Life on Mars isn’t what Tetsuro expected as the Galaxy Express 999 arrives at its first stop.
What They Say
The capital of Mars, Great Syrtis. It is a deserted planet with nothing but the blowing of the red winds. Tetsuro is attacked by Geronimo, who has long dreamt of boarding the 999, and has his pass stolen by him. Ultimately, he draws his gun on his lover, Fleme.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tetsuro’s life is certainly one of the lucky ones as he’s managed to get off of Earth now and is heading towards his end goal of getting a free mechanical body. He faced some tragedy to be certain on Earth with the loss of his mother, but having Maetel in his life now helps considerably, particularly since she is very reminiscent of his mother. With his young age, Tetsuro is able to mostly put the past behind him and has nary a second look at Earth as the train moves away from the world that he likely won’t visit again for a long time, if ever.
The first stop on the journey is to Mars, a world where it took nearly a hundred years to terraform a bit to make it inhabitable. During that time though, the rise of cyborg bodies made a lot of it moot as they could withstand all the pressures and other ecological issues of the world without having to terraform it. But with all of that happening, the planet has undergone a drastic change since people and cyborgs want to get further out into space. While Mars was a good first stop originally, the wealthy (who are now cyborgs) have moved on to other worlds and hardly anyone comes here anymore. It’s a rundown quasi-western style world now with hardly anything of any merit, but it does have some people left on it still.
Tetsuro learns that when the Galaxy Express 999 makes its stops on various worlds, it stays there for the length of one day local time. For Mars, that means just over twenty four hours but on other worlds it could be upwards of fifty hours or more. Tetsuro is excited to go out and check out their destination of Syrtis Major but there’s little here outside of an elderly bartender and a couple of young folks named Geronimo and Fleme. The two are involved but Geronimo wants to get a full cyborg body so he can live forever and he intends to swipe Tetsuro’s pass with the help of Fleme. There’s some minor dramatic relationship material between the two as each wants different things but they both want to be together and make each other happy.
This story starts off things for Tetsuro in starting to see more of what life is like for those that are cyborgs. His dream of becoming one and living the good life is a perfectly natural one for someone who is a child like him as he doesn’t realize all that it really entails. He sees it as the promised land and he does have the golden ticket to achieve it. But as we can see, there’s a lot going on with those that have become cyborgs that isn’t pleasant and many of them have lost their humanity. Tetsuro’s opinion hasn’t changed in the slightest with the results of what happens here, which is a big plus, since he’s going to be slowly shaped by what the galaxy is really like. There are no easy solutions or sudden revelations here that will change his course. The Galaxy Express 999 continues on to new worlds and new people for him to meet, which is what will slowly shape him and guide him to be who he will be.
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.