Initial D Characters : ALL characters Listed

Initial D Characters

Based on Japan’s real-world touge-heaven, Gunma Prefecture, in the late ’90s, the infamous Japanese anime Initial D’s primary focus is on its most prominent character – Takumi Fujiwara.

Takumi, an eighteen year old delivery driver, transports tofu daily to the hotel on the fictional Mount Akina.

For the deliveries, he gets the opportunity to use his father’s 1983 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86, or Eight-Six, (AE86, or Hachi Roku) in the most stylish way imaginable.

Initial D Characters

Providing the ultimate mix of touge drifting, Eurobeat, and an epic storyline, Initial D has become a legendary addition to the JDM and drifting world over the years.

We think it’s pretty safe to say that Initial D and The Fast and the Furious have both played prominent roles when it comes to bringing drifting to the mainstream.

While The Fast and the Furious attracted viewers across the world, Initial D’s main following resides in Japan, where there’s a massive following for both anime and manga, but it has gone on to capture the hearts of the rest of the world since its introduction in 1995.

Initial D Characters

The original manga series, which was illustrated and written by Shuchi Shigeno for the Weekly Young Magazine, went on to span across 48 tankōbon volumes published by Kodansha Comics, which then went on to become the hugely popular TV show, and later re-created into a real-world movie.

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After five years of delivering tofu to the local hotel on the empty mountain roads of Mount Akina (based on the real-life Mount Haruna), Takumi’s skills behind the wheel earned him legendary status among the local driving scene.

Despite making the initial tofu runs out of boredom as a job, Takumi grew to love the touge, and as he began meeting with the local street racing crews, he would soon be determined to become the fastest driver in the Gunma Prefecture.

As he learns to embrace street racing culture, his abilities continue to improve throughout the series. He competes head-to-head with some of the most highly-regarded mountain road competitors, causing many upsets along the route.

Although some of his rivals have far superior cars, it’s Takumi’s pure skill and talent, which allows him to continue pushing the boundaries behind the wheel of his lightweight, Eight-Six.

Initial D Characters

After starting with the Akina Speed Stars, Takumi planned a takeover with the highly-regarded ‘Project D’ crew, who planned to destroy every course record throughout Japan.

When you think of AE86’s and the touge, JDM legend Keiichi Tsuchiya will undoubtedly spring to mind.

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It is not surprising that the grandfather of drifting was a major contributor to the creation of the series. He helped create realistic animations and appeared later in Episode 23 of The First Stage.

Initial D Characters

Unfortunately, he didn’t go head-to-head with Takumi!

The series added to the already gargantuan cult-following that Toyota’s legendary AE86 has in Japan, and fans are still creating replicas and re-enacting their favorite Initial D scenes in the present day:

But, that’s enough Eight-Six loving for a moment, as let’s not forget the real reason we’re here – to explore the best-known characters that appear alongside Takumi in the epic Initial D series.

The Main Characters of Initial D

The Main Characters of Initial D

We’ll be taking a look at the most featured characters in the Initial D series and providing their story alongside the car that you’ll most likely recognize them for driving.

Takumi Fujiwara

takumi fujiwara ae86 eight six

It is impossible to not start our list with the most well-known face in the series.

Eighteen-year-old Takumi is the son of Bunta and is eager to become the fastest racer in the Kanto region, with plans to prove that he’s the fastest driver in Japan.

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Takumi started to learn how to drive on empty roads after he reluctantly delivered tofu to his father Bunta in the wee hours of the morning.

After a street race that saw Takumi defeating Keisuke Takahashi in his RX-7, he continued to prove his talent as he became one of the most skilled and respected drivers in the Gunma Prefecture.

Once he graduated from high school, he joined Ryosuke Takahashi’s ‘Project D’ team as they prepared to prove their worth against competitors beyond Gunma Prefecture.

Takumi’s ability to see the road ahead is amazing. He can turn corners with pinpoint precision and uses his Eight-Six at its best.

