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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Speed Racer - The Complete Series aka 'Mahha GoGoGo' (original title) [5 Blu-rays]

 

(Seitarô Hara, Ippei Kuri, Hisayuki Toriumi, Takashi Nishioka, Mineo Fuji, Hiroshi Sasagawa, 1967 - 68)

 

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Tatsunoko Production (Japan) / Trans Lux (US)

Video: Funimation

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 52 Episodes (av. 0:24:43.023 - twelve per disc - four on the 5th BD)

Disc 1 (of 5) Size: 48,918,618,685 bytes (content on fits disc - 4:47:37.031)

Average Episode Size: 4,150,290,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.34 Mbps

Case: Digipak Blu-ray case

Release date: May 30th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 753 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 753 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

None

 

Disc Sample Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Take home a copy of Speed Racer and preserve one of the most iconic shows of the 60s and 70s. Now for the first time on Blu-ray, you can share the beloved classic with friends and family from all generations. On your mark, get set, GO! GO! GO! Speed Racer is an 18-year-old boy who dreams of driving his car, the incredible Mach 5, in professional races around the world. When the going gets tough and meddling crooks keep him from the finish line, he always finds a way to make it through. Join Trixie, Pops, Spritle, Chim Chim, and the whole gang as they root for Speed in the most nail-biting, death-defying races in history!

 

The Great Plan: Part 1
Speed Racer enters his first race to win money for his family. Meanwhile, a gang of robbers are after Pops's secret plans... which he hid in the windshield of Speed's car.

S4, Episode 2
23 SEpisode . 1967 The Great Plan: Part 2
Speed continues his race, and the robbers continue their attempts to capture Speed.

 S1, Episode 3
30 SEpisode . 1967 Challenge of the Masked Racer: Part 1
Speed's first encounter with Racer X, a mysterious masked driver who is rumored to cause car crashes whenever he races.

 S1, Episode 4
30 SEpisode . 1967 Challenge of the Masked Racer: Part 2
Speed Racer and Racer X participate in the Trans-Country race... as well as competitors who stoop to dirty tricks to get rid of them.

 S1, Episode 5
7 Oct. 1967 The Secret Engine: Part 1
Speed tries to help an old man find his stolen car. It turns out the car has a map to a treasure, which a criminal mastermind is prEpisode ared to get at any cost.

 S1, Episode 6
7 Oct. 1967 The Secret Engine: Part 2
Speed leads Blaggard's men to the treasure but manages to alert his family and Trixie. The stage is set for a great battle.

 S1, Episode 7
14 Oct. 1967 The Race Against the Mammoth Car: Part 1
Speed takes part in a race where any sort of car can participate. He soon faces off with a very dangerous 200-yard mammoth car.

 S1, Episode 8
14 Oct. 1967 The Race Against the Mammoth Car: Part 2
Speed and Trixie survive the Mammoth Car, but it continues its mysterious journey even beyond the racetrack. What is its secret?

 S1, Episode 9
21 Oct. 1967 The Most Dangerous Race: Part 1
Speed takes part in a mountain race, considered with its gorges and landslides to be the most dangerous race ever. It's about to live up to that rEpisode utation.

 S1, Episode 10
21 Oct. 1967 The Most Dangerous Race: Part 2
The Alpine Car Race continues, but a yawning chasm causes a major standstill. Who will risk their lives to cross over it?

 S1, Episode 11
21 Oct. 1967 The Most Dangerous Race: Part 3
It's the final lap of the Alpine Race, but Speed Racer is blinded and Racer X's legs are broken. How can they go on?

 S1, Episode 12
28 Oct. 1967 Race for Revenge: Part 1
The son of murdered racecar driver Flash Marker seeks revenge on the rival drivers who killed him.

 S1, Episode 13
28 Oct. 1967 Race for Revenge: Part 2
Speed and Trixie try to stop Flash Jr from carrying out his vengeance, but he swears to eliminate them for interfering.

 S1, Episode 14
4 Nov. 1967 The Desperate Desert Race: Part 1
Speed is forced into a duel-race in the desert with Prince Kim Jugger, the wildest driver in the world.

 S1, Episode 15
4 Nov. 1967 The Desperate Desert Race: Part 2
Speed and Kim team up together to save Kim's country of Flathill from being taken over by criminal revolutionaries.

 S1, Episode 16
11 Nov. 1967 The Fire Race: Part 1
The Inca land of KapetEpisode ek, noted for its secrecy and treasures, hosts a race with foreign and native drivers. To ensure their land's privacy, the KapetEpisode ekan drivers must win, at any cost.

 S1, Episode 17
11 Nov. 1967 The Fire Race: Part 2
The race in KapetEpisode ek continues.

