There is nothing more exciting than traveling the same roads as one of your anime heroes. Because, you really don’t get the chance to visit some far off land where dragons roam.
However, Initial D takes place in Japan and luckily, the roads in Initial D were designed after real mountain roads in Japan. The roads near where I live and work. True to the anime, some nights when you are driving on these roads, you can hear the screeching of tires. When you hear that, you should move to the side of the road and sit in awe at those who have mastered the mountains.
Which brings me to a question, in Initial D, who is the master of the mountain? (Warning, Spoilers are ahead.)
10. Gou Houjou (Go Hojo)
Coming in 10th place is Go Hojo, driving the red 1994 Honda NSX. Go Hojo is the chief of the Sidewinders from the prefecture Ibarak. Part of the Sidewinder’s strategy is to analyze their opponent and try and find a weakness. Go helps the Sidewinders find the weakness of Project D but failed to follow the plan when it came time for his race, ending up getting beat by Keisuke when his car spun out during the race. Bad luck Go, you’re fast, but not fast enough.
9. Rin “Shinigami” Houjou (Rin “Grim Reaper” Hojo)
Finishing in 9th place, just before his brother, is the Grim Reaper, Rin Hojo, driving his 1994 Metallic Gun Gray Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II. After the suicide of his fiancé, Rin Hojo vanished from the racing scene and had only recently resurfaced. He blamed the death of his fiancé on Ryosuke Takahashi and sought vengeance for her death.
In a race agains Ryosuke, Rin tried to run him off the road but ended up almost crashing himself. After getting saved by Ryosuke and Ikeda managed to stop Rin’s car before it went screaming to the dark base of the mountain. After this incident, the Grim Reaper put up his scythe and let his fiancé rest in peace.
8. Kouzou “God Foot” Hoshino (Kozo Hoshino)
Head of the God of Death, driving his 2002 Metallic Millennium Jade Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec II, is Kozo Hoshino, the God Foot himself coming in 8th place. Kozo earned the nickname “God Foot” with his finely tuned acceleration control and ability to drift his car while it has 4 wheel drive engaged.
He managed to win the first round against Project D, but due to his tires loosing traction, ended up losing the second match and wasn’t able to proceed with a third round.
7. Tomoyuki Tachi
Ending in 7th place is the graduate from the Todo School for professional drivers, Tomoyuki Tachi, dirving the Todo School Spoon Civic Type R Demo Car. Just because it’s a special car, doesn’t mean that it gives it’s racers an edge, not that Tomoyuki really needs any extra help, since he is an excellent driver to begin with.
Now racing on the professional scene, Tomoyuki only lost his match against Takumi because his senses are too heightened for a mountain road as a raccoon jumped across the road, causing Tomoyuki’s training to kick in and making him swerve to avoid it, giving Takumi the opening that he was looking for to pass the professional racer.
6. Ryosuke Takahashi
Proving that not everyone in Project D are the fastest drivers, Ryosuke Takahashi ends up placing 6th on this race. Driving his 1990, Crystal White Savanna RX-7 Infini III has lead Ryosuke to many victories on the mountains of Japan. It is hard seeing one of the home team falling back in the race, but as Ryosuke admitted himself, both his younger brother Keisuke and Takumi have long since passed him which would only continue to get better. It wasn’t a surprise that they would be ahead of him on this list.
5. Shinji Inui
Ending in 5th place is a relatively new face to the racing scene. Driving his 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno 2door GT-APEX is 15 year old Shiniji Inui. The youngest member of the Sidewinders, Shinji is an upcoming racer who still has a lot to learn about driving. Shinji may be able to become the fastest racer in Japan, but currently he isn’t even second best. Losing the race to Takumi didn’t damper his spirit, but only made him stronger as he will continue to race and get better.
4. Keisuke Takahashi
【新劇場版 頭文字D】前作｢Legend1｣の地上波、ノンストップ放送はいよいよ明日放送となります！ TOKYO MXにて5/22(金)19：00～20：00、皆さん是非ご覧頂いて、週末は映画館にお越し下さい！！ pic.twitter.com/LtTpaT8Y83— 『頭文字Ｄ』公式 (@initialD_PR) May 21, 2015
Almost finishing in 3rd place is Keisuke Takahashi, driving his 1991 Competition Yellow Mica Mazda RX-7 Type R. Another member of the Project D team has landed on the list. Keisuke is one of the fastest and most skilled drivers among the racers of Initial D. After losing to Takumi on a downhill race, the two became members of Project D and rivals.
After which, they haven’t had a serious battle to determine who is faster and even Takumi thinks that Keisuke might be able to beat him if they had a serious race. Keisuke eventually became a professional racer.
3. Takumi Fujiwara
The last member of Project D, Takumi Fujiwara, ends this race in 3rd place. Driving the legendary Hachi-Roku, 1983 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX, Takumi leaves the knowledge he has learned under a mask of indifference at the start of Initial D. Only to be dragged out of hiding as the ghost of the mountain, to become one of the fastest drivers and key member of Project D.
Takumi has only lost a handful of races in his life, each lost has taught him something about racing that he lacked. Each loss provided him with a lock and each victory gave him a key to which unlock the needed skills to become one of the fastest driver in Initial D.
2. Dr. Toshiya “God Hand” Joshima
In a surprisingly 2nd place, Driving his blue 2003 Honda S2000 Type-V, God Hand Toshiya Joshima proves that those who are older are not at all slow drivers. Dr. Joshima didn’t earn his nickname God Hand by doing medical work. He gained it by only using one hand while racing, to give his opponents a fighting chance. But, age is catching up to Dr. Joshima, as shown in the battle against Takumi, when Toshiya’s body couldn’t take the strain of the race anymore and he started to shake and eventually let Takumi pass.
Takumi did pass the Doctor, but only after his car’s engine had already blown, which would have put him out of the race anyways. After Dr. Joshima got feeling better, gave Takumi the favor of driving the course once more, so Takumi could learn the trick of the gods.
1. Bunta Fujiwara
And finishing in 1st place is non-other than the original owner of Takumi’s Hachi-Roku, Bunta Fujiwara. Bunta was undefeated during his time as a street racer and given that Bunta is never seen racing his Sonic Blue 1998, Subaru Impreza against anyone, he is seen fine tuning the Hachi-Roku and scaring the wits out his friend while doing it.
Bunta is from the same generation as Dr. Joshima and Kozo Hoshino, but unlike those two, he isn’t showing any signs of old age. Leading to the conclusion that Bunta is faster than the two Gods from the Purple Shadow, leaving him the leader of the racers from Initial D.
It would be a fun race to watch if we could watch these ten legendary racers take to the windy roads around the mountains around Nikko to see who the fastest and most skilled driver among them all. But, I guess I’ll just have to go up there tomorrow and see if there are any races. Who knows, I might be able to get some pictures and share them later.