Galaxy Express 999


Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道999; Ginga Tetsudō Three-Nine) is a manga written and drawn by Leiji Matsumoto, as well as various anime films and TV series based on it. The manga is published in English by Viz.

Galaxy Express 999 is set in a space-faring, high-tech future, where mechanized people with "machine bodies" are pushing humanity towards extinction. A street urchin named Tetsuro Hoshino wants an indestructible machine body, giving him the ability to live forever and have the freedom that the poor humans on Earth don't have. While machine bodies are impossibly expensive, they are supposedly given away for free on the planet Andromeda, the end of the line for the space train Galaxy Express 999 (Technology has advanced to the point where space-faring vehicles can assume any shape, such as the classical locomotive in the story.).

Tetsuro meets up with a beautiful woman, Maetel (sometimes translated "Maeter", from the Greek mētēr and/or Latin mater, meaning "mother"), who is the spitting image of his dead mother. Maetel offers him passage on 999 if he will be her travelling companion. Tetsuro agrees. Another notable character in both the manga and the anime series is the seemingly strict, mysterious alien conductor, that sometimes gets involved in Tetsuro's and Maetel's adventures.

In 1981, Roger Corman produced an English-language dub of the first GE999 anime, which changed the character names, saddled some with accents, and subverted much of the story.

In 1986, Harmony Gold produced rarely-seen dubs of two of the GE999 TV specials, Galaxy Express 999: Can You Live Like A Warrior? and Galaxy Express 999: Can You Love Like A Mother?

The first movie was dubbed again in 1996 by Viz, titled Galaxy Express 999: The Signature Edition. Released on VHS, this dub was more true to the source material. Viz also released Adieu, Galaxy Express 999 subbed and dubbed on VHS, although having lost the licenses for the two films, they were never released on R1 DVD. The only current official English-language release of Galaxy Express 999 material on DVD are a Korean release of the two movies which utilize Viz's subtitle scripts. The Dubs of both films were run quite regularly on the Canadian channel, Space the Imagination Station, when the station first launched.

Viz later released five volumes of the second Galaxy Express manga, which was the basis for the third film, Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy. The original manga hasn't translated into English.


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