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Western Animation / Speed Racer: The Next Generation

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A young man, somewhere in a desert, anxiously awaits his first day at the Racing Academy to become a great car racer. He immediately becomes the new guy - he's always picked on, makes only two friends, and arrives with no racing car of his own. Then he discovers the remains of the one and only Mach 5 in a near-by junkyard. With his rebuilt Mach 6, unusual racing talent, and mysterious lineage, the man realizes for the first time in his life that he is Speed Racer's second-born long-lost son!

Speed Racer: The Next Generation is the third consecutive television adaptation, a Revival created to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the entire franchise and in conjunction to the wide release of the live-action feature film, and a Sequel Reset taking place 40 years from the original storyline

Nicktoons Network aired the entire 26-episode first season from 2008 to 2009. If the stiff, Flash-animated characters look familiar, it's because Animation Collective, probably best known for animating the Nicktoons Network's first original series, Kappa Mikey, produced this series. It is quite possibly the most successful of the adaptations, considering the first twonote  were both canceled during their runs. 95% of the characters are brand new anyway, which makes for a more original story, yet when it does get nostalgic, the tributes are amazingly accurate. The late Peter Fernandez, the producer of the dub of the original show, as well as the lyricist for the English theme song and the voice of Speed, was brought in to voice an adult Spritle.


A second season premiered on March 24th, 2011. Toonz Entertainment in India (with assistance from Chinese subcontractor Wild Hippo) took over the outsourced animation this time, since Animation Collective had financial problems. Speed Sr. reveals more about his motives for going into hiding in this season, and we get more information about the Committee. After his death, the voices of Peter Fernandez's roles were replaced with another voice actor.


This show provides examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Speed and his friends get involved in a variety of events (from being sent mysterious letters to getting stuck inside the Virtual Track) primarily due to Zile’s and later the Committee’s plans to steal the Mach 6.
  • Adaptational Nationality: While the Racer family and the original supporting characters are American, by the look Speed Sr's photo and Speed Jr., the Racer family still appear Japanese at least.
  • Art Evolution: Not a huge one, but the characters become slightly less stiff by the time season 2 comes around.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The series is different from the original anime, making it kinda a mixture of the original anime's eyes designs with its own style.
  • Art-Style Dissonance:
    • Because pictures of the characters from the original series was used (Such as Speed and Rex), and the fact the statue of the original Speed is in the style of the anime makes it rather jarring. To say the dissonance doesn't make it obviously look out of place is an understatement.
    • Though, because the original anime had a variety of character designs (like Spark and Spritle) that look more like they don't look out of place and the fact this takes place 40 years after, this can be a understatement.
  • Back for the Dead: The Mach Five is revived, only to end up truly totaled. When he returns at the start of season 2, Speed Sr. brings with him a once more newly-revived Mach Five.
  • Badass Driver: Not an universal concept, despite the setting being a racing academy. It's made obvious through the course of the episodes that not everyone is as gifted as Speed and X are. The gifted ones, however, do indeed fall into this Trope.
  • Boarding School: The Racing Academy opperates like this, providing housing to its numerous students.
  • Break the Haughty: Annalise gets dumped by X, and the main characters give her what-for several times.
  • Same goes for Professors Winn and Aniskov, respectively.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The show hits this point in season 2, especially during its second half. It gets to the point where the more casual racing seen in the first season ends up becoming scarce. Of note, the second season only has a single standalone episode and one Clip Show with the rest being 3-part arcs, compared to the first season's multiple non 3-part episodes and two whole Clip Shows.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Speed's red bandanna, the only item from his parents that he kept his whole life. Becomes very important during the final arc of Season One.
  • Clip Show:
    • "Video Essay" has Speed doing a video essay and talks about what happened in the first 12 episodes of the first season.
    • "This is Speed Racer" after the first season finale recaps important bits what happened in the past season using clips from the episodes".
