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SPEED RACER #1 - - Special Review

So what does Speed tell us about anime today?

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.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 18, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.

Ahh man, I hope you continue on with the series. I'm not too far into it but every episode I've seen is a blast. It's pretty stupid in all the right ways and the dub is a gem. The turbo talking and the NY accents... gems, true gems of voice acting. I wouldn't even want to see an accurate version of the series as I can't imagine it being anywhere near as enjoyable.

I agree about the live-action flick as well. I thought it was pretty terrible at first but the more of it I watched the more it became apparent that the W's were really trying to make an anime in live-action with no concessions or changes to fit the medium, for better or for worse. In terms of making an all-around good movie I think they dropped the ball a lot but their efforts are admirable and a lot more interesting when taken through the lens of it literally being an anime film.

YotaruVegetaon Oct. 18, 2012 at 4:06 p.m.

I think the whole series should have this soundtrack

GokaiRedon Oct. 19, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta said:

I think the whole series should have this soundtrack

This a thousand times!

Hey, didn't Dexter's Lab spoof this? That was a great episode :)

Kuma_From_Argentinaon Oct. 21, 2012 at 7:06 p.m.

I liked the live-action movie(even with the convulsions that the last scene in the race caused me), but the original series is a classic. The ammount of dead by race where only surpassed by the ammount of reaction shots...

Dig Deeper into Speed Racer

Speed Racer is based on the Japanese anime and manga. It originally aired in 1967 and features the exploits of Speed and his car, the Mach 5, best known for all its gadgets.

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