Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blast From the Distant Past: Mach 5

I was talking with a friend last night and a question about Speed Racer's number came idea how we got on that subject. We both thought it was either 6 or 9.

Google to the rescue this AM and the answer is...5.

In any event, that question led to two other discoveries. The first from Wikipedia...
Speed Racer is an English adaptation name of the Japanese manga and anime, Mach Go Go Go which centered on automobile racing. Mach GoGoGo was originally serialized in print form in Shueisha's 1958 Shōnen Book. From 1967 to 1968 it ran as a television series in the United States, with 52 episodes.

The name of the series, Mach GoGoGo is actually a triple pun:
  • "Go" is the Japanese word for the number 5. Thus "Mach-go" is the name of the car ("go" also being a suffix attached to the names of ships, etc.), which would be called the Mach 5 in the American adaptation
  • It is the name of the main character, Go Mifune. (Speed Racer in the American adaptation)
  • It contains the English word "go."
Taken together, the program's title means, "Mach-go, Gō Mifune, Go!". This is what the saying "Go, Speed Racer, Go!" comes from, taking out Gō Mifune and replacing it with his English name.

And the second: both seasons of Speed Racer, arguably one of the best cartoons ever, are available on YouTube.

Season 1, Episode 1 is above.

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