Ginga Tetsudou 999 poster

Ginga Tetsudou 999

In the distant future, humanity has found a way to live forever by purchasing mechanical bodies, but this way to immortality is extraordinarily expensive. An impoverished boy, Tetsurou Hoshino, desires to purchase a pass on the Galaxy Express 999—a train that travels throughout the universe—because it is said that at the end of the line, those aboard can obtain a mechanical body for free. When Tetsurou's mother is gunned down by the villainous machine-man hybrid Count Mecha, however, all seems lost. Tetsurou is then saved from certain death by the mysterious Maetel, a tall woman with blonde hair and a striking resemblance to his mother. She gives him a pass to the Galaxy Express under one condition: that they travel together. Thus, Tetsurou begins his journey across the universe to many unique planets and thrilling adventures, in hopes of being able to attain that which he most desires. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 2783

User Count3061
Favorites Count47
Start Date14th Sep 1978
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank2783
Rating Rank1405
Age RatingG
Age Rating GuideAll Ages


All Ginga Tetsudou 999 released episodes

See all


**[(Also on my blog)][1] 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. [1]:

Community Discussion

Start a new discussion for Ginga Tetsudou 999 anime. Please be fair to others, for the full rules do refer to the Discussion Rules page.