Wangan Midnight- Movie for Sunday



Wangan Midnight: The Movie (湾岸ミッドナイト THE MOVIE, Wangan middonaito ) is a 2009 Japanese film directed by Atsushi Muroga, based on the manga series of the same title by Michiharu Kusunoki. The film stars Yūichi Nakamura, Kazuki Kato, and Rio Matsumoto.


Akio Asakura is a high school student who mostly likes to take girls out for a ride in his red Nissan 300ZX. Whilst driving on Tokyo's Shuto Expressway in a Nissan 300ZX, he challenges the "Blackbird", whose driver is Tatsuya Shima, to an impromptu race despite having his friend, Ma, in the passenger seat and two girls in the back, but is defeated. Determined to drive a faster car, he follows his mechanic friend Kota "Ko-chan" Takahashi to a junkyard upon hearing a newer Nissan 300ZX model is available. While at the junkyard, he sees the scrapped body of a midnight blue Nissan Fairlady Z (S30), equipped with a tuned 3.1-liter L28 twin-turbo engine.


Attracted to it, he attempts to buy it but the junkyard owner, Kuro, refuses as Kuro was told by the previous owner to scrap the car because it is cursed. After telling Kota that he remembers seeing this car a few years ago, they eventually agree to buy the car. Akio sells off his 300ZX to fund the purchase, much to Ma's exasperation.


When testing the car after its restoration on the highway, Kuro calls Kota warning him that the Z Akio bought is "The Devil Z (Japanese: 悪魔のZ, Hepburn: Akuma no Zetto)", a former Wangan racing car infamous for causing accidents, as if the car is rebelling against its driver. Despite this, Akio continues to spend time with it. He takes two part-time jobs to support his interest and is forced to repeat high school due to his lack of attendance.

Eventually, his activities catch the attention of others like his new homeroom teacher Rumi Shimada who knows his obsession of cars with his absence due to it, and also Shim,a who raced against the Devil Z at the time of the Z's last accident two years previously, which killed the Z's driver (who was coincidentally also called Akio Asakura). They race, but Akio crashes into some roadworks after losing control of the car.


Two weeks after the crash, Akio meets Shima while working at a local gas station. With Shiima is Eriko Asakura, the sister of the deceased Akio Asakura, and Shima's love interest. At this meeting Akio issues a formal challenge to Shima once his Z had been repaired. On the same night of the challenge Rumi visits Akio, wanting to ride with him in his Z. Akio however pleads to her that he cannot do so that night, preventing her from getting to know him better.


Akio, Kota and Ma then wait with Eriko for Shima. Reina Akikawa, a model, appears and shows her interest in cars as well. Akio invites Eriko to ride with him as he and Shima race, to prove that the Z is no longer like the Z her brother drove. With Ma, Kota and Reina as passengers, Akio loses control in the race again, but manages to avoid hitting the barrier.

Reina switches from modelling to acting and learns from Akio about his passion for racing. Knowing her poor social skills due to racing, she learns through others what her passion for racing is, even knowing her manager Yoshiaki Ishida whom she commonly lied to races as well.


Eriko obtains Akio's address from a gas station manager by convincing him she is Akio's sister and visits him to tell him she is going abroad. She requests one last drive in the Z. When they reach Eriko's home, where Shima was waiting, Eriko steals the Z using the spare key she still owned from her brother. She then speeds towards the docks, with Akio and Shima in pursuit, planing to dump the Z in the bay. Akio manages to stop her just in time and Eriko is devastated that she could not destroy it. In the midst of this, Akio and Shima agree to one last race on Wangan to settle who is fastest once and for all. Akio and Kota retune the Z entirely while Shima sends his Blackbird to an expert to do the same. Rumi, who has hoped that Akio will return to school soon, notices Akio's absence there.


During Akio's and Shima's race, a disgruntled truck driver asks another up the road to "scare" the two knowing them as racers that annoy other drivers. When the cars approach the second truck, the driver slowly swerves in front of Shima, but Akio brakes so that the truck hits Akio instead of Shima, causing him to swerve back. However, the Z mounts the inner curb, hits the guardrail and flips. Akio and Eriko manage to escape the wrecked Z before it bursts into flames. Shima helps Akio up as they observe the burning wreck, which is viewable through the highway with Reina driving by and catching a glimpse, shocked.

The next day, Eriko leaves Japan to study in England. Whilst there, she receives a letter from Shima, telling her that things are settling. Akio is keeping the burnt-out Z, and plans to race it once more. While the Z is being repaired, Akio finally attends school, albeit with injuries sustained from the crash and Rumi glad to see his presence once more. When Kota and Ma arrive one day to Akio's garage, they see its shutter door partially open with sounds coming out of the garage.


In the post credits scene, Shima stops midway through a hospital corridor and hears the Z starting up. Smiling, he walks away with the on-screen message, "Z will be back".