The racing anime nobody talks about - Yoroshiku Mechadoc
When someone mentions racing anime, pretty much everybody knows about Initial D or Wangan Midnight, but those are not the only racing anime in existence.
If you’re an old timer you might have heard of an old anime from the late ‘60s known as Mach GoGoGo (a.k.a. Speed Racer), which was hugely successful at the time, but there are still a lot more racing anime in the world.
Most of said racing anime, however, didn’t last long, and have since fallen into obscurity, even in their home country of Japan.
But there is one anime that was actually successful and is somehow still remembered by quite a lot of people, at least in Japan. This anime’s title is: Yoroshiku Mechadoc.
What exactly is this anime about, apart from, well, racing?
The protagonist is Jun Kazami, a young and enthusiastic mechanic who, along with his friends, opens up a small tuning shop somewhere in eastern Japan. His dream is to become a racing driver and to build a car that can beat any other car in the world.
Over the course of the series, Jun will encounter increasingly stronger rivals and take part in progressively more difficult races, with lots of car action to enjoy and a cast of colorful side characters.
As you may have now realised, car tuning is also a pretty big part of the anime. As a matter of fact, during the series you’ll see lots of uniquely tuned cars, such as Jun’s Wankel-engined Subaru 360 or a mid-engined Honda CR-X.
Speaking of the cars, it is worth mentioning that all the cars in the show (with just a few exceptions) are real! Not only that, each car’s sound was recorded using real cars, so when you hear a Celica going flat out in the anime it will sound just like a real Celica!
This brings us to the next big point, which is the anime’s great attention to detail.
As if real cars and engine sounds weren’t enough, the anime spends a considerable amount of time explaining in rather accurate detail how even apparently minor things such as a smaller steering wheel affects the cars and, consequently, the racing.
Jun’s main rivals are the young, hot-headed racer Wataru Nachi, who drives a green Mazda RX-7, and the long-standing champion Toshimitsu Watanabe, whose car is a black Nissan Fairlady 240ZG nicknamed “Super Z”.
The characters take place in different kinds of races during the anime, both on the streets and on the track. Speaking of tracks, the series also features some of Japan’s most famous circuits: Fuji Speedway, Suzuka and Tsukuba.
The races themselves are thrilling and very entertaining to watch and will easily leave you gasping for air!
This anime was adapted from a manga by Ryuji Tsugihara which was published from 1982 to 1985 on Jump Comics.
It was produced by famed Japanese animation studio Tatsunoko Production (sounds familiar? they’re the same people who made Speed Racer back in the ‘60s) and spans a total of 30 episodes, which aired between 1984 and 1985.
Personally, i really enjoyed this series. If you’re bored and don’t know what to do, i’d reccomend to give Yoroshiku Mechadoc a watch. The 30 episodes are easy to watch and follow and i highly doubt you’ll ever get bored while watching it! Also, don’t you think ‘80s anime look absolutely beautiful? And did i mention that the soundtrack is epic?
However, there’s a catch.
The series was never dubbed in English, but i’m pretty sure you can find an English-subtitled version if you look it up.
Luckily for me, though, the series was entirely dubbed in Italian in the early ‘90s and all 30 Italian-dubbed episodes have been uploaded on YouTube, along with non-subtitled Japanese-dubbed ones.
This anime may be obscure here in the West, but in Japan it seems to be still quite popular, judging by the fact that the manga’s cars have recently been added to Drift Spirits and that some companies are using it to promote their products.
I hope i managed to spread some knowledge about this otherwise rather obscure car racing anime.
If you don’t know what to do during these difficult times i’d reccomend you to look it up.
Trust me, you won’t regret it!