He acts as the delivery boy for his father's tofu business, driving his father's Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX (AE86) up to the top of the mountain every morning to deliver tofu to the hotels for the day. After defeating Keisuke Takahashi in an impromptu battle he was nicknamed the "White Ghost of Akina" and began racing on his own, occasionally representing the Akina SpeedStars in battle. He was eventually invited to join Project D as their downhill ace.
At the age of 13, Takumi was made to become the delivery driver for his father, Bunta's, tofu store. Although he was initially scared of driving, he eventually became accustomed to the task. Bunta placed a cup of water in the cupholder of the car, so that Takumi could make sure he didn't break any of the tofu, and to train his driving skill. Despite improving his skill drastically over the course of a year, he still found the task boring, and resented his father for making him drive, as it was a crime. In the second year of middle school, Takumi meets Itsuki Takeuchi, a talkative boy who would go on to be his best friend. Annoyed with his father's drinking and making him drive, Takumi decides to become a delinquent, wishing for his father to be arrested. His first act was driving without a license in public, however, even after driving around for 2 hours, he was not caught due to his skill at driving. On his 14th birthday, Takumi stays over at Itsuki's house without telling Bunta, drinking and talking about his dad, but he feels bad when he says that his father doesn't love him. At 5AM the next morning, Bunta comes to pick Takumi up, telling him that he was worried for him and was waiting to celebrate his birthday with him. Bunta then takes Takumi on a downhill run on Akina before heading home.
One year, during the winter, Takumi figured out how to use the gutters on the side of road to turn the car easier in the snow. Bunta tells him that he has also used the gutters in this way, and tells him that the gutters can also be used to jump out of a turn. Gutter techniques would go on to become one of Takumi's specialties, allowing to make his deliveries much quicker.
Takumi was a member of the soccer club at his high school, and was friends with Natsuki Mogi, the head of the club. After practice one day during his penultimate year of high school, Takumi punched Miki, Natsuki's boyfriend and a boy a year his senior, in the face, after he continued to brag about his exploits with Natsuki. After this Natsuki began to avoid Takumi.
The White Ghost of Akina
In the summer of 199X (1996 in the Tokyopop version) Takumi is 18 and in his last year of high school. Takumi is talking with Itsuki about cars when he is confronted by Natsuki. Surprised that she is talking to him after a year of being avoided, Takumi asks Natsuki if she wants anything, to which she asks how him and Itsuki get so little money. Natsuki is shocked that the two of them can work so much and only make so little. Before she leaves she suggests that maybe she and Takumi can hang out again after their exams. Takumi explains his relationship with Natsuki to Itsuki before the two leave school. Itsuki continues to talk about getting a car on their way home, before Takumi explains that he doesn't find the idea of driving on the mountain fun, to which Itsuki is shocked.
At the gas station where they work Itsuki brings up getting an Eight-Six again, catching the attention of Koichiro Iketani. Much to Itsuki and Iketani's shock, Takumi says that he doesn't even know what an Eight-Six is, with the two of them telling him that it is a Toyota. Iketani invites the pair of them up to Akina to see his team, the Akina SpeedStars. Despite his own skill behind the wheel, Takumi is terrified by Iketani's driving, with him screaming the whole ride up and feeling sick once they stopped. At the top of the mountain, the SpeedStars are confronted by the Akagi RedSuns, who propose a race between the two teams. As the two teams race off down the mountain, Takumi asks Itsuki why he thinks racing is so enjoyable, with Itsuki questioning how cars don't excite him. With the SpeedStars demoralised from their practice run, Iketani gives Takumi and Itsuki a lift home, and tells them that even though losing is part of racing you don’t have to like it.
At around 4AM the next morning, Takumi heads off on a tofu delivery run. On his way back home after making the delivery, Takumi runs into a yellow Mazda RX-7 driven by Keisuke Takahashi, the number two driver of the RedSuns. Despite all of his efforts, Keisuke is unable to lose Takumi's car, much to his own annoyance. Takumi pulls ahead of Keisuke, and performs an Inertia Drift to clear the corner, shocking Keisuke.
In the morning, Takumi is awoken by a call from Natsuki, inviting him to meet her in Ikaho to finally bury the hatchet. Upon finding out that Takumi has a driving license, Natsuki plans them a trip to the beach. On his way home afterwards, Takumi bumps into Iketani outside his house. Iketani offers Takumi a lift to work and asks him if he really doesn't know what an Eight-Six is, as there is one sat in his driveway. Itsuki is shocked by this when he is told, quickly asking Takumi if he would let him borrow it to watch the race between the SpeedStars and the RedSuns.
The next day Itsuki and Iketani decide to teach Takumi about cars, and ask him if he knows what a drift is. Despite Takumi giving a perfect description of a proper four wheel drift, Itsuki and Iketani laugh at him due to their own limited understanding of drifting. At school the next day, Itsuki reminds Takumi of the upcoming battle on Saturday, despite his disinterest. The two of them bump into Natsuki on the stairs, Natsuki tells Takumi that she has something important to tell him, with this being the news that she has bought a new swimsuit for their beach trip. At home, Takumi asks Bunta if he can use the car on Sunday, but is told that he cant due to a union meeting that Bunta must attend. After Takumi pleads with him, Bunta proposes that if Takumi goes up to Akina and races against the RedSuns on Saturday he will give him the car and a full tank of gas, an offer that Takumi decides to sleep on.
As Saturday rolls around, Itsuki reminds Takumi of his promise to bring the Eight-Six so that he can show off at the meeting. The two of them head home from school and Takumi tells Itsuki about the beach trip (making sure not to tell him that he is going with Natsuki). In the evening, Takumi sets off to Akina after a short conversation with his father. Takumi arrives at the top of the mountain just before the beginning of the race, much to the confusion of Iketani, Kenji and Itsuki. After he explains that his father sent him, he had already beaten the RX-7 before and he has been doing deliveries for five years, Iketani finally understands the situation and lets Takumi race. Keisuke and Takumi greet each other before the countdown begins. Despite his car being inferior to Keisuke's RX-7, Takumi manages to keep up with him through near professional technique and course knowledge. Knowing that his father won't let him have the car unless he can beat Keisuke, Takumi decides to overtake him in the hairpins. Takumi uses a gutter technique on the third hairpin and overtakes Keisuke, winning him the race as well as a full tank of gas.
The next day, Takumi heads to a beach in Niigata with Natsuki in the fully fueled Eight-Six. Despite usually needed car-sickness medicine for trips, Natsuki notes that she didn't need them because Takumi drives so smoothly. Takumi thinks back to the previous night, remembering how he had found driving fun for the first time when chasing Keisuke's RX-7. Pulling Takumi back to the real world, Natsuki asks him if he has a crush on anyone, to which he says that while he doesn't have a crush he has someone (Natsuki herself) that he thinks about a lot. When Takumi asks Natsuki the same thing, she mirrors what he had said, heavily implying that she feels the same. Later, Takumi drops Natsuki at her house, where she tells him that she would like to hang out soon and that his car is cute.
The next day at the gas station, Iketani invites Takumi to join the SpeedStars, an invitation he declines as he doesn't think of himself as a racer. Takumi then explains how he became so skilled at driving, he used drifting and techniques to make his journeys to and from the hotels quicker and to keep himself from getting too bored. After hearing all of this, Iketani asks Takumi if he could go on a downhill run with him in the passenger seat so he can see his technique up close. That night, Takumi and Iketani head off on their downhill run. Takumi decides to take the run easy, so that Iketani doesn't become sick, however even this is too much for Iketani, as he passes out on the third corner.
The next day, Takumi hangs out with Itsuki in Ikaho, where Itsuki brings up the complete contrast between the true racer that Takumi is behind the wheel of a car, and the airhead dork he is the rest of the time. Itsuki asks Takumi if he'd coach him when he gets his own Eight-Six, to which he accepts. Later on at work, while Takumi is off delivering a payment slip, Itsuki accepts a challenge from Takeshi Nakazato, the leader of the Myogi NightKids. Itsuki asks Takumi if he'd accept such a challenge (keeping it a secret that he had accepted one on his behalf), to which Takumi says that he wouldn't care.
A few days later, Kenji shows up to the gas station, wondering when and why Iketani had accepted a challenge from the NightKids, much to his surprise. Itsuki finally admits that he had accepted the challenge, and apologizes to Takumi and the SpeedStars. During his delivery run that night, Takumi runs into Keisuke, who tells him that he should accept the challenge against the NightKids, as he believes that he could easily beat them. Keisuke drives off into the night as Takumi contemplates what it means to be a racer.
After his shift, Yuichi sits Takumi down and attempts to trick him into racing, in the same way that he was able to get Bunta to race back when they were younger. Yuichi tells Takumi how powerful the R32 and tells him that he would have no chance of winning against one. Being told this makes Takumi want to race against the GT-R, much to Yuichi's satisfaction. Takumi returns home to get the Eight-Six when he notices that Bunta had closed up shop and gone out for the night. Takumi lays angrily in bed, thinking about why he is so enthusiastic to race against the R32 when he doesn't even like racing. Iketani and Kenji turn up, and Takumi explains the situation to them. Just as the three of them are about to give up hope, Takumi hears the Eight-Six coming. Bunta allows Takumi to take the car, and he hurries off to the mountain, losing Kenji on the way up. Takumi arrives five minutes before 10, and greets Nakazato before they start. Nakazato takes the lead early, but Takumi manages to keep close to his R32. Takumi figures out that his car is turning a lot easier, and realises that Bunta must have been changing the cars settings while he was out. Takumi makes his move against the R32 in the five hairpins, faking as though he was attacking from the outside before moving to the inside and overtaking using the gutter.
The next day, Takumi and Natsuki go to Lake Akina, where Natsuki asks Takumi what he is going to do with all of the money he has earned. After she nags at him for a bit, Takumi admits that he wants his own car, so he doesn't have to drive his dads car everywhere.
At work the day after, Itsuki reveals that he has bought his own Levin, to match with Takumi's Trueno. Because of the sound of the muffler, Yuichi quickly figures out that the car is actually an AE85, an inferior version of the AE86. Kenji and Iketani start laughing at Itsuki's mistake, causing him to run off upset, with Takumi following close behind him. Takumi tells Itsuki that, despite his car not being all that great, he's jealous, as he already owns his own car in high school. Itsuki and Takumi head to Mt. Akina that night, where Itsuki practices driving on their way up. After several members of the NightKids (Thunder Fire in First Stage) make fun of the Eight-Five, Takumi chases them down the mountain and manages to overtake them despite the Eight-Five not having much power.
