Japanese Racing Movies

Saturday, March 26 by Irving Oala

Japanese racing movies have been made in many different forms to depict the wild and intense real life events that occur in the nation of Japan among the people in their country wh break the law to race their suped-up vehicles around the city streets. These Japanese racing movies have influenced a number films in America and have made the underground racing circuit legendary around the world. Here are a few of the best of those movies depicting what it's like to race illegally on the city streets of Japan.

  1. "Megalopolis Expressway Trial." A controversial series of six Japanese Racing Movies about street racing that came out before Japanese street racing really hit the mainstream in 1988. It was so controversial, in fact, that it was banned from theater in it's home country and was watched almost as carefully as people took the streets to do their racing. Now it can be found on DVD and watched more easily, making it one of the most influential films for the Japanese racing movie sub-genre.
  2. "The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift." This third installment of "The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift" franchise took the remaining characters to Japan to delve into the infamous street racing scene which basically influenced the entire series of blockbuster movies. Directed by Justin Lin, this Japanese racing movie stars actors Lucas Black, Zachary Ty Bryan and Bow Wow. This is the Hollywood version of a Japanese racing movie, so while the stunts and effects are very cool, it may be tough to give credence to the movie's accuracy.
  3. "Speedracer." Based on the famous comic book and cartoon series, the futuristic tale follows Japanese racers in the future, geared to be a story for both adults and children alike with it's cartoonish style. The most recent version of this story was made in 2008 by the Wachowski Brothers, who also directed "The Matrix" trilogy, and stars actor Emile Hirsch.
  4. "Redline." A fully animated Japanese racing movie, "Redline" is an intense and visually stunning full anime movies about a mythical Japanese racing game held ever five years. Think "Cannonball Run" on steroids. The anime movie actually took seven years to produce and is critically acclaimed as one of the best Japanese racing movie ever made, animated or live action. It is directed by Takeshi Koike's Madhouse studio, who are responsible for other critically acclaimed Japanese anime films like "Demon City Shinjuku" and "Ninja Scroll."
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