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Classic Manga Racing Series 'Initial D' Added to Amazon Platforms in New Deal

The new deal with Kodansha Comics will see the series completed in the English language for the first time.
Courtesy of Shuichi Shigeno/Comixology
The new deal with Kodansha Comics will see the series completed in the English language for the first time.

Fans of street racing and manga, rejoice: Kodansha Comics and Amazon’s digital comics service ComiXology have partnered to bring classic manga series Initial D back into circulation for the first time in a decade, with English language versions of the first 38 volumes available immediately and the final 10 volumes to debut later this year.

Created by Shuichi Shigeno, Initial D — initially serialized in Japanese anthology title Weekly Young Magazine from 1995 through 2013 — is set in the world of Japanese street racing, with a particular focus on the drifting style of driving. (For those who think that sounds a little familiar, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was inspired by Initial D, to the point of hiring Initial D’s editorial consultant Keiichi Tsuchiya as stunt coordinator.)

The series tells the story of Tak Fujiwara, a teenage delivery driver who discovers that he has, entirely by accident, mastered driving skills that rival those of the street racing teams he and his friends are fans of. When a legendary team shows up to challenge the local Akina Speed Stars team, Tak becomes drawn into a life of racing with — no pun intended — great speed.

The series was first published in English by Tokyopop from 2002 through 2009, with the publisher releasing 33 volumes of the 48-volume series. The manga series inspired an anime adaptation, as well as a number of video games and a live-action feature film.

Part of the ComiXology Originals line of digital content, Vols. 1 through 38 of Initial D are available now for purchase on Kindle and ComiXology platforms, or for free to subscribers of ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. The final volumes will be released later this year, making the series available in its entirety to English language readers for the first time ever.

For those curious about just what Initial D is, read on below for a sneak peek into the first volume of the series — but remember that, because this is manga, the images read right to left, instead of left to right….

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