Initial D (頭文字D, Inisharu Dī) is a Japanese street racing manga by Shuichi Shigeno that ran from 1995 to 2013. It was adapted into an eleven part anime series, beginning with Initial D (commonly known as First Stage) in 1998 and ending with Initial D Final Stage in 2014. The series also spawned several video games, including a series of arcade games by SEGA. In 2005 a Hong Kong live action adaptation film was released. A trilogy of films known as New Initial D the Movie (or the Legends Trilogy) was released between 2014 and 2016. It was followed with a sequel series known as MF Ghost in 2017.
The manga consists of 719 chapters and 48 volumes. The series is split into two parts, the Akina's Eight-Six Arc and the Project D Arc. The change in arc happens in Chapter 192, around halfway through Volume 17.
- 1 Story Arcs
- 2 Synopsis
- 3 Releases
- 4 Gallery
- 5 Adaptations
- 6 Sequel
Initial D is officially split into two main arcs, the Akina's Eight-Six Arc and the Project D Arc, known as Season One and Two in the French release. For the sake of making the series easier to break down, the Initial D Wiki splits these main arcs into six smaller arcs, three for each main arc. These are defined as:
- Akina's Eight-Six Arc (Chapter 001 - Chapter 191, Volume 01 - mid Volume 17, First Stage - Third Stage)
- White Ghost of Akina Arc (Chapter 001 - Chapter 077, Volume 01 - early Volume 08, First Stage - Act 1 - First Stage - Act 26)
- Emperor Arc (Chapter 078 - Chapter 117, early Volume 08 - mid Volume 11, Second Stage - Act 1 - Second Stage - Act 8)
- The New Eight-Six Arc (Chapter 118 - Chapter 191, mid Volume 11 - mid Volume 17, Second Stage - Act 8 - end of Third Stage)
- Project D Arc (Chapter 192 - Chapter 719, mid Volume 17 - Volume 48, Fourth Stage - Final Stage)
- Tochigi Arc (Chapter 192 - Chapter 264, mid Volume 17 - mid Volume 22, Fourth Stage - Act 1 - Fourth Stage - Act 7)
- Saitama and Ibaraki Arc (Chapter 265 - Chapter 443, mid Volume 22 - early Volume 33, Fourth Stage - Act 7 - Fifth Stage - Act 1)
- The Kanagawa Expedition Arc (Chapter 444 - Chapter 719, early Volume 33 - Volume 48, Fifth Stage - Act 1 - Final Stage - Act 4)
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 store by making deliveries every morning to a hotel on Akina with his father's Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX (AE86). 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.
The White Ghost of Akina
The story begins when street racers called the Akagi RedSuns, a team from Mt. Akagi, come to challenge Mt. Akina's local team, the Akina SpeedStars, to a "friendly" race. After seeing how skilled the RedSuns are, the SpeedStars treat it as a race for pride, determined not to be humiliated on their home turf. However, the SpeedStars 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 Yuichi, the manager of the petrol station he is working in, that the fastest car on Akina's downhill was a panda-colored AE86 owned by a Tofu store owner, and traces the car back to a local Tofu store. He discovers that the store'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 RedSuns. 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, Iketani relents after it is revealed that he is actually the "Ghost of Akina," the one who outran Keisuke Takahashi while on one of his delivery runs. Takumi proceeds to defeat Keisuke and his Mazda RX-7 (FD3S), causing considerable astonishment in the local racing community and putting an end to the RedSuns winning streak.
Despite being originally apathetic about the notion of racing, Takumi begins to grow more interested as he receives challenges from the Myogi NightKids, and begins to understand the concept of a street racer's pride, culminating in the battle between him and Ryosuke Takahashi, the so-called "White Comet of Akagi." Takumi handed Ryosuke his first defeat.
Takumi later experiences his first battles on courses other than Akina, said courses being Myogi (where he races Kenta Nakamura of the Akagi RedSuns) and Usui (where he races Mako Sato and Sayuki of Impact Blue).
A group of street racers called Team Emperor, all using Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, appear in the Gunma area, aiming to conquer all of the courses in the prefecture. After defeating the Myogi NightKids, two members of Emperor head to Usui pass to battle with the local team, Impact Blue. Emperor loses this battle, although they choose not to tell their leader about it. When Emperor head to Akina their No. 2 racer, Seiji Iwaki, is defeated by Takumi, breaking their winning streak. Their leader, a professionally-trained driver named Kyoichi Sudo, challenged Takumi to a race at Akagi to “teach him some things” and as a sort of cover event for his race with Ryosuke, his primary target. Takumi declined his proposal at first but eventually accepted after being infuriated with seeing Natsuki with a Mercedes Driver which left him at a disadvantage from the get-go. This race saw Takumi's Eight-Six blow its engine. While it may have been a defeat for Takumi, Kyoichi did not consider it a race instead considering it more as a seminar to show Takumi how much he needs a better car as he believes the Eight-Six is far too old to match Takumi's skill level.
