Space Symphony Maetel 05: Puzzles

A lot happens in this episode: the metalforming (reverse terraforming?) of LaMetal is almost complete, an order comes down to mechanize all of the remaining flesh-and-blood citizens (refusal to be followed by death), the real Queen Promethium shows up (maybe) and we finally get 100% confirmation that the Space Panzers were behind the meteor attack. 

There are many puzzles here.  Some of these puzzles are of the silly type, some are rather sublime, but they’re all fun!  Let’s take them as they turn up in this episode.

1) Nazca gets to run around all over the place.

The boy’s debut on the planet involved a regicide attempt.  He only staved off immediate execution when Maetel announced she would interrogate him.  Ever since then, he’s been running around LaMetal like an untouchable.  I know he has friends in high places but still, it’s a bit much.

2) Commander Leopard fights for Justice and so…

…he shoots the enemy in the back of the head pretty much.  It’s a weird scene.  When Leopard decides to finally stop the madness his first act is literally to sneak up on a commanding officer and off him.  I guess it’s consistent with him being constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

3) The Space Panzers are human!

Barring some small modifications like Leopard’s right arm, the elite guard of Queen Promethium remains unmechanized.  This is of course very puzzling.  I can only think of two solutions:

a) Non-mechanization is a perk for this elite force.

b) Non-mechanization provides an advantage in fighting.

The first solution would imply that Promethium accepts the fact that it’s better to remain a flesh-and-blood human being, and so she allows her minions this privilege.  But this flies in the face of Promethium’s own value system as well as her propaganda machine.  The second solution doesn’t have any basis of support that I know of.  Ultimately one would think that mechanizing the Space Panzers would have also increased loyalty to the Queen’s aims and prevented precisely the sort of rebellion we see here.  I am mystified.

4) Maetel didn’t know about LaRela’s existence until she underwent the coronation ceremony.

Another rather big puzzle.  The present queen of LaMetal is LaAndromeda Promethium II.  Her immediate predecessor was Queen LaRela.  Maetel is only two generations removed from the latter, how come she never even knew of her existence growing up?

The easiest solution I can think of is that Queen Promethium has systematically buried access to the history of LaMetal up to her own reign.  Neither the names nor the deeds of LaRela are known to any LaMetalian born after her time.  The interesting thing is that this censorship must have started before Promethium mechanized herself and turned evil.  Maetel was in her teens when Promethium went bad, and evidently she didn’t know about LaRela and what she did back then.

Under the surface at least, Queen LaRela’s reign was a dark period in LaMetalian history.  Since LaMetalians in this era hibernated throughout most of their planet’s 1000 year solar orbit, labor was required to maintain the planet’s facilities in the interim.  LaRela systematically brought in slaves from other planets (mostly Earth) to fulfill this task (although to be fair, there are hints that previous LaMetalian queens had done the same thing).  And when she realized that LaMetal would escape from solar orbit and drift into endless space, LaRela hit upon the idea of transferring all of her people to Earth, and forcibly removing all Earthlings to LaMetal.  [BTW, Leopard was already commander of the Space Panzers in LaRela’s time so it’s natural for him to seek her aid once he’s set upon toppling Promethium.]

Queen LaRela’s plan was thwarted by none other than Promethium, who as Millennial Queen of Earth had developed affection for the Earthlings and hatred for LaRela’s abuse of the same.  So it makes sense perhaps that as the new queen of LaMetal, Promethium would lock LaRela away and try to wipe off this nasty bit of history.  ESPECIALLY when you consider that it was Promethium’s heroism on behalf of Earth that effectively doomed her own people of LaMetal to eternal winter.  If LaRela had succeeded, this whole mechanization trauma/drama might have been avoided!


~ by Haloed Bane on May 27, 2012.

18 Responses to “Space Symphony Maetel 05: Puzzles”

  1. Well it’s not uncommon for new rulers to try to wipe out knowledge of the last one if they where bad or well there was a hostel take over. Though again it’s confusing because who knows how long the LaMetalians live? Unless the events of MQ wiped out most of them.

    • That’s the main problem, yeah. LaMetalians supposedly live for thousands of years, so you’d think most of them would remember LaRela (since it hasn’t been that long since she was queen). Maybe Maetel and Emeraldas were completely sheltered from the common population. Also, I imagine Promethium would erase troublesome memories from all of her citizens as they became mechanized..

