GALAXY EXPRESS 999
(Ginga Tetsudo Three-Nine)
Galaxy Express 999 has a certain face-value silliness like the technologically preposterous central idea of an interstellar railroad. Wisely, director Taro Rin doesnt concentrate too much on the believability of the notion and instead focuses on the grand poetry of the image of a train taking off into the air. Here the film has some glorious images of the train crossing the rings of Saturn, leaving planetary orbit and the like. The film is filled with impressive visions a giant series of frozen tombs on Pluto, a spacegoing dirigible/pirate ship, crystalline robots. There is a better story than most post-Star Wars space operas and the episodic adventure scenarios are interesting. Although the film does rely on clichés of mechanical person equals soulless thus evil, the central character is interestingly more driven than most and there is a worthwhile complexity to the characters surrounding him.
Adieu, Galaxy Express 999 (1981) was the sequel. The film here served as a pilot for a tv series Galaxy Express 999 (1978-81), which ran for 113 half-hour episodes. Galaxy Express 999 was later revived in two OVA films with Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy (1998) and Galaxy Express 999: To the Center of the Universe (2000).
Director Taro Rin, sometimes known as Rintaro and Rin Taro also made Harmageddon (1982), Revenge of the Ninja Warrior (1985), an episode of the anime anthology Neo Tokyo (1987), Doomed Megalopolis (1991), the superhero anime X (1996), the amazing Metropolis (2001), the 13-part OVA mini-series Space Pirate Captain Harlock: The Endless Odyssey (2002) and Yona Yona Penguin (2009).
Trailer here (no English subs):-