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Friday, July 25, 2014

'Marine Boy' S3 DVD: 'Very Special Boy' is Awesome Jonny Quest Aquaman Hybrid

Marine Boy - Yr. 3
Warner Archive demonstrates its usual excellent instincts regarding releasing the 26-episode 3-disc DVD set of the third and final season of the '60s anime series (think the '60s versions of "Speed Racer" and "Kimba the White Lion") "Marine Boy" a few weeks before the 2014 Comic-Con. Missing out on the Friday and Sunday screenings, most likely complete with a sing-a-long of the awesome theme, at the event is very sad. (Next year in San Diego.)

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the U.S. version of the opening credits of "Boy" includes the aforementioned catchy theme. The very Japanese vibe, including the "he's a boy; a very special boy" lyric and "do a do do" chorus, will have you nodding your head from side to side. 

In the joint interests of space and the American tradition of doing a half-assed job, fanboys who are interested in a relatively in-depth discussion of the lore of "Marine Boy" are asked to please read the Unreal TV July 2013 post on the WAC DVD release of S1.

An abbreviated version of the condensed lore in the aforementioned review is that the titular hero is a boy who uses his father's tech. to battle foes that threaten the tranquility and/or safety that Mariner family employer Ocean Patrol is charged with preserving.

Another nice aspect of this show is that it has the terrific action-adventure cartoon series violence that characterizes this genre before the buzzkills of the '70s squash it in the supposed best interests of the children. Watching Marine Boy zap human, animal, and mineral foes alike with his super-charged boomerang is some of the best entertainment ever. His aptly named colleague Professor Fumble showing far less skill with that lethal toy is amusing as well.

S3 starts strong with an episode that hits several elements that make "Boy" so awesome. The first and best has said aqua lad hitting a button that triggers enveloping him in his bulletproof wetsuit, complete with the jet-propelled boots that allow him to cruise underwater while breathing thanks to the oxygum that he chews.

This outing pits Marine Boy against the incredible telepathic powers of Tremendo, who is a tool of a non-super-powered Legion of Doom style organization. This adventure includes said cabal capturing our hero, which triggers a rescue attempt by the very Jar Jar Binks/Scrappy-Doo style character Clicli.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of footage from the season premiere perfectly illustrates the noble quest of Marine Boy and his gang. It further explains the aforementioned disdain regarding Cliccli.

The writers add a terrific "Scooby-Doo" vibe to the existing boy adventurer "Jonny Quest" feel of "Boy" in the next two episodes by pitting the titular character and his Ocean Patrol colleagues against malfeasors who use fabricated ghosts to further their nefarious schemes. These plots include a scheme to produce weapons of mass destruction. One spoiler is that both groups would have gotten away with it if not for that meddling kid and his dolphin.

Another common theme throughout the third season is having the bad guys capture Marine Boy with the goal of having him use the awesomeness that apparently is limited to this 12 year-old tech-reliant lad to further their evil schemes. This coercion often involves also capturing the adult colleagues of our hero, and limiting their role to asserting "don't do it, Marine Boy." 

A very special episode has wonderful elements of the '60s prime-time animated comedy "The Jetsons" by having quasi-wacky robots make up the majority of the staff at a newly opened float-up restaurant in the ocean. These automatons violate the first "I, Robot" rule regarding not harming humans after becoming the victims of escaped prisoners who arrive on the scene.

Additionally, a very cute scene in this one has the mechanical servers running hilariously amok.

The BEST EPISODE EVER, which is titled "The Gill Men," comes later in the season. This uber-uber-awesome classic has Dr. Diablo turning people into the titular creatures. His altruistic purpose is to allow them to survive after the climate-change triggered flooding of the entire earth that he predicts.

This plot extends to devolving world leaders who are attending a shipboard conference that is reminiscent of the December 1989 Malta Summit between Bush Sr. and Gorbachev into the underwater creatures that Diablo feels will ensure the survival of mankind. Determining that all this wouldn't be prudent, Marine Boy springs into action.

The awesomeness of this especially Quest-centric episode extends beyond the early concern about climate change and the genuinely mad scientist villain. The action includes pitting Jonny (er Marine Boy) against underwater gorillas. (It additionally is believed that this one is Clicli free.) They sadly do not make 'em like that anymore.

The series ends with a very rare land-based episode that allows Marine Boy to demonstrate his amphibian abilities. It further shows that Boy's Ocean Patrol colleagues are like fish out of water when required to operate in the desert.

The only thing missing from "Marine Boy" is an episode that has his very cute dolphin friend Splasher caught up in a tuna net. Considering that Clicli devotes a great deal of his attention to this sidekick, it is arguable that Splasher would get caught on porpoise.

Anyone (other than Clicli) with questions or comments regarding "Boy" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.