Initial D is now considered an old-school anime, but it’s continued to maintain popularity through its Eurobeat soundtrack and accompanying memes.
When it comes to anime involving racing and cars, there’s no series more well-known or iconic as Initial D. Based on a manga series by Shuichi Shigeno, the four-wheeled sports anime came out in the late ’90s and instantly became a classic. That’s still the case today, with the drift racing franchise being made immortal through the most irreverent of means.
Initial D had an absolutely pulse-pounding Eurobeat soundtrack, and it’s retained much of its popularity throughout the years because of it. This has given rise to several memes and jokes, most of which are largely unrelated. Nevertheless, Initial D has driven this path to maintain steady relevancy for generations of anime fans and keep the industry running in the ’90s.
Initial D’s Eurobeat Soundtrack Is Still the Stuff of Legend
Throughout the racing scenes of the Initial D anime adaptation, Eurobeat music is used to hype up the excitement. This genre is described as a Hi-NRG variant of Italian disco, usually having elements of trance music. In the case of Initial D, the singers were mainly Italian, even if the lyrics were in English. Nothing was lost in translation, however, as the Eurobeat soundtrack became one of the highlights of the show. Avex, Inc. has handled the franchise’s different adaptations, and the company also released several of the show’s songs through the album Super Eurobeat.
Fans may look back now and find the ugly early CGI used for the cars in Initial D rather garish, but it all seems to fade away when combined with the “drama” of the show’s Eurobeat music. In fact, one of the complaints of the dub was that the soundtrack was changed to a more urban and hip-hop sound. 2021 saw the conclusion of the Initial D anime, which hadn’t had any new entries in almost 10 years by that point. Keeping the series alive during this interim was its famous music and the memes that it would inspire.
Initial D’s Eurobeat Music Has Inspired Countless Memes
One way that Initial D has reached beyond the confines of anime fandom is through memes that completely repurpose its music. For instance, the song “Deja Vu” has been remixed to be the background song for humorous videos in which an otherwise unassuming vehicle drifts away from (or toward) danger in the same way as a car from Initial D. Given how many times that meme format was used, the name of the song itself was ironically accurate.
The same goes for “Running In the ’90s,” a fast-paced song that personifies the music of the series. It was utilized in the “LOL internet” memes that featured McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald driving a car fast while pointing at the sky. The “LOL internet” phrase itself was essentially a commentary on the weirdness of the online happenings of the World Wide Web. “Running In the ’90s” also found new life through a popular Vaporwave remix from the artist sytricka, with the video for this song recalling the old-school street racing scene that inspired the anime.
These sorts of jokes and gags have kept Initial D from being completely irrelevant, especially given the nature of its rather questionable CGI animation. It also represents a more realistic and down-to-earth vibe than many of today’s anime, which is likely why there’s still so much nostalgia for it. Thankfully, the music and memes related to the series are an instant way to go back in time, even for those who’ve never watched it. In fact, their continued popularity is part of the reason that so many of today’s viewers put the stick in reverse to give Initial D a chance.