Initial D (film)

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Initial D
Theatrical release poster
MandarinTóu Wén Zì D
CantoneseTau4 Man4 Zi6 D
Directed byAndrew Lau
Alan Mak
Screenplay byFelix Chong
Story byJay Chou
Produced byAndrew Lau
CinematographyLai Yiu-fai
Andrew Lau
Edited byWong Hoi
Music byChan Kwong-wing
Distributed byMedia Asia Distribution
Release date
  • 23 June 2005 (2005-06-23)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryHong Kong
BudgetUS$12 million[1]
Box officeUS$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, with elements combined from the first, second, and third stages. 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 Mount 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. Yuichi 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 wins 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 cliffside, totaling his Lancer Evo III. 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 to join Ryousuke's team (Project D).


Jay Chou making his acting debut in Initial D
  • Jay Chou as Takumi Fujiwara
  • Anne Suzuki as Natsuki Mogi, Takumi's classmate and love interest
  • Edison Chen as Ryousuke Takahashi, leader of the RedSuns
  • Anthony Wong as Bunta Fujiwara, Takumi's father, a former racer who now runs a tofu shop
  • Shawn Yue as Takeshi Nakazato, leader of the NightKids
  • Chapman To as Itsuki Takeuchi, Takumi's friend and the leader of the Akina SpeedStars. His father owns the gas station.
  • Jordan Chan as Kyouichi Sudou, leader of Team Emperor
  • Kenny Bee as Yuuichi Tachibana, the gas station owner and Bunta's friend
  • Tsuyoshi Abe as Kenji, one of the gas station attendants who is a member of Akina SpeedStars
  • Liu Keng Hung, as Seiji Iwaki, member of Team Emperor
  • Chie Tanaka as Miya, a female gas station attendant that Itsuki dates
  • Kazuyuki Tsumura as Mr. X, Natsuki's sugar daddy


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]

In Japan, the DVD release sold 250,000 units, grossing approximately ¥998 million ($13 million) in video sales revenue.[6]


The AAA song "Blood on Fire" (2005), the film's main theme song, sold 58,052 single units, grossing approximately ¥29.03 million.[7] The Mink insert song "Beautiful" sold 2,786 units, grossing ¥2.93 million.[8]

The Every Little Thing single "Fragile/Jirenma" (2001), the film's ending theme song, sold 1.1 million units.[9] At a price of ¥1,080,[10] single sales grossed approximately ¥1.2 billion. In total, the film's singles sold 1.2 million units, grossing approximately ¥1.232 billion ($15.44 million).

Critical reception[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.[11]

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 [12]
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 [13]
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.[14]

Changes from the original manga and anime[edit]

The film differs from the manga and anime in several distinct ways.[15] Because of this, the film mostly combines elements from First Stage, Second Stage, and briefly Third Stage as well.

Film Anime/Manga
Itsuki is a spoiled brat and the son of Yuuichi Tachibana, the gas station manager. He is the de facto leader of the Akina Speed Stars. Kouichiro Iketani is not present.[15] Itsuki Takeuchi is an employee at the gas station, and is not related to Tachibana. Iketani is the leader of the Akina Speed Stars.
Keisuke Takahashi does not appear in the film. Ryosuke assumes some of Keisuke's characteristics Keisuke Takahashi appears at the beginning of the anime and runs the first race with Takumi using his Mazda RX-7 FD.
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-aged 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-aged man. In the manga, Takumi goes to the love hotel parking lot and sees Natsuki riding in a black Mercedes.[16]
Takumi is tailed by Kyoichi Sudo, and gets involved in a race that ends when his engine makes a small popping noise and then his car stops.[15] After discovering Natsuki has been going to the love hotel,[16] Takumi impulsively accepts Sudo's challenge.Ch. 101 During the race on Mount Akagi, Takumi's car blows out its engine and spins out.Ch. 107[15]
Natsuki realizes Takumi is upset about her affairs when she sees him angrily driving off. Takumi then joins Project D shortly afterwards. Natsuki does not realize Takumi discovered her secret until he acts cold to her at school. She tries to reconcile with him over multiple chapters.Ch. 173 She even visits his dad and works briefly at the gas station. Takumi amicably parts ways with Natsuki, 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 against Kyoichi. Only Takumi and Bunta are ever seen using the gutter technique in the anime. Ryosuke and Nakazato know of it. (Ryosuke was able to copy Takumi's version of it during their duel in the manga, but he admits that he would not be able to do it on his own.)
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 second 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. Bunta never threatened to kick Takumi out of the house.
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 (W210) in the anime and a Mercedes-Benz 190E in the manga.

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. 27 July 2005. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  2. ^ "TAU MAN JI D (INITIAL D)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  3. ^ BWW News Desk. "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. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  6. ^ "19th Annual Business Report". Avex Group. 2006. p. 13. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Blood on Fire". Generasia. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Beautiful / One Suitcase". Generasia. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ "スピッツの「あいのり」主題歌が大ブレーク". Sanspo. Retrieved 16 February 2004.
  10. ^ "fragile/JIRENMA". Oricon. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Initial D (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  12. ^ (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
  13. ^ (in Chinese) Hong Kong Film Awards official homepage 25th Hong Kong Film Awards winner/nomination list Retrieved 2011-02-25
  14. ^ "Jay Chou Wants Edison Chen and Shawn Yue Back for "Initial D" Sequel". 28 March 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d
  16. ^ a b Initial D manga, chapter 100

External links[edit]