3.10.2009

Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go : 4 of 5

Although I've been a Speed Racer fan for as long as I can remember, I had never read the original manga version of the series, so when I saw this box set was available, it went on my Christmas list right away! This really is a beautiful edition, including two hardcover books (over 600 pages together!) in a fantastic slipcase, making this the most extravagant manga I own. Most of the pages are black and white (thankfully in their original left to right order), although there are a few color covers of the early 60s issues (in Japanese) that look really cool. There's a fairly interesting introduction by Peter Fernandez, famous for voicing Speed and helping to bring anime to the US, but unfortunately no other background material about the manga itself. However, the stories are a total blast to read, with some covering classic episodes of the show almost exactly, and some completely new adventures to enjoy. The Mach 5 has several more features that were new to me, such as hydrofoil mode, jets, wings, radar, and even automatic spare tires! Some of the original Japanese dialogue is interesting in this translation, with dramatic lines for Speed like "Let me die in the Mach 5!", and he even chews out some striking auto workers with "You call yourselves Japanese acting like this?" My favorite story was Secret of the Golden Arrow, one of the longest plots with lots of action and interesting scenes with Racer X. And speaking of Racer X, the manga actually ends with the touching reunion of Rex Racer with his family! I was totally shocked when it happened, but it was great to see those tears rolling down Speed's cheeks as he hugs his long lost big brother. I had so much fun reading this manga set, and I definitely recommend it to fans of the anime and all the nostalgia that goes along with it!

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