GE 999 038-039: Ethereal Fantasy
This episode is very silly and rather odd. The oddest part is the ending, where [SPOILER alert] the president’s son is delirious enough to be happy he’s spending time with his dad. Coming on the heels of the revelation that it was his father that killed his mother, there is no rational explanation for this happiness…Pascal must simply be insane by this point.
I found the SDF’s intervention entertaining. The 999 begins to fall into the orbit of a planet with seemingly hostile intentions. The SDF sends an armored train and it’s immediately destroyed! This is the second time in the series we’ve seen the SDF at play IIRC. It’s cool and sad at the same time: cool that the SDF (which eventually gets its own franchise in Galaxy Railways) is already here in the original 999 anime of the late 1970s, but sad to see how underpowered it is!
Then again, the SDF eventually scrambles another, superior train and this one is overpowered: so much so it proceeds to destroy the entire planet. I can’t see any of the platoons in Galaxy Railways being so merciless as to destroy a planet for taking GR passengers hostage after these same hostages have been safely rescued, and I should note in this connection that the SDF armored trains in Galaxy Express 999 give the impression of being unmanned and controlled by artificial intelligence.
This episode is greatly expanded from the manga chapter. In the manga the son never shows up. The president gives up on buying Tetsuro’s body and lets them all go (since he’s too much of a coward to force the issue). The planet gets destroyed in the end regardless 😦
The Fog Capital, a planet reputed to have the most beautiful people in the universe. This deserves a couple of screenshots no doubt:
Does it surprise anyone that these elegant people are terribly weak, with only 1% of an Earthling’s strength? I remember reading somewhere that life expectancy in the old Japanese capital of Kyoto, around the year 1000, was barely 30 years. Now, this was precisely the moment when (and the place where) people were most refined and ethereal, with works like the Tale of Genji being produced. All sorts of illnesses raged rampant in these lovely quarters and temples, and I have no doubt life expectancy in the countryside was higher..there is a price to elegance!
And then I guess Tetsuro figured that the only way he could compete with these pretty folk was by getting butt naked and running around for half an episode. It was hilarious. And I love how he shares with the conductor an adamant, cat-like hatred for baths.
The comment thread on crunchyroll had a couple of very interesting criticisms. Someone asked what was the point of the 999 stopping at the Fog Capital if no passengers could get on? I imagine the answer is to let 999 passengers get off. A sensible response, I think, as long as we ignore the little fact that early on we were told anyone leaving the 999 before Andromeda would get killed 😉
Another person asked how come Maetel hadn’t figured out earlier (as she did here) that if their passes were stolen all they had to do was head to the 999 and get them back? Good question. My best guess is that Maetel is a cautious person and usually this strategy would be too risky. Consider that 999-Pass thieves could simply stay on the planet and wait for the next ride. Or they could hide very well in the 999 and elude capture. Maetel knew that the Fog Capital humans were very weak, and thus reasoned that she could take a more relaxed approach this time around.
As I noted in an earlier post, I am going to take a break from this anime. 39 episodes is precisely 1/3 of the whole thing, and I think it’s best for me to rest and pick it up again sometime next year. Cheers.