is an anime
series aired from 1977 to 1978 in Japan
. There are 44 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is also known as "Arrow Emblem Grand Prix no Taka
". In the United States
, it was re-edited to a short movie called "Super Grand Prix
The story is about a young boy named Takaya Todoroki who dreams of becoming a F1
racer. He puts all his energy into winning a beginners heat, but causes a massive pile up due to an error of judgement. Initially swearing to give up racing. Then a masked stranger appears by his bedside in the hospital who turned out to be world-famous driver Niki Lauda
. He encourages him to dust himself off and try driving a new prototype
. Before long, he is a team member of "Katori Motors", hoping to become a world F1 champion, driving the "Todoroki special", a car built to his own design.
The show's Japanese name "Grand Prix no taka" translates as "Hawk of Grand Prix", a theme that often reccurs in the opening animation. The main character's name was probably chosen to suit this theme as well.
In the US the 44 episode series was significantly shortened to form a 90 minute movie for children called "Super Grand Prix" released by Liberty International on August 12, 2003. The story is essentially the same, except Takaya is now known as "Sean Corrigan" and nicknamed "Crash Corrigan" for the crash.
Screenwriter: Masaki Tsuji
Creator: Kogo Himiko
Additional Directors: Nobutaka Nisizawa, Yugo Serikawa, Takenon Kawada, Yasuo Yamakichi
Designer: Akio Sugino, Takuo Noda
Animator: Bunpei Nanjo, Takeshi Shirato, Toshio Mori
Music: Hiroshi Miyakawa
There are 2 DVD releases for the series, a 4 disc set and a 5 disc set.
There were a number of Arrow Emblem race cars released under the Popynica toyline by Popy Pleasure in 1978 and 1979. Two things made these cars unique. The first is that the Arrow Emblem toy car designs carried heavy paint or stickers that made the F1 cars seem flashy and almost appear to be "tricked out". This is in the 70s when the best toy car line in the west, Matchbox
, sold very simple scaled models of average street cars and occasional hotrods
. The second is that the cars are derived from a successful TV series following, something Matchbox do not have.
PB-34 Todoroki Special
PB-35 Todoroki Special, mark 2
PB-36 Todoroki Special, mark 3
PB-37 DX Todoroki Special
PB-38 Katori Super Roman
PB-39 Katori Rally Version
PB-40 DX Katori Super Roman
PB-44 DX Anchor
PB-45 Countach LP500S
Aside from these model cars, Popy also made a 1:1 scale racing helmet which could be worn by children. Unfortunately the serial number for this helmet is unknown.
References to two other pieces of merchandise have been found:
- A slotracing track, created by Bandai.
- A garage kit of the Todoroki Special, created by Club M
- It was aired every week Thursday 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
- The character Nick Lauda is evidently based on the real Austrian world champion F1 driver Niki Lauda. While Nick Lauda is only referred to as "Masked Man" (due to the mask he wears) in the English dub 'Super Grand Prix', he does specifically mention Niki Lauda during the flashback sequence in which he is discussing his own past. Although it is apparently only for the purposes of drawing comparisons to himself rather than blatantly suggesting that he is Niki Lauda. Masked Man stating a famous figure also served to help console a frustrated Crash Corrigan in providing an example of a person who never gave up.
- It has been suggested that the design of the 'Todoroki Special' was inspired by the 1976 Tyrrell P34 'six wheeler'.