Differences from the Anime
Here is a list of differences between the Live Action movie and the Anime series. More differences will be mentioned in the Live Action character profiles. This page is full of spoilers for both the Live Action and Anime.
Live Action: Ryosuke and Takeshi (Nakazato) look like good friends and are almost always seen together in the movie.
Anime: There is no such friendship between Ryosuke and Takeshi. In the Live Action, there is no Keisuke. Takeshi has taken Keisuke's place.
Live Action: Itsuki does not work at the gas station, and he is Yuichi's son.
Anime: Itsuki works at the gas station. Yuichi and Itsuki are not related at all.
Live Action: Ryosuke goes to the tofu shop to see Bunta.
Anime: It was Iketani. Ryosuke has never met Bunta.
Live Action: Itsuki knows how to race and is the leader of the Akina Speedstars.
Anime: Since the Live Action didn't cast Iketani, the Live Action Itsuki is like a combination of the Anime Itsuki and Iketani. In the Anime, Itsuki does not learn how to drift until Kazumi helps him in Second Stage, and Iketani is the leader of the Speedstars.
Live Action: Takeshi drifts.
Anime: Takeshi does grip driving - no drifting. He looks down on drifting.
Live Action: Itsuki buys a hachi roku.
Anime: Itsuki attempts to buy a hachi roku but ended up with a hachi go by mistake.
Live Action: Takumi drives Itsuki's car against Seiji.
Anime: The incident where Takumi drives Itsuki's car were against random strangers they didn't know. The strangers were looking for Akina's hachi roku and made fun of Itsuki since he had a hachi go.
Live Action: Takumi gets tailed by Kyouichi and decides to race him. His engine makes a small popping noise and then his car stops in the middle of the race. Ryosuke helps him out.
Anime: Takumi drives to Akagi to find Kyouichi to race. His engine blows in the middle of the race, making burn marks on his hood and causing his car to spin out, just barely stopping before crashing into the guardrail. And, it was Bunta who showed up to pick him and his car up.
Live Action: The hachi roku gets a black hood after the engine swap.
Anime: The hachi roku doesn't get a black hood until Fourth Stage. The hood is still white after the engine swap in Second Stage.
Live Action: Takumi set the date to race against Ryosuke.
Anime: Ryosuke set the date to race against Takumi. At this time in the series, it is not like Takumi to initiate a race.
Live Action: Itsuki catches Mogi leaving a love hotel with a guy in a Benz. He tells Takumi, and they get in a fight.
Anime: Takumi gets messages from an anonymous person about Mogi's relationship with a guy in a Benz. Itsuki does not know anything about this.
Side note: Although the Anime never mentions or shows it, you can see in the manga that Mogi and "Papa" really do go to love hotels.
Live Action: Kyouichi has team decals on his spoiler that have been cut in half and placed upside down.
Anime: It is only Seiji that places decals of the teams he beats on his spoiler. He also cuts them in half and sticks them upside down.
Live Action: The Emperors are a team of professional racers.
Anime: The Emperors is another street racing team - not professionals, even though Kyouichi was from the Toudou School.
Live Action: There is a three-way race between Takumi, Ryosuke, and Kyouichi.
Anime: There is never a three-way race in the Anime. Takumi vs Ryosuke is at the end of First Stage. The first Takumi vs Kyouichi is in Second Stage, and the second Takumi vs Kyouichi is in Third Stage. Ryosuke vs Kyouichi is also in Second Stage.
Live Action: In the three-way race, Kyouichi takes the lead from the beginning.
Anime: Kyouichi's strategy is always to take the rear in the beginning and tailgate the leading car. He does not take the lead until it nears the end of the race.
Live Action: Ryosuke copies Takumi's gutter technique during their three-way race.
Anime: While Ryosuke does follow Takumi and copies his line, he never does the gutter technique. No one else in the series, other than Bunta, does or even attempts the Akina gutter technique.
Live Action: Takumi does the gutter technique before the hairpins.
Anime: Takumi always does the gutter technique at the hairpins. This makes it Takumi's key point during his races at Akina.
Live Action: Bunta and Yuichi were standing at the most crucial point in the Takumi vs Ryosuke race.
Anime: Takeshi and Shingo were. Bunta never goes to Takumi's races.
Live Action: Ryosuke asks Takumi to join his new team right after their race.
Anime: Ryosuke doesn't ask Takumi until Third Stage. This is about a year after their race.
Live Action: Takumi sees Mogi being dropped off by the Benz guy and realizes Itsuki is right.
Anime: Takumi gets a phone call from an anonymous person to go to a restaurant. He goes there and sees Mogi and "Papa" together.
Live Action: Takumi decides to join Ryosuke's team after seeing Mogi with the Benz guy.
Anime: Takumi decided after racing with Ryosuke at the end of Third Stage. This is about a year after this Mogi incident.
Live Action: After the engine swap, Bunta puts in a new tachometer.
Anime: Iketani helps Takumi put a new tachometer in.
Live Action: Takumi has scars and bruises on his body from when Bunta beats him.
Anime: Bunta is not abusive, and Takumi does not have scars and bruises on his body.