This is the Devil Z. The dark blue Nissan Fairlady Z S30 that is said to be possessed by an evil being. A car that’s a death trap for its owners, luring them in with its beauty and performance, then suddenly and unforgivingly losing control at all the wrong moments.

I’m not one for manga and have never read any of the Wangan Midnight comics, but I’m a big fan of the movie adaptation, which I’ve already rewatched more than a few times by now (thus, everything I know is based solely off that). It is a million times better than the sorry excuse of a movie that Initial D was. If you’ve never watched it, it’s waiting for you on Youtube.

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In summary, the movie is about a guy who discovers the Z in a junkyard and, despite learning of its dark history (to make things more cheesy, the previous owner had the exact same name and died from driving said car), refuses to part with it. He forgoes school and instead spends his time building it into a street racer to face the rival Porsche 930 Turbo “Blackbird”. He crashes it not once, but twice, and rebuilds it each time, much to the dismay of deceased-previous-owner’s-sister-who-happens-to-be-Blackbird’s-girlfriend, who does all she can to destroy the car, including stealing it and attempting to drive it straight into the ocean.

At the end of the day, the Devil Z lives on as we ponder what its next move will be.

The 1/18 model of the Akuma no Z, as it’s called, by AUTOart is perhaps the most highly anticipated release this year at this scale. And why not? It has the JDM factor, it has the classic tuner, and it has the pop culture factor going for it. AUTOart never has any set release dates for its products, so all of us were left in the dark as we watched it get delayed time after time. I once thought the Z was never going to be released at all this year. Therefore, it came as a surprise that they were made available just last week, at which point I promptly put in my order.

And of course AUTOart delivers like they always do. Fans of the classic Japanese tuner style with the deep-dish Watanabes, stretched tires, and flared fenders will love this one regardless of their interest in the Wangan Midnight series. Look how close that front chin is to scraping the ground and how close the tires are from rubbing the fenders. Check out the cambered front wheels. It’s a miracle that the wheels can turn and roll at all, but they do.

Those who favor the Blackbird should be excited that AUTOart will also be releasing it, likely sometime early next year. Pairing the two opposing beasts together should be a must for any eighteenth scale collector. The Devil Z is the underdog; the Blackbird the perennial champion. Two ultra-performance cars that were designed and heavily tuned to withstand sustained driving at top speed.

May the rivalry live on.