Car-Toons Vol.1 e Vol.2 we had fun finding the most interesting cameos of Western cars inside the most famous Japanese anime. A sort of tribute by Japanese artists to the European car culture and the most iconic models, from small cars to supercars.

Today instead, we are looking for JDM cars in the manga universe. JDM means Japanese Domestic Market, it’s a widespread acronym among car enthusiasts when it comes to the sports cars of the Rising Sun, but it includes all Japanese models sold on the domestic market. Many, of course, distributed also in Europe, but not all, just as the opposite is also true: just think that the Nissan Qashqai, produced in the UK and no longer sold in Japan (where it was called Dualis) cannot be considered a JDM.

To go back to the first time someone talked about the JDM phenomenon outside Japan we have to rewind the tape to 1995. And guess who, Jeremy Clarkson named the “Mid Night Club” during an episode of “Motorworld” in which he tells the different sub-cultures of the period such as Drifting, a niche phenomenon completely obscure to most people. This was the fuse that made the JDM trend explode outside the borders.

However, if we want to talk about the origins of the “Mid Night Club” we have to go back even further, let’s say in the mid 80s, when in Japan the “street racing” trend came up along with the mania of pimping cars to increase performances.

So in 1987 the Mid Night Club was formed, a clique formed by a small group of street racers who had as their point of reference the “Wangan-sen”, 70 km of highway that border the metropolitan area of Tokyo.

The stretch of road on which these racers used to fight was State Road 357, a rollercoaster of tunnels and elevated roads with long straight stretches where you can easily reach 300 km per hour.

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No one knew anything about who, how and when they ran, except those directly involved and a small gang of close friends. In short, a sort of car fight club, where secrecy and rigour were minimum requirements to be admitted.

The original Mid Night Club gave the inspiration for the first Fast and Furious, as well as for the homonymous video game for PS1, or Need For Speed Underground and the diffusion in Europe of the JDM phenomenon, followed by the first gatherings in parking lots and the boom of anime like Wangan Midnight, Initial D and You’re Under Arrest!.

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Today we are talking about the first of the three, Wangan Midnight, whose protagonist is one of the most representative cars of the JDM panorama. Which one? A little bit of patience.

The manga is dated 1991, but it was turned into a TV anime only 16 years later, in 2007 thanks to Keiichi Tsuchiya, who made a series of 26 episodes.

The anime tells the adventures of the young Akio Asakura, a guy like many others, with head in the coulds and a great passion for motor racing and a thing for Nissan Z.

At the beginning of the series we see him behind the wheel of a Nissan Fairlady Z31, which will however have a short life. Akio in fact decides to put it aside after suffering a defeat at the hands of Akio’s main rival, an unsuspected surgeon from Tokyo that everyone calls “the emperor of Wangan”, driving a RUF CTR ‘Yellowbird’ (964) 3600 cc turbo nicknamed Blackbird because black.

The young man then learns that a local wrecker has just received his dream car, a Datsun Fairlady Z (S30).

He doesn’t think twice about it and deviates the usual home-school route to go and have a look at it in the workshop: copped!

The Devil Z, which mounts an L-series 3100 cc bi-turbo engine, is so called because it has been the cause of countless accidents. In the last one, a guy named as the protagonist, Akio Asakura, lost his life.  Just note that the real car which ispired the one in the manga, differs in several details, first of all in the color. In fact, the original was in a nice bright red instead of blue, and the model was a 280ZX and not a 240Z, but c’mon, we are not here to be fussy.

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No doubts that this car is one of the most iconic of the Japanese market, first of all for the historicity of the brand. The car manufacturer Datsun was founded in 1931 was bought by Nissan Motor just three years later.

In 1986, Nissan put the production of Datsun branded vehicles on stand-by until 2013, the year of the relaunch on the market.

If you notice the logo, you will immediately feel familiar with it. In fact, the bold writing “DATSUN” on a blue background, with the Rising Sun behind it, symbol of Japan, was the graphic base of the Nissan brand from 1984 to 2002.

Why Datsun? Originally it was DAT, acronym that brought together the initials of the surnames of the three founders, who produced cars with this brand since 1914, to which was added the desinence -son, then changed into -sun because “son” in Japanese means “loser”. Also because this car was not a loser, considering the discreet satisfactions in the rally field with the successes in six editions of the Safari Rally in Africa.

Now you are wondering why we made such a headache with this Datsun. Well, start thinking about it, we will tell you more soon.

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Nel linguaggio informatico, un hub (letteralmente fulcro, elemento centrale) non è altro che un concentratore, un dispositivo che funge da nodo di smistamento di una rete di comunicazione dati organizzata. Insomma, si tratta di una scatoletta in grado di connettere più computer tra loro creando così una rete.
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Da qui l’idea di creare una piattaforma che sia il centro della nostra creatività… ma anche della vostra.

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DAVIDE PERELLA

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Davide Perella. I was born in 1991 in Cagliari and I have always had a great passion for the world of fashion and digital. I spent hours and hours creating Power Point presentations on Photoshop and after graduation I decided to move to Florence to study graphics and visual communication.

After finishing my studies and a short break in New York, I moved to Milan where I had the opportunity to work and collaborate with brands such as Moschino, Nike, Neil Barrett and Alberta Ferretti.

How would you define your style?

My style is definitely influenced by streetwear and high fashion. I like to mix different elements to create new products often with a touch of irony.

What is customization for you?

Transferring your vision of style on an object or a garment to make it unique through your personal imprint.

Transferring your vision of style on an object...

What inspired you to customize the Jumpsuit?

My passion for Nike and the swoosh is definitely the protagonist of this customization, but I wanted to create a slogan to strengthen the design even more, what if not “Fuck 2020”, an expression that I am sure will agree with a large percentage of people.

How did you come up with it?

After digitizing the idea and placing all the embroidery on the suit, I just sent it to a small embroidery shop in Sardinia that, under my strict supervision, faithfully recreated my virtual prototype.

How did your healthy obsession with the Swoosh come about? What is the added value of this logo compared to others?

It all started in college when my professor asked me to draw the iconic logo on the blackboard. In 2017 I had the opportunity to collaborate with Nike for the first time, I created installations inside the NikeLab in Milan and videos that “bombarded” the windows with images. The added value? I find that its silhouette lends itself very much to graphics, especially for its immediate recognizability.

In the last two years we have witnessed a real boom in collaborations between luxury fashion houses and streetwear brands. What is the most successful example of contamination in your opinion? And the one you would like to see?

I think one of the most successful collaborations this year and one that created the most hype was between Dior and Jordan. The Air Jordan 1 with the iconic monogram was and still is the 2020 object of desire for many sneakerheads.

I’m a shoe fanatic but also an accessory fanatic, bags are becoming a must-have even among men, I’d love to see bags in a streetwear key, I think we can still do a lot.

Dreaming doesn’t cost anything, they say it’s good for you. A brand for which you would like to be creative director.

Obviously Nike, but I won’t deny that my dream is to create my own brand.

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SOLOMOSTRY

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Solomostry graduated in Graphic design in 2012. He lives and works in Milan.

Solomostry is a multifaceted artist – ranging from screen-printing to muralism, from painting to installation – and it is precisely because of his eclectic essence that around 2007 – meeting some people of the milanese techno/clubbing scene – he moved away from graffiti and shaped new subjects, his subjects: the Monsters.

Solomostry’s research is characterized by a broken compositional line that continues to compose expressive geometric entities, revealing violent emotions. They are monstrous masks interpreters of impressions, trepidation, anxiety, excesses, present in everyday life. The marked outline builds and destroys at the same time. The hard lines tear the surface and mark spaces in which bright and flat colors play out, now typical of Solomostry.

Solomostry is represented in Italy by Lunetta 11 gallery, in Switzerland by Kolly gallery and in Paris by Cohle gallery.

He has collaborated with several brands both Italian and foreign, dealing with different media and his works are visible in different parts of the world.

How would you define your style?

I have always tried to express my feelings in a pure and appropriate way to the environment in which I put them.

The main element of exploration of my work is the line and its impact, in order to catch the attention of the viewer.

The line, in graffiti is what allows you to build a tag, that is your name, your identity.

The line that builds the tag is the skeleton of your graffiti, the skeleton of what you show the world, of what you put on the street.