Kyoichi, believing in his street racing philosophy that professional circuit techniques were adequate to conquer the mountains passes, races Ryosuke who had the opposing philosophy that somehow, the fastest street racing required more than just what the circuit could teach. Ryosuke proceeds to defeat Kyoichi after noticing and exploiting Kyoichi's inability to tackle some right-hand corners with full confidence. When Kyoichi confronted Ryosuke about the loss, Ryosuke explains that their techniques and abilities are actually quite close but that Kyoichi's weakness were right-hand corners which, on Japan's right-handed roads, had the possibility of encountering head-on collisions. He goes on to cite how Kyoichi was unable to conquer this fear due to the fact that circuits don't have the danger of head-on collisions and that his home-course, Irohazaka, was a one-way road. This proved once and for all to Kyoichi that street-racing had its own special requirements just as Ryosuke had believed.
The New Eight-Six
Bunta knew that the engine in the Eight-Six was about to give out. In fact, one of Bunta's "secret" tasks for Takumi was "to lose." In anticipation, he had already bought a new engine - a high revving, race bred 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 extremely 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 20-valve 4A-GE in Takumi's car is missing the timing cover and runs Individual Throttle Bodies (ITB). 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. Natsuki then gets a part-time job in hopes to show redemption for Takumi.
Once Takumi unsealed the power of his new engine, Wataru challenges him to a race anywhere of Takumi's choosing. Choosing Wataru's home course, the treacherous Shomaru Pass, Takumi went on to race Wataru despite the risks. Wataru, who knew the course well, was absolutely sure that Shomaru Pass was a test of endurance and that it was not a course where overtaking was possible. After several long rounds, Takumi manages to pull alongside Wataru and overtakes him.
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 Team Emperor leader Sudo Kyoichi, who had looked down on the AE86 because of the car's age and had seriously damaged Takumi's confidence in the AE86 after being defeated by him. Takumi proceeds to Irohazaka pass to challenge Kyoichi. Kyoichi had chosen to let Takumi lead; if Takumi prevents Kyoichi from passing him, he wins, if Kyoichi passes him, he loses. Takumi notes how the match is unfair, but this is quickly dismissed by Kyoichi. In the end, Takumi is able to prevent Kyoichi from passing. Kyoichi, who takes great pride in his knowledge and ability to race on his home course, concedes defeat and also gave praise to the new AE86, although Takumi still believes it was more of a tie and was more concerned about Kyoichi finally acknowledging the abilities of the AE86. Natsuki then tries to redeem herself to Takumi before graduation.
Kai Kogashiwa, the son of Bunta's old rival, driving a Toyota MR2 (SW20) later challenges Takumi upon knowing he beat his original target, Kyoichi. He and his father planned to beat Takumi by using a line strategy his father had devised and used against Bunta: the In-Air hairpin jump on the hairpins of Irohazaka. Bunta, knowing how Kogashiwa has used the special line factor before, predicted to Takumi that Kai would surely be in front by the later half of the race and proceeds to give Takumi some obscure advice on how to beat Kai. Kyoichi, who had been with Seiji Iwaki, Keisuke, and Ryosuke Takahashi, had predicted as well that Kai would use the technique and explains how he himself could not come to use the strategy due to his pride in his skills alone without need for strategy. Kai, upon realising that he cannot win in a straight-forward clash of skill, uses the line strategy to overtake and 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 up to Kai. At the last moment before they reach the finish, Takumi realises the meaning behind the advice given earlier by Bunta when he notices dead leaves piling up on one side of the road. Takumi proceeds to put his car past the shrubs and into the gutter to sling shot side-by-side forcing Kai to the side of the road where Takumi guesses the leaves would pile up on. Bunta, while talking to Yuichi, has predicted that Takumi had a 50% chance of passing Kai. As they pass the bridge side-by-side airborne, the 50% chance presents itself as Kai had landed on the side of the road where the leaves had piled up where he lost control and spun out right before the goal.
