Question: Could you please save my sanity by researching another cartoon? I believe it was called Marine Boy. It featured a young boy that had a white dolphin for a friend and if he chewed a special gum, he could breathe underwater. His father had a research station deep underwater. I am unsure if I saw it in the '70s in Pennsylvania or if I saw it in Korea where I lived until I was 6. Please tell me I did not dream up this cartoon. Thank you. Mindy Eilers
Televisionary: If it was a dream, Mindy, then it was a shared hallucination because I dreamt of it, too.
If you grew up in Pennsylvania, I'm betting you caught Marine Boy on the Wee Willie Webber Colorful Cartoon Club, as I did. In fact, until this wacky Web thing came along, I spent an obscene amount of time and effort trying to convince co-workers and friends (given my job, I'm sure you can imagine how nerdy and odd those two groups are) of Marine Boy's existence. More irritating still was the forgetfulness of my brother, who claimed to have no memory of the show even though I remember watching it with him. It was all very X-Files.
But enough about me. (How many times have I broken that promise?)
Marine Boy was part of the late '60s and '70s Japanese anime wave, which also included such classics as Rocket Robin Hood, Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero, Tobor the 8th Man, King Kong/Tom of T.H.U.M.B., Gigantor, Speed Racer, Prince Planet and Kimba the White Lion. (I'm betting that at least a few people reading those names are just now getting that "Now, wait a minute..." chill that only deeply buried memories deliver.)
Marine Boy, who predated Speed Racer, was the son of Dr. Mariner, head of the Ocean Patrol. Cruising around the seas with pals Neptina (a mermaid), Splasher (an albino dolphin) and Ocean Patrolmen Bolton and Piper (the two-man crew of the patrol craft P1), Marine Boy battled baddies and evil creatures with his sonic boomerang and jet boots. (He also breathed underwater with the aid of oxygum, an invention I pined for as a lad.)
How Marine Boy and his buddies were able to speak clearly underwater was another matter entirely, but that mystery pales in comparison to the question of why on earth they let that annoying kid Cli Cli stick around.
Some things even I cannot explain.