  2. I am assuming there is a lot that Maetal and Emeraldas don’t know about their planet’s past. They were born after the events in Millenium Queen. They likley have no knowledge of their Aunt Selen, who stayed on Earth (assuming she wasn’t killed in the conflict). Even if it has been hundreds of years, the twins do seem fairly sheltered when we see then still living with their mother. We aren’t sure how long they lived there with just her and their father before he died and the mechinization started..

    It is said they are old enough to have seen the original Space Battleship Yamato in service. Though likely only via relays and telescopes since Yamato has no contact with LaMetal that we are aware (unless LaMetal and the Eleventh Planet, called Brumas in the Star Blazers dub, are the same planet.)

    • Evidently there are no history books in the royal library at LaMetal. This is ultra-levels of sheltered.

      The link with Yamato is easier to suppose if the original 999 chronology is upheld. Originally, Maetel was running around with Tochiro in the 23rd century, so the Yamato was not an ancient thing at all. But I think later accounts tend to place all the Maetel stuff in the 30th century (to fit in with Harlock’s adventures).

      Anyway, there might be another “solution”. In the Ring of the Nibelung manga, young Maetel and Emeraldas both get to see the Yamato while they are in the planet Metabloody. Metabloody is a spacetime junction, so old and new people/vessels pass each other by. You could thus have Maetel see the Yamato and yet been born after the Yamato was utterly gone.

      • It’s only in the TV series IIRC that GE999 is set in 2222 – I don’t recall a date mentioned in the manga…? (which has internal issues all of it’s own anyway!)

        Isn’t Heavy Meldar also mentioned somewhere as a space-time junction? ISTR a conversation in something discussing how one needs exceptional willpower to leave the place in the same time-line you arrived!

        Warp drives also muddy the waters… The Arcadia time jumps around a bit in a couple of stories (How else explain DNA sights 999.9!) and then there’s the infamous GE999 collision with a version from the year 62,000 and change – complete with conductor, Maetel, small boy and Cosmo Dragoon serial nu. 4 (looking a bit battered!) ;-P Bring in time travel and all bets are off!

        • The manga doesn’t establish a date at all, which means the TV date is the earliest we have.

          Yes, somewhere along the line Heavy Melder, which seemed to be a simple space junction, became a spacetime junction too (can’t remember where this is mentioned).

          It’s all a mess. There are so many variables one can only speculate for fun. Nothing can truly be pinned down for sure!

  3. If we assume 30th century and Maetal and Emeraldas not being several multiple centuries old…than it has been a rather long time since Yayoi was on Earth and about as long since LaRela was in power. Considering their planetary situation, it might be be that knowledge of the previous Queen (who didn’t effectively do much save the failed invasion of Earth since for most of those 1,000 years she would have likely been asleep along with the rest of the population).

    But hen there is the later scenes with Maetel on Pluto. The speculation is that it is one of two things, her original body (meaning she’s a clone of some sort rather than a robot) or it is her mother’s original body (not the one that was turned mechanical from the inside out, but the one that “died” saving Earth in 1999).

    It is also possible (hough unlikely) that the body we the audiance see in the past is not how she really looks. She looks like that to use so we recognize her as Matael. I only mention this due to the idea that Maetel took Tetsuro’s mother’s image/body to make him come with her more easily. Though that doesn’t explain Emeraldas who seems to have not changed much at all over the years. Even from the start they have looked nearly alike (due to Matsumoto’s favored style of willowy goddess women). even in the days they were not said to be sisters, much less twins.

    • My spelling is all over the place in that one, isn’t it?

      As for the old Queen. She might have been basically considered unimportant to teach about anymore since she did effectively nothing as it was Promethium’s choice that sent them out of the Solar System for good. LaRela was just following (more or less) tradition from several millenia of passings of the two worlds.

      • I totally see LaRela as a symbol of hope and resistance to Promethium’s rule (as she is indeed in SSM). Promethium goes from being unpatriotic (helping Earthlings at the expense of her own people) to being downright evil.