Although he’s calm and collected behind the wheel, he soon loses his temper when other drivers bump into his precious car, and you certainly won’t want to disrespect his friends, either!

Ryosuke becomes convinced throughout the series that Takumi has been gifted with a “special something” in life, after having numerous near-crashes that he mind-blowingly manages to escape unscathed somehow.

In his final race as a driver of Project D, Takumi’s engine blows, locking up the wheels and sending both him and Shinji into a spin after he had no other option but to follow.

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After his encounter with Akagi’s Evo III blowing engine, Takumi learned to press the clutch. This allows Takumi to keep his wheels spinning and allows him to drive backwards, without any power.

Shinji’s lack of experience caused him to spin out completely, and although a blown engine is typically a defeat, Shinji accepted that Takumi was the winner of the race, allowing Takumi to keep his beloved Trueno.

Bunta Fujiwara

bunta fujiwara takumi father eight six subaru impreza wrx sti

Bunta Fujiwara is Takumi’s father and owner of Fujiwara Tofu Shop, who provided Takumi the opportunity to make deliveries, as he went on to master his skills on the touge.

Street racing was not something Bunta was unfamiliar with and he was often undefeated. He held the record for the fastest time on Akina’s downhill route in Takumi’s AE86, which still belonged to Bunta at the time.

It was Bunta that knew the potential Takumi had to offer, and he handed him a cup of water to go into the AE86’s cup holder and informed him he was not to spill a single drop.

Although this was mainly to ensure he did not destroy the tofu in the trunk, it proved invaluable to Takumi, and it was one of many touches that helped refine his skills as he’s encouraged to drive with care and precision.

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After gifting the “White Ghost of Akina” 86 to Takumi, Bunta moves on to test drive a Subaru Impreza WRX STi Type R Version V and beats his son on the touge, without him being aware it was Bunta behind the wheel.

For a while, he kept the purchase secret before revealing that he was the one behind the wheel.

Bunta allowed Takumi both the WRX (and the Eight-Six) for deliveries to enhance his skills. It was a perfect opportunity to increase his knowledge as a driver using both the RWD platform and the modern AWD platform.

Bunta is well-known for his casual style as well as his love of smoking.

One of his most memorable moments in the series was his ‘smoking drift’, where he lit a cigarette as he drifted his car around a corner.

Koichiro Iketani

koichiro iketani ps13 silvia nissan

Iketani leads the Akina speedstars. He works alongside Itsuki at the local gas station, where they are both close friends of Takumi.

Best known for his beloved Nissan Silvia S13, and he teaches Takumi the art of naming cars after their chassis codes, hence the “Eight-Six” of his AE86.

Ryosuke Takatahashi

ryosuke takahashi mazda rx 7 fc rx7

Ryosuke created both the Akagi RedSuns, and later Project D.

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Along with this younger brother, Keisuke, they became known as the ‘Rotary Brothers’ due to their loyalty to Mazda’s RX-7 family.

After creating the Akagi RedSuns with long-term plans to dominate Japan’s street racing scene, Takumi soon caused an issue by defeating Ryosuke, who had previously turned down a professional racing career.

He retired briefly after his defeat and then created Project D. Takumi would become a driver for the team. Ryosuke would continue to mentor him as well as Keisuke.

Ryosuke, in addition to being an exceptional driver, is also intelligent. He has a medical career and still pursues his passion for street racing.

He’s the calmer, level-headed of the two brothers and also makes a fantastic mechanic.

Keisuke Takahashi

keisuke takahashi mazda rx 7 fd rx7

At 21 years old, Ryosuke’s younger brother is best known for his hot temper, both in daily life and in the driving seat of his yellow Mazda RX-7 FD.

He is the first person to have challenged Takumi in the series and is easily defeated, and he’s continually eager to have a rematch, which he’s convinced he’d have a chance at winning.

However, when he was eventually handed a second opportunity to beat Takumi, he was once again defeated, which formed a rivalry between the two drivers, despite his appreciation for Takumi’s driving abilities.

