1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (Japan/USA)
78 x 20 minute episodes
Japanese cartoon seagoing boy who rode on Splasher his trusty dolphin, and chewed oxygen chewing gum to keep him alive underwater (like you do).
Marine Boy was the son of aquatic scientist Dr Mariner, who dedicates himself to preserving the world for all mankind, most notably beneath the sea.
Drawing oxygen from ‘Oxygum’ he keeps the world safe as a member of the Ocean Patrol, an international defence organisation headed by his father.
With shipmates Bulton, Piper and his pet dolphin Splasher (named Whitey in the Japanese version), Marine Boy takes to the watery depths in their P-1 submarine to battle the Patrol’s main foes – Captain Kidd, Count Shark and Dr Slime.
His original Japanese name was Kaitai Shonen Marine (which means “Seabottom Boy Marine”) in case you was a-wonderin’ . . .
Marine Boy roamed the sea battling villains and could swim as fast as the marine life by using his propeller shoes. His main weapon was his sonic boomerang that could be used above and below water.
Marine Boy would protect the seas with the help of his crew from onboard the P1 which had a chute underneath which MB used to get in and out of the water. Marine Boy’s father was assisted by Professor Fumble, who invented secret technology for the Ocean Patrol (such as the aforementioned ‘Oxygum’, electric boomerang and jet-propelled flying boots).
Marine Boy’s main underwater friend was Neptina, a young mermaid, who wore around her neck a huge pearl which she could use as a crystal ball. She was always topless but you never got to see anything as her hair was always in the way.
Rounding out the team was Cli Cli, a young boy who always tried to help the Ocean Patrol, but usually ended up getting into trouble.
A precursor to Speed Racer, Marine Boy was the first cartoon to be produced as a joint effort between Japanese and American studios.
The shows were animated in Japan, then American writers would develop a script that matched the action of the characters.
The show was a huge success in Japan and the United States, setting the stage for the wave of anime that would become a mainstay of the next several decades.