Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru poster

Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru

Based on a short story by the popular children's writer Kenji Miyazawa, Galactic Railroad offers viewers a slow-paced, dreamlike journey through space and time. When Giovanni, a lonely boy in a hill town, goes to get milk for his ailing mother, he finds himself crossing the Milky Way on a faster-than-light steam railroad. The stations he visits in various constellations, like the planets explored by St. Exupery's Little Prince, offer curious adventures and an assortment of human "types." Reality and fantasy blur aboard the train, and its travels across the light-years sometimes suggests the journey through life. The characters are depicted as cats, presumably to avoid the problems of animating humans. (Source: AniDB)

Ranking 3680

User Count1827
Favorites Count31
Start Date13th Jul 1985
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank3680
Rating Rank3437
Age RatingG
Age Rating GuideAll Ages


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I'm really in two minds on what to make of "Night on the Galactic Railroad". On one hand it seems to be quite a subtle anime with deep and hidden meanings, on the other hand it's so booooriiiiing. One thing I am sure of though, is that in terms of effective audience targeting, this anime badly misses its mark. It's meant to be for children, but it'll be a miracle to find some that can actually sit out the whole film and absorb some of its meanings. For one thing the pacing is far too slow for children, and for another it's far too incoherent. In fact, even I had trouble keeping concentration, especially during the first half. My mind would often start wandering and then I'd suddenly realise that the scene's completely changed without me noticing, which is NOT a good sign. I couldn't be arsed to rewind either cos it just didn't seem to be worth it. The rather outdated production doesn't really help. Though the background music itself is really good, it's often overly quiet, which can make the film feel quite flat at times. The Second half of the film made me perk up, especially with the incident involving the ship. I think it was then that I realised that there's a lot more to this anime than meets the eye. Thinking back on it, perhaps other scenes such as the bird hunting one that seemed so pointless at the time actually has hidden meanings as well. Damned if I know what they are though.There's a great twist at the end that I really didn't see coming - maybe it's 'cos I can be a bit dense when it comes to predicting twists. I especially like the way the main character Giovanni held on to the milk he was taking to his mother despite him getting a big shock. There is no cliched smashing of the bottle, and I thought that was a nice touch. The strong ending made me feel I really need to re-watch it at some point in order to understand the movie better... but the dead slow pacing is putting me off re-watching it any time in the near future.To sum up: An overly long, boring anime but with a deeper story full of religeous themes under its yawn inducing exterior. I find it puzzling that it has been made into a two hour film when it would have fared far better as a one and a half hour one with which the pacing would have been less painful.

-No spoilers are contained within this review- *Night on the galactic Railroad* is quite the ride… to say the least. Before beginning this movie I had been given fair warning, yet I still proceeded giving it the benefit of the doubt. **Story (2/10)** Have you ever smoked acid? Me neither, but I’m pretty sure this story is something that might pop into your head if you did. Get ready for the ride of your life as you follow two cardboard cutouts into a cluster of strange and meaningless scenes. Usually stories have linear plots and character developments with a twist at the end that makes everything make sense. Gisaburou Sugii throws all of that out the windows. Night on the Galactic Railroad is a tale that will leave you shocked at the fact that you just spent over an hour of your life watching nothing. **Animation (1/10)** Bambi was made in 1942 and the animation still hold up to this day. *Night on the Galactic Railroad* was made in the mid 1980’s (38 years later) and the animation was terrible. This is a slideshow of a movie. Almost every shot is either a panning shot or a series of recycled animation. **Sound (1/10)** Never has there been a more disturbing sound track in anime. For 113 minutes I squirmed in my seat out of discomfort. The soundtrack consists of nothing but scary, creepy, and unsettling music. Even if the characters are going through something heartfelt or loving the music would cut in and ruin everything. The quality of the music is also a problem. This static music not only sounds bad but it breaks all illusion of immersion, destroying the atmosphere, which in all honesty is a breath of fresh air. **Characters (1/10)** Have you ever sat down and looked at a piece of cardboard covered in crayon scribble. That’s basically the experience of watching these characters on the screen. There has never been a more cold hearted character as Giovanni. This ice cold cat stares without compassion as children drown before his eyes. The only other being that is as heartless as Giovanni is his prick friend Campanella. This couple stares poker-faced as they see horrific sights and atrocities committed in front of them. It does not matter what these characters go through, their facial expressions will not change in the slightest. **Enjoyment (1/10)** The sound scraped against my ears, the animation scraped against my eyes, and the story scraped against my soul. This movie was uncomfortable, horribly written, and everything about it made me want to turn it off. This was a train-wreck of a movie. **Other Thoughts** I would not recommend this movie to anyone and neither should you.

Mature and bewildering, beautiful and strange, Galactic Railroad is a surreal tale for and about adolescence.  It can still be appreciated and enjoyed without fully understanding the context surrounding the original novel and works later inspired by it, though they do help. Beautiful visuals and music combine for an emotional and philosophical experience. It's only real flaw is that its slow pacing takes its audience on a scenic route to the story's destination which will put some viewers to sleep during the ride.

A literal story book tale of two cats who take a ride on the galactic railroad. It's based on an original story which I have no clue as to where to find it, yet I don't believe you need it to enjoy this. The stories main protagonist is a blue wide eyed feline named Giovanni who is quite puzzled as to when his father may return from where ever he has gone. Which at first glance may seem as if it is never explained but if you're smart enough to piece together the clues throughout the ride, then you can figure out what it all means. This is the kind of story that if I told you anything about, it might ruin your first run through. It has a lot to do with the ignorance of adolescence and how it feels to cope with loss. A lot of the imagery is more of a dream sequence than anything, and it should be treated as if he had been staring at the stars, fell asleep and had a dream about all the events that unfolded. Which would be noted as a phantasmagoric piece. I wouldn't say I quite understand most of the imagery or spoken words from religious text, but I didn't see it as a negative. In fact, it benefited the tone of the entire film and worked in it's favor. Sadly, not too many people take too kindly to this kind of film because they see it as a waste of time. To me, it was quite relaxing, but I can see if a person becomes bored or sleepy while watching it. 

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