Over Rev! (オーバーレブ! Ōbā Rebu!?) is a manga created by Katsumi Yamaguchi and Team39 and serialized in Weekly Young Sunday. It tells the story of Ryoko Shino, a Japanese high school senior who gets into street racing. She used to be the best at track and field in school but during a race she tore her Achilles tendon, ending her dreams of being a track star. The manga goes over how she finds her new passion in life--street racing. The only available English translations of the manga are available through fan-scanned and translated manga on the internet. The art and character designs are very good and detailed compared to other street racing manga. The catchphrase for the series is "A Legend of Ultimate Hot Rodder".
One night with her friends, Ryoko Shino sees an R32 Skyline and S13 Silvia drifting in tandem just feet in front of her, and instead of being terrified she can’t help but be captivated by the scene. She notices that the S13's driver is a female. Ryoko borrows a car magazine from her friend Tohru and notices that there’s an article on the S13 and its driver that she previously saw. Tohru then takes Ryoko for a drive since he recently got his license and takes her to see a drifting practice session at the docks. There Ryōko sees the Silvia and finds out that the driver of the R32 was Touru’s big brother. Ryoko meets the driver, who introduces herself as Sawako Morita, and Ryoko tells Sawako she saw her drifting on the mountain that one night. Sawako tells Ryoko that she learned to drift very quickly and that Ryōko could learn very quickly, so she offers to teach her in her Silvia. Ryoko jumps at the chance and after a few practice attempts she is able to pull off some drifts. Sawako gets too greedy though and has Ryoko perform a full countersteer drift, but she doesn’t know how to stop it. She panics and fishtails the car and stops right before it falls off the dock with the rear tires hanging. Unfortunately, the car tips back and falls into the ocean, but Sawako and Ryoko manage to escape alive. Sawako just shrugs and says she can get another car. She tells her to hurry up and get her license so they can go driving together.
The next day after school, Ryoko goes car shopping with Tohru. She tries to look for a good sports car but they are too expensive for her. Tohru mentions that she may find a car at a scrap yard for cheap. She wanders around looking for a scrapped car and finds an old man in a scrap yard. She tells him that she really wants a sports car and he sells her a dark blue mica supercharged AW11 (Toyota MR2) dirt cheap because she’s cute.
Some time goes by and Ryoko finally gets her license. During her first drive outside of the training center, her instructor falls asleep and she attempts to drift the training car on the streets. She winds up street racing with a big truck and after spinning out in front of the truck, she meets the driver Aika Katayama. She tells her she should give up on getting her license because she’s too reckless. Despite what Aika said, Ryōko gets her license because the instructor was asleep. She shows Sawako her new license and lets Ryōko driver her new S14 in the mountains. On the mountain they encounter a red EG6 (Honda Civic). They stop and notice that the EG6 is parked and the driver is none other than Aika. Sawako and Aika get into a big argument and race each other down the mountain.
The manga goes on with Ryoko’s involvement into street racing and her life. Over Rev! is a realistic depiction of what street racing is like. It doesn’t overglamorize racing; it shows what it’s truly like to be a street racer. Unlike other street racing manga where the cars are really expensive, have driving that seems to defy the laws of physics, cars that never crash and if they do they seem to be repaired without any financial problems. It takes into account how a young street racer lives, how they make money to maintain their car, how they go about practicing, and how they pursue their goals and passions to keep on racing. An example of this is that in one chapter Ryoko has no money to buy gas for her car. Instead, she siphons gas from her scooter to her car, and later, cars in a junkyard. She realizes that, to be able to drive her car, she needs to make money somehow. During the course of the story, Ryoko meets many other characters that help her out. Unlike other racing manga, the main characters are women also.
Over Rev! Merchandise
Other than the manga, there is a live-action movie that was released in 2001. It features most of the manga characters, but the story and characters have changed slightly to compact it into one movie. There is also a CD drama and other Over Rev! merchandise such as model cars, key chains, and clothing. An English fan-scanlated manga is available as well.
- Ryoko Shino (志濃 涼子 Shino Ryōko?)
