For the record, I rather enjoyed the live-action SPEED RACER flick. I didn’t see as “eye candy” (even though there was an endless feast of candy-colored visuals being served up on screen). I saw it as “imagination candy” - - and you can take that as you will.
Re-visiting the original show, I can verify that the Wachowskis’ mission to make the movie exactly like the toon was quite successful. And I suppose the general movie-going audience wasn’t really as ready for that as they often say they are.
Anyway, as if to demonstrate just how extensive Hulu’s video library is, the show otherwise known as MACH GO GO GO is being offered in easy-to-watch bites. Even if this weren’t a fifty-year-old show with a concrete place in pop culture, reviewing it with any sort of critical aspiration would still feel rather silly.
Is it kitschy? Oh yes. A choice line from Pops about how “these goons are chasing after my plans, so they must be valuable” ought to be spell that out for you. But that’s… like… all of 60’s TV, so let’s not go on stating the obvious.
Instead, I’m just going to smirk about this particular show remains an intriguing predecessor to the anime we’ve established such a sub-culture of fandom for in America. It still seems pretty removed from what all you lunatics are talking about on message boards, doesn’t it?
Imagine if the purist otaku who swear off dubs and seek out scanlations were around when this show was airing? Imagine the aneurism they’d have about the assorted strokes of localization that change “Go Mifune” to “Speed Racer” and give most of the characters fast-talking New York accents? Like I always say, I don’t mind liberal translations in all cases, and I’d use the success of SPEED RACER as a discussion point. Go speed, go!
Watch this episode, "The Great Plan, Part 1” here and decide for yourself.