Initial D is one of the most beloved car centric anime series of all time, but MF Ghost is here to bring us a new story based in the same world.

Initial D May Be Over, But MF Ghost is Here

Takumi's AE86 - kodanshacomics.com
Takumi's AE86 - kodanshacomics.com

The original Initial D story followed Takumi Fujiwara as he drifted his AE86 around the mountain passes against some of the greatest drivers in the region. This romanticized look at 1990s Japanese street racing culture has taken the car world by storm over the years with fans all around the world blasting Eurobeat music as they speed around in their cars. Initial D has become THE car enthusiast anime and there hasn’t been anything quite like it to fill the void since it ended in 2013.

However, the original creator, Shuichi Shigeno, of our favorite anime has come back with a successor to the Initial D story that aims to bring that excitement back. MF Ghost still focuses on Japanese street racing culture, but this time it’s set in the not-too-distant future as a sanctioned event. Electric vehicles have taken over the roadways and the world of motorsports as gas-powered vehicles have turned into a rarity, but there’s one motorsport left keeping fossil fueled sports cars alive.

What is MF Ghost?

Kanata Rivington - mfg-anime.com
Kanata Rivington - mfg-anime.com

M.F.G. is the only motorsport left that utilizes fossil fuels for racing. The racing event takes place on public mountain passes around Japan and has been popularized globally through circulating videos online. It was originally created by Ryosuke Takahashi (the very same from Initial D) as the next step in the Project D plan, but it was also utilized as an outreach event to help the areas that were heavily affected by the Mt. Fuji eruption.

The MF Ghost story itself follows Kanata Rivington, also known as Natsumi Katagiri, is the latest up and coming driver in the M.F.G. series who hails from the United Kingdom. He’s been given lessons from a former street racing legend to best his competition in a Toyota 86 GT. The underpowered choice is commonly disregarded by the other drivers who have chosen more powerful options from Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, or Lamborghini. A lot of similarities can be drawn to the story of Takumi Fujiwara in his AE86, just in a more modern setting in a sanctioned setting. It’s more than just a coincidence though, as it’s revealed in season one Turn06 that Takumi is Kanata’s mentor.

Toyota 86 GT & Honda Civic Type R - mfg-anime.com
Toyota 86 GT & Honda Civic Type R - mfg-anime.com

Since the ending of Initial D, Takumi had become a successful rally car racer in the British Rally Championship and even participated in the World Rally Championship. He unfortunately retired after sustaining injuries from an accident during a test run and has since transitioned his efforts towards being an instructor at the Royal Donington Racing School. This is where he came across and trained Kanata. Now, the mentor and student aim to show the world that it isn’t the car that wins races down the mountain passes of Japan but the driver.

As for what “MF Ghost” actually means, it isn’t outright known yet. Some theories among fans think it’s for “Master Fujiwara’s Ghost” since it’s a driver learning from Takumi Fujiwara and utilizing a similar driving style. “My Father’s Ghost” is another one lending it to Kanata’s father’s absence and eventual revealed death. There’s also the simple theory that it just mean’s “Mount Fuji’s Ghost” since the eruption decimated most of the surrounding area and the M.F.G. races act as homages to legendary street races of the past that once took place there.

Best MF Ghost Cars of Season One

M.F.G. racers - mfg-anime.com
M.F.G. racers - mfg-anime.com

Being based in the future of Japan, there isn’t much in terms of JDM uniqueness in MF Ghost that was so prevalent in the Initial D series. Most if not all of the sports cars that Japan gets today, international audiences also have access to too. We do get a glimpse throughout the series at some JDM classics like the Nissan Silvia, Honda S2000, Toyota MR2, Ryosuke drifting his ɛ̃fini RX-7, and a flashback of Takumi in the AE86.

That doesn’t mean that the cars seen racing in MF Ghost aren’t cool though. They cars that race in the M.F.G. series range from Italian supercars to hot hatches throughout season one. Plus, there are more exciting models to come in season two.  Here are some of the best cars in MF Ghost so far.

