The renaissance of the Toyota AE86, Eurobeat, endless memes: there’s a weird amount of modern car culture we owe to Initial D, the hugely popular Japanese manga and anime about street racing. Now creator Shuichi Shigeno is back with a new comic project, and I’m excited about it because this time he tackles the future.
There was so much to love about this summer’s latest Edgar Wright jam, Baby Driver. The stunts! The amazing soundtrack! Kevin Spacey being a weirdo! The charming Baby Driver and his nice girlfriend! But there’s one way to make it better, because it makes everything better: Eurobeat.
It’s pretty remarkable how context and nostalgia can make almost anything tolerable. I’m sure if you grew up with a parent slapping you with a dead sturgeon every night before you went to sleep, you’d be pretty okay with an occasional fish-slap today. That’s the only way I can explain the appeal of the Japanese-market…
Have you ever wished that you could enjoy some tasty cookies and pay homage to your favorite Japanese street racing anime, all at the same time? Someone in Japan must have decided that this market exists, because Initial D cookies are a thing and they’re everything we dreamed of and more—except for the cookie part.
Who would have thought the Toyota Corolla iM would do anything more than haul high schoolers and old people who really loved their last Scion?
The Toyobaru twins were always seen as throwbacks to the days of old AE86s and the drifting manga that made them famous. Now Toyota of the UK is completing the circle with an Initial D-tribute concept car.
Shuichi Shigeno’s Japan-based street-racing series Initial D began in the mid-’90s and took nearly two decades to complete. The original manga soon took anime form, and was even adapted into video games and live-action film. The franchise is a significant contributor to Japanese car culture, yet works especially well…
This Japanese junior high school student had the right idea for New Year’s Eve: slurping ramen and playing (and doodling!) the Initial D video game. [Image: Photo credit, Kat Callahan/Jalopnik.]
This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Mount Haruna (known as Mount Akina in Initial D), but it is the first time I’ve gone at night. To my surprise, other than a Nissan R-34 GT-R and a Mitsubishi Evo who left as I showed up, I had the entire mountain all to myself until the following morning. This is what it was like.
You might well think of yourself as a massive fan of Initial D. Perhaps your interest in all things petrol-soaked and grease stained is because of Initial D. Well, as big of a fan as you might be, you probably can’t hold a candle to Drift Hunter Albo Agunday’s fandom. And this past weekend, I went out driving with him.
It was a fantastic surprise to be greeted with the above model today. Allen Hickmon, of the Just Brick League was commissioned to create this super sweet AE86 model as a birthday present for yours truly.
Each of the mountains in Initial D are real locations in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. On beautiful weekends, the roads don't just have day trippers to the various tourist spots, you can also spot modified cars and motorcycles enjoying the drive. I recently took a group of friends out on a quick jaunt around Mount "Akina."…
You are not watching an episode of anime Initial D. This isn't a video game! Here's a look at underground drifting in Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
Outstanding news for anyone who loves drifting, Japan, and unassuming Toyotas that decimate vastly more powerful cars: a new Initial D movie is coming this fall! And here's the first full-length trailer.
I've always had a distant respect for players of the arcade racing series Initial D. This video catapults that respect to new heights.
Our pals at Japanese Nostalgic Car have the scoop on how the Initial D story will end after nearly 20 years in print. Spoilers, obviously.