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Film / The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

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Spoilers for all The Fast and the Furious movies preceding this one, as well as Late Arrival Spoilers for Fast & Furious 6 will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
"I wonder if you know
How they live in Tokyo..."
"There's no wax on, wax off in drifting. The first drifters invented drifting out here in the mountains by feeling it. So feel it!"
Han Seoul-Oh

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is the third installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Starring Lucas Black, was directed by Justin Lin and released in 2006.

Black plays teenager Sean Boswell, who accumulates some serious motor vehicle violations that could earn him jail time. To keep him out of trouble, he is sent to live with his U.S. naval officer father in Japan and finish school there. The culture clash is brutal, especially when he gets friendly with the girlfriend of a guy with Yakuza connections and a love of the drift races.

While it was theatrically released after 2 Fast 2 Furious and followed by Fast & Furious in release order, chronologically, it's set after Fast & Furious 6. Has nothing to do with Tokyo Drifter.


  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Retroactively. While the film itself says nothing about the year it takes place, later Fast & Furious films would firmly place it sometime between 2013 and 2015.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
    • The first is Han explaining that money isn't important to him - he needs strength of character. The significance only becomes clear in later films, however.
    • The second sees Sean and Neela finally tell each other how they came to be in Japan.
  • Arc Villain: Takashi, whose jealousy and Yakuza connections escalate the conflicts.
  • Badass Driver:
    • Almost inverted as Sean crashes cars in the early part of the film and can't drift to save his life until later. But he learns quick.
    • Han is the best driver in the film.
    • Takashi isn't called "the Drift King" for nothing.
  • Bloody Smile: Sean's race with Clay ends with two fairly serious crashes. At the police station afterwards, Sean grins at Clay's girlfriend and his teeth are covered in blood.
  • Book Ends: A twisted example – the first Tokyo race is started off by "Exceedingly Handsome Guy", presumably the credits attempting to translate the word ikemen. By the end of the movie, the neon and gloss of the movie environment is stripped clean to reveal the dark and gritty reality, and the final race is started off by an aging Yakuza who's missing four fingers from both hands.
  • Call-Forward: An easily missed one at the end.
    Twink: He (Dom) said he knew Han. Said Han was family.
  • The Cameo:
  • Character Development: At the start of the film, Sean is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All who attempts to charm his way out of trouble that he constantly makes, with a very arrogant streak against adults and friends alike. By the time of Han's death, he has humbled enough to be able to respect people, even refusing to go back to the United States and instead solve the problem his own way by having an audience with a yakuza and politely asking for a race to settle the dispute.
  • The Charmer: Sean seems to have a way with the ladies. Sort of. He successfully catches the attention of the girlfriends of two different guys, one a Jerk Jock and the other a Yakuza wannabe. This is also subverted when he tries his wink-and-smile combo on Cindy after the drag race and his mouth is full of bloodinvoked; she is appropriately turned off.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: When Sean's mother arrives at the police station, she asks if she's allowed to smoke.
  • Cliffhanger Wall: Spent nine years as the last movie in the series' chronology, as the next three films took place between it and 2 Fast 2 Furious.
  • Cock Fight: The opening involves Sean starting a fight at his high school with Clay over his girlfriend Cindy. She then suggests they resolve their dispute with a street race, which ends with both their cars being totaled, and all three of them bruised, battered, and arrested.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Concerning the evidence tape following the reckless driving incident at the start of the film: "Can I get a copy of that?"
  • Conveniently Empty Roads: Zig-Zagged.
    • Justified in the first race, since it takes place in a neighborhood where no one lives because all of the houses are under construction.
    • Averted during the chase in which Han is killed, as there is a decent amount of traffic on the roads.
  • Daughter of a Whore: Neelas' mother worked as a prostitute in Japan, though Neela herself was conceived before the latter moved from Australia.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Cindy is dating a Jerk Jock, briefly mocks Sean's socioeconomic status, flippantly offers herself up as the prize for a race between Sean and her boyfriend through an occupied construction site, and mocks Clay's performance. Still, she gets upset and tries to stop Clay when he starts angrily ramming Sean's car.
  • Exact Words: In the words of Sean's mother: "We are not moving anywhere." Cut to him on a plane to Japan... alone.
  • Extreme Sports Plot: A street racing teenager sent to his US Navy dad stationed in Japan wrecks one of Han's cars in a race and he must work as his errand boy until he pays off his debt.
  • Fanservice: Two girls making out, which blows Sean's mind.
  • Fish out of Water: In addition to being a white American suddenly shipped off to Japan, it also applies to Sean as a racer as he is a decent driver, but is completely out of his depth when thrown into drifting. It gives him a unique arc in the franchise as he's the only protagonist who has to actually spend the movie improving as a racer as he adapts to Japanese drifting.
  • Funny Background Event: An audio example. Early on, when Sean says "My ride", an extra can clearly be heard in the background mocking him.
