Overtake! Is A Must-Watch Anime For Motorsports Fans

This new anime about F4 racing is a show that would delight any motorsports fan, or just anyone who enjoys a good anime really.

Likely thanks to a combination of a nail-biting title challenge in 2021 and the hit Netflix series Drive To Survive, interest in motorsports in general and Formula 1 in particular has perhaps never been higher. Indeed, so high is the interest in F1 that it has even now spilled over to the genre of anime, as evidenced by the recent premier of the original anime Overtake! that is set in the lower leagues of Formula 4. 

Now the spoiler-filled reasons to watch it are further below, but suffice to say that having watched the first three episodes, it is certainly an anime that is would appeal to motorsports fans. Though fans of sports anime genre or just shonen anime in general would likely be just as captivated by Overtake! too.

In fact, featuring layered yet relatable characters and a really well-written story that focuses on the human aspect of racing, while simultaneously being an easy introduction to the sport itself, Overtake! could really be thought of as Haikyuu, but with an F4 twist. And while this reference is admittedly one that only fans of anime would understand, for the rest of the world just know that this is quite high praise indeed. 


* Spoiler alert! Proceed with caution from here on out. * 


From this point on there will be spoilers for the first three episodes of Overtake! So fair warning to those who wishes to go into this anime completely blind. And with the spoiler alert in place already, let’s just give a quick synopsis of what this anime is about first, before promoting the reasons on why Overtake! is worth the watch. 

Overtake! as mentioned before is primarily set in the world of Formula 4 racing. But unlike in other sports anime where the main character is directly involved in the sport itself, curiously, this story is instead initially focuses on a freelance photographer Kouya Madoka who has lost his mojo. 

That said, the motorsports aspect soon quickly intertwines itself into the story, as while working on a story at the Fuji International Speedway, Kouya had a chance encounter with high-school F4 racer Haruka Asahina. And after witnessing Haruka’s raw emotion from having faced a premature end to one of his best races yet due to a mechanical failure, Kouya had suddenly found his heart racing once again. 

Thus in his continued attempt to get his groove back, Kouya therefore decides to support Haruka and help him make his motorsports dream come true with his mom-and-pop racing team, Komaki Motors. The anime then picks up from here to tell the story of the trials and tribulation faced by both the main characters, as they try and navigate their way through the problems faced on-track, as well as in life as well. 

Now speaking as an anime nerd first, the story of Overtake! is perhaps one that does somewhat thread the usual hero’s journey path that most shonen sports anime take. This is to say for the main character to have some large chip off their shoulders, and then steadily rebounds from it to eventually succeed over the course of the show. 

Though despite this tad predictable premise of Asahina being a financially-struggling backmarker F4 racer trying to climb his way onto a podium finish, the way this story is told is nevertheless a rather heartwarming and human one. Having the twin parallel tales in Haruka’s progression as an F4 racer and Madoka-san overcoming his troubled past is certainly a unique aspect of this anime too, with the side stories involving interactions between Haruka and his fellow F4 competitors from the much better funded Belsorisso team (which heats up from Episode 3 onwards) further adding a touch of much-needed spice into this tale too. 

What more is that, as pointed out by many anime nerds who are not motorsports fans, the storytelling of Overtake! also does a good job in naturally weaving in information regarding the finer points of motor racing. 

Though that is not to say too for seasoned racing fans to be bored from watching this anime. In fact, it is the dyed-in-the-wool motorsports fanatics that will perhaps most enjoy (and empathise with) this anime due to their prior understanding of the harsh reality inherent with racing, with the more hardcore racing fans (going by the internet reactions at least) being the ones who appeared to be most in tune with the second episode of this anime, which dealt with the hardships of just finding funds to carry on racing. 

And admittedly, while the animation quality is not necessarily on the same level of what giants in the industry like Mappa can do, some credit does nevertheless have to be given to Troyca for the sheer quantity of proper product placement that to be found within Overtake! It is nearly after all unheard of for legitimate brand names to be shown in an anime, but nearly all the automotive and racing-related products featured in this anime were from real companies. A small detail sure, but just seeing the unaltered logos adds that extra touch of realism to the anime. 

Overtake! is currently available to stream on the anime streaming service Crunchyroll, though Malaysians can also catch it legally for free on YouTube through the Ani-One Asia channel. A new episode airs every Sunday night (9 pm Malaysian time) in a Japanese dub with English subtitles. 

There is also a series of Overtake! Extra shorts that air on the KADOKAWAanime channel after each new main episode for those who want even more Overtake! in their lives, but unfortunately these are only available in Japanese thus far. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button