True fans of drifting know that the original slideways hero was a young man by the name of Takumi Fujiwara. His drift machine of choice was his father's modified Toyota Sprinter AE86 Trueno (basically, a rear-wheel-drive Corolla built between 1983 and 1987). Fujiwara honed his skills while making delivery runs for his father's sushi company in that AE86.

We're of course referring to the famed Japanese manga by the name of Initial D. It started its original comic book run in 1995, and has since spun off into a ton of story volumes, many television shows, a handful of video games, and even a movie. Now, however, it's entering its final stage as the series is set to make its last run.

The final volume is being adapted into an animated series. There are also plans in the works for a final film titled Initial D: The Movie.

It's been a long road for Fujiwara, the character that started off as a young kid honing his skills on Mt. Akina and eventually becoming one of Japan's greatest drivers. The series should be a sure hit to anyone that is a fan of Japanese domestic market vehicles, drifting, and comic books. The creators stuffed tons of cool cars into the story, and it's one of the main reasons that the AE86 remains such a popular car to this day.

Initial D was originally the manga creation of Shuichi Shigeno, and it's since become a massive hit. Perhaps some of today's fun, inexpensive rear-wheel-drive machines can be traced back to the popularity of the series. That series made the AE86 popular, and fans have been clamoring for a modern Toyota sports car. Now we have the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT 86. Maybe we owe a bit of thanks to Takumi Fujiwara for that? We think so...


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