A few days later, Iketani asks Takumi if he would drive his Silvia, so that he can see his technique up close again. Iketani again is shocked at Takumi's speed right out of the gate, and is amazed that his Silvia is able to perform like this. Iketani manages to stay conscious this time, however he once again is unable to learn anything from the experience. Out of nowhere, Shingo Shoji of the NightKids appears in his Honda Civic, and challenges Takumi to a duct tape deathmatch, a race where both drivers tape their right hand to the steering wheel of the car, which prevents them from turning effectively. Takumi accepts the challenge, going against the pleading of the SpeedStars. Takumi soon realises the difficulty of the race after entering into a turn too fast, only narrowly being able correct his error. Takumi is quickly able to pick up the subtleties of how to drive under these conditions, being able to corner as if he wasnt handicapped. Shingo decides to bump the back of the Eight-Six, causing it to spin out. Takumi manages to regain control of the car and becomes even angrier with Shingo, causing him to drive recklessly to catch up with him. Takumi overtakes Shingo in the five hairpins, much to his shock. In a straightaway, Shingo manages to pull up alongside the Eight-Six and attempts to ram him into a guardrail. Takumi dodges out of the way, causing Shingo to collide with the guardrail and break his wrist.
Early the next morning, Bunta chastises Takumi for damaging the Eight-Six. Takumi realises how much damage he had caused to the car the previous night before he heads off on his tofu deliveries. Later, at work, Itsuki asks Takumi what car he wants to get, with him saying that he doesn't know, as they're all too expensive for him at that point.
The next day, Takumi talks with Itsuki and Iketani about Ryosuke Takahashi's RX-7, as he had been thinking about how it had managed to keep up with him and Nakazato during their race. Iketani talks about Ryosuke's solo racing career before starting the RedSuns, and Takumi says that if Ryosuke wanted to race with him that he would accept.
A few days later, Takumi receives a bouquet of flowers at the gas station from Ryosuke Takahashi, challenging him to a battle on Akina that Saturday.
At Lake Akina, Takumi tells Natsuki about the race on Saturday, much to her shock. The two of them decide to talk in the Eight-Six a bit before they leave, with Natsuki telling Takumi that she knows he was defending her when he punched Miki. She apologises for being angry at him for the year, saying that she didn't know at the time. Mogi leans over to Takumi's seat and the two of them kiss for the first time.
Takumi and Natsuki hang out again at Ikaho, where Natsuki asks him why he likes cars. Hearing Takumi talk passionately about cars, she jokingly calls him a pervert. Later, Takumi and Itsuki drive up to Akina in the Eight-Five, where Itsuki asks him how far he has gotten with the girl he is seeing (as he is unaware that it is Natsuki). Itsuki believes the reason Takumi has been distracted is because of this girl, however Takumi tells him that he has been thinking about what happens after the battle with Ryosuke, confusing Itsuki. Takumi and Itsuki witness a battle between Keisuke Takahashi and Takeshi Nakazato, with the speed of the two cars amazing Takumi as he has only experienced a race from inside a car.
On Saturday, everyone is excited about the race, including Takumi. Takumi and Ryosuke greet each other at the start line. Although Takumi says that he feels he doesn't deserve his own hype, Ryosuke says that he might not know himself as well as he thinks he does, saying that perhaps one day they'll be able to sit down and talk. The battle begins and the two titans jet off down the mountain, with Takumi taking the lead. Ryosuke realises that Takumi has fixed his weaknesses, however he still manages to stay with him, piling on the pressure. Takumi starts to lose his confidence, believing that there is no way that he could lose Ryosuke. Takumi tries to use a gutter technique to lose his opponent but Ryosuke copies the move. Entering the five hairpins, Takumi understeers into the corner due to his tires being worn down, allowing Ryosuke to take the lead. Though things seem bleak, Takumi regains his confidence, and starts closing the gap between him and his opponent. During the last turn, Ryosuke slips from the inside to the outside, giving Takumi the opening he needed to overtake. Takumi and Ryosuke stop at the side of the road and talk. Takumi asks Ryosuke why he didn't leave him in his dust, and Ryosuke reveals that he was trying his hardest, but he had lost grip in his tires by copying Takumi's drifting technique. Ryosuke tells Takumi that he shouldn't limit himself to the small stage, before driving off into the night.
A few days later, Itsuki, Takumi and Kenji follow Iketani to Karuizawa so they can see the girl that he had met. Iketani notices them, and tells them that he will introduce them to her but then they have to leave. As they are in the area, the trio decide to check out Usui Pass, and hear about the fastest on Usui, a duo of female racers who drive a blue Nissan SilEighty. The three decide to stick around until the end of Iketani's date, so that they can all go and check out the local racers on Usui. They witness the SilEighty drift, which inspires Iketani to take a crack at the course. Iketani spins out after a corner, and the SilEighty almost collides with him. As Iketani gets out of the way, they all notice that the driver of the SilEighty is Mako herself.
Iketani meets with Takumi, and tells him that he had been asked by Mako to ask him if he would race against her on Usui. Takumi accepts the request, although he doesn't understand why Iketani still likes her when it appears like she was using him.
On the day of the race, Takumi takes the Eight-Six without his father's permission, leaving him with Itsuki's Eight-Five. During their ride over, Kenji and Iketani talk about Mako, with Kenji saying that the only reason this is happening is because Iketani is trying to get with Mako. They all pull over to a rest stop where they tell Takumi that he can back out if he wants to, but Takumi has already decided that he is going to race. He wants to experience racing on a different pass, and he doesn't care whether he wins or loses. Takumi greets Mako and Sayuki, who are both shocked at how young he is. Sayuki tells them that they will be having a cat and mouse race (as the pass is too narrow to have a traditional start), where two racers go one after the other into a pass, with the mouse attempting to outrun the cat. Against the advice of the SpeedStars, Takumi decides to start in the chase position. Takumi is able to follow the SilEighty closely, though only barely as a single break in his concentration would cost him the race. The two cars enter corner C-121 and both manage to drift all the way through it, something that no one had been able to do before. Mako enters a corner too hard, spinning out, and Takumi narrowly dodges the car, winning himself the race. Mako and Sayuki tell Takumi that he should be proud of his skills, as he beat them fair and square.
The next day, Mako and Sayuki invite the SpeedStars and Takumi to a waterpark. Sayuki spends most of the time with Takumi, who she is interested in.
Later, Takumi and Itsuki think back on their summer, with Itsuki calling it an unforgettable summer, due to Takumi's debut as a racer and his own purchase of a car.
On the first day of school, Takumi hangs out with Natsuki, and they talk about Takumi's plan of getting a car. Later, Itsuki breaks the news to Takumi that the RedSuns are travelling to Myogi to battle the NightKids. At the gas station, Iketani tells Takumi about a challenge from Kenta Nakamura of the RedSuns, who had come by on Takumi's day off. Before his tofu run, Bunta talks with Takumi about being able to take part of your home course with you, after he says that Usui was similar to Akina despite their major differences.
On the day of the NightKids/RedSuns battle, Itsuki and Takumi head to Myogi in the Eight-Six so that they can watch the race. As the race starts, the two of them talk about Myogi's similarities to Akina, to which Takumi says that it is more like Usui, because of its rhythm. After the uphill, the downhill battle is cancelled due to rain, however Kenta challenges Takumi to a downhill battle in the rain. Takumi accepts the challenge and asks Itsuki to ride with him, having him sit in the back (to act like a ballast similar to a load of tofu, although Takumi didn't know his own reasoning). The race begins and Kenta takes the lead, leaving Takumi to play catch up. Despite Kenta putting a distance between the two of them, Takumi is easily able to catch up with him and overtake. As Takumi heads off into the night, he is overtaken by a white Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV.
On Akina the next day, Takumi coaches Itsuki's driving, and Itsuki brings up the Evo IV that Iketani and Kenji had mentioned. As they head up the mountain, they are passed by the very same Evo IV, much to their surprise. Itsuki and Takumi stop at Lake Akina to grab some coffee, and are asked for directions by the driver of the Evo IV, Seiji Iwaki. Seiji confirms that he was the Evo IV on Myogi the previous night, and Itsuki asks if he is on Akina to challenge the Eight-Six, much to the his amusement. Seiji says that he would never race an Eight-Six, as it would be embarrassing to give such a weak car a chance. As Itsuki becomes increasingly more angry at Seiji, his passenger, Kyoichi Sudo, steps in at explains that while he respects the skill of the Trueno's driver, his car just isn't a competitive vehicle. As the Evo IV drives away, Takumi says that while he would happily race them, they would never accept the challenge. Itsuki has the idea to put a bolt on turbo inside the Eight-Six, as it would increase its power and mean that they would take it seriously.
The next day at the gas station, Itsuki tells Iketani and Kenji about the turbo idea, however Takumi shuts them down as he doesn't own the car, and as the turbo would mean he would need to pay for more gas more often, Bunta would likely turn down the offer.
In preparation for when Emperor head to Akina, Iketani asks Takumi if he would represent the SpeedStars, an offer that he accepts.
Walking home from school the next day, Itsuki offers to show Takumi a magazine with an article about the Evo IV in it, however Takumi declines as he doesn't think that he would do any better with the knowledge. When he gets home, Takumi decides to wash the Eight-Six, as it had become dirty because Bunta had not cleaned it. Soon after, Iketani pulls up to tell Takumi that Emperor is heading to Akina. That night, Takumi is put up against Seiji, who is shocked by his age. Takumi leaves the finish line first, with Seiji having been told to follow the Eight-Six. Seiji becomes impatient and overtakes the Eight-Six on the longest straightaway. Despite the Evo IV's power, Takumi is able to keep up with his opponent. In order to overtake, Takumi uses the gutter hook that his dad had told him about years before, using the gutter to exit the turn quicker and overtaking.
The next day, Itsuki is still excited because of the battle the previous night, however Takumi is bummed out because he knows that he couldn't have beaten Seiji on any other course. Takumi decides to stop racing on Akina, choosing to only race on other courses, even if he loses.
The next day, Takumi and Natsuki run into Tsukamoto, an ex-student from their high school and ex-chairman of their soccer club. He invites them on a drive in his Nissan 180SX. Tsukamoto asks if the two of them are a couple, Takumi says that they aren't, causing Natsuki to pinch him. Takumi figures out that Tsukamoto is a racer, and he offers the two of them a ride up to Akagi that night. Despite Tsukamoto bragging about his skills, both Takumi and Natsuki are terrified at his terrible driving. Whilst Takumi and Tsukamoto are watching the local racers, Natsuki accidentally angers a couple. Natsuki convinces Takumi to ask Tsukamoto if he could drive downhill instead, as his driving is a lot smoother. Tsukamoto agrees and Takumi takes the wheel. As they are leaving, they are passed by the couple that Natsuki had angered, and she convinces Takumi to race them. Takumi manages to overtake the couple using his techniques, causing Tsukamoto to faint.
The day after, Natsuki asks Takumi when they can go on a drive again, as she had enjoyed the downhill drive the previous night. Itsuki arrives just as Natsuki leaves, and tells Takumi that Emperor are heading to Akagi to battle the RedSuns. At his job at the gas station, everyone is talking about the Emperor/RedSuns battle when Natsuki suddenly appears to see Takumi, much to the amusement of the others. Later on their way home, Itsuki asks Takumi if he's dating Natsuki, to which he says that they're just friends. Itsuki tells Takumi that it's obvious that Natsuki likes him, which he doesn't seem to believe. At home, Takumi receives an anonymous call from a friend of Natsuki's telling him that Natsuki is in a relationship with a salaryman.