 S1, Episode 18
18 Nov. 1967 Girl Daredevil: Part 1
The Mach 5 team befriends Twinkle Banks, an acrobat whose family circus is being rendered bankrupt by a gang of crooks.

 S1, Episode 19
18 Nov. 1967 Girl Daredevil: Part 2
Brotch and his cronies imprison Speed and Twinke in a cave and head off to their Mt Rushmore lair. But it doesn't take long before the two escape and a major fight breaks out.

 S1, Episode 20
25 Nov. 1967 The Fastest Car on Earth: Part 1
Pops is horrified at the return of the GRX, a supernaturally powerful engine that has ended up killing or harming every one of its drivers.

 S1, Episode 21
25 Nov. 1967 The Fastest Car on Earth: Part 2
Speed is crippled with a fear of driving after one round in the GRX. Can he pull himself back together in time for his next race?

 S1, Episode 22
1 Dec. 1967 Mach Five vs. Mach Five: Part 1
Speed is framed for robbery by Mr Cumulus, who has had a duplicate Mach 5 built for his own ends.

 S1, Episode 23
1 Dec. 1967 Mach Five vs. Mach Five: Part 2
Cumulus attempts to take over the world, setting the stage for a showdown between the two Mach 5 automobiles.

 S1, Episode 24
8 Dec. 1967 The Royal Racer: Part 1
While the Racers enjoy a trip to the Eastern Kingdom of Saccharin, Spritle is mistaken for Prince Jam, heir to the throne, and the two end up swapping lives.

 S1, Episode 25
8 Dec. 1967 The Royal Racer: Part 2
Spritle and Prince Jam team up to save the Racer family and the kingdom of Saccharin.

 S1, Episode 26
15 Dec. 1967 The Car Hater
Mr Trotter, a man who hates cars ever since his son perished in an auto accident, sets out to rid the world of cars.

 S1, Episode 27
15 Dec. 1967 The Terrifying Gambler
The Mach 5 team crosses paths with Mr Fastbucks, a wanted criminal with a taste for gambling and who's rigged Speed's latest race with explosives.

 S1, Episode 28
22 Dec. 1967 The Race Against Time: Part 1
Speed and Trixie scour the Sahara for an archaeologist's daughter, and come across a fantastic kingdom.

 S1, Episode 29
22 Dec. 1967 The Race Against Time: Part 2
Speed and Trixie are made slaves and ordered to dig up treasure. But Speed has an escape and rescue plan in mind.

 S1, Episode 30
29 Dec. 1967 The Snake Track
Speed learns to master the Snake Track, a course with strategically placed curves, with the help of Rock Force, a one-armed driver.

 S1, Episode 31
29 Dec. 1967 The Man on the Lam
Speed is taken hostage by Lawson Lamster, an escaped convict searching for the money he stole before being captured. Unfortunately, Lamster's partners are right on his tail.

 S1, Episode 32
5 Jan. 1968 Gang of Assassins: Part 1
While sightseeing in Japan, the Mach 5 team crosses paths with a gang of assassins who are out to sabotage an international peace conference.

 S1, Episode 33
5 Jan. 1968 Gang of Assassins: Part 2
Speed learns to his disgust that Racer X has joined the assassins. But is it for real?

 S1, Episode 34
12 Jan. 1968 The Race for Life
The young mayor of the South American village of Tonado is dying of poison. Speed volunteers to drive to Dominic and back to get the antidote, but someone is out to stop him.

 S1, Episode 35
12 Jan. 1968 The Supersonic Car
A supersonic car built by the Racers is sabotaged and they are framed for its bad performance. Now they must work to foil the saboteurs and save their rEpisode utation.

 S1, Episode 36
19 Jan. 1968 Crash in the Jungle: Part 1
Speed heads to Nairobi for the Trans-African Grand Prix. But en route he is dumped into the jungle and must fend for himself amidst giant spiders and gargantuan gorillas.

 S1, Episode 37
19 Jan. 1968 Crash in the Jungle: Part 2
Speed, Trixie, Sprytle and Chim-Chim are captured by a ruthless dictator's jungle army who plans to take over the world.

 S1, Episode 38
26 Jan. 1968 The Secret Invaders: Part 1
The Mach 5 team come across yet another band of assassins seeking to take over the kingdoms of Ambrocia and Abalonia.

 S1, Episode 39
26 Jan. 1968 The Secret Invaders: Part 2
Speed Racer fakes his death to draw out Elegantor and his assassins.

 S1, Episode 40
2 Feb. 1968 The Man Behind the Mask
A masked maniac takes the Mach 5 team hostage and forces Speed to carry out art gallery robberies.