- Car: Toyota MR2 G-Limited (AW11)
- Color: Dark blue mica
- Ryoko Shino is the main character of the story. The manga starts off with her as a high school senior and grows to love racing because of her competitive spirit she has from being a track runner. She drives a dark blue mica supercharged Toyota MR2. She has a cheerful and innocent personality. She is very devoted to becoming a street racer to the point where she moves out of her parents' house and starts living on her own so she can become the person she wants to be. She learns about cars and racing very quickly and naturally with the aid of Boss Akaoka and her friends.
- Sawako Morita (森田 佐和子 Morita Sawako?)
- Car: Nissan Silvia K's (S13), later drives a Nissan Silvia K's Aero (S14, Kouki)
- Color: Pearl White (S14)
- At the beginning of the manga, Sawako has only been driving for two months since she got her license. She is an extraordinary driver and drifter who can push the Silvia to the limit. She drives a Nissan Silvia S13 at the beginning of the manga and shortly after drives a white S14 Silvia. She has a very carefree and outspoken attitude. She is also very emotional and it shows through her driving. She’s also depicted as quite promiscuous (or sexually liberated, depending on how you look at it), as throughout the manga, she has sex with several different guys. She is also in love with Tohru’s older brother Takao. To make ends meet she works at a lingerie bar, where her stage name is Silvia.
- Megumi Katayama (片山 愛香 Katayama Megumi?)
- Car: Honda Civic SiR hatchback (EG6)
- Color: Milano Red
- Megumi Katayama, better known as Aika (アイカ?), was first introduced when Ryoko was taking her driving test, telling Ryōko she doesn’t deserve to have a driver’s license. She gets off to a rocky start with Ryoko and Sawako when they first meet but gradually she becomes friends with them. Being a veteran street racer, she is a very skilled and versatile driver not only in her own car, but in many different types of vehicles (such as driving a large truck, Ryoko’s AW11, a Honda CRX, and riding a motorcycle). She seems to be a very solitary person and she is not very feminine because she is a tomboy. To make ends meet, she works as a truck driver. She was mistaken to be the “Speed of Sound Beautiful Girl” because of her exceptional driving skills.
- Sari Tachibana (橘 沙璃 Tachibana Sari?)
- Car: Peugeot 106 Rallye
- Color: Bianca White
- Sari is the daughter of a French diplomat who is close with Akaoka. She grew up with racing cars all around her because her father and Boss used to do rallying. Don’t let her cute face and smile fool you though, she is naturally a good driver, but doesn’t show it and drives by feeling and to classical music. She is a very cheerful and childish person, always smiling as well as having a very feminine and innocent personality.
- Tohru Takeuchi (武内 徹 Takeuchi Tōru?)
- Car: Honda City Turbo (GA2)
- Color: Taffeta White
- Tohru is a high school friend of Ryoko’s since junior high. They seem to be close and he has a crush on Ryoko. He is Takao’s little brother, which is how Ryoko met Sawako. He doesn’t have a car until later in the manga when he buys a Honda City Turbo and even then its not much of a car, he seems to know a lot about street racing through his brother. Throughout the manga he is Ryoko’s morale support.
- Akaoka (赤岡?)
- A mysterious old man who owns a scrap yard where Ryoko purchased her MR2. He knows a lot about cars and driving techniques. He is also Sari’s uncle (not really but close). He also helps Ryoko with her car and driving techniques.
- Car: Nissan Silvia K's (S13)
- Color: Lightning Yellow
- Danmaru met Sawako at the lingerie bar she was working at. Later we find out he lives in the same apartment complex as Ryouko. He drives an S13 Silvia decked out with a body kit, which he calls “The Brown Bullet.” Unfortunately for all the flashy body modifications, he is not a very good driver. He has a very goofy personality and he seems to have a crush on Ryōko. He also works at an autoshop.
- Tachibana is an employee working at Akaoka’s scrap yard. He may be a quiet guy, but he is very smart and knowledgeable about cars. He is the one who helped Ryoko into getting an apartment.
- Young Sunday Comics - The publisher of Over Rev! Young Sunday's webpage for Over Rev!