“Here he comes, here he comes; Speed Racer. He’s a demon on wheels…” This is how the famous anime of Speed Racer begins. An English adaptation name of an anime ‘Mach Go Go Go’, the show was originally serialized in print from Shueisha’s Shonen Book (1958) and was released in tankobon book form by Sun Wide Comics. It ran as a television series in the U.S from 1967-68. Selected chapters from the original episodes were taken and released by NOW Comics in 1990’s, under the title ‘Speed Racer Classics’. This Japanese mango and anime was later released, after modification by DC Comics division, under the title ‘Speed Racer: The Original Manga’. In 2008, it was re-published in United States by Digital Manga Publishing, under its Americanized name and was released as a box set, to commemorate the franchise’s 40th anniversary. The anime is a story of a young man named Speed Racer, who was born to race, but was always held back by Pops Racer’s disapproval. The story enfolds itself into a complete racing entertainment and a fight between Mr. Racer and a corporate gang, to get a plan in the windshield, carried by Speed Racer in the race. Here are few more interesting and amazing information on the origin and background of Speed Racer.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Speed Racer
The story of this animated movie comes from the Japanese Manga (comic book), ‘Mach GoGoGo’. Like many other Manga, this comic book was also converted to an anime, or Japanese cartoon with the same title. Both the Manga and anime have a very distinctive and unique visual style which is quite different from the western cartoons and comics. The English rights to the anime comic series were acquired soon by Trans-Lux, an American syndicate. The English replaced the original name of the comic series with the name ‘Speed Racer’, as the protagonist possessed the same name.
The series was edited by Peter Fernandez, who dubbed the episodes of Speed Racer using his own voice for the characters, ‘Speed Racer’ and his nemesis ‘Racer X’. It was a kind of a perplexed effort put in by Fernandez, in trying to keep up with the Japanese lip movements and a complex story line of the comic in comparison to the Western counterparts. These dubbed episodes also provided opportunity for parody, due to the fast diction of the characters.
The Speed Racer acquired immense popularity and the longevity that is gained by very few cartoons of its era. The series was picked up by many T.V channels, one of them being MTV. The series was played in the wee hours of the morning during the early 90s. Cartoon Network also started telecasting the series, though they picked up the series late. Though the anime series was telecasted at odd times, either early in the morning or late in the nights, it gained immense popularity among the teens, proving that the old Japanese Manga had not yet lost its charm even then.
The longevity of Speed Racer can be attributed to the family structure in the cartoon and their involvement with the car races and the cool gadget-filled Mach 5. The characters in this cartoon series and their relation were more involved, than in any other cartoon series of that time, engendering a loyal set of audience. The gadgets and cars in the series inspired many toys and collectibles, which are even today as famous and in vogue as they were during the yesteryears.
A legacy of the Japanese Manga and anime Mach GoGoGo, Speed Racer got well-accepted, acknowledged and involved in the American culture. The westernization of the characters and the appeal of the Speed Racer family and car was so effective that it lead to the making and release of the Speed Racer movie in May 2008. This movie is the proof of the timeless popularity and increasing demand of the Speed Racer, and is sure to inspire the coming generations to zoom off the stores and collect the latest DVDs, toys and collections of Speed Racer! So, for all those who are demanding more and more of Speed Racer, this classic anime is surely here to stay for ages.