Space Symphony Maetel 01

[I will be blogging this 13-episode series gradually.  My plan is to do an episode a week, though likely I’ll have a one or two week gap somewhere in the middle.  Ideally you would watch the episode in question first, then come and read my post.  I will not post spoilers for the series so people that want to watch it along for the first time can do so.  I will, however, allude to past events connected to the story (without however, stating the sources as such), so that we can all enjoy it in its proper context.  If you want to discuss spoilers please make sure to put a SPOILER alert before you do so.  Thanks!]

Maetel is coming home.

She left under tragic circumstances.  The planet LaMetal in the Andromeda Galaxy had left is orbit and was speeding away from the Sun.  Eternal winter was inevitable.  Queen LaAndromeda Promethium, under the advice of a mysterious counselor, decided to mechanize the citizenry and give them bodies that could withstand the cold.

The plan worked quite well.  Soon the planet itself began to undergo mechanization, which of course meant that temperatures could be easily regulated and human beings could dispense with becoming machinemen, or Mechanoids, themselves. But the Queen’s counselor managed to change her into an evil machinewoman who believed in mechanization for its own sake.  The last deed of the sane Promethium, as the machinery began to transform her very mind, was to send Maetel away.

LaMetal embarked on a series of war to establish a galactic empire.  The few remaining flesh-and-blood LaMetalians, the rebellious ones it would be too costly to exterminate, were forced to do hard labor.  And yet Maetel, as pure a person as they come, has chosen to return.

Promethium wrote her daughter to tell her she has reversed the mechanization process in her own body.  She certainly seems less cruel now, and we see her defending human laborers from the abuse of her Mechanoid soldiers.  In a conversation with Maetel she praises machines still, although she seems more than willing to abdicate the crown in her daughter’s favor.  Enough to say that it is very difficult to read Promethium.

The Queen’s foremost warrior, Leopard, is just as difficult to understand.  Leopard is Commander of the Space Panzers, from time immemorial LaMetal’s elite military force.  He has so far served the throne well, at least since the time of Promethium’s predecessor LaRela.  He also happens to be the one firing at the Galaxy Express 999 with the heiress Maetel onboard.  It could be that Leopard is worried that Maetel will reverse mechanization on the planet.  Or it could just be that Leopard intends to seize the chance that the power transition brings to take the throne himself.

Nazca’s effort was not that far from being successful.  If the Queen had been closer to the train, or if she had not been surrounded by so many soldiers (a fact belying Nazca’s joke that machinemen were so loyal to Promethium there could be no rebels among them) he could have had a shot at striking her with his magnetic weapon.  This is significant because we if he had succeeded we could have confirmed whether Promethium had really become “human” again or not.

The meteor attack is not a first.  Gamilas forces used it in another galaxy years back.  Who carried out the attack is unknown.  The fact remains that Leopard did nothing to stop it (if he was not the one who instigated it in the first place) and that Promethium has perished as a result.  Maetel is poised to succeed to the throne of LaMetal.

FANBOY COMMENT: This episode is so darn perfect!!!

~ by Haloed Bane on April 28, 2012.

39 Responses to “Space Symphony Maetel 01”

  1. I really enjoyed this series. I was hoping it would never end and wanted to see what happens next for these characters. So am I right to assume that this is a sequel to Maetel legend and a prequel to just the Galaxy Express films? And not Arcadia of my Youth or any other Harlock series? thx and great job!

    • Yes, the Galaxy Express story runs like this:

      1) Maetel Legend
      2) Space Symphony Maetel
      3) Galaxy Express 999 (manga, TV series, and film)
      4) Adieu Galaxy Express 999
      5) Galaxy Express 999 Eternal Fantasy (new manga, new film)

      In addition to this, you could see the Millennial Queen franchise (manga, TV series, film) as a prequel to the whole thing.

      It’s really a good series and I know I’ll enjoy blogging it. This will be the third time I’ll be watching it.

      • So, do you like this character or personality of Harlock in the whole GE999 universe that you stated above? I know he differs in each series of his universe. SSX, SPCH etc. But I always enjoyed this Harlock

        Sorry for the multiple questions but any idea if any, where cosmo warrior zero falls in this universe if at all? I always thought maybe after SSM?

        Thx and sorry to bug ya..I am one who likes to know how these puzzles all come together since I am a big Leiji fan! Yes I have watched it 2x and it never gets boring.

