Tetsuro finds himself captured once again as Galaxy Express 999 tackles another two part storyline.
What They Say:
Trader Junction, a crossroads for the Galaxy Railways. Surrounding the station are countless desolate travelers with nothing more to do but wait. Tetsuro offers to treat one of the travelers to food and drinks and gets mobbed by them all. He’s rescued by a women named Hanako, but…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series continues to find its formula, I’m starting to wonder of Tetsuro is going to be kidnapped regularly. It does seem to be a regular occurrence and it’s the second time it’s happened in a two part storyline. Of course, unlike some other characters in other series, it’s understandable that he can be taken advantage of because of the fact that he is a young boy. This is shown most clearly in both of these episodes as there are two instances where he’s told to take a bath and clean up and he adamantly refuses to subject himself to such a thing as being clean. Now that screams that he’s a young boy more than anything else.
This two part storyline has the 999 heading to the world of Trader Junction. This is exciting for Tetsuro as there are a number of trains running here, though they’re all local trains that move between planets that are very close by. Trader Junction is quite the hub and there are a few surrounding worlds where everybody comes from in order to work on Trader. The variety to the trains is really neat and some of the differences are intriguing, but mostly it’s just that there’s some nice flashiness to them that we haven’t seen much of on the big rail lines that we’ve encountered so far. The other big difference is that Trader Junction is quite a built up world, one that very much fits the view of big cities from the late 60’s and early 70’s where everything you see are buildings, buildings and more massive buildings. It almost looks a little oppressive.
And there is some oppression within the culture, as Tetsuro learns eventually. Because most of the work force takes the train in from the other worlds to work because those worlds are impoverished with nothing to offer, the people can only afford their train fare and nothing else. When Tetsuro and Maetel go out for a meal, they’re constantly stalked and stared at. Tetsuro’s good nature, that of many youths, is to treat them or offer them something, but to do so would invite disaster. Tetsuro can’t really understand why but eventually gets a taste of it as he does help a young woman who is very needy. The moment he does so, others start to take advantage of him and demand that he treat them as well, otherwise he’s being unfair. The system under which Trader Junction operates is very black and white, unrealistic in many ways, but it makes for a good moral fable.
The second half of the story shows a more human side of things that helps Tetsuro grow a little more, though like previous stories it’s done in a way that he may not realize yet or have understood. The woman that he helps, Hanako, does her best to help him escape from the demanding mob but she does it in a way that has Tetsuro suddenly landing on the sister planet called Wildflower. It’s a beautiful place, even if the people have nothing, but Hanako is using Tetsuro’s kindness for her parents by showing him off as her husband to be. There are lessons to be learned here and Maetel does her best to guide Tetsuro towards them, but his youth and innocence still has him absorbing all of it without comprehending it. This story provides another piece of the puzzle for the kind of man that Tetsuro will turn out to be.
Compared to the two part storyline that came before this, I rather liked this Galaxy Express 999 one a lot more. It introduced us to an interesting world with lots of people on it, something we haven’t seen all that often. The worlds and locations introduced here feel more alive, more like what you’d expect to see out in the galaxy. The previous tale was more solitary, which isn’t bad, but after a few episodes of places with few people, it’s really good to see a big bustling of poor society in action. The flow here works better and the story didn’t feel like it was being dragged out over two episodes but rather took the time to tell a longer story without the pressure of a single length episode. Tetsuro’s still got a lot of growing up to do, but at least he’s already making the rounds of getting married…
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.