The Mach 5 is one of the fastest and most technologically advanced race cars built by man. Equipped with various gadgets and a powerful engine, it provides a challenge for anyone who would dare race against it. The driver of this amazing vehicle is Gou Mifune, a teenager who dreams of breaking into the world of professional racing.
In spite of this, Gou's father and the creator of the Mach 5, Daisuke Mifune, does not want his son anywhere near a racetrack. Undeterred, his girlfriend Michi, younger brother Kurio, and Kurio's monkey sidekick Sanpei become Gou's biggest fans as he sets out to become the greatest racer of all time.
However, Gou soon learns that becoming a professional racer is not easy. From the underhanded plots of corrupt businessmen to stiff competition in the form of his rival, Racer X, Gou faces many obstacles on the road ahead, and has a lot to prove before he can cross the finish line.
As a child i would watch the dub and loved it. I recently rewatched it as an adult and couldn't help but laugh at the horrible plot lines and script. But iit wasn't ment for adults it was made for children. I think most children would like it for some of the outdated humor and really really rallly bad puns. The childlike drama of it makes it great for children in 6-10 age range. Its a classic, thats pretty much all you can say about it...
Okay, I am going to write a totally unbiased review of Speed Racer. That's right, no nostalgia clouding my vision, no stupid pull-it-out-of-my-ass explanation to explain why I like it so much(There isn't one), and most importantly, no pretensions about the material being reviewed.
Let's do this thing.
Speed Racer isn't really a serial show. Most episodes take place in multiple parts, but the various multi-episode 'arcs' are pretty much independent. Most plotlines boil down to 'Man wants the Mach 5. Speed enters a race where the Mach 5 might be destroyed by the villains' henchmen. At some point, Chim-Chim will do something. I don't generally fault episodic shows for being formulaic(EX:Pokemon) but Speed Racer is just too close for comfort. The Racer X plotline manages to entertain though(You know, if the synopsis for this show didn't spoil it).
The art in this show just barely manages above mediocre for the character designs. The cars can look really cool though, and the function they serve in the show is not unlike the role of mecha in Super Robot shows.
Probably the best aspect of this show is how iconic and purely 60s the music and voice acting is. The second you hear an actor deliver a line from this show or you hear a tune from the soundtrack, you know that it's Speed Racer. Speed's VA in particular does a fantastic job of embodying the 60s cartoon hero.
In terms of character, it's best to think of Speed Racer as kind of like a James Bond movie. The main character is iconic, but the rest of the cast is mainly just there to fill a role. They play the assigned parts well, but in the end they are no more memorable than the latest set of tits to tag along with everyone's favorite secret agent.
In spite of myself, I enjoyed Speed Racer. The whole thing plays out like the japanese equivalent of Johnny Quest, and the pure cool of the cars and gadgets never fails to impress. I think the key to enjoying this show is to just embrace the pure 60s-ness of the show and let it take you for a ride.
OVERALL(on a purely unbiased basis): 6/10
OVERALL(if you're nostalgic or willing to tolerate how corny it is):8/10read more
Of all the anime ever to be brought over to the United States, very few have become household names to non-anime fans and have dominated America's stereotypes about anime. Speed Racer was one of the first anime ever brought over along with Astro Boy and it is still 50 years later probably the anime that best exemplifies the view middle aged Americans have of the medium. Hell, Tarantino's character even wears a Speed Racer T-shirt in Pulp Fiction! This was actually the first anime I ever saw on TV as a kid when I was about 5. It is also probably the reason I was rather reluctant towards anime until Dragonball Z and Pokemon came out. Speed Racer may be an oldie, but a goody it ain't.
The art is absolute crap, the dub is LEGENDARILY horrible because the US studio didn't want to change the lip flaps and ordered the voice actors to talk ridiculously fast to match the animation. I was considering writing this entire review with no punctuation of any kind to emulate what listening to the show felt like, but I decided against it. The plot is formulaic, although the episodic plot twists are often absurd. The characters are very shallow. Is there anything good about this anime? Well....the opening theme was catchy! The reason it was successful was that it actually did offer American audiences something different and did several things totally new on this side of the Pacific.
Speed Racer was quite different than the American cartoons of the 1960s that were mostly still 6 minute shorts like Loony Toons. The concept of a 30 minute cartoon that had a continuous story was rather new to Americans at the time. There were a couple 30 minute episode cartoons like Scooby Doo and the Flinstones, but those were shows where each episode is completely independent. Rocky and Bullwinkle had multi-part episodes, but Speed Racer upped the ante by not only having multi-parters but also a somewhat continuous plot. An event that happened in one multi-part adventure might be referenced in another one, unlike Rocky and Bullwinkle where each multi episode "story arc" is independent and never referenced again. This radical change in cartoon storytelling allowed young audiences to forgive Speed Racer's many flaws.
Is it fair for me to rate something this low despite its age and historical impact? There are several anime that are about as old as Speed Racer and have aged a LOT better, so I would argue that age isn't the problem. Lupin the 3rd is from the early 1970s and despite the VERY limited animation, the comedy is great, the characters are fun, and it is a joy for people of all ages to watch in 2015. None of those compliments could be said about Speed Racer. I appreciate Speed Racer for its historical value, but I sure as hell don't like it. I guess that sort of makes it like the anime "Birth of a Nation" in that last regard.read more
We all go through bouts of depression and we all deal with it in different ways. Even if we take solace in anime, we might watch completely different things ranging from the joyful to the horribly depressing.
Do you know what was the first Racing anime series? Or the first Ninja anime series? What about the first Real Robot series to be aired? In this article, we’ll be looking at 10 of the first anime series of the different genres we have in anime today.