        • I like all the Harlocks. I guess he’s less dark in his 999 appearances, simply because the focus isn’t on him. But after watching so many of these shows I think I’ve developed an organic view of Harlock the man, so that no matter where he shows up I see him as exactly the same character…

          Cosmo Warrior Zero..that’s a good question. According to the book that came out for the 30th anniversary of the GE 999 TV series, you’re right. First it’s Maetel Legend, then Space Symphony, then Cosmo Warrior Zero, then the classic GE 999 stuff. The Leijiverse Integrated Timeline deduces this fact from hints in the series as well.

          I don’t mind these questions. On the contrary, I love them. Be sure to check out the Leijiverse Integrated Timeline if you haven’t!!

          • Cosmo Warrior Zero would be set about 5 years after this, if the relative ages given for the characters are correct – around the time this came out there was a website giving the ages – IIRC Maetel is about 16, which makes Harlock in this about 18, so with the offical website for CWZ giving his age as 23 in THAT, Emeraldas 22, Tochiro 21 (http://www.leiji-matsumoto.ne.jp/zero/chara_har.html and use the “back” button to get to the master character page! ), this gives a relative dating. Beyond that you’re at the mercy of changing timelines (which if I read Nibelung no Yubiwa correctly is a direct result retcon of Wotan sending people back in time to kill Harlock as a teenager…)

            I do love this series – it’s retcon central, but the pay-off in the last two episodes should leave you in tears when you know how this later turns out. All I will say today is oh, the irony… beyond that however it’s a direct sequel to the manga QM, not the TV series or the (slightly) more faithful film, which threw me a bit until I read the manga! (Canonical it may be, but I’m no great fan of the manga Queen Millenia – I much prefer the TV series!) I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you make of it! It’s been a long time since anyone discussed it!

            • It’s hard to see Maetel as being 16 here but I guess LaMetalian 16 is not Earthling 16 anyway. Ultimately we can’t too hung up on these continuity things. Ring of the Nibelung does absolutely mess with all of this stuff too~

              I’ve read the Millennial manga and watched the film. I’ve yet to watch the TV series. But the manga is one of my favorites. It looks so darn pretty!

              • Forgive the chime in but what series would you recommend as the best from which to access the chronology? Should I start with this one or with the original series?

                • The problem with the original series is that it’s 100+ episodes. My advice for a quicker run kinda messes with the chronology but I think it’s the most accessible:

                  1) Galaxy Express 999 film
                  2) Adieu Galaxy Express 999 film (sequel to the first)
                  3) Millennial Queen film (this is before the events of 1 and 2)
                  4) Space Symphony Maetel (which takes place after 3, but before 1 and 2)

                  I actually think this is a great way to appreciate the whole. Then later on you can watch the original..

  2. I will check it out..I have it…..just have not read it cuz its so big🙂 Any idea as to when the new CGI Harlock is coming out and if Leiji is going to give us a sequel to GE999’s Eternal fantasy? thx!

    • I’ve never read the Timeline cover to cover. I just look up stuff or pick out a random page and start reading etc.

      The latest we have on CGI Harlock is a 2013 release. This is from official statements but one never knows, it could end up being 2014.

      There is no GE 999 sequel in the works, though on and off we hear about a GE 999 live-action film in the works. It’s not clear if it will ever happen, but Matsumoto was speculating on casting and stuff months and months ago so we might get a big announcement at some point~

      • Awesome. I loved Eternal Fantasy. I have read all the Viz comics but I cannot read Japanese so I have no idea how it ended in the manga..or if it did?

        • Eternal Fantasy hasn’t really ended, no. There was a volume 20 which was inconclusive, then a volume 21 that was technically a separate arc (Galaxy Railways arc) and that’s it, nothing after that. I own volumes 19 through 21 (in the French edition) so I’ve read them. But yeah, it’s pretty much very unfinished.

          • He’s not even written anything for it for years – but there is at least one chapter not yet collected (I can’t help thinking the tangled mess that is the Galaxy Railways side-story distracted him…!) Chapter 39 was available online from a link to the online web version on Matsumoto’s website for a while – which is where I saved the jpgs from… Other than that a few panels advertising PASMO cards are the only GE999 we’ve had since.

            Harlock’s way too “genki” in the Eternity Hen manga for my tastes… more like a slightly older version of the CWZ youth (who really needs a slap IMO…) rather than the familiar misanthropic dispomanial manic depressive know and love! Takes some getting used to!

            • Lobotomy Harlock version, maybe. What’s ch. 39 about??

