Initial D gets ready for MF Ghosts in classic anime

Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift wasn’t the only media inspiration of Japanese auto racing. A lesser-known anime initially brought new life into the scene of street racing and cars. 

This anime is called Initial D. It was first released in 1998 and spanned until 2006 when the last episode aired on live television. 

We first get introduced to the main character Takumi Fujiwara and his best friend Itsuki Takeuchi as they stand on the top of their school during their break. Itsuki is talking on and on about cars as Takumi is spacing off thinking about other things, acting like everyday high school students, fantasizing about what they will do after they are done with school. 

But unlike Itsuki, Takumi has a dream of his own that he just has not realized yet. That dream is to become a professional racer. This all came about after talking with his friends at the gas station where he is working. 

At the time, Takumi had no idea or no interest in the scene of street racing. Since fifth grade, he has been working for his dad as a tofu delivery driver. Soon Takumi is challenged to a race by the Red Suns of Akagi, one of the best race teams in the show. He was challenged after the younger brother of the leader of the Red Suns got beat by Takumi when he was doing one of his tofu deliveries at 4 a.m. 

Takumi was adamant in not racing the Red Suns but was talked into it after his dad made him a deal that if he was to race and win against the yellow RX-7, he would be able to take the AE-86 out on Sunday and get a free tank of gas. 

Hearing about getting a tank of gas and not having to pay for it sparked a sense of needing to win the race since he was a poor kid in high school. Takumi manages to beat the yellow RX-7, winning the tank of gas from his dad, but it also awakens something inside of him, a need for racing.

This leads to a series of different races happening like racing an R-32 of the Night Kids, a Honda Civic Type R in a gum tape deathmatch in which both drivers taped one of their hands on the steering wheel and drove the downhill race. 

Soon Takumi had to face down a Lancer Evo that ended up pushing the 86 to its max, killing the engine. Takumi’s dad arrives with a tow truck and gets the 86 back to a mechanic and replaces the engine with a pro-grade rally engine. 

With the new power in the car, Takumi gets challenged by another 86, allowingTakumi a chance to learn the new engine and master its new way of driving. This leads to the final race of Takumi’s amateur racing career: taking on the head of the Red Suns in his white RX-7. 

The battle was intense with both divers pushing their limits. The RX-7 takes the lead during the second part of the race leaving the 86 to chase it down the mountain, but the RX-7 was pushing his front tires too much, causing his car to slide out more than what he was expecting, allowing the 86 to pass on the inside of the road, taking the lead and winning. 

After the win Takumi and the Red Suns leader talked about the race and how Takumi was convinced that the RX-7 allowed him to win, but the RX-7 driver was adamant that Takumi was just the better diver and that he was a quite unique person for not gloating about the win. 

Later the driver of the RX-7 comes around to offer Takumi a chance to join his new team that would continue going to other teams’ tracks and take down the teams there to show that they are the best drivers around. 

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