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Anime / Speed Racer X

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Speed Racer X is a 1997 adaptation of the original anime Speed Racer.

The series is similar to the original, though there are a few updates.

It was going to be 52 episodes long like the original series, but was cut down to only 34 episodes. It was originally to be dubbed by Speed Racer Enterprises (the previous owners of Speed Racer before 2011) under the name Speed Racer Y2K, but only 1 episode was dubbed where it premiered at the 1998 San Diego Comic Con. While it was positively received by attendees, Speed Racer Enterprises was unable to sell the show to a network and the project was dropped.

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DiC Entertainment then decided to dub it after partnering with Speed Racer Enterprises. The dub premiered on Nickelodeon's action-focused "SLAM!" block in August of 2002, four years after the series premiered in Japan, but only 13 episodes were dubbed and aired before Nickelodeon cancelled the entire block and Speed Racer X along with it. To make matters worse for DiC, a lawsuit between them and Speed Racer Enterprises happened over contractual disagreements, which resulted in DiC losing the rights to the show, killing off any chance of them bringing the rest of the show to America.

The show was eventually released on DVD by Funimation when they acquired the license to the Speed Racer franchise, though it's only available through the "Speed Racer - The Ultimate Collection" box set, and only contains the original Japanese audio. Funimation seems to have no plans to re-dub the series or release the DiC dub on home video.

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Speed Racer X provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sparky is a brunet in the original series, but became a blond guy with glasses in the '90s remake.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Speed was known as Go Mifune in the Japanese version of the '60s series. However, in the 1997 remake, the Mifune family became the "Hibiki" family, necessitating a change in his surname. His father retained his name of Daisuke, while his mother's name went from being Aya to Misuzu.
  • Cut Short: The '90s remake was planned for 52 episodes, but only 34 wound up produced due to the ratings going sour and a change in directors during production. The Speed Racer X English dub by DiC would only air 13 episodes before being pulled due to a lawsuit from Speed Racer Enterprises.
  • Darker and Edgier
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: This techiquie was used in the first few seconds of the Japanese opening, though it's done with the footage cutting out with a black screen.
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  • Expy: The cast of the '90s version, with the character Mai Kazami acting as a stand-in for Michi Shimura. Her brother Wataru is a close analogue to Kurio Mifune (Spritle). The dub of this version kept the familial connection between the two, although they also kept their "Speed Racer" names, leaving Spritle to gain the surname of Fontaine (instead of Racer).
  • Genre Shift: Near the end the genre turns into a time-travel action adventure as Go and friends must prevent a particular MacGuffin fall into the hands of a time-travelling Big Bad. The Mach 5 also receives an ability to time travel as well.
  • Mythology Gag: Racer X's outfit is based after Prince Kabala from the original anime, whom the original Racer X impersonates.
  • Now Which One Was That Voice?:
  • Related in the Adaptation: Spritle in this series is Trixie's younger brother, rather than Speed's.
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