Initial D

Initial D

Infobox animanga/Header
name = Initial D

caption = "Initial D" franchise Logo
ja_name = 頭文字 (イニシャル)D
ja_name_trans = Inisharu Dī
genre = Action, Racing, Drama
Infobox animanga/Manga
title =
author = Shuichi Shigeno
publisher = flagicon|Japan Kodansha
publisher_en = flagicon|Canada flagicon|United States Tokyopop
flagicon|Australia flagicon|New Zealand Madman Entertainment
publisher_other = flagicon|South Korea Haksan Publishing
demographic = Seinen
magazine = flagicon|Japan Young Magazine
first = 1995
last = ongoing
volumes = 37
Infobox animanga/Anime
title = Initial D First Stage
director = Noboru Mitsusawa
studio = Studio Gallop, Pastel
network = flagicon|Japan Fuji Television, Animax
flagicon|Malaysia TV3
flagicon|Indonesia Indosiar
flagicon|Philippines Animax, GMA
flagicon|France NT1
flagicon|Argentina flagicon|Bolivia flagicon|Brazil flagicon|Chile flagicon|Colombia flagicon|Costa Rica flagicon|Dominican Republic flagicon|Ecuador flagicon|El Salvador flagicon|Guatemala flagicon|Honduras flagicon|Mexico flagicon|Nicaragua flagicon|Panama flagicon|Paraguay flagicon|Peru flagicon|Uruguay flagicon|Venezuela Animax
first = April 18 1998
last = November 28 1998
episodes = 26
Infobox animanga/Anime
title = Initial D Second Stage
director = Shin-ichi Masaki
studio = Pastel
network = flagicon|Japan Fuji TV, Animax
flagicon|Malaysia 8TV
flagicon|Hong Kong Animax
flagicon|Indonesia Indosiar
flagicon|France NT1
flagicon|Philippines Animax, GMA
flagicon|Argentina flagicon|Bolivia flagicon|Brazil flagicon|Chile flagicon|Colombia flagicon|Costa Rica flagicon|Dominican Republic flagicon|Ecuador flagicon|El Salvador flagicon|Guatemala flagicon|Honduras flagicon|Mexico flagicon|Nicaragua flagicon|Panama flagicon|Paraguay flagicon|Peru flagicon|Uruguay flagicon|Venezuela Animax
first = October 14 1999
last = January 6 2000
episodes = 13
Infobox animanga/OVA
title = Initial D Extra Stage
director = Shishi Yamaguchi
studio = Pastel
episodes = 2
released = February 22 2000
runtime = 56 minutes
Infobox animanga/Movie
title = Initial D Third Stage
director = Noboru Mitsusawa
studio = Pastel
released = January 13 2001
runtime = 104 minutes
Infobox animanga/OVA
title = Initial D Battle Stage
director =
studio = Pastel
episodes = 1
released = May 15 2002
runtime = 45 minutes
Infobox animanga/Anime
title = Initial D Fourth Stage
director = Tsuneo Tominaga
studio = Frontline, Gainax
network = flagicon|Japan Animax, SKY PerfecTV! (Pay Per View)
flagicon|Philippines Animax, GMA
first = April 17 2004
last = February 18 2006
episodes = 24
Infobox animanga/OVA
title = Initial D Battle Stage 2
director = Tsuneo Tominaga
studio = Frontline, OB Planning
episodes = 1
released = May 30 2007
nihongo|"Initial D"|頭文字(イニシャル)D|"Inisharu Dī"| is a manga by Shuichi Shigeno which has been serialized in Kodansha's "Young Magazine" since 1995. It has been adapted into a long-running anime series by Pastel, Studio Gallop, and OB Planning, which premiered in Japan on Fuji TV and Animax, and a live action film by Avex and Media Asia. Both the manga and anime series were licensed for distribution in North America by Tokyopop.

