Overtake! Review

Overtake! Review

Overtake! anime series cover art

Possibly the Best Racing Anime (So Far)

Overtake! (オーバーテイク!) might be the best racing anime around. Though, to be fair, I haven’t watched many racing anime. It might only be this and Two Car. So, yeah, I get that there are a lot of other racing anime I haven’t seen.

MF Ghost is another racing anime that aired alongside Overtake! I know a lot of people said that was good. But, I didn’t watch it because it didn’t look all that good, to me. Nothing about the PV or OP made me think it would be any better than Overtake!

Of course, if you’re talking racing anime, you have to mention Initial D. Maybe I’ll watch it one day. However, I haven’t felt the desire to do so yet.

But, why was I interested in Overtake and not MF Ghost or Initial D? It’s formula racing.

Kouya watching Koutarou and Haruka push their F4 car from the anime series Overtake!
Kouya watching Koutarou and Haruka push their F4 car

Overtake! is a Formula 4 (F4) anime. You might be familiar with Formula 1 (F1). Well, F4 is like the baby version of F1. Below F1 is F2, then F3, and finally F4. It’s a step above karting. But, it’s still formula racing, which is a kind of open-wheeled racing.

I like a variety of types of racing. But, F1 is my favorite. I’ve been watching F1 since 2012 and I’ve been to a few races. So, when I saw Overtake! was a formula series anime, I knew I had to watch it.

Unfortunately for Overtake!, there’s a new racing anime with cute girls coming out in the spring. Will Highspeed Etoile be the new best racing anime? I doubt it. I had high hopes when it was announced. But, the most recent PV looks bad. It has choppy CGI animation and everything looks bland other than the character.

More About Characters Than Racing

While Overtake! is definitely a racing anime, racing isn’t the main focus. This is a drama anime, so the characters are what are important. And, we can split the characters into two main categories. There are the drivers and there’s everyone else.

Haruka Asahina is a driver and the protagonist of the series. He drives for Komaki Motors, which is a small, self-funded team. They don’t have any sponsors and they only have three employees, including Haruka. The other two are Futoshi Komaki and his son Koutarou Komaki.

Kouya Madoka is the non-driver main character of the series. He’s a photojournalist who joins Komaki Motors in a pseudo-marketing role. At the start of the series, he knows nothing about racing. And because of that, he serves as the viewer-insert character. As other characters teach him about racing, they’re teaching the viewers, as well.

Satsuki Harunaga sitting in his car from the anime series Overtake!
Satsuki Harunaga sitting in his car

Satsuki Harunaga is one of Haruka’s two rivals. He’s the number one driver for Belsorriso, the top team on the grid. Satsuki is something of a playboy, always being followed around by a hoard of female fans. And, related to that, he wants to emulate his hero, F1 driver James Hunt.

Toshiki Tokumaru is Haruka’s other rival. He’s the second driver for Belsorriso, which makes him and Satsuki teammates as well as rivals. Toshiki wants to become the team’s number one driver and blames Haruka for the fact that he’s not already.

The last character I want to mention is Alice Mitsuzawa. She’s Koutarou Komaki’s childhood friend and crush. But, she also works as a grid girl for Belsorriso because she’s one of Satsuki’s adoring fans. Alice isn’t a very interesting character. However, I like her because she’s cute and she helps along Satsuki’s character development.

One Great Episode

As you’ll see with my final rating of the series at the end of this review, Overtake! is pretty good. But, it has one great episode that stands far above the others. Episode 9 is where the drama of the series reaches its climax.

Throughout the first 8 episodes of the series, we get bits and pieces of information about Kouya’s past. We know he stopped taking portrait photography after an incident. And, later on, we learn that the incident involved a natural disaster and the death of a young girl. But, it doesn’t all come together until Episode 9.

I won’t spoil it any more than that. However, this episode made me realize something important. Overtake! didn’t need to be about racing. The best parts of the series, like this episode, have nothing to do with the racing side of things. It could have been about anything.

Haruka Asahina racing from the anime series Overtake!
Haruka Asahina racing

So, here’s a question. Do you want a drama anime with racing in the background? Or, a racing anime without much in terms of drama and plot? If the former sounds better, watch Overtake! The racing content may not have been necessary, but it’s still pretty decent.

If the latter sounds better, allow me to introduce you to Redline. Earlier in the review when I said Overtake! and Two Car were the only racing anime I’ve watched, I left out Redline. Why? Because it’s less of a racing anime and more nonstop action that resembles racing to an extent.

Look, if we count Redline, then the question of which is the best racing anime has long been decided. But, to me, the drama that series like Overtake! bring to the table is part of being a racing anime. The drama aspect is important for any sports anime.

Final Thoughts

Overtake! is a 6/10 from me. It’s a pretty good anime. Though, I have to admit that Episode 9 did a lot of the heavy lifting. And, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending. But, it was good enough. So, basically, I felt the same about Overtake as I feel about most sports anime.

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