Arrow Emblem: Hawk of the Grand Prix
|Arrow Emblem: Hawk of the Grand Prix|
Screenshot from the television series
(Arō Enburemu Guranpuri no Taka)
|Anime television series|
|Original run||September 22, 1977 – August 31, 1978|
Arrow Emblem: Hawk of the Grand Prix (アローエンブレム・グランプリの鷹 Arō Enburemu Guranpuri no Taka?) is an anime series aired from 1977 to 1978 in Japan. There are 44 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is also known as "Arrow Emblem Grand Prix no Taka". In the United States, it was re-edited to a short movie called "Super Grand Prix".
The story is about a young man named Takaya Todoroki who dreams of becoming a F1 racer. He puts all his energy into winning a beginners heat in stock cars, but slips on oil when in the lead due to a momentary loss of focus and has an accident. This makes Takaya lose his confidence and initially swear to give up racing. Then a masked stranger appears by his bedside in the hospital who introduced himself as the world-famous driver Nick. He encourages him to dust himself off and try driving a new prototype. Before long, he is a team member of "Katori Motors", hoping to become a world F1 champion, driving the "Todoroki special", a car built to his own design.
The show's Japanese name "Grand Prix no taka" translates as "Hawk of Grand Prix", a theme that often recurs in the opening animation. The main character's name was probably chosen to suit this theme as well.
In the US the 44 episode series was significantly shortened to form a 90 minute movie for children called "Super Grand Prix" released by Liberty International on August 12, 2003. The story is essentially the same, except Takaya is now known as "Sean Corrigan" and nicknamed "Crash Corrigan" for the crash.
Creator: Kogo Hotomi
Original Character Designer: Akio Sugino
Mechanical Concept Designer: Dan Kobayashi
Music: Hiroshi Miyagawa
Theme Song Performance: Ichiro Mizuki
There are 2 DVD releases for the series, a 4 disc set and a 5 disc set.
There were a number of Arrow Emblem race cars released under the Popynica toyline by Popy Pleasure in 1978 and 1979.
PB-34 Todoroki Special
PB-35 Todoroki Special, mark 2
PB-36 Todoroki Special, mark 3
PB-37 DX Todoroki Special
PB-38 Katori Super Roman
PB-39 Katori Rally Version
PB-40 DX Katori Super Roman
PB-44 DX Anchor
PB-45 Countach LP500S
Aside from these model cars, Popy also made a 1:1 scale racing helmet which could be worn by children. Unfortunately the serial number for this helmet is unknown.
References to two other pieces of merchandise have been found:
- It was aired every week Thursday 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
- The character Nick is evidently based on Austrian world champion F1 driver Niki Lauda. While Nick is only referred to as "Masked Man" (due to the mask he wears) in the English dub 'Super Grand Prix', the character does specifically mention the name Lauda during the flashback sequence in which he is discussing his own past.
- Apart from Lauda, the series also featured other thinly disguised popular Formula One drivers from the 1970s, including Mario Andretti, Vittorio Brambilla, Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Clay Regazzoni and Jody Scheckter.
- The design of the 'Todoroki Special' was inspired by the 1976 Tyrrell P34 'six wheeler' designed by Derek Gardner.
- Clements, Jonatha. McCarthy Helen.  (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5