This is the second part of a two-part article comparing Speed Racer to Mach Go Go Go. I got the Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of Speed Racer as a gift for Christmas 2019, and I recently finished watching a side-by-side comparison of both series.
You can read “Speed Racer vs. Mach Go Go Go (Part One)” here.
Here are my thoughts and impressions of the second half of Speed Racer/Mach Go Go Go:
Race Against Time [Parts 1 and 2]/Cleopatra’s Curse [Parts 1 and 2]
This two-parter sees Speed/Go in a race in Egypt. He comes across an archaeologist being chased by a plane. Speed/Go saves the archaeologist and learns about his daughter and assistant before the archaeologist dies. Oh, and he also writes four letters in the sand as well. Trixie/Michi figures out what the letters must mean, and that they lead to the ruins that the daughter and assistant found, and Speed/Go decides to go there. Trixie/Michi insists on going along. We also see Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei listening in, so we know they’re going to hitch a ride and join in on the adventure. It’s interesting to note that the English dub cut a shot of Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei asleep in a bed, with a snot bubble coming out of Spritle/Kurio’s nose.
The Mach 5 is attacked on the way to the ruins, and Speed/Go and Trixie/Michi are attacked when they get there. But at the ruins, Speed/Go finds a necklace that belongs to the archaeologist’s daughter. It’s revealed that the daughter was hit on the head with a rock and now believes she is Cleopatra. The assistant is also there, using her in order to gain the treasure at the ruins for himself.
Speed/Go and Trixie/Michi become prisoners, and Speed/Go has to fight in a sword battle in order to win their freedom. He succeeds, but the assistant convinces “Cleopatra” to set Speed/Go on a quest to get a statue from another location. Speed/Go gets “Cleopatra”‘s permission to use the Mach 5, but the assistant tries to sabotage things.
It just gets convoluted, and Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei become important in the second episode. In the second episode, there’s a shot of someone hitting Spritle/Kurio in the nose that was cut from the English dub. And later, during a slave revolt, a shot of two of the slaves beating up on one of the guards was also cut from the English dub. So they didn’t have any problems with guns being pointed at and shot at our protagonists throughout these two episodes, as well as fist fights in various episodes of the series, yet two slaves beating up on a guard was deemed too violent?
And somehow, a stone golem becomes a kind of mech and starts going on a rampage. If the assistant really had these abilities and resources, why did he need Cleopatra’s treasure so badly? Overall, this storyline was just rather weird… and Full. Of. Plotholes.
The Snake Track/The Arm Of Gold
This episode features a man who had taken money from a competing race team to throw a race, but double crossed on the deal and took the finish line. He was repaid by being attacked and losing the use of his right arm. Speed/Go, meanwhile, is getting ready for a big race on a track that includes several sharp curves. Speed/Go wonders what new technique he can come up with, and he encounters the man who lost the use of his right arm. The man has developed a way to drive on just two wheels while driving with only his left hand. After the man’s car is sabotaged, he goes to Pops Racer/Daisuke Mifune’s garage to get his car fixed. It’s interesting to note that in the original Japanese version of the episode, it’s made very clear that in racing, there’s a rule saying you must be able to use both hands and arms to drive, and a driver can be disqualified from a race if it’s discovered that they can’t. In the English version, it’s still there, but the dialogue really downplays it. There were also other major dialogue changes between the original Japanese and the English that made me scratch my head (such as changing what Spritle/Kurio was dreaming about when he was woken up). During the actual race, a car goes off the track, and we see the driver running away and he’s obviously on fire. However, in the original Japanese, a shot followed right after, showing the driver doing stop, drop, and roll. Why did the English dub cut the shot of the driver doing stop, drop, and roll? Wouldn’t they have wanted to emphasize this concept for the kids they were aiming this series for in America? In the end, I have to say that the original Japanese episode was much stronger than the English dub.
