The new Speed Racer live-action seizure movie opened this weekend to poor reviews. Therefore, we thought it would be nice to see some of the original Japanese anime about a boy and his car. We can all relate to that, right?
The Japanese version is called Mach GoGoGo but the Japanese pronounce it “Mahha GoGo” (note that one Go is not pronounced). It follows protagonist Goh Mifune, named by the creators after Toshiro Mifune, the star of films like Seven Samurai. The “M” logo on Speed’s helmet is actually that of Mifune Motors, the family business.
According to this article, neither creator Tatsuo Yoshida or director Tsuyoshi Sasakawa were car enthusiasts or even owned a drivers license. But that’s ok. The anime was always an allegory of Japan’s rapid post-war modernization anyway. It debuted in 1967 and after some quick dubbing sessions, soon became a worldwide hit.
For many of us Westerners, it was our first contact with anime and its catchy theme song and vivid colors were seared into our childhood memories, much like this remake sears retinas. Or, at least we imagine it would. We haven’t actually seen it, but considering the reviews and the critic-confirmed discontinuity with the original, we plan to skip it like the Mach 5 over a rival with its Auto Jacks.
Click here to see Japan’s Speed Racer-themed service stations and used car lots.
UPDATE: So the weekend box office tallies are in, and Speed Racer, which cost $160 million to make, raked in only $20 million.