Speed Racer is an English adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime, which centered on automobile racing. Mach GoGoGo was originally serialized in Shueisha's Shōnen Book, and was released in tankōbon form by Sun Wide Comics, re-released in Japan by Fusosha. Selected chapters of the manga were released by NOW Comics under the title Speed Racer Classics, later released by the DC Comics division, Wildstorm Productions under the title Speed Racer: The Original Manga. Under the name of its Americanized title, Speed Racer, Mach GoGoGo, in its entirety, was re-published in the United States by Digital Manga Publishing and was released as a box set in commemoration of the franchise's 40th anniversary. It was published under the title Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go as part of the company's DMP Platinum imprint. The series is an early example of an anime becoming a successful franchise in the United States.
Mach GoGoGo was first created and designed by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida (1932–1977) as a manga series in the 1960s and made the jump to TV as an anime series in 1967. The actual manga was inspired by Yoshida’s earlier, and most popular automobile racing comics, Pilot Ace. Pilot Ace’s main storyline would be lifted onto Mach GoGoGo, which followed the adventures of an ambitious young man who would soon become a professional racer.
When Yoshida had plans for a newer project, he took the popularity of Pilot Ace to his advantage. The characters’ designs in Pilot Ace would set the main ground for the character design in a newer project entitled, Mach GoGoGo. Yoshida got his idea for his story after seeing two films that were very popular in Japan at the time, Viva Las Vegas and Goldfinger. By combining the look of Elvis Presley's race-car driving image, complete with neckerchief and black pompadour, and James Bond's gadget-filled Aston Martin, Yoshida had the inspiration for his creation. Soon enough, Mach GoGoGo hit shelves in the early 1960’s. The central character in the anime and manga was a young race car driver named Gō Mifune (Mifune Gō).
The name of the series, Mach GoGoGo is actually a triple pun:
Taken together, the program's title means, "Mach-go, Gō Mifune, Go!".
Also: "Gogogo", is used as a general Japanese sound effect for "Rumble". The names themselves constitute a multilingual wordplay of the kind that had started to become part of the Japanese popular culture of the time.
The manga (which was compiled into 2 deluxe volumes for Fusosha's re-release) has several story lines such as "The Great Plan", "Challenge of the Masked Racer", "The Fire Race", "The Secret Engine" and "Race for Revenge" that have been adapted to the anime, each story having similar story lines. However, minor changes occur between both the original manga and the anime series. Differences include minor changes in some story lines and back stories of several characters and places.
A few years later after the volumes were released, Yoshida decided to release his manga series as an anime program, adding new and heart-pounding plots in addition to the original stories in the manga. 52 episodes aired in Japan, each one emulating the fast-paced action of the manga.
In a 2008 interview with Chicago Tribune DVD columnist Louis R. Carlozo, Fernandez recalled that he landed the job working on "Speed Racer" after ghost-writing scripts for "Astro-Boy" and "Gigantor." Simultaneously with "Speed Racer," Fernandez also voiced the main character and wrote scripts for another anime series, "Marine Boy," sometimes taping both shows in the same day in New York City. Fernandez also said he could not possibly have predicted "Speed Racer's" lasting appeal at the time or in the decades that followed. Reflecting on the series' staying power, he commented: "There was the family relationship. You knew about Speed's family, you knew them well. They were all involved in each race. And we all play with cars as little kids, we love cars. The Mach 5 was a hot car, and there were all sorts of cars throughout all episodes. I still think the Mach Five is ahead of its time."
In an effort to squeeze the complicated plots into existing lip movements, the frenetic pace of the dubbing made Speed Racer famous-—and famously parodied-—for its quirky "fast" dialogue and constant gasping. In the early 1990s the series made a comeback as reruns on MTV broadcast in the early morning hours. In 1993, the series was rebroadcast in syndication concurrently with a new American-created remake courtesy of the newly established "Speed Racer Enterprises", with distribution by Group W's international unit. In this version, all references to Trans-Lux were removed, with the opening sequence including a recreated logo, and with the episode titles and closing credits recreated (with the latter sequence including three typographical errors: Jack Grimes is misspelled Jack "Crimes", Hiroshi Sasagawa is misspelled Hiroshi "Sasacawa", and "Yomiko" is misspelled "Yumiko"); this is the version that later aired on the Cartoon Network in the late afternoon (and later on in late night/overnight) programming, and is also the version released on Region 1 DVD. This version can also be seen on the streaming video service Hulu (although oddly enough, episode 31--Gang of Assassins, Part 1--is missing; otherwise the complete series is available).
In 2008, a revival of the show developed in the United States with permission from Lions Gate Entertainment and Speed Racer Enterprises, Inc., made by various companies and studios. A live-action film was released under Warner Bros., written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, as well as multiple tie-ins with toy companies. A new animated series called Speed Racer: The Next Generation was made as a Nicktoon and continues to air through the year.
Casually, he wears a blue shirt with a yellow "G" (standing for his Japanese first name, Gō) that sports a white collar, a red racing bandanna around his neck, white pants, lucky red socks, brown loafers and yellow gloves. He has a brown Elvis pompadour style when he is casual. In racing, he sports a white open-face helmet with an M (representing Mifune Motors) flashed on top. On special occasions, Speed wears a red blazer with a yellow "G" embroidered on. This only happens in the anime. In the manga, he wears his standard outfit on special occasions. In the live action film, he wears a white leather racing jacket unzipped and over his classic outfit, and white pants. He wears his classic outfit (without the embroidered "G") in the first half of the Casa Cristo 5000.
According to Peter Fernandez's introduction in the American release of the Mach GoGoGo Manga, he wanted a name that everyone could remember. So he came up with "Speed Racer" a name for both the main character and the actual series itself. In the 2008 film, he is portrayed by Emile Hirsch as an adult and Nicholas Elia as a child.
According to the Peter Fernandez's introduction in the American release of the Mach GoGoGo manga, Spritle got his name for him being an energetic "sprite". Chim-Chim got his name because he was considered a chimpanzee. In the live action film, they are portrayed faithfully like they were in both the anime and the manga. Spritle was portrayed by Paulie Litt in the film.
In the original Japanese release of the anime, Sanpei's sounds were realistic, sounding more like a monkey. In the American airing, when Jack Grimes provided the voice of Chim-Chim, Sanpei's sound-effects were also heard behind Grimes' re-recording, which explains why Chim-Chim has two "voices" in the American adaptation.
Casually Trixie wears a pink blouse with the aforementioned embroidered "M" on her left side. She also sports red pants. In racing events where she spots for Speed as his navigator, she dons a white long-sleeve shirt with pink overalls placed over it. The overalls also have the embroidered "M". In this situation, she also wears a pink cap with racing goggles placed over it. In special occasions, Trixie wears a blue hat and dress.
According to Peter Fernandez in his introduction in the American release for the Mach GoGoGo manga, he came up with the name for Trixie for the show's American airing when he found naming her character tricky. He then tinkered with the word "tricky", relating that word to a name, and he came up with "Trixie".
A frequent recurring character, driving car number 9, the "Shooting Star," is the enigmatic Racer X (in the Japanese version). Racer X is a heroic, mysterious, flamboyant, selfless, sympathetic and often brooding soldier of fortune whose secret identity is that of Rex Racer (in Japan) Speed's older brother. Six years ago, Rex had a falling out with Pops after Rex wrecked a race car that Pops had built. Pops had told Rex prior to the race that Rex was not yet prepared to compete at the professional racing level. With less than one lap to go in his first major race, Rex was leading and cruising toward victory, but lost control of the car and wrecked it. Pops exploded with anger and berated Rex. In even more enraged response, Rex fled the family and exiled himself while vowing to become the world's greatest race car driver. It was at that time that Rex assumed the mysterious, Racer X identity, to pursue his racing career. In both Speed Racer X and in the 2008 movie, however, Rex is thought to have died in that accident. In the film, he is portrayed by two actors, Scott Porter as a younger Rex Racer, and Lost actor Matthew Fox as the older Rex Racer and Racer X.
It was acknowledged by both Pops and Speed over the years that Racer X was the superior driver of the two, and the greatest driver that they had ever seen, but Speed always vowed to defeat Racer X as the two vigorously competed. In the anime, Speed was often suspicious of Racer X's identity and motives because Racer X would repeatedly, and inexplicably, sacrifice winning races to protect Speed from drivers and others who tried to harm him. The assistance from Racer X nearly always led to Speed winning races, while Racer X came in second place. Racer X always left the scene unnoticed, receding into his secret life. It was not until the episode "The Trick Race" that fans of the show finally got to see the face of Racer X. Early in the series, in the episode "Challenge of the Masked Racer," Speed had already begun to suspect that Racer X might, in fact, be his estranged older brother.
Captain Terror is the leader of the Car Acrobatic Team, is shown as an arrogant racing car driver in the manga, sabotaging races for his own benefit. His arrogance gets the best of him, and he ends up getting severely injured in an explosion after not heeding Speed's warning about his car leaking oil in the dangerous Alpine Race. He has a "Z" embroidered on his racing uniform, and has a face of skeletal features and a lone feather atop his helmet. He drives the number 11 car, the only car different in appearance to the rest of the Car Acrobatic team.
In the anime, Captain Terror's character exists, but his original attitude in the manga had formed a new character for the anime, Snake Oiler, a hothead racer, eager to win. Embroidered with an "S" on his uniform and tinted visor on his striped helmet, Snake Oiler drives the number 12 car, similar in appearance to the other cars in the Car Acrobatic Team. The role Captain Terror had in the manga was lifted on to the Snake Oiler character, therefore Captain Terror's role in the Alpine Race was replaced with Snake. Although Snake didn't exist in the original manga, he was more notable in the west due to his appearance in the anime.
In the live action movie, Snake has completely changed in appearance. He is no longer part of the Car Acrobatic Team as it never existed in the film's time line. However, in homage to the Car Acrobatic Team, Snake is leader of his own racing team, named "Hydra-Cell". He wears large shades and sports a black pompadour. His racing uniform is made entirely of snake skin and his car is now completely orange. Despite the change in appearance, Snake's car number and attitude are still intact in the film. He is portrayed by Christian Oliver.
One distinct feature seen in Speed Racer is the Westernization of their characters' physical appearance and, to some extent, their mentality. This is partly due to Tatsuo Yoshida's affinity for the United States through portrayals of American life in numerous films (see Background above). This use of Western appearance can somewhat be referred as mukokuseki (literally meaning, "stateless"), though the term relates to more abstract anime and is used for hyperbole in this case. In Speed Racer, the fair complexion and American attire can be seen as an example of mukokuseki, but it can take many unconventional forms. This can be seen more readily in later anime in the fantasy and mecha genres, where characters are given more unusual traits like unusually colored hair (pink hair, blue hair etc.), enlarged eyes, and dysmorphic humanoid bodies (such as Tetsuo and the Espers in Akira). Reasons behind the presence of mukokuseki may be to diversify the character roster and distinguish between individuals, but it can have cultural implications. Other aspects of physical appearance, such as disproportionally large eyes, are used to promote kawaii, or “cuteness”, as seen in many shōjo anime. It has even been implied that the large eyes could have its roots in early influences from older cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat.
Despite their Westernization, the series falls into the familiar manga-anime storyline, which is a form of Japanese expression. Speed Racer embodies the typical manga characterization of a teenage boy with superior skills (in this case, racing skills) facing unreal adversity through a multitude of villains; this is seen more in mecha anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Though always doing his best, he frequently receives a helping hand from his virtually superior brother (Racer X) when he falls short of his goals. This kind of continuing support can easily be identified in the episode “Challenge of the Masked Racer”. Another persistent manga component is the overreactions of many characters. The long, drawn out dialogues with no pauses are very distinct in Speed Racer, from Pops speaking his mind to Ace Deucey's thugs in "The Great Plan" to Racer X’s monologue of his thoughts to Speed after crashing in "Challenge of the Masked Racer."
Many of the show's cars are shown to have special abilities in the series, which is one element of the show's glory and legacy. Some cars (especially Speed's Mach 5) have made a great impact to many viewers of the show and are notable to most of the series' fans.
A "5" is emblazoned on both side doors of the car. In the manga and anime this is the car's racing number; in the film, it is portrayed as the fifth car built in Pops' "Mach" series of racing vehicles (the anime and original manga only reveal the Mach 5 and the younger Rex Racer's car as having been built by Pops). Although technically inferior to other racing vehicles such as the Mammoth Car and the GRX, the Mach 5 manages to win most races because of Speed's superior driving skill.
The Mach 5 had been stolen from Speed a few times, one of which where Cornpone Blotch took the car to add it to his car collection in the "Girl Daredevil" saga. However, Speed usually manages to get it back at the end of the episode. At one point, the car was replicated, designs, functions and all, by Speed Racer baddie, Dr. Nightcall. However, this replica included other new abilities that would inspire later functions of the car in remakes of the show, one of which were the Aero Jacks, used as a replacement for the Auto Jacks in Speed Racer X. In manga continuity, the Mach 5 was destroyed and rebuilt. One of its new functions also included the Aero-Jacks. See Manga and Anime Differences for more information on the Mach 5's manga continuity.
In both American comic and movie continuity, Pops is portrayed as having built a "Mach" Series consisting of other variants such as the Mach 4 and Mach 6 in addition to Rex Racer's Mach 1 and the Mach 5.
The Shooting Star is Racer X's car, colored bright yellow with a black front bumper and numbered 9 on the hood and sides. The car's engine is located in the back, and it is a very agile machine, often displaying abilities akin to and above those of the Mach Five. Many of its high-tech features allowed Racer X keep an eye on Speed Racer, who is his younger brother.
In later comics written by Tommy Yune, Rex acquires the car that he names "Shooting Star" from Prince Kabala of Kapetapek. During his time training with the royal leader, Rex is informed that he is the ninth student of Kabala, hence the number 9. Rex also builds other cars numbered 9 with similar paint schemes and names them variants like "Falling Star".
In the 2008 film adaptation, the car makes an appearance but is not named. The car was the only car built in addition to the Mach Five for the movie, and features weapons like machine guns mounted above the cockpit and under the chassis. In addition to this car, Racer X also drives a car built for the competitions in the film, a T180. This car was entitled the "Augury" in the film's video game counterpart. Like Racer X's unnamed street car, it features a number 9 and is colored schemed black and yellow, with a large black "X" on the front bumper. The T180 only makes one appearance in the film, when Racer X competes to protect Speed in the Fuji race after he has rejected Royalton's offer.
Appearing only in the anime, it is supposedly the largest racing vehicle in the world. Designed after an extremely long trailer truck, the Mammoth Car is mostly red and is built by infamous Speed Racer villain Cruncher Block. The Mammoth Car was built almost entirely of $50,000,000 in stolen gold bars. By entering it in 'The No Limit World Race', Cruncher wished to smuggle the gold out of the country. The Mammoth Car's main engine has . Each wheel also has an engine with . In total, the Mammoth Car is run by . It can travel at , on any kind of road and on any kind of terrain. It has magnetic brakes, and is over long, making the Mammoth Car one of the most interesting cars in the series. It was destroyed after it crashed into an oil refinery and it was melted into its original gold compound by the intense heat.
The Mammoth Car makes a small cameo in the 2008 film in the scene where Cruncher Block interrogates Taejo Togokhan (a character created just for the movie) after he resists Royalton Industries in the race fixing business. They were interrupted by Racer X, who battles the Mammoth and saves Taejo. The Mammoth Car in this movie is shown to have view ports for its drivers to shoot out of, just like in the original series, and is shown to fire missiles from its grill.
The Mammoth Car also makes an appearance along with Slash Marker Jr.'s X3 in Speed Racer: The Next Generation in the second and third episodes of "The Fast Track" saga as an enemy program of the show's virtual racing track. Although the Mammoth Car is rendered in CGI after its original anime design, the car is missing its grill and many other details that had appeared in the original anime. The Mammoth Car in this episode makes the same sound as it did in the anime, made when its headlights were turned on. It pays homage to the original series by using its signature attack of surrounding and circling a rival.
Since then, Slash's son, Slash Marker Jr, had plotted his revenge on the Three Roses Club by building a car with a sleek, black chassis marked "X3". The car was driven through remote control and a robot dummy was placed in the driver's seat, broadcasting the phrases "Melange Still Races" and "Melange is alive" to haunt those of the Three Roses Club. The X3 was used primarily to deliberately crash into and fataly kill those affiliated with the Three Roses Club, leaving a card marked X3 to haunt other Three Roses Club members who haven't been killed yet. Speed, who had volunteered to help the police, chased down the X3 until it crashed into the guard rail of a train track.
Speed noticed its robot “driver” and brings it back to the police for further investigation. Meanwhile, Slash Marker Jr. secretly brought back the wrecked car from the train track and replaced its chassis with a replica of the original Melange in his secret underground car factory, to prepare for the next Race at Danger Pass. Since it is the same car with the chassis of the Melange, the car can still be controlled remotely. The new Melange is still numbered “3”, but it had the ability to be changed through remote control to “X3”, making the drivers of the Three Roses Club realize that the new Melange is actually the X3. The car, "driven" by Slash Jr.'s sister, Lily and controlled by Slash Jr. in his helicopter, was used to fatally crash into two Three Roses drivers until it was destroyed when it lost control and crashed into the final member of the Three Roses Club.
The X3 makes a cameo along with the Mammoth Car in Speed Racer: The Next Generation as an enemy program of the virtual track. The car has the same design as the original X3, but rendered in CGI form, as with all the other cars in the show's racing sequences. It pays homage to the original anime by making the same beeping sound used in the old series.
Oriana convinced Speed to test drive the car with the GRX and Speed was sprayed with a special serum known as the V-gas to artificially sharpen his reflexes. The V-gas causes its driver to become extremely thirsty and if the driver consumed any compound containing water, it would tamper with his mentality and would develop a strong phobia of speed. Like the other test drivers who were given the gas, Speed became scared of even the slowest of speeds. However he regains his love of racing due to Pops' help in the race that followed. By then, the car had a new driver, Cranem's son, Curly. Curly was given the V-gas and soon experienced its side effects. The GRX and its engine were destroyed when he fatally crashed the car due to the side effects of the V-gas.
In the 2008 film adaptation, the name makes an appearance as a car developed by Royalton Industries and driven by Jack "Cannonball" Taylor. The car retains none of the back story from its anime counterpart, and is redesigned into the racing competition of the film. It is numbered 66 and colored brown and gold and was transformed from a two-seater to a single-seater. In the Grand Prix race that closes the film, the GRX is the main competitor for Speed in the Mach 6 and features a secret weapon called the "spear-hook" that is illegal in professional racing. Speed uses track cameras to reveal this device, aiding the case built by Inspector Detector against Royalton.
Speed Racer was one of the first truly successful anime franchises in the United States. The pivotal episode in which Racer X reveals his identity to Speed ("The Trick Race") was selected by TV Guide as one of the Top 100 TV episodes of all time.
Speed Racer was even introduced in a 1990s Cartoon Network Tv intro that started with the Scooby Doo Gang and an announcer explaining about the Mystery Machine and its alloy wheels; slick paint job, and its groovy soundsystem. As Scooby drives the van, Speed Racer's Mach 5 comes in and knock the van off the track, and exploding with the "chyok chyok" noise in the background. Near the end of the hilarious crash, Speed leaps from the Mach 5, he does the famous pose (from the end of the popenign sequence in mid leap, and then the camera does the famous shot from front to sideways, with the announcer going, "Speed Racer, on Cartoon Network!" It ends with Speed saying to Scooby, "Dogs should not drive", as the Scooby Gang looking bewildered as to how they survived the crash. In the ad, the Speed Racer Theme is playing about ten seconds when the fabulous Mach 5 comes in.
The title character was "interviewed" in a humorous series of promotional ads for auto racing that ran on ESPN. The Speed Racer characters also appeared in an animated television commercial for the Volkswagen GTI in 1996. In the ad, titled "Sabotage", Speed drives a GTI to victory after the Mach Five is disabled. The ad also incorporated the rotating freeze frame shot from the cartoon's opening sequence, with the GTI replacing the Mach Five in the shot.
Speed Racer was also featured in a 30-second advertisement for GEICO Insurance in 2004. In the ad, Speed is advised that the bridge is out ahead. That's bad news for Speed Racer, but Trixie, who transmitted the news to him from her helicopter, is more concerned with her good news about GEICO's savings, as befitting GEICO's campaign of the time. The next shot of Speed shows him dumb struck in bewildered astonishment.
In the 1977 film Slap Shot, after arriving at their hotel room in Charlestown on their way to join the Charlestown Chiefs, one of the Hanson Brothers asks when Speed Racer is broadcast in the city. It should be known that the Hansons, when they are not playing hockey, play with toy racecars.
The series was also revived on MTV for a short period of time in 1993, then moved to Cartoon Network in 1996, and again to its sister network Boomerang until 2005, after which it was picked up by the SPEED Channel.
The series was parodied in the Dexter's Laboratory episode with a pun-intended title, Mock 5. It featured Dexter competing in a soapbox derby against Mandark; Dexter's father in a role much like Pops Racer, and Dee-Dee in a role very much like Racer X (as 'Racer D'). Everyone in this episode talked incredibly fast and detoured into redundant chatter, all the while having their lip movement never match their speech. A clip from Robot Chicken includes a race similar to the Hanna-Barbara Wacky Races featuring several famous race characters including Speed Racer, the Knight Rider, Mario Kart, The Dukes of Hazzard, Batman, and so on. In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends installment "Make Believe It or Not," the group plays a game where they imagine things happening. When they start to imagine who they would be, Mac says he is a interstellar race car driver, then makes a familiar pose which is kneeling in front of a car with one hand pointing up like Speed Racer.
Speed and his dad Pops were parodied on the episode of Family Guy, "The Son Also Draws." Chris Griffin enters a soapbox race held by his Boy Scouts troop. When the racers line up at the starting line, Speed shows up and jumps out of a soapbox car that resembles his race car, the Mach 5. Pops comes out from the audience at the race and tries to convince Speed that he should not be in this race and that he isn't Speed's real father. In their conversation, they have purposefully bad lip sync, a parody of the series, and each sentence Speed and Pops says ends in "Ha ha!".
Speed Racer was parodied in the Fairly Oddparents animated movie, Channel Chasers. A short segment of the film featured Timmy Turner taking a role similar to Speed's. Even the car's gadgets were parodied by Timmy inserting a coin then pressing a numbered button, activating either the jumpjacks, or the "buzz saw" lasers, that and the number five is changed to a one, and the "M" on the helmet, and the car are changed to a "T". Even the title of the short segment is Speed Racer's name in reverse; Racer Speed. Most characters during this segment parodied Speed Racer's fast dialogue and added exclamations such as "Hah! Hoo! Ha!" to the end of their lines, in the same vein as The Son Also Draws.
The Nicktoon Kappa Mikey had a minor recurring character, a fat, middle-aged version of Speed, who appeared in the pilot episode and every opening sequence. Here, he was a limousine driver who would escort the main cast to wherever they needed to go. This is fitting, considering that Animation Collective, the producer of the series, also produces Speed Racer: The Next Generation.
One of the most memorable parts of the anime, is the shot at the end of the title sequence for: as Speed leaps from the Mach 5, he freezes in mid-jump, and then the camera does an arc shot from front to sideways. It is thought that this opening sequence partially inspired the Wachowski Brothers to incorporate the so-called "bullet time" effect into The Matrix. The Wachowski Brothers later went on to produce a live action adaptation of Speed Racer in 2008 also entitled Speed Racer.
In the Homestar Runner web cartoon, the episode 3 Times Halloween Funjob has the character Stinkoman dressed in a Speed Racer outfit (if you click on Coach Z and Bubs' candy basket). This is followed by a reference to Akira. Also in the Homestar Runner sketchbook, they Brothers Chaps said that one of the sketches was supposed to be a Trixie version of Marzipan
Also in 1994, a European dance production team called Alpha Team remixed the original English TV theme and called it "Speed". The song was a Top 20 hit in Australia on the dance music label, Central Station Records.
In the Book, "Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor PoopyPants", on one of the "Name-changing Charts", you can see the name "Chim-Chim".
The second volume, containing episodes 12 through 23, went on sale on May 18, 2004. The DVD came in a special package where one could push a button on the cover and the Mach 5's headlights would light up while a portion of the show's English theme song played.
The third volume came out on May 24, 2005, with the discs packaged in a round metal box made to resemble the steering wheel of the Mach 5. It contains episodes 24 through 36. This volume was later released to promote the live action film in a standard keep case.
Lion's Gate released the fourth volume, which featured episodes 37 through 44, on March 14, 2006; this volume included a die-cast toy Mach 5. The last episode, "Race the Laser Tank," was time-compressed (in other words, sped up to take up less space on the DVD). Although nothing was removed from the episode, the higher-pitched voices of the characters and the diminished quality of the episode due to the time-compression upset some fans.
The fifth and last volume was released on October 31, 2006. This volume included the final eight episodes of the series, and for a limited time it came with a miniature license plate with the inscription, "Go-Speed Racer-Go!
In 2006, a joint production of ironmonkey.com and blitinteractive.com, entitled Speed Racer -- The Great Plan, was released to the internet as a Shockwave game. The game stays very true to the original television show, with all the original voices, sounds, and Mach 5 controls.