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Anime JDM Iconic Cars in Popular Series

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Anime JDM in Japanese drift and high horsepower cars are widely featured across manga-inspired anime series, films, and OVAs (original video animations). These animated works showcase popular JDM (Japanese domestic market) performance models on exciting escapades involving illegal street racing, downhill mountain passes, and even intergalactic competitions!

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Let’s check out some of the most legendary JDM vehicles glorified among the high-revving engines, picturesque Touge roads, and adrenaline-charged racing scenes brought to life through animation.

Initial D: The AE86 Started Anime JDM All

No discussion of anime and JDM cars is complete without Initial D. This late ’90s series sparked the worldwide drifting craze and cemented the boxy, underpowered Toyota Corolla AE86 Sprinter Trueno coupe into tuning lore forever.

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Initial D follows the tofu delivery misadventures of teenager Takumi Fujiwara in his father’s 1986 AE86 (also dubbed the “Hachi-Roku” or 8-6). Mount Akina’s dangerous mountain passes serve as the backdrop highlighting the vintage rear-wheel drive coupe drifting masterfully against much more advanced sports cars.

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This humble 80’s econobox became a legend thanks to protagonists like Takumi pushing the AE86 far beyond its limits. Today, clean examples easily fetch over $30,000 — a testament to the show’s longstanding influence on JDM enthusiasts entering the scene.

Wangan Midnight: Highway Battles Spotlight Monster Skylines

Whereas Initial D focused on narrow, technical roads, Wangan Midnight matched equally intense street racing on long stretches of open Tokyo highway. Named after the Bayshore Route (Wangan) running through Tokyo, the 1990 manga spawned multiple anime adaptations and video games.

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While bizarre European supercars make appearances, the series shines spotlights on top-tier JDM machines rarely seen outside Japan including the iconic blisteringly-fast Nissan Skyline GT-R along with the Honda NSX, Mazda RX-7, and more. Aside from straight-line sprinting, Wangan Midnight also popularized the “ Devils Run” style time attack racing event against the clock.

Capeta: Following Anime JDM a Future F1 Champion’s Humble Roots

Most racing anime obsesses over illegal street antics, but 2004’s Capeta took an alternate approach centering entirely on legitimate karting and Formula One racing. The character-driven series chronicles young go-karting prodigy Taira Capeta’s quest starting from grassroots races toward his goal of becoming Japan’s next F1 world champion.

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Along with attention to detail in recreating famous F1 circuits, racing legend cameos, and insider terminology meant for true motorsport fans – Capeta also highlights the father-son dynamic as Taira’s demanding dad serves as his crew chief. The realistic portrayal of junior racing ladder politics and early driver development resonated strongly.

REDLINE: Sci-Fi Racing Insanity to the Extreme

For racing cranked up to absurd levels involving aliens and intergalactic high stakes – see 2009’s REDLINE. At the center is protagonist JP hoping to win motor racing’s biggest event in the universe: The titular Redline.

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REDLINE makes Le Mans or Monaco look mundane – it’s 2066’s equivalent to Gran Turismo on gamma radiation steroids! Racers push insanely modded hovercars and motorcycles past unthinkable limits through a chaotic, deadly tournament. The hand-drawn racing scenes represent animated artistry unmatched in detail and fluidity.

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While based firmly on science fiction, REDLINE shares Wangan Midnight’s flair spotlighting customized vehicles and adrenaline-fueled speed delivered in a gorgeous visual feast.

Conclusion Of Anime JDM

Love or loathe anime, there’s no denying the outsized influence of animated series like Initial D and Wangan Midnight glorifying once unattainable monsters like the Skyline GT-R for impressionable overseas tuner fans. An entire generation’s JDM dreams took root gazing at these shows late nights on bootleg VHS tapes.

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And as AE86 prices now eclipse brand-new sports cars — animation has literally propelled formerly mundane 1980s economy cars into automotive myth through the sheer influence of storytelling. That power to transform both physical vehicles and enthusiasts’ conceptions of what’s desirable or sought after is why JDM cars and anime remain forever intertwined.

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