Shuichi Shigeno, author of the popular manga series Initial D, revealed earlier this week that he would be launching a new series in Kodansha’s Young Magazine. The new manga, titled EV Ghost, explores the future of automotive sports where AI driving systems and electric vehicles have begun to replace traditional gasoline fueled transportation. Following the retirement of Initial D in 2014, Shigeno is hoping to make this new manga his next long-running series.
The story of EV Ghost focuses on Kanata Seiji, a young Grubhub driver who has to compete with the AI driven delivery vehicles in his area in order to keep his employment. At the risk of his job becoming automated, Seiji begins making his deliveries faster and faster in order to deliver takeout quicker than his robotic opponents. During his various races, the main character meets other human drivers also struggling to keep their minimum wage jobs. Some of the human drivers, such as a group of UberEATS workers, form competitive teams which the protagonist will eventually have to face.
Shigeno says he hopes that his new work will be relatable to younger generations who are beginning to deal with the effects of rising income disparity and workforce automation. “In the future, many young people may not be able to experience an automobile as they have been able to in the past,” Shigeno wrote in a preface to his new manga. “My hope is to capture the excitement of the automotive sport for my readers, even as the industry begins to drastically change.”
The cover of the latest issues of Young Magazine teases the new series, depicting a fierce race between a Toyota Prius and a Nissan Leaf. Shigeno hinted that readers can expect other exciting races featuring cars related to the manga’s theme such as the BMW i3, Tesla Model 3, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Reception appeared to be positive with Initial D fans who seemed eager at the announcement of the new series; although most admitted to never reading the original manga and only knowing of it through Eurobeat memes.