Initial D (film)

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Initial D
Traditional 頭文字D
Simplified 头文字D
Mandarin Tōu Wén Zì D
Cantonese Tau4 Man4 Zi6 D
Directed by Andrew Lau
Alan Mak
Produced by Andrew Lau
Screenplay by Felix Chong
Story by Shuichi Shigeno
Music by Chan Kwong-wing
Cinematography Lai Yiu-fai
Andrew Lau
Edited by Wong Hoi
Distributed by Media Asia Distribution
Release date
  • 23 June 2005 (2005-06-23)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Budget US$12 million[1]
Box office US$10,793,051[2]

Initial D is a 2005 Hong Kong action film directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. It is a film adaptation of the Japanese Initial D manga series. The main character, Takumi Fujiwara, is portrayed by Jay Chou in his film acting debut.[3]


Takumi Fujiwara is a high school student who has been delivering tofu to the resorts in Mt. Akina in his father Bunta's Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86. He also works part-time at a gas station where his friend Itsuki, the owner's son and a high school dropout, aspires to be a street racer. Natsuki Mogi, an attractive classmate, smiles as she walks by Takumi, but she has been secretly going on dates with a sugar daddy who drives a Mercedes.

Street racers Takeshi Nakazato of the NightKids, who drives a Nissan Skyline GT-R, and Ryousuke Takahashi of the RedSuns, who drives a Mazda RX-7 (FC), talk about racing each other after they defeat the competition at Akina. When Takeshi visits the gas station to issue a challenge to the racing god of Mt. Akina, Itsuki (with Takumi riding along) arrives to defend that title, but in the ensuing race, Itsuki is embarrassed thoroughly and damages his Nissan Silvia. However, Takeshi is later beaten in an unofficial race by the AE86. Takeshi returns to the gas station to ask who owns the AE86. Yuuchi asks Bunta if he has been racing again; he learns that Takumi has been driving the AE86 for the past five years and has been steadily improving his racing skills. Natsuki wants to go on a beach date with Takumi, so Bunta agrees to loan him the car and fill the gas tank provided that he win the race at Akina.

With Ryousuke, Itsuki, and the other RedSuns and NightKids watching, Takumi defeats Takeshi on the downhill race. He and Natsuki have an enjoyable time on the beach date. Itsuki buys his own Trueno and asks Takumi to teach him how to race. Halfway down the mountain, Seiji Iwaki of the Emperor Team in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV, taunts them and angers Takumi to the point that he races and defeats Seiji, causing the latter to spin out and damage the side of his Evo.

Takumi discovers that Itsuki's car does not perform like his father's car, which Ryousuke tells him it has been custom-tuned and modified. Takumi agrees to race Ryousuke in three weeks, but on the way downhill, Emperor team leader Kyouichi Sudo in his Lancer Evo III (E3) overtakes Takumi; in the ensuing race, the AE86's engine breaks down. Ryousuke tells Takumi that he will challenge Kyouichi, and offers to lend him one of his cars, but Takumi declines. Bunta tells Takumi that Natsuki is visiting her hometown for two weeks. Bunta and Yuuichi have the AE86 outfitted with a new racing engine. Takumi struggles with the modified car well until Bunta shows him how to take advantage of its new mechanics.

After seeing Natsuki with the Mercedes guy coming from a love hotel, Itsuki tells Takumi that Natsuki is a prostitute, which angers Takumi and they fight. The afternoon before the race he thinks he sees Natsuki in the Mercedes at a railroad crossing, but is unable to catch up to them. He later calls Natsuki, who tells him she is coming back tonight, but is with the Mercedes guy whom she tells they cannot see each other anymore.

At the showdown, Ryousuke offers to team with Takumi on defeating Kyouichi, but Takumi declines. During the race, Ryousuke lets Kyouichi pass him and then follows closely. Ryousuke and Takumi use the gutter trick to overtake Kyouichi. Despite the warning messages of a driver going up the hill, Kyouichi's E3 tries to overtake the two but is forced to swerve off the road from the oncoming car and flips off the cliff side. Ryousuke overtakes Takumi at the five hairpin turns. Bunta explains to the watchers that the FC's tires are losing their grip and that it is up to Takumi to compete against himself and not his opponent. Takumi undertakes Ryousuke on the last hairpin turn to win the race.

