SPACE ACE

Space Ace was produced and shown in Japan between 1965 to 1966 and aired in Melbourne inSpaceace.gif (43367 bytes) February 1968 on channel 9 at 5pm. The last time it appeared on tv was on Daryl Somers Cartoon Corner in August 1972 at 4pm. It was created and produced by Tatsuo Yoshida (Speed Racer) and his brother Kenji, through their newly established company "Tatsunoko productions." Space Ace was known as Uchu Esu in Japan.

According to Fred Ladd, the producer of both Astro Boy, Kimba and Gigantor, only the pilot of Space Ace was dubbed. In the wake of the popularity of Astro Boy, both Space Boy Soran and Space Ace looked like marketable properties and one or two episodes of each were dubbed. But oh how fickle is the viewing public. Neither property was picked up in the U.S, but unknown to Fred Ladd the rest of the series was dubbed for the overseas market, including Australia. Fred Ladd said that because of Space Ace's ring and due to the popularity of The Beatles at the time, he had christened the series "Ring-O."
So, with Ladd having dubbed the pilot, it is up in the air who did the rest of the series for overseas markets (Andy Shepherd).
Ladd and co knew that a sale of Space Ace would be difficult in its BW format, because of the US swing towards colour programming in 64/65, but he could also see the potential popularity of the program with youngsters through its story. Rather than abandoning the project, they commissioned Tatsunoko Productions, (back then a fledgling animation studio), to *re-animate* the entire first episode in colour, using the original pencil sketches and cels as guides; Tatsunoko, keen to break into the markets that up until that time Mushi Productions had a stranglehold on, happily obliged them with a colour version. Alas, for the US markets, that's all that happened with it; no-one was interested, (as it would have been an expensive exercise to re-animate the entire series, with little promise of a return....), and so the project was dropped....(Kelly Lannan).

Some of the episode titles are listed at the end of this page. If anyone has a video on this, I'd love to hear from you.
The following information is written by my high school mate Steve McCredie who still has a great memory of the show.

SPACE ACE was a young boy. Only his face was visible in his uniform. He had ear-caps and an assymetrical ‘v’ perched on his forehead like a sort of lightning bolt emblem. He was of course an alien, and like Prince Planet before him was given to homesick stargazing with the faces of his loved ones ghosted across the heavens ("Mamma..pappa…Ebo…" and I think an unnamed smaller child: and more later about this Ebo character).

Chubby Ace’s tool of preference was the galaxy ring, a flat white hoop he could produce from his fingers to be thrown, a la Oddjob’s bowler hat, or ride on, a la Monkey’s cloud. Of course he was also pretty strong and a heck of a scrapper.

Ace was "born" possibly from an egg or clam-shell, but if memory serves I think it was a giant pearl cracked by the supporting cast in Episode 1. Of course this was actually a vessel which had carried him to Earth asleep.

Supporting cast: the fatherly professor (whose name escapes me) was the typical weird Japanese version of an Occidental scientist. SPACE ACE, GIGANTOR, ASTRO BOY and PRINCE PLANET had dozens of them, with every outlandish combination of mis-shapen heads, hair, noses, eyes and glasses possible (or not). This one had red or brown hair (it was in B/W) with two huge buns atop his head like Mickey Mouse ears. He had a moustache and smoked a pipe. He was given to calling our hero "little Ace" in a gravelly, fatherly tone.

His daughter, Ginger, was Ace’s love interest. This missy wore a trendy beret and ponytail, and had pretty good legs for a kid.

Comedy relief was crusading investigative reporter Flash Scoop, who usually burst on the sceneSpacecharac.gif (26195 bytes) riding his jet skycycle at the worst possible moment of the battle, screaming for Ace to give him interviews and so on. Flash wore a cheesemaker cap, squawked raucously and most notably, had the face of a chimpanzee. Flash’s arrival was always accompanied by his own crazy-guy, wacko-the-did musical theme and you just knew zany highjinks were the order of the day when you heard that! Ahem.

Now about Ebo. Ace’s imagined projection into the night sky depicted Ebo as a humanoid robot, and sure enough when he arrived on earth to visit Ace, that’s what he was. But Ebo went baaaaaaaad and Ace was forced to destroy him. However, Ebo was rebuilt as a loyal, Snoopy-like brown dog robot, with an annoying nasal voice. He flew, too, which was handy when in battle, Ace began to fag out due to malnourishment. Handy Ebo carried in his flip-top nose a supply of Ace’s space food, which he would shoot into the boy’s mouth from the air, eliciting a Popeye/spinach-like recovery and enabling Ace to win the day. Eating from a dog’s nose though? I dunno…..

Prince Planet had the dumb Darren Stevens from Bewitched look-alike back on Planet Radion who only ever managed to send his pendant a fresh ink supply at the last possible minute of the drama. Ace’s space food tended to work like that, whether Ebo delivered the payload or not. This space food was developed by the kindly professor after Ace damn near starved trying to ingest local foodstuffs. It resembled those Date Slice biscuits Arnotts used to make (maybe still do), and that’s what we used them for whenever we played "Space Ace". Might explain why I’m a fat adult. Curse you, Space Ace!! 
Ace had a snappy march instrumental theme. I can hum all the way through but don’t ask me to. I don’t do requests. (Steve McCredie)

The following information was supplied by  John Strumila (John.Strumila@team.telstra.com)
I was born in Melbourne in 1962.  I remember watching space ace. In the later episodes the professor builds a space ship (with ION drive) and many adventures occur in space. He eventually discovers his father is king/leader of a planet and that the recurring baddies (uniform half black, half white) are in fact his fathers eternal enemies. I think the last episode was in two -parts, where he and his new found father destroy the enemy.