Natsuki's ex-boyfriend, 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. 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 assault her near Lake Akina. But Takumi, after hearing a few words of a call from Natsuki which was cut short, came to the rescue. Natsuki finally confessed the truth about her business with Mercedes Driver. Takumi confessed his love for her in return. Takumi parts ways with Natsuki after graduation when she decides to study in a college in Tokyo while Takumi joins Project D.
The newly formed Project D head to the Momiji Line to battle with Seven Star Leaves. Takumi and Keisuke show their skill by beating their opponents on the Uphill and Downhill. Iketani and Mako meet again and Mako tells Iketani that she wants to become a professional driver, and Iketani decides to not tell her that he still loves her, so that she can still follow her dream with no distractions. A week or so later Project D head to the Enna Skyline, to battle with the famous Todo School. Despite seeming outmatched by the talented students of the school, Project D manage to pull through and beat them. The Todo School bring in professional driver and ex-student, Tomoyuki Tachi to battle with Project D, and Ryosuke chooses Takumi to go up against him. Despite his disadvantage, Takumi manages to win by introducing his new technique, the Blind Attack, where he turns off his headlights to surprise his opponent. Takumi is later defeated by a Subaru Impreza during a delivery run, making his victory against the pro feel less important. Itsuki reveals his newly upgraded car, and Takumi and the SpeedStars head to Akina to test drive it. While on Akina, they initiate a battle against a duo of drivers with an S15, with Takumi beating them with Itsuki's Eight-Five.
Saitama and Ibaraki
Project D head to Saitama to battle with a Sadamine based car club. Keisuke goes up against a fellow FD driver, whilst Takumi goes up against the teams leader. Despite being a mediocre driver, the teams leader, Nobuhiko Akiyama, is able to construct a plan to defeat Project D on the downhill. Project D is challenged to a rematch on Maze Pass, with Takumi being put up against the rally driver Sakamoto. Keisuke battles against Wataru Akiyama, the two of them finally able to have an official battle. Project D are challenged by a duo of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers from Tsuchisaka. The two drivers play dirty, spilling oil on the road to force Keisuke to crash his FD and threatening the team with violence if they win. Despite this, Project D win their races. Project D then head to the Mt. Tsukuba Fruits Line to battle with the veteran racers of Purple Shadow. Takumi participates in a grueling eight lap battle with Dr. Toshiya Joshima. During this battle Takumi damages the Eight-Six's suspension, however manages to cross the line first due to Joshima vomiting. Keisuke battles with Kozo Hoshino in a half uphill half downhill battle.
While Takumi's Eight-Six is being repaired, Takumi and Itsuki head to Sadamine and run into a pair of Project D impostors. Takumi initially thinks nothing of it but changes his mind when he is slapped by Mika Uehara, whose friend Tomoko had been rudely dumped by Takumi's impersonator. The members of Project D confront the impostors, and get them to apologise to those that they have hurt. Takumi and Mika meet up again, and start seeing each other regularly.
The Kanagawa Expedition
Project D head to Kanagawa, the final prefecture of their journey. Project D battle Team 246 on Yabitsu, with Keisuke going up against another Lancer Evolution driver, Kobayakawa, and Takumi going up against their leader, Satoshi Omiya. They then head to Nagao to battle with two members of the professional racing Katagiri. Takumi finally has a rematch with Kai Kogashiwa, now a professional racer, and Keisuke goes up against his first pro Hideo Minagawa. Project D head to Nanamagari to battle with Team Spiral. Keisuke is up against their leader Ryuji Ikeda and Takumi is put against Hiroya Okuyama. Ryosuke enters into a battle of his own against Rin Hojo, Kanagawa's Grim Reaper, on the Hakone Turnpike. Rin and Ryosuke had once both been interested in the same woman, Kaori, however she had committed suicide due to backlash from her family when she rejected Hojo. Along with Ryuji Ikeda, Ryosuke is able to stop Hojo from crashing into a toll booth and ending his life. The two settle their differences and agree to never forget Kaori. Project D's battles finally arrived, with them going up against Sidewinder on the Tsubaki Line. Keisuke goes against Go Hojo, and their battle lasts for two laps before Hojo spins out. Takumi races against fellow Eight-Six driver, Shinji Inui. Their race lasts one lap, but the two fight tooth and nail for the lead, with the battle ending with Takumi blowing his engine out in order to gain the lead. Project D wraps up and Takumi decides to leave the Eight-Six. Both aces have received several offers from professional racing teams. The story ends as it had began, with Takumi on a tofu delivery, this time in the Impreza.
