Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: Shuichi Shigeno

The cars of Initial D – Manga Car Spotting – part 1

Manga Cars

Ever wondered which cars are featured in Initial D? And perhaps also wondered which model, make and type these manga cars are? In this third episode of Manga car spotting, I’ll be spotting cars in the first book of Initial D! This first book is the US version of the Manga by Tokyopop and covers chapters 1 to 10 of the Japanese Manga.
The cars of Initial D - Manga Car Spotting - part 1

Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno

I don’t think Initial D needs an introduction: it’s the classic racing manga / racing anime series that gained huge popularity during the mid 1990s in Japan and mid 2000s outside Japan. The manga itself contains many layers of depth and isn’t just about cars, but also about (family) relationships and harsh training by commitment and determination. These first 10 chapters are mostly the introductory of the characters and the setting, so not a lot of action will happen. Still it was fun to do!

You can find the video and the high resolution scans of the panels containing manga cars below:

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Video: drifting on Kurume in 1991

I think these three videos are about the earliest drift videos to be found on Youtube so far!
Be prepared for an overkill of Hakosuka Skylines, Corolla Levin AE86s and Sprinter Trueno AE86s, (brand new) Nissan Silvia and 180SX S13s, Mazda FCs, MR2 AW11s, Isuzu Gemini, Eunos Roadster, Lancer Turbo, Toyota Carina and even an Isuzu Piazza right at the beginning! Two of the videos are shot on the pass next to Kurume (Fukuokai) and the other one on Yz circuit in Mizunami!

In this second video it really shows how dangerous the drifts of these guys actually were: I stopped counting after the tenth near accident with oncoming traffic!

Yes, a real bunch of lunatics!

There is some serious action on the YZ circuit going on and at 4:36 you can spot an occasional zenki Carina GT twice:

Looking at all this track action I get the feeling the aftermarket for springs and shocks wasn’t as big as today! Most of the cars drift like a boat! :D

I understand why Shuichi Shigeno got inspired by his drift friends back in the early nineties! These guys really were way before drifting went from fun to pro.

All videos found at [Pipiyumio]

Old footage: Touge drifting in 1992

I posted some old footage of touge drifting in 1996 before, but now found some more vintage videos from the early 90s. This was years before Shuichi Shigeno even moved his pencil enough to create Initial D!

The drifting looks very skilled for those days. Even though we are used to much higher speeds 17 years later it still looks quite fast drifting for an AE86 drifting uphill! The music kind of reminds me of the terrible music they used for all anime openings early 90s! Somehow I’m glad they did not use this type of music for Initial D. :D

The second video has a better taste in music:

In the second video they are drifting uphill again. That brings me to another thing: why are they drifting uphill? Isn’t it much better to drift downhill?

Apart from drifting uphill: I see some very nice drifts and some other cars than the AE86: a B310, a TE71 and a KP61. Ah, can’t we just go back to the 90s when the amount of horsepower didn’t matter that much?

Hilarious: car usage in Tokusatsu

As I said yesterday: I was browsing Tokusatsu videos on Youtube to make my Hilarious posting this week. My idea was to see how cars were actually used through these series. Of course I mean recognizable cars and not the Bosozoku styled super-heroes cars.

First of all I found this intro of the 1988 Choujuu Sentai Liveman series:
At 0:30 the first hero drives a white Mazda FC convertible.
A poor student at Academia, but a strong leader and quick thinking under pressure. He is brave and a hardworker. Initially starts as hot-headed and sarcastic, but grows into the role of dependable leader as the series progresses.
Could this have been the inspiration for Shuichi Shigeno for Ryosuke Takahashi in Initial D? Only difference is that Ryosuke is not a poor student but rather a rich student taking a break during his study…

Then take the intro of the 1986 Choushinsei Flashman series:

The red Flashman is a professional racing driver. To be more precise: he drives the number 170 Mazda 757. It must somehow be true that he did was the driver because number 170 did not finish Le Mans 1986. Probably one of the villains must have wanted to sabotage Le Mans 1986 and in order to prevent this red Flashman must have abandoned the race. ;)

And in the last (but not least) example the 1984 Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together!! series:

The blue Kamen Rider drives a Mazda HB Cosmo (a.k.a. the Mazda 929 overseas) like he’s doing audition for the first movie of the the Shuto Kousoku series (a.k.a. Shuto Trial or Freeway Speedway).

Somehow I see a pattern in these intros: Toei and Mazda! Coincidence? No, I don’t think so…

Carina Sightings: Carina GT-R AA63 in 1995 video

Last sunday I posted some Touge drifting videos from 1995. The same user also uploaded a official drift video called Tuned Drift which apparently featured each month, just like Video Option once started.

The video contains only 3 seconds footage of a Carina GT-R AA63, but since it is ancient footage I did want to post the video anyway.

As you can see, it contains mostly Nissan Silvia S13s and 180SX RPS13s, a few AE86s and incidentally a Nissan Skyline R31, FC3S, Nissan Cifero A31 and a beaten up Toyota Chaser GX81.

One of the Levin AE86s (at 25 seconds) almost 100% resembles Wataru’s Levin in Initial D. Remember that Shuichi Shigeno only started drawing Initial D in 1995, so consider this pre-Initial D.

I must say that the Sprinter Trueno AE86 at 45 seconds is very nicely done. Actually it would still be very nicely tuned nowadays so it is definitely far ahead of its time!

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