The following Information was supplied by Enrique Camacho (hankcamacho@yahoo.com)
Space Ace’s food was developed by the kindly professor only once as he failed (only in one chapter)… It was the professor’s daughter who developed all   Space Ace’s food. The professor’s food was round like a little ball or like one of these chewing gum that you buy in a machine... that food caused some problems with Ace (I’m not so sure but I think it made him violent) and then Ginger turns angry and she takes the responsibility (men don’t know how to make a good food)… later she cooked (well… she “makes the food with some chemicals and mixtures”) the biscuits that you remember…In one chapter Ace was kidnapped by some kind of Gladiator’s Circus and later they kidnapped Ginger  because Ace told then “she’s the only one who can make my food” (the Circus needed good gladiators and they gave them anything they want… except freedom).

Memories from David Stanton - davidpstanton@yahoo.com.au  
I came across your web site while doing my annual search for information on Space Ace. Up to now I had never found anything and wondered if it existed or was just a vision from my childhood.  
My memories (faulty though they might be) I agree with John Strumila (regarding his father and the finale in two episodes). In his early days in the series ,he used to throw "tantrums". There was a music box which came with his capsule that provided  memories of his parents and used to calm him down.
I seem to remember that the ray on his head was called a "platinum ray". And it was part of the ultimate weapon used to destroy his enemies; especially The Orions in the final two episodes. His ring was a "Galaxy" ring and my brother and I would fling Frisbees around yelling "Gal-Ax-EEEEEE!"

Memories from Steve Outlook aka Loki email - robbiepuss.kat@optusnet.com.au)
I visited the Space Ace link, I wish you had the theme! I can hear it in my head the way I did when I got home home from school! LOL I remember some things about the episodes, not much, but they might spur memories for you too!
The lightning V on Ace's head would send out a high pitched signal when he was threatened by alive and death situation and a beam would sap the enemy.
I also remember the "Lightburner Rocket" that had the Ion drive I think ...
I loved the way he flung the rings from behind him, LOL we flung hoopla=-hoops & frizbees & "horror" mom's plates! hehehehahah! I remember the episode when the Arion warrior tried to argue against the war and was turned into a droid and sent out in a capsule, it crashed on Earth I think & he related his story and you saw the black and white creatures with their antennae protruding from their necks and ears I think it was ... the markings on either side of the uniforms were like eyes I think in opposing tones black on white etc ... I don't know if Ace said all that much, he was a quiet little guy, but I'm sure he did! its funny how memory is selective like that, I'd love to watch-listen to it again and share it with my wife you never saw these gems! 
I remember the last battle, Ace stands by his father looking through a view port-screen and you see the arrow shaped arion ships slowly move from left to centre with a glum soundtrack boom-boom and the more "here comes the cavalry trumpet tomes of Ace's people father and son with a look for fierce determination upon their faces, Ace's dad has a huge moustache! ... I vaguely remember his mom, but I adored Prince planet's mom, do you remember the episode where he dreams he goes home, he is in his home's garden and his mom with curly black hair spilling over her shoulders and kind face finds him, he spends a short time with her I remember the Roman fin on both their heads and Prince stands on a conveyer belt that takes him into a strange freaky tunnel that gobbles him up, and he freaks out and wakes up ... the symbology is striking from a Jung-perspective. "that's my adult talking again!"LOL
There is something magic about all this, like you're recovering something of a lost self, feelings emerge that take you back and do something ... rediscover something special and wow! awesome!



Space Ace was translated into Spanish under the title - "El As Del Espacio.  The name of the Professor from Space Ace in Spanish was "Dr. Escobillas" ("Dr. Brushes") due to his hair with two big sides a la Mickey Mouse - actually a parody of Einstein.
The pic of Space Ace below is from a Japanese CD insert supplied by Kelly Lannan.

SpaceAcerecord.jpg (27710 bytes)

Episode guide
1. Birth Of Ace
2. Revenge Robot
3. Earth Exile
4. Atomic Robot
5. Secret Society
6. Space Jellyfish
7. The return of Genghis Khan
8. Space Cocoons
9. Cave Men
10. The Space Pirates
11. Space Flower
12. Space Clown
13. Invisible Monster Star
14. Song Of The Mermaid
15. Ace Imposter
16. Spaceman Who Likes Fighting
17. The Space Blob
18.
Lost World
19. Fish People
20. The Time Capsule
21. Human Bomb
22. Forbidden Treasure
23. Stolen Face
24. Moon Rocket
25. Ion Drive Ring
26. Orion Raiders
27. Galaxy Conference
28. The Robot
29. The X Bomb
30. Cyborg from Orion
31. Ultra Men Pt 1
32. Ultra Men Pt 2
33. Youth Machine
34. Miracle Planet
35. Magic Land
36. Space Race Pt 1
37. Space Race Pt 2
38. The Dictator
39. Haunted Space Ship
40. Mars S.O.S.
41. Time Machine
42. Robot Revolt
43. Orion Invasion
44. Space Microbes
45. Space Radio
46. Exile to Orion
47. Space Prison
48. The Space Killer
49. Telepaths
50. Space Fortress
51. Brain Missiles
52. Space War

Back To Anime Tv Series / Back to main page