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Eiji Kubo (久保 英次 Kubo Eiji) is the Chief Mechanic of Sidewinder. He is the owner of a car shop.

History[]

When he was young. Kubo used to be a rally driver. Later in life, up until a few years ago, he worked for a big racing team owned by a car manufacturer, likely as a mechanic. He eventually quit and started his own shop, making and racing demonstration cars. They also develop and sell aftermarket parts.

A month and a half before Project D's Kanagawa Expedition, Eiji Kubo was hired by Go Hojo to be the chief mechanic of his team, Sidewinder. Kubo and Hojo put into motion the four lines of defense, a series of four Kanagawa based teams, Team 246, Team Katagiri Street Version, Team Spiral, and Sidewinder, in order to protect Kanagawa's reputation as the holy land for street racing, and to beat Project D, ending their crusade across Kanto. Sidewinder would use each of the previous teams to gather information about Project D's drivers, in order to prepare themselves to face them.

Kubo and Go watch the battles between Project D and Team 246. The two exchange predictions of how the race will go. Mid way through the race, Kubo comments that drivers of Evos (such as Kobayakawa) always take faith that their car is the best on the streets, due to their rally heritage. He says that they aren't technically wrong, as they will do you good, but their four-wheel drive isn't all it's cracked up to be on the mountain roads. Kubo predicts the race will only last one round, and he is proven correct when Keisuke Takahashi beats Kobayakawa, leaving him seven seconds behind him. During Takumi Fujiwara's battle with Satoshi Omiya, Kubo is initially unable to make a prediction, as while Omiya is a good driver, he knows so little about Takumi and his Eight-Six, and he believes that there's more than meets the eye with both of them. Kubo is surprised when Takumi wins, and is saddened that he won't be completing a time trial, though he understands why.

The day before Project D's battle with Team Katagiri, Kubo plants several people around the course in order to gather data about Project D. Kubo says that he wishes to watch them himself, and asks if Go wants to come with, which he declines. Kubo tells him he thinks the data will all be for nothing, as he thinks Katagiri will be able to win, and that even if they couldn't Spiral or Sidewinder could easily take them out. Go responds by telling him that Ryosuke Takahashi isn't the type to chicken out. Kubo enquires about Go's relationship with Ryosuke, and he tells him that he doesn't have much of a relationship with him, and that he's actually got history with his brother, the Grim Reaper of Kanagawa.

During Takumi's battle with Kai Kogashiwa, Go asks for Kubo's opinion on Kogashiwa. Kubo tells him that Kai hasn't been able to accomplish much professionally, citing the fact that official races are less about the driver and more about the car, calling Kai pretty typical. As Takumi and Kai pass the pair of them, Kubo comments that Takumi will try and pull something, similar to how he did in his battle with Omiya, saying that it's too soon to say how the race will turn out. Kubo's prediction comes true, and Kai loses, much to Go's surprise. Kubo asks Go how he thinks the uphill battle will turn out, Go tells him that he doesn't expect Minagawa to lose to an amateur, but that he'll be in surprise when he sees how good Keisuke is. Go elaborates, saying that Keisuke is well trained and really good with the accelerator, and on top of that he's got Ryosuke helping him, the whole way. Kubo and Go both agree that neither Minagawa or Keisuke will go down without a fight. Midway through the battle, Kubo talks about the Supra, saying its designed for a different purpose than the FD, explaining that the FD has an advantage on a mountain pass due to its much lighter weight. Kubo gets an update from his people around the course, and is surprised to see just how fast the two drivers are going. He mentions that the race will be decided by whoever's tires can hold out the longest.

Later, news spreads about the return of the Grim Reaper. Kubo brings this up to Go, who tells him that he hasn't seen his brother in a long time, and that he doesn't know or care what he's been up to. Go continues, explaining that the Grim Reaper is after Ryosuke, as they were both in love with the same woman, Kaori, who committed suicide two years ago.

During Project D's practice runs on Nanamagari, Kubo comments that it's likely to rain the next day, and Go adds that that'll likely give the Team Spiral the advantage. Kubo counters, saying that Spiral rely on the superiority of the cars, so it'd be more likely that it would even the playing field. Kubo says that if it rains Hiroya Okuyama won't be able to beat Takumi, further commenting that Takumi is a natural.

As Keisuke's battle with Ryuji Ikeda starts, Kubo comments on Ikeda driving lead, saying that he's put a lot of pressure on himself, both having to set the pace and deal with the conditions of the road. After the battle, Kubo says that was a very interesting uphill, noting that it was more dramatic than even high-level motorsports. He says that he thinks the downhill will be even more astounding. After the downhill Kubo expresses his disappointment that they couldn't get as much data as they wanted due to the fog.

