The first two part storyline hits with a look at the bottom of a gravity well where space ships go to die.
What They Say:
The 999 spirals downward to the bottom of gravity. They enter into the 333, which had previously crashed in there, only to find that hundreds of years appear to have passed by! The woman who controls the passage of time, a witch named Ryuz, takes a liking to Tetsuro and drags him to her home.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the Galaxy Express 999 makes its way out of the solar system, we got a glimpse at the more unusual things we’ll see at the Comet Station and its library. With the comets flitting about and the galaxy open wide in front of him, Tetsuro is excited to see what’s coming up for him and it’s a boyish eagerness that’s quite endearing, even if it’s not what Maetel is hoping to see from him yet. In order to explore some of what they want to deal with, the series is changing things up slightly by presenting a few more two part stories in order to slow down the pacing a bit.
The 999 receives a warning that another train had disappeared a few days ago in the same area and that they need to be wary of what may be out there. The Galaxy Railways HQ isn’t sure what happened to the 333 but it’s disappearance has them concerned about it and how it may impact other trains going through the same route. While the 999 is taking precautions, it’s not enough to stop them from getting caught in a trap of sorts in the Salgaso as before they know it, the 999 has come across the 333 and it’s stopped dead in a part of unusual space. The 999 is offline for awhile as well and the conductor and Maetel decide to head over to investigate the other train and see what they can find out. It’s only been a few days, so there’s likely very little wrong there in general.
Except for the fact that it seems like three hundred years have passed on board the 333. The train is beyond creepy as it’s filled with seats of dead bodies that are decaying even still and everything in the train has a very eerie feeling to it. The story takes a curious turn when an attractive woman named Ryuz shows up and indicates that she’s in control of time here in the Salgaso and that if Tetsuro doesn’t come with her, she’ll age him a couple thousand years and move on to finding someone else. While it makes sense that she’d have no interest in the conductor for obvious reasons, it’s intriguing once again to see Maetel looked at as if she’s very different. She’s always had an air about her since her introduction and there have been other nods to her different nature, but they’ve also showcased her as being human in other ways, such as when she was with Antares and he scanned her.
With this being the first part, it’s all about the setup of the storyline. There’s a fair bit of “classic” storytelling stuff here that just feels awkward by today’s standards with how it plays out, but it fits within the context of shows of the time, such as the pacing of the story and the awkward revelations about what’s going on. Suspense isn’t exactly high here, but there’s a curiosity about what’s really going on and how it’ll all play out so that Tetsuro and Maetel can move on with their journey. I’m curious to see how the rest of this two part story works out as it gives us an idea of how future ones will and whether they’re worth the extended pacing and story time compared to the single episode stories. So far it’s just felt like it’s dragged out a bit more than a regular episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.