The Man On The Lam/The Showdown By The Dam
This episode is about a convict who breaks out of jail and is on the run. He ends up at a cottage, where a little blind girl named Delisha/Rika lives. In both versions, it’s clear to the audience that the convict must be her father. However, the girl was told that her father died when she was little, so she has no clue that this man is her father. In the English dub, the little girl makes a brief mention of her grandma but says her mother has gone far away to make money so the little girl can have an operation to restore her eyesight. In both versions, it appears that this little blind girl lives all by herself in the woods. The next day, Speed/Go, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei go to check up on her after the previous night’s storm. In the English dub, Sprtile/Kurio is the girl’s friend, but in the original Japanese, Spritle/Kurio is referred to as the little girl’s boyfriend. The man takes Speed/Go and Spritle/Kurio hostage, but the man and Speed/Go make sure the little girl isn’t aware that it’s a hostage situation. The man wants Speed/Go to take him to where he left some money from a bank he robbed before he went to prison. The man’s former partner catches up to them, and a shootout happens. In both versions, the man dies, but before he succumbs, he reveals to Speed/Go that he is the little girl’s father and asks that his eyes be given to his daughter so she can see. After the operation, we see the grandmother finally make an appearance, but the girl’s absentee mother is still nowhere to be found. The little girl’s reactions to seeing everyone for the first time is cute in both versions of the story.
Gang Of Assassins [Parts 1 and 2]/Lightning-Quick Ninja Cars [Parts 1 and 2]
This two-parter is about a gang of assassins. There were a couple of things my husband and I questioned during the English dub that felt like plotholes, but when we watched the original Japanese, we discovered through the subtitles that what we questioned was addressed in the dialogue. One example was, in the English dub, one of the leaders of the gang tells his minions something along the lines of “do something about that car” or “get rid of that car” in reference to the Mach 5. A little later, Trixie/Michi, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei find it by a lake. In the original Japanese, the gang leader explicitly tells his minions to leave it by the lake.
The other thing we questioned was the use of Gizmo (the robotic bird in the Mach 5) to help guide the other three characters to the car, since we had clearly seen Gizmo destroyed in an earlier scene and there was no time to have put a replacement in it. In the original Japanese, I believe it’s Spritle/Kurio who references the idea of a backup Gizmo in the car.
One of the most surprising things to me, though, was a shot that was left in the English dub. During one of the scenes, Racer X/The Masked Racer (he finally returns!) is shooting a gun at the gang members, and it cuts to a scene of the members getting hit by the bullets and some blood spraying from their bodies. The dub of this show, as well as later anime English dubs from the 1970’s and 1980’s, went to great lengths to cut shots of blood like that. So it was absolutely shocking to see this particular shot remain untouched in the English dub.
Also, with this scene, Spritle/Kurio is seen driving the Mach 5, and he runs over some of the gang members. At only eight years old, Spritle/Kurio has already racked up a body count for vehicular homicide (or vehicular manslaughter).
The Race For Life/The Tempestuous Showdown
This episode sees Speed/Go competing in a race that seems to be taking place in either South America or Spain (to me, it felt more like Spain). The English dub said it was South America, but the original Japanese didn’t say anything about where the story was taking place. The basic plot is that the girl doing the celebratory dance after Speed/Go’s win has to deliver a serum to save her brother (the mayor of a town) from dying of a snakebite. The man who got a hold of the serum is shot, and the girl has to take it to her brother. Speed/Go takes her there, and the man who orchestrated a plot to have the brother killed so he can become mayor keeps throwing roadblocks in their way to try to stop them from delivering the serum. This episode, in both the English dub and the original Japanese, is full of plotholes. It wasn’t one of the better episodes of the series.
The Supersonic Car/Record-Breaker Rampage!