Toyota 86 GT 

Toyota 86 GT - mfg-anime.com
Toyota 86 GT - mfg-anime.com

Just like how Kanata is Takumi’s successor, the 86 GT is the successor to the AE86. They’re both great little sports cars the car about handling over the power under the hood. Kanata gains the sports coupe through Ogata, a former M.F.G. racer turned full-time mechanic.

The red 2013 Toyota 86 GT features the naturally-aspirated 4U-GSE flat-four engine that, when stock, puts out about 197 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. The 86 GT is eventually given some aftermarket parts to help promote a little better engine performance. This car also gains some handling advancements through aftermarket suspension parts, upgraded brakes, new wheels, and fresh Yokohama Advan tires.

While this old Toyota sports coupe may seem underpowered compared to the competition, it proves itself a worthy tool in Kanata’s hands. The 86 legacy is in good hands even in modern day MF Ghost.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

Nisaan GT-R Nismo - mfg-anime.com
Nisaan GT-R Nismo - mfg-anime.com

You can’t leave out the GT-R when it comes to doing a proper JDM street racing story. While this isn’t the “Godzilla” of old, the R35 Nissan GT-R Nismo makes for an impressive successor to the badge. In MF Ghost, the GT-R Nismo belongs to four year M.F.G. veteran, Shun Aiba of the Zero Academy.

Under the hood of Aiba’s GT-R is the NISMO tuned, twin-turbocharged DOHC VR38DETT V6 engine. That unit pumps out nearly 600 horsepower and it is directed to all four tires. Some of the unique components on this ride include the Nismo N-Attack package that adds components from the Nürburgring circuit record car and some Bridgestone street tires.

Honda NSX

Honda NSX - mfg-anime.com
Honda NSX - mfg-anime.com

Honda also had some of its modern sports cars seen the in first season of MF Ghost. Kazuhiro Maezono starts out racing a FK8 Honda Civic Type R, but finds that the front-wheel-drive hot hatch puts too much wear on the tires and makes the move to his Honda NSX concept.

Part of the reason this is labeled an NSX concept in MF Ghost is the fact that it’s missing the hybrid motors found in the production models. Instead, Kazuhiro’s NSX features just the twin-turbocharged JNC1 V6 engine to meet the strictly gas-powered ruling for the M.F.G. series.

Audi R8 V10 Plus

Audi R8 - mfg-anime.com
Audi R8 - mfg-anime.com

While MF Ghost takes place on the shores of Japan, a lot of the cars in the series are sourced from Europe rather than just JDM makes. The first of which is the Audi R8 V10 Plus driven by Yudai Sakamoto. This yellow sports car features 5.2L V10 sourced from the Lamborghini Huracàn producing just over 600 horsepower. That’s all directed through the Quattro AWD system to allow this Audi to speed off from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C - mfg-anime.com
Alfa Romeo 4C - mfg-anime.com

The smallest car of the series (if you don’t include the kei trucks that show up from time to time) is Nozomi Kitahara’s Alfa Romeo 4C. Powering this Italian luxury coupe is the turbocharged 1750 TBi inline-four making just barely 237 horsepower. That is just slightly more powerful than Kanata’s 86 GT, but the 4C is also about 400 pounds lighter too.

Ferrari 488 GTB

Ferrari 488 GTB & Lamborghini - mfg-anime.com
Ferrari 488 GTB & Lamborghini - mfg-anime.com

Italy’s “Prancing Horse” make an appearance through the Rosso Corsa painted Ferrari 488 GTB driven by Kaito Akaba. With a twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine making 661 horsepower, this is currently the most powerful car in the MF Ghost series. Even with all that power though, Akaba comes up second in the M.F.G. rankings.

Porsche 911 GT3 & Porsche 718 Cayman S

Porsche 911 GT3 & 718 Cayman S - mfg-anime.com
Porsche 911 GT3 & 718 Cayman S - mfg-anime.com

Fujin Ishigami is the two-time M.F.G. Champion and his car of choice is the Porsche 911 GT3. While there are some modest additions to this car, it’s mostly considered stock and features the naturally-aspirated MA1.75 flat-six engine. Being a Porsche though, it has plenty of racing heritage underpinning this 911 straight from the factory.

