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Archive for September 20th, 2010

Adieu Galaxy Express 999 (1981)

Leiji Matsumoto’s classic anime gets a movie sequel. Set several years after the end of the first movie, young Tetsuro is older, wiser and now a freedom fighter with the universe still in the grip of the Machine Empire. A message from Maetel urges Tetsuro to once more board the Galaxy Express 999 train. They visit Maetel’s planet where she was born in the hope that he’ll see her there but he doesn’t. Finally on the planet Mosaic they reunite and go on another adventure. Tetsuro passes the point of no return with the train now set to go right into the heart of the Machine Empire and stop at the terminus on the planet Great Andromeda where Tetsuro hopes to defeat Queen Promethium once and for all and end the tyranny of the machines.

A brilliant movie which ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. It was supposed to bring about a conclusion to the whole saga with Tetsuro leaving his childhood behind and becoming an adult. There are old and well known characters returning. Aside from Tetsuro and Maetel, we have the conductor, Queen Emeraldas and Captain Harlock who is given a more prominent role in this movie. New faces include the mechanical woman, Metaimena who takes over for Claire, who sacrificed her life for Tetsuro’s sake in the first movie. She comes across as rather haughty and self-centered. As with the original, the animation is fairly good for the time and does a fine job of featuring the interestingly bleak and overtly mechanized future that spans the entire galaxy. Top stuff from Matsumoto. One of the best anime ever.

Sadako’s Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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