        Since we are Earthlings, LaRela strikes us as an evil woman, but I imagine that to a traditional patriotic LaMetalian she never did anything wrong at all. She always did the right thing. What better woman to rally around?

        That said, I’m guessing there is a stigma associated with a queen ruling past her time. I bet you the LaMetalians would rather a new-generation queen came along to replace Promethium (and not the former queren LaRela). Maetel then becomes an option.

        • I got the impression that Larela herself fostered most of that mystery and buried her secrets… she was the one pulling the strings in the manga, and no-one seemed to really understand who or what she really was (she seemed related more to those strange energy beings than to the humans/la metallians!) She’s NOT one of the generational queens, that’s for sure, so I suspect not even Promethium/Yayoi knew exactly what she was up to, or what secrets were buried in La Metal’s interior!

          The Millenial Queens semed to have been created as temporary puppets – that Yayoi rose above that might not have been part of the plan, and I can well believe that if there’s a conspiracy of silence, it’s NOT being instigated by Promethium!

          Of course, there are several hundred years of history unaccounted for between La Metal leaving the solar system, and the start of Maetel Legend, so who knows what might have cracked off in the meantime!

          • But then you would figure if the conspiracy wasn’t formed or at least encouraged by Promethium, the first thing she’d do would be to teach her daughters all about it..

            My sense from reading the Millennial Queen manga was that you had a line of LaMetalian queens and a line of Millennial queens. Now, I seem to recall (though I could be making this all up) reading somewhere that often, though not always, Millennial queens would succeed to the throne of LaMetal after doing their 1000-year stint on Earth. But there was no evidence that LaRela herself was ever a Millennial queen once.

            One interesting factoid for me here is that LaRela in the manga is not referred to as queen even once. She is called “soto”, which is used by the Japanese to translate such titles as Generalissimo (Chiang Kai-shek) and Fuhrer (Adolf Hitler).

    • Well, that’s another key mystery you bring up. If Maetel is supposed to have been remade in Kanae Hoshino’s image (Tetsuro’s mom) then how come she’s always looked like this. It’s tough.

      And of course, the question of what exactly happens to Yayoi at the end of her adventures is really difficult to answer!!

      • I’ve always assumed they never got around to retconing that annoying fact. Though i have noticed Maetel’s eyes are sometimes brown and sometimes blue but I’ve never really tracked her eye color to see if it would line up to before or after she would have been mechainized.

        • Here’s an easy “solution”: Tetsuro’s mom is supposed to be most beautiful woman on Earth. Maetel is the most beautiful woman in LaMetal. Since there is one universal beauty standard in the Leijiverse, this means Ms. Hoshino and Maetel must be practically identical in appearance. Q.E.D.

          • Is it at the end of the GE999 manga that Maetel offers to show Tetsuro what she really looks like? (A sight that has terrified several grown men throughout the volumes when she drops her dress… ;-P) There’s mention IIRC of a chameleon field of some sort, I’m sure – but it’s been a while since I last read it! Could be Adieu… which I’d prefer to avoid having to watch again – not being fond of the film continuity!

            There’s the possibility that she simply projects whatever image she wants to – Tetsuro sees his mother, the boy she’s travelling with 60,000 years later also does – but we see the same Maetel…

            Or it’s all totally metaphorical (which seems to be how Rin Taro calls it in both the films) – and all small orphan boys see her as their mother regardless of how close the resemblance is or isn’t in reality!

            • This last possibility is good too. I’ve yet to finish the 999 manga, so I can’t comment about that..

    • quote: Though that doesn’t explain Emeraldas who seems to have not changed much at all over the years

      … and then we fall over those lovely, sorrowful metaphors that were in the original series and manga – where Maetel’s immortality is bound to the rails of the Galaxy Express route, destined to repeat the same fate over and over – but Emeraldas, who is free to wander where she will, is mortal, frail and dying…

      …and yet now is seemingly as powerful, immortal and badass as everyone ELSE in the Leijiverse.



      • Haha. There’s definitely a set of lovely ideas that Leiji had and later ran all over because he loves his characters so much.

        So, as you say, we’re supposed to keep Emeraldas’ impending death in mind even though she never actually dies. And we’re supposed to mourn the loss of Tochiro even though more and more often we’re given series in which he still lives.

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