Ishigami isn’t the only one rolling with a Porsche though. Michael Beckenbauer is a German racing savant that’s rised to the top of the M.F.G. class in his Porsche 718 Cayman S. The turbocharged MA2.22 flat-four in this sports coupe produces 345 horsepower and is enough to keep him in competition with the other famed Porsche racer.

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Mercedes-AMG GT R - mfg-anime.com
Mercedes-AMG GT R - mfg-anime.com

The rules of M.F.G. state that you don’t have to use the same car that you started with, but it does have to remain in with the same manufacturer. That’s how Yosuke Ohtani is able to transition from a Mercedes-AMG GT S to the GT R. While the twin-turbocharged M178 V8 is still a monster that produces 503 horsepower, the GT R takes the same powerplant and tunes it up to 577 horsepower. Upgrading to the GT R also adds in adjustable coilover springs, an adjustable rear spoiler, and the 9-mode AMG Traction Control system to make a a more composed street racing ride.

Lotus Exige S

Lotus Exige S - mfg-anime.com
Lotus Exige S - mfg-anime.com

I love a good Lotus, so seeing the Exige depicted racing in MF Ghost was a treat. Kakeru Yashio mans the Lotus Exige S for the M.F.G. series. While Lotus is traditionally a British brand, the car has actually carried a Toyota sourced engine since 2004. Yashio’s is a Series 3 Exige S, so it features a supercharged 2GR-FE V6 from Toyota – the same engine used in the Super GT Toyota Corollas.

Lamborghini Huracàn LP 610-4

Lamborghini Huracàn LP 610-4 - mfg-anime.com
Lamborghini Huracàn LP 610-4 - mfg-anime.com

Ferrari and Lamborghini have always been rivals, and that trend continues in MF Ghost. Akaba’s rival during the M.F.G. races is Daigo Oishi in his Lamborghini Huracàn LP 610-4. A naturally aspirated 5.2L V10 generating 602 horsepower allows this Lambo to sprint to 60 mph in just 3 seconds. It’s no wonder Daigo feels that his car is superior over the likes of Toyotas, Hondas, and that Ferrari.

Alpine A110

Alpine A110 - mfg-anime.com
Alpine A110 - mfg-anime.com

An old rival of Kanata made their presence known during the M.F.G. event. Kouki Sawatari grew up learning racing in France, but he’s more focused on the winnings and the prizes than racing itself. He’s encountered Kanata a handful of times while participating in the Euro FE-3 series. For the Japanese race, he’s chosen an oddity to us in the United States – the Alpine A110.

Alpine is a French auto manufacturer that  has roots in rally car racing. Their modern A110 is a rear-engined, RWD sports coupe that acts as a successor to the original A110 that raced in the ’60s and ’70s. In the modern iteration, Alpine collaborated with Renault to produce the turbocharged TCe M5Pt inline-four engine (which is actually just a revised version of Nissan’s MR18DDT). This engine generates 249 horsepower stock, but it must not be enough to compete with the likes of Kanata as it get’s replaced by the A110R in the manga.

MF Ghost Season Two Coming Late 2024

Mf Ghost - crunchyroll.com
Mf Ghost - crunchyroll.com

MF Ghost isn’t over yet! Kanata is still on a mission to rise to the top of the M.F.G. series in the Toyota 86 GT. We can’t wait to see the story unfold in season two later this year and the next cars to make their animated appearances. I’m personally excited to see the Toyota GR Supra and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage show up from the MF Ghost manga. Plus, maybe we’ll get some other side stories that’ll feature some classic JDM icons taking on these modern racers?

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Jesse McGraw

Jesse McGraw brings his life-long car obsession into his writing. A fun childhood that involved growing up around race tracks, working on a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, and collecting Hot Wheels developed into a strong appreciation for automotive history. If there is an old, obscure, or rare car, he wants to know about it. With a bachelor's degree in Web Development & Design from Dakota State University, Jesse can talk shop about car or computer specs, focusing on classic cars, imports, and car culture.

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