All Ginga Tetsudou 999 released episodes
Tetsuro's mother is murdered while the two of them travel through the snow by the villainous Count Mecha. Before she dies, Tetsuro's mother tells him to go to the planet Andromeda where he can get a machine body and not die like she did. Tetsuro passes out from the cold but is rescued by the mysterious Maetal, who gives him a pass to the Galaxy Express 999 for free under the condition that he will travel with her.
The 999's first stop is the planet Mars, a desolate planet where few live. When Tetsuro is provided a tour by a young woman, Freme, her boyfriend Geronimo shoots Tetsuro and steals his 999 pass.
Tetsuro meets Crystal Claire, a waitress on the 999 that is made entirely of glass. Claire's body was forced upon her by her mother and she is seeking to buy back her original body. Tetsuro finds his mother alive again on the train, but it is actually a monster that tries to pull him out of the train with it.The 999 arrives on the planet Titan, where Maetal is captured by machine men.
The bandit Antares sneaks aboard the 999 and starts stealing and killing people aboard. He meets Tetsuro and Maetel and forces the 999 to travel to his home by holding Tetsuro at gunpoint.
The 999 travels to Pluto, where the frozen human bodies of the machine people have been laid to rest. Tetsuro meets Shadow, the machine woman who is caretaker of the graves. Shadow shows him her frozen human body, a body so beautiful that she refused to have a face on her machine body since it couldn't compare to her human face. Shadow tries to capture Tetsuro to regain her human body, but Maetel saves him.
The 999 arrives at the Comet Library, where all the books published are located. There, a pair of men capture Tetsuro and try to force him into having a machine body.
The 999 falls into the Sargasso, where they find the remains of the 333, a missing train. Traveling aboard, Tetsuro, Maetel and the Conductor find only skeletons. A woman aboard the train, Ryuzu, reveals herself, saying that she sped up time on the train which killed everyone. Through her threats, she takes a hold of Tetsuro and departs the train's remains with him.
Ryuzu brings Tetsuro to her home. There she demands Tetsuro remain with her, showing him the skeletons of those who refused her. Ryuzu offers Tetsuro a machine body, then shows him her beautiful machine body. Ryuzu tells Tetsuro her sad past, of how she was emotionally blackmailed into getting this body by her lover, but then was cruelly abandoned by him when others copied her style.
The 999 made a stop on the planet Trader, a junction for different major rail lines. Tetsuro met a woman in destitute and decided to treat her for a meal. But this angered a mob of similarly impoverished people when he could not extend his generosity.
Hanako brought the still asleep Tetsuro to a neighboring planet aptly called Wildflower. They traveled to her home, and were greeted by her aging mother and ailing father. Without Tetsuro's knowledge (or consent), Hanako feigned their upcoming marriage, for which Hanako's parents were eager to prepare a banquet.
**[(Also on my blog)] You will know seven minutes into the first episode what kind of story is to follow - a tale of humanity.** <u>*What lies beneath the Physical*</u> Galaxy Express is not about what is presented on the cover, on the surface. It is about the metaphysical, the metaphorical and the philosophical. The series deals with the concepts of Trans-humanism and its effect on the soul - it analyses this concept through the experiences of cyborgs and humans alike in a variety of moral and ethical challenges. That's the philosophical part. The metaphysical and metaphorical part comes into play in the universe itself. There is a reason that the story centers on a space train and a completely un-special (if not incredibly courageous) young boy. The series is coming of age tale, and an allegory of the challenges involved. There is plenty of analysis elsewhere of Galaxy Express, so I'll just leave you with the "taste" of it. <u>*Pace*</u> Galaxy Express does not gallop, it walks. If you go into a series wanting action and rapid comedy, you will not get it from Galaxy Express 999. It's not instant drama either, where characters rapidly move between heartache and despair every scene. There are moments of action in this series and a great deal of heartwarming (and aching) moments, but they flow quietly through the screen in an eloquent manner. But the patience and investment is well rewarded. I was so worried that with the massive amount of time I invested in this series, that the ending would ruin it. It does not. The ending (the last 6 episodes or so) deals with ALL the philosophy of episodes past and rewards the viewer enormously. I really think the arc is great in this series, because you begin winding towards the end about two thirds through the anime. <u>*Tragedy - The Stories and Bit Characters*</u> Any true life affirming journey is a painful one, and Galaxy Express is no exception. It is a classic space opera; Nearly every tale is a classic dramatic tragedy, typically centering around one characters situation. Each episode will usually show the character's past and their decisions and moral choices that brought them to their current situation. They usually then have to make a decision, after intervention with Tetsuro and Maetel, which decides their fate, spiritually or physically. The stories themselves are generally quite inventive (one episode might deal with lost pet heaven, and another might deal with a planet solely devoted to screw manufacture) but occasionally the episodes can get repetitive. There are a few filler episodes, mainly towards the middle of the series, and they drag. You can expect an episode to deal with a similar tragic character to episodes past every now and again. <u>*Art*</u> Leiji Matsumoto is well known for his beautiful drawings of devices and things and his relatively poor drawing of conventional humans. Maetel's character design is of course extremely well known today and Leiji Matsumoto has a huge appreciation of the female form. The anime stays true to Leiji's design pretty faithfully, but it is an early 80s anime and the quality of the animation does lack in a few areas. The setting is so majestic and wondrous however that I don't think you'll too much mind. The character designs of Tetsuro and Maetel do evolve with time, obviously in Tetsuro's case because the arc spans many years. <u>*Sound*</u> Wistful classical and operatic music follows the journey (as would befit a space opera) and it compliments the events well. The themes don't really change through the series, although particularly notable episodes (mostly the ones that were turned into movies) do get their own sounds here and there and the last few episodes as well. Many say that Galaxy Express 999 is Leiji Matsumoto's masterwork and I think it's easy to see why. It took me a year to watch this series at a flowing pace and... it was SO worth it. : http://seaofstars.co.za/index.php?/archives/7-Galaxy-Express-999-TV-1978-1981.html