Dash! Yonkuro (ダッシュ!四駆郎) is a shonen manga series created by Zaurus Tokuda started in 1987 as a series of comic strips in Coro Coro Comic magazine. The series was made to promote Tamiya's Mini 4WD toyline and is responsible for starting the first Mini 4WD phenomenon in Japan. It got a 25-episode TV adaptation by Shogakukan Productions. Both the manga and anime did not see any widespread international release, but the anime adaptation of Dash! Yonkuro, along with its Spiritual Successor Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!! spawned a significant following in Italy, Philippines and Indonesia, among others. The story adds knowledge about tips and tricks in modifying and racing with mini 4WD, including track racing and street racing. The mini 4WD trend began and have stayed strong in these few countries after the anime was aired.
A young boy named Yonkuro Hinomaru, the owner of a minicar "the Emperor", which is left to him by his deceased father, leads a mini 4wd racing team called "Dash Warriors", consisting of a team of five. They enter a series of a mini 4WD racing competition. The story follows the Dash Warriors races through the tournament while facing racers from the Death Corp, which has both moral and immoral characters.
There's the time where Tokuda serializes Shin Dash! Yonkuro (真 ダッシュ! 四駆郎), a toy tie-in poster manga that were later included in some Mini 4WD car kits. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to the huge popularity of its Spiritual Successor at that time. It was the last Mini 4WD racing manga by Tokuda before he passed away in 2006 due to heart failure.
The new manga, titled Hyper Dash! Yonkuro (ハイパーダッシュ!四駆郎), is a sequel and a reboot to the original manga that was currently written by Hiroyuki Takei (Manga author of Butsu Zone, Shaman King, Jumbor Barutronica and Karakuridouji Ultimo) and started serializing on the Coro Coro Aniki magazine in 2015. The new manga tells the story of the reunited Dash Warriors, now renamed as Hyper Dash Warriors, races against Dark Dominion, a terrorist organization specialized in using Mini 4WD cars as weapons.
The entire Dash! Yonkuro series provide examples of the following tropes:
- Author Avatar: Zaurus himself.
- Cool Car
- Creator Cameo: Zaurus Tokuda. Heck, even the author voiced himself in the anime.
- The dream sequence in the very first episode of the anime adaptation of the original manga hints of Yonkuro's father's machine, the Dash-0 Horizon.
- In Hyper Dash! Yonkuro, the chassis of Dark Dominion's machines were made in tungsten alloy and they were powered by high-output batteries and high-torque motors. This gives us the hint of who Mr. G is as he made all those machines by himself in the first place.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Rinko, normally spots an Odango, lets her hair down more and more often.
- Merchandise-Driven: Both the manga and the TV anime adaptaton are made to promoting Tamiya's Mini 4WD cars.
- Serious Business: Yonkuro treats Mini 4WD racing as it was real racing car.
- Wacky Racing
The original Dash! Yonkuro manga and anime provide example of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Distillation: The TV anime adaptation only adapted up to volume 6 of the manga, and did not adapt the later half of the Mini 4WD Championship arc and the entire Black Mistral arc. Also, some scenes has been rearranged, changed or removed in the anime.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Some characters in the Death Corp aren't truly bad. They even become friends after races.
- Defeat Means Friendship
- Diabolus ex Machina: Episode 16, The Emperor is destroyed by lightning.
- Evil Laugh: Gale
- Mid-Season Upgrade:
- Yonkuro Hinomaru: Dash-1 Emperor > Dash-01 Super Emperor > Dash-001 Great Emperor > Liberty Emperor
- Dankuro Toda: Dash-2 Burning Sun > Dash-02 Neo Burning Sun
- Shinkuro Minami: Dash-3 Shooting Star
- Kouji "Punkuro" Jimi: Dash-4 Cannonball
- Rinko Sumeragi: Dash-5 Dancing Doll
- Genkuro Hinomaru: Dash-0 Horizon > Horizon Boundless
- Tournament Arc: The Mini 4WD Championship arc is this, before the Black Wind arc takes place.
The Hyper Dash! Yonkuro manga provide examples of the following tropes:
- Breaking the Fellowship: The Dash warrior has been disbanded after Yonkuro is missing prior to the story. Luckily, it doesn't last long.
- Darker and Edgier: More than the original manga.
- Jerkass: Shinkuro Minami again, until he revealed that he pretends to be such to help Mr. Sumeragi investigating a threats that could destory the entire Mini 4WD racing.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The manga used "PHASE" for main story chapters.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Mr. Sumeragi made the Hyper Dash machines (except for Rise-Emperor, which was modified from Yonkuro's Emperor) during his breaks at his workplace. The first person who get one of the new cars is Shinkuro.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Thanks to Akira Omaezaki, the Dash warrior members were reunited.
- Rage Quit: In PHASE 2, Kill Crow detonate his car during the race out of frustration.
- Retcon: Some events and settings in the Black Wind arc of the original manga, as well as the Shin Dash! Yonkuro Tie-in manga, has been retconned.
- Weaponized Car: Team Dark Dominion's cars have small bomb builts into them. In PHASE 2, Kill Crow, frustrated that Yonkuro's Emperor has overtaken his own Night Seek Trigger during the race, detonate his own car, causing a explosive inside Sumeragi's workplace (The Tamiya model shop). Luckily Yonkuro and the others escaped it unharmed, but Kill Crow also escaped as well.
- What If?: What if the main core Dash warriors members, Mr. Sumeragi and Genkuro meets the girl of Dogu during the final course of the Hell Caravan race of the original manga and were brought into a Dark World?