GE 999 ep 011: Maetel’s Body in Dialectical Motion



I am breaking my self-imposed rule of not posting twice in a row about Galaxy Express, in consideration of the fact that no one is currently following this show, but ep 11 was just begging for philosophical exploitation.  Therefore:

THESIS: Form is beautiful.  Shapes justify the world.  Especially living form, the combination of line with movement (locomotion and growth) produces identity and individuality.  Stability.  Form is Soul (Aristotle).

Backdrop: The Galaxy Express makes an unscheduled stop at the planet Nuruva  by a passenger’s request.  Nuruva is a formless planet: a blob full of blob-like organisms living on it.  A pair of sibling blobs defy their father and go to meet the spacetrain with the intention of replicating human passengers, whom they idolize.  They advance the thesis to their father, tie him up so he cannot chase them, and board the train. 



ANTITHESIS: Form perishes.  Only formlessness is eternal. Whatever has a set form eventually changes, grows old, dies.  Stability leads to stasis, then stasis is broken.  Formlessness, however, goes on and does not discriminate.  The Human Instrumentality Project, Nirvana (Siddhartha).

Backdrop: The two blobs enter the train, and manage to copy Maetel and Tetsuro’s bodies and steal their clothes.  Maetel ends up locked in the toilet.  Finally, Tetsuro and Maetel break free and confront the blobs.  Father Blob comes into the train and apologizes for his children.  He advances the antithesis but to no avail.  The little blobs swear they will try again next time.



SYNTHESIS: The cyborg.  Eternally unchanging form, except as controlled by the subject’s will.  Baudelaire’s ideal beauty as a dream of stone.  A Materialist Plato(?)

Backdrop: Tetsuro reflects on his quest for a mechanical body and suggests the synthesis to Maetel and the three blobs.  No one seems very impressed, least of all Maetel.  As the blobs begin their retreat Father Blob realizes something about Maetel, but decides to stay quiet rather than revealing what it is.  Thus for the umpteenth time in 11 episodes we are made to suspect that Maetel is a cyborg herself.  Poor Tetsuro remains clueless.

Escape from the Dialectic

Escape from the Dialectic

F*** HEGEL:  If form is beautiful, and if form decays and fades away, let’s die while we are young.

Backdrop: After Maetel and Tetsuro put on their clothes, and the blobs are gone, Tetsuro discovers the meaning of the passenger request for a stop in Nuruva.  A young couple jumps off the train into the shapeless Nuruvan abyss, sealing their love and their beauty in the eternal memory of the universe while their bodies disperse into formlessness.


This episode was hilarious, a fact which might not be apparent from reading this post.  The train conductor’s reaction to “damsel in distress” Maetel is priceless.  And for all Father Blob’s talk benefits of formlessness, he has a very hard time climbing onto the Galaxy Express and makes the comment that he’s not as limber as he used to be!  Another interesting thing is the exploitation of Maetel’s body (which I have just doubled in writing this): she’s naked half the episode (Tetsuro too).  This doesn’t surprise me.  After all, the first episode already had a shower scene, and the themes of the show do tend to cluster around corporeality.  Matsumoto’s eagerness to put Maetel on display when Maetel is an explicit mother figure gives much food for thought.

~ by Haloed Bane on November 29, 2008.

One Response to “GE 999 ep 011: Maetel’s Body in Dialectical Motion”

  1. […] GE 999 ep 011: Maetel’s Body in Dialectical Motion « Kritik der Animationskraft ANTITHESIS ANTITHESIS: Form perishes. Only formlessness is eternal. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: