With Japanese cars being some of the most iconic and sought after for the past few decades, their influence has been felt in all kinds of media.
The JDM community has extended its reach into video games, TV, and of course film.
JDM cars take center stage in quite a few productions, a few of which will be covered on this list of the Top 5 Most Iconic JDM Cars in Movies.
If you’re a crossover JDM and movie buff, grab some popcorn, and let’s get started!
Initial D began as a popular manga that ran from 1995 to 2013, which covered Japanese street racing, an illegal act in that country just like anywhere else.
Over time the manga was adapted into an even more popular anime, and in 2005 that popularity exploded into a full-blown film.
Released in 2005, Initial D was a Hong Kong action film that took elements from several parts of the manga and turned it into a nearly 2-hour long film.
It features all of the JDM icons from the manga and anime, including the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86, a Nissan Skyline GT-R, and a Mazda RX-7 among others.
The Fast and the Furious
Dominic Toretto’s muscle cars typically take center stage in The Fast and the Furious films, particularly the first one, but that first film also had quite a few JDM vehicles in starring roles.
Brian Walker first raced Toretto in a Mitsubishi Eclipse, and he later drives a Toyota Supra. Neither car really stands a chance against Dom’s 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, but they sure did put up a fight.
You Only Live Twice
This Sean Connery-starring Bond film featured JDM all the way back when it was released in 1967.
Since the film takes place in Japan, it features a few JDM cars throughout, most notably the Toyota 2000GT Roadster Bond drives.
Even after all this time, many people consider this Toyota to be their favorite Bond car, including the actor who most recently departed the role, Daniel Craig.
Back to the Future
When somebody brings up Back to the Future, the first image conjured up is of course the iconic DeLorean time machine. However, there is another car prominently featured in the first film, and it’s a JDM car to boot. That car was the 1985 Toyota SR5 pickup, the precursor to the Toyota Tacoma. It was Marty’s dream car, and at one point in the film, he gets to actually drive it.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Tokyo Drift was many people’s first introduction to the world of drifting, despite it not being an excellent movie on a technical level.
And, since most of the film takes place in Japan the cars featured in it are almost entirely JDM. Cars like the Fairlady Z, Mazda RX-7, Nissan Silvia S15, and the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 are present and some older classic JDM vehicles like a Nissan 180SX S13 a Toyota Chaser JZX100.