Galaxy Railways OVA (Second Half): More Mysteries
Here come my comments!
4:00 – Killian Black becomes orphaned as a result of an experiment involving time manipulation.
Basically the same thing happens to the lead character in Miraizer Ban (1976). Both of the experiments involve Time. The death of Ban’s parents is very different from that of Killian’s parents, but happens to be very similar to that of Hajime’s parents in Millennial Queen (though the tragic experiment there doesn’t have anything to do with temporal matters). It’s a rich tapestry!
8:00 – Manabu and Tetsuro have a fisticuffs.
This is a great sequence and I’m very happy (again) with the respect given to Hoshino’s abilities. Not only is Manabu a member of the SDF, but he was considered for promotion to the elite (and very aggressive) Space Panzer Grenadiers until he turned them down. And yet if this fight had gone any further I would have placed my bets on Tetsuro.
13:00 – Bulge decides to stay put until the situation on Herise clears up.
Hold your horses, what’s going on here?? Whatever happened to the orders to return to Destiny??? I can’t find any explanation here except that the writers must have dropped the ball. Either that or Bulge is cowering because he realizes as soon as he returns to Destiny people will be asking him where half of his team is and he’ll have to say something like: “Oh, I’ve decided to try out an all-female crew…” Anyway, how come Layla doesn’t call them up immediately and ask why they are still hovering over the godforsaken planet?
22:00 – The reason Herise had a time catastrophe was because Killian’s parents saw their son’s future and realized he would die young because they had been entrusted by a mysterious person to take care of a time manipulating contraption of some sort so they figured out a way to trade the son’s fate for that of a young lady called Eme but the executioners of destiny got wind of it and made the entire planet perish as penance.
The only thing not messed up about this plot is the fact that “Eme” makes a great nickname for Emeraldas.
12:00 – Layla is ???
OK, I give up. When it comes to Layla Destiny, this OVA complicates matters instead of simplifying them. Maetel has some sort of link to Layla, and if I was in need of a headache I could start visualizing how Maetel and Layla might be one in some way (as Maetel’s job is to guide boys along their destinies) but my head is already hurting so I’ll pass.
We see Layla complaining that she is condemned to know the future without being able to do anything about it (i.e. in classical terms she is Cassandra). All of a sudden her eyes turn red and she proclaims to be Shula. Then Shula makes a pretty grand statement, which I suggest could be beautifully reproduced in French as: “L’univers c’est moi”. [Listen here for that French phrase used to great effect in a Yoko Kanno song] Shula goes on to vanquish the executioners who were about to take Killian’s life.
I’m stupid enough to venture an interpretation: Layla is Destiny in its warm, empathic mode; Shula is Destiny in its cold, mechanistic mode. As such Layla and Shula are one and yet two, and as two they are divided by a huge chasm. What makes this scene so epic is that somehow the two parts of Destiny manage to unite. Shula acts with Layla’s empathy and spares Killian who by the rules of the universe ought to die.
Now let me destroy that interpretation. First of all, it is clear that Shula is more powerful than Layla. We get the sense that Shula knows more about Layla than Layla does about Shula. From this point on in the episode Shula calls herself Shula and nothing else (Layla is gone). This begs the question: what’s the point of Layla? Also, this interpretation cannot explain why Layla/Shula/Destiny/whoever does away with the executioners. Aren’t they working for Layla/Shula? Also, if Shula is in fact the Universe as she proclaims, why all of this adversity? Why is she split? Why is the executioners’ will not automatically in synchronicity with her own? Why does it seem as if Time is more powerful than Destiny?
Aha. This might be the question. What is the role of Time here? Don’t ask me, I quit. And don’t dare ask me how Maetel is situated in all of this.
13:00 – Shula does a show and tell of Time’s wonders and what could have been.
This is a very campy sequence, but I must admit I was moved by the sight of Tetsuro’s mother aboard the 999, and how Manabu and Tetsuro come to realize the significance of each other’s keepsakes…
17:00 – Manabu blushes at Maetel, Louis steps on his foot.
I loved this scene. It was great to see that not even universal dandy Manabu Yuki could make Maetel lose her cool. Then again he is probably too old for her 😦
20:00 – David realizes who Tetsuro is and wishes he had asked for his signature.
Of course Tetsuro Hoshino overthrew the Mechanization Empire, and so that in itself is a big deal. However, there’s probably a more personal reason why an SDF member like David would want Tetsuro’s signature. What we need to remember is that back when the Galaxy Railways corporation was headquartered on Earth, the Mechanization Empire conquered Earth and took over the company. Therefore Tetsuro Hoshino was not only the vanquisher of the Empire, but the liberator of the company that David works for and defends. It’s only natural he would like the kid’s signature. [One wonders what the SDF was doing when Promethium took over the GR!!]
There’s a tiny little detail of interest here. David is talking to Captain Bulge and Yuki Sexaroid. When he expresses despair about not getting Tetsuro’s signature we hear a giggle from Yuki. Yuki knew who Tetsuro was (and quite possibly Bulge knew as well). Bulge and Yuki are both people who know much more than they’re willing to show.
As intricate as the plot was, the resolution was very simple and unremarkable. I enjoyed the OVA very much but I can see how someone new to the Leijiverse could find the action lacking. Actually, I can see that happening with most Matsumoto anime. The more you’ve read and watched of the man’s œuvre, the more you appreciate it.