Headscratchers: Initial D
Where are the cops?
- Okay, an underage kid tears up this mountain road every day for five years- street racers are there almost every night- suddenly, there's a HUGE influx of street racers from all over the prefecture pouring through town to the mountain. That leaves just one issue- Where the *** hell are the *** cops?
- At the Dunkin' Donuts, dude.
- They have Dunkin' Donuts in Japan? Cool.
- Sadly, there is no Dunkin' Donuts in Japan, save for one in US military bases. There is Mister Donut in Japan instead.
- Or the rice ball equivalent. Stupid localization.
- It wasn't as localized as it could have been. Imagine if they flipped the art to read left-to-right, and- hey look!- the cars are all left-hand-drive, and drive on the right side of the road (which could also be achieved in the anime by mirror-imaging the video...with the exception of the pedals, of course)!
- They couldn't catch our heroes anyway. Cops don't know how to drift!
- Come to think of it, if I were one of the cops, I'd just wait around the corner until one of those kids run out of tyres.
- Hide an officer in the trees at the top of the mountain, with radio and stopwatch. When they get to the bottom in less time than it would take at the speed limit, another waiting cop can bust 'em.
- Maybe. Maybe not. Some regional laws prohibit officers from issuing "stopwatch" speeding tickets. At least that's how some areas in the US work.
- I think I can answer this. As good as police are, the teen drivers are badass. Police have to follow procedure, including terminating a pursuit if the car is going too fast to pursue safely. And I may be wrong about this but Japanese police are not like the same as You're Under Arrest, I'm pretty sure they call in the Japanese Defense Force as opposed to a SWAT team.
- Paid off by whatever Yakuza family was running the illegal betting on the races? Who knows.
- I think the games at least do some Lampshade Hanging on this; there's clear barriers set along the course for audiences to watch by, implying that these races are at least nominally authorized. There's also the legitimate(???) chance that the area is outside of local police jurisdiction, or they just plain don't bother.
- It's quite likely that it's at least nominally authorized; consider the Speed Stars versus Red Suns race, where the Red Suns go into detail about safety procedure's they're implementing.
- They can't be everywhere at once, it's really late and they get tired, and they have better things to do. A super-high performance vehicle tearing through Tokyo at 300kph, putting hundreds of lives at risk, and at minimum causing massive property damage and snarling traffic for hours if there's the slightest misstep, is a concern. An old Silvia sliding down a remote mountain trail with no other people for miles, not so much. There's no reason for cops to get involved unless there's a serious accident, and even then it might be hours before they even find out about it.
- Have a friend in Ohio and he and his fiancee both did (or still do) street racing. Apparently they had an arrangement with the police...they'd get a set area where they were allowed to do races and the racers taught the cops how to drive better. The same person was at one point working with high schools in the area to try and start up a high school racing league. They broke up over disagreements on the car specifications.
How come when I do body searches for "Initial D", most of the results where it appears turn out to be "Initial (D-word)" rather than "Initial D"?
- Because your search engine is being a jerk. Or Initial D needs more love.
Why do the 86's opponents pretty much instantly presume it's stock? For crying out loud, most of them are driving tuned vehicles themselves!
- Because it's not blinged, I guess. But that makes little sense since some of their cars aren't.
- Maybe it's because the 86 has the name of the Tofu shop on it's side. I mean since when do you tune delivery vehicles?
- They look at the exterior, assume it's bone stock, and don't realize it has a Group A spec racing engine swapped in. At least from Second Stage on that is.
- Of note, the AE86 not only has the tofu shop sticker on the side, but also lacks any of the typical street racing team decals or parts manufacturer logos. Additionally, the rear end still identifies it as using a stock engine, even after the original blew and the Silvertop was put in, as the 'APEX Twin Cam 16' sticker was never updated.
- It's just a foolish assumption. These are, at heart, dumb kids. They're simply no good at analyzing a vehicle and determining just how formidable it is. (Ryosuke can; that's what makes him so formidable.) There has been extensive work done the 86, but it's a secret. Seriously, in just about every battle where vehicle specs are shown (which, incidentally, have about as much relevance in this manga as Tsukamoto's girlfriend prospects), the 86's are either "unknown" or some nebulous concept.
Where are the facial expressions?!
