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Initial D (film)

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Initial D is a 2005 Hong Kong film directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. It is a film adaptation of the Japanese Initial D manga and anime series.

Taking place in the Gunma prefecture in Japan, the film concerns a young tofu-delivery driver named Takumi Fujiwara, trained from a young age and way before he could drive to deliver tofu to the peak of Mt Akina and unknown. He had been trained to an incredible level of skill in taking on the five hairpin corners plus using the gutter techniques of Mt. Akina. The film chronicles his evolution from an uninterested delivery boy into a hardened tōge racer, also showing how he learns techniques of racing without affecting his delivery load.

Plot

Takumi drives his father, Bunta Fujiwara's Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX (AE86) which is seemingly unmodified but is perfectly suited for the downhill corners of Mt. Akina, which gains the attention of local street racers all across the prefecture. Some ultimately challenge Takumi to races on Akina's downhill, including Takeshi Nakazato who leads the NightKids team and drives a Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32). Ryosuke Takahashi, leader of the RedSuns team and a driver of the Mazda RX-7 (FC) helps out Takumi along the way by giving him advice and teaching him about car mechanics. Takumi agrees to race Ryosuke in three weeks.

While following the path of a street racer, Takumi must deal with his alcoholic father and his girlfriend Natsuki Mogi (Anne Suzuki) who's with an older man (who drives a Mercedes-Benz S-Class) at a love hotel for two weeks as he takes on more difficult challenges.

With all the talk on Takumi's AE86, Takumi's close friend Itsuki Tachibana buys a new car after his Nissan Silvia gets totalled. He wounds up buying but swindled (mentioned by Itsuki's father) getting a faulty AE86 instead. Takumi was lured by Itsuki to teach driving down Mt Akina, but halfway through, a member from the Emperor Team taunts them and almost made them crash, which makes Takumi angry and successfully getting back at the Emperor Team's racer, where his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV crashed.

Takumi thus gains more fame, but the Emperor Team is mad. Afterward, his AE86 apparently breaks down mechanically after being bothered from a racer in the Emperor Team as payback, which led to Bunta dropping a new TRD 20-valve SilverTop racing engine and modifying the car. Takumi tests his new car, but is not used to the new mechanics, until Bunta teaches him how to drive right, he becomes ready.

Though, Takumi is bothered by Natsuki's absence, and despite a fight between Itsuki and him where Itsuki claimed he saw Natsuki coming out of a love hotel with her older partner and he impulsively declares Natsuki a slut (but apologizes eventually), Takumi suspects something amiss about her. When Ryousuke and Takeshi arrive to pick him up for their duel, Takumi follows, but he briefly sees Natsuki with her older partner, which seemingly confirms what Itsuki saw.

At last the showdown on the Emperor Team, Ryosuke and Takumi race along with the racer from the Emperor Team, Kyouichi. Ryousuke and Takumi handle their common opponent from the Emperor Team and work together. The Emperor Team loses when Kyouichi swerves to avoid hitting another car and refused to listen to advice. The race then leaves only Takumi and Ryosuke where they take each other on. In the midst, Bunta explains the factors on Takumi's chances to win, and finally Takumi succeeds to win the event by beating Ryousuke at the last hairpin turn with the new car's mechanics that he learned.

After the race, at a convenience store Ryosuke offers Takumi a chance on a racing team composed of expert racers, on which Takumi has been undecided. Until he discovers his girlfriend being dropped off by the older partner he confirms the suspicions of her and he runs away from her, but she kept running towards him. Outrunning Natsuki and back to his car where he tearfully drives away, he is upset and their relationship ends with Natsuki regretfully crying. In the end Takumi apologizes to Itsuki and he joins Ryousuke's team as the film ends.