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Despite initially being part of the Akagi RedSuns, Keisuke becomes Takumi’s teammate when they join Project D later in the series before becoming a professional racer.

Kenta Nakamura

kenta nakamura s14 silvia nissan

Kenta was another member of both the Akagi RedSuns before moving on to Ryosuke’s new creation, Project D.

He’s known for picking up supplies and tracking times, scouting information on upcoming races, and was regarded as the third-best driver of the Akagi RedSuns.

Itsuki Takeuchi

itsuki takeuchi

Takumi inspires him to try and get an AE86 Levin. But he accidentally buys an AE85 Levin instead, which leaves him ridiculed by his fellow Akina speedStars teammates.

Takumi convinces him eventually to keep it.

Despite Itsuki struggling to prove himself with the AE85, and he’s convinced it’s the car letting him down, Takumi gets behind the wheel and proves that it’s more Itsuki’s lack of driving talent rather than the car itself.

Yuichi Tachibana

yuuichi tachibana

Best-known as “Boss”, Yuichi is the gas station owner where Takumi and his friends worked.

He’s a past friend of Takumi’s father, Benta, and raced alongside him in his younger years, but he never proved to be a particularly impressive driver.

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Yuichi, who is seen throughout the series as a father figure to the Akina SpeedStars, drives a V40 Toyota Camry. Takumi passes Yuichi on the touge, and Yuichi assumes it’s his father Benta.

Natsuki Mogi

natsuki mogi

Natsuki Mogi is the first female on our list, and she’s known for being fearless when she’s riding in a car with Takumi behind the wheel.

Despite being in a relationship with a wealthy older man named “Papa,” she falls in love with Takumi, and the pair begin dating.

As she ended her relationship with Papa, Takumi had been watching from the parking lot and saw the two leave a restaurant together, where he wrongfully assumed that she hadn’t broken off the relationship and opted to cut ties with her.

After explaining to Takumi the things he’d seen, they decided to remain close friends.

Later on in the series Miki kidnaps Natsuki. Takumi chases Miki up the mountain before Miki crashes the car. Takumi rescues Natsuki then takes her home.

Natsuki takes the opportunity to explain to Takumi that she will be heading to university in Tokyo, and they end their relationship with Natsuki telling Takumi that “they’ll meet again someday”.

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Mika Uehara

mika uehara

Mika Uehara (18 years old) is more well-known for her golf skills than her driving.

She first appears in the series when she slaps Takumi because she insulted Tomoko, her best friend.

After the chaos caused by Takumi imposters, Takumi meets Mika and spends several hours explaining the situation.

The couple eventually fall in love and Mika teaches Takumi to golf. Takumi takes Mika to different areas with his Eight-Six.

Their relationship seems to be working well but it becomes more mysterious beyond the Final Stage.

Mako Sato

mako sato

Mako Sato forms half of the team ‘Impact Blue’ alongside Sayuki.

She flings her SilEighty too fast in a race against Takumi. This causes her to spin out, almost colliding with Takumi.

In her SilEighty, she’s the quickest driver on Usui Pass and later becomes a professional race driver.

Initial D Stages

Initial D Stages

Now that we’ve reminded you of your favorite characters in the Initial D series, we’re willing to bet you’re craving giving the series a re-watch, and we certainly don’t blame you.

We’ve had questions about which order you should watch Initial D in since the naming process can become a little confusing at times!

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So, for those of you that are looking to make sure you appreciate the full Initial D experience from start to finish, here’s the full list in order:

1 – 1998 – Initial D: First Stage

Initial D premiered its first episodes in 1998. Takumi Yamawara, a Japanese sensation, becomes a star instantly.

This series is based upon Chapters 1-7 (Volumes 1-7.).

2 – 1999/2000 – Initial D: Second Stage

In this series, Team “Emperor” surfaces, with the ultimate quest of crushing every team in Gunma. Takumi’s 86 struggles to keep up with their AWD Evo’s.

This series is based in Chapters 78 to145 (Volumes 8-13).