During the preparation for the final battles, Kubo talks with one of his assistants about how you should tune a car for the circuit. His assistant gives a good answer, and Kubo goes on to explain that its harder to tune for the streets, as they aren't the safest or easiest to drive on.

The day before the races, Kubo talks with Mrs. Inui about her son Shinji's racing ability. She explains that she had been driving through the Tsubaki Line for around 12 years to get to work, and that Shinji had always been in the passenger seat when he was younger. She mentions that because of his good memory, that could be why he's so familiar with the road. Kubo asks how long Shinji's been driving for, and rather embarrassedly she tells him that he's been driving since he was in the fourth grade (when he was 9), much to Kubo's surprise. She explains that Shinji had started driving to help her out, as she was often struggling to stay awake behind the wheel after work. Kubo starts to understand where Shinji gets his speed from, as he might have seen it as though it was a game, which Mrs. Inui agrees with. She says that her late husband had loved the car, that he was a rally driver, and because of that she has a good understanding of driving. She tells Kubo that she had never taught Shinji anything, never even giving him advice, so he's got no theory behind his driving. She says that his first rule of driving is to not brake, to see how far he can go without ever breaking, not using much acceleration either, as they're on the downhill. She notes how smooth his turns are, allowing her to get perfect sleep. She mentions that Hojo had noticed Shinji about a year prior, and now he has some theory behind him. She doesn't think he would be all that much on any other course, but he excels on the Tsubaki Line, because he knows every detail of every single corner.

Later, Kubo and Go watch Project D practice, and decide to gather more data on the FD, as any info on the AE86 wouldn't be of much use to Shinji. As Go leaves, Kubo thinks that he must be getting nervous, that he's falling into Project D's trap. He knows that they won't change the FD very much now, as they've likely reached a perfect balance.

On the day of the race, Kubo tells Go that he's finished analyzing the data on the FD, and that they've already tuned up his NSX to match. Kubo tells Go that he should have a 15 second advantage, and asks if that is enough for him, with Go telling him that it will be, as he doesn't think he's going to lose to a delinquent from Gunma. As Go leaves, Kubo thinks to himself that Go shouldn't underestimate Keisuke, as misusing his 15 second advantage could trip him up. Before the start of the uphill, Kubo is told by an aide that Shinji hasn't turned up, and recommends they choose a backup driver just in case Shinji doesn't turn up by when he's supposed to race. Go finishes his practice run and talks to Kubo, who tells him Shinji hasn't turned up, much to his annoyance. The race begins. Kubo hears that Go and Keisuke have passed the second hairpin, and are heading into section two. Kubo mentions that Go should excel in this area, and that he should be able to make Keisuke panic and kill his tires by picking up the pace. Kubo hears that the cars have passed the third hairpin, and is told that they're picking up their pace. Kubo is glad that everything is going to plan, but that the whole race will be decided by who can manage their tires best. As the cars enter the fourth segment of the course, Kubo says that this is where the race truly begins. A short time later, Kubo looks at the section times and is shocked to see the FD's times, believing that the car shouldn't be able to keep up at the pace they're going at. The race heads into its second round, and Kubo apologizes to Go for his miscalculations, however Go rebuffs him, telling him that he thinks he's making good times. Kubo agrees with him, explaining that he beat his fourth section record by two seconds. Kubo talks to his assistant about the cars, stating that Project D definitely managed to gather more data than them, but that he still thinks the NSX still has an advantage, just maybe not 15 seconds worth. Kubo hears the progress of the race, and is concerned. Both racers are going past their projected, and Kubo believes that Go cant handle that pace on the street, but Project D may be able to due to their street experience. He continues by saying that was the whole reason for their plan, to treat it as a motor race and not a street fight, so that Project D doesn't have a big advantage. By trying to keep the pace, Go spins out, costing him the race. Before the beginning of the downhill, Kubo and Go decide that Shinji should take the lead, as Takumi has more experience and Shinji's technique is at its peak when he is in the lead. The race begins, and Kubo and Go talk with Mrs. Inui about Shinji. She apologizes for him showing up late, but Kubo brushes it off, saying that at least he did turn up, and that he's a different person behind the wheel. Mrs. Inui says she feels like Shinji might do something stupid, though Kubo says that she needn't worry, as he's got much more experience than most of Sidewinder's other drivers. Kubo says that Shinji never hesitates while entering a corner, while most racers would, as they would be unable to see the exit of the corner. Mrs. Inui says that might have something to do with him memorizing the corners from the passenger seat while she was driving him, giving him an expert knowledge of the condition of the whole road. She continues, saying that he knows the whole course in reverse, with his the entrance of a corner actually being its exit in his mind. Shinji turns on his hazards and lets Takumi pass him, much to Kubo's shock, however Go is unbothered by this, explaining that Shinji told him that he wants to be a hero, and that he must have a reason to have done that. He continues that Shinji must feel like he could pass again, further stating that nobody has disrespected Takumi like that before, and that it must have thrown him off his game. Go says that it's hard driving behind Shinji, as he messes up most people's driving due to his fast paced technique. Kubo agrees, saying that some of their racers spin out trying to keep up with him, but that he's not as good when following, hence why they made him take the lead. Go says that he changed positions by his own choice, and that he must be interested in Takumi's driving, a first for him, as he's only ever interested in his own driving. Shinji passes Takumi in front of the viewing platform by bumping into Takumi, and Kubo says that Shinji must be in the zone, as when he is, he starts playing dirty. Kubo thinks to himself that they have nothing to worry about now that Shinji is back in the lead, and that the race is basically over. Kubo hears from the third hairpin, and tells Go that Takumi managed to follow Shinji perfectly through the turn, something that no one else has managed to do. Kubo tells Go that he thinks he's changed, that Go now thinks helping Shinji improve is more important than winning. Go agrees, saying that it might have something to do with his own loss, and that maybe Project D's attitude is rubbing off on him. Mrs. Inui says that she doesn't know if Shinji is able to win, but Go reassures her, telling her that he's a strong kid. Shinji is passed, and Kubo admits he might have underestimated Takumi, and says that him being able to keep up with Shinji was unexpected. Shinji manages to regain the lead, but Takumi is able to fight back. The two racers fire into the final section of the course, and Takumi is able to come out victorious despite blowing his engine by reversing over the finish line. The race ends, and Go and Kubo congratulate Shinji on his efforts.

