French actor Alain Delon was huge in Japan because the Japanese simply fell in love with him. Also he was their ideal of western male perfection, with his big blue eyed, square jawed, boy next door good looks. Audrey Hepburn was the female western ideal, and both of them influenced Japanese cartoon characters of the 60's. Speed Racer has quite a few Alain Delon facial characteristics. When I was in Japan I collected several Japanese Film magazines of the late 50's to 60's. These I noticed were just filled with every film Alain Delon ever made, pin-ups and photos. When Alain Delon visited Japan, there was hysteria for him. Even today in the subways of Tokyo and department store windows you see retro advertising using Alain Delon and Audrey Hepburn. The Japanese are still just fascinated with their doe eyed beauty.
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