Today I stumbled across a new car racing manga. Interesting, because I’m not really into racing in real life, but then again, I’m not into boxing either and have read 1100+ chapters of Hajime no Ippo. I’m done trying to figure out how my brain works, I just accept it in all it’s weird ways.
Either way, there’s just one chapter available in English so far, I guess a scanlation group has just picked it up or something. I haven’t even found it on MAL yet. Either way, the first chapter was a pretty standart introduction of the main characters, but the set up gives me some very strong Capeta vibes and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Capeta does many things very right. It takes a lot of time to build it’s characters from a very young age and even though Capeta himself is some sort of genius, he’s working extreamly hard and suffers through his circumstances in order to come closer to his goals. Like Mao in G, both are from a poor financial background and maybe I’m too early to judge, because it’s just been one chapter, but the first chapter of G was really rushed.
I’m not really that much into manga with these crazy geniuses and usually prefer stories with the hard working type (*cough* Ippo *cough*), which is one of the main reasons why I dislike Prince of Tennis and can’t get the Kuroko no Basket hype – it just drifts off too much into supernatural territory at one point. Capeta and Mao are both exceptionally talanted, but Mao’s natural gifts are surpassing those of a normal human being right off the bat in the first chapters.
Also, in G, Mao is 5 years old and meets a Formula racer who acknowledges his talend and gives him a GoKart to train in, so he can become a Formula 1 driver one day. That’s cute, because a GoKart is the only thing you need in order to become a racer. Fast forward 8 years and you see Mao driving in a GoKart in the snow (great idea) receiving a letter from said Formula dirver to come to Tokyo if he wants to become a F1 driver.
This is what bugs me so much: the initial set up is so extreamly similar to Capeta (which
was still being published for 2 more years until 2013 when the first chapter of G was released in 2011) with a gifted car-crazy-boy with an F1-toy who likes watching cars pretending to drive one from humble surroundings entering the racing world, but we haven’t seen any struggle at all from Mao’s front so far, while Capeta had serious financial problems standing in his way.
Mao was basically sponsored off the spot and even though Capeta could have joined Autohouse, he would’ve just been no. 2 all the time, so it was probably better for him not to. Furthermore Capeta shows in great detal just how expensive racing sport really is and having one GoKart is really not enough. Mao’s father wasn’t even able to buy him a proper toy in 5 years, chapter 2 really needs to confirm how he was able to pay for his races, tires, fuel, spare parts and travel costs. Was he sponsored the entire time? If not, how was he able to pull it off? What happend in these 8 years?
I don’t think it’s a good idea to start off a manga this similar to another one with the same topic. Going the same route with financial probelms and all is not a good idea either, so I can imagine them not going there on purpose. If so, don’t set up your story this way! Make it at least a bit more different. The first part of the chapter literally reads like Capeta and (un)fortunately Capeta did a great job with the surrounding problems occuring in the racing world when you’ve got no money.
Since chapter 1 ends with claiming “This is the beginning oif his stroy”, I guess it’s a save
bet we’re done with the introductions, unfortunately. We will probably get to know our main hero in his teens and we will probably see him getting sponsored right off the bat. I don’t like this, I want to see him work for his achievements.
Even if we move on so fast, G has some serious explaining to do what happend during the past 8 years and I give it to the manga, at the end of the first chapter it really does look like it will take a different path than Capeta, but I don’t appreciate the extreme similarities at the beginning – including the annoying blonde girl jumping around the main character (except, it’s now his sister, not his childhood friend).
I’m impressed they didn’t get sued for this. When talking about Capeta first, I said how much Capeta remembered me of Initial D. That’s a joke compared to Capeta ch1 vs G ch1.