  • Cool School: A school where you learn to drive race cars and compete against other racers. Sign me up!
  • Daddy's Girl: Annalise's father is head of Zazic Industries, which designed the school track, and the wealthiest person on the campus.
  • Dented Iron: Stan, quite possibly. He was part of the Car Acrobatics team, and as such had to have been an ace driver.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Used in the episode "The Dance", though it may be justified in the fact that it was virtual.
  • Downer Ending: It's what the original timeline and the series would have ended on if the group hadn't been able to time travel.
  • Elaborate University High: The overall size, facilities, and class schedule make the Racing Academy more akin to a college than a high school.
  • Fanboy: Conor, primarily of Speed Racer. To a lesser extent, Lucy is a Fangirl of Trixie and she gets to express her thrill at meeting her once she and the others return from saving her from her accident that turned her into the Shadowy Woman.
  • First Day of School Episode: The Beginning Part One focuses on Speed’s arrival at the Racing Academy.
  • Hard Light: In the third part of The Fast Track, various elements from the Virtual Track cross into the real world to wreck havoc, including Conor's gigantic caveman version of himself that he initially programmed for fun!
  • Heel–Face Turn: X Racer, essentially twice. A mild one early in the series after learning and warming up to the fact that he and Speed are brothers and a more major one a good 5-6 episodes following his aforementioned Face–Heel Turn.
  • Generation Xerox: Speed, Conor, Lucy and Chim-Chim = Speed, Sparky, Trixie and... well, Chim-Chim. With X standing in for Racer X. In more ways that one.
    • Especially since in "The Beginning" during the qualifying race, when the racing announcer mistakenly calls X by the name of Racer X.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Even after it's revealed that Speed and X are long-lost brothers, Annalise still doesn't like Speed for stealing X's attention from her.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: When Ranford is arrested, his butler offers testimony against him, which comes as a surprise because Ranford isn't used to hearing the butler speak at all. The butler explains that he never liked Ranford.
  • High-School Dance: There's at least two on-screen ones, one in each season. Drama abounds for both of them.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: The source of all the problems in the 3-parter, The Fast Track. It includes the return of The Mammoth Car and the Melange. In fact, most of Zile's tampering is officially attributed to this, even after Speed and his friends get wise.
  • Holographic Terminal: The starting and finishing points to the Academy's Virtual Track.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Zile intends to steal the Mach 6, but gets Conor instead, and sees the opportunity to lure his friends to him so he can get the car.
  • Jerk Jock: X Racer starts out as this, though he tones the Jerk part down relatively fast once learning Speed's his brother. It takes longer for him to warm up to Lucy and especially Conor.
  • Logical Fallacies: Various scientific explanations could never possibly occur. For example, how would you make "inertial dampeners" in racing suits?
  • Long Lost Sibling: Speed and X. Speed was hidden and brought to an orphanage as a means to keep him safe while X was old enough to be known as Speed Racers' son but not enough to remember his brother, which was why he wasn't aware Speed existed.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Obviously, Even though Speed never actually meets his father until the last episode of the first season. With Spritle, it's more of a "Luke I Am Your Uncle!".
    • It's played much straighter when the Shadowy Woman reveals herself to Speed and X as their mother, Trixie.
  • MacGuffin: The canister that holds the final ingredient to making the Mach 6 run at the speed of sound. And really, the Mach 6 as whole due in no small part to the time and dimension travel capabilities it has once completed. Plus, the hourglass shaped part that lets the Mach 6 time travel and dimension travel in the first place.
  • Made-for-TV Movie: Several episodes can be grouped into 5 three-episode-long movies. The first 3 of these movies were released on DVD.
  • Missing Mom: Speed's mother is never mentioned. It's a good chance that Trixie is his mother.
    • Turns out everyone was right about it!