At work the next day, Takumi is shocked when Kyoichi Sudo turns up to challenge him to a battle on Akagi. Kyoichi explains that he wants to teach him that his Eight-Six is not a car that can compete against a serious racer. Takumi decides that he won't be travelling to Akagi, as he doesn't want to upstage the RedSuns. At home, Takumi receives a second call, this time telling him that Natsuki is currently at a love hotel in Maebashi, and Takumi will be able to catch her in the act if he hurries there. Takumi takes the Eight-Six and heads to the hotel, finally accepting that he loves Natsuki on his drive there. At the hotel, Takumi spots Natsuki leaving in a Mercedes-Benz as he is getting a coffee. In a fit of rage, Takumi heads to Akagi to battle with Kyoichi, much to the surprise of the RedSuns. Kyoichi lets Takumi have a head start, and reiterates that he doesn't think of this as a race, but as a lesson. Takumi manages to keep his lead for a while, and Kyoichi is impressed by his adaptiveness before he decides to make Takumi's situation hopeless. Kyoichi overtakes Takumi in a corner, leaving Takumi to fight just to see the Evo's bumper ahead of him. Kyoichi is again amazed by Takumi's ability to keep up with him, although only barely. Kyoichi manages to pull away from Takumi in a straightaway. Seeing this, Takumi admits defeat, right before the engine in his Eight-Six blows, causing him to spin out. Kyoichi pulls up alongside the Eight-Six and reiterates that he doesn't consider this a race, telling him to get a better car, and then he will have a rematch with him. Takumi sits in the Eight-Six and realises just how much he loved the car, and hopes that it can be repaired. Much to Takumi's shock, Bunta pulls up with a flatbed tow truck to pick up the Eight-Six. Bunta tells Takumi that due to the damage to the engine, he plans to replace it with a new one instead of repairing it. He tells Takumi that it wasn't his fault the engine blew, he just happened to be the one driving at the time.
The next day, Itsuki is excited to see the battle between Emperor and the RedSuns, much to Takumi's indifference. When Itsuki suggests that they take the Eight-Six to go and see the races, Takumi snaps at him, telling him that he has no idea what he's talking about and that he is going to stay home. Later, Itsuki picks up Takumi in his Eight-Five, and they go driving on Akina. Itsuki apologises for earlier, telling Takumi that nearly everyone knows about the battle on Akagi, and that Keisuke Takahashi had said that he didn't count the battle as a loss. At Lake Akina, Takumi says that Kyoichi was an amazing opponent, but he regrets going to Akagi.
The day after, Natsuki runs into Takumi in the hallway at their high school, however Takumi tells her that he doesn't want to talk to her.
A few days later, Iketani tells Takumi that some of the racers on Akina have seen a Trueno Hatchback going up and down the course, much to Takumi's surprise, as he had not seen the car since his battle on Akagi. Takumi mentions that Bunta had mentioned getting a new engine, but despite the SpeedStars probing, he had no idea about what sort of engine he had in mind. On the drive back home, Takumi tells Itsuki that he wants a full time job badly, as he wants to buy his own car.
The next day at school, Natsuki asks Takumi why he is ignoring her, and while he tries to act as though they are fine, he eventually tells her to leave him alone and go hang out with her sugar daddy with the Mercedes Benz, much to her shock.
The New Eight-Six
At 4:30AM the next morning, Takumi is preparing to leave for his tofu delivery run when he notices that the Eight-Six is parked outside. Bunta tells him to use the car on his delivery run, and that because some of the money that he had used to repair the car was money he had set aside as Takumi's wages, Takumi now had 50% ownership of the car. During his delivery run, Takumi struggles to adjust to the new engine and the new feeling of the car. At work, Takumi tells Kenji and Iketani about the new engine, explaining that he thinks that it has less power than the previous one, much to Yuichi's shock. Yuichi explains that Bunta had put in a really powerful engine, but Takumi says that it's nothing special and makes the car really hard to drive.
After his delivery runs, Takumi drives around a bit on Akina, in an attempt to try and get the car to work as it used to. After work, Itsuki and Takumi talk about the Eight-Six, and Itsuki again suggests that he should turbocharge it.
At school the next day, Itsuki tells Takumi about his date with Kazumi Akiyama the previous night, and tells him that he keeps thinking about her. Takumi tells Itsuki that he's jealous of him, but Itsuki says that he shouldn't be, as he has Natsuki, causing Takumi to become awkward.
The next day, Takumi receives a phone call from Itsuki, telling him that Kazumi's brother and fellow Eight-Six driver, Wataru Akiyama, wants to meet up with him. Takumi agrees, on the condition that he won't race him. At the meeting, Wataru asks to see the new engine, and Takumi agrees, explaining that while it has more horsepower it doesn't work very well. Wataru is shocked by the engine, and becomes angry at Itsuki and Takumi, believing that they're joking around with him. Wataru explains that the engine in Takumi's car is designed for professional racing, and that it's not the sort of engine that anyone could get. Takumi, becoming increasingly angry, tells Wataru that he wouldn't lie to someone that he has never met, before going to leave. Kazumi slaps Wataru, telling him to apologise or leave, and he drives off in his Eight-Six. Soon after, Takumi leaves and finds Wataru at the top of Akina. Takumi asks Wataru to help him understand the engine, and Wataru asks exactly how he got hold of such an engine. Takumi explains that his dad had bought it, and shocks Wataru when he tells him that his dad owns a tofu shop. Wataru tells Takumi to take him on a downhill run, so that he can see what the problem with his car is. Wataru is amazed by Takumi's skills, and figures out that the problem is with his tachometer, as it doesn't go high enough. Wataru explains that Bunta must be coaching Takumi, and that once he has his car ready, they should race.
The next day, Takumi receives a call from Wataru, who had gotten his number from a local information centre. He challenges Takumi to a race the next day, as he would be in the area to take Kazumi back to Saitama. Takumi calls Iketani, and they meet on top of Akina. Takumi explains that he needs Iketani's help to fit a new tachometer so that he can race tomorrow, as Iketani is the most in the know out of all of his friends. Iketani is amazed by the new engine in the Eight-Six, and agrees to help Takumi out.
The next day at school, Itsuki asks Takumi to cover for him if anyone asks, as he had been out all night with Kazumi. At the gas station that evening, Iketani helps Takumi fit the tachometer that Yuichi had gotten. Iketani advises that he ask his dad how high the engine can rev, so that he can get the full power out of it. Takumi decides to bring Itsuki along with him, and they head to Wataru's home course, Shomaru Pass, in Saitama. Wataru and Takumi drop their passengers off before heading to Shomaru. Wataru starts in the lead on the first lap, with Takumi following behind. Despite it being his first time on the course, Takumi is trying harder than he ever had before. In the second lap, Takumi begins to understand how to properly control his car. The race continues into its third lap, with Wataru in the lead, and Takumi begins to realise that this lap may be the deciding one. Takumi loses concentration for a split second, and almost collides with a guardrail, and while he manages to right himself, one of his tires begins to lose grip. The race continues into a fourth lap, with Takumi leading. Takumi finally masters drifting with his new engine, and begins to squeeze more power from his engine. The fifth lap begins, and a tired Wataru leads, intending to block his opponent the whole lap. Nearing the end of the lap, Takumi pulls alongside Wataru, and is able to overtake.
A few days later at the gas station, Takumi asks Iketani how he got so good with cars, much to Itsuki's surprise, as Takumi had never shown an interest in mechanics. Later, Ryosuke Takahashi pulls up in his FC and asks Takumi to talk with him after his shift, giving him his phone number before leaving. Takumi meets Ryosuke at Lake Akina, where he tells him that he is moving out of Gunma in a years time to pursue a job. Ryosuke invites Takumi to join a new racing team that he is forming, offering to teach him the technical and theory parts of driving, as well as supplying him with new parts and tuning for his car. Ryosuke tells him to take as much time as he needs to making his decision, before leaving. Not long later, Takumi calls Ryosuke, and asks him to set up a race for him against Kyoichi Sudo on his home course, the Nikko Irohazaka.
The next day, Takumi tells Itsuki about the meeting with Ryosuke. That night, Takumi heads to the Irohazaka in Tochigi. Kyoichi questions why Takumi wants to face him in the same car, echoing his previous statement that he would only race him if he got a proper car. Takumi tells him that he respects his car, and Kyoichi agrees to race him, telling him that this will be their real battle. Kyoichi again gives Takumi the lead from the start, handicapping himself to give him chance. Kyoichi is amazed by the Eight-Six, and quickly figures out that it is fitted with a racing engine. Kyoichi waits until the last few turns to make his move, pulling alongside Takumi as the approach the third bridge. Much to Kyoichi's surprise, Takumi attempts to turn, forcing him to back away from the car. Kyoichi sees the wall ahead of him blocking his path, and slows down, allowing Takumi to win. Despite his victory, Takumi says that it felt more like a tie.
During school the day after, Takumi is approached by two students who want to interview him for their class' culture festival, as he had been voted second coolest guy in his year. Takumi recognises the voice of one of the students, Shiraishi, eventually figuring out that she had been the girl that had called him to tell him about Natsuki and the salaryman. Takumi confronts her, and asks her why she had told him, with her saying that she couldn't stand to see her with him. She reveals that the man Natsuki was seeing was her father, as the car was her family's Mercedes.
During his delivery runs, Takumi runs into Keisuke Takahashi, who tells him that he should join the new team, and once the year is up they can finally have another battle before he goes pro. Although he already knows that he's going to join, he decides to wait until spring anyway. At work, Takumi is told that a racer from Tochigi, Kai Kogashiwa, had come asking for him. Not long after, Kai returns to the gas station, and challenges Takumi to a battle on the Irohazaka, as Takumi had defeated his previous target, Kyoichi Sudo. Takumi tells him that he will race with him before the start of winter.
The next day, Takumi decides that he will head out to Irohazaka that night, and invites Itsuki, Kenji and Iketani to join him. For the first time ever, Bunta decides to give Takumi some advice, telling him that he would be behind nearing the end of the battle and that he can use the edge of the asphalt to his advantage, advice that he would not understand until later. Kai and Takumi meet at the Irohazaka, and the race begins. The two cars shoot off from the start, and while Kai's MR2 should have the advantage, the new engine in the Eight-Six levels the playing field. Takumi takes the lead early, maintaining it for most of the race. In the 33rd corner, Kai uses a trick his father had taught him, taking the inside line on a corner and jumping down from above in front of Takumi. Takumi is shocked by this, but manages to pull off the same trick on the next corner. Takumi realises what Bunta had been talking about earlier, and decides to hook his tires onto the edge of the asphalt so he can catch up. The two racers enter the bridge at the same time, much to the shock of team Emperor. The two are thrown into the air by a ramp on the bridge, with Kai landing in a pile of leaves and spinning out.
