Friday, June 06, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait, Even If It's 30 Years
Go, Speed Racer, Go!
Will wonders never cease? Artisan Entertainment has released the first 11 episodes of Speed Racer on DVD, with a passel of neat extras.

Speed was my favorite after-school cartoon (we didn't use the word anime back then) ever - I used to watch the syndicated reruns on some UHF channel in Philadelphia (can't recall the call letters) before The Banana Splits, Captain Scarlet and Ultraman; with the afternoon kid's programming hosted by some guy named Wee Willie Winkie. Actually, I think it was Wee Willie Weber: it's been a long time.

These days nobody could host a kids show with a moniker like that. I mean, think about it.

The seminal 60's "Japanimation" series was loud, simple and often just didn't "translate" - but it was funny, scary, and drop-dead exciting to a little kid like me. Between the cartoons and having a close family friend from that nation, I grew up to be quite the Nihon-o-phile.

Now I'll finally get to see the episode called "Race For Revenge" which featured a robotic race car, the Mallenge, with an absolutely terrifying-looking mechanical driver. I used to be phobic of driverless vehicles as a small child - I called them "monster cars" and nightmares about them coming to get me. Remember the 1970's movie "Killdozer"? Whew. I had to close my eyes through part of that one.

Okay, not every kindergarten-age girl loves shows about fast cars and villains, but Speed was truly cool - and Trixie loved him. Consider the source.

In the past few years, I think the Speed Racer Fan Club had managed to release a limited edition box set of the series, the price was very steep if you could get your hands on one of the few custom-made copies - I think it was $300 or so.

If you're a die-hard fan with money to burn, there's a company that makes custom Mach 5 racers on a Corvette chassis - if you're willing to shell out 125 big ones.

Anywhow, this new DVD release is much more wallet-friendly, so I can't wait to get my hands on a copy when I get some spare change.