Galaxy Express 999

Rating: 3½ Rampages Tetsuro and Maetel

Tetsuro Hoshino is a boy on the verge of manhood who is out to seek vengeance against the man responsible for killing his mother for sport. In the future, the gap between the haves and the have-nots has turned into a chasm and how much your life is worth depends on which side of that chasm you happen to be on. Tetsuro and his mother were on the wrong side and made the mistake of wandering onto the grounds of the evil Count Mecha who, having long ago traded away his flesh and blood body for a shiny machine body, was out hunting humans to add to his collection on display in his time castle. Tetsuro could only hide nearby and watch in anger as the Count gazed over the corpse of his mother with pride at adding her remarkable beauty to his collection. Understandably, he swore to avenge her death.
Vengeance rarely comes without a price to pay, however, and the first price he must dole up for is a ticket on the Galaxy Express 999, the odd commuter spaceship shaped like a 19th century steam locomotive which travels between Megalopolis Station on Earth and Andromeda with several stops along the way. At some point in his journey he hopes to find the planet where they give out free machine bodies, which he'll need to meet Count Mecha on even terms. Being one of the have-nots, Tetsuro is forced to resort to thievery to acquire his pass on the three-nine. The robbery goes awry, however, and in the ensuing chase Tetsuro drops his stolen pass. Then, just as he's about to be captured by the police, he's swept to safety by a mysterious woman who looks amazingly like his mother. She introduces herself as Maetel and she offers to supply Tetsuro with the pass he needs to board the Galaxy Express if he'll agree to accompany her all the way to Andromeda. Unsure of her motives, but unable to pass up the chance at finally gaining what he needs to fulfill his promise of vengeance, Tetsuro agrees.

Dated though it may be, this is a true classic. Great story (sort of original at the time) textbook Matsumoto "wonky technology" syndrome, and of course, the indomitable Captain Harlock =) the music isnít anything fantastic, and Iíd like someone to explain why all the main female characters Leijii draws always have conical shaped heads?! *sigh* that aside, this should definitely be watched, preferably subbed.

Available subbed or dubbed through Viz Communications.