For this reason the research must be based on impact, they must be able to see you from far away. In the streets there are a lot of distractions, but you have to stand out on all of them, or you can’t do it.

To succeed in all this I am always looking for new techniques and materials to experiment with.

The line that builds the tag is the skeleton of your graffiti, the skeleton of what you show the world, of what you put on the street.

What is customization for you?

La personalizzazione per me è il distinguersi dalla massa ed essere unico.
Questa ricerca di unicità si riflette sulle capsule che vado a creare in limited edition, customizzando qualunque tipo di media mi si presenta davanti.
Rapportarmi con materiali diversi è una continua sfida a creare qualcosa di nuovo ed unico.

How much do you love Milan and what does it have more than other cities?

Milan is my hometown, I’ve lived in other cities in the past, like Barcelona and Berlin, and I’ve been to many others for work, but Milan always calls me back. Milan is my friends and my affections and even more is my neighborhood, which I am very proud of and which I try to make it better with my small contribution.

What inspired you to customize the Jumpsuit?

We worked with 4 hands on this project, because in SOLOMOSTRY, there is a team behind the artist that believes and supports every project, from installations, to customizations up to the limited editions that we release.

So I would say that the main inspiration was belonging to a group, to be part of the same flag and we hope that who will wear this garment will feel part of what we do every day.

How did you make it?

It was made completely by hand in silk-screen printing.

Is there a technique that you particularly prefer among those you use in your work?

Solomostry production is divided into many areas, from painting on canvas, to installation with different materials, to screen printing for custom clothing, and lately ceramics.

In painting I prefer tools that allow me to have a stroke of impact, such as brushes, sprays, but my favorite is still the gardening sprayer pressure loaded with paint.

Screen printing is another technique that I love a lot, because it allows me to replicate in series the graphics on different materials such as fabric, paper, wood and everything I can print.

In the last two years I started to use ceramics again and at the moment it’s the technique that intrigues me the most, because I don’t have total control yet, so it always presents me with new problems, which once solved generate great satisfaction.

Tell us about the genesis of a Monster.

In the beginning the subjects of my works were Monsters, at least I called them that,

were entities that took possession of our inner self and encouraged us to do things we were afraid of.

They were powerful and unstoppable, impacting, pure feelings that represented the soul of those who feel young and rebellious.

They were all different, but all united towards a single goal, giving the viewer an unknown strength that made him feel invincible and ready to face what awaited him from his path.

Growing up, time puts us in front of a variety of situations, which lead us to deal with our feelings in a more contained and systematic way, and we build ourselves an armor made of various emotions, to be ready in every situation not to let people understand what are our real feelings.

Where do you dream of seeing your Monsters exposed one day?

I am satisfied with the path I have taken so far, I have already taken the monsters to different parts of the world so, instead of taking them somewhere, I hope that my monsters will continue to take me further and further.

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ABOUT

In computer language, a hub (literally fulcrum, central element) is nothing more than a concentrator, a device that acts as a sorting node for an organized data communication network. In short, it is a box that can connect multiple computers to each other thus creating a network.
Garage Italia Hub was born with the intention of creating an ever wider network to share with you new ideas, projects and digital content.
Hence the idea of creating a platform that is the center of our creativity … but also yours.

SANGI

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I am Pietro, but my friends call me SANGI, like the neighborhood in Milan where I was born and raised. A meeting place with friends and a constant source of inspiration for my aesthetic research, which starts from daily functionality.    

The sneakers and the focus on innovation in footwear design, open the doors to a wider world, a fashion industry that is constantly evolving and adapting to new needs.

How would you define your style?

Aesthetics and functionality. Design tells through shapes, proportions, materials and colors the human tendency to find practical and effective solutions.

What is customization for you?

The opportunity to transform an object according to your vision and taste. Customization is about being able to give an object, whatever it is, an added value that fully represents your style. Customizing does not mean to distort, but to leave a mark, your mark.

Customizing does not mean to distort, but to leave a mark, your mark.

How much do you love Milan and what does it have more than other cities?

I am in love with my city! Starting from the contrast of past and future that you see in the alternation of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, which form a present full of realities and people who make creativity the strongest point of a city that never stops.

