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Anime Profile: Galaxy Express 999

Fields
USA Info
Japanese Info
Image
Title
Galaxy Express 999 Ginga Tetsudo 999 Galaxy Express 999
Released
2 movies 113 TV episodes, 2 movies
Dates
1996–97 1978–81
Company
Discotek Media, Viz Toei Animation
Creator
  Leiji Matsumoto
Director
   
Genre
Adventure, Sci-Fi Adventure, Sci-Fi
Related
-- listed below -- -- listed below --
Characters
-- listed below -- -- listed below --

Last I checked, this anime was available on VHS at Amazon.

Anime Characters: Galaxy Express 999

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
Boss Antares Boss Antares Tetsuro Hoshino Tetsuro Hoshino
Captain Harlock Kyaputen Harokku Tochirou Tochirou
Claire Claire Count Mecha Count Mecha
Conductor Conductor Faust(Adieu Galaxy Express) Faust(Adieu Galaxy Express)
Emeraldas Emeraldas Metalmena(Adieu Galaxy Express) Metalmena(Adieu Galaxy Express)
Maetel Maetel Queen Promethea Queen Promethea
Shadow Shadow Ryuzu Ryuzu

Anime Description: Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Express 999 occurs in the same universe and at close to the same time as Space Pirate Captain Harlock (he even appears in GE999) and focuses on a different yet similarly frightening prospect of reality.

It was an age where technology had progressed to the point that the elite could trade in their human bodies for machine bodies (and with them, immortality). Those who became machines began to despise and look down on the true humans, and one (Count Mecha) took up hunting humans for a sport.

Tetsuro's mother was the victim of just such a hunt. After that, the boy Tetsuro swore that he would avenge the death of his mother, and he knew of a way. If he could board the Galaxy Express 999 (aka three-nine), he could ride it to Andromeda, where they gave machine bodies for free. For he next several years, he lived with the orphans in the slums of Megalopolis City, waiting for his chance.

His chance comes. He steals a pass! But then, the police are after him. He is almost caught, but a strange woman (who strangely looked like his late mother) saved him.

Her name is Maetel, and right away, Tetsuro sees something strange about her besides her appearance. She makes him an offer. She'll give back his pass if he takes her with him. He gladly agrees, and this begins one of the greatest adventures both in the galaxy and in the heart.

Galaxy Express Both the movie and the TV series follow this strange pair as they ride the galactic rails and meet the many unusual people along the way. These strange visits ultimately cause Tetsuro to redefine his goal. For he sees in those machine bodies that which humans wish to avoid: greed, cruelty, or sadness. He realizes that it's the machine body that robs a person from his or her time limit, and that is what drives humanity into accomplishing what it does in such a limited lifespan. It is then that he vows to rid the universe of the accursed machine body that steals souls.

Their journey finally reaches Tetsuro's goal: Andromeda. It is there that Tetsuro discovers Maetel's dark secret. She is really the heiress to Queen Proethea's machine empire (the planet is named after her)! However, Maetel herself was hiding a secret from her mother: her father! He (embodied in energy in Maetel's pendant) had conspired under Promethea's nose (with Maetel helping) to destroy Andromeda. Though Maetel hesitates, Tetsuro seizes the chance. He helps Maetel get back on the Galaxy Express, and they escape to watch planet Maetel collapse.

Once Tetsuro returns to Earth, the two part ways (this is how the first GE999 movie ends) ...for a while. The remnants of the machine empire, however, remain, and Maetel finds herself returning to Earth to rejoin Tetsuro and finish the job. More adventure and more secrets await the pair as they once again ride the galactic rails.

The story of Galaxy Express 999 is one of a coming of age, where Tetsuro learns the many hard lessons of life and truly matures. He learns of the price of revenge, the reality and value of life and death, and that under that strange exterior may lie some rather rather dark or perhaps touching surprises, and that ultimately to go forward, one must let go of the past.

Audio Files: Galaxy Express 999

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