The anime and manga focus on the world of illegal Japanese street racing, where all the action is concentrated in the mountain passes and never in cities nor urban areas, and the drift racing style is emphasized in particular. Keiichi Tsuchiya helps with editorial supervision. The story is centered around the Japanese prefecture of Gunma, (mostly Shibukawa where Takumi's home is) more specifically on several mountains in the kanto area and in and their surrounding cities and towns. Although some of the names of the locations the characters race in have been fictionalized, all of the locations in the series are based on actual locations in Gunma Prefecture.

American licensing and alterations

The manga and anime have also been licensed by Tokyopop for an English release. Many fans questioned Tokyopop's intent when it changed some characters' names and gave others Americanized nicknames. For instance, the main character, Takumi, became Tak (a nickname many Japanese-Americans change their names to), and his best friend Itsuki became Iggy. Some characters, such as Takumi's father, Bunta, retained their original names. These name changes were to reflect the name changes that Sega implemented into the western releases of the "Initial D Arcade Stage" video games {see below} due to name length limits. Viewers are able to view the episodes with the original Japanese 5.1 track should they wish. In addition, Tokyopop cut out a character's enjo kōsai relationship with another character and edited sex scenes, appearing in volumes 1 and 9 in the original tankōbon manga. In addition, "street slang" has been interlaced in translations (a drift is described as "slammin'", for example), and there have been accusations that Tokyopop has put out incorrect spec sheets on the characters' cars in the mangaFact|date=May 2008. The company also changed the music from the series' staple eurobeat tracks to originally developed tracks of rap and hip-hop via an in-house DJ called DJ Milky. [ Open letter from Tokyopop] . Retrieved 3 June 2006.] (Complete Initial D Eurobeat Song Selection.) The massive editing has been attributed to rumors that Tokyopop was hoping to cash in on the growing Import Scene brought about by "The Fast and the Furious" with edits that would conform to American broadcasting standards (Americanization) on TV.Fact|date=February 2007 The anime airs on Adult Swim in Australia.

FUNimation announced that it would be distributing the DVDs of the series (since Tokyopop's original distributor went bankrupt), but they will not liscence the Fourth Stage or any upcoming titles due to poor sales of the original seires. [ 2006 press release] . Retrieved 5 September 2006.]

The manga was also subject to the same name editing as the anime; the street slang was toned down and Tokyopop has been leaning toward the Japanese names in later volumes.


Set in the late 1990s in Japan's Gunma Prefecture, the series follows the adventures of Takumi Fujiwara, an eighteen year old who helps his father run a tofu shop by making deliveries every morning to a hotel on Akina with his father's Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX. It is revealed that Takumi has been driving on Mt. Akina every morning to deliver tofu to the summit five years before he even had his license. As a result his skills in mountain racing were honed, and is able to drive under adverse weather conditions.

First Stage

The story begins when street racers called the Red Suns, a team from Mt. Akagi, come to challenge Mt. Akina's local Speed Stars team to a "friendly" race. After seeing how skilled the Red Suns are, the Speed Stars treat it as a race for pride, determined not to be humiliated on their home turf. However, the Speed Stars are left in a bind when their team leader and primary downhill driver Iketani has an accident during a practice run. They were desperate for a replacement, until Iketani learns from Yuuichi, the manager of the petroleum station he is working in, that the fastest car in Akina's downhill was a panda-colored AE86 owned by a tofu maker, and traces the car back to a local tofu shop. He discovers that the shop's owner, Bunta Fujiwara, was a street racer of great repute in his younger days known as the "Ghost of Akina" . Iketani appeals to the older man to take his place in the race against the Red Suns. Iketani is confident that Bunta will come to save the day. But when the race day comes, his son Takumi appears with his Trueno instead. Although at first reluctant to let Takumi race, Ikatani relents after it is revealed that he is actually the "Ghost of Akina," the one who outran Keisuke while on one of his delivery runs. Takumi proceeds to defeat Keisuke Takahashi and his Mazda RX-7 FD3S, causing considerable astonishment in the local racing community and putting an end to the Red Suns winning streak.