Relationships[]

Go Hojo

Go hired Kubo as Sidewinder's chief mechanic so that he could help him ensure their success against Project D. The two of them worked together to create Kanagawa's four lines of defense, with each line enabling them to collect more data that Kubo could use to prep Sidewinder's drivers and tune their cars. Go respects Kubo, a feeling that appears to be mutual. The two of them often attend Project D's Kanagawa races together, and both offer their insight on the races.

Mrs. Inui

Kubo and Mrs. Inui talk at length about Shinji and his abilities during the race. Kubo is surprised by Shinji's past, but believes completely in his skill.

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Initial D Characters
Project D Takumi FujiwaraKeisuke TakahashiRyosuke Takahashi
Akina SpeedStars Koichiro IketaniKenjiItsuki Takeuchi
Akagi RedSuns Kenta NakamuraKeisuke TakahashiRyosuke Takahashi
Myogi NightKids MiyaharaTakeshi NakazatoShingo Shoji
Impact Blue Mako SatoSayuki
Emperor Seiji IwakiRen NogamiSatakeKyoichi Sudo
Seven Star Leaf Atsuro KawaiShinichiToru Suetsugu
The Todo School Daiki NinomiyaSmiley SakaiTomoyuki TachiTodo
Northern Saitama Alliance Nobuhiko AkiyamaWataru AkiyamaKyoko IwaseSakamoto
Tsuchisaka Lan Evo Team/
Men in Evos
Aikawa/Man in Lan Evo V/Kuro WaruIchijo/Man in Lan Evo VI/Shiro Waru
Purple Shadow Kozo HoshinoDr. Toshiya Joshima
Team 246 Satoshi OmiyaKobayakawa
R.T. Katagiri S.V. Kai KogashiwaHideo Minagawa
Team Spiral Ryuji IkedaJunichi SakamotoHiroya Okuyama
Sidewinder Go HojoRin HojoShinji Inui
Other Characters Kazumi AkiyamaKazumi's Ex-BoyfriendThe Altezza GuysAmadaFake Project DBunta FujiwaraFumihiroMrs. IketaniItsuki's ParentsMrs. InuiKaoriKen KogashiwaEiji KuboKyoko's FriendShuichi MatsumotoMikiNatsuki MogiNaoOld ManPapaShiraishiMasashi SuzukiYuichi TachibanaTomiguchiTomokoTsugumiTsukamotoTwo Guys From TokyoMika Uehara
Non-Manga MamoruKatsuragi MikaSaoriShigeruEikichi Shimamura
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