Not to be confused with the book.
At Flo's V8 Cafe, Sheriff pulls up when three of the Tuner Cars, Boost, DJ and Wingo drift past. As Sheriff races after them, Mater says that he used to be an import. He then tells Lightning McQueen what happened.
One day, Mater was driving along the road when he spotted a car sitting by the side of the road. His name was Ito San. He asks Mater to tow him somewhere far away and Mater ends up taking him all the way to Tokyo. As Mater drops him off, he notices two modified cars resembling DJ and Wingo. As he follows a group of ladies, he accidentally bumps into a gang leader resembling Boost, named Kabuto, who challenges him to a race at midnight. After extreme modifications, Mater comes to the starting line. Ito San tells them that they must race to the top of Tokyo Tower and the winner will become king of all drifters. Then, he tells them that the loser will be stripped of all modifications and become stock. The race then starts. After Kabuto mocks him saying that he can't drift, Mater ends up sliding through the lobby of a building and being chased by a cop. After he loses Kabuto, he eventually catches up with him, but is slowed down by his posse of ninjas.
Lightning asks Mater what happened next and Mater tells him that "you was there, too".
Back in Tokyo, Lightning is a dragon power expert who defeats the ninjas. After he defeats them, Mater notices that Kabuto is almost to the tower. Lightning takes Mater through a shortcut through a building site where Mater learns how to drift. After Mater notices that the road is out, Lightning shoots him into a pipe that blasts him ahead of Kabuto. As they race into Tokyo Tower, Kabuto knocks Mater off the tower, but Mater uses his tow hook to spring him to the top and wins the race. As Kabuto is laughed at by his ninjas after he is stripped of modifications and Mater celebrates his victory, Mater says, "That's how I became Tow-ke-yo Mater, king of all of the drifters."
Back in Radiator Springs, Lightning doesn't believe Mater, but then Mater appears with wooden boxes resembling his drifter form. Then, Guido slams a box down on his hood. Mater then drives away with Lightning looking on, confused.
- Lightning McQueen
- Mia and Tia
- Ito San
- Teki and Paki
- Kabuto's Ninjas
- Kaa Reesu
- Bye Bye Kar
- The graphics and plot seems to be based on Tokyo Street Racing movies, along with The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
- Snot Rod is the only Delinquent Road Hazard not to be seen in this short.
- Cameos of Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. appear in this short in their monster truck forms as Mater slides out of the lobby.
- When Mater is celebrating after winning the race, we see DJ dancing to the music.
- The light on the police car that chases Mater says "Police" in Japanese.
- The police car says the same thing as Sheriff in the beginning of the short ("Get back here, you import punk").
- The cops love donuts as a food, and the donut is a drifting move in which to spin in a circle.
- This is the first Mater's Tall Tales in which Lightning McQueen doesn't get in trouble. Unidentified Flying Mater is the second.
- Even though there are Japanese songs, the last song is Korean. However, the DVD subtitles show the song being Japanese.
- Buy N Large from WALL-E appears as the company selling "Lugnut in a Cup".
- Before Kabuto challenges Mater, a large screen has a news report on. It shows Chuki reporting something, in the same shot as she did in the movie when Lightning went missing, only Kabuto is in Lightning's place, despite that Kabuto was in the city and challenging Mater to the drift race.
- Several brands that sponsored Piston Cup teams in Cars appear in Tokyo Mater on advertisements. These includes RPM, N20 Cola, Easy Idle, Vitoline, Nitroade, Mood Springs, Gasprin, No Stall and Gaskits.
- There is a Dinoco building seen when Mater comes out of the water.
- Kabuto, Yokoza, and several female characters briefly appear in Cars 2.
- The House of Donuts was seen in Cars 2: The Video Game in the Ginza Sprint race. You could drive through it as a shortcut, but if you hit one of the police cars making donuts, the police car will sound its siren, and you'll be reset.
- The cranes closely resemble Frank from Cars.
- This is the only Cars Toons episode where Mater didn't prove that his story was real. However, when Guido had put the wooden crates on Mater, he had the same shape as his modifications in his story.
- When Boost drives by at the start of the short, he for some reason is colored orange.
- The donuts and House of Donuts sign are in the shape of a wheel.
- When Mia and Tia shout "modify!" their tires are white. But when they gasp at Kabuto's phrase, their tires are green instead of white.