- Awesome Art: The manga has TONS of beautiful spreads of car races. The mangaka obviously put a ton of work into research and reference pictures to create the manga.
- Awesome Music: A bunch of them. Nearly EVERY SINGLE song on the soundtrack is worthy of this, to the point where one should not play Super Eurobeat while driving.
- Troper experiments have concluded that doing so will cause your gas gauge to drop faster, your highway speed to rise, and your tire tread to wear more rapidly, especially if you drive a model of car that was featured in the series even once.
- Die for Our Ship: Predictably, Yaoi Fangirls loathe Natsuki Mogi, doubly so for being previously engaged in Enjo Kosai, which makes her even more loathed due to Double Standard.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The first stage has a warning at the beginning of each episode telling viewers to follow traffic laws. And then proceeds to have 20 minutes of extremely exciting and cool race sequences on the dark touge roads of Japan. Ok.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?; To some viewers, what Kyoko Iwase is saying when she realizes she's about to be overtaken in her race against Keisuke Takahashi in Fourth Stage has questionable undertones, at least in the Japanese version.
- First Installment Wins: If a series is going to do a Shout-Out to Initial D, chances are good it's going to be a parody of the first race in the series between Takumi and Keisuke.
- Ear Worm: Some of the soundtracks.
- Gateway Series: To drift racing, touge, or even racing in general.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In Second Stage, when the Emperors started their Gunma expedition, Keisuke expresses disgust about the Lancer Evo IV's "big-ass" spoiler. Fast forward to Fourth Stage where Keisuke's FD gets a new aero upgrade, complete with a larger spoiler in comparison to the Lancer Evo's.
- Keisuke's FD during First Stage sported quite the tall spoiler as well. But since It's been reduced to a normal-sized spoiler in Second Stage, it may not be so much as Hypocritical Humor as it is a justification for his above comment.
- Hype Backlash: As mentioned in the Just Here for Godzilla entry below, some don't take kindly to the series popularizing a car that they consider So Okay, It's Average at best, especially by today's standards.
- Just Here for Godzilla: The series has caused this in the American automotive scene, with hundreds of American fans trying to buy AE86s from shady importers note specifically because car is the 'main character' of the series, rather than on the merits of the car itself. Regular Car Reviews rants about this when he covered the AE86 Trueno:
Mr. Regular: SHUT UP! "You don't like this car! You like a cartoon! A boring cartoon!"
- Memetic Mutation:
- Moral Event Horizon: Shingo almost crosses it when he tries to kill Takumi mid-race by ramming him off the mountain. It fails and Shingo ends up with a serious (though non-fatal) accident instead.
- Narm Charm: In the anime, all the racing scenes are animated in 3D. In the first stage it's made even more apparent as each racing segment looks like an early 2000's video game. Despite this the anime is very well loved, and many fans enjoy the racing scenes despite (or because) of it's narmy look. It does help that the racing scenes are very well choreographed with exciting and interesting angles.
- Nightmare Fuel: High-octane fuels are Nightmare Fuels, so please use it correctly or you will crash.
- Song Association: Go ahead, try finding someone who won't go "oh hey it's Initial D music!" or "this song would be perfect in Initial D!" the second they hear eurobeat.
- Tear Jerker: During the battle with Kyouichi, Takumi's AE86 has an engine breakdown and he's forced to make an emergency stop, with Kyouichi declaring him the loser of the match, and Bunta subsequently has the car towed while Takumi's in tears. Yes, Bunta knew it was going to happen, and so did you. Yes, Bunta was going to replace the engine and allowed the engine breakdown to happen, just so Takumi could have a better appreaction of the new engine; otherwise Takumi would either protest to having the engine replaced or get angry for having the engine replaced under his nose. Yet think of it from Takumi's point of view: the car that he had made a name for himself in just made its last revolutions and for all he knew, his racing career was gone for good.
- Broken Base: People are divided over the fact that it was a Hong Kong production with loads of Chinese actors used to fill in a Japanese cast, heavy character Flanderization with numerous changes to their personalities, Adaptation Decay and notable absentees. Others, however, don't seem to have a problem with it.