Tofu or taufu or toufoo is nutritious and healthy, but it’s known for being bland. But, if you deliver it in a Corolla sideways, wouldn’t that give it some extra flavour?
The tofu-Corolla combo came together in 1995 in Initial D, Shuichi Shigeno’s Japanese comic book (manga) that struck the right chord with car enthusiasts (and, dare we say, tofu lovers).
Set in the mountainous Gunma Prefecture of central Japan, the story’s protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, is a student working at a gas station during summer vacation. In the early morning he delivers tofu from his father’s shop using his family’s aging Corolla, a Toyota Sprinter Trueno (commonly known by its chassis number, AE86).
When the sun sets, his black-and-white AE86 becomes the ultimate racing machine on nearby mountain roads. Fujiwara and his cohorts blast the twisting roads sideways―“drifting”―intentionally over-steering and pushing their cars and skills to the limit. With its simple body and format, the AE86 was perfect for tuning and drifting.
Today, a little over three decades since the birth of the AE86 and almost twenty years since Initial D first made thousands of kids excited about cars and driving again, the AE86 is still one of the more sought-after Toyota models from the past. Some of that is likely down to the popularity of the original manga and the anime series and movies that followed.
Starting this week at Mega Web (Toyota’s vehicle showcase in Tokyo), a replica of Fujiwara’s two-tone AE86 will be on show to promote the new Initial D feature film.
Have a look around in our gallery below and see the comic come to life.