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Initial D (2005)

Tau man ji D (original title)
TV-PG | | Action, Comedy, Drama | 23 June 2005 (China)
After winning his first competition, Takumi focuses his attention on drift racing, a sport he has unknowingly perfected while delivering tofu in his father's Toyota AE86.

Directors:

Andrew Lau Wai-Keung (as Andrew Lau), Alan Mak | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Shuichi Shigeno (comic books), Felix Chong (screenplay)

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12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shawn Yue ... Takeshi Nakazato
Edison Chen ... Ryousuke Takahashi
Jay Chou ... Takumi Fujiwara
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... Bunta 'Tofuman' Fujiwara (as Anthony Wong)
Chapman To ... Itsuki Tachibana
Tsuyoshi Abe Tsuyoshi Abe ... Kenji
Anne Suzuki ... Natsuki Mogi
Kenny Bee ... Yuuichi 'Gasman' Tachibana
Will Liu ... Seiji Iwaki
Jordan Chan ... Kyouichi Sudou
Kiyohiko Ueki Kiyohiko Ueki ... Iketani
Kazuo Yashiro Kazuo Yashiro ... SpeedStars Member
Miki Kuroiwa Miki Kuroiwa ... Natsuki Mogi's Classmate
Megumi Seitone Megumi Seitone ... Natsuki Mogi's Classmate
Sayaka Takizawa Sayaka Takizawa ... Natsuki Mogi's Classmate
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Storyline

Two mountain road racers, Nakazato and Takahashi, challenged each other to find the best racers, and defeat them in "battles". Nakazato was surprisingly defeated by an old Toyota Trueno AE86 (Corolla in the US) one night, and he searched for the person who defeated him, which lead him to the Speedstars, a local team. But the car who beat him was actually driven by a local Tofu shop owner's son, Takumi Fujiwara, who had unknowingly perfected the art of mountain racing through daily deliveries of tofu. Takumi was able to defeat Nakazato again, showing that he is no fluke. However, winning hasn't helped him home life, as his father, Bunta Fujiwara, was a drunkard (and a racing genius). His girlfriend Natsuki Mogi wants his attention even though she's got a dark and shameful secret, and his best friend Itsuki (who has no talent in driving) wants Takumi to teach him road racing... after buying the WRONG car. In a mountain road encounter, they ran into Team Emperor's Mitsubishi Evo, and ... Written by K. Chang

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The ULTIMATE race car movie! See more »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Media Asia [Hong Kong]

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English

Release Date:

23 June 2005 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Initial D See more »

Filming Locations:

Mt. Akina, Gunma, Japan

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$931,946 (Hong Kong), 1 July 2005, Limited Release

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

HKD 55,000,000, 26 June 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tsui Hark was originally set to direct Initial D, but there were "creative differences." After he left, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak signed on instead. See more »

Goofs

When Bunta is driving, there is a close-up of the tachometer where we can also see that the speedometer is not functioning at all. Later in the movie, a close-up of the speedometer shows it working again. See more »

Quotes

[after a car bumps into Itsuki's AE86 from behind while Itsuki learns how to drift]
Itsuki Tachibana: Why is it kissing my ass?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #37.5 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

All The Way North
Produced by Jay Chou
Composed by Jay Chou
Performed by Jay Chou
Lyrics by Wen Shang Fan
Arranged by Again Tsai
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Initial D
23 June 2005 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Just to set the expectations from this review, I have not read the Initial D manga, nor watched any of the anime. Therefore this review's point of view will be from the cinematic experience, and there will be no comparison on how true it stays to the manga/anime.

Despite all the star power in the film, from teeny boppers Edison Chen and Shawn Yue, to veterans Kenny Bee and Anthony Wong, this still remains a Jay Chou vehicle (pardon the pun). Jay stars as a petrol pump attendant who by day works at a petrol kiosk, and in the wee hours of the night, helps his tofu selling dad deliver tofu in an old Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno using a route that traverses along a winding Mount Akina.

Naturally, with his 5 years experience, he intimately knows the terrain, and gets faster each time, until a group of street racers set their sights to conquer the route.

There will definitely be comparisons with Hollywood's The Fast and The Furious series, starring Vin Diesel/Paul Walker. The similarities are there - the fast cars, the beautiful racer babes, the rivalry between arrogant drivers. You even get the same cinematography technique used that starts from the driver's POV, pulling back to the dashboard, the rear seat, the boot, and the car from a "helicopter" view.

But what sets this film apart is the way it is delivered. Being based on a comic book offers some depth to the storyline, and it helped by staying true to the setting, being based in Japan and not HK. The races in itself might seem repetitive, as the highlight seemed to be focused on its title - the "drift" technique, being used ad-nausem, but having different drivers challenge each other on the one and only route breaks the monotony as you root for your favourite to come out tops.

Given this is Jay Chou's debut movie role, it is difficult to critique if his acting skills are up to mark, as his lead character Takumi Fujiwara is a nonchalant man of few words. Which is very much like his persona. His co-stars Edison Chen and Shawn Yue could very well be their own persons as well. Chapman To, as usual, brings across the rather light hearted moments, and Anthony Wong as Chou's dad, a veteran race ace who finds solace in the bottle and having a penchant for dozing off.

Perhaps the only flaw about the movie was the sappy romance between Jay and his Japanese co-star. Not that she isn't gorgeous (which is a saving grace), but their scenes together doesn't further the plot much, and slows down the pace somewhat of this movie about the need for speed.

This is an enjoyable flick, one in which I waited for the theme song / tune to be featured (only at the end credits!). But no, I don't think I will be converted to a Jay Chou fan boy anytime soon.

I suspect that in the upcoming weeks, we probably might see parallel imports / makes of the Trueno on our shores to satisfy the racer boy wannabes (heard Singapore only has 2?), although it probably can't run as fast as in the movies (movie magic lah). And yeah, the driving with one hand on the wheel and the other on the face, with the contemplating look.


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