Despite him being originally apathetic about the notion of racing, Takumi begins to grow more interested as he receives other challenges, and begins to understand the concept of a street racer's pride. He then proceeded to defeat drivers in more advanced and more powerful cars. like the Honda Civic EG6 hatchback, the Nissan Sileighty, and the Nissan Skyline R32. He proceded to defeat them in all sorts of conditions (Duct Tape Deathmatch, wet weather race), culminating in the battle between him and Ryosuke Takahashi, the so-called "White Comet of Akagi." Takumi handed Ryosuke his first defeat.

econd Stage

A group of street racers called Team Emperor, all using Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, appear in the Gunma area, defeating anyone in their path, until one of them, Seiji Iwaki, was defeated by Takumi, breaking their winning streak. Their leader, a professionally-trained driver named Kyouichi Sudo, challenged Takumi to a race to “teach him some things” and as a sort of cover event for his race with Ryosuke, his primary target. This race saw Takumi's AE86 blow its engine. It may have been a defeat, but Kyouichi arrogantly did not consider it a race. Kyouichi went on to race Ryosuke, but lost.

On the other hand, Bunta knows that the engine in the 86 was about to give out. In fact, one of Bunta's tasks to Takumi was "to lose." And he told his friends that he'll never replace the 86's engine until it's destroyed. In anticipation had already bought a new engine [] - a high revving, race breed variation of the standard Toyota 4A-GE 20 valve twin cam engine, which is used for Group A Division 2 Touring Class races in the Japanese Touring Car Championship. This is insanely unusual, because this type of engine is supplied to race teams only, and is not street legal. The source of the engine was unknown. It should be noted that in addition to being a high-revving engine, the 4AGE in Takumi's car is missing the pulley cover and Individual Runner Throttle Bodies. Bunta installs the engine without a new tachometer to teach Takumi the importance of learning mechanical knowledge and understanding why the car behaves as it does, though he has an instrument set ready for installation once Takumi knows of it. A fellow AE86 driver named Wataru Akiyama, who was surprised with Takumi's lack of mechanical knowledge, told him that he needs a new tachometer.

Once Takumi has unsealed the power of his new engine, Wataru challenges him to a race anywhere of Takumi's choosing. Takumi won despite the risks, and on Wataru's home course of Shomaru.

Extra Stage

Capitalizing on the popularity of the all-female street racing team known as "Impact Blue" which appeared in First Stage co-driving "rally style" in a Sileighty, this OVA focuses on Impact Blue's dynamic duo of Mako and Sayuki rather than Takumi and the usual main cast. It takes place during Second Stage and through Third Stage, but not spoiling the upcoming story. Impact Blue encounters scout members of the Emperor team just as they begin dominating the Gunma area. It also dealt with Mako's love life and how emotions effect her driving attitude, much like Takumi. Since Shingo Shoji, a member of the Night Kids, is a friend of Mako's partner Sayuki, he is involved by playing discreet matchmaker with Sayuki. The match for Mako is a former Night Kid who drives an MR2 and has decided to quit street racing due to reaching his peak. He hopes that Mako will do the same and settle down with him, however it is still Iketani in her heart.

Third Stage

By this time Ryosuke approaches Takumi with an offer. Ryosuke has been putting together a racing team featuring the best racers of the Gunma prefecture, and would like Takumi to join. Takumi doesn't want to decide whether or not to accept the proposal until he settles his score with Emperor driver Kyouichi Sudou. Takumi defeats him in his own home course.Then came Kai Kogashiwa, the son of Bunta's old rival, driving a Toyota MR2. He then challenges Takumi upon knowing he beat his original target, Kyouichi. He has a plan to beat takumi by using a technique he had devised. In-Air hairpin jump. Kai uses this technique to further distance himself from Takumi. Takumi then finds it in himself to try this technique and masters it at the first try, finding himself catching Kai. At the last moment before they reach the finish Takumi puts his car past the shrubs and into the gutter to sling shot side by side. The battle is heated on the finish as it is over a bridge which then turns into a one way road. Takumi and Kai are side by side still where they hit the bridge at such speed that they are airborne. Kai looses control and spin's out as there is leaves all over the road. Kai loses.

