They may turn up in a supporting role in a think-y awards-bait film or for a surprise cameo in a playful summer blockbuster. But it’s always our privilege as an audience to witness a star casting their spell, however brief it may be.
Rather than a theatrical dame or a method actor, in this case, we’re talking about a show-stopping car, specifically the Integra Type S, in Acura’s anime mini-series Chiaki’s Journey II. With Chiaki, an up-and coming racer, behind the wheel, the model is artfully animated by a team of nearly 100 artists, voice actors, and writers, nodding to both the automotive company’s Japanese roots and its legacy in the world of motorsports.
Last season, we watched our heroine throw down in the streets of Long Beach, California, in her Acura NSX Type S. This year, she faces a treacherous alpine course in Colorado. But it’s not just a change in terrain and climate. It was this very same challenge—the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb—in which Chiaki’s father Ichiro went missing years earlier.
With the legacy of Ichiro, the engineering expertise of uncle Noboru, and the confidence of racing team manager P, can the pairing of two icons—the high-performance Integra Type S and the fearless Chiaki—complete the journey her father never finished? Without giving away any plot points, check out five of the Acura Integra’s most scene-stealing moments.
As Chiaki zooms back onto our screens in an Apex Pearl Blue Integra A-Spec® in this season’s first episode, you can practically feel the vibration of her shifting into sport mode and whizzing around the California desert track.
With Chiaki’s decision to take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, her uncle Noboru isn’t about to let her drive just any old sports car. Together, they build her Integra Type S, lowering the car’s race-proven 320-hp 2.0-liter, VTEC® turbo engine from the ceiling, outfitting the vehicle with all the power it needs for the ascent. Chiaki wipes the sweat from her brow as she fits the wide tires into place. As she starts up the car, the triple exhaust outlets powerfully exhale, ready to take our heroine to greatness.
The season’s final episode opens with a compelling shot of the vehicle from the road’s POV as Chiaki gains on the mountain. From beneath her helmet, her brow furrows in determination. It’s another stormy race day at the mountain, with snow pelting the car and ice slicked over the roads. Luckily, the conditions are no match for the Integra Type S. Chiaki knows; she’s got this.
Throughout the series we see the recurring visual of a flower swept up by the wind of the Integra Type S as it whizzes by: first as Chiaki trains, then during Ichiro’s trip up the mountain, then finally as Chiaki curves and swerves up to the summit. The winning technique is a nuanced one, equal parts precision and power, just like the wind—with enough force to make it bow, but gentle enough to leave the petals intact. When we see Chiaki do this, we know she has the race in the bag.
As P and Noboru anxiously await Chiaki at the finish line, each passing moment deepens the shadows of doubt on their faces. Nothing is even visible through the thick clouds hovering on the peak. Suddenly, the Integra Type S bursts through the fog and into the sky. This one was for dad, who—judging from a cryptic little tag at the end—might return one day.