Original version (1995 - 2013)
The series was collected in 48 tankōbon volumes between 1995 and 2013. These volumes have been rereleased in several languages.
|Sharp Point Press
|Volume 01||November 6th 1995||May 21st 2002||April 17th 2019||January 14th 2009||January 1st 1998|
|Volume 02||February 6th 1996||July 16th 2002||March 26th 2009||February 1st 1998|
|Volume 03||May 8th 1996||October 22nd 2002||May 28th 2009||March 1st 1998|
|Volume 04||August 6th 1996||January 14th 2003||August 27th 2009||April 1st 1998|
|Volume 05||December 6th 1996||April 15th 2003||October 8th 2009||May 1st 1998|
|Volume 06||February 6th 1997||June 17th 2003||December 10th 2009||June 1st 1998|
|Volume 07||June 6th 1997||August 5th 2003||February 25th 2010||July 1st 1998|
|Volume 08||September 5th 1997||October 7th 2003||April 22nd 2010||August 1st 1998|
|Volume 09||December 5th 1997||December 9th 2003||July 17th 2010||September 1st 1998|
|Volume 10||February 6th 1998||February 4th 2004||August 26th 2010||October 1st 1998|
|Volume 11||May 7th 1998||April 6th 2004||October 21st 2010||November 1st 1998|
|Volume 12||August 6th 1998||June 1st 2004||December 9th 2010||December 1st 1998|
|Volume 13||November 6th 1998||August 3rd 2004||March 10th 2011||February 1st 1999|
|Volume 14||March 5th 1999||October 12th 2004||July 9th 2011||May 1st 1999|
|Volume 15||May 7th 1999||December 14th 2004||September 8th 2011||July 1st 1999|
|Volume 16||August 6th 1999||February 8th 2004||December 8th 2011||December 15th 1999|
|Volume 17||December 22nd 1999||April 12th 2005||March 21st 2012||May 10th 2000|
|Volume 18||April 6th 2000||June 7th 2005||July 20th 2012||September 10th 2000|
|Volume 19||August 4th 2000||August 9th 2005||September 12th 2012||November 15th 2000|
|Volume 20||December 26th 2000||November 8th 2005||December 19th 2012||March 22nd 2001|
|Volume 21||May 1st 2001||February 7th 2006||February 13th 2013||June 27th 2001|
|Volume 22||September 6th 2001||May 9th 2006||May 22nd 2013||November 9th 2001|
|Volume 23||December 26th 2001||August 1st 2006||October 23rd 2013||February 18th 2002|
|Volume 24||June 6th 2002||October 31st 2006||February 12th 2014||August 2nd 2002|
|Volume 25||November 6th 2002||January 30th 2007||April 23rd 2014||December 26th 2002|
|Volume 26||March 6th 2003||May 1st 2007||July 11th 2014||April 25th 2003|
|Volume 27||September 5th 2003||August 14th 2007||August 6th 2014||September 26th 2003|
|Volume 28||March 5th 2004||November 6th 2007||October 15th 2014||April 9th 2004|
|Volume 29||August 6th 2004||February 5th 2008||January 14th 2015||September 16th 2004|
|Volume 30||November 29th 2004||May 6th 2008||May 20th 2015||January 4th 2005|
|Volume 31||June 6th 2005||August 5th 2008||September 16th 2015||June 6th 2005|
|Volume 32||November 22nd 2005||October 12th 2008||January 20th 2016||January 21st 2006|
|Volume 33||August 4th 2006||January 13th 2009||September 21st 2016||October 21st 2006|
|Volume 34||November 27th 2006||April 7th 2009
|March 15th 2017||March 20th 2007|
|Volume 35||May 2nd 2007||Unreleased due to
expiry of license
|September 6th 2017||August 13th 2007|
|Volume 36||October 5th 2007||February 14th 2018||December 18th 2007|
|Volume 37||April 28th 2008||November 7th 2018||May 28th 2008|
|Volume 38||December 26th 2008||March 13th 2019||January 21st 2009|
|Volume 39||July 6th 2009||July 20th 2019||October 16th 2019||August 21st 2009|
|Volume 40||December 26th 2009||March 4th 2020||February 12th 2010|
|Volume 41||August 6th 2010||October 21st 2020||September 15th 2010|
|Volume 42||January 6th 2011||February 24th 2021||February 18th 2011|
|Volume 43||July 6th 2011||Yet to be released||September 9th 2011|
|Volume 44||January 6th 2012||March 22nd 2012|
|Volume 45||June 6th 2012||August 4th 2012|
|Volume 46||January 4th 2013||March 7th 2013|
|Volume 47||August 6th 2013||September 24th 2013|
|Volume 48||November 6th 2013||January 16th 2014|
New edition (2020 - 2021)
In 2020 Kodansha announced the release of a new edition of Initial D, to tie in with the series's 25th anniversary. This is a 2-in-1 version, with each volume featuring two of the original volumes. There are 24 volumes.