What inspired you for the customization of the Jumpsuit?

The Jumpsuit was born as workwear and then became a fashionable garment to wear on any occasion. Taking it back to its origins, I worked to make it the ideal garment for the designer of 2020. Tradition and innovation coexist to enhance manual practices and support them with technology. We can all be designers with a pencil or a click.

How did you make it?

I made the Jumpsuit in my garage, which I set up as a workshop. There I have the sewing machine and all the tools to work on my projects. In recent years I have accumulated several components to make shoes and clothing. The restrictions of the last period and lack of further resources, made me use fabrics and materials that I already had, giving them a new life.

We know that sneakers are your forte. When was this passion born?

My passion for sneakers was born when I was in middle school. I felt in love with a Jordan, of course! From there I went deeper and deeper, looking for the most iconic, particular and revolutionary models.

With my Instagram page I wanted to share my POV on this world: by showing my research through a digital archive I had the opportunity to interface with different insiders.

Which one is your favourite among those you already have and the one you would like to have one day?

My absolute favorite sneaker is the Reebok – Instapump Fury, which contains everything I look for in a shoe. A model that after more than 30 years is still a real innovative shape. I own several of them, but the one I’m most proud of is the collaboration with Pyer Moss, Experiment 4 Fury Trail, crazy. One shoe in particular that impressed me and that I would like to get my hands on is the Porter x Takashi Murakami – BS 06R T.Z.

What was it like working on such a different garment like the Jumpsuit?

I have always been interested, passionate, and I study fashion design. I happen to work on both footwear and clothing projects! Starting from the shoes, my eyes go up and are interested in everything we wear.

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IGNORANCE1

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Ignorance1 work revolves around the graphic styles that characterised the rave music scene during the 80s and 90s. Modern graphic elements are combined to classic patterns and styles so the pieces keep a vintage mood while getting a unique contemporary twist.

The word ‘ACID’ is quite recurrent in many of the pieces. This particular word gets inserted in different artistic contexts and explored based on the different meanings it can have in those contexts. Acid is a flavour, a music current, a journey, an emotional state. “Not sad but not happy, JUST ACID” is a quote that appears on some of the works and it’s just one example of using the concept to define a particular emotional context with a touch of irony.

How would you define your style?

Not sad, not happy, just acid.

What is customization for you?

Personalization for me, although it may seem trivial, is to make anything personal.

In my case I enjoy doing it in a fairly “freestyle” way, treating the object or the garment as if it was a blank piece of paper.

Not sad, not happy,
just acid.

How much do you love Milan and what does it have more than other cities?

For years I had a constant relationship with Milan made of love and hate, but at the end of the day I can only be extremely grateful for the many opportunities it offers from a creative and professional point of view. One characteristic that only Milan has is that, after so many years, is still full of hidden places that you need to discovered.

What inspired you to customize the Jumpsuit?

To customize the Jumpsuit I just mixed my style with the raw and naked workwear flavour of the mechanical workshops.

How did you make it?

First of all I used spray and markers to customize the patches: some of them are totally customized on the back and some others on the front. Then I worked directly on the Jumpsuit fabric, spreading sentences and messages around the garment’s surface.

The logo rip-offs borrowed from the racing world are among your favorite subjects: Shell, Agip, Michelin and Pirelli to name a few. Do you have a passion for the automotive universe or are you simply fascinated by the graphic part of those brands?

The old workshops have always been a great inspiration for me.

With my father, a great car enthusiast, I visited a lot of them since I was a child and I was struck by all that microcosm of vintage plates, calendars and merchandising of automotive brands.

Last year, during one of my exhibitions, I had the chance to make one of my rip-offs on a real steel plate.

Even today I am still fascinated by the graphics of this sector and it seems incredible the way they are so suitable to be stretched and reworked.

Tell us how one of these rip-offs was born

The first rip off in the motor world was Michelin’s Bibendum, which I added a second sad head next to his classic smiling one. It was an experiment like many others, but it was immediately very appreciated. From there I started using my claim “not sad not happy just acid”.

The rest of the rip-offs instead are usually born looking at the “official” reference, trying to understand how my graphic codes and concepts that I use can be fitted, often everything happens in a very spontaneous and natural way.

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