At school the next day, Natsuki asks Takumi for some advice, and asks to meet with him after school, as friends. Takumi picks her up in the Eight-Six, and she quickly notices the changes that had been made to it. She tells him that she had broken off her relationship with the man in the Mercedes, and when Takumi says that he doesn't care what she does, she says that it's obvious that he does care, or he wouldn't have gone out of his way to ignore her. At Lake Akina, Natsuki explains her relationship with the Mercedes driver, how he would give her gifts and money in exchange for her spending time with him. While Natsuki doesn't seem to think that what she had done was wrong, Takumi is not as understanding. Just as Natsuki tells him that she doesn't want to end high school with things bad between them, it begins to snow. As they head home, Natsuki asks about Takumi's Christmas plans, and is surprised when he says that he doesn't celebrate it very much. Before Natsuki leaves, Takumi asks her why she's going out of her way to try be close to him when she could have any other guy. Natsuki hesitates before answering, holding back tears, and tells him that she just likes him, before walking off with tears in her eyes.
The next day, Takumi is shocked when Natsuki reveals that she will be working at the gas station.
At school the next day, Takumi asks Natsuki if she's going to keep her job, as he thinks that it doesn't suit her. She tells him that if he thinks she's just going to quit, then he doesn't know her very well. After work, Kenji asks Takumi if anything is happening between him and Natsuki, and when he says that there isn't, he tells him that she's probably working at the gas station so that she can see him more often. Takumi heads home, and is surprised to see an unfamiliar pair of boots at the entrance.As he enters, he is shocked by Natsuki and Bunta letting off party poppers. Natsuki offers Takumi some champagne in a tea cup (as that was the only cups that they had), and reveals that she had been planning a small Christmas party for the Fujiwaras, as Takumi had said that he didn't celebrate it very much. Natsuki unveils a cake that she had bought, and the three of them celebrate until midnight. Takumi gives Natsuki a lift home, and the two of them talk about their future plans, with Takumi staying in Gunma to become a parcel courier and Natsuki moving to Tokyo to attend a school there.
In the new year, Itsuki asks Takumi if he is going to come in for Valentine's Day to receive any chocolates, but Takumi decides against it. After work, Takumi and Itsuki walk home, and Itsuki invites Takumi to hang out, with him initially saying yes but later declining. As he arrives home, he hears the phone going off, and he picks it up just to hear Natsuki pleading for him to come help her at Lake Akina. He sets off up the mountain in the Eight-Six, and quickly passes the car that Natsuki was in. Takumi makes a U-turn and follows the car down the mountain. Miki tries his best to get away until he collides with a guardrail. Natsuki gets into Takumi's car and they leave, with her explaining that the driver was her ex-boyfriend Miki, angering Takumi. Natsuki asks Takumi to pull over so that they can talk. She explains that she regrets her relationship with the Mercedes driver, and that while she can try and pretend that it was a fine and normal thing, she knows that she was selling her body, and because of that she had felt like she was losing part of herself. She explains that the only reason she had gotten her job at the gas station was so that she could try and regain some of what she had lost, and she thought that Takumi would have understood that. She begins to cry, and apologises profusely. Takumi drives her home and asks her how long she is going to work at the gas station, and she answers that she will until she leaves for Tokyo. Takumi tells her that they should see each other as much as they can before then, before finally confessing that he loves her.
On Valentine's Day, Natsuki hands out chocolates to everyone at the gas station other than Takumi, much to his shock, although she pulls a special present for him from her bag, causing him to become choked up. Later, Itsuki returns from school with no chocolate for himself, but three chocolates for Takumi.
A few days later, Shiraishi calls Takumi to meet, and she asks him if he had received her chocolate (revealing that she had feelings for Takumi). She asks him if he had patched things up with Natsuki, and if he likes her, and when he says yes, she tells him that she's happy to hear that. She reveals that she feels guilty for what she had done, and while she couldn't tell Natsuki what had happened, she felt as though she should at least apologise to Takumi.
Exclusively in the anime, Takumi asks Ryosuke for a rematch before he joins his team, and the two of them race on Mount Akagi. The outcome of the battle is left unshown, as it was more about Takumi proving himself to Ryosuke.
On the day of their graduation, Takumi and Natsuki agree to meet up after. As Takumi heads off with the car, Bunta tells him that he had set the car up like he had wanted. Takumi picks up Natsuki and they head to Lake Akina for the last time. Natsuki asks Takumi to come with her to Tokyo, but he tells her that he can't, and that he would show her why when it gets dark. At night, Takumi finally tells Natsuki that his dream is to become a professional driver, and that he wants to show her his skill. Takumi takes her on a downhill run on Akina, and goes all out, something he has never done with a passenger. Takumi had managed to set a new downhill record that night, although no one was around to witness it. Takumi says that he hopes she understands why he has to stay here now, so that he can join the new team Ryosuke was setting up, so he can become better. Natsuki asks him if he would be ok if she stayed in Gunma, but Takumi tells her that she shouldn't give up on her dream, as she may live to regret it. The two of them sit in the Eight-Six for a little bit, before Natsuki whispers something in Takumi's ear and they drive off. While their destination is left unstated, Takumi wouldn't get home until much later that night, implying that the two of them had spent the evening together.
A few days later, Takumi hangs out with Itsuki at Lake Akina, and Itsuki asks about what he's going to do about Natsuki leaving, and Takumi says that he doesn't know. Itsuki asks if he had slept with her, but Takumi refuses to answer the question.
The next day, Takumi sees Natsuki off at the train station, and she asks him not to look for a new girlfriend for a little while. She gets on the train, and tells him that he can always call her if he gets lonely. With school over and spring just starting, Takumi joins Ryosuke's team: Project D.
Project D - Tochigi
Takumi joins Project D, and is assigned Shuichi Matsumoto as his personal mechanic. Takumi acts as Project D's downhill ace, with Keisuke as their uphill ace. Takumi and Keisuke battle against several teams before they head to Tochigi to battle the Seven Star Leaves.
Project D arrive at the Momiji Line and greet their opponents. Takumi tells Ryosuke that he has watched the recording of the course he was given several times, and Ryosuke tells him to fill in any gaps before sending him on his practice runs.
During the day, Takumi and Fumihiro examine the gutters along the course, noting that if your car fell into one it could tear your wheels clean off. Takumi recalls Ryosuke saying that you could easily get caught on the corners, and they would be the deciding point between whether you win or you lose. That night, the Seven Star Leaves request that the downhill happen first and that it be a cat and mouse battle, a request that Project D accepts. Takumi is up against Toru Suetsugu, the driver of a Eunos Roadster, with Toru leading in the first round. The two racers greet each other and then the battle begins. Takumi keeps a small distance from Toru until the halfway point of the course, where he closes the gap between the two of them. The two drivers enter the section of the course with exposed gutters, and Takumi finally understands what Ryosuke was saying. Takumi shifts the weight of the Eight-Six to its rear and hovers his wheel over the gutter, allowing him to overtake. Takumi performs the same trick on the next corner, and Toru tries to copy him, but gets his wheel stuck and flips his car. Takumi later sets a new downhill record for the course in the time trials.
At 4:40AM the next morning, Takumi goes on his delivery runs. When he gets back he asks Bunta if he can make up for the shifts that he will miss the next week by doing deliveries the day after. Takumi tells him that being able to drive on Akina relaxes him and that if he wants to try any new techniques he'd rather do them on a course he is familiar with. During the day, Takumi meets with Itsuki at Lake Akina. Itsuki tells him that he's planning to use his paycheck to get a turbo put into his Eight-Five, and Takumi talks about how much he enjoying Project D. Later, Takumi goes to the gas station to see everyone, and Yuichi tells him that its not healthy for him to hang out at his old job on his days off, and tells him to get a girlfriend. While on the topic, Yuichi asks if Takumi had heard from Natsuki at all, and he tells him that he had received a letter earlier that month, but that he was too busy to go and see her at all.
Project D arrive at the Enna Skyline in Tochigi to face the students of the Todo School. The Todo School has the whole course reserved (as the course is an unfinished road) so that Project D can practice. Both of Project D's aces set off with their mechanics for their practice runs, with the mechanics adjusting the cars to suit the needs of the drivers.
The next evening, Takumi, Fumihiro and Matsumoto talk about the upcoming battle, and how the Todo School hadn't been practicing or even shown up to watch Project D practice. While Fumihiro and Matsumoto are concerned about this, Takumi says that the less he knows about his opponent the easier it is for him to concentrate. At night, Takumi greets his opponent, Daiki Ninomiya, the driver of a Honda Civic Type R. Before the race begins, Ryosuke advises Takumi over the phone to not look into his rearview mirror and to keep his revs low in his first round. Takumi begins in the lead, with Daiki following close behind. Daiki is amazed by his opponents skill, and is unable to overtake. The race continues into its second round, with Daiki in the lead. Due to the stress that his FF puts on its tires, Daiki begins to slow down, giving Takumi the opening that he needed. Takumi takes the opening, pulls alongside his opponent and overtakes. Takumi and Matsumoto talk about the uphill, and Takumi says that despite his opponent's power, he thinks Keisuke still stands a chance. Takumi sets a new downhill record for the Enna Skyline, although it is broken the next day.
The next day, Takumi visits the gas station, and Itsuki reveals that his Eight-Five is being fitted with a Turbo. That night, Bunta test drives the Eight-Six and tells Takumi that the mechanics had done a good job with it. Bunta tells him that despite its power, there may be times when he will hit his limit and lose.
The Eight-Six is upgraded with a carbon bonnet to reduce its weight. Later, Ryosuke gives out videos of their next course Happogahara, and announces that they will be going up against a professional racer in a both directions race. Ryosuke tells the team that he will make his decision as to who will represent them after he has seen what they can do.
On their day of practice the two aces are instructed by Ryosuke to do 5 laps of the course each at 80%, and that he will make his decision after.
On the day of the battle, Ryosuke announces that he has chosen Takumi to be the one to face the Todo School again, much to Keisuke's surprise. Ryosuke takes Takumi on a downhill run in his FC. Their opponent, professional racer Tomoyuki Tachi, asks that the two cars start side by side as the road is wide enough, and gives Takumi pole position meaning that he would be on the inside at the first turn. The Eight-Six and the Todo School's Demonstration Civic line up on the start line, and the race begins, with Takumi taking the lead early on. Tachi manages to pass Takumi in a corner by using the disappearing line, a technique where he cuts through his opponents line out of the opponent's vision. Takumi manages to stay with Tachi past the turning point, but he disappears in the tunnel, much to his opponents shock. Takumi uses a brand new technique, the Blind Attack, where he shuts off his headlights to surprise his opponent. Using his opponents confusion to his advantage, Takumi overtakes Tachi. Tachi manages to regain his lead, by lightly tapping against him to move him off of his line and slow him down, allowing him through. It takes all Takumi has to keep up with his opponent, and he attempts a second blind attack as they near the finishing line. Takumi focuses on the headlights of his opponents car instead of its taillights, in an attempt to find the line. Takumi manages to pull up alongside Tachi, and turns back on his headlights, winning by half a cars length. Tachi tells Takumi that something had crossed the road before the final corner, which is why he had moved and allowed Takumi to come alongside him.
