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"In the year 2049, the world's most popular mobile sport is the Immortal Grand Prix..."
"From the studio that brought you Ghost In The Shell, Cartoon Network is proud to present the first Toonami original series: IGPX."
Winning the minor league championship, IGPX-2, with sheer luck, Team Satomi is promoted to compete with five teams in the IGPX-1 division, home to the best of the best. The rookie team consists of Takeshi Jin, a talented hotshot, Amy Stapleton, who at thirteen is a prodigy, telepathically linked to her feline co-pilot Luca, and Liz Ricarro, a hotheaded martial artist. Supporting the pilots on the sidelines: Michiru Satomi, owner and supervisor, Mark Ramsey, mechanic, Jessie Martin, assistant, River Marque, backup pilot, and Andrei Rublev, coach and the former IGPX ace Rocket George. Together they form a close team and family as they reach for the crown.
The sport IGPX combines car racing with old-fashioned roller-derby, via teams consisting of three Humongous Mecha and their pilots. Races consist of 180 miles of track, with much of that length suspended hundreds of feet in the air in loops, tunnels, turns, and diverted side-tracks. After the first lap, competing teams are actually allowed to use their mecha to disable or slow down the mecha of the other team in an all out melee at 350mph (565kph). At their discretion, racers may transform into a high speed mecha variance in the third and final lap... if their opponents are kind enough to let them.
Originally rejected as a series when pitched to Cartoon Network, the Microseries was released in 2003 as a replacement in Toonami's Total Immersion Event. Ratings were high enough, and viewer response good enough, that it was picked up as a 13-episode series airing in 2005. A second series began airing in 2006, but got moved to Friday at midnight instead of their regular time which was on Saturdays at 10:30.
This page has nothing to do with the earlier show under the exact same name.
IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix provides examples of:
- The Ace: Takeshi's hero, an enigmatic pilot from decades back called "The Rocket," although since his personality is never explored in this time frame, he might not necessarily qualify. Later, it turns out The Rocket is team coach, Andrei Rublev, who is allowed to prove his past as The Rocket after Amy is injured in an on-course incident and Andrei steps up to take her place temporarily.
- Ace Pilot: See The Ace, although pretty much all the teams would qualify as one type of Ace Pilot or another.
- Alternate Continuity: In the original IGPX Microseries, the IGPX was a three-against-three armed mecha battle, not a race. Takeshi Noa was a pilot for Team Suzaku. Cartoon Network even made a game out of this on its website.
- Anime First
- Character Exaggeration
- Chick Magnet: Takashi, if how the girls from other teams act toward him are any indication. He even hooks up with Skylark's leader, Fantine.
- Child Prodigy: Max
- Combat Commentator: Benjamin Bright is the announcer for the IGPX races, notable mainly for being almost a caricature in both personality and the style in which he's drawn.
- Combining Mecha: Team White Snow's "Operation Snowman."
- Conspicuous CG: Though expertly cel-shaded, scenes of the race are computer-generated.
- And let us not forget GRANRODEO's opening theme for the Japanese version, Go For It!
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Liz Ricarro, though her hair is a darker red than most.
- False Camera Effects: Especially Lens Flare.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Jesse and Liz look like they can cook, but a few accidents ruins their preparation. Two scenes later though, they seem to have put it all together nicely.
- Flash Step: Andre pulls one off against Velshtien. How he managed to do this with mecha is never explained.
- Freudian Trio:
- Takeshi (ego)
- Liz (id)
- Amy (superego)
- Gratuitous French: Done by Fantine in the dub, along with an accent this troper can't place. But hey, in Real Life, Karen Strassman really does know how to speak French.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Guys who rely on this trope piss Liz and River off, and Takeshi's embodiment of this contributes to River's Face Heel Turn.
- Heel Face Turn: Halfway through the series, an underhanded team called Team White Snow is introduced and presented as the obligatory villains of the rest of the series until its very end, after their captain realizes that being an Insufferable Genius and fighting dirty can't compensate for honest effort and rapport with team-mates. White Snow then resolves to fight fair next year.