This is an episode where Speed/Go is driving a supersonic car that was commissioned by a company in order to break a speed record. With the first two cars, they are sabotaged by industrial spies, but the owner of a competing company and his lackey (who is on the board of the company that built the car) are trying to undermine the tests in order to damage the company. After the first accident, Speed/Go blames himself. But after the second one, it’s determined that the car was sabotaged. A third car is built, and the plot is to destroy the car with a time bomb… but Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei thwart this plan after overhearing the two men talking about it… in public at the course where Speed/Go is trying to break the speed record.
A couple of interesting things with this episode. The first is the animation error right near the beginning. The tail of the car says “NO 1” on it… but at one point during the first test drive, the tail briefly says “NO 2,” before switching back to “NO 1.” And when the third car is built, we see “NO 3,” “NO 2,” and “NO 1” appear on the tail. Talk about animation continuity errors!
And there’s also a scene of Speed/Go and his father talking while sitting on the Mach 5… at a graveyard! We watched the English dub first, and the dialogue made no mention as to why they were at that location. But when we watched the original Japanese, nothing was said about why they were at that graveyard, either! It just felt so random that they would be talking at a graveyard… it was like WTF?
Crash In The Jungle [Parts 1 and 2]/Jungle Monster Tank! [Parts 1 and 2]
This two-parter is set in Africa. Speed/Go is there to compete in a race, and he is on a plane heading back to Nairobi after checking out the course. On the plane with him is a biologist. The two pilots are men from a land called Gelt, which was taken over 20 years earlier. They’re part of a group wanting to reclaim their land, and the biologist is also from Gelt. The men kidnap the biologist, and they jump out of the plane together… but before that, Speed/Go is tied up. This episode ends up having several plot holes in it, and the first two happen early on. Speed/Go is able to miraculously break free from the rope binding him right before the plane crashes. Riiiight. And somehow, he also managed to get his hands on a parachute and jump out of the plane in a short amount of time. Riiiight.
After Trixie/Michi and Spritle/Kurio hear a report on television about the plane crash, the two of them, along with Chim Chim/Sanpei, get into the Mach 5 to look for Speed/Go in the jungle. Ummm… where do they even know where in the jungle to begin looking? And it just gets worse from there. Because of all the plot holes, the story really can’t happen the way that it transpires in the episode. This was just not a good two-parter.
The Terrifying Gambler/The Mad Human Calculator
This is a story where Speed/Go participates in a qualifying race for an upcoming Grand Prix. Trixie/Michi is his navigator as they wind their way through the Alps. They are stopped by a car, and the driver shoots at the Mach 5. We see this guy shoot holes into the protective dome… but this goes completely against what has already been established. It’s been made clear previous to this that the protective dome is bulletproof. This becomes the first of several plot holes in this episode. The guy makes them take him to Monte Carlo. Later, the pair are able to identify the man to police through a picture in a newspaper article. When the police go to confront the man with Speed/Go and Trixie/Michi, he insists that they have no proof that it was him and he laughs it off. Later, Speed/Go tracks the man down to his hotel room. He says he wants to learn the man’s secrets of gambling, and this ends up leading to a fight between the two of them. As Speed/Go tries to escape, all the employees in the hotel grab guns and start chasing and shooting at Speed/Go. Ummm… this is never explained. And when Speed/Go gets in a car to try to get away, the car is shot at and Speed/Go jumps out before the car goes into a nearby body of water and sets the boats on fire… and this causes chaos. And the weird thing is, this event that causes such a disruption is never mentioned again in the episode. But Speed/Go is captured by the man, who has devised a scheme to basically take over the world and become rich, and it’s up to Trixie/Michi, Sparky/Sabu, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei to rescue him. Yeah, this was a rather weird episode in both the English dub and in the original Japanese.