This stage also saw the appearance of Miki, a former student at the same high school Takumi attended who Takumi once punched over Miki's bragging about his sexual exploits with Natsuki (seen in a flashback from 1st Stage). It was Christmas season, and Natsuki surprises Takumi at his house, and celebrates Christmas with him and Bunta. On New Year's Day, Miki takes Natsuki under duress, even attempting to rape her near Lake Akina. But Takumi, after hearing a few words of a call from Natsuki which was cut short, came to the rescue.

As spring comes, Takumi tells Ryosuke that he wants to request another battle with him, this time on Mt. Akagi, before making his decision regarding the team. It is unclear who actually wins the race, but during the race Keisuke reveals to the other members of the Red Suns that the race is not really about who wins or loses. As they approach the finish, side by side, Takumi decides that it is his desire to remain with Ryosuke and join the team.

Battle Stage

Initial D Battle Stage (special) summarizes the major street races from the two TV series. Rather than simply using clips from the TV series, the new special entirely re-animated all of the original CG car and background footage with new computer graphics rendering. The special also features a battle between the yellow FD3S of Keisuke against the white Evo 4 of Seiji, but no such race took place in the anime (although it does take place in the manga). Music is from an entirely new Super Eurobeat songs and guest commentary from legendary "Drift King" Keiichi Tsuchiya.

Fourth Stage: Project.D

This series focuses on the exploits of the new team founded by Ryosuke, Project.D, which is comprised of Ryosuke (leader and strategist), downhill specialist Takumi, uphill specialist Keisuke, and a staff consisting primarily of members of the Akagi Red Suns. The team travels the region, challenging other teams and posting the results of the battles on their website. Each race is intended by Ryosuke to develop a specific area of his drivers' skills. By this time, Takumi matures slowly into a more confident and knowledgeable street racer, while Keisuke improves on his technical driving skills. Takumi instinctively develops many new techniques through his own ingenuity after some prompting by Ryosuke, such as passing with his headlights off so that his opponent is unable to see him coming and block him, and using weight shifting to execute maneuvers similar to the gutter-hook technique on Akina. Ryosuke also formed the team because in a few months he is headed for medical school, and this is his last chance in a long time to indulge in street racing. Takumi, on the other hand, contends with the "Four-Wheel Drive Complex", when he was overtaken by a Subaru Impreza, a 4WD car, on one of his delivery runs. He knew a bit later that his father drove the car. Bunta then allowed Takumi to deliver tofu, as well as practice, in the Impreza (alternating with the Trueno) to improve his skills as a driver and to get a feel of what modern cars can do.

Project.D's opponents grew tougher and tougher, as well as more deceitful and threatening. They defeated local racing teams (like the Seven Star Leaf), students of the Todo-juku racing school (including a professional driver who is a graduate of the school), the combined forces of the Northern Saitama Alliance (who even used a kei-car), thugs in Lan Evos, and the "Godfoot" and "Godhand" tandem of Team Purple Shadow. In the shadows, Wataru Akiyama watches Takumi from a distance and looks for weaknesses, but it ceased when Project.D conquered Saitama, so he began giving Takumi a few pointers, especially with the 4WD problem. There are also glimmers of romance, like Kyoko Iwase, Keisuke's fellow Mazda RX-7 FD driver and uphill ace racing for the Northern Saitama Alliance, falling in love with him, even lending her precious car to Keisuke--but, although he likes her, he rejected her, deciding to focus more on driving.