- Seriously, these kids are tearing down the mountainside upwards of 100 mph (about 160.3 km/h), and they NEVER SHOW A CHANGE IN FACIAL EXPRESSION. Not even when they scrape the guardrail. It's not even a look of intense concentration! They just look bored, as though they were cruising along on a road trip at ~50!
- Have you ever concentrated? You're too busy, erm, concentrating to have a facial expression change. Seriously, I used to be too busy driving on Initial D Arcade Stage Ver.2 to change expression, so I imagine that real street racers are at least as busy inside their heads.
- That may be true, but as I said, they look bored. I can see if they looked stressed, or 'blank', but they specifically look bored. It's just a weird default expression for them to have.
- Who do you mean? Certain not Takumi, Keisuke, Takeshi, or Seiji, much less a volatile jerk like Shingo or a firebrand like Wataru. Yes, Keiichi has the face of an stone cold bastard... because he's a stone cold bastard. Yes, Ryosuke never lets his emotions get in the way...it's part of why he's so hard to beat. We're going to need some specifics here.
- If you let your emotions get to you too much while driving like that it could lead to a fatal mistake. That's why you should suppress them, especially if you're someone like Takumi who drives a less powerful car and relies on skill alone.
Every female driver ends up losing and then being like, "Oh! I just needed to lose to a real man"
- I get that it's a shounen series with the untouchable hero type who pretty much always wins, but seriously! None of the women seemed to lose with dignity, and some of them seemed to lose with poor sportsmanship/borderline cheating. And then they'd lose once and practically say, "Well, now that I've lost, I must go back to the kitchen where I belong" instead of "Hm, maybe I need to practice and improve my drifting so I can curb stomp then next time." It's like the series is saying that women should give up their passion for winning/driving and stick to supporting the real (male) heroes. ARRGH!
- Eh? The only female racers have been Mako and Kyoko (Kasumi showed some interest in driving technique but never battled anyone), and they're very minor characters. And they're hardly the only ones to hang it up; for Toru, it's even a major plot point. Anyway, a couple things you always need to keep in mind: 1. In a racing manga, nearly everyone is expendable (seen anything of the NightKids or RedSuns lately?), and 2. Shuichi Shigeno hasn't had much luck with women. These make a lot of things easier to understand.
- Remember you're talking about Japan, where traditional values are very important. Women are very much expected to marry at an early age and engage in feminine activities.
How can the racers afford all their fancy cars and parts?
- It's not like they're racing for cash. Case and point: Bunta. His only source of income is a small tofu shop that has a handful of customers at best, yet he's constantly forking up money to upgrade the Eight-Six.
- The bulk of Bunta's income comes from deliveries, and we've only seen two big upgrades, the improved grip for the Takeshi battle and the new engine; he could've saved up for them without much trouble. As for the others, well, they afford what they can and cut corners when they have to. (The Sileighty, for example was the direct result of drifters cheaping out on repairs.)
- Further, while no one is explicitly shown racing for cash, there is the possibility side betting goes on.
- The Takahashi brothers come from a wealthy family and are basically independently wealthy. Everyone else complains all the time about not having the money they do.
- All these cars are somewhat more affordable when you recall that not only are the drivers paying domestic market prices, they're probably getting their cars second hand.
- Japan has a huge auto dismantling industry due to various rules and regulations concerning the roadworthyness of cars. There are companies that dismantle tuned cars that can't be used anymore (either by failing inspection, sold for parts, involved in crashes, or some other reason) and sell off the salvageable performance parts for bargain prices. Also, it's possible that more "cash liquid" racers do upgrades to their cars and sell off the old parts to partially recoup their expenses or tuning shops make some extra cash by selling excess parts that racers discard when they upgrade their cars.
- There may be various justifications, but it becomes extremely hard to come up with one where the 5th Stage character Hojo 'Shinigami' Rin is concerned. He apparently quit his job and left his family YEARS ago, and yet somehow can still keep his Skyline GT-R32 supplied with fuel, tires, and necessary repairs. The bill for the later should be significant, considering that what he's been doing instead of working seems to mostly involve deliberately ramming street-racers off the road...
Shingo getting away scot-free with attempted murder.
- Any reason why Shingo is able to avoid any repercussions from having nearly killed Itsuki and Takumi via whamming them off the road during First Stage?