At the edge of the solar system, Tetsuro discovers more about the comets and the Comet Station library.
What They Say:
Tetsuro arrives at the nest of Comets, Comet Station, and is shocked at its lack of vertical scope. He’s falsely accused by a suspicious man while killing time in a bookstore and gets attacked. He goes to a doctor, but instead of receiving medical care, he tries to force Tetsuro into buying a mechanical body!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Galaxy Express 999 had one of the more enjoyable episodes in the previous one with the trip to Pluto as it reminded me of the scenes similar to it from the movie I had seen some years ago. The idea of people placing their bodies under the ice to be preserved as they moved into their cyborg bodies is maudlin, creepy and eerily beautiful as well. With Pluto now behind them however, Tetsuro is still intent on getting a mechanical body and living the life he wants to live. With Maetel guiding him along the way, they’re on their last adventure before leaving the confines of the solar system.
Before they exit the system though they stop at the Comet Station where there’s a massive library that they can spend their time going through. It’s an amusing moment as Tetsuro finds all of Leiji Matsumoto’s Battlefield series there before Maetel tells him that it’s also sometimes called the Cockpit series. Tetsuro is fascinated by the sheer volume of books contained in the library which supposedly has every book ever published. Things don’t go well for Tetsuro though as an unusual man suddenly accuses him of tearing a page out of a magazine from the shelves and escorts him off to deal with him. As it turns out, he takes him to a doctor because of a scratch and the doctor starts forcing him into all sorts of mechanical upgrades that he can’t possibly afford. Tetsuro doesn’t want any of this but he’s powerless to resist this con game that will put him into servitude to pay off the bills.
This is a bit of an unusual episode in a way because it provides for a fair bit of wonder in a couple of ways, the first being the comets and the Comet Station library itself, but also for the idea that the 999 is about to leave the solar system and the importance of that. Maetel makes it clear that galactic law only applies on the train and its rails so they’re entering an area of wilderness, which again likens the show to the old west material that Matsumoto likes so well as we saw in Gun Frontier. But the episode has all this wonder and spends its time on the small idea of a doctor and a hustler running a scam on people to make money. It’s not a surprise that in even such a place a thing would occur, but with the scope and scale of events around the characters I had hoped for something a bit more worthy for the story that would help Tetsuro learn that he has to be constantly on guard with others.
Galaxy Express is closing its first chapter with this episode as the rest of the galaxy is in front of Tetsuro and the 999. At the edge of the system we are given to explore some of the wonders that mankind has tapped into with the Comet Station and we see the beauty of the comets themselves as Tetsuro takes it in. At the same time, we have a somewhat awkward and rushed story involving a pair of con artists that are trying to strong arm people into taking mechanical upgrades so they can spend their lives working it off. With the way humanity has spread to the stars, you almost aren’t sure what kind of people would remain at a station like this, whether they’d be honorable shepherds or low ranking scum. Galaxy Express 999 continues to be a fun series but it’s still setting about finding its real course. With the galaxy wide open going forward, I’m excited to see what they have in story for the visuals and the creativity of the worlds we’ll see.
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.