Car Geek>>shakotan Boogie

The first time I came across Shakotan Boogie was in a small used bookstore in Japan a few years ago. I had heard the comic mentioned before, so I was really excited getting a chance to pick up a few volumes of this cult-favorite of Japan's car enthusiasts. In the time since I've managed to collect about half the series from bookstores all over Japan, and even some here in LA. With this month's theme, it's a perfect time to take a quick look through the pages of Shakotan Boogie.

Written by Kusunoki Michiharu, Shakotan Boogie includes 32 manga volumes published between the late '80s and the mid '90s, n short animation series, and even a 1987 live action film. If the artwork looks familiar, that's because Michiharu later went on to do the famous Wangan Midnight comic series.

The story follows two high school classmates, Hajime (right) and Koji (left), who cruise around in Hajime's MZ11 Soarer getting in to all sorts of trouble. Although cars are featured heavily in the story, it's about more about the adventures of being young than just racing – picking up girls, dealing with bosozoku and chinpira, running from police, etc. I suppose you can call it a Japanese version of American Graffiti.

Here's Hajime's famous #67 Soarer, there's even been a full replica of this car built in Japan, complete with an RB26 swap!

Some of the other main characters include Jun, who drives this Hakosuka Skyline with a fully-tuned L28.

Instead of going for an ultra-realistic look, Michiharu draws all of his cars with slightly exaggerated features, wheels and tires poking out of the fenders, and ground-scraping ride heights. Thus the Shakotan in Shakotan Boogie.

As you can see, Jun-chan is kind of the badass hero of the story.

One of the most iconic cars from the series is the "Yanky Mate!" Fairlady Z, also powered by a fully built L28.

The Z is driven by Akira, who's pretty mad in this scene when he finds his stolen SSR MkIII's for sale in a second hand parts shop! Scenes like this are why I love Shakotan Boogie.

Besides the main character's vehicles, all sorts of cars pop up through the course of the story. Here's a TE27 Levin and a Supra.

A Skyline Japan.

A 510 Bluebird being chased by an R32 GT-R through the snow.

It's not all Japanese cars either, there's Hajime and Koji trying to chase down a girl in a Mini Cooper.

There's even American cars, or Ame-sha as the Japanese call them. Check this Corvette and Trans Am.

Another female character drives this Ferrari Testarossa.

Vintage motorcycles are also part of the action in some stories.

So there you have it, a quick look what I think is the coolest comic ever. When I first picked up a volume of Shakotan Boogie, I could hardly understand anything. Recently though, I'm surprised that I can actually follow a good part of the story, and reading it provides a fun challenge to my limited Japanese skills.

Now I need to get to work on collecting the rest of the series….

-Mike Garrett



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This looks really cool, even though I don't know Japanese!

Out of curiosity, is "Car Geek" gonna be a new thing on SpeedHunters, like the videos and car features?


Wish I could find these translated. Always been very interested in 80 to early 90's japanese tuning. Which is strange considering im mostly a Euro guy. Maybe there should be an 80's month!


Too cool!!!!! I wish they would re-release them in english so i could buy them :P


Being a car geek.....I say yes. Make it a new thing! Manga, scale models, anything car related.


that is a bad ass comic! if only i could read japanese haha


Ooh,scale models would be cool! Those are the only cars I can build right now. :) Love this comic! I LOVE JAPAN!!!


A publisher needs to pick up this and Wangan Midnight and print them in English. TokyoPop did it with Initial D. Why not these?

I like the whole car geek thing.


I tried reading some of it. I can read. but can't translate it xP


cool post, haha


Some of the expressions on the characters are hilarious!

Cool comics!

12 art work

cant read what its saying......but it looks dramatic


Thats a TE72 Levin, not a TE27 :)


Definitely a badass series!


Wow, this makes me want to grow up again... in Japan.


they should make a translated version OR i should learm jap




This looks brilliant, I've only just recently discovered that Shakotan Boogie exists and now it seems to be popping up on my internet travels all over the place. Perhaps its a sign I should invest in some copies.


I always wondered where you got that name from Mike..........

Hope things are well!


That's some pretty cool stuff, right there! I'm a newbie at japanese, still a long way to go to read anything though...:))))


holy crap. i need this.


Damn I love Shakotan Boogie. If only I could afford to buy the mangas instead I invest my money towards building my own shakotan style cars. If you ever find any extras Mike let me know.


damn! i wish i could read this. hahaha. i wanna collect em all. :]


Great feature Mike!

If your into manga you should take a look at You're Under Arrest (??????? Taiho Shichauzo) by Fujishima Kosuke, the story is about 2 police girls but the author is clearly a petrolhead and all the storys involve some JDM cars and bikes drawn to perfection.


Such cool cars.


You guys should show some more car mangas.

Wangan Midnight,

Initial D,

and Over Rev.

All of them friggin' awesome! Unfortunately i don't think Shakotan Boogie has ever been translated, and my moonspeak skillz are ZERO T___T


movies was also called Shakotan Boogie? cant find them


wow speedhunters has been puting up really good stuff lately!! keep showing more japanese stuff,drifting, and slammed cars


wow speedhunters has been puting up really good stuff lately!! keep showing more japanese stuff,drifting, and slammed cars


i dont like the illustrations of the cars. they arent proportional.i liked the detail in initial d and over rev, how all the cars were drawn to perfection


LOL @ "thats a te72..."

kinda like, "Dude I think its a Lambo..."


Car geek. Super cool! Thanks, Mike!


Agree 100%...more car manga / anime / etc requested.

I too am addicted.


cool feature i hope car geeks will contitue to be posted here.Also do ef civics appear in shakotan boogie?


hey hows about scanning those manga? eh?


this manga is a mix of wangan midnight and initial D!!!



More racing mangas review in speedhunters!!


damn thats a sicc comicto bad nothing like that would ever be here


"The first time I came across Shakotan Boogie was in a small used bookstore in Japan a few years ago. I had heard the comic..."

i stopped reading after that, Mike Garrett's lost all credibility to me


That manga seriously needs to be translated into Engrish and sold over here.


As I write this, Southern California is just starting to dry out from a week-long onslaught of rainstorms. With the rain pouring down and the freeways turning even more chaotic than usual, it was a perfect time to stay dry and enjoy some of our favorite


This is awesome, where can I find these? are they rare?


This is awesome, where can I find these? are they rare?


cooooool thanks man , i knew about it but now im gonna download and read it :D but u have to agree initial D is the best ! xD yea its rare but u can find translated manga (by fans mostly) on the internet