At 4AM the next day, Takumi heads out for a delivery run, but notices that he must have hit a small animal, likely the one that Tachi had mentioned. During his return home, Takumi thinks about his battle the previous night, when suddenly a Subaru Impreza appears in his rearview. Takumi decides to battle against the car, and is shocked by the cars speed, as well as the drivers ability to perform the gutter run. Takumi is beaten by the car, and heads back home. At 8PM the same day Takumi heads to the gas station and talks with Iketani and Kenji, who reveal that Itsuki is picking up his newly upgraded Eight-Five. Itsuki arrives and the four of them head up to Mt. Akina, and are passed by a Nissan Silvia during their drive up. At the top of the mountain Itsuki is happy with his new turbo, and is surprised when Takumi is able to compare the car with his own without having driven it. The Silvia returns, and it's two passengers introduce themselves to the group as circuit racers from Tokyo. The two examine the Eight-Five, rudely commenting on it before being told by Iketani that they aren't special for passing a low performance car on an uphill straight. The two racers leave, but park their car near the start of the downhill, waiting to be passed so that they can ambush the SpeedStars. Iketani decides that he will race against them, but asks Takumi do be following in the Eight-Five just in case he loses. When Iketani is passed, Takumi steps in and manages to pass the S15 in a corner using a gutter trick.
Saitama and Ibaraki
Project D head to Sadamine Pass in Saitama to race against a small racing club.
After having stayed out watching both of Project D's aces race, the groups leader, Nobuhiko Akiyama, decides that he will race on the downhill, although he knows that none of their racers stand a chance. During the uphill, Takumi thinks about his previous battle in Saitama, and wonders how Wataru is doing, not knowing that he is watching the exact same battle. After the uphill ends, Takumi is told to not outrun his opponent until the first hairpin. Takumi starts in the lead, with Nobuhiko following behind. Takumi follows his instructions, and loses Nobuhiko nearly immediately after the first hairpin. Takumi breaks the downhill course record easily during the time attacks.
After his deliveries one night, Bunta tells Takumi that he is giving him full ownership of the Eight-Six, as he uses it more than him. Later, Takumi tells Itsuki about what Bunta had said, before heading off to Saitama with Project D. The team head to Maze Pass to meet the newly formed Northern Saitama Alliance. Takumi is surprised to see Wataru again, with him being Keisuke's opponent for the uphill. Ryosuke tells his two aces to complete 50 full laps of the course.
The next day, Takumi eats lunch with the support staff. Takumi tells Matsumoto that he only got a few hours of sleep, and Matsumoto tells him that he should nap once he is finished eating, however Takumi says that he wants to get a few laps in if it starts to rain. Takumi is to go up against the rally driver Sakamoto, who had been brought in by Nobuhiko to race against Takumi in a Suzuki Cappuccino. Takumi is given some advice by Ryosuke before the race begins, telling him to remember the techniques of his past opponents, specifically mentioning Kyoichi Sudo. The rainy race begins with Takumi following behind Sakamoto. Takumi is amazed by Sakamoto's cornering, and goes into autopilot, accepting his defeat after only a few turns. Eventually, Takumi figures out what Ryosuke might have been saying about Kyoichi Sudo, however he has misunderstood the advice. Takumi manages to shorten the gap between him and Sakamoto through the connection he has with his car. Takumi manages to pass Sakamoto in a corner, however loses the lead when he has to perform a weight shifting technique to hop his rear wheel over a gutter to prevent his tire from falling in. The two cars enter the final straight, and Sakamoto blocks the Eight-Six with his car. Takumi performs a blind attack to prevent Sakamoto from blocking his car, allowing him to pull ahead of his opponent and winning the race. Ryosuke tells Takumi that he had done a great job, but Takumi tells Matsumoto that he didn't know what he was supposed to do for much of the race. Takumi greets the SpeedStars, but Itsuki is distracted when he realises that Kazumi is there with Wataru. Whilst watching the race with the SpeedStars, Takumi is approached by Sakamoto, who asks him to talk with him. He asks him what drives him, however Takumi doesn't have an answer for him. Sakamoto tells him that he drives like a pro, and that if he had his techniques when he was his age he would be in a much better place than he is now. Takumi watches the uphill with Kenji and Iketani, commenting that the rain allows for the following driver to keep up with the car in the lead a lot easier. Takumi gives Itsuki a lift back to Shibukawa, and Itsuki spends the whole drive talking about Kazumi, making Takumi a little bit jealous.
The next morning, Takumi wakes up to do his delivery runs, and is surprised to see the Impreza that had beaten him a few weeks prior sat in outside the house. Takumi quickly realises that Bunta had been driving the Impreza that night, and Bunta tells him that he wants him to do his deliveries in the Impreza that night. In the day, Takumi heads to the gas station to talk with Yuichi, and asks him if Bunta had mentioned the car to him, and he says that he hadn't said much other than it was an Impreza. Takumi compares driving the car to flying a spaceship, and says that it has made him doubt how he drives the Eight-Six now.
Takumi hangs out with Itsuki, who tells him all about his date with Kazumi, making him jealous. As Takumi drives home, he thinks about Natsuki. He doubts that she's feeling lonely, but he admits he's been thinking about her a lot since the racing has slowed down for a bit.
The next morning, Takumi drives the Impreza back from deliveries, and figures out the point where the car becomes better than the Eight-Six. He tells Bunta that he wants to stick with the Eight-Six, and Bunta says that that is fine but that he thinks he is a chicken for not wanting to leave his comfort zone.
Takumi hangs out with Itsuki, and he tells him about his evening with Kazumi. Takumi is surprised that they had kissed on the second date, and Itsuki says that it was entirely natural (hiding that she was asleep at the time). Takumi tells Itsuki that he is jealous of him, as his relationship with Natsuki was painful.
Takumi heads to the gas station and talks with Iketani about Project D. When he says that they're going to come and see him race in Saitama again, Itsuki says that he will be on a date with Kazumi. Itsuki privately tells Takumi that he intends to take her back to a hotel for the night. Takumi easily wins his race, despite his slump.
Takumi heads to the gas station the next day, and Iketani tells him what had happened the night before. Kazumi had left Itsuki to get back with her ex-boyfriend (though Itsuki did have a part to play in it), and so he had taken the day off. Wataru pulls up, and is surprised to see Takumi there, as he is never able to run into him. He tells him that he wanted to apologise for what had happened the day before, and that Kazumi should apologise to him too, although he knows she won't. Wataru takes Takumi on a drive in his Levin, and they go to Lake Akina. Takumi asks him if he feels like driving an Eight-Six limits how competitive he can be. Wataru tells him that he does, and that is why he had supercharged the car. He is surprised that Takumi would even think about it, as he's the best out there. Takumi tells him that he had been beaten by an Impreza, and that he had gained a "4WD Complex" because of it. He admits that all new cars scare him, and make him feel the limitations of his Eight-Six. Wataru tells him that he has a chance to get over his complex, as his next race will be against a 4WD. Wataru tells Takumi that he used to be able to win against faster cars because he didn't know that he wasn't supposed to be able to, as he had no technical knowledge what so ever. Now that he has the knowledge, he can clearly see the limits of his car and how good a 4WD can be. Wataru tells Takumi that he needs to figure out a strategy for 4WDs.
Project D head to Tsuchisaka to battle with a pair of Lancer Evolution drivers. One of the drivers from the other team, Aikawa, requests that the two teams warm up separately, under the guise that he doesn't want the members of Project D to cause him and his teammate, Ichijo, to crash. Project D's aces head out on their practice runs, and Takumi thinks about the advice Wataru had given him, and how he hadn't yet come up with a strategy for 4WDs. The practice runs stop when Keisuke radios Fumihiro to tell him that he has crashed due to a pool of oil in the road, placed there by their opponents. Keisuke's car is damaged significantly, and so won't be able to compete, much to the amusement of Aikawa. Takumi is told to continue practicing on one half of the course, while the rest of the team clean up the oil slick.
The next day, Project D spend most of the day trying to fix the FD. Takumi offers to help them, however everyone on the team thinks that he should continue to practice on the course. Keisuke is able to compete in Northern Saitama Alliance member Kyoko Iwase's RX-7. Takumi tells Matsumoto that while Keisuke has a disadvantage because he is driving in a car he is unfamiliar with, his sheer skill should be able to even the playing field. Keisuke wins his battle. Takumi's opponent, Ichijo, pulls him aside before their race begins, and tells him that Aikawa isn't pleased and has called in a gang that will beat up the members of Project D if Takumi doesn't lose the race. Takumi tells Matsumoto about this, and Matsumoto tells him that he should drive the way he always does. Takumi stays behind Ichijo for a majority of the race, and shocks him with his amazing technique. Takumi realises that Ichijo's weakness is in his weak breaking technique. Takumi takes advantage of this to close the gap between the two of them, and as they enter a corner, Ichijo slips on some of the remaining oil on the course, giving Takumi the opening he needs. Ichijo tries to pass him again but falters when he sees a corner coming up, however Takumi shoots in to the corner at full speed, creating a large gap between the two racers, and winning himself the race. The gang approaches, and Keisuke and Ryosuke stay behind to face them. Coincidentally, the leader of the gang is an old friend of Keisuke's, and happily lets them off.
The next day, Takumi goes to the gas station and tells Iketani and Itsuki that Project D won't be racing this week, due to the damage to Keisuke's FD.
Takumi meets with Wataru at Lake Akina again, and he thanks him for the advice he had given him before. He says that he feels like he understands his Eight-Six better, and now knows how to create a strategy for a course that he has never driven before.