 S1, Episode 41
2 Feb. 1968 The Car Destroyer
Dr J.D. CrEpisode it, a mad scientist who hates cars because his son was crippled in an auto accident, plots to destroy all the cars in the world.

 S1, Episode 42
9 Feb. 1968 The Desperate Racer
Trixie wants Speed to lose a race, so that her friend's brother will win and use the prize money to heal her. Meanwhile, a royal jewel is hidden inside a pineapple - one of many given to the competing racers.

 S1, Episode 43
9 Feb. 1968 The Dangerous Witness
Speed is asked by the Chinese Princess Pedal to be her bodyguard, as a gang of assassins have taken a job on her.

 S1, Episode 44
16 Feb. 1968 Race the Laser Tank
A gang of crooks have captured top-secret plans for a new weapon: a tank with a laser device. When Speed tries to interfere, they decide to test the tank on him.

 S1, Episode 45
16 Feb. 1968 The Great Car Wrestling Match
Speed discovers that a former racing driver Gadge Zoomer has taken to car wrestling (demolition derbies) to support his family, and attempts to get him to leave this destructive sport.

 S1, Episode 46
23 Feb. 1968 Motorcycle Apaches
A astronomical base in the Southwest is being terrorized by a band of apaches on motorcycles, and calls Speed for help.

 S1, Episode 47
23 Feb. 1968 Car with a Brain
A mad scientist brings to life a monster car that wreaks mayhem and destruction across the country. Can Speed stop it?

 S1, Episode 48
1 Mar. 1968 Junk Car Grand Prix
The Junkyard Grand Prix is hosted by a rich baron in honour of his missing daughter. But in fact she appears in the race as an unknowing competitor to Speed.

 S1, Episode 49
1 Mar. 1968 The Car in the Sky
When the Racers crash on a deserted island with no food or water, they turn the Mach 5 into a makeshift aircraft in order to go for help.

 S1, Episode 50
8 Mar. 1968 The Trick Race
Exactly a year after the Alpine Race, the Car Acrobat Team challenges Speed Racer to a race to determine the superior driver. But all is not what it seems...

 S1, Episode 51
15 Mar. 1968 Race Around the World: Part 1
Speed takes part in the most important race of his career, the Around the World Grand Prix.

 S1, Episode 52
15 Mar. 1968 Race Around the World: Part 2
Hindered by unscrupulous rivals, obstacles, and his own self, can Speed win the most important race of his career?

Excerpt from IMDb located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, this is, only, the English-language version of Speed Racer (English rights to Mach GoGoGo were acquired by syndicator Trans-Lux) which also has some cuts. It is NOT the uncut Japanese 'mach go go go' version - originally serialized in print in Shueisha's 1966 Shōnen Book. This 5-disc Blu-ray set only offers English language and optional English subtitles. It is the same original animation created and designed by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida. From Wikipedia: "For American consumption, major editing and dubbing efforts were undertaken by producer Peter Fernandez, who likewise not only wrote and directed the English-language dialogue but also provided the voices of many of the characters".

 

NOTE: The TV show Speed Racer inspired the Wachowski's 2008 film Speed Racer - reviewed on Blu-ray HERE!

 

Funimation's Blu-ray package of the beloved Speed Racer 1967'-68 TV series comes with 5 Blu-rays. There are a dozen episodes on the first 4 discs and four episodes on the 5th Blu-ray disc, offering the complete series, 52 episodes, originally aired, uncut, in Japan, each one maintaining the plot, characters and themes of the fast-paced action manga. The original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 is supported. This is transferred on dual-layered discs with reasonable bitrates for the feature content. Speed Racer is renowned for it's colors and they have some depth in 1080P. It looks quite good overall with some minor dirt being the only negative.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Funimation use a modest Dolby TrueHD Audio 2.0 (16-bit) in the English DUB. It is all clear and clean with the show's catchy theme performed, in the opening and closing titles, by Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass (NOTE: This may not be the original theme on the BDs - I don't know positively.) There are English (SDH) subtitle options and the five Blu-ray disc are region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No extras, although the last disc had the space to hold some - even TV adverts etc. - however none were included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Speed Racer is an wonderfully innocent, adventuresome late 60's Television. The nostalgia value, here, is through the roof. Ideally, the uncut Japanese episodes would make the optimal choice for many fans, but it's hard to dispute the price and value for, almost, 24 hours of wholesome family fun in 1080P. This Blu-ray package seems like they are giving it away and is still recommended . Hopefully the purists will be satisfied with a Japanese version (with English subs) one day in the future. I loved binge watching this... "Go Speed Racer Go!"  

Gary Tooze

May 25th, 2017

  

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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