Galaxy Railways 16: MANabu
It’s a weird plot device: a casino train crash landing on a planet with a highly corrosive atmosphere that makes the survivors lose all of their clothes except their boxers/panties. Did I say weird? I meant stupid.
But there’s a lot of cool stuff here. Some train stats for whoever’s interested:
The train is the Grace Wealthy, code number 254. It has ten cars and can carry up to 120 passengers. It can travel up to 850 skm/h and it is completely unarmed (!). The casino on board is owned by the Galaxy Railways.
First cool thing here is that there’s an Oyama on board. Yes, we’re talking about the legendary Oyama clan whose most illustrious member is Tochiro, creator of the Arcadia. The man is called Kei Oyama (not the same “firefly” Kei (蛍) in Kei Yuki’s name, but 敬 which means “reverence”). And this Oyama speaks Kyushu dialect [Matsumoto is himself from Kyushu]. Kei Oyama’s voice actor, I might as well add, is a veteran of the Yamato franchise as well as the voice of Alberich in Harlock Saga.
Anyway, the episode gets sillier and sillier as it goes on: the Sirius effort is hampered when a giant cockroach climbs on the rescue ship. Our heroes manage to shake it off but not before Oyama is thrown out of the ship and the Sexaroid jumps after him. So now they’re in the corrosive planet and Yuki being an android this is a serious problem.
Yuki quickly gives us further evidence that she would make the best homemaker out of all of the SDF staff, as she dexterously destroys countless giant cockroaches. There’s also some fan-service here, although I’m not sure if her exposed, burnt chest counts. I guess it does…barely.
It’s neat that Kei Oyama has made his wealth out of mining cosmonite, because that is precisely the super-substance that all the world powers in an as yet untranslated manga published by Leiji in 1968 are rabidly seeking. The manga is called Sexaroid. Yuki and Oyama share this thematic bond.
And then out of the blue, when Yuki’s strength has been depleted and she is on the verge of total corrosion, she thinks of Manabu. Whoa! I didn’t see this coming at all. And then Louis gets to eavesdrop on Yuki as she confirms to Oyama her feelings for Manabu, and we can tell Louis Fort Drake is jeeeealoooous.
1) Every show can use a shojoesque love triangle, so this is a good development.
2) Tadashi Daiba needs to take a lesson from Manabu [Manabu kara manabu in Japanese, a dreadful pun but I like it!]. I mean, Manabu has a Sexaroid and a president’s daughter longing for him!!! In fact, I wouldn’t mind if Matsumoto went back and replaced Daiba with Manabu in all of those classic shows. Maybe then Capt. Harlock wouldn’t have ended up as a suicidal loner, since it was Daiba’s antics that probably drove him to that psychological state of despair in the first place…