Future Lab News

NAGAMATSU: No.34 "Intra-team battles?! The story of carts, 2"

Hi there folks, it's Nagamatsu, the mysterious Judo man.

At this time every year, I start to feel gloomy about the incessant rain.
I bought a new muffler the other day, but it's always raining when I have free time to change it over.
My car is no sooner up on the jack than back down again, without a new muffler...

Well then, today I'd like to fill you in about something that producer Kobayashi touched on previously...the Intra-Team Battle! A story of carts 2

When the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune project members want to sort out the team hierarchy, they have a cart race.

And so, with the arrival of some new members in April, the long-established practice of holding a cart race was used to see where everybody stands in the team rankings!!
(In the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune project, the fastest guy is the most highly revered.)

So we raced in carts. But not just any carts. These are not the kind of carts you find at an amusement park - they are the real deal - a top speed of 60Km/h!

"That's nothing!" I said, expecting nothing special.

Yet...the carts are so low that it feels like you're really going at over 100Km/h!!
It's honestly like being on a roller coaster, no joke.
When you're taking a corner, the tires are just on the verge of sliding out from under you.If you want to feel drift, look no further.

This picture will give you an idea of how low the carts are.

Now that I've ridden the carts four times, I'm finally managing to get the hang of it. It sure is fun to be able to race faster and bring your time down.
It's just like the feeling of shaving your time down in Time Attack in Maxi 3.

Blazing along! You don't even need a license, so anybody can give it a try.

But in this intra-team race, there's no place for taking things easy.

And what do I mean by that? Carts are supposed to be fun, right?

This time, there was newcomer Yamamoto (featured here)
"Special contents: 'The Appearance of the Unknown Car!?'" to deal with.

Yamamoto, despite having only ridden the carts once, has a best lap time a mere 0.5 seconds different from mine.
(I'm still ahead, but by the skin of my teeth)

Such a trifling difference in best lap time...what am I going to do?? Given Yamamoto's rapid growth rate, this time I might find myself well and truly beaten. I'm feeling the pinch! The squeeze! My good name will be in tatters!!

What's more, Team Ambience having been feeding Yamamoto with advice, most likely wishing to see me supplanted by the young pretender.

I feel like I'm being forced into a lonely battle. Why are they all ganging up on poor Nagamatsu?

And, in the very words of Yamamoto himself:
"Nagamatsu, and all Nagamatsu fans, I will take aim at my seniors and strike them with every ounce of strength in my body. Should I win, I will but feel bad for those I have conquered."

The cheek of it! I'm ready for you!!!!!!
Bring it on!!!! I can't sit by while I am being publicly trashed.
With the pride of a former Judo practitioner, I will wwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn!!!!!

The race began, and I had Yamamoto tightly blocked behind me. But then! He edged ahead as we were cornering.

Nooooo!! I'm going to lose if I don't do something, I thought. I kept close to Yamamoto's tail, waiting for my chance to turn the tide.

But the breakthrough solution was nowhere to be found, and approaching the endgame, I was beginning to panic.

But then, a chance!! Yamamoto goes wide on a hairpin, letting me in!
A chaaance!

I shot in...


I was slow coming out the corner, and got pushed by Yamamoto into a heartrending spin!! No way!! What do you call this!!

Yamamoto, after sending me into a spin, drove off as if nothing had even happened!!

And then, without a chance to recover the gap caused by the spin, the race finished!!

And thus, what happened to Blackbird in the original Wangan Midnight comic (and gave him his motivation to drive) happened to me - my face was sullied and my pride was crushed.

And so, Yamamoto moved up the project hierarchy to Team Ambience, while I was relegated down to the lower classes.

What's more, when I protested about what happened in the race, Team Ambience Leader and project director Maeda said to me "Whether you spin, block, or whatever else, it's a race at the end of the day, so the guy in front wins!!"

I can't agree with that!! I followed the advice of the veterans and blocked throughout the race - who'd have thought that I'd be knocked into a spin right at the end?

A race should be raced like a gentleman!! Fair and square.

In the next race, for sure I'm going to thrash that Yamamoto, and that winning-advice-giving mob that is Team Ambience.

Yet, for now, all I can do is, like a beaten dog, declare my intentions for a revenge match. I'm feeling how it feels to be the underdog, and it is harsh.

I'm ready!! Come on!!! I'll take you all in the revenge match!!!!

In the revenge match, will my revenge be made complete??
The match itself won't be for a while yet, but I'll send you details as soon as I can.

See you then. Hai-yaa!

(Original article in Japanese released on 7.2.2008)

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