JNC THEATER: Initial D Final Stage

Initial D Final Stage 03

The anime that brought touge culture to US screens is coming to an end. Initial D, in manga form, concluded its 18-year run last summer. Now, the animated account of the story is following suit. Animax will air a total of four 30-minute episodes wrapping up the story of the humble tofu delivery boy who became a mountain racing legend in his Toyota AE86

Initial D Final Stage 01

The first two episodes, or “acts” as the producers like to call them, aired Friday. “Act 1: The Natural” has now been subtitled in English. In it, the battle between Project D’s FD3S Mazda RX-7 and an Honda NSX concludes, while our hero Takumi meets the challenger that will determine the fate of his beloved hachiroku. Minor spoiler alert: It’s another hachiroku, but a coupe. “Act 2: The Strongest Enemy” is still awaiting translation.

Though Initial D may have launched a million fanboys, may be cheesy in parts, and definitely has the worst taste in music, this cartoon nevertheless has (and provides) a greater understanding of automotive physics than 99 percent of Hollywood productions. More importantly, it helped turn the attentions of US-based import enthusiasts from front-wheel-drive drag racing to drifting and touge. That, in turn, put the spotlight on rear-wheel-drive cars like the AE86, fueling the interest in Japanese nostalgic cars.

Still, if you’re getting choked up at the thought of bidding sayonara to Initial D, fear not. A feature-film re-adaptation of the series coming to Japanese theaters August 23, 2014. You can keep up with all Initial D Final Stage news in this thread at Initial D World forums.

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12 Responses to JNC THEATER: Initial D Final Stage

  1. Nigel says:

    Now we need a prequel about Bunta Fujiwara.

    • Lai says:

      Exactly what i was thinking, maybe in a Celica 2000GT? …or just a blue subie XT lol

      • pstar says:

        Dude are you even familiar with the anime?

        The panda trueno is known to all the all timers as being Bunta’s car, and him a legendary racer behind its wheel. The first few episodes, everybody was like “Bunta’s back out there, schooling kids again in the 86!”

      • max says:

        i think if bunta would own any car before the hachiroku would be a classic TE27

  2. Nakazoto says:

    Ah, there’s a slight typo in your post. Instead of “…and definitely has the worst taste in music…” it should read “…and definitely has the best taste in music…”. Simple mistake, lots of people make it!

    • Dave says:


      Music is way subjective. I was in a Japanese bookstore a few years ago and saw an Initial D soundtrack set. The cover art was so gorgeous–all the requisite cars in staggered profile against a blue background–I just had to get it. I enjoyed about a quarter of the tracks, the rest… well, the cover art was just so gorgeous.

  3. pstar says:

    Maybe Shigeno can “reboot” the series like all those lame Hollywood tools do with all their movies. Batman, Spiderman, Xman, all that bedwetter rubbish gets rehashed every 5 years.

    Why not try the same sort of thing with something that doesnt totally suck? This time, Takumi is a mochi deliverer in Hanshin and he drives a kouki coupe. Later, an engine failure while racing an Evo 6 causes him to put a 4agze in the car. And they can have Square Enix render all the episodes.

  4. Andre says:

    “…it helped turn the attentions of US-based import enthusiasts from front-wheel-drive drag racing to drifting and touge.”

    No, it helped turn the attentions of US “ricers” from front-wheel-drive wannabe drag racing to wannabe drifting and touge (canyon running). Real enthusiasts that grew up around Hondas are still driving Hondas, and older generations are still restoring their Toyotas and Nissans.

  5. Skabz says:

    I agree with Andre. I personally switched from owning 1985 to 2003 Hondas to my ae86 because all the attention with the Hondas and the fact that my crx got stolen (last straw). i was at a gas station in my rolla and overheard this kid referencing my car like “yo that’s an 86”. I’m thinking WTH how does he know? then i later learned of the cartoon.

  6. Toyotageek says:

    Initial D is good stuff, but I like something different… I like a quieter time.

    Imagine a time before Initial D, going back to the early 60’s Japan… 昭和物語 (Showa Monogatari).

    Kind of like the Always film series, but in Anime.
    Lots of scenes with cars on the streets.

    In the US it can be seen on the UTB channel 18 and the show is called “Memories of Family” – you can catch some scenes on You Tube.

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