Re-Run Theater: Japanese Invasion

Back in the 1960s, Japanese based television shows were dubbed into English and tried out on syndicated U.S. networks.  With that the Japanese invasion of American pop culture had begun.

First Up: SPEED RACER!   You all know the story.  Speed is a young hot shot race car driver with a souped up speedster called the Mach 5.  Usually, wherever he’s entering a race, some sinister mastermind is at work using robot death machines and he has to save the day.  This time, a mysterious force is causing all cars to drive by themselves toward a secret smelting factory so that they can be used as raw materials for a metal utopia.

THEN:  STAR BLAZERS!  The invasion continued into the 1980s as American networks began a practice of playing episodic cartoons DAILY, after school to grab those young, pre-teen eyes right after they threw off their back packs and grabbed cookies and punch.  So here came STAR BLAZERS!  The Star Blazers have one year to reach a distant planet and return to Earth or we’re all doomed.  Like the show 24, except that each episode is ONE DAY in the Star Blazers mission, counting down to success or total destruction.

THEN:  ULTRA MAN!   From the same effects magician behind Godzilla, came this weekly series about a team of super advanced scientist / air force types who defend the Earth from titanic monster invasions that now occur on a regular basis, laying massive destruction to major cities.  Unknown to all, one of them has the power to turn into a giant alien metal man and battle these monsters in hand to hand combat.  This time we’re playing one of the strangest episodes ever!

PLUS!  Vintage Toy Ads from different decades!


Thursday, August 27