  • Gaiden Game: Or in this case, Gaiden Movie. The film has no connection to the events of the first two films. Furious 7 finally introduces Tokyo Drift into the full continuity by being set after the events of Drift and reintroducing Sean Boswell, though at most it's just a passing mention. Sean, as well as fellow Han crewmates Twinkie and Earl, would then later make a contributory role in the main storyline in F9.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Uncle Kamata to DK. Kamata is the leader of the Yakuza and DK answers to him, but Sean defeating DK is what causes Kamata to agree to Sean that the Yakuza finally leaves Tokyo.
  • Hero's Classic Car: The car Sean chooses for his final race with Takashi is the 1967 Ford Mustang his dad had been restoring, fitted with a newer Nissan engine.
  • In Name Only: Downplayed, especially after Sean Boswell was reintroduced in Furious 7. The only thing that initially tied Tokyo Drift to the main series was Dom's cameo appearance in the end.
  • Ironic Nickname: "Twinkie" is usually reserved for Asians, whereas this guy's an African-American expatriate.
  • Jerkass: Though compared to the rest of the big bads of the series, Takashi's the least worst of them - compounded by the fact that he doesn't take Han's death well despite the fact Han was skimming money from him.
  • Loser Leaves Town: The stakes of the final race between Sean and DK, with the loser (and by extension their crew) having to leave Tokyo. Additionally, while not intended as such, the fallout from Sean's first race in the film result in him being shipped off to Japan.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game:
    • The first race in the film sees a high school jock's girlfriend offer herself as the prize to the winner. The jock wrecks both cars on purpose - with his girlfriend in the passenger seat - rather than lose.
    • The stakes of the climactic race involve this by implication - Neela will stay behind with the winner while the loser leaves Tokyo for good.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Han falls victim to this.
  • Military Brat: Sean. And also Twinkie.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Averted as Sean's only romantic interest is in Neela, a non-Asian girl from Australia and a fellow foreigner to Japan. Given that she's also DK's girlfriend, who hates Sean and has connections to the Yakuza, Han asks why he couldn't just fall for a Japanese girl like all the other white guys.
  • Oddball in the Series: The only movie in the series that isn't focused on Dom or Brian, and (arguably) the only movie that's fully focused on street racing.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Twinkie.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Invoked; Neela was originally from Australia and her accent goes in and out depending on her current mood. This is often Truth in Television, when things like shouting or being upset will bring out your native accent even if you've lost it over time.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Boswell is a big case of Adults Are Useless from his very first scene, up until DK's crew try to kill Sean right in front of his house and he stops them by stepping out with his Navy-issue Beretta 92F.
  • Police Are Useless: Apart from the mentions of the Yakuza, there's more mundane reasons.
    Han: Police cars here are only factory tuned. If you can do better than 180K, they can't catch you. So they don't even try.
    Sean: You know what? I'm beginning to like this country already.
  • Product Placement:
    • Mitsubishi provided Evos to the production crew, as they had for the previous movie.
    • Why drift-lover Twinkie inexplicably drives a show-over-go VW from a completely different subculture.
    • When Sean crashes at the beginning of the movie, on the interior shot as the car rolls in slow motion, the camera focuses on a bottle of Tabasco sauce flying through the air.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: The film is almost wholly set in Japan except for the beginning part.
  • Sequel Hook: Dom shows up in Tokyo.
  • Sitting on the Roof: A Yakuza starts a fight on the roof of the school with Twinkie and the guy who sold him a defective iPod.
  • Stealing from the Till: It's revealed that Han has been doing this from DK, and thus indirectly from Kamata, DK's Yakuza uncle. Naturally, neither Kamata nor DK take this very well.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Takashi doesn't seem too bothered by Morimoto's crash during the Chase Scene, with a look on his face that seems to say "You idiot."
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: What kickstarts this film's plot: Sean gets into a fight with some rich kid who challenges him to a race at a construction site for a new neighborhood. The race gets so intense, that several houses get mouseholed by Sean driving through them and him and the rich kid end up crashing. They get arrested for illegal street racing, trespassing, and destruction of property, but only Sean gets in any trouble thanks to the rich kid's parents bailing him out. Then, to avoid getting him jailed, Sean's mother sends him—by himself—to live with his father. In Japan.
  • Tired of Running: Sean states this almost word-for-word when his father attempts to transfer him back to the States to save him from the yakuza. He's tired of running away from his problems and wants to solve them here and there.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In her argument with DK, Neela implies that he used to be a Nice Guy before his Yakuza connection went to his head.
  • Watch the Paint Job: The funniest example in the entire series would be Sean wrecking Han's S15 Silvia with a Skyline engine because he just can't drift.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Sean's Monte Carlo, which looks plain but manages to outrun a Viper.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Sean, he thinks like the "American" style of street racing applies in Tokyo, only to find out they go for the more finessed drifting scene, where simply having a faster car doesn't work out as well.
  • Yakuza: Pretty much every single Japanese character. And their uncle, quite literally!