“GRIP, A Toyota Story” is an all-new 2024 anime complete with Initial D and MF Ghost feels

The Toyota Corolla AE86 Trueno (as well as other JDM staples), was immortalized with and by the anime Initial D. Then came MF Ghost, something of a follow-up series to the aforementioned anime. As if that’s not enough, Akio Toyoda’s company developed a new anime series of its own and named it GRIP. Dubbed a ” high-octane original… that combines… a battle between the human spirit and computer control”, its first episode has already gone live on YouTube last week.

“A Toyota Story”, GRIP features a lineup of Gazoo Racing models going head-to-head with self-driving cars

A Toyota Story Toyota Grip Anime Inline 03 Min

Photo: Toyota

GRIP follows the story of Jae Kang, the series’ main protagonist. Driving a GR Corolla hatchback, it serves as the perfect “weapon” for our hero. But what is it really about? From what we can see and read, autonomous vehicles that want to change the world (presumably by taking out the pleasure of driving) find themselves being challenged, by none other than GR or Gazoo Racing vehicles. Maybe it’s the other way around, so let’s rephrase.

The plot: a lineup of GR or Gazoo Racing models that challenge autonomous, self-driving vehicles that want to change the world by taking the pleasure out of the human driving experience. There, that’s much better.

A Toyota Story Toyota Grip Anime Inline 02 Min

Photo: Toyota

Jae Kang is joined by a crew composed of Linh “Nitro” Lam, Kumail Jo, and Master Rugu. Dr. Aron Synth is the antagonist in the story, “hellbent on eradicating human driving”. And since the hero cars of the series all bear the GR badge, we can expect to see Kang’s GR Corolla, the GR Supra, and the GR86 competing and racing against the “cars of the future”. At least that’s how it all looks given the single episode that’s aired and all the other images released by Toyota.

A Toyota Story Toyota Grip Anime Inline 01 Min

Photo: Toyota

“With their GR rides and unwavering determination, the GRIP team is the last hope for the spirit of driving.” is the basic premise of GRIP, and for any gearhead, motoring, or racing enthusiast, the “spirit of driving” is that one thing that autonomous vehicles can never give. If anything, the first episode already looks promising, plus there’s bound to be a lot more GR eye (and ear) candy to boot in the episodes to come.

But don’t just take our word for it. Go watch it yourself and just enjoy it!

Mikko Juangco
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