Cover of the first volume of the manga
|Written by||"Michiharu Kusunoki|
|Original run||1990 – 2008|
|Wangan Midnight: C1 Runner|
|Written by||Michiharu Kusunoki|
|Original run||2009 – 2012|
|Ginkai no Speed Star|
|Written by||Michiharu Kusunoki|
|Magazine||"Big Comic Spirits|
|Original run||2014 – 2015|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tsuneo Tominaga|
|Produced by||"Keiichi Tsuchiya|
|Original run||June 8, 2007 – September 13, 2008|
Wangan Midnight ("Japanese: 湾岸ミッドナイト "Hepburn: Wangan Middonaito) is a Japanese "manga series written and illustrated by "Michiharu Kusunoki. It was first serialized in "Shogakukan's "Big Comic Spirits since 1990, but was later serialized in "Kodansha's "Young Magazine, in which "Initial D is also serialized. In 1999, it won the "Kodansha Manga Award for general manga. Years before Wangan Midnight was created, Michiharu Kusunoki worked on a similar series known as "Shakotan Boogie.
The series has been adapted into several live action feature films, video games, and an "anime television series. The anime began airing in Japan on June 8, 2007 on the anime satellite television network "Animax, produced by OB Planning.
The Wangan Midnight manga ended with volume 42 but has since been followed with a new arc called Wangan Midnight: C1 Runner (湾岸ミッドナイト C1ランナー) with another 12 volumes. It ended in July 2012.
The third arc started in 2014, but due to the change of publisher it was renamed to Ginkai no Speed Star (銀灰のスピードスター).
The story gets its roots from the street racing that occurs on Tokyo's "Shuto Expressway "Bayshore Route. 'Wangan' (literally bayshore in Japanese) is the endonym of this longest, straightest road in the entire country. There is also road traffic to contend with, including a fair number of heavy trucks. Because of this, the action is inherently hazardous, and wrecks are common. Blown engines are also a frequent hazard, especially with the extremely high power engines.
One day, "Akio Asakura, a high school student in his last year of study, is driving his "Nissan Fairlady Z (Z31) on the Shuto Expressway when he challenges "Tatsuya Shima, a doctor, in his black "Porsche 964, dubbed the "BlackBird". With his friend in the passenger seat and two girls in the back, Akio attempts to win, but is defeated. Determined to drive a faster car, he goes to the junkyard because his mechanic friend tells him he saw the scrapped body of a S30 with good parts on it. When he sees the scrapped body of a midnight blue "Fairlady Z (S30) in the junkyard, he remembers seeing this car a few years ago with a nice girl in the passenger seat. Intrigued as to why such a classic Japanese performance vehicle is about to be junked, he convinces the junkyard owner to sell it to him. The junkyard owner was told by the previous owner to scrap the car because it is cursed. He soon finds that the car is unnaturally fast due to it's tuned "L28 engine, bored and stroked to 3.1 L, fitted with triple carburetors and twin turbos. He also finds that one of the car's previous owners shares his first and last name, and had been killed in a horrible crash on the Wangan few years ago. Every person who takes possession of the Z ends up spinning out of control and crashing, as if the car is rebelling against its driver. This gives the blue Z the nickname "The Devil Z".
The manga follows Akio's various encounters with people on the Wangan, and his maniacal attempts to control the car, though the central plot revolves around his constant battle with the BlackBird for Wangan superiority.
The new story arc, Wangan Midnight C1 Runner, features the new adventures of the new main character, Shinji Ogishima (which debuted in the last chapters of the original story), and his friend, Nobu Setoguchi, both are part of "GT Cars" project which is in dispute and conflict, and must settle these problems by driving "Mazda RX-7s around "Shuto Expressway, and meeting with Tatsuya Shima.
The first Wangan Midnight volume was released in Japan in 1990, and has never been translated into any other languages during its publication run, and the final volume was published in mid-2008. However, Taiwan-based "Sharp Point Press has obtained license for translating the manga into Chinese, but this was stopped after volume 38 due to an expired license. There have been no announcements as to a new distributor in Taiwan for continuing or restarting the manga.
The C1 Runner arc started in 2008 shortly after the main story and ended in July 2012, thus ending the entire Wangan Midnight manga series.
In "Singapore, the main Wangan Midnight manga, along with C1 Runner volumes, has been translated by "Chuang Yi into English for Singaporean readers. However, despite being translated into English, the manga series was never popular as its rival, Initial D (which was translated into Chinese by the same company). Even the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series and the "PS3 game of the same name did not help improving the sales of the manga. Despite this, the C1 Runner arc is currently translated into English as well.
The series was adapted into a series of direct-to-video movies in 1994, 1997 and again in 2000. They accurately depict the manga, with the exception of Akio being in his thirties. Many Japanese viewers hold the films in high regard for their realistic portrayal of the racing with the cars having the speed they have in the manga.