Takumi also learned a lot, including the theory of infinite lines and Joushima (the "Godhand" of Team Purple Shadow) teaching him the theory of one handed driving. Though he doubted that Takumi would start driving with one hand, he did believe he would master using the infinite lines to his advantage in future races. Hoshino, the "Godfoot" of Purple Shadow, offered his racing connections to Keisuke, but refused, saying he has still got a lot to do in street racing.

Battle Stage 2

Initial D Battle Stage 2 summarizes the major street races from the recent Fourth Stage TV series. While the first "Battle Stage" had every battle re-animated from scratch, the only episodes altered in the second version were the early races in stage 4, to match with the visual style of the latter portion of Stage 4. Additionally, two races that were previously seen only in the manga were animated specially for the feature. The first race is Takahashi Keisuke vs. Smiley Sakai, and the other is Keisuke vs. Kawai Atsuro. Both races are noticeably shorter than the other races in the feature.

Battle Stage 2 was released on DVD on May 30, 2007. The official soundtrack to Battle Stage 2, featuring 24 Eurobeat songs that played during the feature, was released on September 5, 2007.

Extra Stage 2

Announced in chapter 530 of the Initial D manga, Extra Stage 2 will air on pay-per-view on October 3rd, 2008 and will be available on DVD on December 5th.


Initial D contains a myriad of characters, many of whom appear in a very small number of episodes, usually to race one of the main characters or as a teammate of another racer. The most frequently recurring characters are the protagonist Takumi Fujiwara, his love interest Natsuki Mogi, his father Bunta, the members of the "Akina Speed Stars", and the members of the "Akagi Redsuns" (later "Project D").

List of releases


* Initial D Manga Japanese Release - 37 Volumes (1995 - new volume released every 5 months)
* Initial D Manga Tokyopop Release - 30 Volumes (2002 - new volume released every 3 months)


Avex has released the anime in several parts called Stages. One noticeable feature is that it uses Eurobeat music as background music in race scenes.
* Initial D (referred to retroactively by fans as "First Stage") - 26 episodes (1998)
* Initial D Second Stage - 13 episodes (1999)
* Initial D Extra Stage - 2 episode OVA side-story focusing on Impact Blue (2000)
* Initial D Third Stage - a 2 hour movie (2001)
* Initial D Battle Stage - a 50 minute movie.(2002)
* Initial D Fourth Stage - 24 episodes (2004—2006)
* Initial D Battle Stage 2 (2007)
* Initial D Extra Stage 2 (2008)


Numerous arcade and other platforms video games have been released (note: The U.S. versions of the arcade titles are called simply "Initial D").

*Initial D Arcade Stage Version 1 (Arcade)
*Initial D Arcade Stage Version 2 (Arcade)
*Initial D Arcade Stage Version 3 (Arcade)
*Initial D Arcade Stage Version 4 (Arcade)
*Initial D (Saturn)
*Initial D (PS1)
*Initial D: Special Stage (PS2)
*Initial D Mountain Vengeance (PC)
* (PSP)
*Initial D Gaiden (Game Boy)
*Initial D Another Stage (GBA)
*Initial D Collectible Card Game (Collectible Card Game)
*Initial D Extreme Stage (PS3)

Feature film

A live-action movie based on Initial D was released on June 23, 2005 in Asia. The movie was jointly produced by Japan's Avex Inc. and Hong Kong's Media Asia Group. It was directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, whose credits include the 2002 Hong Kong Blockbuster "Infernal Affairs" and 1999's "The Legend of Speed", a previous street racing melodrama directed by Lau. The movie featured Taiwanese star Jay Chou as Takumi Fujiwara and Edison Chen as Ryosuke Takahashi.

ee also

* Initial D Arcade Stage
* List of Initial D episodes
* List of Initial D chapters
* List of Initial D characters and teams


External links

* [ Initial D The Movie Info Page]
* [ Avex webpage for Initial D]
* [ North America Premier of the Live Action Initial D]
* [ Real-Life Locations Gallery Stage] ja icon
* [ Initial D Arcade Stage Version 3.0]

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