The future is here and gas-powered cars are going the way of the dinosaur. Well, unless you go to the track where real fossil fuel-guzzling race cars still reign supreme in the new motorsport series known as MFG (Not MSG…this is not an anime about monosodium glutamate). Enter our male lead from overseas, 19-year-old Kanata Rivington. He’s half Japanese, half English, and is here in Japan to participate in the MFG and find his missing father, with the only clue to work on being a 20-year-old photograph of his folks in Kamakura. During his time in Japan, Kanata will be staying with the family of his mom’s friend, including their daughter Ren. Ren is your typical high school girl who also works as a lap sign holder for the MFG, and seemingly has feelings for Kanata from their first meeting…because of course she does. Anyway, it’s time for the big qualifying race for Kanata! Finally, some car racing…and the episode ends. Because of course.
For an anime about the heart-pounding, blood-racing, white-knuckle sport of street racing, this first outing of MF Ghost was PRODIGIOUSLY unexciting. The characters just feel (and look) as boring as watching a load screen in a video game. And not the good kind of load screen like in the original Ridge Racer, either. Heck, they don’t even START racing until 2 minutes before the end of the episode. The idea of having a foreigner (who speaks fluent Japanese of course) is pretty cool, but the fact that they made him so lackluster is just a waste. Our female lead is just your typical bubbly maiden in love with very little personality, and I get the feeling she’s only there to be “the girl” in the story—the one who pines for the male lead and exists to be the damsel in distress for creepy Mr. “I’m in 9th Place, Ain’t I Cool?” Finally, maybe it’s just me, but the idea of a high school girl having a part-time job as a glorified lap sign holder wearing nothing more than a bikini with corporate branding while being stalked by a much older guy is REALLY sitting badly with me. And the fact that her folks look to be COOL with this? REALLY?! You couldn’t encourage her to get a normal job at a convenience store or something? Are you cool with having your daughter out being ogled by creepy older men!? Jeez…
So where does that leave us with MF Ghost? I don’t know about you, but I’m ghosting this one. If you’re a fan of streetcar racing anime (think Initial D, which this is the sequel to), then maybe you’ll find something in this one. But honestly, for me, it’s just too boring and too cringy; if I wanna see people driving obscene speeds down the freeway, I’ll go out to Houston on a weekday.
MF Ghost is available to stream on Crunchyroll.