MARINE BOY (1966, Japan, TV)
(UK version, 1969)
78 x 25min episodes (in English and in colour)
While the US in the 1960s was already enjoying Gigantor, Speed Racer and Astro Boy on TV, the UK didn't see any anime on TV until 1969, when Marine Boy was shown on the BBC in Children's Hour (before the evening news).
I enjoyed it then, but thought that the animation was a little jerky - my first exposure to the 8 moves per second, that I now understand to be the standard rate for Japanese TV animation.
Marine Boy worked with the world Ocean Patrol to protect the human race from danger and catastrophe from under the seas. He did this with his underwater jet boots and boomerang, while chewing oxy-gum, with his trusty dolphin sidekick Splasher. Occasionally mermaid Neptina would have to bail him out.
I enjoyed it for the sci-fi look, particularly the flying sub "P-1", and of course hoping that there'd be sea monsters, which often only appeared in the title sequence.
The theme tune that I remember is a catchy, twangy instrumental, but there was a very annoying song used in the States.
After wanting to see this again for many years, I'm telling you about it now because the first episode has just appeared here on Google Video. The UK version of the theme tune is here on YouTube.
So far, the three series have only be released on DVD in three Japanese boxsets, all without subtitles or English audio. An example of cover art is pictured above. I'm surprised that this early nostalgic hit, very reminiscent of Speed Racer hasn't surfaced in the UK, US or Australia.
Do you want to know more?
More screen grabs and characters from the series here on Nostalgia Central.
Details of Marine Boy's complicated transition from Japanese TV, here on Glen Johnson's Anime page.
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