The series has been adapted into a series of "video games, developed by "Namco. The first game, Wangan Midnight was released on February 2, 2001. On December 20, 2001, Wangan Midnight R was released. A PS2 version of Wangan Midnight was released later on March 21, 2002. It was basically a home port of Wangan Midnight R. A complete re-imagining of the game series, "Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune, was released in July 2003 to arcades only, followed by another sequel, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2, on April 2004. The third installament Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 was released on July 18, 2007 in the arcade, with "a sequel to the original game following on the "PlayStation 3 and "PlayStation Portable platforms. The updated version, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 DX, a fourth installment was released on December 16, 2008. The PS3 and PSP games were re-released in 2008 under the "Genki The Best" label. An "RPG which was a sequel to the PS3 and PSP games, titled Wangan Midnight: C1 Runner (based on the manga of the same name), was also released by Genki. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 DX Plus, the fifth installment was released in March 4, 2010 (in Japan) and May 2010 (in Indonesia). The sixth installament, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4, the sixth installment was released on December 15, 2011 (early in Japan), on 15 December 2012 (in Australia), 27 November 2013 (in Indonesia), and on 2016 (in China) and run by an upgraded version of the System N2, called System ES1A2. The seventh installment, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5, was released on March 12, 2014 (early in Japan), on 22 October 2014 (in Australia), on 15 December 2014 (in Indonesia), and on 8 March 2017 (in North America). Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 is also distributed as an upgrade kit for Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4 arcade machines. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 DX, the eighth installment was released early in Japan on 15 December 2015 also International and Indonesian version were released lately in 2016, and in January 2018 in Chinese version. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 DX Plus, the ninth installment was released early in Japan on December 2016, in International (Asia) on 19 July 2017, and Indonesia on 5 October 2017. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 6, the tenth installment will be coming soon in Japan this July 2018 and will feature new rivals who appeared in previous games and will feature Porsche vehicles for the first time. The majority of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune "racing games feature "trance music soundtracks composed and produced by "Yuzo Koshiro. The main objective in the Wangan Midnight and Wangan Midnight R and Maximum Tune is, as the main player, beat all the characters and cars including the Devil Z and Blackbird driven by Akio and Shima from the manga and anime. In the Maximum Tune series, players can also tune their car or modify its appearance upon victory, depending on the game mode being selected.
Maximum Tune has a Story Mode where the initial characters from the comic show become your rivals in the story. Your mission in story mode is to race with these characters and beat them. In addition, one of the objectives of this game is “Tuning (Step-Up).” Step up your car is an objective of Story Mode.
In story mode, first, choose your rival’s level, then select an opponent out of the rivals that are of the selected level. You can openly change the levels and rivals within the limited time.
Story Mode proceeds as follows (starting from Maximum Tune 3):
Episodes 1-10: The Return of Devil the Z
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 1 to 3.
This story will tell about “Akio”, “Reina”, “Blackbird”, and “Ishida” in each levels of characters.
Episodes 11-15: Perfect GT-R
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 3 to 5.
You will race on an ultra high-speed Wangan line battle with Hiramoto and Harada.
Episodes 16-20: The Akasaka Straight
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 5 to 8.
This part will focuses in a battle with ex-metropolitan highway racer, “Masaki.”
Episodes 21-30: Monster Machine
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 8 to 13.
In this part you will meet the wild driving and wild stories of the tuners who are mad about “Keiichiro Aizawa’s Supra.”
Episodes 31-40: R200 Club
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 13 to 16.
In this part you will battle with members of the “R200 Club” and observer honor “Kuroki’s” passion for the 33R.
Episodes 41-50: Hanshin Circular Line
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 16 to 20.
In this part is a race against Eiji Kamiya, a racer from Osaka who drives a Lancer Evolution.
Episodes 51-60: The Legendary FC
This is taken from the story written in Wangan Midnight comics, volumes 20 to 24.
In this part you will race with “Kijima” who will show you his passion with the RX-7 FC3S.
At the 2007 Tokyo Anime Fair, OB Planning ("Initial D) announced the production of an animated series based on the manga. Aired on a pay-per-view channel of "Animax in June 2007, the series was co-produced by OB Planning, A.C.G.T., and Pastel under the direction of Tsuneo Tominaga and consists of twenty-six episodes. The series was released on DVD with the thirteenth volume reaching 29th on the Oricon sales chart for Japanese animation DVDs in November 2008. The Japanese opening theme for the series is "Lights and Anymore" by "TRF, the opening features clips of Akio's Devil Z also featuring the 3 main characters and also features Akio's Devil Z racing against Shima's Blackbird. The closing theme is "Talkin' Bout Good Days" by Mother Ninja. The animation is similar to that of "Initial D Fourth Stage and Fifth Stage.
On September 12, 2009, Jolly Roger and "Geneon Universal Entertainment released a live-action adaptation of the manga. Wangan Midnight: The Movie is directed by the Atsushi Muroga, with the screenplay written by "Yasutoshi Murakawa. The film stars "Yuichi Nakamura as Akio Asakura, "Ryoko Kobayashi as Eriko Asakura, "Kazuki Kato as Tatsuya Shima, Rio Matsumoto as Reina Akikawa, and Masaki Sata as Kou-chan. The film was shot in "Wangan as a stand-in for the expressway racing scenes. Like the previous anime television series and video features, Wangan Midnight: The Movie will center on Akio Asakura's "Devil Z" and the rivalry with "Black Bird".
It appears that a sequel may be planned, as after the ending credits in a bonus scene, Shima is seen to be leaving work when he hears the sound of a Z we don't know if its Akio's car or not, followed by a fade out message saying 'Z will be back', which is a reformed "Devil Z" (Nissan Falrlady Z/ 240Z/280Z/370Z).
In all Wangan Midnight games that are published by "Bandai Namco, some vans trucks and cars have the "Pac-Man character on it. Also, Pac-Man is used as one of the decals when you tune your car after the race. In Maximum Tune 4, a level features two "Racer Wannabees" driving a "Toyota AE86 and a yellow modified "Mazda RX-7 which resemble Takumi Fujiwara's AE86 and Keisuke Takahashi's FD3S which both drivers in Maximum Tune 4 & 5 are the same impersonators of Keisuke and Takumi during the later Project D from "Initial D Fifth Stage in the anime series.