With limited amounts of anime on the topic of racing, drifting, or cars in general the question begs for the answer of which one is supreme? The top spot, more than likely, belongs to Initial D. Which one comes close enough to knock Initial D off the thrown? Wangan Midnight.
Yes, there are movies out there (i.e. Over REV) which may have had more fans at the box office over the years. But to consistently, for two decades, come out on top and claim newer generations to follow the king is Initial D. In the world of Manga those followings may very well be different, but for the sake of argument we will focus only on the television/ streaming.
In 2008 there was an anime that rocked the car culture world and rattle Initial D off the charts. Wangan Midnight. A story of a young guy who resurrects a totaled Datsun Fairlady Z (S30Z) to go out on the C1 Loop and race anyone willing to challenge him. Along the way he meets his rival a Porsche 930 with the driver (of the 930) having a personal connection to the Fairlady Z. Where Initial D brought to light the culture of drifting, driving techniques, and family. Wangan Midnight shows the Japan car culture in another light. It shows the cost of the car culture, the connection of man and machine, and the sacrifices one takes to pursue their passion of racing (illegally mind you).
The fact still remains both introduced, in different lights, what the Japan car culture have to offer the world. It did so not in just television and streaming. It managed to do so by means of game play. Yes both introduced (with multiple platforms) their own games to the world based off the anime/manga. Which one came first is unknown to me. But having played both and being an avid arcade go-er just for those two games I can say both had their Pros and cons. Both satisfied my need…my need for speed. I know, lame at best.
But the numbers will not lie nor with the fact one had been around a whole decade before hand. When the drift craze came about in the early 2000’s Initial D was on its second season of production. Not to mention anime was on the rise internationally, with the advent of streaming services and free download websites (Metacafe-now closed and dailymotion.com– which we use to upload *wink, wink*). Both even have their own live action films!!! Yet Initial D caters to the most car tuners as everything that is Initial D is what most car enthusiast are. Fun, laughter, sorrow, cheap, drama, and family are just a few adjectives that can describe Initial D and what Wangan Midnight lacks. Wangan Midnight touches base a niche inside of Japan car culture and can even go further into detail to the point of really a few collective thousand of people follow and are die-hard fans of the anime (let alone brand).
Sliding in and maintaining the top position is Initial D. It may forever be labeled as the best car anime to have ever been made. Unfortunately, Initial D is no longer being made nor are there any mangas being written or drawn. It officially is over compared to the Wangan series which just launched the third manga series into print (only 1 series/season is anime). We shall see and keep you updated on new new development on the two but as of now. Takumi wins again!
WHAT ANIME DO YOU LIKE BETTER INITIAL D OR WANGAN MIDNIGHT? LET US KNOW BELOW IN THE COMMENTS, AND DONT FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR DAILYMOTION!!! 😉