3- 2000 – Initial D: Extra Stage

A two-part story based on the lives of “Impact Blue” SilEighty team drivers Mako and Sayuki.

4 – 2001 – Initial D: Third Stage (The Movie)

This movie featured Takumi as he prepares for high school graduation. He requests a rematch with Kyoichi Sudō, team Emperor leader, and goes up against a street racer whose father once rivaled his dad.

This series is based in Chapters 146 to156 and 159 to185 (Volumes 15-17.).

5 – 2002 – Initial D: Battle Stage

This series recaps all of the previous battles from the first three stages, also featuring a new battle between Keisuke’s FD and Seiji’s Evo IV.

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Each battle has been reanimated completely and features commentary by Keiichi Takaya, the Drift King.

6 – 2004-2006 – Initial D: Fourth Stage

Takumi agrees to join Ryosuke Takahashi in forming Project D. The team has one goal: to defeat all the Kanto’s best drivers.

This is the start of their soon to be legendary status on the touge.

This series is based in Chapters 192-424 (Volumes 17, 32.).

7 – 2007 – Initial D: Battle Stage 2

This is a recap of every race from Fourth Stage and also includes brand-new battles as Keisuke’s FD goes up against Smiley Sakai’s DC2 Integra and Atsuro Kawai’s ER34.

8 – 2008 – Initial D: Extra Stage 2

Similar to Extra Stage, this OVA is an additional OVA that focuses on the relationship of Mako Sato and KoichiroIketani.

Mako decides to become a professional racer, and after the credits, it’s made clear that Mako and Iketani will never meet again.

9 – 2012-2013 – Initial D: Fifth Stage

Takumi is falsely charged with taking advantage of a young girl. As it turns out, there are Project D imposters living in Saitama.

The series ends without a conclusion in the battle of the AE86’s between Takumi and Shinji.

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This series is based upon Chapters 425-667 (Volumes 33-45.).

10 – 2014 – Initial D: Final Stage

It’s the end of an era. Takumi and Shinji’s title fight for the ultimate Eight-Six continues.

Spread over four episodes, the series ends with both drivers pushing to their limits before the true meaning of “Project D” is finally revealed.

This series is based upon Chapters 668-719 (Volumes 46 to 48).

Optional Extra: 2005 – Initial D (Hong Kong)

The movie was based on the original story but with many noticeable differences. It received mixed reviews from critics and fans.

Although it’s not the most mind-blowing movie ever produced, it’s well worth checking out and can be streamed on both Netflix and Apple TV.

It may be best for those who are avid fans of the original manga/animes to prepare a bit lower expectations.

Is Initial D going to return?

Is Initial D going to return?

The Initial D Collection was published 18 years ago. 2014 saw the end of Initial D: Final Stage.

Rumours have circulated since then that rally racing would be back, but these rumors are yet to become reality.

Many fans felt that the ending to the series, which spanned almost two decades, was far too abrupt and that it couldn’t be left as it has, but that sadly appears to be the case.

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The closest that fans can get to a continuation of Initial D at the current time is with the creator Shuichi Shigeno’s more recent series MF Ghost, where Initial D is directly referenced, with the mention of many characters from the series.

As for a real return for the Initial D series, as much as we’d love to see it happen, we feel it’s extremely doubtful.


Initial D has done a remarkable job of introducing manga/anime fans to street racing and drifting, and provided automotive enthusiasts one of the most popular series to hit TV and comic books.

From a unique perspective, it gives a fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes action that goes on in the lives and thoughts of Japan’s street racers.

streetrace toyota corolla ae86 trueno evo

With touches from some of the most infamous names in street racing and drifting, helping out with the series, it’s incredibly realistic and provides an in-depth wealth of knowledge about tuning and racing to its fans.

Whether or not you’re a fan of cartoons, anime, or manga – drifting, and tuning fans should take some time to check out the Initial D series and appreciate the unique insight that it provides.

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We have it! We hope that we’ve covered everything you could want to know about the most popular characters in Initial D in this guide.

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