Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons!

From left to right: Chim-Chim, Pops, Mom, Spri...Image via Wikipedia
This week on Saturday Morning Cartoons I would like to share one of my all time childhood favorite cartoons known here in the States as Speed Racer. Way before Speed Racer became a blockbuster movie, it was a simple 60s-style Japanese cartoon. The original Speed Racer was a TV anime series called Mach GoGoGo, aired on Fuji TV—one of Japan's major television networks—in 1967 and 1968. Like many other sources of entertainment in Japan at the time, Go's determination and the superior technology of Mach 5 were symbolic of the country's rapid post-war recovery and the determination that drove it. All that being said, the show was nothing less than monumental to me as a child. Up until Speed Racer came along we television children had to make due with the simple antics of "Looney Tunes" and "Hanna Barbara". Then Speed came screeching onto the t.v. screen and everything changed. Speed Racer was my initiation into the world of Japanimation, and would continue to influence my artistic style for most of my life. Oh there have been other, some might even say "better", Japanimation and Anime out there but for me, Speed Racer was the first. Let me take you back in time and show you a glimpse of the original.

Speed Racer is an English adaptation name of the Japanese manga and anime, Mach Go Go Go which centered on automobile racing. From 1967 to 1968 it ran as a television series in the United States, with 52 episodes. Selected chapters of the manga were released by NOW Comics in the 1990s under the title Speed Racer Classics, later released by the DC Comics division, Wildstorm Productions under the title Speed Racer: The Original Manga. In 2008, under the name of its Americanized title, Speed Racer, Mach GoGoGo, in its entirety, was re-published in the United States by Digital Manga Publishing and was released as a box set, used to commemorate the franchise's 40th anniversary and also served as a tie-in to coincide with the 2008 film. It was published under the title Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go as part of the company's DMP Platinum imprint. The actual television series itself is an early example of an anime becoming a successful franchise in the United States, which spawned multiple spinoff versions, in both print and broadcast media.

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