Director: Leiji Matsumoto
Studio: Mirage Entertainment
Genre: Animation Series
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About This DVD
Galaxy Express 999 (Ginga Tetsudo Suri Nain) is a manga written and drawn by Leiji Matsumoto, as well as various anime films and TV series based on it. The manga is published in English by Viz. The number, "999", in the title is pronounced "Three-Nine", as opposed to "Nine-Nine-Nine" or "Nine hundred ninety nine". The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.
The original story of Galaxy Express 999, as told in the manga and television series is set in a space-faring, high-tech future, where mechanized people with "machine bodies" are pushing humanity towards irrelevance and extinction. A street urchin named Tetsuro Hoshino desperately wants an indestructible machine body, giving him the ability to live forever and have the freedom that the poor humans on Earth don't have. While machine bodies are impossibly expensive, they are supposedly given away for free on the planet Andromeda, the end of the line for the space train Galaxy Express 999 (Technology has advanced to the point where space-faring vehicles can assume any shape, such as the classical locomotive in the story.).
Tetsuro meets up with a beautiful woman, Maetel (sometimes translated "Maeter", from the Greek mētēr and/or Latin mater, meaning "mother"), who is the spitting image of his dead mother. Maetel offers him passage on 999 if he will be her travelling companion. Tetsuro agrees.
Along the way, Tetsuro has many adventures on many different and exotic planets and meets many kinds of people, both human and alien, living and machine, including Count Mecha, the machine man who killed Tetsuro's mother. Tetsuro is able to get his revenge on the cruel count, who had the body of Tetsuro's mother stuffed and hung on his wall. Increasingly, Tetsuro realizes that a machine body won't fix all of his problems. In fact, most of the machine people he meets regret the decision to give up their humanity.
It is strongly implied that Maetel has a machine body, as she visits her human body on Pluto, where discarded human bodies are encased in ice in a giant planetary tomb. Maetel also says she has been endlessly travelling with young men like Tetsuro. In the manga, she is referred to by one of the characters as "the other universe that I fear!", making the question of who, or what, she truly is even more nebulous.
Eventually Tetsuro and Maetel finally reach Andromeda where Tetsuro learns the horrifying truth... that he's going to be turned into a bolt. Queen Prometheum, ruler of the mechanized empire and Maetel's mother, controls the planet of Andromeda by entirely mechanized human components. With the prospect of Tetsuro being turned into a bolt, Maetel finally turns on her mother. With the help of her father, Dr. Ban, who exists in the pendant she carries over her neck, Maetel destroys her mother and Andromeda. The true nature of Maetel is revealed; she exists in a human body and is able to replace with a new one each time it grows old, enabling her to live forever.
Maetel and the 999 bring Tetsuro back to Earth. After a farewell kiss, she and the train head back into space, presumably never to return.
Characters from other Matsumoto works appear in GE999, notably Captain Harlock, Emeraldas, and the ship (sans crew) from Space Battleship Yamato (aka Star Blazers), and vice versa, creating a shared continuity often called the "Leijiverse."
|Audio Format:||DD 2.0|
|Video Format:||Full Screen|
---> For details, see Special Features
|Running Time:||1632 minutes
---> For details, see Special Features
* 9 discs - Original, uncut, Japanese dubbed edition (36 episodes / 885 minutes)
* 9 discs - Korean dubbed edition (36 episodes / 747 minutes)
* Limited edition with serial numbers marked
* Comes with 48 page booklet featuring in-depth reviews on the series
* Comes in luxurious package and with an illustration card
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