The Secret Invaders [Parts 1 and 2]/Secret Agent No. 9 [Parts 1 and 2]
This two-parter sees that Speed/Go, along with Racer X/The Masked Racer, are going to compete in a Formula One race. I can’t remember the name of the land in either the English or Japanese version (a made-up country), I remember that in the Japanese version, it is ruled by Queen Grape and King Raisin <groan>. An attempt is made on Queen Grape’s life, but one of the racers uses a mirror to blind the assassin, which saves the queen’s life. For whatever reason, Speed/Go chases after the assassin in his Formula One car and ends up getting in a fist fight with the guy. The group behind the attempted assassination realize that one of the racers interfered, and they use a computer to try to determine which one of the racers could be an undercover agent. Speed/Go, along with a couple of other racers, are determined by their computer to be the potential agent. The group kills the other two racers, and the attempt on Speed/Go’s life is thwarted by Racer X/The Masked Racer. My husband and I call Racer X/The Masked Racer “Deus Ex Machina Man,” since he always seems to be saving Speed/Go’s butt all the time whenever he appears in a storyline. This episode reveals the Racer X/The Masked Racer is an undercover agent. Another attempt is made on Speed/Go’s life, and it’s thanks to Spritle/Kurio overhearing one of the villains talking out loud to himself that the plot is revealed.
The second episode of this two-parter has a recap that points out a major plothole that shows up later in this episode. It’s revealed that the gang of assassins have been hired by the Vice President of the country that Speed/Go will be competing in a race in to celebrate the country’s 10th anniversary, and the leader of the gang accompanies the vice president when he goes to visit Speed/Go in the hospital. However, in the previous episode, Speed/Go saw the leader of the gang, as well as the other goons. How come Speed/Go doesn’t recognize the gang leader when he goes to visit him the hospital? Like my husband said, this plothole was so big that you could drive the Mach 5 through it. During the episode, Speed/Go fakes his death, and the funeral scene is handled very differently between the original Japanese and the English dub. In the original Japanese, we see the casket and hear someone speaking a eulogy. This was cut in the English dub. Also, when the Racer X/Masked Racer notices Speed/Go in disguise at his own funeral, the dialogue between the two of them is VERY DIFFERENT between the original Japanese and in the English dub.
The Man Behind The Mask/The Terrifying Car Bomb
This episode sees Speed/Go and Trixie/Michi (as well as Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei, who have stowed onto yet another airplane) traveling with the inventor of a jet fuel that will make traveling into space for the common man possible. The plane that they’re traveling on is hijacked and taken to an island. There, they meet a masked man who has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. He wants to gather as many famous works of art as possible before he tries to take over the world. He forces Speed/Go to help steal art for him and wants the professor to make great quantities of his fuel for missiles. Racer X/The Masked Racer is put on the case by the international organization that he works for as a secret agent, and it is through his help that everyone is rescued and the plot foiled in the end.
Something I noticed at this point in the series, especially after it was revealed that Racer X/The Masked Racer is a secret agent, is that the car racing has become less important to the storytelling. The races that Speed/Go participates in are more of an excuse to get Speed/Go moving around to different locations, and the actual storylines focus much more on “international intrigue” and taking down criminals than on the car racing premise that the series started with. At the end of both versions of this episode, we see the start of the race that Speed/Go was heading for, but we only get to see a very small portion of it. We don’t even get to see who wins. With this shift in narrative focus at this point in the series, it feels like the storylines have become stranger, and that the quality of the writing has gone downhill.
The Car Destroyer/The Phantom Castle Of Steel
The episode sees cars are mysteriously driving themselves. Hmmm… maybe this is where Google got their idea for self-driving cars? LOL! But in all seriousness, this guy is attaching transmitters to cars and controlling them, so he can take them to his steel castle and melt them down so he can build other things out of steel. But as we see in the episode, he melts the cars whole. What kind of quality is the steel if he hasn’t removed the glass or other things that aren’t steel? We learn later in the episode that he’s getting revenge for a car killing his wife and injuring his son. Didn’t we already have another episode about a guy who wanted to destroy cars because they killed his wife? While there were details between the two that were different, it’s still the same basic premise. It’s a little disappointing that they had to recycle an idea like this. In a scene in the episode, we see Spritle/Kurio driving a truck. This is the third time we’ve seen him drive. Ummm… he’s too young to drive. Shouldn’t he be getting a citation for driving without a license? Oh, and it turns out that the man has been keeping his son in a wheelchair for a long time, and it’s discovered that the boy can actually stand. Ummm… if he’s been in a wheelchair for as long as the episode seems to imply, shouldn’t his legs have atrophied? And it was interesting in this episode to see the start of a race, but that Speed/Go wasn’t in it… he was there to observe other drivers. It’s interesting to note here that there really weren’t any major changes in either the visuals or the audio between the original Japanese version and the English dub of this episode.
