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Speed Racer X, known in Japan as Mach Go Go Go (マッハGoGoGo / Mahha Go Go Go), is a remake of the original 1967 series produced by Tatsunoko Production, the same studio that did the original. The show originally premiered in Japan on January 9, 1997 on TV Tokyo and concluded on September 24, lasting only 34 episodes of an originally planned 52.

An English adaptation was produced by DiC Entertainment, in partnership with Speed Racer Enterprises, and aired in the United States on Nickelodeon's short-lived action block, Slam, in 2002. This release of the show was reversioned to include a replacement musical score by Michael Turner, violence edits and scene rearrangements. A new version of Go Speed Racer Go was composed by Jim Latham and used as the for opening credits, with an instrumental version for the ending. The show was quickly taken off the air (with only thirteen episodes dubbed) due to a lawsuit between DiC and Speed Racer Enterprises.[1]

Plot

The first 21 episodes re-imagined the original's circuit based storyline:

The Mach 5 is a racing car loaded with a new engine "X" specially developed and built by a man named Kenichi Hibiki who was a racing driver as well as a motor engineer. However, in a test driving made prior to its completion, he was involved in an accident and judged as dead. Meanwhile, his father Daisuke, who was watching the test driving all the way, recovered the wrecked car as his son's memento. A few years later the damaged car rebuilt by him revives as the new Mach 5 which comes to participate in the Grand Prix. This time, however, for the purpose to protect the driver from a possible accident, the new car is equipped with a safety system called "Safety Seven" with seven guarding devices. Also, it is loaded with the engine "X" that miraculously survived the tragic accident. Now its driver is Go, younger brother of Kenichi, who is determined to succeed to his brother's will. In fact, he successfully participates in Grand Prix and keeps growing up to be a top racer of the world.[2]

Following disappointing ratings, the series was moved to an earlier day and timeslot from episode 22 onward. This coincided with a plot revamp that did away with the traditional racing based stories, instead focusing on science fiction. When the Mach 5 hit 555 KM/h it would enter the Mirage Shot, which allowed the car and its occupants to travel through space and time. Now in the year 2555, Go and his friends find the world in turmoil due to an alien tyrant named Handler. The one thing that could make Handler unstoppable is the Ezekiel Wheel, a potent energy source that hops through time. Using the Mach 5, Go and the rest decided to search for it themselves to defeat Handler.[3]

Pilot dub

In 1998, Speed Racer Enterprises planned to release an English dub of the series in the United States themselves. Titled Speed Racer Y2K, the third episode, "Silver Phantom," was made into a pilot that premiered at the 1998 San Diego Comic-Con. While the crowd in attendance reacted positively, this version of the show wasn't picked up by broadcasters.[3] The pilot was included as a bonus in 1998's Speed Racer: The Ultimate Interactive Companion CD-ROM and as part of the 2001 Speed Racer Signature Edition DVD set.[4][5]

Compared to the later DiC production, Speed Racer Y2K featured a different voice cast and was closer to the original Japanese version, with the Japanese musical score retained. The opening theme song was replaced with Sponge's 1995 cover of Go Speed Racer Go from the Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits album.

Differences from the original series

In this version, Rex Racer does not run away, but is presumed dead after an accident while testing out the Mach 5. His father, Pops, later rebuilds the Mach 5 with a new safety system called "Safety Seven", which protects its driver. Rex's younger brother and Pops' second son, Speed, decides to follow up on his brother's footsteps. Trixie appears in this series as a reporter who befriends Speed, with Spritle being her younger brother now (as opposed to being Speed's younger brother in the original).[2]

There are also differences that exist even in the original Japanese version. Aside from Gō's different surname (Hibiki), other characters were replaced entirely, but have similar roles. For instance, Mai Kazami is the "Michi Shimura" (the original Trixie) of this series, with her younger brother Wataru representing "Kurio Mifune" (the original Spritle). Although Gō's father is still called Daisuke, his mother (Aya Mifune in the original) is now known as Misuzu. The chimpanzee representing Chim-Chim that Wataru is taking care of is named Rocky.

Voice cast

Mach Go Go Go Japanese version

Speed Racer X English version

Episodes

Main article: List of Speed Racer X episodes

References

External links

Speed Racer media
Print Speed Racer (1966) · Speed Racer (1987) · Racer X · The New Adventures of Speed Racer · Speed Racer featuring Ninja High School · Speed Racer (1999) · Speed Racer presents Racer X · Speed Racer: Born to Race · Speed Racer (2007) · Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer · Speed Racer: Circle of Vengeance
Television Speed Racer (1967) · M-THUNDER (unproduced) · The New Adventures of Speed Racer · Speed Racer X · Speed Racer Lives · Speed Racer: The Next Generation · Mach Girl
Film Speed Racer The Movie (1992)· Speed Racer (2008)· Speed Racer: Race to the Future
Video Games Speed Racer (1983) · Speed Racer in The Challenge of Racer X · Speed Racer in My Most Dangerous Adventures · Speed Racer (1995) · Speed Racer (1996) · Mach Go Go Go (1997 game) · Slotter Up Core 10: Mach Go Go Go2 · Speed Racer The Videogame (2008) · Slotter Mania P: Mach Go Go Go III

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