              I guess technically PASMO is GE 999 material, plus the Kyushu Electric Power series. But ultimately they are pure advertising.

              • 39? Not a lot really. I’l see if I can find the link later – might still be online!

  3. Wow…21 volumes and not done? Sorry my friend..but after the first 5 volumes does Harlock and yamato show up alot and will you be posting anything on this? I am dying to get a synopsis on this..heck I will even help you in any way i can. I cannot translate or read French like u but I will do anything to read this or read some type of translated version. thx!

    • Here’s how GE 999 breaks down:

      Volumes 01-14: Andromeda arc (the original arc)
      Volumes 15-20: Eternal Fantasy arc
      Volume 21: Galaxy Railways arc

      Now, for the first 14 volumes you can watch the TV series, which covers it all. Crunchyroll has all of it subbed. Harlock and Yamato don’t really appear here at all. For the Eternal Fantasy arc I guess you have to go to the manga, where Harlock and Yamato make multiple cameos. I haven’t actually read any of the new arcs except those 3 volumes I own (19, 20, 21). The reason is that I want to read the original arc first, but before I do that I want to finish the TV series, and I’ve only watched 39 episodes from the grand total of 113!

      I guess nobody’s translated the original arc into English. This is a pity but I bet you one reason is simply that the TV series is very, very faithful to the manga.

      So my suggestion to do would be to watch the TV series if you haven’t, and also the movies if you haven’t. Quite frankly, I like the GE 999 film and the Adieu film, but I didn’t like the Eternal Fantasy film. Oh well.

      • Of course, that’s the volume count for one edition – (Big Comics IIRC??) I’ve got the miniature sized edition (sort of standard manga tankobun size for pockets rather than closer to ordinary pb sized), and that runs to 12 volumes for Andromeda hen, 13-17 are Eternal-hen and the 18th volume is GR.

        They also have really cute covers…😉

        There was some attempt to translate the original in a magazine aimed at people studying Japanese – Mangajin I think it was called? I have the first chapter in an issue, but not sure if they ran anymore than that.

        Harlock does of course show up in a cameo during both the original manga and TV series (Yattaran is in the manga version of the story in question!) in a fantastic little tale – but I won’t spoiler it for you! You will however love it to bits, and I promise it’s waaay cooler than the version of same events from the 999 film….!!

        • Yes, Big Comics.

          I see now..Shonen Gahosha bunko edition. I didn’t realize this had the whole thing as well. It’s really confusing because there’s an old 18-volume edition of just the Andromeda arc, by Shonen Gahosha of all people. So I think every time I saw this new one I assumed it didn’t include the new chapters.

          • Best way to check the editions is on that Leiji.db site you got the Kagero no monshu link from in the other thread… there’s one part of the database that lists all chapters of the published manga, and where they’re published – thus helping to eliminate the pesky early volumes that only collect part of a story, or to find the odd shorts that are stuffed at the end of random tankobun! Exceedingly helpful with chronically re-edited non-linear series such as the “Senso” stories which have been collected all over the place in different volumes!

            …I just wish he’d list which editions were furigana’d! Took me two tries to find a Queen Emeraldas edition that I could read (at the time, didn’t have my XW-9600…)!! (Bonus: my older edition also contains the Harlock/Emeraldas short that isn’t in the newer edition!)

            • But that database doesn’t work for the latest GE 999, because it hasn’t been updated in 7 or 8 years… This is the problem.

              Furigana’ed manga, that’d be great to list for int’l fans, but I guess the site owners are Japanese so they don’t care😦 I actually wrote to that site once with a question and never received a response. Anyway, it’s one of the best sites around that’s for sure.

              • Erm.. I just checked and ir’s totally up to date for the Eternity-hen chapters… !(which haven’t been added to in several years anyway! )Looks like it’s more than ch.39 o/s – must check my list!
                (Jp characters might need enabling:)
                第39話 涙の表面張力 -
                第42話 宿命の友人 -
                第43話 星の海のサバンナ -
                第44話 土台の無いお人形 -
                第45話 星の海のホタルナ -ミラクレイのふるさと- -

                • I see what’s happening now. The Eternal Fantasy arc has a separate page to it!! I was looking at the first GE 999 page…

                  And so now I realize for the first time that my volume 21 has actually 3 chapters from the Eternal Fantasy arc, and then the whole Galaxy Railways Arc. I see, I see. Gee, there’s 5 chapters of Eternal that aren’t compiled? Wow.

