|Itsuki really wants to race cars. He
convinces Iketani-senpai to let him and a reluctant
Takumi (top) to watch the Speed Stars race down Akina
mountain, which has nice curves for downhill racing. It
is that night that the Speed Stars are challenged by the
highly talented Red Suns. The Speed Stars are sure to
lose. Iketani finds out from the gas station boss about
the best downhill racer, Fugiwara Bunta, father of
Takumi. Iketani begs Fugiwara to take his place. After
much nagging by Iketani, Fugiwara finally says that
something might be arranged.
It turns out that Takumi has been driving his father's Trueno (or hacchi-roku, or 86) for the last five years up and down Akina mountain, even though he has just gotten his license. Everyday he gets up to deliver tofu at four in the morning, coming home as fast as possible so that he can go back to sleep. But since tofu is so fragile, Takumi has to drive with a cup of water in the cup-holder, making certain that no water spills out of the cup. This has trained Takumi to have amazing control over the car.
Fugiwara tells Takumi that if he wins the downhill race against the Red Suns, he will fill up the tank of gas for Takumi. Takumi, although reluctant to be racing, decides he really needs the gas for his date with Natsumi the next day. And thus, Takumi goes to meet the challenge of beating the second best driver of the Red Suns. All are amazed by the driving abilities of this youth, and few can believe the outcome of the race.
Initial D is about boys and their toys. It is definitely not for those of you who want cute guys and deep thought type plots. Yes, this is another shonen genre manga I've gotten myself into. But I have to admit I love Takumi. He has that relaxed and tired air that is so much fun in a main character, especially in that rare occasion when he gets pissed off. He does so many things without a thought, while other people stare in surprise and wonder if he has a death wish. Personally, I think the anime is a lot better since you really get the feel of cars racing. The dialogue is pretty much the same in the manga and anime, but the manga goes further in the story.
Rating -- 6