Next year will be a brilliant one for both anime and automotive aficionados, as 2023 is set to bring us the release of MF Ghost. This is a highly anticipated sequel to Initial D, one of the most popular anime series of all time. However, these aren’t the 90s anymore (that’s when Initial D was born), as fans can take to powerful rendering software to create their own tales and instantly share them on social media. Enter the unofficial Initial D sequel that brought us here, which focused on the Initial D hero car, namely Takumi Fujiwara’s infamous Toyota AE86.
The Initial D world was brought to us back in 1995, when illustrator and writer Shuichi Shigeno released his first manga. The debut of its anime series, which brought Eurobeat soundtrack into the mix, came three years later and the number of fans has only grown meanwhile.
The series tells the story of Takumi Fujiwara, a student that delivers tofu for his father’s shop, with the help of the family car, which happens to be Toyota AE86 (a Sprinter Trueno RWD coupe built between 1983 and 1987), with things quickly escalating to the street racing level.
Shigeno also came up with the MF Ghost manga, which has been serialized since 2017, with the 13th collected volume having landing this January. However, while this series is focused on a world of racers using combustion cars in a society that uses autonomous EVs to get around in the 2020s, the independent animation that brought us here takes the game to 2030s, talking about Japan banning suck-squeeze-bang-blow vehicles.
A narrative created by a fan this might be, but it doesn’t entirely stray from what’s going on in the real world. You see, the Japanese government is looking into a plan to ban the sale of combustion-powered cars and motorcycles by 2035 (Tokyo has even set a goal that 50% of new cars being sold in the city using hybrid or all-electric propulsion by 2030).
This is the work of 3D artist Conor Lawlis
Detroit-based 3D artist Conor Lawlis, came up with this work in his spare time, which explains why he used his Project33 label. For the record, his business hours are spent in the service of American company Turn 10 Studios—the developer behind the legendary Forza driving game franchise, which delivered its fair share of AE86 action over the years.
We’re treated to a pair of short videos and while the first showed up in April 2021, Part 2 came to YouTube last month.
Both productions sit at under two minutes, but Lawlis managed to create quite a bit of tension in Part 1, generating a thirst he quenches in Part 2.
That’s because the original shows us a timeline where Takumi left his AE86 to rot in an alley, with the Hachi-Roku (this is the sportscar’s nickname, meaning “eighty-six” in Japanese) getting a new lease on life in the February 2022 release.
Part 2 throws a myriad of delicious ingredients into the mix. These range from a Tesla Semi (naysayers will probably list this under fiction, given that the initial 2023 production date is no longer valid) and a Toyota 86—this one is an MF Ghost nod—and even a soundtrack hommage to the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series, a giant of the genre (pun intended).
The message of the second part is not only positive, as you’ll notice in the clip embedded below, but this also seems to leave room for some future productions, which is just what we wanted to see.