: Racer
- New Initial D Legend 3: Dream