The show's creator Tatsuo Yoshida cited Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Goldfinger (1964) - two extremely popular films in Japan in the 1960s - as the main influences for the show: he used Elvis Presley's racecar-driver image (complete with handkerchief and black pompadour hairstyle), and a gadget-filled car. See more »
In several episodes, Speed is wearing a helmet in the long shots when he driving the Mach 5,but not in the close-ups. See more »
Speed Racer "Mahha Go Go Go" (1967) is arguably the seminal anime of all time. The only thing in the states that predates it, aside from a feature film like, Alakazam The Great "Saiyu-Ki" (1960-61)and other Peter Fenadez efforts like Asto Boy, Marine Boy, Gigantor etc . . . is a series called 8-MAN "Eitoman" (1963). It was an excellent series about an android, who looks strangely similar to Racer X, that "powers-up" by reaching behind the 8 into his chest and smoking a "Power Cigarette". You can see why that series didn't make it out of the 60's. Speed Racer, however, is and remains a timeless classic. Everything is so over the top, on has to wonder if Peter Fenandez and crew even had a proper translation to work from. Maybe they didn't, but it doesn't matter. The have one of the coolest cars in the world! Right up there with the Batmobile, The Green Hornet's Black Beauty and Mad Max's Interceptor is the Mach 5. You can's drive it and not look cool in doing it, especially with Trixie by your side, not to mention Spridle and Chim Chim hiding in the trunk.
But Speed is impetuous. Always trying to win the race by leaping before he looks. But, luckily for him Kabala of Ka-pe-ta-pek (You have to say it that way or it's just not funny) is really Racer X, who is really Speed'solderbrotherRexwhoranawayfromhomeyearsago. (You have to say it that way too. In fact the stilted and slurred together English as the voice actors try to match the story elements to the Japanese lip movements is part of it's charm. That and the fact that the Mach 5 can drive straight up the side of a mountain with little or no problem at all.
And you can never get enough of all the "Joke Names", like Snake Oiler of the Car Acrobatic Team. Speed Racer maybe one of the few anime that's actually better than the original Japanese. As well as the most violent cartoons since the original Johnny Quest (1964). But only the baddies get killed in them. So there's always that rewarding sense of poetic justice, so it's okay. Sure, The Malange or anything equipped with the GR-X engine may be faster, but they're just too dangerous to drive. So strap yourself into the Mach 5 and hold on! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
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