Takumi and Keisuke are booked into a country inn so that they can be properly rested, as it is too hot to sleep comfortably in their cars. The two talk about the upcoming race, noting the fact that the course is short, but has a lot of difficult parts. Much to Keisuke's surprise, Takumi falls asleep within a few minutes. At 5PM, Takumi scouts the course on a scooter, examining the gutters and corners. At 7PM, the race is about to begin. Takumi is shocked by the power radiating from his opponent, Dr. Toshiya Joshima, and the two greet one another. Joshima asks Takumi why he drives an old car like the Eight-Six, and is surprised when Takumi tells him that his father had taught him how to drive before he got his license, saying that he would like to meet him someday. Ryosuke tells Takumi that under no circumstances should he give up, and that he shouldn't watch Joshima race, just keep his eyes on the road. Takumi starts in the lead, with Joshima following behind him. Joshima manages to stay right behind Takumi, and Takumi feels as though he is being followed by Bunta in the Impreza. In the second lap, Takumi realises that Joshima is changing his line every lap. After the sixth lap a pit stop is called and the racers are allowed to take a short break while their cars are refueled. Ryosuke tells Takumi that Joshima is trying to throw him off his game by changing his line. Ryosuke tells him to follow his own pace, and to use the gutters and embankments to his advantage. The seventh lap commences, with Takumi leading. Joshima uses an embankment to come alongside Takumi and manages to overtake him. Much to Joshima's surprise, Takumi is able to keep up with him, using the gutters on each turn to shorten the distance between the two cars. Takumi uses a gutter run and a blind attack at the same time to take Joshima by surprise and pass him. The grueling race continues into its eighth and final lap. Takumi attempts to use a gutter run to catch up with Joshima, but he accidentally damages his suspension. This damage cripples the performance of his car, and technically meaning that he had lost the race through a mechanical failure. However, much to his surprise, Joshima pulls up on the side of the road to vomit, allowing Takumi to limp past him and cross the finish line first. Despite having crossed the line first, Takumi does not believe that he had won, a sentiment shared by Joshima, who knows that he would have been in first had he not been sick. Ryosuke congratulates Takumi, telling him that even if he doesn't think that he won, he can see it as a learning experience. During the uphill battle, Takumi talks about the battle with Matsumoto, noting that a racer isn't the same on the uphill and the downhill, and that Keisuke is going to have to deal with how his opponent may perform differently on the downhill. After the uphill race had finished, Takumi asks Joshima if he could take him on a downhill run in his S2000 so that he can see his technique up close, and Joshima obliges.
Due to the damage to the Eight-Six's suspension Project D cancels all of their races for the next week in order to repair it. Takumi heads to the gas station to see Itsuki, and Itsuki asks him to hang out since he's free. Kenji asks Takumi if he ever hangs out with Keisuke outside of Project D, explaining that he had heard that the two had been seen in Saitama the week before. Takumi tells him that he would have still been in Ibaraki during the timeframe, and Kenji says that they must have been imagining.
Several days later, Takumi and Itsuki go out in the Eight-Five, and the two of them talk about the past year. Itsuki comments that not much has changed really, and that neither of them have any chance of getting a girlfriend unless they go out and meet people. The two drive to Sadamine in Saitama, and run into the pair of impostors that Kenji had mentioned. Itsuki confronts the impostors, but is ridiculed by them when he fails to prove that Takumi is the real Takumi.
The next day, Takumi and Itsuki tell Iketani what happened the night before. Iketani tells Takumi that he shouldn't just let the impostors run around free because they could potentially do something that damages his reputation. Takumi and Itsuki head out in the Eight-Five but are called back to the gas station by Iketani not long after as someone had come looking for Takumi. At the gas station Takumi meets the girl who was looking for him and is promptly slapped by her. She tells him that she is there on behalf of her friend Tomoko, who Takumi had supposedly used and broken her heart. Itsuki explains the impostor situation to the girl, who rightfully doesn't believe him. They ask her to send a photo of Takumi to her friend, so that she can confirm whether or not it was him. Takumi calls Fumihiro to tell him of the situation, and he tells him that they will look into it.
The next day, the girl calls Takumi after getting his number from the gas station. She apologises for slapping him and tells him that she would like to come and apologise in person, and Takumi says that he can drive to see her if she would be ok with it. She accepts, and Takumi takes the Impreza out to Saitama to see her. She introduces herself as Mika Uehara, and apologises again for slapping him, explaining that when she had found out what the impostor had done to Tomoko she had become really mad. Takumi tells her that they are looking for the impostors and that they will get them to apologise. Mika tells Takumi that she was glad when she found out he wasn't the one who had mistreated Tomoko, as she thought he didn't look like the type. Mika says that she hopes she didn't hurt him too much when she slapped him, explaining that she's in good shape as she plays golf often. She tells Takumi that she's been playing since she was young, being taught by her father. Takumi says that he had a similar relationship with his father but with driving. Takumi heads back to the gas station, and he tells everyone that he had gone to see her. Takumi and Itsuki go to Lake Akina, and Takumi tells Itsuki that he had liked Mika since he had first seen her. Takumi receives a call from Fumihiro, and he tells him that the Eight-Six has been repaired and that he is waiting for him at the beginning of Akina's downhill. Takumi and Fumihiro go on a test run, and Fumihiro is amazed by Takumi's driving. Fumihiro tells Takumi that they will contact him when they are ready to face the impostors.
Several days later Project D is ready to shut down the impostors, and Takumi invites Itsuki to come along with them. Wataru helps Project D, by drawing everyone's attention to a particularly long corner at the bottom of Sadamine. Wataru asks the fake Takumi to drift all the way around the corner, which the fake says would be impossible. Proving him wrong, Takumi drifts through the entire corner, much to everyone's surprise. The impostors try to slink away but are approached by Keisuke and Takumi. Fumihiro tells the impostors to stop pretending to be part of Project D, and Takumi adds that they need to apologise to Tomoko for all the trouble they caused her.
Mika calls Takumi to meet again. She tells Takumi that Tomoko had heard from the impostor, and that he had apologised and then asked if they could date, an offer she had declined. The two of them leave the diner, and Takumi asks Mika if she has a boyfriend, and she says that she doesn't because she's often busy due to her golf training. Takumi asks if he could see her again, and Mika says that she would like that, and she will text him.
A few days later Itsuki and Takumi drive their cars up to the top of Akina, and Itsuki is amazed by the Eight-Six's power. Takumi talks about how Bunta making him drive the Impreza allowed him to learn to adjust to whatever the Eight-Six threw at him.
Project D completes their last few races against Purple Shadow in Ibaraki.
The Kanagawa Expedition
After a delivery run, Bunta notices that the tires on the Impreza are becoming worn down quickly, and Takumi explains that he is trying to do one hand steering like Joshima had shown him in Ibaraki. Bunta tells him if he manages it in the Eight-Six then he will be impressed. Takumi says that Project D is heading to Kanagawa that night. Project D head to Yabitsu to face Team 246. The two aces head off on their practice runs.
The next day, Takumi and Matsumoto patrol the course, noting that the road changes its width without warning. That night, after the uphill battle, Takumi is put up against Team 246 leader Satoshi Omiya. The two of them greet each other, and Omiya chooses to take the lead. Ryosuke tells Takumi that he shouldn't hold back, and should overtake in the first round if he thinks that he can. Takumi manages to keep up with Omiya for half the race, before Omiya kicks the race into a higher gear and shoots away. Knowing that he is at a disadvantage, Takumi performs a blind attack, giving him slightly better aerodynamics. Right before the two racers needed to brake for a corner, Takumi turns his lights back on. As he hadn't noticed Takumi turn his headlights off, Omiya moves over to the left of the road, giving Takumi an opening to pull alongside him. The two racers go side by side into the next corner, with Omiya pulling ahead in one of the single lane segments of the road. Omiya manages to overtake coming out of the turn, but had clipped the wing on the back of his car against a signpost, causing it to come loose and change his aerodynamics. Because of his loose wing, Omiya spins out, and loses the race. Ryosuke announces that they won't be setting time trials during their stay in Kanagawa, due to the danger to the drivers and because they dont want to give their future opponents too much information.
Takumi heads to the gas station, and fills in the SpeedStars on everything that had happened the night before. The three express interest in going and seeing Project D race in Kanagawa, and Takumi says that they'd be better off doing it sooner rather than later, as if Project D loses then they are done. Takumi heads to Saitama to see Mika, and the two of them organise a trip to the beach on Sunday.
A few days later, Itsuki and Takumi hang out at Lake Akina, and Itsuki invites Takumi to come with him when he gets his car a dynamometer test, however Takumi tells him that he will be at the beach with Mika. Itsuki is saddened that he doesn't have a girlfriend, and Takumi says that he will ask Mika if she has a friend he can see.
At 7:30AM on Sunday, Takumi and Mika head to Chigasaki's Southern Beach in the Impreza (Takumi took the Impreza because its air conditioning is better than the Eight-Six's). The two of them have fun on the beach and in the sea, being able to act like a cliché couple, albeit briefly. The two head home at 4:40PM, and as they are talking about their tans, two cars behind them collide. This collision causes several other vehicles to hit each other, however Takumi is able to dodge around the cars, leaving the pile up in his rearview. Mika thinks that what Takumi just did was incredible, but Takumi brushes it off as though it were nothing. Takumi manages to get Mika home with time to spare, and as he is about to leave, Mika asks him to call her just "Mika" instead of "Mika-Chan". Mika explains that she had always fantasised about her crush calling her by just her first name, before heading home.
A few days later, Takumi heads to the gas station in the Impreza, explaining to everyone that the Eight-Six is being worked on, increasing its safety.
Once the Eight-Six has been fitted with a roll cage, Takumi shows the SpeedStars, and they are amazed by the change in atmosphere in the car.
After his deliveries, Takumi tells Bunta that he has some more races in Kanagawa starting that night, and tells Bunta that he doesn't want him drinking too much just because he's away. Project D head to Nagao to meet the members of Racing Team Katagiri Street Version, a street racing team made up of members of the professional racing team Katagiri. The two teams greet each other, and Takumi is surprised to see Kai Kogashiwa is a member of the team.
Fumihiro rents a cabin for the members of Project D to stay in while they are racing in Hakone. Everyone settles in, and Fumihiro prepares everyone some food. That night, Takumi is set to go up against Kai. Kai chooses his racing position by flipping a coin, wishing to keep the battle fair. The battle begins with Takumi in the lead. Kai decides that he wants to use the first lap to show Takumi how much he has improved, and using the second lap to pass him. Kai is impressed by Takumi's control over his car, but is unimpressed by his cars speed. Takumi is able to increase the distance between him and his opponent coming out of each corner. Much to Kai's shock, Takumi seems to accelerating as though he was driving a four wheel drive, an ability that Ryosuke calls the Fujiwara Zone, gained through his intimate knowledge of his car. Kai speeds up, going from defense to offense in a matter of seconds. Kai manages to keep up with Takumi, but as the two of them enter a corner much too fast, they both lose grip on the road. Despite entering the corner at the same speed, Takumi manages to regain his grip and shoots off ahead, whilst Kai spins out. Kai manages to recover, but it was too late, as Takumi is already several corners ahead, with the gap between the two of the growing bigger and bigger. Kai congratulates Takumi on beating him, telling him that he was going to invite him to join the pro scene like him, but tells him that he should follow his own path, as he is capable of things no one has ever done before. Takumi talks with Matsumoto during the uphill, telling him that pros are really difficult to go up against, and that he is glad that Keisuke is on his team because he wouldn't want to race against him again.
Takumi and Mika head on a date, first eating at McDonalds before heading to the golf centre that Mika practices at. Mika shows Takumi how to swing, but Takumi is unable to get the hang of it. Takumi takes a break, and asks Mika to try. Although Mika is unsatisfied with her swing, being a few millimetres off her target, Takumi is amazed by her skill. On their drive back, Mika tells Takumi that she wants to become a professional golfer, and he confides in her that he would like to become a professional racer (something that he had only ever told Natsuki before). The two decide to have a race to see who achieves their goal first.