The Desperate Racer/The Pineapple Race
This is a story that sees Speed/Go participating in a race that involves pineapples. The idea is for the drivers to transport a pineapple from the start of the race to the end of the race. It seems like a weird idea in the English dub, but when watching the original Japanese, we discovered that a section was cut that explained the background for why the race is what it is. It’s to commemorate an important event in the country that had to do with pineapples. I was glad to finally see an episode that focused on Speed/Go participating in a race… it’s been a while since we had one of these. During the episode, the sister of one of the racers asks Speed/Go to throw the race so her brother can win. Speed/Go gets pissed about this and doesn’t listen to why she’s asking him. Trixie/Michi, however, talks to the girl and finds out that they need the prize money to be able to afford medical treatments that she needs. There’s a guy looking for a diamond, and he’s told it’s hidden in one of the pineapples being used for the race. So this guy and his minions are trying to snatch the pineapples from all the racers to find it. Now, a question: how did someone hide a diamond in a pineapple without anyone noticing? To me, this is a major flaw of this episode.
The Dangerous Witness/Witch Number Zero
This episode sees Speed/Go, Trixie/Michi, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei heading to Hong Kong for a race. Speed/Go witnesses a woman using a compact and a poisoned dart to kill one of the other airline passengers, and this woman is also killed by a poisoned dart. Meanwhile, the princess of a fictitious Middle Eastern country is brought into the story, and there are attempts made on her life. Speed/Go saves her (with the final time causing him to forfeit the race he was in), and he discovers who’s behind the plot. Racer X/The Masked Racer is following them around, and he only plays any important part near the end of the episode. Once again, the “international intrigue” overshadows the racing. It should be noted that I didn’t notice any real differences between the original Japanese version of the episode and the English dub.
Race The Laser Tank/Killer Car, Mark V2
This is a story that sees Speed/Go and Trixie/Michi heading to another race. The location appears to be based off Hawaii. While the English dub outright calls it Hawaii, the original Japanese version does not. Once again, Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei stow away in the trunk of the Mach 5, which causes issues at customs. Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei run off and hitch a ride in an unknown trunk. It turns out it belongs to a man, who along with his female partner, are secret agents trying to foil a plot. Speed/Go finds himself in the middle of the plot, which includes assassination attempts. So we’ve got two episodes back-to-back with Speed/Go in the middle of assassination plots. Even though this one has a focus on the international intrigue and less on the racing, there’s actually no sign of Racer X/The Masked Racer in this one.
The Great Car Wrestling Match/Car Wrestler X
This episode is a story that introduces the concept of “car wrestling”… a “sport” that basically sees cars smashing into each other and seeing which car and racer are the last ones standing. At a car show, Speed/Go, Trixie/Michi, Sparky/Sabu, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei meet a boy named Gizmo/Takeshi. His father was a racer who was beaten by Speed/Go in a race and was fired by the company he raced for after losing to Speed/Go. However, Gizmo/Takeshi’s parents have hidden this from him. This racer holds a grudge against Speed/Go, and he went into “car wrestling” after being fired. After Speed/Go learns of this racer being a car wrestler, Speed/Go decides to enter the Mach 5 in order to try to convince the former racer to quit. The former racer has developed an anger management issue, which he takes out on Speed/Go at one point before Speed/Go enters the car wrestling match. There really wasn’t any noticeable differences with the visuals or with the dialogue between the original Japanese version and the English dub.
