Friday July 17th, 2009
Stand aside Jacques Cousteau. Dearly as we loved you. Much as we wanted to join your team of intrepid real-life deep sea explorers the guy we all really wanted to be back in the late sixties was Marine Boy. He was the undersea world’s answer to James Bond (sort of). He had gadgets and cool sidekicks. He could stay under water for hours thanks to the miracle of ‘Oxygum’, invented by his close friend and mentor Dr Fimble. He could travel faster than any other creature in the sea thanks to his jet propelled boots.
Yes this proto-Manga cartoon series that first aired on BBC1 on 5th February 1969 was the stuff of school boy dreams. What could be better than hanging out with you best friend who just so happened to be a white dolphin. Splasher was arguably the real star of the show and often the hero. Marine Boy also had a tasty side-chick, Neptina, who owned a magic pearl that could locate him whenever he went missing (which was quite a lot).
There were between 70 and 80 episodes of the Japanese cartoon made and Marine Boy got to save the world from madmen with mad plans in just about everyone. His only weapon was his trusty sub aqua boomerang thingy. Fortunately his suit was woven from a material that made him more or less invincible Most of the time he ended up facing a sticky end because he was trying to save wanna-be side-kick Cli Cli, a small boy with a Robin (as in Batman) type infatuation.
Check out the internet and Marine Boy is still alive and kicking online. It may seem dated and more than a little absurd to youngsters raized on modern day CGI and lush Manga style animations. But if you were a fan it will bring a warm feeling to your heart. I’d still give anything for a few sticks of ‘Oxygum’.
Comments (1)
26/04/2024 @ 7:33 pm
Nice essay.

I found it after Googling 'Marine Boy James Bond.'

I can't help thinking that the creators of the cartoon may have been inspired by the Bond movies.

Almost every episode of Marine Boy features a well resourced megalomaniac with a secret, high tech lair and a private army of henchmen will to risk their lives for their deranged boss - very much like the Bond plots.

It's enormously nostalgic to me, but stands up very well as diversionary entertainment.

Thanks again

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