Speed Racer, also known as Mach GoGoGo (Japanese マッハGoGoGo), is a Japanese media franchise about automobile racing. Mach GoGoGo was originally serialized in print in Shueisha’s 1966 Shonen Book. It was released in tankobon book form by Sun Wide Comics, and later re-released in Japan by Fusosha. Adapted into anime by Tatsunoko Productions (Wikipedia).
As a child of the 1970s, I remember rushing home from school to watch Speed Racer weekday afternoons. I eagerly looked forward to seeing each new episode as the teenage racer sought the world champion title. Along with Trixie, Spritle, Chim-Chim, Pops and the mysterious Racer X (“Who unknown to Speed was his older brother Rex Racer who ran away from home years ago”), this anime action adventure taught the important value of integrity. Speed was determined to “win fair and square.” And to accuse him of cheating, well those were fighting words! But driving his super equipped racing car the Mach 5 to victory wasn’t Speed’s only role in the series. Although he didn’t have special powers (And couldn’t do anything a spider can. Sorry wrong superhero teen), Speed Racer was a superhero saving many in peril from dastardly villains with clever names. The teen racer would often be seen sticking his nose where it didn’t belong and even forfeiting a race.
52 episodes aired from 1967 to 1968. There were loads of tie-in merchandise, remakes and a live action movie made in 2008 starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon and Matthew Fox.
And who could forget that catchy theme song and opening credits:
Speed Racer will forever hold a special place in cartoon history.
Video Courtesy of Frank Krouse
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