When I was eight or nine years old, I lived to watch Speed Racer after school every day.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Speed Racer was a Japanese cartoon about a young white boy who was a professional race car driver, and whose car, the “Mach 5″ had the most amazing gadgets.
After getting home from school, I would tear into my room to change out of my private school uniform and into my normal kid clothes: jeans or cords, a shirt, sweater, and runners.
Speed Racer started a four o’clock, so I almost always had to hurry! Dad would tease me with “It’s almost time for that Fast Racer!” “SPEED Racer!” I would yell back from the bedroom, hopping around, trying to get into my jeans. Every day the same tease from Dad, followed by my frantic, aggravated correction, and a hasty sprint to sit down on the carpet in front of Poppy’s new colour TV.
Each time, Speed would be in some new adventure, which of course, would include a big cross-country car race at the end. The Mysterious “Racer X” was always involved as well. Nobody knew that Racer X, whose face was completely hidden behind a full-face mask, was in fact Speed’s long-lost older brother. Although I considered him mysterious, a bit scary and sometimes even a bit of a bad guy, Racer X often saved Speed’s bacon without Speed’s knowledge, during some perilous cross-country race.
So, in spite of the low-quality, four frames-per-second Japanimation, it was an exciting and intriguing little animated adventure soap opera.
It seems quite cheesy compared with modern cartoons. These days, I much prefer “Dragon Ball Z”.