- Heir to the Dojo: Mark the mechanic is actually the heir to a conglomerate.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In the English dub, Haley Joel Osment is Takeshi Jin, Michelle Rodriguez is Liz Ricarro, Hynden Walch is Amy Stapleton, Kari Wahlgren is Michiru Satomi and Luca, Lance Henriksen is Andrei Rublev, Kirk Thornton is Mark Ramsey, Steve Staley is River Marque, Karen Strassman is Fantine Valjean, Kate Higgins is Jessica Darlin, Michelle Ruff is Elissa Doolittle, Crispin Freeman is Bjorn Johannsen, Wendee Lee is Sola, Stephanie Sheh is Bella Demarco, Dave Wittenberg is Frank Bullit, Jensen Michel and Timma, Mark Hamill is Yamma, Steve Blum is Alex Cunningham, Lex Lang is Duane, Doug Erholtz is Zanak Strauss, Megan Hollingshead is Judy Ballasteros, Mela Lee is Max Erlich and Tom Kenny is announcer Benjamin Bright.
- Oh, and Peter Cullen narrates the teaser trailer played before the series' proper release.
- In the original, Akeno Watanabe is Liz, Katsuyuki Konishi is Ricardo Montazio, Susumu Chiba is Frank Bullit, Yui Horie is Fantine, Kazuya Nakai is River, Shinichiro Miki is Cunningham and Kotono Mitsuishi is Judy.
- Humongous Mecha
- In Name Only: A common complaint from the Microseries to the actual series.
- Large Ham Announcer: Bright.
- Last-Minute Hookup: Takeshi and Liz
- Lonely At the Top: Cunningham was blessed with talent that allowed him to become the best in the league, but he found no satisfaction with being unchallenged, so he was rather happy when Takeshi came along.
- The Man Behind the Man: Zanak isn't White Snow's leader, it's Max.
- Multinational Team: Though in the American version, the various members of Team Satomi speak perfect American English, they are in fact from all over the world. Takeshi, Mark and Michiru are Japanese, Amy is Irish, Liz is Puerto Rican, River is Canadian, Andrei is Russian; Luca is, of course, a domestic shorthair.
- All the teams share this aspect, save for Team Sledge Mamma, whose members are all American (with the exception of River, who joins the team after he leaves Satomi).
- Extending this thought, here are the teams and pilots by nationality:
- Team Black Egg of Argentina has an Argentinian, an Australian, and a Englishman
- Team Edgeraid of Switzerland has a Swede, an Italian, and a Englishman
- Team Skylark of France has a Frenchwoman, a Dutch, and a New Zealander
- Team Velshtein has a German, a French, and a Spanaird
- Team White Snow has an Australian, an American, and a Norweigian.
- The Power of Friendship: Discussed and played straight.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Takeshi and Cunningham during the season 1 finals. Happens more often in season 2.
- The Rival: Cunningham and River to Takashi. Also, Sola to Luca.
- Scenery Porn:
Almost anything that isn't a raceThe entire series has massive amounts of scenery porn. Yes, even the races if you aren't completely absorbed by the Humongous Mecha.
- Screw the Rules I Have Plot: Subverted; in two separate cases a team had a certain technique banned for being stupidly overpowered and incredibly dangerous.
- Team Pet: Luca for Team Satomi and Sola for Team Edgeraid.
- Team Shot
- Team Spirit
- Teen Genius: Max and Amy
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Liz and Amy
- Tournament Arc
- Transforming Mecha: The alternation between battle and speed mode.
- Wave Motion Gun: Team Velshtein's Indoraga Mano attack. Mark's description of how it works doesn't help much:
Mark: High voltage pulses create an imbalance in the air pressure, which results in a high impact tornado.
- Becomes the Dangerous Forbidden Technique in season 2, thanks to the IGPX rules committee banning its use.
Life... in the fast lane.