Motorcycle Apaches/Apache Bikers Attack
This is a story about a gang of motorcycle apaches in the American west trying to stop the Office of Space Development from constructing an international space development base to promote world peace, because they are coming onto their tribal land. After Speed/Go wins a race. the Office of Space Development asks him to help transport an important fuel in the hopes that his driving skills can help him best the motorcycle apaches. Trixie/Michi, Sparky/Sabu, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei come along on the journey. Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei are only allowed to go after they manage to capture a motorcycle apache spy. In both versions of the story, Spritle/Kurio falls asleep while he’s driving the wagon with food and we see a dream sequence… which was obviously put in here to kill time, because it added absolutely nothing to the story. Again, I didn’t see any major differences between either the original Japanese or the English dub.
Car With A Brain/The Monster Car Rises Again
This episode sees a crazy old man unleash his “monster car” that looks a lot like a beetle. It goes on a rampage, and Speed/Go and his friends end up involved because they’re in the same location for an upcoming race. Unfortunately, the racetrack is destroyed, so they end up helping the authorities with the monster car. It’s very interesting to note just how different in tone the English dub and the original Japanese version are. In the English dub, they claim the episode is taking place in Scotland. But in the original Japanese, the crazy old man is from the fictional Gelt empire, which was referenced in a previous episode. In the original Japanese, the route the monster car takes resembles a military invasion 22 years earlier involving the Gelt empire and its neighbor. And Pops Racer/Daisuke Mifune’s dialogue to Speed/Go during parts of this episode is much different in tone and meaning than the English dub. Once again, an episode where a race brings Speed/Go and friends to a location, but we never actually get to see any racing.
Junk Car Grand Prix/The Fixer-Upper Grand Prix
This episode is a story about a “junk car grand prix” being sponsored by a cheapskate baron (I can’t remember his convoluted name in the English dub, but in the original Japanese he is Baron Cheapo). He is holding the grand prix in honor of his 17-year-old daughter who had disappeared 12 years earlier; it was her dream to be a race car driver. The race is open to 17-year-old girls, but they can have a team of up to four people that are any age or gender. A girl from an orphanage enters the race, and Speed/Go seems to be interested in her, much to Trixie/Michi’s dismay. Of course, Trixie/Michi is also in the race. And there’s this guy who is after the baron’s fortune, and he is using a 17-year-old girl to try to win the race in order to get his hands on the money. There’s a plot twist involving the girl from the orphanage, and it’s one that’s easy to figure out before the big reveal. While there’s a race going on, which is cool, and features girls (which is even better), but there’s just some things about this episode that bother me. Some of the logic in the things that Speed/Go does makes me shake my head and wonder what the writer of the original Japanese version was thinking. There was no real discernible differences between the original Japanese version of this episode and the English dub.
The Car In The Sky/The Last-Ditch Balloon Escape
This is a story that sees Speed/Go, Pops Racer/Daisuke Mifune, Sparky/Sabu, Spritle/Kurio, and Chim Chim/Sanpei on a plane headed to Speed/Go’s next race. It’s not a very large plane, but there’s also a handful of other people on the plane who are traveling for other reasons. The Mach 5 is tethered in the back of the plane. The plane is flying in a storm and experiencing turbulence. The plane loses its ability to fly and the pilots are forced to make a crash landing. The Mach 5 comes loose after just one rope breaks. That’s not a great tethering job. Ugh. After the plane crash lands, no one is hurt, but the plane can’t fly and the Mach 5 has taken some damage (fortunately, the engine still works). One of the other passengers is delivering ad balloons (however, I have no idea where the balloons came from, since we never saw them on the plane). It’s interesting to note that while exploring the island the plane has crashed on, they come across a tunnel leading to an underground lab area. In the English dub, we see someone pick up something with a Nazi symbol on it, but it’s never acknowledged in the dialogue. In the original Japanese, though, the Nazi connection is made clear. But they find hydrogen in the English dub (oxygen in the original Japanese), and Speed/Go comes up with the idea of blowing up the ad balloons and attaching the propeller from the plane to create a kind of dirigible in order for three people to make it to the mainland and get help. The three passengers are Speed/Go, a young woman who is trying to make it home to see her mother (her mother is on her deathbed), and a guy who is supposed to be making a deal to make him rich. For whatever reason, no one bothered to check the trunk to make sure that Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei weren’t hiding in it. Shouldn’t this have become routine by now? The dude trying to become rich is an idiot and ends up dying due to stupid decisions, while Speed/Go gives up a chance to be in the important race in order to get the girl home in time to see her mother. Honestly, there was a lot wrong with this episode, and most of the issues came from the original Japanese. There were some issues created in the English dub, but most of the issues were in the original story. This just wasn’t a good episode.
