If Goldorak has made such an impact on people’s minds, it is not only thanks to its story, its emblematic characters, its fights or its giant robots, it is also thanks to its legendary credits. Focus on a controversy launched by one of them.
Summer 1978. The French public goes crazy for Goldorak, broadcast for the first time in the program Récré A2, conducted by Dorothée. The Japanese animated series is a hit and becomes a real phenomenon. All the children think they are Actarus in the playgrounds, singing the different credits with gusto.
Enriqué Fort, French singer of Spanish origin, is chosen to interpret the melodies of the anime which will become legendary. Songs Accours To Us, Prince of Space and Go Fight Your Enemy very quickly become potential hits, still considered today as the most iconic credits of Grendizer.
At the time, Eddie Barclay was responsible for producing these songs. The legendary publisher then launches Enriqué into the deep end, without predicting for a single second the success to come or the controversy that will arise. If the opening credits, Accours To Us, Prince of L’Espace, very quickly becomes cult, the end credits (ending), Go Fight Your Enemy, grinds teeth after two months of airing.
The lyrics by Pierre Delanoé, adapted from the original Japanese credits of the series sung by Isao Sasaki, pose a problem.
- Go fight your enemy
- He is less valiant than you
- Grendizer for our life
- I’m sure you will win
- You, the prince of space
- Champion of the earth
- You will save our race
- Give us back the light
The leaders of Antenne 2, including Jacqueline Joubert, patron of the youth unit, believe that the sentence “You are going to save our race” has a racist connotation. They then take the radical decision to censor this end credits. “It generated an uproar inside the channel. Everyone was saying that Antenne 2 was broadcasting a racist cartoon for children.”, explains Jacques Canestrier, who collaborated with Bruno-René Huchez on the importation of Goldorak in France.
Even if the spectators do not see racism at all in this credits, seeing in it an obvious reference to the “human race”, it is still frowned upon to support a work of SF deemed violent and aggressive. At the end of the 70s, Japanese animes did not have a good reputation and any pretext was good to incriminate them. Thus, Jacqueline Joubert had been forced to broadcast the series because the contract was signed before her arrival at the head of the youth unit.
She had also made the decision to broadcast in the middle of summer, hoping that the anime would be a failure, the children being on vacation. The leader would have been able to get rid of this cartoon that she did not like at all. Ultimately, Grendizer was a triumph, with fans going so far as to flood the chain with letters praising the series. Jacqueline Joubert finally had to bow to this unexpected success.
The series will subsequently have new credits, including the one interpreted by Noam, Grendizer the great, less warrior and more poetic. This tube will be a dazzling success with 3.5 million sales for the 45 rpm.
Grendizer is available in full on ADN.