1990s Action Anime On Disney Influenced The Biggest Blockbusters Of The Last Decade

By Robert Scucci | Published

initial d

If you’re a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, then you need to drift on over to the Hulu section of Disney+ and check out Initial D, the anime series that put street racing plots on the map.

Initial D

Based on the long-running manga of the same name, Initial D is fast-paced, chock-full of action, and like the Fast and Furious movies, features plenty of racing that will get you in a serious amount of trouble if you were to try performing the stunts depicted in the series while embarking on your morning commute.

Initial D set a new gold standard for action movies to emulate over the past couple of decades, and its legacy cannot be overstated.

Street Racing Circuit

Focusing on the life of Takumi Fujiwara, Initial D boasts a coming-of-age story about the 18-year-old’s rise to prominence in the street racing circuit. Living an ordinary life at first,

Takumi learns how to drive while working for his father, Bunta, as a tofu delivery driver. Bunta is a legendary street racer himself, and it’s clear that the skills Takumi possess run in the family each time Takumi gets behind the wheel of the family’s, aging yet reliable Toyota AE86.

Natural Talent For Driving

Initial D

Possessing a natural talent for driving, Takumi quickly becomes a prominent figure in the illegal street racing scene in Japan. Placing a strong emphasis on drifting, Initial Ds action primarily takes place on mountain passes boasting high altitudes and winding roads.

Throughout Takumi’s Initial D journey, he grows not only as a racer, but also as a young adult who has to balance his personal life with his racing career.

Immediate Success

Initial D

The Initial D anime series, not unlike the manga that it’s based on, was an immediate success on both the critical and commercial fronts.

The Initial D manga is one of the highest-selling series in history, with over 55 million copies in circulation, and the series is held in equally high regard for its realistic depiction of street racing.

There are countless Reddit posts praising Initial D for its accurate portrayal of not only the mechanics of street racing, but also the hand and foot work of the drivers in the series.

Fast And Furious Influence

Initial D

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drifts premise was significantly elevated thanks to the contributions of Keiichi Tsuchiya, who worked as a consultant on the Initial D series.

Tsuchiya would go on to function as a stunt coordinator and stunt actor in Tokyo Drift, which has been praised for its straightforward storytelling and no-nonsense style that was a high-water mark for the Fast and Furious franchise.

Sung Kang, who portrayed the fan-favorite Han Lue in Tokyo Drift, will soon be helming and starring in an upcoming Initial D live-action movie that’s currently in the development phases.

No Release Date For Initial D Adaptation

Initial D

Unlike the 2005 adaptation, which received poor reviews, the new project will remain faithful to the original manga written by Shuichi Shigeno, which was introduced to the masses in 1995.

While the upcoming Initial D adaptation does not have a set release date or production schedule, there is plenty of source material to familiarize yourself with in the meantime.

The Initial D anime series is currently available and firing on all cylinders in the Hulu Section of Disney+, and is accessible during its beta phase with an active subscription to both services.