The Trick Race/The Acrobat Clan’s Counterattack
This episode sees the return of the Car Acrobatic Team. While the main gist of the story is a rematch between Speed/Go and the Car Acrobatic Team, it turns out an evil organization is bringing them together in order to get rid of Racer X/The Masked Racer. This episode relies a lot on reused footage, and overall feels more like a clip show than an actual episode. But this evil organization has figured out that Racer X/The Masked Racer must be Speed/Go’s older brother. Racer X/The Masked Racer is ultimately able to save the day. However, when Speed/Go guesses that Racer X/The Masked Racer is his older brother, Speed/Go is punched in the stomach. While Speed/Go is unconscious, Racer X/The Masked Racer takes off his mask and says he’s leaving racing in order to focus on being a secret agent. It’s kind of interesting to note that in the long run, Racer X/The Masked Racer wasn’t as major of a character as one would think he was. He was important in the very early episodes, then basically vanishes for a long time. He makes a couple of quick appearances and then this episode is his last major story.
Race Around The World [Parts 1 and 2]/The Biggest Race In History [Parts 1 and 2]
The final two episodes of the series are a two-parter about a race around the world. A rich guy who is putting on the race has a prize for the winner: a ton of gold, as well the hand of his daughter in marriage. Well, his daughter hates the idea that she’s being used as a prize and decides that she will enter in order to ruin the race. There’s a couple of guys who decide they will use any means possible in order to win, and Speed/Go disagrees with them.
It’s interesting to note that in the English dub, when they’re going through the first part of the race, they claim that the racers are going from Los Angeles, to Washington, D.C., and then to Florida. However, in the original Japanese, Speed/Go says at one point that he’s in Indianapolis, then a map (which is cut in the English dub) shows the real course they take to get to Florida. I just can’t understand why the English dub writers made such a change.
When the racers get to Florida, they’re supposed to get in a boat to head to their next destination. Spritle/Kurio and Chim Chim/Sanpei are already at the dock in Florida before Speed/Go and Sparky/Sabu get there. How the hell did those two get there? We see nothing to indicate that Trixie/Michi and Pops Racer/Daisuke Mifune are already in the area, so the child and monkey seem to appear out of nowhere.
The first episode is very well paced and ends with a good cliffhanger. However, the second episode has a much more uneven pacing. The first half seems decently paced, but the second half feels like they’re rushing a little more. At least these episodes returned to the main focus of the series, which was the races.
It should also be noted that there were a couple of scenes in these two episodes where the tone of the dialogue or the content of the dialogue were very different between the English dub and the original Japanese. Of all the episodes, I would say that these two had the biggest changes in regards to dialogue. I appreciate the ending of the Japanese version more than the English dub. For one thing, there’s no voice-over from the narrator in the original Japanese, and the thoughts of Speed/Go and Racer X/The Masked Racer leading up to those final shots were also quite different between the two versions (and I think the original Japanese version was better). It was puzzling in the English dub right at the end when the narrator makes a mention of staying tuned for the next episode of Speed Racer. Ummm… what next episode? This was the final one!
Additional posts about Speed Racer: