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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Speed Racer anime
Speed Racer
Speed Racer the anime (above) and the new movie (Warner Brothers)

There's nothing I love more than passionate fans, people who are so into something that know the nittiest, grittiest, nerdiest pieces of information. So when my friend Ramie Tateishi, who teaches at UCSD and who has written about Japanese pop culture, emailed me his thoughts about Speed Racer (opened May 9 thtoughout San Diego) and conveyed the perspective of a devoted fan of the 1960s anime TV series, well I just had to get him to post his own review. So I eagerly but only temporarily hand over my blog for a guest review by Speed Racer aficionado Ramie Tateishi. Go Ramie go!


Many years ago, there was a tame, innocent, fun little cartoon on TV called Speed Racer. This cartoon somehow spawned the gaudy spectacle of the same name which is currently in theaters, a film that assembles all the colors in the spectrum and leads them in a direct assault on your brain. While the film leaves you with the overwhelming impression of a visual stimulus overload, the old cartoon was nothing like that. In fact, the original 1967 Japanese animated series was produced with a muted, balanced color scheme that would still look good in monochrome, a common production practice of the time, as most television sets were still black and white. In light of this comparison, it's interesting to think of this film as a representation of how the filmmakers might possibly remember Speed Racer, bringing to life their childhood visions and nostalgic memories awash with blazing, vivid colors, rather than a direct referencing and rendering of the actual source material itself.

Japan
July 18, 2008 at 08:10 AM
Excellent write up, very interesting read!

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