                • Eeek! Shogakukan took them offline… but I *might* have these in a special from 2005… Will check when I get home!

  4. Oh..sorry I thought Eternal Fantasy was 21 volumes itself. I have seen all of GE999 shows and movies. I was just wondering about the translation of the 3 volumes you read. I love the first fil more than the sequels. I just wish EF did not end so quickly.

    • Ah, I see. no, Eternal only ran for 7 volumes (6 if you count no. 21 as another arc). Terribly little happens in 19-21. Usually I would write a post on two on it but so little happened that I never did. They go around a few planets, Tetsuro has some kind of meeting with the Darqueen (where it seems she’s starting to fall in love with him, you know Tetsuro is the ultimate ladies’ man) and then nothing. Volume 20 ends as if there were 10 more volumes were coming.

      Volume 21 is basically propaganda for the Galaxy Railways series, which I don’t know if you have seen. Tetsuro and Maetel take a back seat to two lads that travel to planet Destiny and meet Destiny Shura. One boy is Mamoru Yuki (if you’ve seen GR you know who I’m talking about). The other boy is none other than Tochiro Oyama’s son. They hang out a bit, Mamoru goes on to become a Space Panzer Grenadier and Oyama’s future is left up in the air. The end.

      • IIRC both of Kei’s brothers are shown – Shota Oyama starts out pretending to be Manabu, but when the pretence is uncovered, I think it’s the real Manabu we see swearing undying friendship in a couple of panels showing him travelling on a train… (a future set-up for a passing of the torch between generations for a “new” Harlock and Tochiro?? – Shota is given his father’s nickname in this and it wouldn’t be the first time “Harlock” hasn’t been the character’s birth name… (Yamato, Great Pirate Harlock…)

        AK – did you wonder if Kei’s brothers looking like the teenage Harlock is lazy artwork, or a clue as to some relationship? There’s a guidebook that came out a couple of years ago with a diagram of character relations in it that lists Kei not only as a subordinate of Harlock’s but also a blood relation… not sure how canonical it is though!)

        • Animekritik… did you ever get your head around the shell game the GR manga played with Oyama Shota, Manabu and Mamoru Yuuki?? I read this in a couple of collected manga zines years ago and I’m still not sure who was doing what, where and when! One brother definitely gets killed, one was bring impersonated by Shota and I *think* that’s the one we see at the end thanking Shota… but it’s not furigana’d and I’m not sure my translation’s getting the nuances…! One guide book (written before the deception was revealed) even shows Shota listed as Manabu!

          Still trying to locate which book had the relation tree in it, but I’ve got dozens to wade through… ISTR it showed Yuuki Rei in it at some point so might not be as recent as I first thought! (Hmmm.. I HAD been ignoring the footlong section of AoMY magazines but perhaps that’s a mistake… I may be some time!)

          • I’m not sure I get you. Are you asking if I figured what happened to whom at the end there? Off the top of my head I remember it turning out harmoniously with the beginning of the Galaxy Railways franchise.. To wit, Mamoru goes off to perish as part of the SPG and Manabu is already interested in becoming a member of the SDF. Oyama’s future is left uncertain, but he promises he will be heroic blah blah. I read the French translation BTW.

            Anyway, to me the whole volume was quite insipid😦

  5. I have seen some of GR, but I was really interested in Letter from Abandoned Planet which I watched once. I just don’t understand what Leiji is waiting for. I would like to see at least one more film to finish the GE999 EF arc even if the manga is not done.

    Unless he is eventually going to make his other stories into anime like ozma etc and then eventually bring everyone together? Do you have any thoughts on that? Ever since Adieu I had always wanted to see more GE999 films.

  6. ok…Nerdgasm! I would have to say if this all works out with Mahoroba then that is as close as it gets. As long as our fav’s show up. I mean how could you not have Desslar show up and maybe Queen Lafressia?

    Good news is Matsumoto’s works are on the move!

    Too bad its 2 years away…hopefully less. Plus @ that time we will hopefully have Harlock cgi on the big screens.

    • At worst we’ll get at least one of the big works in 2013. At best we get both of them (Mahoroba, CG Harlock) plus a new anime (Zero Desigze). Good times are coming. We just gotta be patient.

  7. Checked the GE999 chapters… yep – 42-45 are printed in the Big Comics special from 2005. Just 39 that is unaccounted for (and thankfully I downloaded it before Shogakukan took them down…! But sheesh – where did 7 years ago?! Feels like only yesterday I was discovering all things Leiji… but it was 2001!

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