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December 20, 2014

Stump the King - Speed Racer

by Paul Goebel, posted Jul 31st 2007 2:41PM

Go Speed RacerToday I did an interview with a radio station in British Columbia and we took some calls from listeners asking me all sorts of questions. One listener asked me about an animated show called Star Blazers. He wanted to know the name of the starship that was featured on the show. Well, I'm sure all you anime fans remember that the original title of the show in Japan was Star Ship Yamato.

I, personally, was never a huge fan of anime, but one show I really enjoyed when I was a kid was Battle of the Planets. Every morning, before school, I would watch the Americanized version with voices by Casey Kasem and Ronnie Schell. Aside from BotP, other anime shows just didn't appeal to me. What is it about series like Robotech and Cowboy Bebop that so many Americans enjoy? Fill me in.

On the animated series Speed Racer, what did the G on Speed's jacket stand for?

Congratulations Gary, the correct answer is Go!

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Umgawa

@12: So, what you're saying, here, is that we should stop referring to the nation of Japan as 'Japan' because, like 'Japanimation', it begins with "Jap"?

Note: You can't have it both ways, so either the nation is Japan, or we're all going to have to start calling it Nippon, but that starts with "Nip," which is yet another derogatory term.

August 02 2007 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Notice I said "almost racist." The word just has huge negative connotations to it. Yes, Anime is animation from Japan, but does the rest of the world call American animation Amerimation?
Consider the racist term "jap" and go from there.

August 01 2007 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BillS

I've never heard of Japanimation being called racist. I know it's considered antiquated, but I always thought it was a conscious decision by the fans to try to avoid people thinking of Speed Racer and the like (similar to how fans of non-japanese animation call it animation rather than cartoons, or comic book fans say graphic novel).

August 01 2007 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
J8675309

Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets is so awesome, at times.

Sometimes super cheesy, sometimes amazingly amazing.

August 01 2007 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thegoddesskiara

How Japanimation racist?
Is it not animation from Japan?

July 31 2007 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Benjy

Robotech was the first anime series I saw that 1.) dealt with the mature themes of romance, violence, and death and 2.) provided a long generation-spanning continuity (which was actually a product of a brilliant American editing team given that the show was produced from three separate and distinctly different shows).

I also really enjoyed Battle of the Planets when I was a kid, but was blown away by the original Japanese version, "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman", when I was older. It is far more sophisticated and adult (and far longer -- over 100 episodes) with fantastic continuity and even some highly shocking twists.

And what can be said about "Cowboy Bebop." As far as I'm concerned, Shinichiro Watanabe and his crew redefined Anime with "Bebop". 1.) The soundtrack is killer. Every song fits each scene perfectly. 2.) The characters have amazing depth and you really get drawn into each of their stories (Faye's quest for identity, Jet's regrets over his lost former life and love, and Spike's vicious circle of violence). They become such a family that, by the end of the series, it is painful to see everything unravel. 3.) While standalone episodes are peppered with humor and action, the core mythology is always right around the corner and extremely raw and gritty. The last two episodes alone take a dark and daring turn that brings the series to a definitive conclusion. These two episodes alone make the entire series. I've watched Bebop several times and recommend it STRONGLY.

Watanabe also did another series called "Samurai Champloo" which I highly recommend. While Bebop is set in the future, Champloo is set in feudal Japan. It also works with musical styles to set the tone of the show. Bebop did this with jazz. Champloo does it with hip hop.

July 31 2007 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

What appealed to me early on in watching Anime was the story. Even re-dubbed shows we were shown that there was animation out there that did not cater to the lowest common denominator and assume it's audience was a pack of drooling idiots (I am looking at you Scooby Doo)

Next came the fact that there was a large amount of hardcore sci-fi to be seen in the anime world that outside of feature films you just did not find.

The best litmus test I have found for people who say they don't like or don't understand the wonder of Anime is this; go rent Laputa (or as it is known in the states Castle in the Sky.) Watch it in it's original Japanese language and see if you think Anime has potential.

July 31 2007 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

ugtv, "japanamation" is a very vulgar and almost racist term.

The correct term is Anime.

Oh and guess what, asian studios did all the animation for Justice League.

July 31 2007 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alan

At the time Japanimation was so much more advanced than the Hanna-Barbera 4 frames per second animation that we grew up on. But now that I've seen all four seasons of the Justice League, Anime can eat my shorts.

July 31 2007 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin

His given name Gō is also a Japanese homophone for the number 5 (the number on his race car). This is also represented by the letter G embroidered on his shirt.

from wikipedia

July 31 2007 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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