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Initial D (2005)

Stars: Jay Chou, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Anthony Wong, Anne Suzuki, and a 1983 Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 tuned to within an inch of its life

Why You Must See It: Initial D is a name that should be familiar to any fan of Japanese tuner cars that mostly never made it to the U.S., as well as fans of drift racing. Japanese creator Shuichi Shigeno’s manga series is still popular and still running to this day. It spawned an anime series, several direct-to-video (or OAV) entries, and this Hong Kong live-action film. What’s amazing about this film, besides the cars, is that it’s shot like the comics. The action plays out precisely like Shigeno’s frames in the manga. We’ve never seen another comic-based movie like this, which is also also perfectly cast. Due to the series’ international popularity, it was released in the U.S. on DVD, and is also available streaming on Netflix.

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