Ryousuke offers Takumi to join his new racing team, but Takumi goes to see Natsuki. However, he sees the Mercedes guy drop off Natsuki with a hug. Takumi and Natsuki see each other but Takumi runs away, while Natsuki falls to the ground crying. Takumi tearfully drives away. Takumi calls Itsuki to apologize and then calls Ryousuke to accept his offer.



Fujino Store Tofu Shop in Gunma, which was renamed and modeled to Fujiwara Tofu Shop for the live-action film.[4][5]

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


Initial D was released on 23 June 2005 in several Asian markets including Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China. The film made its North American debut at The Imaginasian Theater in New York City[when?]

Home media[edit]

Initial D was released as a direct to video DVD in Australia on 21 October 2005. It was released in the United Kingdom on 28 April, and the Philippines on 12 July 2006. Tai Seng Entertainment, the distributor of Initial D in the United States, released Initial D on Blu-ray on 22 January 2008. This is an exclusive release for the Blu-ray format.[citation needed]


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 33% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10.[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Initial D won six awards out of 15 nominations from the 42nd Golden Horse Awards in 2005 and 25th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2006.

42nd Golden Horse Awards[edit]

Category Nomination Result Ref
Best Supporting Actor Anthony Wong Chau-Sang Won [7]
Best New Performer Jay Chou Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Felix Chong Man-Keung Nominated
Best Original Song "飄移" (Drifting) by Jay Chou from November's Chopin Nominated
Best Visual Effects Victor Wong, Eddy Wong, Bryan Cheung Nominated
Best Sound Effects Kinson Tsang King-Cheung Nominated

25th Hong Kong Film Awards[edit]

Category Nomination Result Ref
Best Supporting Actor Anthony Wong Chau-Sang Won [8]
Best New Performer Jay Chou Won
Best Sound Design Kinson Tsang King-Cheung Won
Best Visual Effects Victor Wong, Eddy Wong, Bryan Cheung Won
Best Film Initial D Nominated
Best Director Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Alan Mak Siu-Fai Nominated
Best Editing Wong Hoi Nominated
Best Original Score Chan Kwong-Wing Nominated
Best Original Song "飄移" (Drifting) by Jay Chou from November's Chopin Nominated

Possible sequel[edit]

A sequel has been in discussion since the following year after the movie debuted. However, a concrete conclusion could not be reached due to obstacles that include the storyline, filming locations, casts, and safety reasons. As of March 2014, director and producer, Andrew Lau, once again reconfirmed in an exclusive interview that a sequel will surely follow but is tight-lipped on the release date. Jay Chou and Edison Chen will reprise their roles.[9]

Works cited[edit]

Initial D manga series[edit]

^ "Ch." and "Vol." are shortened forms for chapter and volume and refer to the appropriate sections in the Initial D manga:

  • Shugeno, Shuichi Initial D. (in Japanese) 45 vols. Tokyo: 1995–2012.
  • Shugeno, Shuichi Initial D. (English version) 33 vols. Los Angeles: Tokyopop. 2002–09

Initial D anime series[edit]

Entire series
  • Initial D (in Japanese). 1998–2014
  • Initial D Tokyopop. 2003–05
  • Initial D Funimation. 2010–11


  1. ^ "Initial D: The Little Comic That Could". YesAsia. 2005-07-27. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  2. ^ "TAU MAN JI D (INITIAL D)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  3. ^ Desk, BWW News. "AdShare Signs 'King Of Asian Pop' Jay Chou". Retrieved 29 August 2018. 
  4. ^ "Initial D World - Discussion Board / Forums – History of Fujiwara Tofu Shop". Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Real Life Initial D On Display - Speedhunters". Speedhunters. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Initial D (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  7. ^ (in Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 42nd Golden Horse Awards winners and nominaees list Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2011-02-25
  8. ^ (in Chinese) Hong Kong Film Awards official homepage 25th Hong Kong Film Awards winner/nomination list Retrieved 2011-02-25
  9. ^ "Jay Chou Wants Edison Chen and Shawn Yue Back for "Initial D" Sequel". 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 

External links[edit]