  • Mutual Kill: It's heavily implied this happens to the Shadowy Woman, a.k.a. Trixie, and Speed Sr. when the two crash after facing off with each other in "Family Reunion - Part 1". This is the catalyst that provokes Speed, X, Lucy, and Conor to travel to the past to rescue Trixie from her fate changing accident.
  • Mythology Gag: Speed's new high-tech racing suit has "Go" and "Daisuke" written on it. Daisuke was Pops Racer's given name in Japan, and Go was Speed Sr's.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: This time, the monkey's A ROBOT!
  • Not Me This Time: When Ranford was trying to sabotage Speed, Speed and his friends thought at first that Zile was behind it as usual.
  • Only One Name: Though Spritle and X both have last names (presumably Racer for both of them), no one ever uses them.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Conor's self-esteem is unwavering.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Spritle. It's something that decidedly gets on Zile's nerves and the main reasons he tries to have him replaced.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Used in "The Hunt for Truth" Part 3, when everyone is hypnotized by Baron Von Monocle.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: When Speed, X, Conor, Lucy, and Chim-Chim go back in time to avert the crisis that started the whole series's mess by saving their mom, they are the only ones to retain the knowledge of everything that happened prior once they return to their present, and now altered, time.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: Quite literally so. By going back in time to save Trixie from the accident that lead to her becoming the Shadowy Woman and starting the Committee, Speed and X and their friends more or less fix everything that ended up going wrong in their lives, specifically the lives of the Racer brother (Conor and Lucy don't end up worse for wear either.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In "Family Reunion - Part 2", the gang, sans Annalise, go back in time to prevent the accident that changed everything. While there, they also manage to help out Spritle and encourage him to become a racer in his own right and even manage to scare the wits out of a younger, newly-arrived and more optimistic Aniskov (which may explain his usual behavior in the present time...) whilst also causing Zile and Stan to get arrested, freeing the Racer Academy from Zazic's influence in the process. When they return, most everything turned out for the better, including both Speed Sr. and Trixie living together as a family again.
    • Butterfly of Doom: Most everything that is. Minor hiccups include Speed Sr. developing into a bit of spoiled-actor type without the dangers he previously faced to temper him and with all the continued fame he had been denied after going into hiding, and Annalise now living in Paris with in mother's custody, though it's always possible that she and X could meet again and start over. The most major being Zile, now calling himself the Iron Terror, who went through a Villainous Breakdown and somehow ended up losing an arm and a leg, and who's only comforts are the thoughts of revenge against the Racer family, a robot Annalise he built, and Stan, who has been reduced to a Brain in a Jar. Even still, the group manages to pull through his last scheme, and even reunites the estranged Racer X back into the family, making the Racer family whole for the first time. Oh, and Zile, Stan, robo-Annalise manage to get away which will surely cause future trouble, but with the lingering implication that the newly united Racers and friends can handle it. All things considered, this Trope ends up being Subverted into a case of Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Ship Tease: Some for Speed and Lucy, some for Lucy and Alpha, and even some very awkward teasing for Speed and Annalise.
  • Shout-Out: Countless, all to the original show.
    • The ones that aren't to the original show do have relevance to the plot twist in season 2 (the time travel) (with the exception of the Star Wars ref in season 1). Back to the Future and Jurrasic Park are two great examples.
    • Conor makes a reference to the I Am Your Father moment from Star Wars when hypothesizing that the original Speed may be Speed's father. He turns out to be right. And then there's when the Shadowy Woman reveals herself as Speed and X's mother...
    • An entire episode includes a car with speech capabilities in a shout-out to Knight Rider.
    • In response to various viewers pointing out the show's similarities to Harry Potter, Ron, Harry, and Hermoine can be seen in a second-long shot during an assembly meeting about disobeying strict new school rules.
  • Standard Evil Organization Squad: The Shadow Committee, more commonly know as the Committee.
  • Status Quo Is God: Particularly jarring in a show like this, where continuity seems to be present underneath individual arcs but cannot surface.