Project D head to Nanamagari in Hakone to meet with the members of Team Spiral. Project D introduce themselves to Spiral's leader, Ryuji Ikeda, who asks each of them what racing is to them. Keisuke answers that he sees racing as masochism, Takumi says he sees racing as a routine, and Ryosuke sees it as a dream. The two aces head off on their practice runs.
At the cabin, the support staff are worrying about the rain, whilst Takumi and Keisuke casually eat. When asked if they even care about the weather, Keisuke says he isn't bothered because his opponent will be in the same boat, and Takumi says that he always knows how much his Eight-Six is going to slide when he enters a corner. Keisuke calls him a smartass and steals some of his food. That night, after the uphill battle had ended, Takumi is set to go up against Hiroya Okuyama. Okuyama decides to start behind Takumi. Ryosuke tells Takumi to start at about 80% and gradually increased his power, he also tells him that he should leave Okuyama behind before the third corner. Okuyama is initially unimpressed by Takumi's lack of speed, however was shocked when Takumi entered a corner at immense speeds when Okuyama held back, leading to Takumi gapping him in the corner. Okuyama turns the same corner, however Takumi 'disappears' from Okuyama's view around the next one, leaving his opponent in his dust.
Takumi heads to the gas station, and talks with Itsuki and Iketani about the battles with Spiral. Iketani mentions that the SpeedStars are all going to be there to cheer him on at his final race, as they have cleared it with Yuichi.
A few days later, Takumi goes out with Mika (who is still in her uniform), and the two of them head to the golf centre. When Takumi gets tired of being coached, Mika shows him how its done, accidentally flashing Takumi in the process.
On the day of their final battle, Takumi and Keisuke stand on the cabin's deck and reflect on Project D. Matsumoto and Ryosuke decide to tune the Eight-Six so that it redlines at around 11,000RPM. During the uphill battle, Takumi starts warming up before the end of the second round, stating that he doesn't think there will be a third. Keisuke wins his battle, and wishes Takumi good luck. Takumi greets his opponent, fellow Eight-Six driver Shinji Inui. Ryosuke tells Takumi that this race will only last one lap, and that he needs to give his all in the race in order to win. Shinji begins the battle in the lead. Takumi's Eight-Six is quicker on the straights, but he is amazed by Shinji's cornering ability. Takumi is struggling to understand how Shinji is quicker than him, when his opponent suddenly pulls over and signals Takumi to pass. This act baffles Takumi, and throws him off his game, completely destroying his concentration. Takumi and Shinji enter an s shaped corner, and Shinji decides to pass from the inside, tapping Takumi to push him out of the way. Takumi kicks the race into a higher gear, and is able to keep close with Shinji, even through the courses toughest corner. Takumi performs a blind attack, using it to pull alongside Shinji and pass him. Shinji keeps trying to pass Takumi, bumping against his car, and finally gets his chance to turn during a corner, overtaking from the inside. In a last ditch effort, Takumi performs his final blind attack, using it to reach the higher limits of his engine and pull alongside Shinji. The two cars rocket through the final few corners, and as they approach the final straight, Takumi pulls ahead. Realising that his lights are still off, Takumi turns them back on, and as he does realises he is revving at over 12,000RPM. In that very second, Takumi's engine blows, causing him to spin out, and Shinji follows suit. Takumi uses his knowledge from his previous engine blowing and turns his car 180 degrees, crossing the finish line backwards, whilst Shinji turns the full 360 degrees, costing him time. Takumi wins the race, despite the damage to his car (which would normally have been a mechanical loss).
Two weeks later, Project D have a wrap party at Lake Onuma, on Mt. Akagi. Takumi arrives in the Impreza, and Matsumoto apologizes for the Eight-Six, and offers to help him find a new engine, which Takumi declines as he decides to retire the vehicle. Everyone on the team eats and celebrates (except for Kenta, their designated driver). A drunk Keisuke proposes that him and Takumi have a rematch, but no one on the team is interested, because they've already beaten the best racers in Kanto. Takumi says that the race wouldn't be fair anyway, as the only car he has is the Impreza. Keisuke and Takumi are both revealed to have had offers from professional teams.
Exclusively in the anime, Takumi doesn't attend Project D's goodbye party. Instead, he visits the gas station, and decides to keep the Eight-Six, choosing to fix it up over time using his earned money.
At 4:30AM, Takumi heads off on a delivery run in the Impreza. In the Anime, Takumi encounters an orange Toyota 86 GT with the number plate 86-239 (hachiroku ni sankyu) which means "Thank you, Eight-Six".
Sometime after the events of Initial D, Takumi left Japan for the United Kingdom in order to participate in the British National Rally Championship. While he struggled on gravel, he excelled on tarmac. At a later point in his career, during a test run before the first season opening in WRC, his car's drive shaft broke, causing him to lose control and fall into a ravine. His injuries from the accident caused him to spend a long time in rehabilitation, which forced him to retire. At some point prior to his crash, he married a woman from Saitama, who cared for him during his rehabilitation. She is implied to be Mika Uehara.
After his accident he began travelling around the UK as a driving teacher, giving lectures at schools around the country. He eventually became a teacher at the Royal Donington Racing School, where he eventually met Kanata Rivington, who he would eventually become the mentor of. During free time Takumi took Kanata to rally courses, where he taught him how to shift a cars weight and how to drift, passing down his techniques.
Height: 174cm (5'8.5")
Weight: 58 kilos (127lb)
Likes: Springtime, The Eight-Six, Taking Naps
Dislikes: Stuck-up People, Losing, Party Girls
Special Skills: He can see the line and corner without breaking it.
Voted second coolest male student of all the third year students.
Takumi and Natsuki were originally friends, presumably having met in the soccer club that Natsuki was head of, however their relationship deteriorated after Takumi punched Miki, her boyfriend at the time, for bragging about his exploits with her. The two of them later reconnect in their last year of high school and become friends again. Both of them are romantically interested in each other and on several occasions they have kissed, despite this, Takumi did not consider the two of them to be dating, and even said to his friends that Natsuki had never expressed an interest in him (although this may have been him lying). Their relationship once again deteriorated when Takumi found out about Natsuki's relationship with a salaryman, an event that caused Takumi to become angry with her and he distances himself from her. In the winter of their last year, Natsuki again reconnects with him, despite his objections. They spend much of the winter together, eventually confessing that they love each other before (presumably) sleeping together. The two separate not long after their graduation, as Natsuki heads to Tokyo for education and Takumi stays in Gunma to pursue a racing career. The two are not shown to ever meet again, though they did exchange letters a few times and Takumi did think about her on several occasions.
Nearing the beginning of Project D's Kanagawa Expedition, a pair of Project D impostors appeared in Saitama, and on one occasion took advantage of a girl named Tomoko. Tomoko's friend, Mika, tracked down the real Takumi and slapped him, not knowing that he wasn't the one who had tricked Tomoko. After confirming with Tomoko that Takumi wasn't the guy she had been on a date with, Mika apologized to Takumi, and the two of them started to meet regularly, starting a relationship. The two bonded over their similar upbringing, with both of their fathers having brought them up to compete in their specific sport. The two become closer, with Mika eventually asking Takumi to call her simply "Mika" instead of "Mika-Chan". The two of them both wish to become professionals in their field, and compete to see who can get there first. Takumi's wife in MF Ghost is heavily implied to be Mika, with her being a professional golfer from Saitama.
Bunta taught Takumi to drive at an early age, and made him do the deliveries for his tofu shop from age 13. Ostensibly this was just so Bunta would not have to do the deliveries himself, although he was secretly coaching Takumi, growing his talent. After Bunta was asked to represent the SpeedStars in a battle with the RedSuns, Bunta tells Takumi to go and race, giving him the first push in his racing career. Bunta secretly modified the car in order to further grow Takumi's skill as he raced against more and more opponents. After the engine blew in the Eight-Six, Bunta replaces it with a racing engine, and gives Takumi half ownership of the car. Bunta later gives Takumi full ownership of the car, buying himself an Impreza, with which he beats Takumi in an impromptu battle on Akina. Bunta then makes Takumi use the Impreza alongside the Eight-Six for deliveries, allowing him to gain a bigger understanding of the Eight-Six's power and shortcomings.
Takumi and Itsuki are childhood friends, having met in middle school, and would later go on to become best friends. The two both got jobs at the Esso Gas Station in Shibukawa during their time at high school. Both of them got their driver's licenses at around the same time, and Itsuki had asked Takumi to go halves on a car with him on several occasions. When it was revealed that Takumi had beaten Keisuke Takahashi, Itsuki originally doubted Takumi's skill, but later went on to become Takumi's biggest fan. Inspired by Takumi, Itsuki buys himself a Eight-Five Levin believing it to be an Eight-Six. Takumi shows Itsuki that even though his car is inferior, it can still perform well if you have the skills. Itsuki sees Takumi as his rival, even though their skills aren't comparable. When Takumi joins Project D, Itsuki and the SpeedStars travel to see him race on a few occasions.
Iketani and Takumi both work together at the Gas Station, and become good friends over the course of his early racing career. Takumi often looks up to Iketani for his car knowledge. Iketani inadvertently kickstarted Takumi's racing career when he asked Bunta to race for the SpeedStars, as this lead to him sending Takumi in his stead. Like most over racers, Iketani is amazed by Takumi's skills, and asks him to take him on a downhill run twice, although he doesn't learn anything for either encounter. Takumi would later race against Mako Sato after Iketani asked him, although Takumi said that he was racing for himself. Iketani and the other SpeedStars travel to spectate several of Project D's races.
A member of the SpeedStars and a close friend of Iketani, Kenji often hangs around the Gas Station. Kenji was originally set to go up against Keisuke Takahashi, however Takumi arrived just in time to replace him. He respects Takumi's skills, and so is present at any race that the SpeedStars are watching.
After being beaten by Takumi in an impromptu battle, Keisuke scours the local area to find the racer that had beaten him, finally being able to meet him when they had their official race. Keisuke, like most racers, is amazed by Takumi's skills and says that his goal is to finally be able to beat him if they ever had a rematch. This rivalry is his driving force behind joining Project D, and encourages Takumi to join so that they can both become the best they can be before they race again. During Project D, this rivalry remains, although the two drivers gain a sense of camaraderie and become friends. Keisuke is shown to still want a rematch at the end of the series, although both Takumi and the Project D support staff are uninterested.
Takumi looks up to Ryosuke because of his reputation as the White Comet of Akagi. Takumi is often modest about himself when talking with Ryosuke, despite his skills and Ryosuke's insistence that he is an exceptional racer. After Takumi beats Keisuke for the second time, Ryosuke believes that he may be the only racer able to take him down, although even he is unable to beat Takumi, causing him to stop racing unless challenged. Ryosuke recruits Takumi to join his new team, Project D, as its downhill ace, coaching both him and Keisuke, and making them into better racers. Ryosuke believes strongly in Takumi's ability to adapt (which leads to the invention of the Blind Attack) and his strong connection with his car (leading to the appearance of the Fujiwara Zone).
