Highspeed Etoile Review

Highspeed Etoile Review

Highspeed Etoile anime series cover art
Highspeed Etoile

I Hate Everything About This Anime

I hate Highspeed Etoile (ハイスピードエトワール). In fact, I hate it so much that I delayed writing this review for over an hour. I just sat here with a blank document in front of me because I didn’t want to have to write about it. But here we are at last.

Okay, so let me say one positive thing about the series before the rest of this review is negative. The cars don’t look terrible. That’s it. I have nothing else nice to say. The rest of the anime looks terrible and is terrible in every other way.

I guess we can continue with how the series looks before moving on to some of the more egregious issues. The big thing you’ll notice right away when watching it is that it’s mostly bad 3D CGI animation. There are some shots that aren’t, but those shots somehow look even worse.

Rin Rindou and Towa Komachi from the anime series Highspeed Etoile
Rin Rindou and Towa Komachi

The backgrounds are generally pretty bland across the board. This isn’t an issue exclusive to this series. However, because of the CGI-animated characters, the bland backgrounds stand out a lot more. And the backgrounds that aren’t necessarily bland tend to be low-resolution or unpolished.

Now, something I thought would be pretty good is if this series focused a lot on the racing aspect. Most of the racing anime I’ve seen are more character-focused. So, I figured more action might be nice. Well, the action in this series is bland, too.

There are a few factors that contribute to this. But one of the main ones is that I don’t think the creators of this series know anything about racing. And that’s going to be a running theme in this review. If you’re a racing fan, which I am, Highspeed Etoile is painful to watch.

Racing Meets Shounen Battle Protagonist

Potentially my least favorite part of this entire terrible series is the protagonist, Rin Rindou. She’s basically a shounen battle series protagonist. You know, she’s as dumb as a bag of bricks but has some magical, undescribable power that makes her “the best.”

The thing is, that doesn’t exactly work in a series like this. Highspeed Etoile is basically about a future motorsport that’s similar to Formula 1. It’s the top-end racing category in the world. But do you know how much experience Rin has when she enters the series? None.

I’m pretty sure that Rin has never driven a car before when they throw her into the first race of the season. Obviously, she loses. I think she actually got disqualified. But that doesn’t stop her team. They stick with Rin because they somehow know she has “the magic touch.”

Sophia B. Tokitou and Rin Rindou from the anime series Highspeed Etoile
Sophia B. Tokitou and Rin Rindou

Rin doesn’t know how to operate her car. She doesn’t know the rules of racing. And she has no desire to train. She’s not a protagonist you can root for. There’s no real character growth to be had here. The only “growth” she gets is that she magically becomes a better driver after like four or five races.

That’s not all I have to say about Rin, though. She also doesn’t even know who the best drivers in the sport she’s competing in are. When she meets Lorenzo M. “King” Salvatore, the world champion whom she’s literally raced against, she doesn’t recognize him.

She also spent an entire day with Alice “Queen” Summerwood, the second-best driver in the world, and didn’t know who she was either. As I said, Rin is entirely clueless about everything that has to do with racing. Imagine being a current F1 driver and not knowing Hamilton or Verstappen.

Did I Mention I Hate Everything About This?

Let’s discuss some of the other reasons real racing fans will hate this series. But first, am I really a racing fan? Yes. I’ve been watching F1 for over a decade and have attended multiple races. I also used to watch WEC and MotoGP.

I like racing. That’s why I want there to be a good racing anime. Highspeed Etoile is not that. Even if Rin didn’t exist in this series, there are so many other things wrong with it. As I already mentioned, I don’t think the creators understand racing.

Did you know that every car in this series has AI in it? Some are completely AI-driven. And others have AI that do almost everything. Rin doesn’t even need to drive her car if she doesn’t want to. AI racing is a real thing that’s becoming possible, but it defeats a huge point of racing.

Towa, Youran, Rin, Sophia, and Kanata from the anime series Highspeed Etoile
Towa, Youran, Rin, Sophia, and Kanata

Pitstops in this series are also fully automated and somehow take far longer than manual pitstops currently do in F1. The cars are also electric, which is fine. But when one of the tracks loses power, all the cars stop on track. That’s not how electric cars work.

These cars all have push-to-pass buttons, which also isn’t new. However, when Rin uses it to unlap herself, everyone views it as a sign of her greatness. All she did was press a button to go faster than a person who’s not even racing against her — because he’s a lap ahead.

It’s all these details that make the series frustrating to watch. It legitimately feels like people with no interest in racing made an anime based on their assumptions about what racing is like. They don’t actually know, though, so they missed the mark.

Final Thoughts

Does it surprise you to learn that I gave Highspeed Etoile a 1/10? Do you remember Ex-Arm? It’s on the same level as that. That’s how terrible this series is. However, I’d also argue that Ex-Arm has more entertainment value because it’s funny-bad. Highspeed Etoile doesn’t even have that going for it.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. And I’d like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about the perks of supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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