Cast

Major characters

Minor characters

  • Chie Tanaka as Miya (Gas station girl / Itsuki's love interest)
  • Tsuyoshi Abe as Kenji (One of the gasoline boys/ Member of the Akina SpeedStars)
  • Kiyohiko Ueki as Kouichiro Iketani (One of the gasoline boys/ Member of the Akina SpeedStars)
  • Kazuyuki Tsumura as Mr. X (Natsuki's "papa")

Production

The Hong Kong, Japanese, and American (assumed to be the same version in all other English-speaking countries) each has a different soundtrack.

Changes from original versions

The film differs from the manga and anime in several distinct ways. Some changes are significant, while others are minor.</p>

Film Manga/Anime/Games
Itsuki Tachibana is the spoiled brat and the son of Yuuichi Tachibana, the Gas Station manager. He is the de facto leader of the Akina SpeedStars. Koichiro Iketani is the leader of the Akina Speed Stars, while Itsuki Takeuchi (as he is named in the original series) is an employee like Takumi at the gas station, and is more of a comic relief. Itsuki is not the son of Yuuichi Tachibana nor is he even family related.
Bunta Fujiwara is portrayed as an abusive, easily angered, alcoholic womanizer. Bunta is portrayed as a wise and often secretive father, who nurtures Takumi's "gift" of touge racing. He likes to drink, but is not an alcoholic.
Team Emperor is portrayed as a Bōsōzoku gang. Team Emperor is portrayed as a semi-professional street racing team.
Itsuki tells Takumi that Natsuki Mogi is cuckolding him after noticing Mogi in another man's Mercedes-Benz driving out of a hotel. Takumi then sees Mogi in the Mercedes on the highway and also when he goes to Mogi's estate in the end. In the anime, an anonymous phone call following a number of anonymous notes (later turns out to be the daughter of the middle-aged man, also a friend and classmate of Natsuki) informs Takumi that Natsuki Mogi is engaging in enjo kōsai. Takumi stakes out a family restaurant and sees Mogi entering the Mercedes together with a middle aged man. In the manga, Takumi sees the two come out of a love hotel parking lot.
Itsuki drives a Nissan Silvia K's (S13) which he crashes and later on he drives a Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86). Itsuki mistakenly obtains a Toyota Corolla Levin SR (AE85), thinking it is a Toyota Corolla Levin (AE86), in contrast with Takumi's Trueno. Koichiro Iketani drives the Nissan Silvia K's (S13). But Itsuki only borrowed the Nissan Silvia Q's (S13) and not the same car.
Both Takumi Fujiwara and Ryosuke Takahashi use the gutter technique to win Kyouichi. Only Takumi and Bunta are ever seen using the gutter technique. Ryosuke knows of it but has never actually attempted it.
The engine, carbon fiber hood, tachometer, and light weight headlamps are installed all at once during the re-tuning after the AE86 breaks down. Each of the modifications are installed separately: first, the 200+ horsepower 4A-GEU engine and then the tachometer are installed during 2nd Stage. During the 4th stage, a carbon fiber hood and light-weight headlamps are installed.
Bunta gave Takumi a cup of water to put it on the cup holder in the AE86 the following day after Takumi breaks the tofu in the AE86's boot. Bunta tells Takumi not to spill even a single drop of it or warned that he'll be thrown/kicked out of his house for the night. Bunta simply gave Takumi a cup of water right on his very first day of his tofu delivery; Bunta filled the cup up a little more every time and just told him not to spill a single drop of it.
Takeshi Nakazato drifts when driving his R32, and his R32 is said to have 350hp Takeshi Nakazato never drifts when driving his R32, as he prefers the "grip" style of driving instead, while his R32 has 380hp
'Papa' drives a Mercedes S-Class (although this is shown initially as a W220 and subsequently as a W140) 'Papa' drives a Mercedes E-class (in the manga, Papa drives a Mercedes-Benz 190E)
Keisuke Takahashi , Ryosuke's younger brother, is not featured, although Ryosuke has the same dress style as Keisuke does in the manga, blending the characters into one person in way. Keisuke Takahashi appears at the beginning of the anime and runs the first race with Takumi using his FD.

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