Kenta and Takumi have a similar aptitude for racing in the rain, with Takumi having to drive in the rain for his deliveries and Kenta driving in the rain to reduce the wear on his tires. Kenta challenges Takumi to a battle on Myogi, although the battle doesn't last long due to Takumi's sheer skill. Because of his defeat, Kenta keeps training, at one point copying Takumi's Blind Attack (leading to a crash), in hope that he may one day be able to rematch Takumi and win, something that is unlikely. Takumi compares Kenta to Itsuki at one point, likely due to his relationship with Keisuke.
Takumi respects the Project D Staff for the work that they do, and treats them as equals to him. Takumi tries to help out the staff when they are cleaning up the oil and fixing the FD after the crash on Tsuchisaka, being willing to sacrifice his own practice time to do so, however he is told to keep practicing. Similarly, before the races with Purple Shadow, Takumi is willing to give up his place in the inn to one of the team, but is told that he needs the rest more because otherwise he won't perform well.
After Shingo causes Iketani to spin out (and exclusively in First Stage, causes Itsuki to crash), Takumi accepts his request to race in order to put him in his place. Takumi dislikes Shingo for his dirty racing style, and becomes increasingly angry with him over the course of their duct tape deathmatch, as Shingo puts both of them in more danger. Takumi is able to dodge Shingo trying to crash both of them into a guardrail at the end, and he drives off into the night as Shingo collides with the guardrail, breaking his car and his wrist.
Takumi first meets Mako after him, Kenji and Itsuki follow Iketani to his date with her. Takumi is surprised by how attractive she is. Takumi and the SpeedStars later find out that Mako is the fastest racer in Usui., much to their shock. Mako later explains herself to Iketani, and Iketani asks Takumi on Mako's behalf if he will race against her. Takumi accepts, and although Kenji and Iketani dont think Takumi should race her just so that Iketani can get with her, Takumi tells them that he genuinely wants to race her. Mako and her co-pilot Sayuki are both surprised by Takumi's age, and shocked by his skills behind the wheel. After their race, Mako thanks Takumi for the best race she has ever had, and Takumi awkwardly shakes her index finger, clearly flustered by her. Although the two never meet again, Mako is shown to respect Takumi, and even comes to Kanagawa to watch his final battle.
Like Mako, Sayuki is surprised by Takumi's age, and shocked by his skills behind the wheel. After their race, Sayuki displays interest in Takumi, calling him cute. Sayuki invites everyone on a trip to the waterpark, and she spends much of the day with Takumi, at one point going down a waterslide with him, with Takumi having her body pushed up against his back.
Kyoichi explains to Takumi (who he doesn't know has beaten Ryosuke yet) that he doesn't think that the Eight-Six is a viable car for street racing anymore. Despite his beliefs about the Eight-Six, Kyoichi tells Seiji to follow Simulation 3 (follow the opponent until you can figure out their weakness and exploit it), however Seiji, deviates from the plan and subsequently loses. Not wanting this to tarnish Emperor's reputation, Kyoichi invites Takumi to a battle on Akagi. Takumi initially declines but later races with him. Kyoichi reiterates his opinions on the Eight-Six before they race, telling Takumi that he considers the race a lesson and not an actual battle, something he reiterates after Takumi's loss. Takumi later challenges Kyoichi on his home course, and while Kyoichi isn't pleased to race against an Eight-Six again, he is surprised by its newfound power. Takumi is able to beat Kyoichi, earning his respect. At the end of Takumi's race against Kai, he acknowledged that he will one day surpass his once rival Ryosuke Takahashi.
Though he was unaware at the time, Seiji trash-talks Takumi to his face whilst on Akina, leaving him with a poor impression of him. Like many of his opponents, Seiji underestimates Takumi, and deviates from his instructions, ultimately leading to Takumi reclaiming the lead and winning the race. Takumi's victory over Seiji leads to him to finally decide to stop racing on Akina, which eventually leads to his time with Project D.
Wataru first hears of Takumi through Keisuke, and is put into contact with him by Itsuki, who organises a meet up. Wataru and Takumi are kind to each other initially, but they become angry with each other when Wataru accuses Takumi of lying about his engine being weak, as it is a racing engine. Wataru leaves the meet, and Takumi follows him soon after, looking to find out why his car doesn't perform as it should. Wataru is terrified when Takumi takes him on a downhill run, though he is able to figure out the problem with his car, and challenges him to a battle when he gets it fixed. The two battle in a five lap race on Shomaru Pass, where Takumi wins. Wataru later appears as an opponent for Project D in Saitama, although he races against Keisuke. The two hang out at Lake Akina, and Wataru helps Takumi get over his newly developed 4WD complex. Wataru later helps Project D take down a pair of impostors on Sadamine, and watches Project D's final battles against Sidewinder.
Sakamoto is brought in specifically to take down Takumi, and by association Project D. The two racers dont communicate much prior to their race, although Sakamoto approaches Takumi after their battle in order to ask him what his driving force is. Takumi is unable to answer, and Sakamoto says that he is at the professional level, telling him that if he had had his skills at his age, he would be in a much better place. Sakamoto joins the other members of the alliance to watch Project D's battles with Sidewinder.
Takumi's opinion of Ichijo and his teammate Aikawa sours after they cause Keisuke to crash by spilling oil on the course. After Keisuke manages to win his uphill battle, Ichijo threatens Takumi, telling him that they will call in a bosozoku gang if he doesn't lose the race. Though shook by this, Takumi is able to beat Ichijo through his superior breaking technique.
Takumi and Joshima both treat each other with respect, clearly impressed by each others skills. Joshima and Takumi participate in a grueling eight lap battle, where both racers are pushed to their limits, with Joshima notably being forced to put both of his hands on the steering wheel, a rarity given his one handed steering method. Joshima reminds Takumi of his father, as they are both skilled veteran racers. Despite technically crossing the finish line first, Takumi considers the battle lost, something that Joshima echoes, as he would have won if he hadn't had to vomit. After their battle, Takumi asks Joshima to take him on a downhill run so that he can see his technique up close. Takumi later practices Joshima's single handed steering, furthering his skill as a racer. Joshima and Hoshino both watch Project D's battles with Sidewinder.
After beating Kyoichi on Irohazaka, Takumi is challenged to a battle by Kai, the son of one of Bunta's old rivals, as Kai had been going after Emperor for a while. The two battle on Irohazaka, and Takumi is shocked by Kai's technique of jumping down from above, taking the inside line of the corner, although he is able to replicate this a few corners later. Takumi is able to come alongside Kai using advice his father had gave him and the two of them become airborne. Takumi is able to win the race when Kai lands on a pile of leaves and spins out. Later, in Kanagawa, Kai and Takumi are able to have a rematch on Nagao. The two are able to stay close to each other for much of the race, however Takumi continually becomes faster and faster, and Kai is lead to spin out when he enters a corner too fast.
Though Takumi is yet to meet him, Shinji spectates his battle with Okuyama, and sees wings sprout from his car. Shinji is initially hesitant to race Takumi, but changes his mind later on. Takumi is amazed by Shinji's skill, especially given his age, noting that he seems to be faster than him despite his car being nearly no different from his. Shinji completely throws Takumi off when he gives him the lead, although he later regains the lead by passing in a corner, reinvigorating Takumi and causing him to racer harder than he had been before, scaring Shinji. Takumi reveals his "wings" when he passes Shinji, which in turn inspires him to not give up. The two battle at their full capacity until the finish, where Takumi's engine blows, causing him to spin out, with Shinji following in tow. Takumi wins the battle.
A close friend of Bunta and Takumi's boss, Yuichi was present for much of Takumi's early career, watching Takumi's races on Akina and reporting back to a disinterested Bunta. Yuichi is kind to Takumi as an employee, and even helps him procure a tachometer after his engine upgrade. Yuichi notes that Takumi and Bunta are rather alike, and is able to get Takumi to race with Takeshi of the NightKids simply by telling him that he wouldn't stand a chance, a tactic that he used on Bunta when they were younger.
Takumi holds a heavy distaste for Miki, as he had often bragged about his sexual exploits with Natsuki. One day, after soccer practice, Takumi had punched Miki in the face for doing this. A few years later, Miki kidnapped Natsuki and intended to assault her, but Takumi comes to her rescue and, although he was unaware of who is opponent was, battled with Miki briefly on Akina and outran him when he crashed the guardrail when Miki's steering wheel jams. He was not seen again after that.
Shiraishi left several anonymous notes for Takumi, telling him that Natsuki had been sleeping with an older man, later revealed to be Shiraishi's father. She calls Takumi's house, and tells him that he can catch Natsuki right now, and he does. Takumi later recognises Shiraishi's voice at their school, and confronts her, with her admitting to it. Shiraishi later gives Takumi some chocolate for valentines, revealing that she had feelings for him.
Tsukamoto was an older student at the high school that Takumi attended. A year after he graduated, he ran into Takumi and Natsuki and offered to take them to Akagi, as he was a street racer there. Tsukamoto tells Takumi about Akina's Eight-Six, unaware of Takumi's racing career. Tsukamoto demonstrates his techniques to Takumi, who is terrified due to Tsukamoto's complete lack of skill. Takumi convinces Tsukamoto to let him drive them back down, as otherwise Natsuki will be sick. On the way down Natsuki asks Takumi to race against a couple in another, much to Tsukamoto's protesting. Takumi obliges and Tsukamoto faints out of fear.
- The kanji in his given name, Takumi, means "wide, open" and "ocean" , another spelling means "artisan", something Takumi is described as on several occasions. His family name, Fujiwara, means "wisteria field".
- Takumi is the most appearing character in the series, appearing in 470 chapters of the manga (65% of chapters) and in 82 Acts of the anime (97% of Acts, only not appearing in Initial D: Extra Stage).
- He shares common ground with Shinji Inui. Both had driven on their home course for a long time since their younger days in order to help their parents.
- He made a cameo in a print ad with an orange Toyota 86. (pictured)
- In Legend 3: Dream, a driver of a Toyota 86 GT (ZN6) appears. He is voiced by Shinichiro Miki, Takumi's original voice actor from the main anime series.
- In the Animax version of Initial D: Fourth Stage, Takumi is voiced by Matteo Guidicelli, an international car racer and local singer and actor for the broadcasting network, ABS-CBN.
- Takumi wears several brands of shoes throughout the series including New Balance and Nike.
- Takumi is shown driving 5 different cars in the series. These are:
- Several Eurobeat songs mention Takumi by name, such as Takumi by Neo and Speed Car by D-Team.
- In the Latin Spanish Dub of the anime, his last name was mispronounced as "Fujiyara" (Act 2) and "Fujuwara” (in the entire dub), only a few times it was pronounced correctly.