|Volume 1||November 6th 2020|
|Volume 4||December 4th 2020|
|Volume 7||January 6th 2021|
|Volume 10||February 5th 2021|
|Volume 13||March 5th 2021|
|Volume 16||April 6th 2021|
|Volume 19||May 6th 2021|
|Volume 22||June 4th 2021|
Initial D was adapted into an 11 part anime between 1998 and 2021. It consists of the following:
- Initial D (retroactively known as Initial D First Stage) - 26 episodes released in 1998.
- Initial D Second Stage - 13 episodes released from 1999 to 2000.
- Initial D Extra Stage - 2 episode ova released in 2000.
- Initial D Third Stage - 105 minute (1 hour and 45 minutes) film released in 2001.
- Initial D Battle Stage - 53 minute compilation of battles from the first three stages released in 2002.
- Initial D Fourth Stage - 24 episodes released from 2004 to 2006.
- Initial D Battle Stage 2 - 77 minute (1 hour and 17 minutes) compilation of battles from Fourth Stage released in 2007.
- Initial D Extra Stage 2 - 54 minute ova released in 2008.
- Initial D Fifth Stage - 14 episodes released from 2012 to 2013.
- Initial D Final Stage - 4 episodes released in 2014.
- Initial D Battle Stage 3 - 90 minute (1 hour and 30 minutes) compilation of battles from Fifth Stage and Final Stage released in 2021.
A trilogy of films known as New Initial D the Movie was released from 2014 to 2016. The three films are:
- Initial D Legend 1: Awakening - released in 2014.
- Initial D Legend 2: Racer - released in 2015.
- Initial D Legend 3: Dream - released in 2016.
A Hong Kong live action adaptation was released in 2005, simply called Initial D.
Several arcade games based on Initial D have been released under the Initial D Arcade Stage name.
- Initial D Arcade Stage (2001)
- Initial D Arcade Stage Ver.2 (2002) & Initial D Special Stage (2003) (PS2)
- Initial D Arcade Stage Ver.3 (2004) & Initial D Street Stage (2006) (PSP)
- Initial D Arcade Stage 4 (2007)/Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Kai(2008) & Initial D Extreme Stage (2008) (PS3) The last arcade installment to be released in English.
- Initial D Arcade Stage 5 (2009)
- Initial D Arcade Stage 6 AA (2011)
- Initial D Arcade Stage 7 AAX (2012)
- Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity (2014)
- Initial D Arcade Stage Zero (2017) & Initial D Arcade Stage Zero Ver.2 (2019)
Two non-Arcade Stage arcade games were released. These are:
Several games based on Initial D have been made for home and portable consoles. These are:
- Initial D Gaiden - released in 1998 for the Nintendo Game Boy
- Initial D: Koudou Saisoku Densetsu - released in 1998 for the Sega Saturn
- Initial D - released in 1999 for the Sony PlayStation
- Initial D: Ryosuke Takahashi's Fastest Typing-theory - released in 2000 for PC, Mac, and the Sony PlayStation 2
- Initial D Second Stage: Fastest Typing in Kanto Project - released in 2001 for PC and Mac
- Initial D Another Stage - released in 2002 for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance
- Initial D Special Stage - released in 2003 for the Sony PlayStation 2. A port of Initial D Arcade Stage 2.
- Initial D Mountain Vengeance - released in 2004 for PC. The only Initial D game to only be released in North America.
- Initial D Street Stage - released in 2006 for the Sony PlayStation Portable. A port of Initial D Arcade Stage 3.
- Initial D Extreme Stage - released in 2008 for the Sony PlayStation 3. A port of Initial D Arcade Stage 4.
- Initial D: Perfect Shift Online - released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS. A sequel was announced in 2015, however there has been no news since the initial announcement.
Only one unreleased Initial D game exists, Initial D EX. The game was in development for the Nintendo DS, however it was never released.
Initial D received a sequel in 2017 with the release of MF Ghost. The manga features several characters from the Initial D as minor characters, and follows Kanata Rivington, the student of Takumi Fujiwara.