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
Starring Jay Chou
Edison Chen
Shawn Yue
Anne Suzuki
Music by Chan Kwong-wing
Cinematography Lai Yiu-fai
Andrew Lau
Edited by Wong Hoi
Distributed by Media Asia Distribution
Release dates
  • 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 and anime series. The main character, Takumi Fujiwara, is portrayed by Jay Chou.


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

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

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

With all the talk on Takumi's AE86, Takumi's close friend Itsuki Tachibana buys a new car after his Nissan Silvia gets totaled. He winds up swindled (mentioned by Itsuki's father) — getting an AE85 instead. Takumi was lured by Itsuki to teach driving down Mt. Akina. But halfway through, a member from the Emperor Team taunts them and almost makes them crash, which makes Takumi angry and successfully gets back at the Emperor Team's racer, where his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV crashed.

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

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

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

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


Major characters[edit]

Minor characters[edit]

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


Fujino Store Tofu Shop in Gunma, which was renamed and modeled to Fujiwara Tofu Shop for the live-action film.[3][4]

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

Changes from original versions[edit]

The film differs from the manga and anime in several distinct ways.[clarification needed] Some changes are significant, while others are minor.[5]

Film Manga/Anime/Games
Itsuki Tachibana is the spoiled brat and the son of Yuuichi Tachibana, the gas station manager. He is the de facto leader of the Akina Speed Stars. He is like a combination of the Anime Itsuki and Iketani.[5] Kouichiro Iketani is the leader of the Akina Speed Stars, while Itsuki Takeuchi (as he is named in the original series) is an employee like Takumi at the gas station and is more of a comic relief. Itsuki is not the son of Yuuichi Tachibana nor is he related.
Bunta Fujiwara is portrayed as an abusive, easily angered, alcoholic womanizer. Bunta is portrayed as a wise and often secretive father, who nurtures Takumi's "gift" of touge racing. He likes to drink but is not an alcoholic.
Team Emperor is portrayed as a Bōsōzoku gang. Team Emperor is portrayed as a semi-professional street racing team.
Itsuki tells Takumi that Natsuki Mogi is cheating on him after noticing Mogi in another man's Mercedes-Benz driving out of a hotel. Takumi then sees Mogi in the Mercedes on the highway and also when he goes to Mogi's estate in the end. In the anime, an anonymous phone call following anonymous notes (later turns out to be the daughter of the middle-age man, also a friend and classmate of Natsuki) informs Takumi that Natsuki is engaging in enjo kōsai. Takumi stakes out a family restaurant and sees Mogi entering the Mercedes together with a middle-age man. In the manga, Takumi goes to the love hotel parking lot and sees Natsuki riding in a black Mercedes.[6]
Takumi is tailed by Kyouichi Sudo and gets involved in a race. His engine makes a small popping noise and then his car stops. Ryosuke later helps Takumi.[5] After discovering Natsuki riding with a man from a love hotel,[6] Takumi impulsively accepts the challenge from Kyouichi Sudo of Team Emperor.[7] During the race on Mount Akagi, Takumi blows out his engine and spins out.[8] Bunta picks him up afterward.[5]
Takumi catches Natsuki with another guy. When he angrily drives off, Natsuki is left crying. Takumi joins Project D at the end of the film. Natsuki does not realize Takumi discovered her secret until he acts cold to her at school; she tries to reconcile with him.[9] She even visits his dad and works at the gas station. Takumi amicably parts ways with Natsuki at the end of Third Stage and joins Project D about a year after the discovery.
Itsuki drives a Nissan Silvia K's (S13) which he crashes and later on he drives a Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86). Itsuki mistakenly obtains a Toyota Corolla Levin SR (AE85), thinking it is a Toyota Corolla Levin (AE86), in contrast with Takumi's Trueno. Koichiro Iketani drives the Nissan Silvia K's (S13). But Itsuki only borrowed the Nissan Silvia Q's (S13) and not the same car.
Both Takumi Fujiwara and Ryosuke Takahashi use the gutter technique to win Kyouichi. Only Takumi and Bunta are ever seen using the gutter technique. Ryosuke knows of it but has never attempted it.
The engine, carbon fiber hood, tachometer, and light weight headlamps are installed all at once during the re-tuning after the AE86 breaks down. Each of the modifications are installed separately: first, the 200+ horsepower 4A-GEU engine and then the tachometer are installed during 2nd Stage. During the 4th stage, a carbon fiber hood and light-weight headlamps are installed.
Bunta gave Takumi a cup of water to put in the cup holder in the AE86 the day after Takumi breaks the tofu in the AE86's boot. Bunta tells Takumi not to spill even a single drop of it or warned that he'll be thrown/kicked out of his house for the night. Bunta simply gave Takumi a cup of water right on his very first day of his tofu delivery; Bunta filled the cup up a little more every time and told him not to spill a single drop of it.
Takeshi Nakazato drifts when driving his R32, and his R32 is said to have 350 horsepower. Takeshi Nakazato never drifts when driving his R32, as he prefers the "grip" style of driving instead, while his R32 has 380 horsepower.
'Papa' drives a Mercedes S-Class (although this is shown initially as a W220 and then as a W140). 'Papa' drives a Mercedes E-class in the anime and a Mercedes-Benz 190E in the manga.
Keisuke Takahashi, Ryosuke's younger brother, is not featured, although Ryosuke has the same dress style as Keisuke does in the manga, blending the characters into one person. Keisuke Takahashi appears at the beginning of the anime and runs the first race with Takumi using his Mazda RX-7 FD.


Initial D was released on 23 June 2005 in several Asian markets including Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China, where it topped the box office in its first week. The film made its North American debut at The Imaginasian Theater in New York City and was released on DVD soon afterward.

It went straight to 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.

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 [10]
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 [11]
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


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.[12]


  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. ^ "Initial D World - Discussion Board / Forums – History of Fujiwara Tofu Shop". Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Real Life Initial D On Display - Speedhunters". Speedhunters. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d
  6. ^ a b Initial D manga, chapter 100
  7. ^ Initial D manga, chapter 101.
  8. ^ Initial D, chapter 107
  9. ^ Initial D manga, chapter 173.
  10. ^ (Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 42nd Golden Horse Awards winners and nominaees list Retrieved 2011-02-25
  11. ^ (Chinese) Hong Kong Film Awards official homepage 25th Hong Kong Film Awards winner/nomination list Retrieved 2011-02-25
  12. ^ "Jay Chou Wants Edison Chen and Shawn Yue Back for "Initial D" Sequel". 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 

External links[edit]