    • Speed's goal in the third three-part movie, "Comet Run", is to win a major corporate car company named Ranford Industries (whose founder and main owner, Ranford, bet it on the race) that will give him enough money to finally leave the Academy, and develop the gasless engine. Of course, they win. Then in the last two minutes of the third episode, reporters rush in telling him that because Ranford was a fraud, the shares were all dumped, so the company went belly up and their prize is now useless!
    • The Status Quo gets invariably shaken up over the course of the entire series, and most prominently throughout season 2, especially by its end. After all, altering the timeline permanently to save Speed and X's parents and the whole world definitely count as changing the Status Quo, doesn't it?
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Really, why did he not see his fate coming?
  • Tagalong Kid: Conor follows Speed wherever he goes, though his mechanical know-how does more than pull its weight time and again.
  • The Reveal: A flashback in Episode 16 shows that Captain Terror and Zile Zazic have... similar head forms... to say the least. In Season Two, it's silently confirmed since they wear these same outfits.
    • Dr. Andre Chezcko reveals himself to be an older Sparky!
    • Most of all, the Shadowy Woman outing herself as Trixie and Speed and X's mother, as well as the events that lead up to her becoming what she did.
  • The Rival: Conor has one by the name of Ronald Multon from his middle school days.
    • Speed and X, the latter to a greater extent, both develop rivalries with Alpha Leader in season 2. It doesn't really pan out like you'd expect, however.
  • The Von Trope Family: Baron Von Monocle.
  • Those Two Guys: Jen and Alex, two girls who fawn over X, then Speed.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Stan and cookies!
  • Two-Teacher School: Aside from Headmaster Spritle and guest teachers, Professors Aniskov and Winn are the only instructors ever shown.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: While Spritle is discharged from his post as headmaster, Zile pulls strings to hire a new puppet, who Speed and his friends hate.
  • The Unfought: Season One ended before anyone even got to find out the identities of "The Committee", though this is rectified in the next Season.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Most, but not all, of the various computer gadgets in the series.
  • Villain Decay: Zile and Stan spend most of Season Two under arrest, while the main characters deal with new threats. Additionally, Zile's status as a mogul has left his hands tied in ways they weren't when he was Captain Terror, leader of the Car Acrobatics Team. And the Tough Ranger SUV has poor mileage and can't maneuver nearly as well as his old racing car.
    • After Speed and the gang changed the timeline to prevent the Shadow Committee, Zile was arrested, got divorced by his wife and had Annalise taken from his custody. This eventually causes him to reverse his Villian Decay by making him go through a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Visible Invisibility: Speed and Chim-Chim become invisible when they accidentally get caught in Conor's camouflage invention for the Mach 6. To help the viewers, their silhouettes are embossed on whatever they're moving over, with a wave distortion inside them. Of course, the other characters cannot see them AT ALL.
  • We All Live in America: In line with the Speed Racer live action movie it was released in conjunction with, the lead characters and setting isn't in Japan like the original show. In this show, Speed, Spritle and X are American. It takes place in a desert akin to Arizona, with truckers and country hicks!
  • Weaponized Car's Child: The Mach 6
  • Wham Episode: Season 2's episode arcs are just a succession of Wham Episodes that get Whammier the further on they go.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: As the series ended at after that point, it's unknown what happened to The Iron Terror/Zile Zazic and Stan after they time traveling with his prototype of the Mach Six.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: His name is Speed? And his brother's name is X? Apparently it's better than Preston dePedal, an alias X has to use to gain access to Alpha Academy.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Opposition: When Zile and Stan are on the run, Zile tells Stan that he's a powerful man and powerful men tend to attract powerful enemies.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Crashes in the Virtual Track are not fatal, as any racer who does crash immediately gets dispensed back into the real world unharmed. However, the faculty can program any obstacle to injure a student, which is rarely done. Also occurs when Conor's giant doppleganger runs loose.